CARD TRENDS

Examining the trends and developments in the payment card markets across
the 16 Western European markets, Datamonitor has found that the average
British consumer carries 2.8 payment cards, the highest of such figures
in all of Western Europe’s 16 markets. Second to the UK’s lead is Norway
with 2.3 cards per capita, followed by Germany and France with 1.6 and
1, respectively. The research has also concluded that British consumers
lead the region in the number of credit cards issued per individual,
with an average of 1.4 credit cards. A distant second to the UK figure,
once again, is Norway with 0.7 cards per adult, followed by Spain and
Germany with an average of 0.4 and 0.06 cards per person, respectively.
These figures, which demonstrate a growth of .4 payment cards per
consumer since 2002 and a projected growth of .2 cards by 2011, reflects
a less-disciplined, British perspective on spending, according to
experts. Datamonitor provides business information with industry
analysis for its 5000 company clients.

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Triton Promotes Two Sales Executives

ATM provider Triton has promoted Shaun King and James Phillips to VP International Sales and Director, North American Sales, respectively. King has contributed to the growth in South Africa, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom during his 10 year career with Triton, and has played a key role in Triton’s expansion into Mexico, China and India. He was instrumental in the launch of Calypso, Triton’s ATM transaction processing service in Canada. Phillips will manage the North American sales team consisting of account executives and regional sales managers responsible for Triton’s direct distributor network, and the customer service and marketing departments. He has held various positions within the company including the product development department during his 11 year tenure with Triton. Phillips plays a key role on Triton’s Product Performance Review Board/Customer Satisfaction Team.

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Elan’s MoneyPass ATM Net Adds LibertyBank

OR-based LibertyBank has signed an agreement to participate in Elan Financial Services’ “MoneyPass” surcharge-free ATM Network. LibertyBank has approximately 11,000 cardholders who will now have access to over 12,000 MoneyPass ATMs. Elan Financial Services processes transactions for more than 2,000 financial institutions nationwide and manages over 38,000 ATMs for a variety of industries.

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Instant Contactless Issuance a Reality

The developer of “CardWizard” has introduced contactless capabilities for payment cards. CO-based Dynamic Card Solutions new solution will instantly issue cards with both chip and magnetic stripes allowing them to remain usable with a variety of existing merchants’ payment systems. Contactless personalization will be available with its “FCP 20/20” full card personalization instant issue solution along with the “Datacard 150i” embosser. DCS’ contactless personalization solution will be installed and tested at an unnamed financial institution in both the “FCP 20/20” and “Datacard 150i” in late February. MasterCard, VISA and American Express all support contactless cards, having issued 12.5 million “PayPass,” 5.7 million “PayWave” and more than 3 million “ExpressPay” cards respectively over the past year in the USA.

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CITIBANK-LOT CREDIT CARD

Citi Handlowy and LOT Polish Airlines have awarded some who have
conducted at least one transaction between July 1, 2007 and November
30, 2007 using the “Citibank-LOT” credit card through a promotional
lottery . Hosting the award ceremony in Warsaw on February 11,
2008, the organizations offered the grand prize winner a check of one
million award miles for the Card’s “Miles & More” frequent flyer program
for redemption in various configurations for multiple items. Used by over
30,000, the Citibank Card offers an opportunity to earn miles with every
completed transaction while Citi oversees over 200 million customer
accounts in more than 100 countries around the world.

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U.S. Market Set for Tightening/Re-Pricing

A new report says credit card loss rates will continue to rise this year, and, on average, will increase roughly 100 basis points during the first half of the year. According to First Annapolis’ “Navigator” profitability dropped in the fourth quarter to just over 2% pre-tax return on assets, roughly a 50% drop from the same period in 2007. Rising losses, higher funding costs, and generally lower profitability will cause most issuers to take action including a rationalization of expenses, re-balancing of marketing investments, and tightening/re-pricing of credit in certain segments. In the partnership sector, where returns have been impacted by aggressive competition over the last few years, First Annapolis expects issuers to be much more selective, reserving hefty compensation arrangements for only the largest, highest-quality opportunities. In essence, there will be a flight to quality, increasing competition for the high-spending affluent customer.

