Citi Tops the Keynote Scorecard Ranking

Keynote Competitive Research has announced the
Citibank took the top ranking of the just released “Q2 2008 Keynote Banker Scorecard”.
Citibank scored 87 points, followed by Bank of America with 85 points and Wells Fargo with 82 points.
The “Scorecard” is a bi-annual in-depth study that examines and ranks the implementation of online best
practices by leading banks’ Web sites. It evaluates sites in all
areas, including in a variety of industry-specific tasks and categories,
to help firms discover the strengths of their sites, as well as
opportunities for improvement. Criteria are grouped into five
industry-specific “user tasks” — Opening Accounts, Looking Up
Information, Transactions, Get Service and Learn & Plan — and six
“categories” — Overall Score, Functionality, Ease of Use, Usability,
Privacy & Security and Quality & Availability — in order to help firms
identify the strengths and/or opportunities in specific areas of their
sites.

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Oberthur Technologies’ Q2 Revenues Soar 30%

Oberthur Technologies reported that revenues for its Card Systems unit grew 30% year-on-year to $295 million, driven by the integration of XponCard. Overall, the Company reports second quarter sales of $342 million, up 20% year-on-year at current rates. Excluding XPonCard, the whole payment segment posted revenue of $112 million, up 33% over 2Q/07, with 34 million microprocessor payment cards sold during the second quarter. The personalization services segment posted growth of 7.4% with sustained demand in all regions of the world. The scratch card activity was stable compared to 2Q/07. For complete details on Oberthur’s second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

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San Francisco Births ChargeSmart

Online payment solution provider ChargeSmart has opened
its headquarters in downtown San Francisco.
ChargeSmart enables individuals with Internet access to pay their mortgage loans, auto
loans and leases, education loans and utility bills using a major credit
card. Customers
submit payments directly to ChargeSmart and indicate the amount they
wish to pay and the recipient. The ChargeSmart system accepts, processes
and remits payments electronically, ensuring every step from the
customer to the payee is accounted for and traceable. Additionally, the
company’s easy-to-use interface enables customers to gain reward points
or miles from their card issuer.

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VeriFone Lands a USPS Contract

VeriFone Holdings announced it has been awarded a multi-year contract valued
at up to $10 million to provide the U.S. Postal Service with electronic
payment solutions for use across the U.S. VeriFone will develop a customer
interface to a payment gateway that the U.S. Postal Service will operate
to ensure it has access to the lowest cost credit and debit processing
services. The payment card acceptance systems will provide USPS customers
with fast and secure processing of credit and both PIN debit and
signature debit payments. The wireless “Vx 610” will enable the USPS to
set up remote promotions where phone lines and Internet connections are
unavailable and will provide back-up capabilities in the event of a
disaster that interrupts local phone services.

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BofA and Visa Renew Olympic Prepaid Card

As the U.S. Olympic team heads for Beijing this month, not a single athlete or staff member will be without a Visa-branded prepaid card in his or her wallet. Bank of America and Visa have resurrected the Visa prepaid card for the U.S Olympic and Paralympic Games participants and staff. BofA, a U.S. Olympic Team sponsor since 1992, is the exclusive issuer of the Visa prepaid card for the second time, which is being offered to the entire USOC delegation for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, including more than 800 American athletes. Visa is the “Official Payment Services Brand” of the U.S. Olympic Team. The prepaid card is identifiable by the image of a U.S. flag as well as the Olympic rings and the Visa logo. BofA and Visa say the cards will help reduce administrative and processing expenses for the USOC.

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Chase/United Co-Brand Saves the Airline

Chase and United Airlines have agreed in principle to renew their co-branded credit card program. Under terms of the deal UAL will receive $600 million from Chase for the advance purchase of United reward miles and for the contract extension. UAL says yesterday’s Chase transaction will improve cash flow by about $200 million in the next two years. In addition, the level of reserve or holdback that United is required to maintain under its credit card processing agreement with Chase/Paymentech has been reduced to $25 million. This reduction will result in the release of approximately $350 million in previously restricted cash. As a result of its agreement with Chase, UAL expects to increase its cash position by approximately $1.2 billion.

