Oberthur Card Systems Takes Over Scratch Cards

Control of scratch cards has been given to Oberthur Card Systems by
The Francois-Charles Oberthur Group. The Group decided to combine
all its subsidiary mobile operator-businesses within Oberthur Card Systems.
Therefore, Oberthur Card Systems will now control sales generated by
scratch cards along with the production activities carried out in the
Puy-Guillaume plant in France and satellite plants throughout the world.
Oberthur Card Systems, a subsidiary of the Francois-Charles Oberthur Group,
had sales of 524 million euros in 2006, 47% of which were from payment
services and 37% of revenues were generated through mobile communications.
Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire had revenues of 745 million euros in
2006 and employs 5,000 people worldwide.

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Foreclosure Rates are Not Unusually High

A report released today predicts a credit crunch is impending following the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market and the possibility of more restrictive mortgage regulation. The American Financial Services Association study says a 20% reduction in sub-prime lending levels would deny 1.1 million borrowers or 2.3% of homeowners the ability to own a home. However, the data do not demonstrate that current foreclosure rates are unusually high. The AFSA study found that current rates of foreclosures, including those for sub-prime loans, fall within the range of historical fluctuations recorded since 1998. Foreclosure rates were at historical highs during 2001- 2003, and current foreclosure rates are again beginning to reach those levels, after a significant drop in 2004-2005.

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CUP & H50

China UnionPay has certified Blue Bamboo’s “H50” terminal. The “H50” is a handheld POS terminal supporting GPRS, contactless, dial-up and Bluetooth connectivity. The terminal supports credit, debit, gift and loyalty payment. The company also manufacturers the “P25” printer for portable and wireless applications. Blue Bamboo has operated in China since 2003. The company is a division of Shera International and a sister company to Shera Technology, a 13-year-old manufacturer of POS terminals, thermal printers and electronic devices with state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities. Shanghai-based China UnionPay has more than 175 banks and financial institutions in China as members representing more than 550 million CUP cards.

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Small Biz Economic Confidence Stabilizes

Economic confidence among small business owners fell slightly in May after a very sharp drop in April which was driven by a deteriorating outlook on economic conditions for their businesses, rising insecurity about the U.S. economy and increased cash flow issues. The good news is the decline has slowed and it may point to some stability for the upcoming summer season. The Discover “Small Business Watch” indicator dipped to 110.0 in May, compared to 110.3 for April and 117.7 for March. Discover’s latest survey also found that slightly more than one out of six small business owners work every day of the week compared to one out of every 16 people who work for someone else. Nearly one of three business owners indicated they work at least 10 hours or more per day on average. More than half of the business owners took seven days or less off work last year, compared to 36% of the general population. About 47% said that they always or mostly work on official holidays.

Discover Small Business Watch
Aug 06: 100.0
Sep 06: 107.0
Oct 06: 120.0
Nov 06: 130.0
Dec 06: 109.7
Jan 07: 114.3
Feb 07: 113.4
Mar 07: 117.7
Apr 07: 110.3
May 07: 110.0
Source: Discover Business Card

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PCI Security Council Names Advisors

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has released election
results for the PCI SSC Board of Advisors to represent 200 PCI SSC
Participating Organizations. These organizations will provide feedback
for the enhancement of security standards and more than 100 from across
the payment industry were nominated. Of those nominated, 14
organizations have been elected to serve on the board and they include
APACS, Bank of America, British Airways, Chase Paymentech,
First Data Corporation, JP Morgan Chase and Co., Microsoft, Moneris
Solutions Corporation, PayPal, Royal Bank of Scotland, Tesco Stores,
TSYS Acquiring Solutions, VeriFone Inc, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Over the next few months, an additional seven seats will be appointed
by the PCI SSC Executive Council to fill any gaps in representation,
including any under-represented stakeholder sector or geographic market.

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Body Shop to Deploy $$$ ON THE NET

Shift4 has signed Body Shop of America to offer its “$$$ ON THE NET” Web-based payment gateway. This agreement enables Body Shop of America to process credit card and mail-order/telephone order transactions quickly, accurately and securely using Shift4’s $$$ ON THE NET web-based payment gateway. $$$ ON THE NET provides high-speed and low-cost authorizations and settlements for credit, debit, check, private label and gift card transactions and also helps Body Shop of America with PCI compliance. Body Shop of America is a specialty retailer of apparel and accessories at value prices focusing on women in their teens and twenties. Shift4, is a developer of secure financial transaction processing software and services, provides web-based, real-time enterprise payment solutions for leaders in the hospitality, retail, foodservices, auto rental and e-commerce markets.