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Processor i2c Names a Project Manager

Card processor i2c has hired Carol Lucca, previously with Western States Bankcard Association, as Project Manager. Lucca has extensive background in Process Improvement, Project Management and Account Management, all in the payments industry. While at Western States Bankcard Association, she worked with the FDR system audits to determine accuracies and recommend improvements to management. Lucca was an Account Manager with Visa USA during which time she was involved in numerous key initiatives such as Integrated Billing, VAP/DEX implementations and large partner initiatives launched by Visa and the client. She conducted settlement training for issuing banks and was considered a subject matter expert for financial operations and revised the SAS-70 audit procedures. Lucca has extensive knowledge in Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) for debit cards.

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JITTER ENABLED CARD READER

Having updated the final 1,200 ATMs, all HDFC Bank’s 1,910 ATMs are
now NCR “Jitter-Enabled”. NCR Corporation’s “Jitter-enabled” card
reader provides a security measure which prevents the most common types
of skimming attempts. Given perpetrators steal information held
on the ATM user’s magnetic stripe using a device which copies the
information, the “jitter” feature disrupts these skimming attempts. In
doing
so, the feature implements a stop-start movement during card entry and
exit.
HDFC Bank has over 754 branches in 327 Indian cities while the NCR
Corporation provides services across various sectors over 100 countries.

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TOP OUTSOURCING DESIGNATION

The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) has
designated Diebold as a top outsourcing company for having
maintained a standard in the self-service industry. Diebold
was awarded based on its size and growth, client satisfaction and
management capabilities of the financial institutions and other
self-service
organizations which rely on the company’s outsourcing services. The IAOP,
formed in early 2005, has 40,000 members from around the world and
is composed of nearly 250 organizations. Diebold employs over 17,000 with its operations in 90 countries worldwide, had
a 2006 revenue of $2.9 billion and provides outsourcing services which
include self-service devices, deposit automation, security solutions, money
management, software management and network management, among
others.

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AUB BNI VISA

Ahli United Bank and and Bahrain National Insurance Company have partnered to issue a VISA credit card offering discounts in insurance premiums plus a rewards program. The new card offers a 10% discount on premiums for motor, medical and Al Dar home insurance and 5% on premiums for life insurance with BNI. For every dinar spent on the card with AUB’s credit card rewards program cardholders earn “Pearl Rewards.” Accumulated “Pearl Points” can be redeemed for free air tickets, hotel
stays or can even be used for payment of insurance premiums at BNI.
AUB reported a consolidated net profit of US$ 296.3 million for 2007.

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V/MC Incentive Spending Doubles Since 02

A new report has found that spending on rebates and incentives from VISA USA and MasterCard Worldwide increased to $1.7 billion last year, compared to $1.3 billion in 2005 and $700 million in 2002. The study by Boston-based Aite Group suggests the expansion was due largely to the U.S DOJ’s 2004 ruling in favor of network competition. However, Aite says that as card networks increasingly rely on rebates and incentives to protect and grow GDV, the yield they receive on GDV will take a major hit. To fend off that trend, VISA and MasterCard will need to grab a greater share of intracountry processing volumes outside of the U.S.. The alternative – failing to grow the share of branded cards processed on their network – might otherwise have consequences as dramatic as obliterating their futures as independent corporations.

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VX SOLUTIONS

VeriFone Holdings has received GIE Groupement des Cartes Bancaires
certification for the deployment of its countertop and portable payment
“Vx Solutions”, which includes the “VX 510” and “VX 670”, across
France. With this certification, the company can provide payment solutions
in various market sectors with its “VX 510” for payment processing,
expanded memory and support for post-factory applications while the
VX 670 is compact, portable, Bluetooth compatible, GPRS compatible
and Wi-Fi compatible for delivery, restaurant or high volume vendors.

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