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ePayments Acquires ACH Technologies

Electronic payments processing and support services
ePayments has acquired ACH Technologies Denver check recovery accounts. This development also allows ePayments to
offer additional services to the newly acquired accounts such as credit
card processing, electronic check conversion, third party processing of
re-presented check collection (RCK), utilizing the ACH Network,
ePayments’ iSmart check processing technologies and HyperCustomer
Service Center. ePayments works with organizations of all sizes who
handle payments in the form of check and credit card transactions while
the ACH Network volume managed over 3.7 billion transactions worth more
than $7.5 trillion during 1Q/08.

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Cost Plus Reports PIN Pad Card Fraud

Southern California-based Cost Plus has alerted its customers of suspected EFT PIN pad tampering. Between February and April certain account and PIN numbers used at eight of their locations may have been acquired by unauthorized third parties. The Company has begun the process of replacing the PIN pad devices throughout all of its stores nationwide and expects to complete the process by the end of August. Furthermore, the Company has engaged Verizon Business/Cybertrust, a nationally recognized data security firm, to review its overall data security program. Cost Plus World Market now operates nearly 300 stores in 34 states under the names “World Market” and “Cost Plus World Market.”

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WaMu Credit Card Profits Nose-Dive in Q2

Seattle-based Washington Mutual reported that second quarter net income
for its Card Services unit sunk to a net loss of more than $175 million,
due to higher credit costs and valuation adjustments. With a significant
sub-prime credit card exposure, WaMu posted a second quarter charge-off
rate of 10.84% and a 30+ day managed delinquency rate of 7.05%.
Charge-offs for the first quarter were 9.32% and 6.49% for the year ago
quarter. Delinquency rose from 6.89% in the prior quarter and 5.11% in
the year ago quarter. Total managed receivables at quarter end remained
level at $26.4 billion. During the quarter, Card Services opened 755,301
new credit card accounts, up from 666,407 in the prior quarter.
Approximately 35% of the new accounts came through the retail channel as
the company continued to leverage its retail network. For complete
details on WaMu’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

WaMu Net Income Track Record
2Q/07: $ 133 million
3Q/07: $ 66 million
4Q/07: $ 92 million
1Q/08: $ 199 million
2Q/08: ($175 million)
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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ATIRApay Cards Target Credit Unions

IA-based TMG has made available payroll cards to its credit union
clientele through its pay card service, “ATIRApay.” Powered by Visa or
Mastercard, “ATIRApay” reloadable, prepaid cards have more than 40,000
U.S. employee payroll cardholders, was initially launched in July 2007
as an alternative to traditional payroll checks, provides employers a
cost-effective way to distribute employee wages, health care benefits
and incentive pay. The card is issued to the employee through the
employer’s TMG client-credit unions. TMG (The Members Group) is a
financial services organization dedicated to providing innovative
customized solutions to credit unions and financial institutions across
the country.

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BOPO CARDS

Holders of Bopo prepaid cards in Australia must use or withdraw their
remaining balances by August 15th, 2008 according to the Cuscal
financial-services firm, issuer of the Visa-branded card which will
initiate its own form of payment of unclaimed funds to Bopo cardholders
after the said date. This is a direct result of Cuscal’s issuing
partner, Bill Express, facing imminent bankruptcy which was fundamental
to the initial launch of the Bopo card nearly two years ago. Cuscal,
however, does not have full access to the bopo systems which may cause
difficulty in accessing certain data/services and has established a Q&A
web page to address possible questions of concerned consumers.

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ISLAMIC CARDS

Global wealth redistribution, electronic commerce, and population development are driving the requirement for a credit card model that serves the Islamic population. A new study predicts that the number of credit cards that fit the Islamic banking model will soar from its current base of less 1 million accounts to as many as 6 million accounts by 2012. According to the new TowerGroup report, Islamic credit cards are similar to traditional cards as payment instruments, but as lending instruments they must not violate “Shariah” – the written and interpreted code of Islam, which among other tenets rejects levying interest earned on debt, prohibits speculation, and excludes certain activities. Therefore, Islamic credit cards require a pricing alternative to interest and require scrutiny of transactions to ensure purchases are not prohibited. Three types of credit card issuers now operate in the Islamic card space: major global banks that set up separate Islamic banking companies; traditional banks converting to the Islamic model; and Islamic startups.

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