PRUDENTIAL CONSUMER FINANCE

Prudential financial services has launched the “Prudential Vietnam Finance
Company”, a consumer finance business in Vietnam, for consumers.
The new branch will provide personal loans, mortgages and credit cards,
the first of foreign institutions to do so in the country, and will be
based in
Ho Chi Minh City. The Prudential Group is already a leading life insurer
and fund manager in Vietnam with $1.3 billion in funds and the largest
market share. Prudential’s business in Asia is headquartered in Hong Kong
and is the largest Europe-based life insurer in the region with
operations in
12 markets and 360,000 on staff.

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MobiClear Adds a New Board Member

Currently, Mr. Ung serves as independent director of both Transpacific Broadband Group International and Federal Chemicals. Ung is one of the founders and directors of the Board of Bastion Payment Systems Corporation (BPSC), a premier provider of card acquiring services, fraud management software and other related services. Bastion utilizes its in-house research and development team to develop proprietary payment solutions and systems for card processing and acquiring, card fraud management, merchant management and boarding, merchant risk control and identification, and web site payment page hosting. Ung has a Master of Business Administration from the Ivey School of Business. MobiClear specializes in electronic Personal Identification Verification (PIV) solutions in connection with credit/debit card transactions.

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AUG DEBT

Credit card outstandings declined during August by GBP 100 million to GBP 53.4 billion. This is the sixth straight monthly drop and remains well below the December 2005 peak of GBP 59.0 billion. Year-on-year credit card outstandings (not seasonally adjusted) are running about 4% lower than one-year ago. According to the The Bank of England, the increase in net consumer credit in August GBP 1.0 billion was below the increase in July. Net other loans and advances rose by GBP 0.9 billion, broadly in line with the increase in July. Both the annual growth rate and the three-month annualised growth rate of consumer credit increased by 0.2 percentage points, to 5.5% and 6.1% respectively.

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Debit Cards Positioned to Lead All Payments

A new report has found that U.S. debit card volume continues to grow even as consumer deposits hit record lows, now growing at a compound annual growth rate between 17% and 18%. The study reveals that transactions for U.S. debit cards surged three times faster than those for credit cards from 2005 to 2007, which grew a 5% CAGR. The TowerGroup research also noted the payments industry is on the brink of socializing contactless payment forms, therefore debit card issuers can position their cards for increased use to resolve the ongoing challenge of high penetration (80% of consumers) and low activation (60%). TowerGroup says that the debit card’s dominant position as a payment card will continue through 2009. Economic drivers such as consumer confidence, employment, and tightened credit might further widen the gap between payment types. Debit card POS configurations, PIN, and SIG will grow linearly.

US PAYMENTS CAGR (2005-2007)
Check -9%
Cash 0%
Credit Card 5%
ACH 13%
Sig Debit 17%
PIN Debit 18%
Source: TowerGroup

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Foreign Travel

Given the significance of the French credit card market, and subsequent
consumer debt, Debt Resolve has announced plans to introduce online
collection products to the market. With the second largest credit card
volume in Europe of $350 billion, France has a current consumer debt of
nearly EUR1.2 trillion. In response, Debt Resolve will provides lenders,
collection agencies, debt buyers and utilities with an online bidding
system
for the resolution and settlement of consumer debt. The Invest in France
Agency (IFA) promotes and facilitates international investment in France.

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Quick Start Program Launched for e-Port

PA-based USA Technologies has added a no money down program that enables vending machine operators and bottlers a quick option to add the convenience of credit and debit cards to their machines. The new “Quick Start” purchasing program is for USAT’s “e-Port” services which accepts magnetic swipe and contactless credit and debit cards, and “Near Field Communications” technology that accepts payment using cellular telephones and other wireless payment systems. The “Quick Start” program is structured so a vending operator or bottler pays only $24.95 per month for the “e-Port” device and full “e-Port Connect” services over a pre-determined period. Last month, USAT reported that NH-based Fantasy Entertainment, a major supplier of photo and imaging kiosks, has equipped 1,000 of its self-service photo booths nationwide with the “e-Port” cashless payment technology. (CF Library 9/27/07)

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BIOMETRIC FORECAST

According to Reporterlinker forecasts, global biometric identification in
China is estimated to exceed USD 3 billion in 2007, reach USD 3.8 billion in 2008
and exceed USD 7.4 billion in 2012. It is estimated that global fingerprint
identification technology accounts for 58.9% of 2007 figures given that the
2006 biological identification market amounted to about RMB 860 million,
97% of which generated from biological identification products. The growth
in biological identification is projected to reach a growth margin of
60% for 2007 to RMB 960 million and it will reach RMB 4.651 billion in 2011.

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InComm to Distribute nFinanSe Cards

nFinanSe Inc has signed an agreement to provide nFinanSe “Discover Network Prepaid Cards” to Atlanta-based stored value card provider InComm. nFinanSe’s Reloadable Prepaid Cards offer a $5.95 suggested retail price, a $2.95 monthly fee, are instantly issued for same day use, have no fee for first load at time of purchase, have no hidden transaction fees and no fees on purchases. nFinanSe is a financial services company and provider of stored value and prepaid card solutions.

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GEMALTO EAL4 CERTIFICATION

Performed by the French DCSSI (Central Administration for Information
Systems Security), Gemalto’s Java Card implementation has received EAL4
Common Criteria Certification and EAL7 assurance ensuring the secure
isolation of applications. This was determined with the evaluation of
Java card
security, its functional and assurance requirements. EAL levels range
from 0-7
to provide consumers with a comparative measurement of application security
and is recognized around the world as common criteria through SOG-IS
and CCRA international agreements. The certification also conforms to Sun
Microsystems’ Java Card System Protection Profile. Gemalto had 2006 annual
revenues of EUR1.7 billion, more than 85 offices in 40 countries and about
10,000 employees.

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ORDER OF PAYMENTS

MoneyExpert.com research shows that 76% of card issuers take
advantage of their customers by clearing cheap debit first and high
interest debt last, such as cash advances. Different forms of card
borrowing have different rates and the longer higher interest debt remains
on the customer’s card, the more the card issuer makes. For example,
average interest rate on cash advances is 23.96%. According to
MoneyExpert.com’s research, the card issuers allocate payment funds to
pay off the debt with the lowest interest first, such as fees. Along
with cash
advances, a card purchase is the most expensive form of card transaction
followed by fees and balance transfers. According to experts, card issuers
that will actually assist and provide customers with information on
paying down high interest debt first are rare citing the hindrance on
capitalization.

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FMCG & Simmons Intro Financial Personalities

Simmons Research and First Manhattan Consulting Group have teamed up to launch the industry’s first mass media targeting tool for specific types of financial services, including credit cards, deposits, home equity loans, investments, life insurance, mortgages and personal loans. The new “Financial Personalities” service follows the launch by FMCG and Experian of “Financial Personality” scores for direct marketing. “Financial Personalities” uses these same segmentation frameworks and scoring algorithms to provide marketers with media consumption behaviors of target segments within specific categories. Those looking to place advertisements to acquire checking account customers who will maintain significant deposit balances at banks can use the new service to pinpoint magazines, newspaper sections, television shows and other channels that index high among the “Deposit Financial Personalities” who are the best prospects.

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