FreeStar Technology Q1 Revenues Rise 128%

Freestar Technology has announced that, in comparison with 1Q/06,
1Q/07 revenues have increased by 128% with a total revenue of
$1,125,634. Increases in transaction processing, hardware sales, and
consulting revenue, derived from the Company’s 50% ownership of
Project Life Cycle Partners Limited, have all contributed to the
revenue growth. FreeStar Technology provides solutions to the
financial industry worldwide and works with merchants and acquirers
in over 20 countries.

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ECHO Names a New In-House General Counsel

Electronic Clearing House has hired Shawn Alikian, formerly with the Homestore, as in-house General Counsel . At Homestore he served as division counsel and vice president of corporate development where he was a legal strategist and executive responsible for business transactions, corporate matters and legal issues. Earlier in his legal career, Alikian was a corporate and business transaction attorney for Sideman & Bancroft LLP, San Francisco, California, and a business transaction and litigation attorney for Lang, Richert & Patch. Alikian holds a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, an MBA from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. ECHO provides a complete solution to the payment processing needs of merchants, technology companies, banks and collection agencies.

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IHG and SPDBCCC to Launch a Co-Branded VISA

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank
Credit Card Center (SPDBCCC) have introduced the “Priority Club Rewards”
co-branded Visa credit card in China. The new card will allow members to
earn
points on purchases and double points on all spending in IHG hotels. The
card is
also offering bonus points for incentive when cardholders sign up. Once
members,
cardholders can redeem Priority Club points for free IHG night stays at
66 hotels
in China and more over 3,700 hotels worldwide, can receive airline
rewards, store
vouchers, “Crowne Plaza Golf Rewards” and a variety of spa services
throughout
Asia-Pacific. “Priority Club Rewards” has more than 33 million members,
600,000
of which are in China, and is growing at a monthly average rate of
15,000 members.
Shanghai Pudong Development Bank is a national commercial bank with 366
branch
offices around China.

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Foreword Financial Expo Slated for September

Pulvermedia’s Foreword Financial will host the “Foreword Financial Expo” on September 5-7 in Chicago. The various conferences include: Bank Card Conference; Bank Technology Conference; Brokers & Asset Managers Conference for Operations and Technology; Operations Conference for Securities & Trust; Financial Services Outsourcing Forum; Financial Services Security Forum; Mobile Financial Services Forum and the FSTC Fall Open Forum. Foreword Financial Expo’s content has been developed in partnership with such industry leaders as Cannon Financial Institute, Financial Services Technology Consortium and Independent Community Bankers of America. Current sponsors include Broadridge, CA, Clairmail, DTCC, First Data, Fiserv, MagTek, MasterCard, TSYS and Varolii. Media sponsors include Cardweb, Nilson Report, Prepaid Press, and Smart Card Alliance.

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SECUREPAY

Telsecure Group, in association with SyBase365 and Ingenico, has
introduced “securePay”. The new solution is designed to prevent card
fraud over the Internet, phone and through mail operating as a single
multi-functional platform with a single point of integration for issuers to
mitigate card-not-present fraud. Sybase365 and Ingenico provide mobile
connectivity and operates on a platform built around the core of consumer
verification. Card-Not-Present fraud accounts for half of all card payment
fraud in the UK at GBP216.6 million. securePay will work with 730
networks and will provide 99.8% coverage of the networks in the UK.

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Altair & Vodatel Introduce “iPay”

Altair Financial Services International and Vodatel have announced the
introduction of “iPay”, a prepaid and stored-value card solution. The
solution will be available in the Middle East, Africa, India, and Asia
Pacific and will begin trading for 3Q07. The market for prepaid cards is
estimated at US$3 trillion and the value of global money remittance is
estimated at over US$290 billion. These cards can be used at over 24
million ATMs worldwide and terminals accepting Mastercard and Visa.

