ABS 2Q/06

Charge-offs for credit card-backed bonds in the U.K. continued to deteriorate during the second quarter, hitting a record 7.0%, compared to 4.5% one-year ago and 6.6% for the prior quarter. Delinquencies also edged upward during 2Q/06 to 3.8% compared to 3.7% in the first quarter. According to FitchRatings, increases in bankruptcies and individual voluntary arrangements continued to strongly influence the rising charge-off numbers. To tackle the issue of bankruptcies and
IVAs, some originators are considering reviewing their underwriting policies, enhancing their predictive scoring and managing their various delinquent portfolios in an attempt to reduce losses. Meanwhile, the monthly payment rate on credit card ABS declined in the second quarter to 17.2%, compared to 18.9% for the first quarter. The Fitch “Yield Index” also declined to 19.9% at the end of 2Q/06, from 20.7% at the end of March.

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EFMARK-Bantek Lands a New CEO

IL-based EFMARK-Bantek, a provider of maintenance and cash services for ATMs and terminals, has landed Wayne Robinson, formerly with KKR, GE and Boston Consulting Group, as CEO. Robinson, a seasoned business veteran with deep operational and financial experience, will oversee the implementation of EFMARK-Bantek’s strategic plan across all divisions in its 43-state footprint. His appointment as CEO opens a new phase of development for the recently-merged company, which includes plans for a new company name, a broadening service portfolio, and entry into complementary market segments. EFMARK-Bantek is the nation’s largest independent ATM service company.

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Citi Introduces Credit Card Fraud Insurance

Citibank added “Fraud Insurance” to its credit card programs.
Covered by the insurance are risks associated with unauthorized card
transactions upon the credit card’s loss/theft up to CZK 100,000 (in
case of unauthorized web-made transactions, up to CZK 30,000), if the
same occurred within 72 hours, at the maximum, from the time when
stop-listing request is received. In addition, it also includes
insurance of keys up to CZK 3,000 and insurance of personal ID documents
up to Kc5,000 if those are lost/stolen together with the credit card.
The Fraud Insurance monthly premium fee is Kc79. This Fraud Insurance
policy is offered in conjunction with POJIÅ TOVNA CARDIF PRO VITA a.s.

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Mobilescape 5000 is Class B Certified

Houston-based wireless payment solutions provider, Commerciant, announced Global eTelecom “Class” B platform certification for its “Mobilescape 5000” wireless payment solution. There are tens of thousands of businesses in the U.S. that need to process payments in the field, and the Mobilescape 5000 offering from Commerciant provides a total solution, including hardware, software, integration services, wireless service, and 24×7 customer support and maintenance. Global eTelecom provides proprietary electronic check processing and Gift/Loyalty services to over 35,000 merchants nationwide. Commerciant, LP is the leader in wireless, handheld payment processing technology.

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MC Clears PrePay Chip & PIN Cards

Stored value card specialist, PrePay Technologies, has earned certification from MasterCard to issue “Chip & PIN.” The Company currently offers magnetic stripe cards. FSA regulated, PrePay Technologies, is the first company in the U.K. to acquire an “Electronic Money License” to issue e-money across Europe. PrePay’s current “Gift Card” & “Travel Money” card programs include Debenhams, Western Union, Comet, Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Outfit, Wallace, Evans, Burtons, Laura Ashley and others.

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Cash-Back is King with U.S. Cardholders

In conjunction with yesterday’s unveiling of the new “Freedom” rewards card, Chase released a survey that revealed 64% of respondents would change their credit card rewards features to receive cash back. The new Chase card offers cardholders the option to switch back and forth between points or cash. The survey also found people from the South and those age 55 and older are more likely to choose cash back, while Midwesterners and those between the ages of 25 and 34 say they are seeking easy rewards redemption programs. The “Change It Up Survey,” conducted by Greenfield Online and commissioned by Chase, found most want the freedom to explore a new city (26%), get a different job (21%) or experience a less hectic schedule (17%).

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Garanti to Offer Digipass for Java Phone

Garanti Bank is deploying VASCO’s “Digipass for Java Phone” for its retail customers. Garanti already uses the hardware “Digipass 260” for corporate banking. Retail customers will have the choice between the software “Digipass for Java Phone” and “Digipass 260.” “Digipass for Java Phone” is a software “Digipass that can be downloaded to any “Java” supporting mobile phone. The customized version of “Digipass for
Java Phone” used by Garanti, is able to compute digital signatures, in
addition to one-time passwords. VASCO has delivered more than 25 million “Digipass” products.

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Business Credit Card Web Queries Grow

A monthly snapshot of rising and falling business search trends among small business Internet users shows that credit card queries have ranked in the top 10 for the second consecutive month. The “August Business.com Barometer” shows business credit card queries have moved to #7, compared to #10 last month. Web searches for small business loans were up 74% compared to the prior month. Banking queries were up 31%. Business.com says these are all good indicators of growth as small businesses look to expand. Business.com attracts more than 3.2 million diverse business owners and decision makers.

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Euronet Ranked Among the Rising Stars

KS-based Euronet Worldwide has been ranked #36 overall on FORTUNE’s annual list of the “100 Fastest-Growing Companies for 2006”. The Company also placed fifth in the revenue growth category with a three-year annualized growth rate of 89 percent. Only 43 of the 100 companies from last year’s list appeared again this year in FORTUNE and Euronet was one of them. In addition to its overall ranking in 2005 as the 34th fastest growing company in America, Euronet also ranked among the top three companies in the revenue growth category. Euronet Worldwide is an industry leader in processing secure electronic financial transactions.

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Exec Joins Comdata Processing Systems

TN-based Comdata has hired Rod Katzfey, formerly SVP/GM for ABN AMRO Merchant Services, as SVP/GM of Comdata Processing Systems. Katzfey was formerly Senior Vice President & General Manager for ABN AMRO Merchant Services (AAMS), a joint venture company of BA Merchant Services and LaSalle Bank Midwest. Comdata(R) Corporation (www.comdata.com) is a leading business-to-business issuer and processor of payment cards, primarily in the retail and transportation industries. Ceridian Corporation (NYSE: CEN) is an information services company serving businesses and employees in the United States, Canada and Europe.

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CCB and BOFA Plan to Issue a Credit Card

China Construction Bank and Bank of America have indicated they plan issue a credit card in 2007. BofA took a $3 billion stake in CCB last year and recently agreed to sell its 16 branches in Hong Kong to CCB. BofA reportedly was pushing to launch a credit card in China this year but is still working out the details of its relationship with CCB.
CCB is one of the four biggest banks in China, with operations covering over 18,000 ATMs and almost 1,000 self-service branches.

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PayByCash Adds 6 Payment Options for Eastern European

Internet Payment Solutions, a/k/a PayByCash has added six more payment options for its Eastern European customer base. This extends PayByCash’s accessibility to Russian Federation and Eastern European customers from six convenient payment options to twelve. There are well over 30 million Internet users in the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Belarus alone. Most Eastern European ecommerce is via many regionally popular payment methods, not credit cards. At this time, among Western payment processors, only PayByCash can accept payments for merchants via a majority of the most popular alternate payment methods. PayByCash provides more than 50 payment methods reaching into all regions of the world, typically with no transaction fee.

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