CUSTOMERS ACQUIRES NZ ATM

Customers Limited has acquired a 25% stake in NZ ATM Services
Limited for NZ$1 million, allowing the ATM deployer to access the
New Zealand market. With entry to this market, the deployer will also
be among the largest ATM owners in the region citing the company has the
largest ATM network in Australia and is rapidly expanding in the Chinese
ATM market. NZ ATM provides merchant ATM services throughout
New Zealand while Customers Limited provides Australian ATM and
Electronic Payments Systems throughout Australia and Asia. The growing
electronic payment provider is a joint venture of Bendigo Bank and
MasterCard International.

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U.S. Bank Tops 20 Million VISA Gift Cards

U.S. Bank issued its 20 millionth “U.S. Bank Visa Gift Card” this week, having doubled its program in just over a year. U.S. Bank has made several enhancements to the Gift Card in the last year. Customers who purchase the cards online now have a choice of five gift card designs. Prepaid cards are an important area of business for U.S. Bank. In addition to gift cards, U.S. Bank issues prepaid cards for payroll, general purpose spending and rebates. U.S. Bank is the leader in the use of prepaid cards for state-sponsored disbursements, such as for unemployment insurance, child support, child care and temporary assistance for needy families. It was one of the first to partner with states for these types of payments, and continues to be a leader in the industry in the use of prepaid cards as an alternative to cash and checks. U.S. Bancorp, with $228 billion in assets, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 6th largest commercial bank in the United States.

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INUIT UK & EXPERIAN

Intuit UK and Experian have announced a partnership to provide clients
with consumer credit reporting and financial status. The service will be
available with QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Accountant or QuickBooks
Premier software to provide Experian’s credit score and credit limit
reports
on UK companies. According to experts, UK companies write off an
annual average of GBP14,000 each in bad debts with estimates that more
than a half of these companies suffer from these delayed payments, which
total over GBP16 billion.

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Encore Capital Q3 Revenues Rise 4%

San Diego-based Encore Capital reports third quarter net income of $5.4 million compared to net income of $5.2 million. Revenues from receivable portfolios were $59.4 million, a 4% increase over the $57.2 million in the same period of the prior year. Revenues from bankruptcy servicing were $3.3 million, compared to $3.4 million for 3Q/06. Investments in receivable portfolios were $47.9 million to purchase $1.3 billion in face value of debt, compared to $32.3 million to purchase $1.1 billion in face value of debt in the same period of the prior year. Last month, Encore added two independent directors to its Board and several cost savings initiatives aimed at reducing both its overall cost per dollar collected and its bankruptcy servicing operating expenses. George Lund and Warren Wilcox have joined the Board and Barry Barkley and Alexander Lemond will retire from the Board as of the annual stockholders meeting on October 30. For complete details on Encore Capital’s latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

ENCORE CAPITAL REVENUES
3Q/06: $57.2 million
4Q/06: $65.0 million
1Q/07: $62.2 million
2Q/07: $64.0 million
3Q/07: $59.4 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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DEUTCHE CARD PERSONALIZATION

The first of its kind to do so, the Deutsche Bank has launched a
solution that allows customers to personalize the image on their
debit cards under three categories;”zodiac series,” “Deutsche
Bank traveling logo series” and the “Incredible India series”.
The latter of the categories is a series launched in conjunction with
the Union Tourism Ministry to provide landscape scenes of India
provided by the “Incredible India campaign.” Aside from the
aesthetics of the card, Deutsche Bank debit cards offer flexibility
on ATM and POS transactions at 26 million Visa merchant
establishments and over 1 million Visa ATM locations. Furthermore,
the bank offers rewards programs for its gold debit card program.

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Springbok Services Offers Stock Options

Springbok Services has announced the implementation of an innovative employee ownership program of stock options in the company. Each employee received a gift of company stock options that have a vesting period shorter than most comparable plans, thereby reflecting the company’s commitment to the program’s success. Springbok Services is a provider of prepaid VISA and MasterCard card solutions.

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ICBC MASTERCARD

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has introduced its
“Easy Life” PayPass credit card with EMV interface using globally
interoperable
standards that offers consumers a contactless payment solution. The
new program joins the 19 million PayPass cards and devices currently in
circulation for acceptance at 73,000 merchants locations worldwide. The
EMV chip provides security to the consumer with an information chip that
is embedded in the card. MasterCard PayPass is ideal for quick payment in
high volume transaction environments and is designed to reduce customer
wait-time. MasterCard Worldwide processes over 16 billion transactions
annually and is present in more than 210 countries and territories around
the world.

