MobiClear Taps Greenwood for US Products

MobiClear has hired Richard Greenwood, President and CEO ALO Investments as company consultant for product strategizing within the USA.Greenwood has extensive experience in advising and managing public corporations. Co-founder of conneXcenter Inc.-BICO, Inc., he headed the development and application of the company’s screen phone business model. Additionally, Greenwood has served as Chief Executive Officer for Haagenuk CPS Inc, specializing in internet screen phones and smart cards, Predictive Data, Inc., and Bank Plus, Inc.- Fidelity Federal Bank. He served as Chief Financial Officer of Calfed – California Federal Bank and Valley National Bank, Phoenix, AZ. He has an MBA in International Finance from the American Graduate School of International Management.

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Merchant Cash Lands a Credit Line

NYC-based Merchant Cash and Capital, a merchant cash advance company, has received a $17 million, two-year, senior secured credit facility from CT-based The Patriot Group. The facility will provide funding for existing and future merchant credit and debit card advances as well as new corporate initiatives. Merchant Cash and Capital is a privately held merchant advance company that purchases future credit and debit card receipts from retailers, restaurants and service businesses. The Patriot Group is a leading specialty finance, investment, and asset management company that provides funding solutions to clients across a wide variety of asset types.

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EXPRESS CHECKOUT

Cybersource electronic payment corporation has signed agreements to
provide its merchant clients with PayPal’s “Express Checkout”. The PayPal
product is designed to enhance speed and convenience for online consumer
transactions and to allow businesses to accept various payment types.
Additionally, users of “Express Checkout” are afforded fraud protection on
all transactions with the implementation of 100 validation tests, which
include
address verification, IP geolocation tests and purchase-velocity
monitoring.
CyberSource has over 220,000 business clients and is headquartered in
Mountain View, California.

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Yahoo! Joins OPEN from AmEx Savings Program

Yahoo! Search Marketing and Yahoo! Small Business have joined the “OPEN from American Express” small business automatic savings program. Under the new deal, small business cardholders receive a 5% discount on Yahoo! Search Marketing’s online advertising and promotion services in addition to Yahoo! Small Business’s services such as Web site hosting, e-commerce, business e-mail, and domain name registration. AmEx says the program has saved $200 million for its small business cardholders since 2004. Other partners and discounts include: 3% off Delta and JetBlue flights; 5% off Marriott Courtyard, Fairfield Inn and SpringHill Suites stays; 5% off FedEx shipping and FedEx Kinko’s Office and Print Centers; 20% off Ceridian payroll services; and several others.

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First Hawaiian Intros PayPass Debit MC

First Hawaiian Bank has begun issuing the “Priority Rewards MasterCard PayPass” debit card with cards provided by Giesecke & Devrient and powered by INSIDE Contactless’ “MicroPass”. G&D has delivered the contactless debit cards, as well as traditional magnetic stripe credit and debit cards, for First Hawaiian Bank card programs. G&D has supplied over 10 million contactless payment cards to U.S. banks and anticipates significant growth in this area for 2008. First Hawaiian Bank holds $12.5 billion assets and is Hawaii’s oldest and largest bank.

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Cap One Charge-Offs Hit a Four Year High

With the exception of the spike in October 2005, Capital One reported that its charge-off ratio for U.S. Cards climbed to its highest level in more than four years during November. Delinquency (30+ days) for its U.S. Cards also increased to its highest point since June 2003. Cap One says charge-offs hit 5.74% in November, compared to 5.11% in the prior month and 3.79% one-year ago. In October 2005 charge-offs spiked at 10.81% due to the high volume of bankruptcy petitions filed in the weeks preceding the October 17, 2005 effective date of “The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.” Delinquency for U.S. Cards came in at 4.95% in November, compared to 4.75% in the prior month and 3.75% one-year ago. Cap One noted that charge-offs since June of this year were affected by a reduction in customer statement generation from a 30 day to a 25 day grace period. About 29% of Capital One’s portfolio is considered sub-prime, likely elevating its charge-off ratio. At the end of the third quarter Capital One had 37.5 million U.S. card accounts. U.S. managed card outstandings were $49.6 billion for 3Q/07 compared to $51.1 billion one-year ago and $50.0 billion in the previous quarter. For details on Capital One’s historical charge-offs since 2003 visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 10/19/07)

DELINQUENCY CHARGE-OFF
Nov 06: 3.75% 3.79%
Dec 06: 3.74% 4.14%
Jan 07: 3.79% 4.01%
Feb 07: 3.74% 3.84%
Mar 07: 3.48% 4.13%
Apr 07: 3.45% 3.98%
May 07: 3.52% 4.26%
Jun 07: 3.41% 2.97%
Jul 07: 3.74% 4.15%
Aug 07: 4.15% 3.98%
Sep 07: 4.46% 4.26%
Oct 07: 4.75% 5.11%
Nov 07: 4.95% 5.74%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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CLIMATE FRIENDLY BANKS

