Arthur Blank Unveils its 3rd Green Card

Boston-based Arthur Blank and American Banknote have introduced a new card into its “GreenLine” suite of environmentally friendly products. The new “AB BiodegradableCard” joins the “AB RecycledCard” and the “CornCard USA” as part of green program. In addition to being biodegradable, the new “AB BiodegradableCard” is made from plants such as alfalfa, beets, corn, potato skins, switch grass and wheat. The new material is industrial compostable according to ASTM International standards and meets the “D6400” standard for compostable plastics. The material composts in a period of 180 days or less. Arthur Blank introduced its “CornCard USA” in 2006 . The corn-based plastic card is manufactured from NatureWorks PLA. The Company has the capacity to print up to 1.5 billion cards per year.(CF Library 1/17/06)

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Springbok Intros Personalized Messaging

Market researcher Phoenix Marketing International’s “Virtual Mailbox”
has been adopted by two major domestic credit card companies.
“Virtual Mailbox”, a component of Phoenix’s Target Marketing product
suite, predicts the likelihood of success of direct mail offers through
on-line research conducted prior to mail-out. During the test, consumers
open a digital mailbox, remove contents, and take actions based on
real-time responses to the mail received. “Virtual Mailbox” can
determine the estimated take rate for each new offer
and compares it with current offers. It also pinpoints the likes and
dislikes of each new concept’s features and benefits, and identifies the
features and benefits that drive the most interest. “Virtual Mailbox” can
provide relevant, critical research at any point in
the development cycle, from rough concepts to post-launch monitoring. It
can evaluate both pre-launch concepts and offers and competitive clutter
mail. Clients can also use “Virtual Mailbox “to test ‘out-of-the-box’
concepts deemed too costly or risky to put into the actual marketplace
without prior research.

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Renesas and OTI Team for Contactless

Semiconductor provider Renesas Technology and On Track Innovations have
partnered to develop a secure contactless microcontroller payment certified by “MasterCard PayPass” and Visa. The solution was developed to support the large volume orders expected for the US contactless payments market. The new secure payment solution has been certified by
“MasterCard PayPass” for their 3.3 specifications and “Visa 2.0.2 A&C V3.0” specifications to comply with contactless card standards. Renesas is one of the largest contactless chip providers in the world. Applications developed by OTI include product solutions for petroleum payment systems, homeland security solutions, electronic passports and IDs, payments, mass transit ticketing, parking, loyalty programs and secure campuses.

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POINTS MILLIONAIRE

M&S Money customers
who hold a credit card with the financial services company will
automatically be entered into a drawing to become an “M&S Points Millionaire”.
M&S Money are also offering five runners up prices of 100,000 points
worth GBP 1,000 to be spent in store. Customers can be entered into the drawing by either buying one or more
selected products from M&S Money, registering to manage their account
online, and/or opting to stop receiving paper statements. Customers who
purchase insurance, travel money, personal loans or make an investment
with M&S Money are also eligible.

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Experian Offers Simmons GreenAware System

Experian Marketing Services has introduced Simmons “GreenAware”
segmentation targeting system to identify and understand consumers’
environmental consciousness and how those “green” attitudes influence
everything from lifestyle to buying behaviors through the Experian
“INSOURCE” consumer demographic database. “GreenAware” combined with
the “INSOURCE” consumer database helps marketers
better understand four distinct consumer segments that reflect buying
patterns, lifestyle, opinions, attitudes and media use which include:
“Behavioral Greens” – Representing more than 34 million households,
members of this group think and act green. They have negative attitudes
towards products that pollute and incorporate green practices in their
routines on a regular basis; “Think Greens” – Representing more than 24
million households, this
group thinks green, but does not necessarily act green; “Potential
Greens” – Representing more than 36 million households,
this group neither behaves nor thinks along particularly environmentally
conscious lines and remains ambivalent about key environmental issues
and “True Browns” – Representing more than 14 million households, this
group is not environmentally conscious and may harbor negative attitudes
about environmental issues.

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Toyota Rewards Visa Enters the Showroom

After nearly six months of preparation Toyota Financial Services has unveiled a general purpose credit card for the U.S. The new “Toyota Rewards Visa” enables cardholders to earn one point for every $1 spent, five points for every $1 spent at Toyota dealerships, plus 2,500 bonus “Toyota Rewards Points” upon first purchase. The new Visa is issued by Toyota Financial Savings Bank. In May Toyota decided to expand its credit card program beyond just the “Lexus Pursuits Visa”. The Lexus card offers 1.5 points per dollar spent in various transactions and five 5 points per dollar spent at its dealerships. Toyota’s Lexus Financial Services launched the Lexus card in June 2005. The “Lexus Pursuits VISA” card has about 50,000 cardholders. Toyota launched the Lexus brand in 1989. While Toyota’s credit card is its first venture in the U.S., the automaker does have branded credit cards in India, Italy and Japan. (CF Library 4/29/05; 5/19/08)

