Cash Now/Mono Bank to Launch a Smart Card

FL-base Cash Now and Mono Bank are planning to launch a white label or private label smart card by the end of 2006. The infrastructure is already incorporated into this technology by most of the Credit Card machines; however its use has not reached the social mainstream yet. The Smart Cards in a global market has received great reviews amongst its users all across the world. Cash Now Corporation (CHNW.PK), a pioneer in the Internet payday loan and check cashing industry, and is developing the most comprehensive menu of services in the cash advance industry, all centered on the Cash Now brand.

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Susquehanna Bancshares Goes Total Wincor

PA-based Susquehanna Bancshares has become Wincor Nixdorf’s first customer in the U.S. to install all Wincor hardware, software and services to its branches and entire ATM fleet. Wincor Nixdorf is currently working with Susquehanna to deploy its ProSales CRM software solution. Wincor Nixdorf is also working with Susquehanna to utilize ProSales for broadcast advertising campaigns of the bank’s services and products to customers via large flat screens in Susquehanna’s branches. Susquehanna is a financial services holding company, operating in multiple states, with assets of $8.3 billion. Wincor Nixdorf is one of the world’s leading suppliers of IT solutions to the retail and banking industries.

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AmEx and VCT Hammer Out a Clear Card Deal

American Express has reached a licensing arrangement with Versatile Card Technology for production of clear payment cards. AmEx issued the world’s first truly clear, transparent card, “Blue” in Australia in July 2001 and then introduced the first truly clear, transparent card product in the U.S. in 2002 with “Blue.” American Express currently is using the technology for “Blue,” “Blue Cash” from American Express and several other card products. AmEX is the owner of numerous patents covering such cards and the processes and components necessary for producing them. VCT is licensed under the American Express patents to produce cards for other card issuers that are truly clear and transparent, using the same patented technology incorporated in American Express’s own card products.

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eFunds Names a New Intl President

eFunds has named Shailesh Kotwal, who formerly served on the Board of Directors of several American Express subsidiaries, as President of International. Kotwal joins eFunds Corporation with more than 17 years in the financial services industry, most recently as vice president and general manager of international insurance services for American Express where he managed product development, diversified the company’s distribution channels and implemented operational best practices in 25 countries. With more than 30 years of payment processing and information intelligence expertise, eFunds delivers flexible, innovative solutions to the world’s leading businesses.

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Valet Pay Gets VISA CISP Compliant

Los Angeles-based Valet Pay announced its compliance with both VISA’s “CISP” and the “PCI DSS”. Valet Pay joins a very small list of payment gateways that are permitted to store, process, or transmit cardholder information. Further information about this compliance can be found on Visa’s web site visa.com/cisp. Valet Pay LLC was formed in October 2004 with the mission of creating a unique Internet payment gateway solution for businesses of all sizes.

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Consumer Confidence Index Takes a Hit

The Conference Board “Consumer Confidence Index,” which had increased moderately in July, posted a sharp decline in August. The Index now stands at 99.6, down from 107.0 in July. The “Present Situation Index” also decreased to 123.4 from 134.2. Additionally, “Expectations Index” declined to 83.8 from 88.9 last month. Less favorable business conditions coupled with a less favorable job scenario have resulted in the largest one month decline in confidence since Hurricane Katrina last year.

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GE Money Acquires a Stake in Bank of Ayudhya

Bank of Ayudhya has agreed to give GE Money a 25% interest for US$600 million. BAY and GE Money have been joint venture partners since 2001, managing the growth of the Krungsriayudhya Card Company, by offering credit cards and personal loans to 700,000 Thai consumers. The
venture held total assets of $339 million in 2005, generating $61 million in revenues. GE launched the GE Money Retail Bank in
January. Under the Bank of Thailand’s single presence rule, GE
Money’s investment in the Bank of Ayudhya requires that it return its GE
Money Retail Bank license.

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Distra Inks a Deal with the U.K.’s Voca

Abacus International has signed a deal with MasterCard to provide access to Abacus’ data derived from credit card information
used as payment for air tickets. As a result, MasterCard will be able to seamlessly transfer the data via its enhanced airline data
program to its issuing customer financial institutions in Asia/Pacific
and its corporate customers. Empowered with additional expense-related data, corporations will be able to access to their employee’s airline transaction and travel data, without the need to manually record travel related information. With the data in hand, corporations will be able to now, simplify reconciliation and procurement processes, and schedule reports, as well as, download transaction data into their accounting system.

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U.K. Card Lending Slips for the 3rd Month

New borrowing on credit cards contracted for the third straight month in the U.K., dipping by more than GBP 300 million in July. For the first half of this year the average monthly contraction is running about GBP 100 million. During May new credit card lending decreased by GBP 251 million and in June is fell GBP 245 million. The British Bankers Association reported last week that total new borrowing on credit cards hit GBP 7.083 billion in July, the lowest July figure since 2002. With repayments exceeding spending and after seasonal adjustment, net lending contracted by GBP 348 million, continuing the recent subdued picture of demand.

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Argos and Barclays Bank Form a Card Joint Venture

Argos Limited and Barclays Bank have signed a
“Shareholders’ Agreement” in relation to a equal joint venture company.
The joint venture will develop an Argos credit card proposition and new
personal loan products for Argos and Homebase. ARG’s existing Argos and
Homebase store card operations are not impacted by this arrangement.
ARG is the U.K.’s leading home and general merchandise retailer with annual sales of over GBP 5.5 billion. Barclaycard has 11.2 million U.K. customers and 5.3 million international cards in issue.

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