The Ceres Investor coalition has recently released its report on the most
climate-friendly consumer programs among the world’s 40 largest banks.
Ranking 16 U.S., 15 European, 5 Asian, 3 Canadian and 1 Brazilian bank,
Ceres used a point scale from 1- to 100, with “100” being the highest,
based on each institution’s ability to meet requisite criteria. This
criteria,
combined with how well banks were judged, were used to determine how
well response was to climate change, such as internal greenhouse gas
reduction targets and funding for clean energy projects. With this, the
coalition found a median bank score of 42 points, European-based HSBC
Holdings to have the best rank with 70 points and ABN AMRO in a close
second having scored 66 points. Among 16 US Banks, Citigroup and Bank
of America posted the highest scores of 59 and 56, respectively. On the
opposite end of the spectrum, Franklin Resources scored only 1, followed by
Bear Stearns which came in last with 0. Additional results of the research
found that, among these banks, over 50 research reports on climate change
have been conducted in 2007, 28 of the banks have disclosed their
GHG emissions from operations, only 6 are formally calculating carbon
risks
in their loan portfolios and not one bank has formally initiated a
carbon-intensive
avoidance policy. Overall, Ceres concludes that collectively these
banks must
do more to promote a safe and healthy earth. Ceres organization coalition
works with companies to address sustainability challenges, is composed
of 60
institutional investors and has collective assets of over $4 trillion while
RiskMetrics Group provides risk management products and services to
financial market participants.

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MC & AA Launch a DealFinder Sweepstakes

American Airlines and MasterCard have teamed to launch the “DealFinder Travel the World Sweepstakes.” Through March 7th, customers who register online for the sweepstakes are automatically entered for a chance to win a Grand Prize of air travel for two around the world and a $25,000 MasterCard gift card. In addition, American will award two First Prize winners a $10,000 MasterCard gift card. AA’s “DealFinder” alerts customers when fares matching their pre-selected preferences are available. AA says its Web site attracts 1.5 million visits each day and is its largest distribution channel. Last summer American Airlines and MasterCard ran the “Sum It Up Sweepstakes” with Universal Studio’s “The Bourne Ultimatum” movie. The Grand Prize was one million AAdvantage bonus miles and a $6,000 MasterCard gift card. (CF Library 6/27/07)

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OKI IC AUTHENTICATION

For its “IC” cash cards, Oki Electric Industry has developed an IC
authentication server with Japanese Bankers Association (JBA)
Specifications that allows for online verification. The IC cash card
is more difficult to forge than traditional magnetic cards and allows
banks to authenticate cash cards both on and off the Internet.
Additionally, the online IC authentication server allows institutions to
verify cards through ATMs, limit host costs and allow migration with
the online authentication method for processing capability
enhancements. Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. is a Japanese
telecommunications manufacturer providing technologies and solutions
to its clients.

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Apex Merchant Solutions Launches eChecks

NY-based Apex Merchant Solutions has introduced eChecks for its merchant clients, charging a 1.5% to 2.0% per transaction fee. Other features of eChecks include user authentication, age verification a reduced liability window for charge backs, and 60 days for checks, compared to 180 days for credit cards. In addition to saving as much as 50% per transaction, eChecks also provides access to an estimated 10 million online households without a credit card, thus providing an additional revenue flow for the merchant. Apex creates payment processing solutions for retail, e-commerce, restaurant, professional and mobile businesses.

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Fortress Financial Acquires Moneyworx

FL-based Fortress Financial Group, a shell corporation, has acquired Moneyworx, a reseller of U.S. domestic and international MasterCard debit cards. The Company plans on launching its own “Fortress” branded International Debit Card this year and will focus its energies on cardholder acquisition through an extensive marketing campaign and the use of Internet Marketing technologies. The Company’s Management has spent extensive time in ensuring that the new web site contains exhaustive information and it is expected the site will go live very shortly.

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NCR Xpress Gift Card Kiosk Coming

Next week NCR will unveil a new self-service kiosk for gift cards called: “NCR Xpress Gift Card”. NCR Xpress Gift Card can work with any NCR “EasyPoint” kiosk and can be integrated with any point-of-sale system. NCR’s Professional Services and Human Factors Engineering groups work with each retailer to customize a gift card program tailored to fit its specific business needs. In an NCR survey, two-thirds of consumers said they expected to purchase at least one gift card during the holiday season. Those whom purchase at least one gift card will buy, on average, more than seven gift cards per year.

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