Western Union Raises its Growth Objective

Western Union raised its long-term EPS growth objective to 15% to 18%, up from 12% to 14%, and reaffirmed its long-term revenue growth objective of 10% to 12%, excluding acquisitions. The company also said that it expects to deliver financial results for 2008 that will likely be at the higher end of both its revenue growth guidance of 9% to 11% and non-GAAP EPS guidance of $1.25 to $1.29. On a GAAP basis, including $0.07 per share of expenses related to 2008 restructuring activities, the company expects to deliver EPS in the range of $1.18 to $1.22.

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US Airways Launches a MasterCard Promotion

US Airways customers who book with a MasterCard can get 5% off the purchase and 5,000 miles for bookings to 33 select beach destinations. Travel must be booked at usairways.com between now and July 27 for travel between Aug. 18 and Oct. 5. When booking, passengers must enter promo code USBEACH for FIVE percent off Economy Class travel. Additionally, customers must register with a “Dividend Miles” number at usairways.com/usbeach prior to traveling in order to receive their bonus miles.

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PayPal Beef-Up its Buyer Protection Program

eBay’s PayPal payment service has beefed-up protections for buyers and sellers on eBay.com. For the first time, buyers who pay with PayPal will be protected on eligible transactions for 100% of an item’s purchase price, with no cap on coverage. In addition, all U.S. eBay sellers will receive improved seller protection for eligible transactions when they get paid with PayPal. Currently, 97% of eBay.com listings offer PayPal and over 90% of active eBay users in the United States have PayPal accounts. “PayPal Buyer Protection” covers eligible transactions on eBay.com for items that aren’t received and for items that are significantly not as described. Beginning this Fall, PayPal will remove the coverage limit, giving buyers more confidence when they pay for their eBay purchases with PayPal.

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Money Centers Signs a New ONswitch Deal

Money Centers of America, provider of cash access for the gaming financial network, has signed an “ONswitch” licensing and financial services agreement with the Ho-Chunk Nation Transaction Management System of Black River Falls, WI. With this development, Money Centers of America will allow the Ho-Chunk Nation to generate an anticipated internal rate of return in excess of 37%, providing its proprietary technology, training, support, and maintenance services to generate revenue of approximately $9,600,000 during the first year.

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Bill Authorizes IRS to Collect Card Data

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee has voted favorably for a bill that includes a provision requiring credit card companies to report credit and debit card transactions to the IRS. “H.R. 6275” is predicted to produce an additional $9.8 billion in tax revenue over the next 10 years. The IRS says the the additional information would reduce underreporting of income by businesses and allow the government to identify possible cases of underreporting when determining who to audit. According the Wall Street Journal, business groups oppose the new reporting requirement, saying it would burden businesses with paperwork.

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Bank Freedom MasterCard Goes Spanish

Bank Freedom has launched its Spanish Website as part of the “Bank Freedom” prepaid MasterCard card program. To help new Spanish-speaking customers better understand the benefits of the product, this will allow visitors to order a “Bank Freedom” Prepaid MasterCard from a website entirely in Spanish, in addition to the company’s bilingual account access through customer service and its website. Radio campaigns for the new offering are set to run through the month on several Spanish radio stations located in the USA and through its established Internet marketing network.

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MULTICARD & DCS EUROPE

Swiss Multicard has acquired DCS Europe ID Solutions ID systems
solutions company. Providing smartcard solutions for identification
programs, ID systems architecture and engineering services, the DCS
Europe is being acquired by Multicard AG identification technology, for
undisclosed terms, within the next 60 days. DCS will provide a value
chain of core system designs, card programming and issuance to
Multicard, which in turn will provide DCS with technical depth, back-up
and customer flexibility. Furthermore, Soon after the completion of this
acquisition, Multicard itself is poised for acquisition by Bluehill ID AG.

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Meta Payment Systems iAdvance Gathers Speed

SD-based Meta Payment Systems has signed an agreement with Fiserv and TransUnion for its “iAdvance” product. “iAdvance” offers a line of credit to cardholders possessing certain general use and payroll prepaid cards issued by MetaBank. Expected to be launched in the fall of 2008, the next generation of “iAdvance” will offer a credit graduation process to the core product, whereby a significant percentage of consumers will find themselves graduating to increasingly lower borrowing costs and the opportunity to payoff over time. “iAdvance” is a registered service mark of Meta Payment Systems with patents pending.

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SMART CARDS

The Smart Payment Association (SPA) has released the results of its
“2007 Global Payment Cards Market Survey,” highlighting a continued
growth in the smart card market, a surge in contactless adoption and
advanced technology for increased security. Over 420 million payment
smart cards were delivered by SPA members throughout 2007 for a 24% y/y
growth, dual interface and pure contactless solutions posted a 64%
growth year on year and Dynamic Data Authentication (DDA) technology is
growing twice as fast as SDA technology. These survey results reflect
movement towards more secure DDA EMV cards while SPA members include
Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Oberthur Technologies and Sagem Orga.

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CARTES 2008

CARTES & IDentification 2008 Digital Security and Smart Technologies is
set to host its trade show from November 4th-6th, likely to welcome over
20,000 visitors with 520 exhibitors and 1,700 conference delegates. This
year’s focus will be on e-transactions, iD management and the United
States (as a pioneer for transportation, payment, information exchange
and loyalty-building applications). Regarding iD management, exhibitors
will present solutions to address modern security needs for topical
debate and provide information on the development of the various
technologies which ensure ID management. Additionally, CARTES &
IDentification 2008 will address Congress’ role as an undisputed world
leader in the sector, will hear presentations from international ‘top
captains’ of industry and will present the SESAMES Awards for peer
recognition within the profession.

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APR DEBT

Credit card debt rebounded in April, hitting a record A$43.6 billion after stagnating the prior three months. Credit card volume also gained momentum in April increasing to A$17.7 billion. Year-on-year credit card debt has increased 10%, compared to April 2007, while card volume is up 16% year-on-year. Credit card limits reached a new high at A$118.0 billion, marking the 20th consecutive month of A$100+ billion. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia there are currently 14.1 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 13.4 million one-year ago.

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U.S. Economic Contraction May Not Happen

Despite higher utility and fuel bills, a leading consumer index shows a slight improvement from the prior month. The latest data suggest the economy has not fallen into a contraction and may not undergo one in the second half of the year. In fact, the economy might even begin to turn a corner early next year. The Conference Board’s “Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators” increased 0.1% in May, following a 0.1% increase in April, and no change in March. Four of the ten indicators that make up the leading index increased in May. The positive contributors — beginning with the largest positive contributor — were the interest rate spread, stock prices, manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials, and manufacturers’ new orders for nondefense capital goods. The negative contributors — beginning with the largest negative contributor — were real money supply, index of consumer expectations, building permits, index of supplier deliveries (vendor performance), and average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted).

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