AUG INDEX

The Conference Board announced
that the leading index for Australia remained unchanged and the
coincident index increased 0.2 percent in July.
The leading index rose sharply in the second quarter but the
weaknesses among the leading indicators were more widespread, and, in
July, the index remained unchanged. While the coincident index has
continued growing on a general upward trend since the beginning of 2006,
its growth has been slowing moderately over the past year. At the
same time,real GDP expanded at an average annual rate of 1.9 percent in
the first half of 2008, well below the 3.6 percent average annual rate
of growth in the second half of 2007. Taken together, the recent
behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic growth will
remain slow in the near term.

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Evolution Expands its TeacherDollars Program

CT-based Evolution Benefits will reward 10 Hartford public schools with
the Evolution Benefits “TeacherDollars Program” special-purpose debit
cards. The rewards go to teachers in schools that have demonstrated
marked improvement in the academic achievement of their students. In
order to be selected for “TeacherDollars Program” recognition, schools
must demonstrate significant gains on key indicators of school progress,
including results on Connecticut Mastery Tests. Each teacher, family
resource aide and principal will be rewarded with a “TeacherDollars
Card” valued at $200. This year, the total number of teachers
receiving cards significantly increases from 280 in 2007/2008 to over
380 for the 2008/2009 school year. The cards function only at selected
merchants who provide classroom-related products. Evolution Benefits
powers the programs of more than 200 health plan and
administrative services organizations and covers more than 11,000
employers.

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ADS Inks an AnnTaylor MasterCard Co-Brand

Loyalty program marketer Alliance Data Systems has signed
a multi-year agreement with specialty retailer AnnTaylor to
launch a new co-brand MasterCard credit card and an exclusive
points-based rewards program. Alliance Data will provide account
acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization;
card issuance; statement generation; direct mail and email marketing
services; remittance processing; customer service functions; and
marketing services and will launch four all-new card-plastic designs,
including private label and co-brand cards for both the company’s Ann
Taylor and Ann Taylor LOFT brands.

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Nokia 6212 Classic to Offer Visa Payments

Visa also announced today at its “Innovation Briefing” that it has teamed with Nokia to deliver Visa payment and payment-related services – including contactless payments, remote payments, money transfer, alerts and notifications – for Nokia’s next generation handsets beginning with the “Nokia 6212 Classic,” expected to be available starting in October. The “Nokia 6212 Classic” includes integrated NFC chipsets which lets the mobile device behave like a contactless payment card. The deal represents the next phase in an ongoing effort between Visa and Nokia to make mobile payments a reality for consumers around the globe. The long-term collaboration between Nokia and Visa has already resulted in multiple trials of Visa mobile payments enabled through NFC technology on four continents, including in the United States with Wells Fargo Bank; in Malaysia with Maybank and Maxis; in Taiwan with Chinatrust Commercial Bank and Chunghwa Telecom; and London with Barclays Bank.

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CashEdge Unveils New Money Transfer Programs

Online financial firm CashEdge has introduced
“Intelligent Money Movement”, a money
movement platform that provides consumers and small businesses
access to conduct electronic money movement through online and
mobile banking applications and “Third-Party Transfers”, expanding its industry leading money movement
service, “TransferNow”. “Intelligent Money Movement” simplifies the electronic payments landscape
for financial institutions, consumers and small businesses by providing a
single point of access through a financial institution’s online banking
portal or mobile application for multiple easy-to-use consumer and small
business transfer routes including new account funding, me-to-me transfers,
third-party transfers, employee and vendor payments and invoicing and
customer payments. “Third-party Transfers”, a modular add-on to CashEdge’s TransferNow
Product Suite, enables financial institutions to offer their customers the
ability to make secure funds transfers directly from a customer’s account
to third party (such as friends and family) accounts held at other
financial institutions. The service enhances financial institutions’ online
offerings, improves customer satisfaction and generates incremental
transaction-based revenue.

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OneBridge Lands a Tennessee Visa Program

TN-based L G & W Federal Credit Union has selected OneBridge and their Gateway Credit
solution to process its new Visa credit card program. The Memphis, TN institution has three branches
and serves Memphis Light, Gas and Water employees and retirees with assets of over $85 million.
OneBridge is focused on helping institutions gain control of
their card programs.

