CSI Expands its Fleet Fuel Card

FL-based CSI Enterprises has introduced its “Fleet Fuel Card” to the small business fleet market, normally reserved for large fleets, to help counteract surging gas prices. In doing so, the “CSI Universal Fleet Fuel Card” not only reduces gas expense, but offers card control features as well. These features include finding the lowest gas prices in town, receiving discounts at the pump directly and online card management with real-time data. CSI Enterprises Inc. is a corporate asset management and payment network providing financial payment products for a range of products across North America and the Caribbean.

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ACI 1Q/08

Electronic payment systems software provider ACI Worldwide reported revenue of $92.6 million in the quarter, a 3% over the prior-year period. Net loss for the quarter was $3.5 million, compared to net loss of $0.4 million during the same period last year. The Company says there was renewed investment in product development and in services personnel to manage both the migration of customers to its latest “BASE24” offering as well as the implementation of the record new accounts it booked in prior quarters. During the quarter ACI added new BASE24-eps customer locations in Romania and Kyrgystan; in Thailand Kasikorn Bank purchased a global payment hub comprised of multiple products in an IBM environment. ACI has more than 800 customers in 88 countries. For complete details on ACI’s latest performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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ePayments Targets Professionals with ACH

Merchant credit card processing fees average $300 to $1,000 monthly. In response, CO-based ePayments electronic payment processing company has launched a professional payment services division with a check processing system to reduce these credit card processing fees. In doing so, the new service implements its Automated Clearing House (ACH), charging a monthly flat rate of $39 and no transaction costs, especially for patron school, non-profit, government and company organizations.

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Make Mine a Million Biz Adds More Members

American Express OPEN and The Make Mine a Million $ Business Program have announced those members who have grossed more than $1 million in 2007. The Million $ Business Club is currently made up of 29 women business owners who have benefited from mentoring, marketing assistance, a peer network, financing and technology tools provided by the program. Their businesses range from construction, staffing for clinical trials, spas located with airports, bail bonds and IT and business consultants. Launched in 2005 by Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources and business education for women entrepreneurs, and founding partner American Express OPEN(R), Make Mine a Million $ Business is the only program dedicated to helping post start-up women entrepreneurs grow million-dollar firms. More than 48,000 women entrepreneurs from across the country have already joined the Make Mine a Million $ Business community and have made a pledge to build million-dollar enterprises.

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InsurCard Visa Prepaid Card Introduced

PA-based InsurCard has introduced the “InsurCard Visa Prepaid Card”, designed to simplify the insurance claim payment process for workers comp, property, and casualty insurance claim payments. In doing so, the solution allows e-payment files sent from users’ insurers to the” InsurCard”-issuing banks, which then mail the prepaid card to the consumer. With processing and issuing costs of paper checks ranging from $10.00 to $15.00 per, experts conclude this could save some insurers over a million dollars annually while providing convenience for consumers.

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Monthly Payment Rates Sink in March

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, abruptly headed south in March. After hovering between 19% for most of the past twelve months and peaking in February, the MPR dropped 185 basis points in March, compared to the prior month. Among credit card-backed securities, the MPR declined to 18.61% in March after rising to 20.46% in February. However, according to FitchRatings, the gross yield increased in March to 18.50% from 18.00% in February and is up 29 bps above year-ago levels. Fitch also noted that although charge-offs and delinquencies are nearing three-year highs, U.S. credit card ABS continues to generate robust levels of excess spread.

