Comerica Opens a Resource Center

Detroit-based Comerica Bank has added a “Consumer Protection Resource Center” to its website. The Resource Center is designed to educate consumers on some of the ways they could become victims of fraud and provides information on common fraud scams, privacy, frequently asked questions and contacts for reporting suspicious activities, provides safety tips for ATM and debit cards, credit cards, online banking, laptops, computer/Internet use and e-mail. Comerica has also developed an Internet Fraud Protection brochure containing tips on how to prevent Internet fraud and definition of common types of Internet fraud, such as phishing, pharming and spoofing. The Resource Center can be accessed by going to http://www.comerica.com and clicking on Consumer Protection Center. Comerica Incorporated is a financial services company with total assets of $58 billion at December 31, 2006.

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GE Money Signs a BKBG Card Deal

GE Money’s Sales Finance unit and the Bath and Kitchen Buying Group have partnered to create a private label credit program through GE’s REFINEDesign and PROJECTLOANS programs. The new credit program offers a quick, easy application and sales process with promotional financing and deferred interest terms available. BKBG is a buying group within the kitchen and bath industry. It currently has 200 members with 250 showrooms in 47 states. Americans spent a record $215 billion on residential remodeling in 2005, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB).

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European Commission Targets Interchange

The European Commission has issued a report that claims large variations in merchant and interchange fees for payment cards, barriers to entry in the markets for payment systems and credit registers, obstacles to customer mobility and product tying. The Competition Commission says it will use its powers to level the playing field in the payment card industry. The EC says the outcome of the inquiry should boost retail banking competition in the run-up to the creation of the “Single Euro Payment Area.” MasterCard responded yesterday saying the report acknowledges the positive role of the industry in creating SEPA and that the Commission has abandoned the idea of abolishing the interchange fee. MasterCard noted that the EC still seems to believe that interchange fees should be reduced significantly, but is overlooking that zero or low interchange fees are often based on price regulation, cross-subsidization or operating losses. Most importantly, these programs do not deliver the competition throughout the value chain that SEPA aims to achieve.

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G&D Rolls-Out Next Gen Contactless

Giesecke & Devrient has rolled out a new generation of contactless payment cards for U.S. bankcard issuers. The “StarCL v2” contactless card product line provides bankcard issuers with a payment card platform that has major payment brand (e.g., MasterCard PayPass, Visa Contactless) applications loaded onto the card. The platform also features a built-in multi-application development environment to facilitate the deployment of value-added retail, loyalty, transit, and access control applications along with core payment processing. Giesecke & Devrient provides smart card based solutions for the fields of telecommunications, electronic payment, health care, ID, transportation, and Internet security (PKI).

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Gemalto Q4 Sales Driven by EMV & Pay-TV

Smart card specialist Gemalto reports that fourth quarter revenue declined 2% to $600 million due to varying performance between business segments with strong growth in Identity & Security and Secure Transactions offset by lower revenue in Mobile Communication. Revenue growth in the fourth quarter was led by on-going EMV deployment and gains in pay-TV. EMV smart cards sales were driven by strong growth in Latin America and in Asia, as well as solid activity in mature European markets. Robust sales in contactless technology were driven by deployments at large banks in the U.S. and combicards in North Asia. Contactless continues to gain market acceptance with numerous pilots on-going around the globe, notably now in Europe. In particular, Gemalto was selected by Garanti Bank in Turkey to provide solutions for Europe’s first large-scale deployment of contactless banking cards. During the quarter, Gemalto introduced “CardLikeMe,” an end-to-end solution for secure Internet design of personalized payment cards enabling card issuers. The Company also introduced a one-time password solution which consists of a family of secure user authentication devices, a browser plug-in, an authentication server and a user customer care portal. For complete details on Gemalto’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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BofA Adds Tools to My Portfolio

Bank of America Online Banking customers now have access to a full range of money management tools free through “My Portfolio”, the bank’s account aggregation service, which is integrated into “Online Banking”. “My Portfolio” provides customers with a complete view of their Bank of America accounts as well as accounts at other financial institutions or Web sites –such as credit cards, investments, reward programs — all in a single, secure location that help them track expenses and income by category, set budget goals and monitor performance.

