NOTW MASTERCARD

The News of the World Sunday Newspaper and Tuxedo Money
Solutions has launched a prepaid MasterCard to appeal to the paper’s
9 million readers. Using its online “eccount” account feature, all
cardholders
are given the ability to transfer funds to the card as needed for money
management through text message, phone or Internet. The “eccount” product
was introduced for customer security, allowing for the “blocking” and
“unblocking” of card use, in response to research showing that over 10%
of UK Internet users were victims of fraud in 2007. These findings, experts
say, prevent 56% of the UK consumers from buying online. Additionally,
this card offers customers the versatility of use with online purchases,
POS
transactions and cash withdrawal at ATMs.

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Monthly Payment Rates Head South in Nov

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, took a turn south in November. After topping 20% one-year ago, the MPR dropped 32 basis points between October and November. Among managed credit card outstandings, the MPR declined to 18.89% in November after rising to 19.21% in October. The MPR has remained fairly stable in the first three quarters of this year and remains consistent with historical levels since the new FFIEC minimum payment rules went in effect in 2005. According to CardData, the yield also decreased in November to 14.80% from 14.82% in October, but was up 27 bps above year-ago levels.

U.S. PORTFOLIO METRICS
YIELD MPR
Nov 06: 14.53% 20.01%
Dec 06: 14.63% 19.70%
Jan 07: 14.77% 19.88%
Feb 07: 14.75% 19.81%
Mar 07: 15.01% 18.12%
Apr 07: 14.99% 18.04%
May 07: 14.87% 19.01%
Jun 07: 14.93% 18.40%
Jul 07: 14.77% 18.30%
Aug 07: 14.80% 18.99%
Sep 07: 14.71% 18.86%
Oct 07: 14.82% 19.21%
Nov 07: 14.80% 18.89%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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CPS & CRYPTOMATHIC

CPS Technologies, a subsidiary of ABnote, and Cryptomathic have partnered
to offer its clients two factor authentication services with the
“Cryptomathic
Authenticator”. With this partnership, CPS Technologies French clients can
protect their Internet banking from fraud through the use of
One-Time-Password
verification, token distribution and SMS technology. Cryptomathic
Authenticator
protects against e-financial attacks, is certified by MasterCard
Worldwide and is
compliant to Visa International’s Dynamic Passcode Authentication (DPA).

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M-PARKING

Throughout the London borough of Southwark, the Bankside, the Borough
and the London Bridge parking zones are launching an 18 month pilot to
test mobile phone versatility for parking dues. With this pilot, drivers
will be
able to pay for parking using their existing accounts over the phone when
parked in one of the 3 controlled parking zones. For registration, the
driver is
required to provide a 4-digit pin number for account security, automobile
details, parking location number and for how long they wish to park. If the
duration for how long they wish to park changes, the user is sent a text
reminder when time is nearing expiration and given the option to renew.
A 20p service charge applies to each parking transaction while reminder
texts are charged at 10p per text. Ultimately, with this pilot program,
drivers
are no longer required to physically return to their cars to renew their
parking
fees.

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NOV DEBT

Credit card outstandings rose during November by GBP 343 million to GBP 54.5 billion. This is the third consecutive month of growth following six straight monthly declines, and has tied the record for 2007 Set in February. Year-on-year credit card outstandings (not seasonally adjusted) are now running about 2% lower than one-year ago. According to the The Bank of England, the increase in net consumer credit in November was GBP 1.1 billion below the prior month but in line with the previous six-month average. Net other loans and advances rose by GBP 800 million, lower than the October increase. The annual and three-month annualized growth rates of consumer credit were the same as in October at 5.7% and 7.0%, respectively.