ABS METRICS
YIELD MPR
Mar 07: 18.21% 18.76%
Apr 07: 19.23% 21.09%
May 07: 18.23% 19.58%
Jun 07: 18.94% 20.17%
Jul 07: 18.46% 20.46%
Aug 07: 19.27% 20.88%
Sep 07: 19.61% 20.99%
Oct 07: 18.83% 19.09%
Nov 07: 19.44% 20.31%
Dec 07: 19.92% 19.09%
Jan 08: 19.11% 17.64%
Feb 08: 20.46% 18.00%
Mar 08: 18.61% 18.50%
Source: FitchRatings

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JPMorgan Wins DOC Charge Card Program

The Department of Commerce has selected JPMorgan MasterCards as part of the GSA SmartPay 2 program. The DOC awarded JPMorgan a four-year task order to provide purchase, travel and fleet card services. The annual volume of the card program is expected to exceed $220 million with over 23,000 MasterCard-branded cards serviced. Additionally, The U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the Smithsonian Institution will use JPMorgan’s purchase, travel and fleet card programs; the Appalachian Regional Commission, Library of Congress and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which will use purchase and travel card programs; and the U.S. Social Security Administration will use JPMorgan’s fleet card program. JPMorgan has been a GSA SmartPay card provider for over 20 years.

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Rewards to Fade Away as Fees Return

Experts have concluded the consumer payments world is in transition and the current euphoric era for many issuers is expected to change drastically over the next three years. High-cost programs such as free rewards options will be the first to go, replaced with fee-based systems aligning cost with benefits, followed by the introduction of an alternative network by a large payments company, to rival that of major issuers (Mastercard, VISA) and issuers diversifying payments mix to focus on debit payment options/programs. To provide issuers with advice on surviving this change, MA-based Celent has released its “Disruption in the Payments World” report disclosing such advice on taking measures to counteract these “disruptions”. These measures include diversifying payments mix, scrutiny of rewards funding and reevaluating debit card-DDA relationships.

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Consumer Expectations Rebound in May

A monthly survey has found a surprising reversal in consumer confidence in May after six consecutive months of erosion. While consumers are beginning to look beyond the current economic downturn they still worried about job security. The latest “RBC CASH Index” stands at 39.0 for May, up from its previous all-time low of 29.5 in April. The “RBC Expectations Index” increased more than 24 points. The “RBC Current Conditions Index,” at 57.4, showed a slight increase. The RBC Jobs Index dropped to the lowest level since the index began in January 2002.

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FTC/FRB Want Risk-Based Pricing Disclosure

The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Reserve Board have proposed legislation requiring creditor to inform consumers about “risk based pricing” for credit granting. Risk-based pricing refers to the practice of using a consumer’s credit report, which reflects his or her risk of nonpayment, in setting or adjusting the price and other terms of credit offered or extended to a particular consumer. The proposed rules would apply, with certain exceptions, to all creditors that engage in risk-based pricing. Under these rules, a risk-based pricing notice would generally be provided to the consumer after the terms of credit have been set, but before the consumer becomes contractually obligated on the credit transaction.

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Cardtronics’ Q1 Revenues Leap by 62%

ATM operator Cardtronics posted first quarter revenues of $120.6 million, representing a 62% increase over 1Q/07. The year-over-year increase was primarily attributable to the 7-Eleven ATM Transaction, which resulted in $37.2 million of incremental revenues. The GAAP net loss for the first quarter totaled $4.6 million. During the quarter Cardtronics announced that Circle K Stores signed a deal for Cardtronics to be the transaction processor for domestic Circle K owned and operated ATMs across the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. Also, the Company signed an eight-year agreement with Safeway to provide 650 Safeway locations with comprehensive ATM services. Additionally, Washington Mutual announced it will place its brand on over 425 Cardtronics-owned ATMs in CVS pharmacy drugstores throughout AZ and CA. The Company expects 2008 revenues of $480.0 million to $505.0 million. For complete details on Cardtronic’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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Elite Shares Club VISA is Unveiled

Luxury amenities provider Elite Shares Club has issued a VISA debit card with Bank of America that gives members access to jet charters, luxury residences, and exotic automobiles. The Elite Shares Club provides high-net worth individuals and corporate executives with unlimited access to a portfolio of destination properties, private jet charters and exotic automobiles under a single membership. An Elite Shares Club membership provides total access to luxury amenities and more through strategic partnerships with the top vendors in the luxury fractional industry. Annual membership fees are $12,000.

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