GiftCertificates.com to Offer AEIS Card

NE-based GiftCertificates.com has partnered with American Express Incentive Services to offer the “Persona” shopping Card to customers via their website. The Persona shopping card allows recipients to select from more than 170 retail, travel and entertainment establishments for electronics. The American Express-branded Card offered by GiftCertificates.com will also enable GiftCertificates.com customers to feature their own brand, logo, campaign theme or other messaging to help deliver positive reinforcement and increase impact. The incentive Card program will give employers the flexibility to offer a customized reward experience for their unique audience. GiftCertificates.com is a provider of gift certificates/cards and gifting advice for both consumer and corporate audiences nationwide. AEIS, a joint venture between American Express Travel Related Services Company Inc. and Maritz Inc., provides business-to-business reward solutions.

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PAYMENT METHODS

According to a “Webmonitor” survey, compiled by Forsa and the German
Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New
Media (BITKOM), on a monthly basis German consumers prefer using
the direct debit payment method for conducting Internet retail
transactions.
The results of the survey were based on the response of 1002 Germans
and showed that over 38% have at least once used the payment method
followed by 29% using on account, 20% using credit card, 17% using
C.O.D., and the least popular being online payment systems with 11% of
consumer use. Since 2003, Germans who conduct retail transactions online
have increased 38%, surpassing the EU average of 20%.

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American Express Tops J.D. Power Card Study

An inaugural study that measures customer satisfaction among credit card issuers has ranked American Express the highest. Among the 10 credit card issuers examined in the study AmEx scored 735 on a 1,000-point scale, performing particularly well in benefits and features, and problem resolution. Discover closely follows AmEx with a score of 728, performing well in rewards, and billing and payment. The J.D. Power and Associates “2007 Credit Card Satisfaction Study” examined five key factors: benefits and features (34%); rewards (25%); billing and payment process (21%); fees and rates (16%); and problem resolution (4%). From an industry perspective, credit card customers provide an average satisfaction score of 658 points. This is considerably lower than the average satisfaction scores provided by customers in other financial markets the firm conducts studies in: mortgage servicing (798), online investing (773) and retail banking (763).

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GIFT CARD REGS

The Consumer Protection Act of 2002 has been amended with Ontario
Regulation to prohibit expiry dates on gift cards issued after October 1,
2007, prohibit up-front fees and to the clear and prominent disclosure of
terms and conditions. Furthermore, with this development, fees can only
be charged for gift card customization and lost/stolen gift cards. The
violation of these amendments subjects individuals to fines of up to
$50,000 and/or imprisonment of no more than 2 years. Corporations are
liable to fines up to $ 250,000.

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Obopay and Yodlee Partner

Mobile payment service provider Obopay has partnered with Yodlee to facilitate instant bank account verification for Obopay customers to immediately link their existing bank account to Obopay. Yodlee’s “Account Verification” lets Obopay users authenticate bank account ownership in real time by entering their online banking user name and password. Yodlee currently provides ownership confirmation for bank accounts at more than 650 financial institutions that carry more than 80% of American account volume. This information is confirmed by Obopay through Yodlee in a matter of seconds. Once confirmed, Obopay users can immediately begin sending money between their Obopay account and their existing bank account.

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FDC INSTANBUL

First Data has recently opened its first office in Turkey and appointed
Dr. Soner Canko as its managing director. Canko has Turkish cards
and payments market experience with Bilesim, as a general manager,
Fortis (Disbank), Citibank, Procter & Gamble and Hewlett Packard
Turkey. Canko is also a Chairman on BKM, the Turkish Interbank Card
Centre. His advanced degrees include a Master’s and PhD degrees in
Economics from Istanbul University. With this development, First Data
expands its presence in Turkey to deliver its global payments expertise
and to provide card and loans processing services, merchant acquiring
solutions, ATM & POS management and risk management.

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Index Shows Consumer Confidence Rebounding

Consumer confidence improved significantly in October after tumbling to a 16-month low in September. The improvement was driven not by significant increases in consumer optimism, but rather a leveling out of pessimism. According to the “RBC CASH Index,” consumer sentiment stabilized across all surveyed areas, with the biggest increases occurring in the areas of economic expectations and current conditions. The “Index” for October hit 80.6, up more than nine points from its 71.1 level in September, but below last October’s 83.1. The “Index” is composed of four sub-indices: “RBC Current Conditions Index;” “RBC Expectations Index;” “RBC Investment Index;” and “RBC Jobs Index.”

RBC INDEX HISTORICAL
Oct 06: 83.1
Nov 06: 92.4
Dec 06: 86.9
Jan 07: 95.3
Feb 07: 103.0
Mar 07: 92.3
Apr 07: 85.4
May 07: 87.1
Jun 07: 81.4
Jul 07: 76.1
Aug 07: 89.3
Sep 07: 71.1
Oct 07: 80.6
Source: RBC Financial Group

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MOLEPOINT EWALLET

PayByCash has signed agreements to process MOLePoint eWallet payments
in Malaysia to provide the Eastern marketplace with payment security.
PayByCash is now providing 70 payment providers with MOLePoints for the
acceptance of most world currencies and the expansion to customers in
over 230
countries. The processor doesn’t charge merchants fees for payment
acceptance
or charge-back fees. MOL AccessPortal Berhad was incorporated in Malaysia
as a publicly listed company in April 2000.

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NetSpend Launches a Vince Young Ed Website

Prepaid provider Netspend has launched a new website featuring football pro Vince Young that provides easy-to-understand tips to parents and teenagers on how to manage money, set goals and implement a budget. The site houses the Vince Young All-Access VISA Prepaid reloadable debit card and provides detailed information on NetSpend’s prepaid products and interest-earning National Savings Program. The NetSpend Prepaid Card Network includes served the un-banked and under-banked markets and its strategic relationships include card issuers, EFT networks and payment card associations.

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TSYS & GARTNER

From Gartner’s “MarketScope for Multiregional Card Management Software,
2007,” TSYS Card Tech has received a positive rating indicating a
recommendation of incremental investment and shortlist placement. With this
development, TSYS Card Tech, a TSYS subsidiary, joins a list of 11 other
companies with a Gartner’s positive-feedback rating. TSYS provides
outsourced payment services around the world for various industries.
Marketscope evaluates marketplaces across a range of industry for
investor information without product endorsement.

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Trustcash to Acquire Card Specialist Paivis

NY-based Trustcash, a specialist in anonymous payment systems for the Internet, announced a deal to acquire Atlanta-based Paivis, a wholesale telecommunications carrier that sells prepaid point-of-sale activated and live cards. Paivis is currently generating approximately $10 million in annual run rate revenue. Products are sold throughout many of the country’s major retail outlets, including Duane Reade, 7-Eleven, and Chevron. Paivis also recently entered into definitive agreements to acquire both Detroit Phone Cards and AAAA 4 Media Services.

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