MO-CALL

Virtual International Mobile network operator Morodo has teamed up with
convenience store Circle K to offer electronic POS payments to customers
of the popular MO-Call service. MO-Call enables low-cost international
calling direct from a mobile phone, without the need to change mobile number, SIM or network. Offering seamless connection of low-cost calls from a mobile phone, MO-Call provides savings of up to 90% over existing Mobile Network International Tariffs. The service works through a plug-in software application that can be installed on most mobile phones. Morodo is giving customers a free MO-Call account top-up card that can be used at any Circle K store in Hong Kong and is also offering a free MO-Call credit bonus of HK$25 with each newMO-Call account top-up card.

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Intel’s vPro and Wave’s EMBASSY Integrate

Enterprise data system provider Wave Systems has rolled out a
demonstration with Intel’s
“vPro” technology and Wave’s EMBASSY software.to illustrate how
enterprises can reduce expenses relating to tokens, smart cards or
complex authentication schemes by deploying PC platforms. Working
in tandem, Intel® vPro™ platform and EMBASSY® software are designed to
enable enterprises to significantly improve wireless and VPN security
and reduce overhead expenses by using these secure credentials to
strengthen access control at both the local and network level. Similar
to tokens and smart cards, the built-in TPM protects digital
certificates by securing the user’s private cryptographic keys within
the chipset hardware. This functionality is designed to be used in place
of external tokens or smart cards and can improve the user access
control process.

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ECONOMICS JUNE

The France leading index decreased by .2% while the coincident index
held steady for the month of June 2008, according to the Conference
Board. The leading index’ decline is consistent with a 1.8% decline
since December and is a direct result of declines in the stock market
and industrial new orders components. Meanwhile, the coincident index
results are inconsistent with a .2% decline throughout 1H/08 and is
mostly due to low volatility among wages and salaries. Founded in 1916,
The Conference Board is a business membership and research network to
help executives build professional relationships, expand business
knowledge and find solutions to business challenges.

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Most Hispanics are Unbanked or Underbanked

The results of market research
firm Encuesta and microlender ACCION USA “Americanos Poll” indicates
that 53% percent of Hispanics are unbanked or underbanked and rely on
less sophisticated methods for everyday transactions
such as check-cashing. Other results reveal that 15% turn to credit
cards for cash advances and that only 36% are “very” familiar with
how to build or manage credit, compared to 46% of non-Hispanics.
Familiarity with various financial products and services among
low-to-moderate income individuals is limited. Fewer than half indicate
awareness of educational savings accounts, 39% of credit/debt counseling
services, and 43% aware of common loan products such as equity credit lines.

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EXPERIAN EXEC

Mel Mason has been promoted to the new role of Global Chief Information
Officer (CIO) with Experian. Previously Managing Director of Technology
Services for the company since 2003, Mason will be responsible for the
implementation of a common technology strategy, deployment policy,
enhancing service delivery quality, integrating data centers,
integrating networks and improving overall operating efficiencies across
Experian businesses. Prior to his joining Experian, he was with GUS’s
Home Shopping division for 12 years as IT Director and with Tesco for 17
years as IT Director.

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Diebold Deploys Opteva ATMs in New Jersey

Diebold Integrated Services has delivered an end-to-end turnkey
installation of 27 Opteva ATMs to NJ-based Financial Resources Federal
Credit Union.The package consists of advanced function and cash
dispenser models; first- and second-line maintenance; cash handling and
currency management; ATM and debit card processing; customized marketing
screens; client services and governance reporting. Many of the units
were installed off-premises so, as an added
opportunity to further establish Financial Resources’ brand identity,
Diebold customized every Financial Resources’ ATM to feature a new look
and feel. Financial Resources FCU has
almost 25,000 members and total assets over $300 million.

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Fresh Report Suggests New Loan Strategies

A new report suggests that banks need to align three distinct and
unique operational strategies that support the life cycle of a loan:
origination strategy, servicing strategy and default management
strategy. Aite Group says that since trouble in the sub-prime mortgage
industry first became evident in June of 2007, there has been a growing
concern over the delinquencies and losses being experienced in the
lending industry. As problems progressed, it became evident that the
ramifications of sub-prime mortgage lending have adversely impacted many
sectors of the lending industry in some shape or form, including credit
cards. However, the report notes that due to loose lending practices and
high levels of risk taken, many banks and specialty lenders were clearly
not well prepared to deal with the most recent economic downturn.

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ChargeSmart Says Auto Payments Most Popular

San Francisco-based online payment provider ChargeSmart has experienced growth in
automotive loans and leases transaction since the company launched its online service this past
July. Current usage trends gathered by the company indicate that a high
percentage of consumers are paying auto loans using its service and are
scheduling future automotive transactions up to a year in advance using
ChargeSmart’s “AutoPay” feature. ChargeSmart follows Payment Card
Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), including the use of
High-grade AES 256-bit SSL encryption, an industry standard technique,
to safeguard consumers’ private information that is transmitted via the
Internet. With a network of more than 4,000 billers, ChargeSmart’s
comprehensive Web-based payment application allows consumers with a
major credit card to make payments to companies in four different
industries, including auto loans and/or leases, home mortgages,
education loans and utility companies.

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BLACKLISTING CARDS

The People’s Bank of China has announced intentions to blacklist foreign
bankcards involved in fraud cases to curb bankcard crimes for an
Olympics-friendly payment environment. Having teamed with law
enforcement, the organization has registered 1,600 cases and arrested
342 suspects implicating more than 40 million yuan. This is in
comparison to the 240 trillion yuan transferred through banknotes last
year, 18 trillion in 2001 and 116 trillion through bankcards. There is a
total of 1.6 billion bankcards issued in China, compared to 380 million
in 2001, 95% of Beijing merchants accept domestic bankcards and 90% of
Beijing merchants accept foreign cards.

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London 2012 Olympic Visa is Introduced

As the 2008 Olympics come to a close, Lloyds TSB is launching its “London 2012 Olympic Visa” debit card. The new card is available until October. An official sponsor of the Olympic games, Visa is launching the green, silver, gold and black “London 2012” debit card featuring the “London 2012” logo will be provided new customers opening a current account with the bank and will be provided existing Lloyds TSB customers requiring a card replacement. An official sponsor of London 2012, Lloyds TSB has exclusive access and category marketing rights for the event, the current Beijing Games and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

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Discover Introduces Income Gap Protection

Discover has launched an optional supplemental loss-of-income program
for its cardholders. The new “Discover Income Gap Protection” program
offers either single or joint coverage for a monthly cost of $19.75 or
$34.75, respectively. Benefits include: $500 per month, per person for
up to six months of total disability; $500 per month, per person for up
to three months of involuntary unemployment; $500 per month, per person
for up to three months in the event of unpaid family leave; and
accidental death coverage pays the insured’s beneficiary $10,000. Small
business owners are also eligible for Income Gap Protection at a monthly
cost of $23.75. Benefits include: $500 per month for up to three months
in the event of disability due to illness; $1,000 per month for up to
three months if the business fails; $1,000 per month for up to three
months in the event of disability due to an accident; $1,000 per month
for up to three months in the event of unpaid family leave; and
accidental death coverage of $10,000. “Income Gap Protection” is an
insurance program offered and underwritten by Central States Indemnity.

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