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Most Consumers Avoid Risky Retailers

A new poll found that 81% of consumers believe that some
retail locations are safer than others for using credit and debit cards,
and 74% would not shop where they feel their financial or personal information may be at risk. Among the consumers polled, the greatest fear is that point of sale systems may be vulnerable to fraud or data
theft. The findings by Solidcore Systems also revealed that 42% of respondents worry that POS systems are insecure or at risk of fraud, while only 4% worry their receipt will be stolen. While three quarters of consumers acknowledged they would never shop at a retail
store they feel puts their information at risk, 21% said
they would sometimes shop at a “risky” retailer.

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ExaDigm Names a New Chief Executive

Wireless POS provider ExaDigm has appointed Jack McDonnell, previously
with PayLinx, as CEO. McDonnell was CEO of PayLinx, a payment software company which was later sold to CyberSource. In 1990 he founded TNS, Inc., a worldwide provider of data communications services for the financial and telecommunications industries which he took public. He served as Chairman and CEO of the company from 2001 to 2006. McDonnell is a founder of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association
(EFTA). McDonnell will succeed Michael Mulcahy, who resigned as CEO effective October 9, 2008.

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Holiday Gift Card Sales May Drop 11%

A new study indicates that gift cards are not yet ‘top-of-mind’ with
consumers. Thirty-eight percent of survey respondents state they will
buy a gift card this year, compared to 49% who said they purchased one
last year. The NPD Group survey also found that the number of consumers
who will ‘spend on credit’ this year is down 2%. This year 26% of
consumers surveyed told NPD they plan to spend less. In the 2007 survey
results only 18% said they planned to spend less. Sixty percent of
consumers surveyed say that either a ‘special sale price’ or ‘overall
value for the price’ will influence where they shop this holiday. The
findings are based on information from 2,030 completed interviews of
NPD’s online consumer panel.

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35% of Holiday Shoppers to Spend Less

About 35% of U.S. consumers across all income levels expect to spend
less this holiday shopping season. The Nielsen Company forecasts 4.7%
growth in dollar sales or $98 billion across grocery stores, drug
stores, mass merchandisers1 and convenience stores, for the holiday
shopping season. The growth forecast, slightly higher than last year’s
4.5% gain, is in large part due to higher commodity prices. Nielsen
projects unit sales, however, to be flat or down 0.8% versus a year ago.
Nielsen notes that convenience and gas retailers may come out ahead this
year with 12% of consumers expecting to spend more in these locations,
likely related to a rise in pre-paid gas cards as gifts this holiday
season. Nielsen’s survey of 21,000 U.S. households shows that economic
concerns are also putting a damper on holiday spending among those
earning more than $100,000 annually, with nearly one-third of affluent
shoppers planning on spending less this holiday season.

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Phoenix’s Virtual Mailbox Gains Traction

Market researcher Phoenix Marketing International’s “Virtual Mailbox”
has been adopted by two major domestic credit card companies.
Virtual Mailbox, a component of Phoenix’s Target Marketing product
suite, predicts the likelihood of success of direct mail offers through
on-line research conducted prior to mail-out. During the test, consumers
open a digital mailbox, remove contents, and take actions based on
real-time responses to the mail received. “Virtual Mailbox” can
determine the estimated take rate for each new offer
and compares it with current offers. It also pinpoints the likes and
dislikes of each new concept’s features and benefits, and identifies the
features and benefits that drive the most interest. Virtual Mailbox can
provide relevant, critical research at any point in
the development cycle, from rough concepts to post-launch monitoring. It
can evaluate both pre-launch concepts and offers and competitive clutter
mail. Clients can also use Virtual Mailbox to test ‘out-of-the-box’
concepts deemed too costly or risky to put into the actual marketplace
without prior research.

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NEOVIA

Online payment provider NETELLER has changed its name to NEOVIA Financial. Earlier this year, the Group revitalized both its NETELLER consumer and NETBANX business brands, and has recently announced the relaunch of its
Net+ card brand. The name change is expected to provide a broader
umbrella for future growth, as well as enhancing the Group’s credibility
with both merchant and end user customers, partners and regulators. It
also positions the Group well for further progress in its financial
services strategy. The name, meaning “New Way”, supports the
Group’s strategic vision of providing differentiated, bold and exciting
online payment solutions that target merchants and their “online
generation” customers.The Board therefore believes that it is appropriate to change the Company’s name from NETELLER Plc to NEOVIA Financial Plc.

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