ECHO’s Bankcard Volume Rises 6% in 3Q/07

Camarillo, CA-based Electronic Clearing House reported that third quarter revenue declined 4.5% to $18.5 million. However, bankcard and transaction processing revenue grew 6% to $15.5 million, while bankcard processing volume increased 7% to $484.5 million. ECHO also reported that ACH transactions processed decreased 42.5% to 5.7 million transactions. ECHO says volume growth was due primarily to additional credit card processing volume related to organic growth from existing merchants and the results of new marketing initiatives. This increase was offset by a decrease in check-related products revenue of 22.0%, which primarily reflects the elimination of Internet wallet merchants and the discontinuation of services to several merchant categories that management determined were carrying unacceptable levels of business or financial risk. ECHO currently expects total revenue for fiscal year 2008 will increase by 10% from total revenue of $76.9 million for fiscal year 2007. The Company currently plans to increase spending by approximately $1.6 million for product and IT enhancements during fiscal 2008. For complete details on ECHO’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

ECHO REVENUE HISTORICAL
2Q/05: $14.3 million
3Q/05: $15.2 million
4Q/05: $16.9 million
1Q/06: $19.2 million
2Q/06: $19.9 million
3Q/06: $19.4 million
4Q/06: $19.2 million
1Q/07: $20.0 million
2Q/07: $19.0 million
3Q/07: $18.5 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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HSBC ATMS

HSBC bank has signed ATM agreements with both Seven Bank and Japan
Post Bank allowing its “Premier” customers access to a total of 39,000
additional machines across Japan. The ATMs customers will now
be able to use feature biometric security implementations and 24-7
availability.
Contracts are projected to be finalized by January of next year and in
addition to granting wider ATM access, will provide the HSBC “Premier”
customers with a “Premier International ATM Card”, which charges limited
withdrawal fees.

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Magnum Comm to Distribute FICO Expansion

Fair Isaac Corporation and Magnum Communications announced that Magnum will distribute Fair Isaac’s FICO “Expansion” credit risk score to financial institutions. Under the agreement, lenders will use Magnum’s robust credit data acquisition system, CREDICHECK IV, and a secure web interface to access the FICO Expansion score. The scoring data has been pre-mapped to Magnum’s RapUp data analysis tool enabling Magnum to bring the score online quickly for easy client implementation. FICO “Expansion” score aligns with Fair Isaac’s industry-standard for quicker adoption by l enders and combined coverage of nearly 50 million more American consumers over most credit risk models. Lenders nationwide are using FICO Expansion scores today to better control their risk when extending credit opportunities to new consumers while Magnum is a provider of credit data access, analysis and decision management.

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CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

According to a recent MasterCard Worldwide survey, overall
Australian consumer confidence has risen 51% since 2006. The
survey also gaged the positive increases with income optimism,
which has risen by 17%, the quality of life, more than doubling from
25.5 to 60.8 on the index since the year prior, employment optimism,
which increased by 54%, and impressions of economic performance,
up 71%. Overall, throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region, 10 of the
13 markets reflect increases in consumer confidence with the Vietnam
market reflecting a score of 94.3, Hong Kong scoring an 85.9, China
with 85.5 and Singapore with 83.6. The survey was completed using
data collected from 5,411 consumers throughout Asia-Pacific and has
been conducted over the past 14 years to project 6-month consumer
sentiments.

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Experian Interactive Media is Created

Experian Interactive has formed Experian Interactive Media to help consumers make critical decisions that impact their financial situations with free online services. Experian Interactive Media consists of the following brands: LowerMyBills.com, which connects interested consumers with service providers that can offer competitive rates and terms; ClassesUSA.com, one of the Web’s leading higher-education portals, connects prospective students with schools offering online and traditional degree and certificate programs; ExpertsOnCredit.com provides informational content regarding credit-related topics; InstantApprovals.com, which matches consumers with the credit cards that fit their lives and Affiliate Fuel which provides Experian brands, and other external advertisers, with pay-for-performance marketing services.

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Banks Ignore the Unbanked Prepaid Market

A new study has found that prepaid cards for the unbanked has been conspicuously absent among general purpose reloadable cards. NY-based Celent notes that payment network-branded prepaid cards are set to go big in areas such as healthcare, government benefits, and incentive card programs with an unbanked 36 million people and an aggregate income of $260 billion. Extrapolating out the current average load amounts on these cards, there is a $31 billion market to be captured. Should average load amounts rise as this population shifts from the early adoption stage to mainstream acceptance, the market size will be even more immense, with the potential for card spending at $192 billion. Celent says banks have left the door wide open for nontraditional and nonbank competitors to freely pursue this massive market. Rushing into this void are Wal-Mart and Home Depot, which harbor dreams of becoming banks, Capital One charging into the banking space, and H&R Block, which just recently actually acquired a bank license.

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XMAS CASH VOLUME

Brits have been hitting ATMs heavily this holiday season as cash withdrawals are running about 7% higher than one-year ago. Through December 10th more than GBP 3.2 billion in cash has been withdrawn from LINK cash machines during December, an increase of GBP 140 million compared with the same period in 2006. LINK Data for December show that cash withdrawals since Friday, December 7th have been particularly high, suggesting that mortgage holders may have been encouraged to spend more freely following the recent rate cut. On December 6th the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted to reduce the official “Bank Rate” paid on commercial bank reserves by 0.25 percentage points to 5.5%. LINK also noted that ATM cash withdrawals in previous years grew about 5.00% to 5.50% per year, however this year there was a significant jump. LINK data covers cash withdrawals from more than 64,000 cash machines in the UK.

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Aveso Lands a Former Gemalto Executive

Minneapolis-based Aveso has hired Dino Ferrari, previously VP of the secure transactions business unit at Gemalto, as VP of business development. Ferrari will be responsible for developing relationships with end customers of electronic display cards featuring Aveso’s flexible display technology. Ferrari brings to Aveso over 25 years of industry experience in the payment card industry. At Gemalto, he oversaw business development and sales for conventional, contactless and contact smart cards for the company’s Financial Services business unit in North America. Prior to Gemalto, Ferrari held sales, marketing, business development and technical management positions with Atlantic Zeiser and Gilles Leroux US, as well as DataCard, the leading global manufacturer of card personalization, embedding equipment and software services. Aveso is a provider of flexible display components suitable for high-volume, cost-sensitive, mass-consumer applications.

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VOLARIS & UATP

Volaris Airlines will now be a UATP merchant, accepting the
organization’s
cards for payment through UATP Settlement Services (USS). USS reconciles
payment transactions with a low-cost system on a weekly cycle for its
merchants. Regarding the airline’s punctuality, Volaris has take off and
landing
indexes of 95% and with this development as a company, is reflecting
expansion
for market share in corporate travel. Furthermore, the airline offers
air travel
to over 16 destinations while UATP cards are accepted for payment around
the world and are issued by many different airlines.

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Fair Isaac Rules the Business Rules Market

Fair Isaac Corporation has been recognized by analyst firm IDC as the worldwide revenue leader in the Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS) software market for the second consecutive year. The new IDC report “Worldwide Business Rules Management Systems 2007-2011 Forecast and 2006 Vendor Shares” ranks Fair Isaac as the worldwide BRMS market leader in 2006 with revenues of $53.5 million, compared with revenues of $45.1 million in 2005. IDC credits Fair Isaac’s 18.7 percent growth and 23.6 percent market share to the company’s continuing success with its “Blaze Advisor” business rules management system in the North American market. Fair Isaac’s revenue in North America was $45.1 million, compared to $24.4 million for the closest competitor.

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