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Chase Cards to Offer Special SHREK Incentives

DreamWorks Animation and Chase Card Services have teamed to offer customers special experiences, ticket packages and memorabilia for the new Broadway production “SHREK THE MUSICAL.” Chase customers now can purchase special seats to preview performances, which begin November 8th. Chase customers are also able to purchase exclusive seats for performances between December 14th and May 31st. “SHREK THE MUSICAL” as well as the DreamWorks Animation film “Shrek,” will make its Broadway debut on November 8th and officially open at The Broadway Theater in New York on Sunday, December 14th.

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TransferOrbit to Launch This Week in Calif

FL-based TransferOrbit Corporation introduces “portable” money transfers
throughout
the TU-DNRO event network. On Friday, September 26 it will
launch the portable money transfer product at the Promociones
Valdivia event in Vallejo, California. Over 5,000 people will be able to
register for their TU-DNRO powered by TransferOrbit ID membership and
then initiate a transfer anywhere, over the phone, from a debit card, at
a retail location or at participating events like concerts and dances.
The customer can now execute the same money transfer transaction at any
participating agent of a money transfer company or bank powered by
TransferOrbit without repeating the registration process. Members will
benefit from $6.00 money transfers at any Promociones Valdivia event.
The TU-DNRO Network, which provides their distributors with a
comprehensive package of products
including wireless e-pins, long distance, stored value, prepaid
debit/credit, bill payment, will now be the registration network for
customers powered by TransferOrbit.

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MasterCard Certifies Gemalto’s MagIC POS

Gemalto announced that its entire range of “MagIC”
POS terminals received certification by an independent certified
testing laboratory in accordance with MasterCard’s “Payment
Terminal Security” program. This security evaluation applies to the
TCP/IP protocol suite. The product family incorporates the “MagIC
Open&Sec” technology running on Linux and offers very high-speed
transactions, as well as unrivalled flexibility of connection and
communication, without compromising security. The Open&Sec Linux-based
operating system leverages IP technology and accelerates the development
of new value-added solutions. The objective of the MasterCard
International Payment Terminal Security
program for IP-enabled POS devices is to ensure the necessary level of
protection for transaction and cardholder data at merchants that use
equipment that support the TCP/IP protocol suite. The security
evaluation verifies that POS devices meet the relevant MasterCard
requirements in terms of confidentiality, integrity and communicating
parties’ authentication, with a 3-year validity period.

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Visa & U.S. Bank to Test Mobile Money Transfers

Additionally, Visa today announced plans to launch a mobile money transfer pilot program with U.S. Bank to enable registered Visa cardholders in the U.S. to use their mobile phones to securely send funds directly to another registered Visa cardholder’s account. The pilot, which is intended to begin by the end of 2008, is the first U.S.-based trial testing mobile money transfers between Visa accounts.
The first phase of the mobile money transfer pilot program will enable domestic money transfers within the U.S. and will involve several Visa issuers, including U.S. Bank, and as many as 6,000 Visa account holders. The initial pilot is intended to provide Visa and its partners with valuable insight into consumer behavior. Based on these learnings, a second pilot phase is expected to extend the program to include cross-border transactions during the first half of 2009.

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Visa to Link ATMs to its ReadyLink Program

“Visa ReadyLink” is preparing to enable consumers to add funds to Visa prepaid cards at ATMs that accept envelope-free deposits across the USA. More than 7,000 merchant locations across the country have implemented “Visa ReadyLink” since its 2006 launch. Under the program consumers can reload funds to Visa reloadable prepaid cards – including payroll, general purpose reloadable and government disbursement cards – at supermarkets and convenience stores, providing immediate access to funds. “Visa ReadyLink” transactions are processed like any Visa transaction; and as with any authorized and approved transaction, funds are guaranteed by the ATM acquirer to the card issuer. The new service is expected to roll-out later this fall.

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Omni Prepaid Group Introduces OmniBuild

Omni Prepaid Group has released “OmniBuild” on Giftcard.com and
GiftCardsCorp.com that enables customers to personalize their prepaid
Visa Gift Card. Customers place their order online, then select that
they would like to design a custom card. “OmniBuild” pops up and allows
them to upload a photo, crop and place the picture on their gift card,
and emboss a personal message. The order is then sent directly to
“OmniPrint” to print and ship the prepaid card to the recipient.

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