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Fiserv Financial Segment Rises 20% in Q4

WI-based Fiserv reported that fourth revenues increased 11% to $1.2 billion. Financial segment adjusted operating income was up 20% to $150 million. During the quarter the Fiserv Clearing Network added 84 new clients with a total of 509 clients to-date. Also, China Trust Bank of Torrance, CA significantly expanded its relationship with the company and Huntington National Bank selected Fiserv to handle processing of its health savings accounts. In December, the Company hired two seasoned top executives and made three other senior leadership appointments. Fiserv also yesterday announced that its board of directors authorized the repurchase of an additional 10 million shares of its common stock. Fiserv expects full-year 2007 earnings from continuing operations to be within a range of $2.86 to $2.94 per share, which represents growth of 13% to 16%, respectively. For complete details on Fiserv’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 12/6/06)

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

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Retalix & Postilion Target C-Stores

TX-based Retalix has formed an alliance with Postilion to deliver an integrated commercial fueling solution for travel centers and an open-systems payment switch for credit and debit transactions for convenience stores. The solution combines Retalix “StorePoint” featuring its new Retalix “Commercial Fueling” module with Postilion “Realtime”, a payment switching engine that controls the payment, transaction authorization and settlement process. Postilion is a subsidiary of S1 Corporation and a provider of open-systems electronic payment processing solutions. Retalix is an independent provider of enterprise-wide software solutions to retailers and distributors.

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MPR Heads South as Card Balances Grow

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, headed south to 19.32% in December, and are expected to head downward this year as consumers migrate from home equity loans to revolving credit. Payment rates reached nearly 22% during 2006 driven by increased minimum payments and a strong economy. Consumer revolving credit hit a record of nearly $873 billion in November, growing at an annual rate of 11.9%. According to FitchRatings, the gross yield slipped 18 basis points in December to 17.78%, but is 52 basis points above year-ago levels. Both measurements are for credit card backed-securities. (CF Library 1/9/07)

ABS METRICS
YIELD MPR
Jul 06: 17.63% 20.71%
Aug 06: 17.86% 20.24%
Sep 06: 17.96% 21.06%
Oct 06: 17.58% 19.30%
Nov 06: 17.96% 19.82%
Dec 06: 17.78% 19.32%
Source: FitchRatings

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Card Debt Inches Up for the Third Month

Credit card outstandings grew during December by GBP 300 million.
However, the GBP 55.9 billion figure remains well below last December’s
peak of GBP 59.0 billion. Year-on-year credit card outstandings (not
seasonally adjusted) are running about 5% lower than one-year ago.
According to the The Bank of England, the increase in total net lending
to individuals in December was higher than the increase in November and
the previous six-month average. The twelve-month growth rate is now
10.6% and the three-month annualized growth is 11.3%. While net consumer
credit including credit cards and other loans and advances rose in
December it was at a slower pace than November. The annual growth rate
of consumer credit fell to 6.2% in December and the three-month
annualized growth rate fell to 6.5%.

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Fargo Electronics Names a New President

Fargo Electronics has named David M. Sullivan as president. Previously, he was managing director for the Europe, Middle East and Africa with ASSA ABLOY’s HID Global Corporation. Fargo Electronics, a division of HID Global, provides secure technologies for identity card issuance systems, including secure card printer/encoders, materials and software. The company has sold more than 120,000 systems in the US and over 80 other countries worldwide.

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XiPay 2.9 Validated for VISA PABP

Paymetric has announced that its “XiPay 2.9” payment processing software has achieved validation for VISA’s “Payment Applications Best Practices” (PABP) under the “Cardholder Information Security Program.” The PABP certification process mandates a rigorous and stringent third-party assessment of payment application security standards. It defines industry best practices for the storage and encryption of cardholder data by payment software applications. The validation was determined after a review of the application by independent auditor K3DES LLC, a PCI qualified security assessor.

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