PaidByCash Network is Launched

Retail Expansion Network has introduced “PaidByCash”, a new coast-to-coast cash network that allows online retailers and shoppers to complete a cash transaction over the Internet. “PaidByCash provides a zip code mapping program that directs customers to any one of 60,000 locations in the PaidByCash network, usually a nearby grocery or convenience store. The consumer pays cash at these locations and then verifies their payment on the “PaidByCash” website. The consumer is then instantly issued a Virtual MasterCard that is used to pay the online merchant. Any Internet retailer that currently accepts debit MasterCard can add the PaidByCash logo to their checkout process and immediately begin accepting cash from their customers.

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Small Business Confidence Slips

Small business owners’ confidence in the economy edged down slightly in February. The “Discover Small Business Watch” found rising optimism by business owners but it was offset by an increase in cash flow issues. Cash flow concerns crept upward across the board, especially among business owners who sell products: 40% of those businesses reported a significant jump in cash flow concerns, compared to 24% the previous month. Businesses are still focusing on growth: On the hiring front, 17% of owners plan to hire more workers in February, compared to 14% last month; 39% also plan to spend more on business development, which is up from 35% last month. The February measurement was 113.4 down less than a point from January’s 114.3 mark.

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DCS Signs its 300th CardWizard Client

Dynamic Card Solutions signed its 300th customer, MN-based Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union. Affinity Plus plans to have DCS’ CardWizard technology fully implemented in 14 branches by the end of February, allowing credit union employees to instantly issue cards to customers Affinity Plus FCU is owned by over 126,000 members and holds over $1 billion in assets. Dynamic Card Solutions is an instant issuance provider for Visa and MasterCard debit cards for financial institutions and retailers to quickly and securely issue ATM, debit and credit cards instantly at branch or store locations.

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TNB Acquires an OH CU Portfolio

Dallas-based TNB Card Services has acquired the credit card portfolio from Columbus, Ohio-based CME Federal Credit Union in a purchase that encompasses 5,500 cards and more than $15 million in balances. TNB has bought more than 100 credit union card portfolios since launching its agent issuing program in 2002. CME Federal Credit Union holds $165 million in assets and has more than 25,000 members and four branches. TNB Card Services provides electronic payments processing, as well as an agent issuing solution for credit unions nationwide serving more than 450 financial institutions and managing more than 1.6 million cards.

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Punjab National Bank to Offer Aladdin eTokens

Punjab National Bank has chosen Aladdin “eToken” for the protection
of its’ customer and company data. Aladdin’s security requires two
factor authentication: the card user must be in possession of the device
and know the access pin to use the identity credential stored on the
“eToken”. The “eToken” device provides strong user authentication and
cost-effective password management solutions enabling organizations to
easily and effectively expand business opportunities with secure network
access. Aladdin has offices in 10 countries and a worldwide network of
channel partners.

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FAIR Attacks BofA & Patriot Act

The Federation for American Immigration Reform also attacked BofA’s pilot to market credit cards to illegal aliens. FAIR says the banking provisions of the “USA Patriot Act” gives BofA the green light. But, the law has one provision that troubles many of its critics. It allows financial institutions to accept some official identification sources issued by foreign governments, including the matricula consular, an ID issued by Mexican consulate offices to its nationals living outside Mexico, as valid. FAIR says the loophole was included in the “Patriot Act” because the banking industry lobbied heavily to get it into the law, so that they could do business with illegal aliens. FAIR says BofA is too big and powerful to really care what most Americans think.

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Card Type Approval Process for CCD & CPA Launched

For “Common Core Definitions” (CCD) and “Common Payment Application” (CPA)
compliant cards, EMV has introduced a “Card Type Approval” process. This
process is verification by EMVCo that a specific card product has
demonstrated conformance to the EMV Specifications. EMV offers a ‘one
stop’ “Card Type Approval” recognized by major payment system members.
EMVCo’s primary role is to manage, maintain and enhance the EMV
“Integrated Circuit Card Specifications” to ensure interoperability and
acceptance of payment system integrated circuit cards on a worldwide basis.

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Obopay Lands a Top CFO

Redwood City, CA-based Obopay has hired a new CFO. Dave Johnson has about 30 years in international financial services. He was COO and/or CFO at PayPal, BancAmerica Securities; BankAmerica Europe, Middle East and Africa Group; and Washington Mutual Capital. Obopay, founded in 2005, specializes in mobile payment and social money services in the U.S. Obopay has a management team comprised of former executives from VISA, Microsoft, Yahoo, Expedia, AT&T Wireless, Western Union, First Data, Norwest Bank and Chordiant Software.

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EchoStar DISH Network Joins Green Dot

Los Angeles-based Green Dot Financial Network has teamed with EchoStar Communications’ DISH Network satellite TV service to accept consumer payments for DISH Network services. The move will expand payment options for DISH Network and DISH Network’s DishNOW! cash customers by allowing them to pay for satellite TV service using a “Green Dot MoneyPak”. DISH Network customers purchase a “Green Dot MoneyPak” and load a dollar amount onto it. Customers then simply call DISH Network and select “pay with Green Dot MoneyPak” to pay their bill or load a DishNOW! pre-paid satellite system card. Green Dot Corporation is a provider of retail based financial services for America’s underserved community. EchoStar Communications Corporation serves more than 12.46 million satellite TV customers through its DISH Network.

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Gift Card Malls Gain Popularity

A new survey has found that 22% of adults purchased cards at a gift card mall this year, up from 14% in 2006. The poll also reveals that 60% of recipients have redeemed all of the gift cards they received in the past holiday season. The Comdata research found that 80% of consumers would prefer to receive a gift card from a favorite store rather than a gift chosen for them by the giver. More than half say they would be very or somewhat likely to purchase a gift card at a kiosk or cart at an airport or shopping mall. One-quarter of purchasers bought one or more gift cards online. Of those, approximately one-third indicated that this was the first time they had purchased a gift card through the Internet. Comdata says 53% of respondents say they often spend more than the original amount on the gift card, adding an average of 17%.

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Citi Hires American Express’ CFO

Gary Crittenden, EVP/CFO and head of Global Network Services at American Express, resigned Friday to become Citi’s new CFO, effective March 12th. Dan Henry, EVP/CFO of U.S. Consumer, Small Business and Merchant Services was named EVP and acting CFO at American Express. Crittenden joined AmEx in June 2000 as EVP/CFO and took over Global Network Services in June 2005. He also is currently a director on the boards of UPS and Staples. Henry joined AmEx in 1990 as Comptroller.

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Ukrgasbank to Deploy CREDITINFO & Decision Manager

Ukrgasbank has implemented software including “Decision Manager”. The new
software processes applications executing “Debt Manager” automatically and
was designed by CREDITINFO
Group of Iceland. “Decision Manager” addresses credit risks and
provides scoring cards of different retail credit products. The software
rationalizes the credit application process, determining the credit
worthiness of those with questionable credit by highlighting faults on their
report. At the same time, “Decision Manager” encourages increasing credit
limits and lower interest rates of the more disciplined borrowers. The
software will be used mostly to determine mortgage and credit card
granting. Before the end of 2007, the Bank plans to open 150 more
mini-divisions equipped with these up-to-date banking technologies.

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