Unsecured Loans and Credit Lines Promoted

IL-based Mintel Comperemedia research shows lending companies are increasingly promoting unsecured loans and lines of credit, given the recent mortgage meltdown. The research conducted concludes lenders sent approximately 522 million unsecured loan and line mailings to consumers, but they shipped out only 468 million for mortgages and home equity products for 2007. This is part of a trend of steadily reducing secured loan mail volume in favor of unsecured loan and line offers, confirmed with additional research showing mail offers for mortgages and home equity products were cut by 42% while unsecured credit line mailing increased by 17% throughout the year.

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PREPAID 08

Organized by Clarion Events, over 100 international prepaid innovators
will be speaking at the “PrePaid 08” expo and conference to take place
the 3 days beginning June 23rd and to be attended by 500 prepaid
professionals participants. With prepaid spending expected to reach
EUR75 billion by 2010, the event is conducive to this growing market,
showcasing payment innovation solutions, promoting cross-industry
partnerships, panel debates and discussions with visionary CEOs in
various industry sectors. These varying sectors include retailers,
transport operators, government agencies and network operators.
Moreover, “Prepaid 08” will be featuring case studies conducted by
Prepaid MasterCard Europe, Barclaycard OnePulse, the MTA New York and
Sainsbury’s.

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Commerce Bank and TD Banknorth Team

To celebrate NJ-based Commerce Bank and ME-based TD Banknorth joining forces as TD Commerce Bank, customers of both banks can access their accounts without incurring ATM fees. Customers can now make withdrawals without incurring ATM fees at any Commerce or TD Banknorth ATM at any of the companies’ combined 2,700 ATMs as well as more than 2,500 TD Canada Trust ATMs throughout Canada.

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American Consumer Confidence Sinks in Apr

According to Gallup’s measure of “American Consumer Confidence,” April figures are much lower than that of January and February with an economic mood of 29.2. For the months of January, February and March, Gallup posted findings of 43.2, 37.1 and 29, respectively. Based on current economic conditions and perceptions of whether the economy is going to better or worsen, Gallup measures mood rating based on the sum of positive answers with the highest possible score of 200. This score has never reached more than 140 in January of 2000. Gallup routinely reports empirical evidence on how the world’s citizens think and behave.

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Card Processor Forces Frontier Bankruptcy

Denver-based Frontier Airlines has filed bankruptcy following an unexpected attempt by its principal credit card processor to substantially increase a “holdback” of customer receipts, which threatened to severely impact Frontier’s liquidity. Frontier intends to continue normal business operations today and throughout its reorganization process. The card processor informed Frontier that, beginning on April 11, it intended to start withholding significant proceeds received from the sale of Frontier tickets. Frontier Airline’s mainline operation has 62 aircraft and 6,000 employees.

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Banking via ATM is a Most Essential

A recent survey conducted for NCR indicates that 40% of consumers feel that banking via ATM is a “most essential” self service transaction. When a consumer preference for self-service was indicated, respondents were asked in what daily interaction they would prefer using self-service over personal assistance, with 48% indicating a preference for ATM banking verses a teller, with 67% citing the ATM’s 24-hour availability, 54% noting the speed of the transaction and 44% specifying convenient locations.

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GPN Introduces Flexible Processing Solution

E-processor Global Payments has introduced “Global Transport Client Software” that enables users to integrate Point-of-Sale applications with payment devices. Targeting the “face to face” retail, grocery, and restaurant markets, the new software enables developers to integrate payment processing into their POS applications using OCX or ActiveX programming. The Global Transport Client software seamlessly interfaces with the Global Transport Gateway, enabling merchants to process credit, debit and EBT transactions more quickly through a single solution. Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services for consumers, merchants, Independent Sales Organizations, financial institutions, government agencies, gaming establishments, and multi-national corporations.

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Credit Card Fees Impact Convenience Stores

IL-based National Association of Convenience Stores has reported soaring profits are being shot down by exorbitant credit card fees. Having reported a record of $577.4 billion for the year of 2007, credit card companies were able to lay claim to $1.4 billion of this through fees and charges. While the industry revenue grew from $174.2 billion in 1997 and volume of 1-store operators grew by 51% to 90,683, so too did credit card fees having surged $1.0 billion, or 15.2%, to reach $7.6 billion. Additional findings show the top 25% of stores had operating profits of $17,715 per month, while the bottom 25% posted only $559 in monthly profits.

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SCOTIAGOLD PASSPORT

Scotiabank has introduced its “ScotiaGold Passport” to appeal to small
businesses across Canada with travel rewards and savings products. The
card rewards users a “Scotia Reward” point for every dollar spent on the
new credit card for redemption on flights with no blackouts, no restrictions
and a 5% cash back feature. Once approved, cardholders will benefit from
the support of a 24/7 service network. Scotiabank employs over 60,000,
provides nearly 12.5 million customers with financial products in some 50
countries around the world and posted $449 billion in assets for 2007.

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Six Renew with Fifth Third Processing

Fifth Third Processing Solutions has signed contract extensions with BJ’s Wholesale Club, The Bon-Ton Stores, Cedar Fair, Dean & DeLuca, Shoe Carnival and U-Haul for merchant processing services. Fifth Third Processing Solutions processes over 26.7 billion ATM and POS transactions per year for more than 2,700 financial institutions and over 157,865 retail locations worldwide. Annually, Fifth Third processes $179.1 billion in credit card sales.

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VeriFone Introduces VeriShield Protect

VeriFone has introduced its PCI PED-approved hardware security module, “VeriShield Protect”, to provide security for consumer card data. In doing so, the “VeriShield Protect” system implements H-TDES (Hidden-Triple Data Encryption Standard) in response to findings that breaches often occur despite merchant compliance with such data protection standards as PCI-DSS. “H-TDES” encrypts the personal account number (PAN) and magnetic-stripe track data, protecting both active and static data, while requiring no upgrades for use with most merchants. This encryption is completed within the tamper resistant security modules of the PCI PED-approved payment systems for network transmitting, is available on the MX800 Series platform and will be available on Vx Solution products.

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