SKYPASS VISA Launches a Sweepstakes

U.S. Bank and Korean Air are celebrating the fifth anniversary of SKYPASS Visa with a special sweepstakes. The sweepstakes offers a chance to win one of four first prizes of 50,000 SKYPASS miles or the grand prize of two round-trip business class tickets from the United States to a Korean Air destination and a $10,000 U.S. Bank Gift Card. Current SKYPASS Visa cardmembers will be automatically entered once for every $1 they spend on the card in net purchases. U.S. Bank and Korean Air will also offer new cardmembers bonus miles when they make their first purchase using their SKYPASS Visa. The SKYPASS Visa allows customers to earn miles for net purchases charged with no cap on the miles earned and their miles never expire. Korean Air, has a fleet of 122 aircraft and is one of the world’s top 20 airlines, operating almost 400 flights per day to 112 cities in 36 countries. U.S. Bancorp has $221 billion in assets, and is the parent company of U.S. Bank.

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31% of Americans to Give Grad Gift Cards

A new survey has found that it is most likely this year’s high school and college graduates will receive cash from most of their older relatives and friends. Overall, 31% of Americans will hand-out gift cards this year, but 43% of those between ages 18 and 24 will do so, compared to 29% of those over age 55. The National Retail Federation’s inaugural Graduation survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found that 59% will give cash, while tangible favorites like apparel (9.1%) and electronics (11.5%) will take a backseat. The survey found that Americans will spend $4.5 billion on graduation gifts this year. Parents and grandparents will spend the most on graduation gifts this year, with the average American over the age of 45 spending over $110 on gifts.

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Covera Offers CU’s PCI Compliance

NY-based Covera Card Solutions, a provider of ATM, debit and credit card processing services, announced it will now be offering compliance support to all client credit unions for their ATM, credit and debit programs at no additional cost. Covera decided to introduce the free value-added service after they began receiving a myriad of compliance calls. Many of the calls were received whenever new federal or state changes were made to existing card regulations. Coveraâ™s Compliance Solutions services include: Hotline and e-mail support; webinars; updates/bulletins as needed; and compliance related articles in Covera Solutions, Coveraâ™s quarterly newsletter. Covera Card Solutions, a division of CUC Services Inc., provides credit unions in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut with flexible card programs.

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NOVA Offers PCI Compliance to Level 4

NOVA Information Systems has launched a data security compliance program to help “Level 4” merchants comply with the Payment Card Industry Data security Standard. According to the PCI DSS, Level 4 merchants are defined by processing fewer than 20,000 e-commerce transactions and/or fewer than 1 million VISA or MasterCard transactions annually. All of NOVA’s Level 4 merchants will now have access to AmbironTrustWave’s Risk Profiler, an automated risk analysis engine. The tool has primarily been used by acquirers and ISOs to identify and aggregate risk across their entire merchant base. According to an analysis of AmbironTrustWave data compromise investigations, Level 4 merchants account for more than 80 percent of the cases in which credit card data is stolen from merchants. AmbironTrustWave is a global provider of information security and compliance management solutions to businesses and the public sector. NOVA currently processes for more than 850,000 merchants in North America, most of which meet the Level 4 criteria and is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp.

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CU Card Portfolio Sales Remain Brisk

The average credit card portfolio sold by a credit union is down slightly this year to $6.4 million, the lowest in at least six years. During the first quarter, 17 credit unions with portfolios of more than $1 million in outstanding balances sold their portfolios, compared to 13 in 1Q/06. According to NH-based Brookwood Capital total balances sold during the quarter were approximately $108 million, compared to $97 million during the same period one-year ago. The brokerage firm says that since 2002 13% of all credit union credit card issuers with credit card portfolios of over $1 million in receivables have outsourced their card programs to third party partners. Brookwood also noted that some portfolio buyers are now closely affiliated with the credit union movement, while others are going with more traditional commercial bank buyers. Brookwood Capital specializes in credit union credit card deals. The Company recently facilitated the establishment of a credit card partnership between IN-based First Trust Credit Union and TNB Card Services.