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SunTrust Launches SunPoints for Charity

SunTrust Banks has announced that it is empowering clients who have a SunTrust VISA Signature or SunTrust Platinum VISA to give back to their communities on an ongoing basis through its “SunPoints for Charity” program. Donations from this year-round program can be made in $25, $50 or $100 denominations. In addition to the Rewards program expansion, SunTrust’s current “My Cause” promotion, which was set to end in October, has been extended through the end of the year to help non-profit organizations with their end-of-year fundraising efforts and to give consumers an additional opportunity to reinvest in their communities.

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ALARIC-BPWCCUL DEAL

Alaric International has signed contracts with Barbados Public Workers
Co-operative Credit Union Ltd (BPWCCUL) to provide Authentic EFT
authorization to link the company’s ATMs to Caribbean Integrated
Financial Services (CarIFS). With completion projected for 2010, the
project will offer union members enhanced card services and will be
implemented in 3 phases. Initially, Alaric will authorize the credit
unions ATM transactions, smaller credit unions will then be given access
to the CarIFS ATM network and, finally, will deliver interfaces to banking
networks for global ATM access. BPWCCUL has assets of over
$240 million and provides savings products, investment products, loans,
mortgages, internet banking facilities and ATM services. Alaric Authentic
provides authorization and routing for issuers and acquirers of credit,
debit,
charge and prepaid cards such as banks, retailers and processors.

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FDC Survey Finds Gift Card Incentives Work

First Data says that merchants looking to influence consumer buying behavior should consider gift card incentives. Incentive gift cards have mainstream awareness, as indicated by an online research survey conducted with 526 survey respondents. Two-thirds of survey respondents state they were already extremely or very familiar with them. During past purchase decisions, 57% of those who have used an incentive gift card report the incentive not only influenced their purchase overall, but their choice of store, 52%, and their choice of brand, 41%. About 76% are interested in purchasing or testing a product based on receiving an incentive gift card for doing so. In addition, 74% of total respondents would be more likely to make a purchase at a store offering a gift card as an incentive promotion versus a store that did not. Nearly 90% who have used an incentive gift card are interested in continuing to receive gift cards as an incentive.

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EURONET 3Q/07

Euronet Worldwide posted third quarter revenues of $246.3 million, compared to $161.7 million for 3Q/06. Ria Envia, the third-largest global money transfer company, drove the latest growth. Net income of $14.8 million, compared to $13.1 million for the third quarter 2006. “EFT Processing” posted revenues of $48.1 million, compared to $40.5 million for 3Q/06. Transactions processed were 156.5 million, compared to 119.1 million transactions in the same period last year. The EFT Segment completed the quarter with 10,516 ATMs owned or operated. “Prepaid Processing” reported revenues of $144.6 million, compared to $120.3 million for the third quarter of last year. Transactions processed were 162.5 million, compared to 121.8 million transactions in the third quarter 2006. The “Money Transfer” segment reported third quarter revenues of $53.6 million, compared to $0.9 million for the third quarter 2006. Transactions processed were 4.0 million, compared to 0.1 million processed in the third quarter 2006. For complete details on Euronet’s latest results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Synovus’ Board Decides to Spin-Off TSYS

GA-based Synovus revealed that its Board of Directors has approved an agreement and plan of distribution with TSYS to spin-off to Synovus’ shareholders the shares of TSYS stock currently owned by Synovus. Synovus currently owns 80.8% of TSYS. The spin-off is expected to be tax-free to Synovus and its shareholders. TSYS, formed by Synovus in 1983, has grown to become the largest third-party card processor in the USA and one of the largest outsourced transaction processing vendors in the world. The spin-off has the potential to provide the following benefits: unlocking the value of Synovus’ core banking franchise; enabling TSYS to enhance its growth and strategic position in the industry unfettered by current constraints on issuing shares and on incurring debt as a result of existing within a bank holding company structure; providing TSYS with an opportunity to broaden its investor base; and allowing the leadership teams of Synovus and TSYS to focus on their respective core businesses. This week TSYS reported that third quarter profits rose 27%, hitting $68.8 million. (CF Library 10-23-07)

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