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EMV Means Expansion For Datacard

Datacard Group has announced that EMV’s end-to-end solution
is to thank for the company’s expansion in Asia-Pacific markets.
With the increasing demand for multi-application cards, enhanced EMV
cards incorporate new security features. The new Datacard solution allows
increasing security levels as needs change and as global identification
technology evolves. The equipment and software’s ability to handle any
card type is another advantage because card issuers have more
flexibility in selecting the most cost-effective chip platform. The
solutions
include systems and equipment to personalize cards, logical and physical
security with multiple ways to protect cardholder and production data,
and Datacard “Certified Supplies” and “Datacard Global Services”
give issuers access to premium systems for a variety of applications.
Datacard Group serves customers in more than 120 countries.

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Toys “R” Us Gift Cards Get Personal

Toys “R” Us,has announced a new online service that allows customers to purchase personalized gift cards from home. Online shoppers can choose from eight pre-designed gift cards or make their own personalized creation featuring a cherished photo, customized message or distinctive background art. Cards can be selected from a wide assortment of designs to fit any special occasion. Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us gift cards can be purchased in stores and redeemed online, or purchased online and redeemed in any Toys “R” Us or Babies “R” Us location nationwide. Toys “R” Us is the world’s leading specialty toy retailer with more than 1,500 stores.

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RDM Completes the Sale Of Xign

RDM Corporation has announced that the sale of Xign Corporation
has been complete and the company has received $8.6 million CD
for the transaction. RDM may receive up to an additional $1.2 million
CD currently held in escrow for a one year period and will be determined
by different factors, including the final purchase price adjustments. The
impact of the disposal on EPS, to be recognized in RDM’s 3Q07, is
$0.10 to $0.16.

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PR Wins Award Over the BMW MINI VISA

NY-based Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications has been honored by the Public Relations Society of America for its program with BMW and MINI Financial Services to launch the “MINI Platinum VISA” The CJP team strategically engaged MINI enthusiasts via high-traffic auto blogs and various online communities, starting hundreds of conversations about the pending release of the MINI Card three weeks before the official launch date. The 2007 New Media Campaign honor, the first given by the Awards committee, recognizes communications programs that utilize new media strategies and tactics as their primary source of outreach to generate awareness or influence behavior. Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications services include media relations, financial public relations, investor relations, strategic consumer communications, corporate advisory, executive positioning, issues management, graphic design and publishing.

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Orlandi Valuta & Vigo Implement Remittance

Orlandi Valuta and Vigo have announced the implementation of
remittance services in 215 Soriana and Mercado Soriana grocery stores
throughout Mexico. With this development, consumers can send funds
from Vigo and Orlandi Valuta Agent locations to the 215 Soriana and
Mercado Soriana locations in Mexico to be disbursed on loyalty cards
issued on location. Orlandi Valuta is a subsidiary of The Western Union
Company offering money transfers to Central America and has more than
12,000 locations worldwide, approximately 7,000 of which that offer both
Orlandi Valuta and Western Union services. Vigo Remittance Corp is also
a subsidiary of The Western Union Company and has over 4,000 agents in
45 states in the U.S. and more than 30,000 locations worldwide. Soriana
currently has 234 stores in 108 cities and 29 states in Mexico and six
distribution centers.

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Q1 Debit Card PDV Bucks Historical Trends

U.S. debit card purchase dollar volume continued to march upward in the first quarter besting the prior quarter by $3 billion. Historically, there is a slight dip in debit card PDV during the first three months of the year. According to CardData, debit card volume hit $189.1 billion in the first quarter, compared to $186.1 billion in the prior quarter. VISA’s consumer signature debit purchase volume rose 8.4% to $119 billion for the first quarter. MasterCard’s first quarter debit purchase volume, which now includes all PIN debit data and online debit, rose 45.3% to $63 billion. MasterCard began including online debit in the second quarter of last year. At the end of the first quarter VISA had 208 million consumer debit cards in force while MasterCard reported 103 million debit cards.

U.S. VISA/MC DEBIT CARD PURCHASE VOLUME
2Q/06: $177.1 billion
3Q/06: $179.5 billion
4Q/06: $186.1 billion
1Q/07: $189.1 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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