CU PORTFOLIO SALES
Year Total Outstandings Average
2002 41 $285 million $7.0 million
2003 59 $419 million $7.1 million
2004 67 $459 million $6.9 million
2005 65 $481 million $7.4 million
2006 69 $466 million $6.7 million
1Q/07 17 $108 million $6.4 million
Source: Brookwood Capital

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ADS Signs Gardner-White Furniture Card

Alliance Data Systems has signed a multi-year agreement to provide private label credit card services for MI-based Gardner-White Furniture Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will provide private label credit card services including account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization; private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; customer service functions; and marketing services for Gardner-White. Alliance Data’s platform will also seamlessly integrate with Gardner-White’s inventory management system, which tracks in real time all merchandise inventory, delivery, and purchases, including purchases made with the Gardner-White private label credit card. Alliance Data is a leading provider of marketing, loyalty and transaction services, managing over 120 million consumer relationships.

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G&D 2006

Munich-based family-owned Giesecke & Devrient generated close to EUR 1.3 billion in revenues last year, a 5% increase over the prior year. Cards and Services, the second largest business unit, withstood the relentless pressure on margins to ratchet up sales by 3.8% to EUR 484 million. However, the Company reported EUR 595 million for the same unit last year. The Banknote, G&D’s largest business unit contributed EUR 696 million, a 13% increase. Government Solutions, the third
business unit specializing in security documents, passports and ID
cards, generated EUR 113 million in sales in 2006. Foreign customers accounted for 83 percent of sales in the 2006 financial year, especially in Asia, where growth was strongest. For complete details on G&D’s latest performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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LINK Appoints a New Management Team

Receivables Management Company, LINK Financial Group, has appointed
Stephan Schuller as Managing Director of Unsecured, Dr Christine Reisinger
as Managing Director of Secured, and Simon Coates as Head of Operations
for the German Senior Management team. Stephan Sculler was previously
Head of Global Risk and Portfolio Management for EOS Solutions where he
developed international business. Prior to that he was Risk and
Portfolio Manager
at InFoScore Finance AG and a graduate of the University of Mannheim,
Germany
with Degree in Business and Finance. Dr. Christine Reisinger came from
Hudson
Advisers GmbH as Director of Asset Management and has a Degree in
Real Estate Economics from the European Business School, and a PhD in Law
from the University of Hamburg. Simon Coates was a Senior Asset Manager at
Hudson Advisers and has 20 years’ banking experience. He has worked with
Standard Bank, Citibank, HBOS and BNP Paribas and has a BSc in Economics
and a Securities’ Institute diploma.

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Blackhawk Network Drives Netspend’s Growth

NetSpend has expanded its network to include 8,851 retailers to distribute its prepaid card products. The expansion is a result of NetSpend’s relationship with Blackhawk Network, a card-based financial solutions company and provider of third-party prepaid cards. Retailers offering NetSpend Gift Cards include A&P, Albertsons, Bartell Drugs, Bashas, Big Y Foods, Inc., Bi-Lo, Circle K, D’Agostino, Food Lion, Giant Eagle, Haggen Food and Pharmacy, Harps, Harveys Supermarkets, Hy-Vee, King Kullen, Kings Super Markets, Lowes, Minyard Food Stores, Pathmark, Price Chopper, QuickChek, Roundys, Save Mart Supermarkets, Shop ‘n Save, Snyders, Stater Bros, United Supermarkets, Wakefern, Wegmans, White Hen, Ahold brands Giant Carlisle, Giant Landover, Stop & Shop and Tops, and Penn Traffic Company brands BiLo Foods, Quality Markets and Riverside Markets. Issuers of NetSpend Prepaid Cards are Inter National Bank and MetaBank. The NetSpend Prepaid Card Network includes leading consumer brands and the foremost companies serving the un-banked and under-banked markets, and its strategic relationships include card issuers, EFT networks and payment card associations.

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18MM Britons Now Bank Online

APACS’ 10th anniversary for online banking this week emphasizes the
importance and popularity of Internet use for banking and payments. In 2006,
18.1 million British consumers were using online banking, more than half of
UK Bank customers and, for the first time, a number greater than those
who bank over the phone. Of the online banking customers, 90% also shop
online with 84% of those using their online bank account. With this
increase
in Internet banking, so too increased is fraud. APACS research shows online
banking fraud amounted to GBP 33.5 million of losses compared with GBP
23.2 million in 2005.

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