GE Money and Yahoo! Telemundo Partner

GE Money and Yahoo! Telemundo have announced the launch of ‘Soluciones Financieras’, an online financial education solution that features comprehensive Spanish-language personal finance tools and information. ‘Soluciones Financieras’ features easy-to-digest information in four key areas of particular interest to U.S. Hispanics including: understanding and managing credit, preventing identity theft, navigating loans and mortgages, and establishing a personal budget. U.S. Hispanics are projected to spend over $926 billion this year 1; however, research shows they have less understanding and experience managing personal financial matters compared to the average non-Hispanic consumer. Only 51% of Hispanic households have a savings account. 43% of Hispanic workers described their personal knowledge of investing or saving for retirement as “knowing nothing” compared to 12 percent for all workers. 63% of online Spanish-preferring Hispanics feel more comfortable visiting Web sites that are Spanish-language and 55% of online Spanish-preferring Hispanics are more likely to trust companies that have Spanish-language Web sites. Yahoo! Telemundo yahootelemundo.com is a commercial venture between Telemundo Communications Group, Inc., a unit GE’s NBC Universal, and Yahoo! Inc.

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Phi Media to Power Triton ATM Content

ATM manufacturer Triton has selected Phi Media as a preferred content partner to provide digital content. The strategic partnership with PHI Media, a dynamic closed-circuit digital content provider on LCD screens and automated equipment across the U.S, will allow retailers to easily and inexpensively add advertising to their ATM networks. With Phi Media’s wireless LDC topper that easily attaches to all Triton ATMs, retailers are able to participate in Phi Media’s content management program. The program features full motion video, animation, news, weather forecasts, stock quotes and much more with advertising from local, regional and national advertisers. Triton is a global ATM manufacturer with more than 158,000 installations in 24 countries worldwide

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Asset Acceptance Beefs-Up Credit Line

Asset Acceptance Capital has entered into an expanded credit agreement containing a $100 million, five year revolving credit facility and a $150 million term loan facility. The Company has satisfied the financing condition with respect to the Company’s modified “Dutch auction” tender offer previously announced. The new $100 million revolving credit facility will be used to supplement cash flows available for the acquisition of purchased receivables, in addition to other general corporate purposes. Furthermore, the new facility includes an accordion loan feature which permits a $25 million credit limit extension, should the Company require additional access to capital to support future operations. The expanded credit agreement also contains a $150 million term loan facility, which the Company will use to fund a previously announced plan to return $150 million to shareholders. JPMorgan Chase Bank acted as the lead lender participating in the expanded credit agreement. Asset Acceptance has provided credit originators, such as credit card issuers, consumer finance companies, retail merchants, utilities and others an alternative in recovering defaulted consumer debt.

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Cash Systems Signs casinopc Clients

Las Vegas-based Cash Systems has entered into a new multi-year contract with the Marnell Sher Gaming Group for it’s recently acquired Colorado Belle, Edgewater and Saddle West Casinos. Cash Systems will provide “casinopc” for cash advance services and ecash checking for check guarantee services. “casinopc” offers a full range of services for processing and completing transactions at the casino cage, all residing on one system. By having all the functionality on one system, the casino cage experiences transactions at a much faster pace, saving time and increasing customer satisfaction. “ecash” checking is the quickest and most efficient check cashing and guarantee product in the industry. Casino cage personnel experience faster check cashing times with higher limits for casino patrons. The Colorado Belle and Edgewater Casinos operate in over 136,000 square feet of gaming space with over 2200 gaming devices and sports book as well as over 80 tables offering a variety of games.

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Card Mail Response Rates Edge Up in Q1

Response rates to direct mail credit card offers have rebounded this year after four years of steady decline. However, the volume of solicitations has leveled off in 2007. For the first quarter, Americans received 1.6 billion credit card offers in the mail, compared to 1.7 billion for 1Q/06 and 1.4 billion for 1Q/05, according to CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]). Response rates increased to 0.3% for 1Q/07, compared to 0.2% for last year and 0.6% in 2003. The percentage of U.S. households receiving an offer has been holding steady at 71%.

