PBS Inks Acceptance Agreement With CUP

As a means of extending its international network of countries and
merchants, China Unionpay has signed agreements with PBS. Because
of this development, 30,000 merchants in Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and
Norway under contract for international card acceptance with PBS will be
able to accept CUP. This is important considering the growing number of
tourists to the country, 1.3 million of which were European and is
projected that by the year 2020, China will have 100 million tourists.
Currently, CUP cards are accepted in European countries such as Germany,
The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Italy and Spain. CUP has a
total of 23 branches and 180 members, among which 24 are overseas
financial institutions. PBS has 900 employees and handles over 1.3
billion card transactions annually.

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AmEx Opens Travel Package Auction Next Week

Starting next week, U.K. American Express cardholders can bid online for nine declining-price travel packages, offered in varying quantities, ranging from 10 to 30. AmEx will auction off one travel package a day – and once a trip goes on sale, the price drops every twenty minutes. The deals will continue to drop in price until 7:00 pm ET or until the packages sell out, whichever comes first. The “Going Once” Web site will also feature 19 fixed price packages under $3,000 and more than 150 travel deals. The first package up for bidding on April 17th is a six night trip to Florence which starts at $7,740. The promotion will end on April 27th.

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Altair Set to Hit 1MM Prepaid MasterCards

Altair Financial Services International
Plc has accumulated orders for more than a quarter of a million Prepaid
Cards since it was certified as a MasterCard Service provider in
October 2006 and is on track to reach a million Prepaid Cards by May
2007. Altair provides branded Prepaid Card solutions to the retail and
corporate environment including features and applications that meet
clients’ requirements. Cards can be re-loadable or non-re-loadable,
personalized, available by mail-order cards or instant issue, issued for
ATM, Point of Sale and/or Internet transactions.

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FleetCor Acquires Fuel Card Co

FleetCor has announced the acquisition of Fuel Card Company UK, broadening the company’s presence in the U.K. Because of this
development, FleetCor will acquire Fuel Card’s many partnerships
with such companies as Shell, Esso, and Texaco and agreements
with over 5,000 business fleets. FleetCor serves over 500,000 business
fleets and has approximately 3 million cardholders in the US, Canada,
and Europe. The company also has over 700 employees in 20 offices.

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ROMPETROL MASTERCARD

The Rompetrol Group has launched the “Fill & Go Credit MasterCard”.
“Fill & Go Credit” offers price cuts for most products and
services provided in Rompetrol filling stations and by a series of
companies associated with the launch. A grace period of 45 days with 0%
interest will be granted for transactions carried out with retailers.
The first 3,000 clients applying for “Fill & Go Credit” won’t pay an
issuance charge or annual administration charge in the first year.
Rompetrol Downstream operates an approximately 300-strong filling
stations network.

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Avis Selects CyberSource for Payment Processing

As a means of making car rental reservations as easy as possible, Avis
Europe has chosen CyberSource to provide electronic payment processing
for their new website. CyberSource will enable Avis to accept payments
in a range of currencies and offers a highly secure payment infrastructure.
Avis representatives say that the company’s experience with eCommerce
payment solutions is what influenced their decision to go with the provider.
Over 18,000 companies use CyberSource Solution around the world.

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Gemalto To Provide BASE With a Payment Solution

Gemalto will provide mobile operator BASE with a solution allowing
subscribers to perform secure payment by sending an SMS. This service
enables consumers to pay with their mobile phone easily and permits
merchants to get paid immediately. The solution is compatible with third
generation SIM cards and incorporates m-banxafe technology designed by
Banksys for payment authorization and security and targets multiple services
and industry. For activation, the customer selects his mobile payment PIN
and creates a link between his banking details and the PIN code on the
SIM card. Gemalto had 2006 annual revenues of EUR1.7 billion, operations
in about 100 countries and over 10,000 employees including 1,500 R&D
engineers.

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ATMs for Government Premises

Banks have been met with positive reaction from government departments on
the suggestion of installing ATMs on government premises. The venues
considered for ATM installation include leisure and cultural venues,
district
offices and post offices and concern the departments of housing, food and
environmental hygiene and home affairs. However, venues for consideration will not
include shopping arcades. Advocates for the ATM placement
argue that the ATMs would significantly boost banks’ operational
capabilities.
Replacing traditional banking methods, the total number of transactions
through ATMs, telephone and Internet banking services in Hong Kong rose
from 77 percent in 2003 to 86 percent in 2006. Currently, there are 1,223
bank branches operating in the Hong Kong Region, 18 bank branches for
every 100,000 citizens, a figure relatively unchanged since 2003.

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Kasikornbank Picks Moody To Manage Portfolio

Moody’s KMV has announced that Kasikornbank will use their
management tools to facilitate regulatory compliance and to calibrate the bank’s credit risk management model. Through use of empirical credit
migration and validated data on correlations over two business cycles,
Moody will allow the bank to examine the drivers of portfolio risk and
economic capital allocation gain. Moody also analyzes the impact of rating, recovery, term, industry, size and other portfolio risks to curb
volatility and improve return on the bank’s portfolio of credit. The
company is a provider of quantitative credit risk solutions to
lenders, investors and corporations and serves over 1,700 clients in 85
countries. In total assets, Kasikornbank is the 4th largest bank in
Thailand and has registered capital Baht 30.5 billion and paid up capital of Baht 23.7 billion, total assets of Baht 845.1 billion, total deposits of Baht 685.8 billion and total loans of Baht 629.1 billion. The bank has 551 branches through out the country in all 76 provinces.

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First EMV Contactless Transaction

The first EMV contactless transaction in Europe according to Swiss technology standards and rules took place March 29th, using OTI’s “Saturn 6000” and Hypercom’s “T2100.” The transaction took less than 0.5 seconds. The transaction was initiated by MasterCard Europe and the Swiss Bank Aduno Group, in collaboration with a McDonald’s restaurant, in Stadelhofen, Zurich. The market launch of contactless card payment technology in Switzerland is projected to commence this year, following pilots in Zurich, Lausanne and Lugano. The “Saturn 6000” supports “VISA Contactless,” AmEx’s “ExpressPay,” Discover’s “Zip” as well as programs for mass transit ticketing, MIFARE, loyalty, and third party applications. The “Optimum T2100” is a high-speed countertop terminal based on a 32-bit RISC processor with 12 megabytes of memory and dial communication.

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JAL SPDB CARD

Japan Airlines International and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank
have teamed to launch a co-branded credit card. The new “JAL SPDB”
offers China Union Pay and JCB functions. Cardholders earn “JMB Mileage”
for award tickets from JAL traveling to Japan and other parts of the
world. Upon successful application of “JAL SPDB” co-branded credit card,
cardholders receive a 5,000 “JMB Mileage” bonus. Applicants have to be
over 25 and a resident of China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan).

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VISA WAVE

In Malaysia, VISA has been developing an environment suitable for
contactless payments with the introduction of the “Visa Wave”. Since
2005, 33,000 “Wave” cards have been issued and are accepted at
2,500 outlets. The company has partnered with Al Rajhi Bank as an
issuer of the program, the sixth bank to do so, and Parkson Retail Chain
has recently joined the program. Transactions using the “Wave” take no
more than two seconds and require a minimum purchase of at least RM150.

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