ALRC DEFAULT RATES

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has recommended
a revision to the Privacy Act that encourages the disclosure of more
information on national consumer credit reports. This potential
amendment to the existing credit-reporting model is led by Dun &
Bradstreet (D&B) for the improvement of default rates and to allow
greater credit access to those less privileged. Specifically,
D&B is recommending that credit reports reflect the type of current
credit accounts opened, the date current credit accounts were opened,
the credit limit and the date credit accounts are closed. Based on
research,
this reform will have macro-economic benefits with contributions of $5.3
billion over the next decade to the economy, default rate improvement,
and more credit extensions to the under-represented such small business,
young people with good payment histories, and women.

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MasterCard’s Paypass Comes to the UAE

Emirates Bank this week officially launched “MasterCard PayPass” contactless technology in Dubai. Merchants in Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, and Dubai Knowledge Village will accept the new payment option. The new “Emirates Bank DIC MasterCard” will be accepted by fast-food outlets, coffee shops, convenience stores and pharmacies. It is the first co-branded contactless payment card to be offered in the Gulf. In Europe, the first “MasterCard PayPass” credit program was launched with Garanti Bank and major retailers in Turkey in June 2006, with the bank’s subsequent rollout of the region’s first “PayPass”-enabled wristwatch in spring 2007.

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CITIC AMEX CARD

China CITIC Bank and American Express have launched a rewards card
in Beijing targeting frequent business travelers. The new product is a
multi-
currency card offered in both classic and gold versions. The “CITIC
American Express” card has a reward points multiplier, flexible travel
rewards redemption, unique travel experience, golfing privileges at
six exclusive courses in China, local merchant privileges, secured online
shopping platform access and comprehensive insurance coverage.
China CITIC Bank was established in 1987 and has been ranked on
the list of “Top 100 Chinese Banks” for 2006 and 2nd among all the
commercial banks in net profit growth rate. American Express has
established over 110 card-issuing partnership arrangements in over 120
countries.

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MegaPath VPN Secures Rumbi Island Grill

IP voice data provider MegaPath is providing casual dining Rumbi Island Grill “SecureConnect Site-to-Site VPN” and “SecureConnect Managed Security” services to protect network assets and customer credit card transactions across its 22 locations. The MegaPath SecureConnect Site-to-Site VPN service delivers enhanced performance and secure communications, allowing Rumbi to increase productivity and grow its business. The SecureConnect Managed Security service protects Rumbi’s business information and systems from both internal and external threats through a Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution, which includes Managed Firewall, Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, Anti-Spyware, Intrusion Prevention and Web Filtering.

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CAB FEEDBACK

Debt inquiries at Citizens Advice Bureau(CAB) have increased by 20%
over the past year bringing the total number of debt issues for 2006-07
to 1.7 million. Additionally, the number of debt inquiries has doubled over
the past 10 years, to 40% of the CAB debt caseload, and has become
the primary topic of inquires at a rate of 6,600 per business day. Of
these inquiries, 25% are regarding credit and store cards. Overall, calls
regarding debt of all kinds has increased by 14%, unsecured loan
questions increased by 18% and bankruptcy increased 50%. CAB
offers consumers free, independent and expert debt advice in the UK on
a range of issues.

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PCI Council Takes Over the PED Standards

The PCI Security Standards Council has assumed responsibility for the “PED Security Requirements” that were previously administered under the auspices of JCB, MasterCard International and VISA International.With the PED Security Requirements administered by the Council, all founding payment brands will recognize PED certification; streamlining the testing process, reducing costs for vendors, and leading to the proliferation of a wider selection of PED products. PED manufacturers submitting devices for security testing will be able to rely on a single set of requirements, helping ensure cardholder security and providing opportunities for faster deployment. Under the Council’s stewardship, each payment brand will bring its own PED expertise and this, when combined with market feedback from POS and terminal vendors will help strengthen the evolving security of these devices.

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CITI 3-IN-1

Citibank has introduced a 3-in-1 card, the “SMRT Visa Platinum
Debit Card,” to combine “EZ-Link”, debit/ATM functionality and Visa
Platinum card privileges for Singaporean customers. The Citibank “Tap
& Save” Account provides ATM access to more than 820,000 Citibank,
Visa and PLUS ATMs worldwide. “EZ-Link” allows customers to pay
commuter fares on public transportation with auto-draft of S$30 from
their “Tap & Save” Account when the balance reaches $0. “Tap & Save”
offers a base interest of 0.30% p.a. with a “step-up” interest of 0.10%
each month and requires a minimum initial deposit of S$500. Citi has
nearly 200 million customer accounts in over 100 countries.

