A/P SMART CARDS

Given the region’s massive technological advancement in recent years,
Research and Markets has announced the addition of “Strategic Assessment
Of The Asia Pacific Smart Card Markets” to their offering. The new
report discloses product quality and innovation is displacing pricing as
the primary business factor while market participants are making
significant headway toward smart cards’ increasing convergence of
applications and integration for product advancement. Research also
demonstrates contactless cards and mobile phones for transactions will
become increasingly evident in 2008 across Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan
with NFC phones, contactless subscriber identity modules (SIM) and radio
frequency-based SIM.

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FNDS3000

FNDS3000 Corp has been approved as an issuing 3rd-party processor in
South Africa, allowing FNDS3000 to operate and process cards in
cooperation with financial institutions across the country. As a
processor, FNDS3000 will be managing highly sensitive financial
information requiring its registering for regional certification and
will be issuing cards to their backlog of more than 250,000 cards.
Furthermore, the company is currently testing cards on its platform for
its pilot program to launch in July.

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KB MULTIMEDIA CARD

KB Card has introduced the world’s first multimedia credit card, enabling users to listen to music and watch video clips and digital multimedia broadcasting. The new “&d MasterCard” combines a large memory chip with display functions. The card has a 2.4-inch screen to play videos and listen to tunes. A two-gigabyte memory chip is installed
in the credit card, and a four-gigabyte memory chip is in the terminal,
allowing the product to store up to six gigabytes of data. Including the terminal, the product costs W230,000.

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Credit Card Delinquency Levels-Off in April

Delinquency on managed U.S. credit card loans hit 5.47% in April, the highest level in five years. However, sequentially delinquency has moved up slower, rising a mere 46 basis points since December and only five basis points since March. Earlier this week, Capital One reported that U.S. Card delinquency edged down in May for the fourth consecutive month this year. For May, 30+ day delinquency for Capital One dropped from 3.81% from 3.90% in April. The data suggest that delinquency and charge-off rates may have moderated for 2008. But, Capital One says it expects charge-offs to rise later this year due to expected seasonal patterns typically seen in the fourth quarter coupled with significant weakening in economic indicators.

APRIL DELINQUENCY
2004: 5.21%
2005: 4.68%
2006: 4.03%
2007: 4.72%
2008: 5.47%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Avis Becomes a SWA Preferred Partner

Southwest Airlines has added Avis Rent a Car as a “Preferred Partner” to its “Rapid Reward” program. “Rapid Rewards” members will save up to 25% on Avis rentals and will earn “Rapid Rewards” credit when renting from Avis. Rapid Rewards Members earn credits by flying or using the program’s “Preferred Partners,” like Avis. It takes eight roundtrips to qualify for a SWA award, but members can accelerate their earnings by using the “Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Visa Signature Card,” doing business with any of the airline’s other Preferred Partners, or by purchasing Southwest’s Business Select fares when flying. Once it’s earned, Southwest Airlines allows the Member to transfer the Award to anyone.

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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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