NOTE: Chart does not include about GBP10 billion from
specialist lenders, retailers, and insurance companies.
SOURCE: Bank of England

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Green Dot Names a New Technology Chief

Pre-paid card provider Green Dot Corporation has promoted Mark Goldin, who joined Green Dot’s IT Division in 2005. He was previously CTO with Thomson Elite as its Chief Operations and Technology Officer. Goldin is responsible for the company’s operational infrastructure including the voice and data networks, retail distribution and supply chain, worldwide call centers and IT application development functions. He has worked in Information Technology for over 20 years and has an extensive background in software development and relational databases. Green Dot Corporation is a provider of retail-based financial services for America’s underserved community.

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FINANCE HOUSE MASTERCARD

Finance House PJSC has introduced Standard, Gold and Platinum
Mastercards to offer
consumers 5% cash-back on purchases for the first 90 days following
acceptance.
For everyday as a card customer thereafter, card users are guaranteed
1.5% cash-back
on all purchases. Moreover, the highest award allotted is Dhs3,300 to
Platinum Card
customers, Dhs2,400 to Gold Card customers and Dhs1,650 for Standard
Card customers
and are rewarded on a single rate for all transactions-basis. Other
features afforded
customers is an interest rate of 1.25% per month on balance transfers,
13 months of Auto
Insurance coverage and no annual fee.

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PayChex Unveils a FSA Debit MasterCard

Paychex has launched the “FSA Debit Card” for client employees to pay for things such as prescriptions, co-pays, dependent care, and other FSA-eligible expenses. The Paychex FSA Debit Card complies with the latest IRS regulations, which now stipulate that cards can be used at grocery and discount stores, wholesale clubs, and mail- and web-based vendors with an “inventory information approval system,” or IIAS, installed. The technology means the system knows immediately if the expense is eligible. Paychex, Inc. is a national provider of payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses.

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ALARIC EXEC

Alaric International has announced that it has appointed payments
industry expert Ron Hill to oversee the company’s expansion
throughout Australia and New Zealand. With 20 years experience in
the payments industry, Hill brings a comprehensive market knowledge
and payments background to Alaric and will be fundamental in enabling
the company’s transition to a second generation of payments systems.
Hill joins the company following his positions as CIO and CTO with
Customers Limited and Cashcard Australia, respectively.

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Americans Plan to Trim Fat Not Debt in 08

A new poll reveals that Americans will be more focused on trimming fat than trimming debt this year. Only 17% say paying down credit cards and other debt is their top priority for 2008, as compared with 32% who pick eating healthy or losing weight as their number one resolution for this year. Both figures are lower than the prior year when 22% said they wanted to trim debt and 37% wanted to trim their waistline. The latest TransUnion TrueCredit.com Survey discovered that the top resolution for 2008 is spending more time with family, up significantly from last year. When asked about their greatest financial concerns in 2008, 40% pick their salary level or job prospects and 41% name making non-mortgage payments.

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VIVONFC

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has deployed ViVOtech’s
“ViVOnfc” mobile phone NFC payment solution throughout Australia.
Being the first bank to introduce the contactless solution, the
Commonwealth Bank of Australia is deploying “ViVOnfc” to provide
both credit and debit account holders with mobile payments. In
addition to this, the partnership will be providing a “ViVOwallet” mobile
phone user interface, a “ViVOnfc” Issuer Server and a “ViVOnfc
Control Server” for over-the-air account management. “ViVOnfc”
products have been used in over 16 pilot programs around the world
by various companies while ViVOtech has over 330,000 units in 27
countries.

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Democrats to Cut Personal Spending in 08

A new survey has found that 44% of Democrats and 45% of Independents say they are going to “cut back on their household spending this year” than Republicans (36%). The new Harris Interactive poll found that overall 25% of American says they will get rid of one or more credit cards this year. About 42% say they plan to pay down their level of debt in 2008. Harris says the survey shows that the economy is the number one issue this year and Americans are currently more aligned with Democrats than Republicans. Half of Democrats and Independents feel that the economy is going to get worse in 2008. This is in contrast with Republicans where only a third feels the economy is going to get worse.

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