FEED Mobile Payments Picks Up Investors

E-commerce investment firm eonBusiness is helping to fund “FEED, a new Boulder-based mobile payment company. FEED is a mobile payment and marketing platform that lets consumers pay for goods and services at the register and online using a secure coding system transmitted via cellphones. Merchants who accept FEED payments get a break, as FEED transactions are less costly than credit card processing and the merchant can communicate, offer promotions and market directly to the consumer through their cellphones. The company currently has more than 200 merchants accepting FEED payments in the Boulder, Colorado market. eonBusiness is an e-commerce investment firm recognized for assisting entrepreneurs in launching, developing and growing innovative web-based e-commerce businesses.

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ECHO Partners with Professional Solutions

Electronic Clearing House has established a technology partnership agreement with childcare management solution provider Professional Solutions to consolidate its payment processing services for its child care clients’ ACH and credit card payments to a single processor. As a premier payment processor, ECHO will support the front end and back end of Tuition Express’ payment processing module, enabling processing of both credit cards and electronic checks. Tuition Express will now have a single processor for all of its ACH and credit card processing, leveraging ECHO’s superior services for both Professional Solutions and its Tuition Express Users. ECHO provides an integrated electronic payment processing suite.

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BANK AUDI VISA

Bank Audi Syria has launched its first international credit card and the first of its kind in the country. The new “Bank Audi Syria Gold VISA,” offers cardholders the ability to settle their bills through monthly payments which suit their income (10% of their monthly bills), or in full, at 0% interest. Bank Audi Syria says it has has implemented a strategic plan focusing on the electronic cards and services market in Syria. The Syrian market is a very promising one, although it is relatively new to the electronic payment system. The new card also offers free IAPA membership which offers “VISA Gold” cardholders up to 50% discounts at more than 20,000 hotels worldwide, and up to 30% discounts at car rental companies worldwide, in addition to a free membership in the “Priority Pass” program which gives cardholders access to VIP lounges in over 500 airports, regardless of the plane ticket class.

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Blackboard FlexVend Offers USAT Technology

Washington, DC-based Blackboard has begun offering PA-based USA Technologies’ cashless payment technology. The new partnership will enable customers of the “Blackboard Commerce Suite” to allow students to make cashless payments at campus vending machines. The cashless technology is imbedded in Blackboard’s “FlexVend” reader and supports a suite of both wired and wireless applications that enable one-card transactions on-campus, off-campus and online for cashless payment, identification and security. The new “FlexVend” readers allow students to pay for products from vending machines with their Blackboard campus card, all major credit cards, as well as contactless payment systems, such as MasterCard’s “PayPass.”

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Bancorp Buys BankFirst SVS Business for $61MM

DE-based Bancorp has signed a deal to acquire SD-based BankFirst’s “Stored Value Solutions” business for $60.6 million, payable $12.1 million through delivery of shares of Bancorp common stock plus $48.5 million in cash. SVS has more than 3.7 million prepaid cards issued over the past year. SVS provides customized and secure program development and card issuing services to national stored value card program managers such as WageWorks, Western Union and Evolution Benefits. SVS participates in the “open loop,” stored value card market which includes cards branded with network or association logos such as VISA, MasterCard and Discover. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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Cardtronics Raises Nearly $100MM in Bonds

Cardtronics announced that it has priced its private offering of $100.0 million aggregate principal amount of 9-1/4% Senior Subordinated Notes with expected proceeds of approximately $93.5 million to fund the purchase of the financial services business of 7-Eleven. The Company expects closing to occur on July 20, 2007. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering, together with available cash and borrowings under its revolving credit facility, to fund its previously announced acquisition of substantially all of the assets of the financial services business of 7-Eleven, Inc., which is also expected to close on July 20, 2007. Cardtronics is the world’s largest non-bank owner/operator of ATMs with more than 25,750 locations.

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Consumers Remain Pessimistic About the Economy

The Discover “Spending Confidence Monitor” shows that only 34% of consumers expect to spend more in July than they did in June, a six point decline from last month’s inaugural survey. While consumers sustained their spending from May to June, their views on the economy remained pessimistic, as 62% rate the economy as fair or poor and 59% expect the economy to worsen. About 49% of consumers said they expected to sustain their spending from June to July, but when it comes to spending more, fewer consumers expected to do so. Less 22% feel the economy is improving, while 59% feel the economy is getting worse.

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Pemco Technologies & Alaska Option Team

Pemco Technologies and EFT provider Alaska Option Network have a new alliance to offer PIN-based ATM and POS network services and fraud management solutions. To date, 25 financial institutions have become part of the Pemco-Alaska Option alliance. The Alaska Option Network enables Pemco’s PIN debit customers to take advantage of benefits such as reduced network fees; the ability to accept a wide array of cards at their ATMs; a point of sale program at more than a million merchant locations; the convenience of a single point of settlement for PIN-based transactions and enhanced network monitoring. Alaska Option Services Corporation was founded by seven financial institutions to provide shared electronic funds transfer (EFT) services to its member banks and credit unions. Pemco Technologies provides payment solutions to the financial industry.

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Tempo Debit Solution Offered for ACH

CA-based Tempo Payments announced the availability of Tempo Debit, the first debit solution that enables financial institutions and other issuers to deploy comprehensive ACH-based debit card programs. Tempo Debit, in use with HSBC Finance Corporation’s card and retail services business, enables financial institutions to quickly establish and operate bank-independent debit payment processing through the Tempo Payment Network, or other leading payment networks, by leveraging the Tempo Payment Platform, announced today. Issuers utilizing Tempo Debit will be able to integrate decoupled debit capabilities into their existing payment infrastructure, including transaction authorization and ACH settlement. Tempo Debit is available in modules or as an end-to-end solution encompassing decoupled debit activities, including cardholder management, transaction processing and POS access. Tempo is a provider of card payment solutions, combining an open payment platform with a low-interchange national payment network.

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PHH FirstFleet Upgrades Fuel Card Program

Fort Lauderdale-based PHH FirstFleet has expanded its capabilities with a branded fuel card for trucks with an extensive national network that includes over 7,000 truck stops and 50,000 retail sites. In addition to the convenience of the new card-based network, the program features consolidated billing, comprehensive reporting, fraud control, and cost management capabilities. Clients can track any of their fuel and maintenance purchases in near real-time through PHH Interactive online information management system. PHH FirstFleet is a provider of asset management, financial services, and high technology operational support to the trucking and transportation industry.

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Most States Offer the Credit Freezing Option

Thirty seven states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws in recent years giving consumers the right to put a security freeze on their credit files so crooks can’t use stolen information to open fraudulent accounts. Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, has created an online guide for consumers interested in learning how to take advantage of these new security freeze laws. A security freeze gives consumers the choice to “freeze” or lock access to their credit file against anyone trying to open up a new account or to get new credit in their name. When a security freeze is in place, an identity thief cannot open a new account in your name because the potential creditor or seller of services will not be able to check your credit. Most state security freeze laws allow each of the three major credit bureaus to charge $5 to $10 to initiate the protection or to lift the freeze. The best state laws keep all fees at $5 or less and allow consumers to temporarily lift or remove the freeze without charge.

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