Elan Buys Bank of the Sierra Portfolio

Bank of the Sierra has entered into a strategic partnership with Elan Financial Services. As part of the partnership, Bank of the Sierra sold its credit card portfolio to Elan effective June 1, 2007. The credit card portfolio includes consumer and commercial credit card accounts with outstanding balances of $10.5 million. Elan will continue to issue credit cards branded with the Bank of the Sierra name, but will carry the balances on its own books and will ultimately be responsible for all servicing aspects. Elan Financial Services is a provider of complete outsourced solutions with a focus on payments and card processing, with more than 1,600 financial institution partnerships in place. Bank of the Sierra operates as the largest community independent bank with over $1.2 billion in assets and strong performance ratios.

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Tyfone Launches Rhapsody M-Banking

Tyfone has launched the Rhapsody mobile banking platform. The Bank of Oswego has been testing Tyfone’s mobile platform since early 2007. Rhapsody is highly scalable, incorporates load balancing, clustering/failover mechanisms and is capable of seamlessly handling millions of transactions. It currently runs on Enterprise Linux and Windows 2003 servers. A unique, powerful feature of Rhapsody is its ability to integrate predictive analytics derived from a bank’s transaction data to support on-demand services. With Tyfone’s Merchant Relationship Management service, merchants deliver personalized offers to a bank’s mobile customer who opts-in. Tyfone is a provider to mobile financial services.

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BPI Intros the Banco Privado AmEx Card

In conjunction with American Express, Banco Privado de Inversiones(BPI)
has launched the “Banco Privado AmEx Card” to be available in
“Standard,” “Gold,” and “Platinum” versions. The new series of cards
will offer benefits including American Express Selects program with
offers for cardholders worldwide, the “BPI Chances” program offering
monthly prizes, and “Banco Privado Platinum” cardholders will have
access to the entre platform with
offers as well as a benefits website and 24-hour customer service.
American Express GNS has entered 110 card issuing alliances in 120
markets. In Latin America, American Express GNS has 28 alliances in
21 markets.

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TriCipher Introduces ID Tool ToGo

TriCipher has introduced “ID Tool ToGo”, a portable, low-cost solution for protecting sensitive information online. “ID Tool ToGo” protects bank, retail and healthcare organizations’ customers from online identity theft, fraud and emerging threats like man-in-the-middle (MITM) phishing and man-in-the-browser (MITB) attacks and is available for USB smart drives. When a user connects ID Tool ToGo, it automatically launches a Web browser and TriCipher’s ID Tool from the USB smart drive. The user enters a username and password, and is securely logged into the Web application. TriCipher will offer companies “customer self-provisioning” so customers can download the ID Tool ToGo onto their own devices. TriCipher is working to bring ID Tool ToGo to other multi-use devices. TriCipher provides a unified authentication infrastructure to protect the B2B and B2C online channel against fraud and identity theft.

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Alliance & Leicester Launch a Payroll Card

The VISA Pre-Paid Card, introduced by Alliance & Leicester and Money
Card Limited, eliminates employee need to have bank accounts and removes
difficulty in meeting the needs of temporary, short term or migrant
workers. Cash withdrawals can be made with the “Payroll Card” at any
bank that accepts VISA from cash machines or as a cash-back transaction.
The Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank supports 150 million payments a
year and, in association with Money Card Limited (MCL), has developed
the “payroll card” that will bring cost and efficiency savings to
company payroll systems.
Card balance information is available on the website, over the phone and
cash machines displaying the VISA sign.

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Banamex Launches a New Soccer Credit Card

In conjunction with the F.C. Barcelona soccer team, Banamex has
introduced the “F.C. Barcelona- Banamex” credit card. Benefits of the
card are aimed toward fans of the team living in Mexico and strengthens
the bank’s identification with the sport with Promotions including
team-oriented events and raffles offering merchandise. Consumers can
apply for the card online, over the phone or at local branches and will
offer customers an introductory rate of 24.9% for the first 6 months.
Banamex is a division of Citigroup and has an extensive distribution
network of more than 1,450 branch offices and 5,800 ATMs located
throughout Mexico.

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FleetCor Appoints Head Of European Operations

FleetCor has announced the appointment of Andrew Blazye to Europe CEO in
conjunction with the company’s rapid European expansion. Blazye was
formerly Head of Brand Marketing and then Global General Manager for
Shell’s Fuel Card and loyalty business. For FleetCor, he will be
responsible for the expansion of the company’s fuel card. FleetCor
conducts fuel card processing for over 500,000 business fleets and
approximately 3 million cardholders in the US, Canada, and Europe and
employs over 700 associates located in 20 offices.

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Banamex Launches Payment Protection

Banamex has introduced a card payment protection program for its credit
card consumers. Under certain terms, the bank will cover the minimum
monthly payment under conditions that restrict funds. These conditions
include the birth of a child, children entering college, unemployment,
serious illness, divorce, temporary total disability, death of a direct
line family member, organic losses and death of the primary cardholder. Cardholders
can apply for the new program over the phone, online or at the local
branch. Banamex is a division of Citigroup and has 1,450 branch offices
and 5,800 ATMs located throughout Mexico.

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ASB Settles With Commission Investigation

Regarding the investigation of banks’ disclosure of fees on foreign
currency transactions, ASB bank has settled with the Commerce
Commission. The Commerce Commission has investigated nine banks
regarding the transparency of their fee disclosures and has agreed that
a compensation from ASB Bank totaling $3.5 million to consumers is a
fair amount. Also, the bank will be paying a $600,000 fine and $80,000
in commission costs. The Bank will also be revising its terms and
conditions disclosed to customers. ANZ, National Bank, BNZ, Westpac and
KiwiBank have all been met with similar terms under the investigation.

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Paris payWave Trial to Launch in July

Paris-based Societe Generale, in partnership with Visa Europe and Gemalto, are gearing-up for a contactless “payWave” pilot next month. The six month trial will take place in the business district of Paris La Defense and will involve 1,000 cardholders. The pilot will involve the participation of some fifty retailers, 1,000 volunteer Societe Generale employees and the help of GIE Cartes Bancaires. In addition to the contactless payment card trial, Societe Generale also teamed up with six banking and telecom players earlier this year to study and test a contactless payment solution via mobile telephone. A pilot scheme is being prepared for the end of the year and should take place in Caen and Strasbourg. In the UK, Visa Europe has plans to launch a contactless “Visa payWave” card in London beginning in October and Visa Europe also announced a “Visa payWave” contactless trial with Denizbank in Turkey.

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GGP Expands its AmEx Gift Card Offerings

General Growth Properties has become the first shopping center developer and management company to offer a line of themed American Express Gift Cards for special occasions. At ten U.S. properties, the American Express Gift Cards “Especially for Kids,” “Especially for Teens,” and “Especially for Birthdays” are already being offered to customers. GGP shoppers can also take advantage of “AmEx Gift Card” cardholder-only special offers at participating merchants including Build-A-Bear Workshop, f.y.e., KB Toys, Kid’s Foot Locker, and California Pizza Kitchen. General Growth has ownership interest or management responsibility for a portfolio of more than 200 regional shopping malls in 45 states.

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