CREDIT CARD DIRECT MAIL
YEAR RESPONSE
1998: 1.2%
1999: 1.0%
2000: 0.6%
2001: 0.6%
2002: 0.5%
2003: 0.6%
2004: 0.4%
2005: 0.3%
2006: 0.2%
2007: 0.3%
Source: CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com)

[1]: http://www.cardwatch.com

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ATM/Debit Card Safety Awareness Month

PULSE EFT Association has launched its annual nationwide effort encouraging consumers to review and practice safety tips when using their ATM/debit cards. PULSE is focusing on cardholder actions that can help to prevent financial fraud and protect against identity theft. PULSE is offering tips ranging from drive-up ATM safety to precautions for preventing identity theft to its more than 4,400 participating financial institutions. These tips are delivered through a variety of materials, including lobby brochures, card protectors, deposit envelopes, statement inserts, electronic brochures and Web site links. PULSE is owned by Discover Financial Services, a business unit of Morgan Stanley. The network links cardholders with nearly 260,000 ATMs, as well as POS terminals at retail locations nationwide.

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DEBIT CARDS

Since Barclays introduced the debit card in 1987, APACS reports that there are 41 million debit card holders in the U.K. today compared with 27.8 million in 1996. Also, there are 68 million debit cards currently in circulation, compared with just 19 million debit cards in 1990, and Britons made 4.5 billion purchases in 2006 and spent GBP 194.9 billion on their debit cards. Furthermore, in 2006, each debit card holder used it 166 times on average and by 2016, spending on debit cards will have doubled to over GBP400 billion. APACS also predicts that by 2011 personal spending on debit cards will have overtaken cash.

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VISA Launches a Biz Spend Quarterly

A new report has found that increasing expenditures on energy, healthcare and taxes are pressing concerns for small business owners. The new quarterly “VISA Small Business Spend Insights” report shows the average spend per transaction on “VISA Business” cards for energy-related expenditures increased 18% for the 12 months ending February. The average spending on “VISA Business” cards on healthcare-related expenditures increased 17% during the same period. Also, the average spending on “VISA Business” cards on tax preparation services and tax payments increased by 80% for the 12 months ending February 2007. Additionally, the average spending on “VISA Business” cards for advertising, management consultants/public relations, publishing and related expenses increased by 56% during the same period, twice the growth rate of expenditures in all categories. More than 600 small businesses are included in the quarterly survey.

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MobiClear Introduces a PIV Secured Card

CA-based MobiClear has launched a multi-gateway solution that provides proactive security in all forms of electronic business environments including Internet shopping, business-to-business procurement transactions and retail shopping with credit and debit cards. The “Personal Identification Verification” specialist also announced the availability for consumers to apply, free of charge, for the “MobiClear Secured Card.” With the solution, each purchase or transaction is only approved when the customer has confirmed his identity using his unique MobiClear PIN code via their mobile phone. Last week MobiClear hired Anders Ericsson, previously with Global Connexion, as its new CEO. The Company also added a video demo of the new solution via its Web site. (CF Library 5/29/07)

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Latino Coalition Endorses NMC

National Merchant Center has been selected as the Official Payment Processor for the Latino Coalition. At their Washington DC Economic Summit this past month, the Latino Coalition presented the NMC solution to the participating small businesses who had come together to meet with the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of the Treasury for their annual Hispanic review of pending business matters. Latino Coalition is the national umbrella organization that serves major Hispanic business and professional groups throughout the country. National Merchant will present a workshop on credit card and check processing for Hispanic small business owners at upcoming Latino Coalition events in Chicago (August 27) and Dallas (November 2)

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Credomatic Ranks Hypercom Best Payment Provider

Hypercom has announced its ranking as “Best Payment Provider” in
Central America by Credomatic merchant acquirer. On Credomatic’s
scale of a possible 100, Hypercom scored a 97. The payment
provider was evaluated in terms of product quality, delivery, warranty,
reclamations, additional services, features and benefits. Card payment
providers are becoming increasingly significant with more than 18 million
cards issued in 2006 and nearly 30% of retail purchases now made with
cards versus cash, according to industry sources. Installed point-of-sale
terminals now exceeds 115,000 and is growing, momentum that can be
credited to Credomatic’s expertise in payment system automation services.
Credomatic is currently supported by more than 70% of the region’s banks.

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Most U.S. Consumers Check Credit Reports

A March poll of 500 consumers found that consumers know their credit score and report them accurately. Nearly 60% of consumers believe that checking their credit report on a regular basis is critical in protecting their creditworthiness. The research conducted by Auriemma Consulting Group also found that consumers focus more on monitoring their credit reports than their credit scores. Nearly 70% plan to obtain a credit report in the next six months, and 48% have done so within the past year. ACG noted that the average score identified by survey participants was 735, about 10 points higher than the actual average.

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