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Americans Ignorant About Credit Score Impact

A new survey shows that only 20% of Americans know that it is legal for employers to refuse to hire job applicants with low credit scores. Fully 52% of Americans mistakenly believe it is illegal for prospective employers to use credit scores as a hiring criteria and another 28% of survey respondents are unsure. The survey from VISA USA also found that 59% of women have checked their credit score than men (51%); adults age 55 and up have checked their score at a far lower rate (43%) than those under 55 (62%); only 22% check their credit score once a year; and a small group of just 18% check their score two or more times each year.

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VISA’s SEC Form S-4 is Now Effective

VISA announced that its S-4 filed in connection with its proposed restructuring was declared effective by the SEC on September 13th and they will now proceed with securing the required approval of member financial institutions for the restructuring. The restructuring contemplates a series of transactions by which VISA International, VISA USA and VISA Canada will become subsidiaries of a single stock corporation, VISA Inc. VISA Europe will remain a membership association and will become a licensee of, and own a minority interest in, VISA Inc.

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B2 PROCESSING

B2 Processing will be reselling SmartSoft EMV acquiring and issuing
systems, including the “EMV Analyzer”. The SmartSoft solution helps
issuers and acquirers with EMV system analysis and performs EMV
transactions with EMV cards and its banking host system connection. B2
will be introducing this, along with other EMV products from SmartSoft’s
line, to the Canadian card market. SmartSoft-IT serves financial
organizations in providing EMV solutions, including software products and
services, including quality assurance tools for EMV issuing, smart card
personalization, and an Authentication Server. B2 Processing develops and
customizes electronic transaction systems for customer application
requirements.

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SCA White Paper Says NFC is Here to Stay

The Smart Card Alliance has released a new white paper that concludes that proximity mobile payment based on Near Field Communication will become the mobile payment technology of choice for consumers using mobile phones for retail payment transactions in the US. The paper, entitled “Mobile Payments: Leveraging NFC and the Contactless Financial Payments Infrastructure, “discusses what is necessary to implement and deploy proximity mobile payment systems, the relevant technical and business issues from the perspective of the various stakeholders (for example, mobile operators, the financial industry, end-users, providers and vendors) and outlines the potential opportunities and barriers that may impact its market adoption. One forecast predicts that mobile phone-based contactless payments will account for over $36 billion of worldwide consumer spending by 2011, while another indicates that by 2012, some 292 million handsets-just over 20 percent of the global mobile handset market-will ship with built-in NFC capabilities.Participants involved in the development of this report include: CPI Card Group, Discover Financial Services, First Data Corporation, Giesecke & Devrient, Gotham Financial Services, Hypercom, IBM, IfD Consulting, INSIDE Contactless, MasterCard Worldwide, Mobile Candy Dish, NXP Semiconductors, Oberthur Card Systems, VeriFone, Visa USA, ViVOtech.

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GEMALTO 1H/07

Gemalto has released revenue reports for 1H07 reflecting a 10% drop
since the same period in the previous year. Other figures on the report
show a 10.2% decrease in net sales, 14.6% fall in gross profits, a 7.8%
fall in operating costs and a 15.3% decrease in adjusted basic earnings
per share. These figures do not include the company’s business relations
with Gemplus. Gemalto IFRS consolidated income statement shows
that a new range of products supported the revenue growth in 1H07,
during which time geographic areas with low pricing levels accounted for
the most decrease in gross profit, resulting in an operating loss of EUR 2.1
million. Projections for 1H07 are based on the favorable seasonal pattern
and are predicted to benefit from additional cost synergies from the
combination. Furthermore, projections foresee a sustained demand in key
markets citing that Gemalto as a company is determined to reach an
operating margin15 above 10% in 2009. Gemalto develops digital security
solutions and had pro forma 2006 annual revenues of EUR1.7 billion with
offices in over 85 countries. The company has nearly 10,000 employees
and R&D engineers.

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