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E-PAYMENT PREFERENCES

Nearly three-fourths of consumers in Ireland and France prefer to use credit cards to make online purchases, compared to only 20% in Germany where direct debit remains king. A new study also found that 44% of British consumers prefer credit card and 27% prefer debit cards for epayments. The white paper released by CyberSource notes that accepting regional or country-specific payment types can provide a dramatic lift in online sales. But, it can also pose unexpected and complex operational challenges if not approached properly. The company says you can accept “remote” transactions in U.S. dollars using global payment cards, while maintaining acquiring relationships in the USA. However, customers outside the U.S. market will bear the foreign exchange burden and may not prefer this payment method. As a result your sales may be constrained. CyberSource provides electronic payment and risk management solutions and has about 20,000 businesses using its solutions.

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Acxiom Corporation Acquired for $3B

Silver Lake and ValueAct Capital have agreed to acquire Acxiom Corporation for $3 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Acxiom stockholders will receive $27.10 in cash for each outstanding share of stock. This represents a premium of approximately 14 percent over the closing share price on May 16, 2007, the last trading day before disclosure of the agreement with Silver Lake and ValueAct Capital with respect to the acquisition of the company and a premium of approximately 20 percent per share over Acxiom’s average closing price per share during the 30 trading days ended May 16, 2007. The merger agreement provides that Acxiom may solicit and entertain proposals from other companies during the next 60 days. In accordance with the agreement, the board of directors of Acxiom, through the special committee and with the assistance of its independent advisors, intends to actively solicit other proposals during this period. Acxiom Corporation integrates data, services and technology. Silver Lake is an investment firm focused on large scale investments in technology, technology-enabled, and related growth industries.

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MAR DEBT

Credit card debt stayed flat in March, after setting a new record in the prior month of A$39.5 billion. Credit card volume was up 6% compared to one year ago and remains sluggish in the wake of credit card surcharge fees. Credit card debt is up 13.5%, compared to March 2006. Credit card limits reached a new high at A$107.0 billion, marking the seventh consecutive month of A$100+ billion. Card volume was A$16.6 billion during March, compared to a previous record of A$17.1 billion set in December, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. One-year ago credit card debt stood at A$34.8 billion. There are currently 13.5 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 12.8 million one-year ago.

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PIN-less Dialing on VSD Calling Cards

FL-based Voice Stream Data has added PIN-less dialing to its virtual calling card, allowing VSD calling card holders to authenticate their number from any touch tone phone. The new feature allows VSD calling cardholders to authenticate their number from any touch tone phone. Once authenticated in the VSD system, the caller’s phone number will then be used as the PIN, rather than the actual PIN on their card. Callers who wish not to reveal their PIN and not utilize this new system, may choose not to authenticate their number when prompted by the calling system. Voice Stream Data is a global Tier 1 communications company specializing in VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) telephony services for mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.

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Bank Islam Malaysia Launches Debit Card

Bank Islam expects credit card holders to increase from 250,000 to 450,000
by June 2008, a market to which the bank currently has a 1.5% share. In
response, the bank has launched its first debit card, the “Bank Islam
Tourist
Friend MasterCard Unembossed Prepaid Card”, to be marketed toward
Middle Eastern and Chinese tourists. The Tourism Ministry is expecting 20.1
million tourists and RM44.5 billion in tourism this year, an increase of
2.56
million from last year. Furthermore, of the tourists last year,186,821 were
visitors from the Middle East. For the “Bank Islam Tourist Friend
MasterCard
Unembossed Prepaid Card”, the bank expects 600,000 holders.

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VISA Commercial Q1 PDV Rises 16.5%

VISA USA reports that commercial purchase dollar volume for the first quarter was up 16.5% over 1Q/06. For the past four quarters commercial card PDV rose 20% to more than $180 billion. During the first quarter VISA added 1.3 net new commercial accounts, ending the quarter with 31.5 million. One-year ago VISA reported 26.3 million accounts. The number of commercial cards increased 13.4% to 29.5 million. The commercial segment has consistently logged about 300 million transactions per quarter over the past year. For complete details on VISA’s latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

VISA U.S. COMMERCIAL
(Purchase Dollar Volume)
1Q/06: $39.5 billion
2Q/06: $43.9 billion
3Q/06: $45.4 billion
4Q/06: $45.5 billion
1Q/07: $46.0 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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