GE Money Names a Global Marketing Exec

GE Money has promoted the CEO of its Australia and New Zealand business to head its worldwide marketing. Thomas Gentile, a nine-year GE veteran who also formerly headed GE Money in France, has been named SVP/Global Marketing. During his tenure in Australia, Gentile generated double-digit growth creating $26 billion in assets, and an annual net income of more than $300 million. A new CEO of GE Money Australia and New Zealand will be named shortly. Last month GE Money reported a global profit of $880 million on revenues of $5.3 billion for the second quarter. For complete details on GE’s second quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

GE CONSUMER FINANCIAL TRACK RECORD
Income Revenues
2Q/05: $735 million $4928 million
3Q/05: $810 million $4913 million
4Q/05: $770 million $4886 million
1Q/06: $836 million $5090 million
2Q/06: $880 million $5268 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com

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Retail Sales Up for Fourth Straight Month

A monthly survey indicating economic conditions in the Eurozone retail sector has found a weaker rate of expansion during July than those indicated throughout the second quarter, but a solid increase nevertheless. However, it was the fourth-fastest in the survey’s thirty-one month history. The July “Bloomberg Eurozone Retail
Purchasing Managers’ Index” posted 53.8 in July. July data for the three major Eurozone economies that constitute the survey signaled that France recorded the sharpest growth in retail sales for the second month running (57.7). The rate of growth in German retail sales eased further from May’s high, but was solid nevertheless (54.2). Meanwhile, Italian retail sales declined for the sixth month running (47.6).

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AIR MILES Adds 20 Virtual Mall Partners

The Canadian “AIR MILES Reward Program” has added 20 new retail partners to its online shopping mall. New retailers include Disney
Shopping, Toys “R” Us Canada, Office Depot and HBC.com. The virtual mall offers merchandise from a total of 75 retailers. In 2003, the online shopping mall was created and launched in Canada. The “AIR MILES” program is owned by Alliance Data Systems.

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VISA Small Business PDV Climbs 32%

VISA USA reports that small business purchase dollar volume on its business cards is growing at a 32% annual rate, while total commercial spending on its business cards is increasing around 26%. VISA notes that this is the first time that small business PDV on “VISA Business” cards has topped $100 billion over a 12 month period. For the second quarter small business spending on “Business” cards hit $28.9 billion, a 29.9% increase over 2Q/05. Total commercial spending for VISA rose 24.8% to $43.9 billion in the USA. For the four quarters ended June 30th small businesses made $103.5 billion in purchases with their “VISA Business” cards, a 32.2% jump year-on-year. Total commercial spending for the same twelve-month period was $159.4 billion, a 26.2% annual increase.

VISA U.S. COMMERCIAL
(Purchase Dollar Volume)
2Q/05: $35.3 billion
3Q/05: $37.7 billion
4Q/05: $38.4 billion
1Q/06: $39.5 billion
2Q/06: $43.9 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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RBS Lynk and Oberthur Team for Prepaid

RBS Lynk and Oberthur Card Systems have joined forces to offer prepaid cards to RBS clients. RBS Lynk is the U.S. payment processing division of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS Group), one of the world’s leading financial services companies and the third largest transaction acquirer in the world. Oberthur Card Systems is one of the world’s leading providers of card-based solutions, software and applications including SIM and multi-application smart cards as well as services ranging from consulting to personalization.

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VIETCOMBANK & MTV

Vietcombank has teamed with MTV Asia to launch a debit card targeted at the youth market. The “Vietcombank-MTV MasterCard” offers special discounts at music retailers, resorts, electronics stores and other youth oriented retailers. The bank said the new card is part of the State Bank of Vietnam’s plan to promote cashless payments throughout Vietnam. The card was introduced in a ceremony last week featuring the “Double Trouble” twins from Malaysia.

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UTI Bank to Launch VISA Credit Cards

UTI Bank announced plans to issue VISA credit cards. The bank will begin issuing the cards to Mumbai customers soon and will launch the cards nationwide before year’s end. “Silver Plus” cardholders will receive a 10% to 50% discount at hotels worldwide. “Gold Plus” cardholders will receive a guaranteed 50% discount at 120
hotels across India. The bank is also planning to add a “Platinum VISA” to its credit card offerings. UTI currently has 4.7 million debit card customers.

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Fiserv Intros Bill Payment Solution

Fiserv has introduced a new online bill payment solution. “Paytraxx” uses a pay-anyone model enabling users to make payments in the same session, choosing from immediate, one-time and recurring payment schedule options. Users set up payments from a single screen, plus access payment status, review detailed payment history and download account information to their personal financial management software. “Paytraxx” processes payments through Fiserv’s dedicated TruSecure certified data center. The new solution was developed by expanding an established bill payment solution from Fiserv’s IntegraSys business unit, based in Frisco, TX. The new business unit is led by SVP/GM Kim Killingsworth, a 23-year industry veteran and former executive for both Fiserv’s eSolutions and Information Technology business units.

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Cyphermint Intros mCommerce Solution

MA-based Cyphermint has unveiled a mobile phone payment using “PayCash” technology. The new “PayCash Mobile” solution allows any Internet enabled phone to act as a mechanism for payment authorization across a variety of usage scenarios. It is not a text messaging service linked to third party payment processing services. The account is also linked to a stored value card, which allows users to load funds into the account as well as withdraw money at any ATM in the network. Cyphermint was recently awarded the patent for RSA signature, which is used to create a virtual coin to transfer funds from different accounts over the Internet, secured by its proprietary 1024 bit encryption. The Company has also created the “PayCash Mall” that will enable merchants to offer select goods and services on the mobile, Web and kiosk platform simultaneously.

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PayByCash Accepts Chinese Debit Cards

VA-based Internet Payment Solutions d/b/a PayByCash has added the ability to accept payments via most of the popular Chinese debit cards. English-speaking Chinese consumers are a large segment of China’s young, Internet-savvy population. Internet content providers that are accessible to this huge demographic can reap significant revenues. As is often the case when trying to sell into growing markets, that kind of accessibility is not attained by credit card acceptance alone. Internet Payment Solutions, Inc. has been empowering non-credit-card customers and the Internet businesses that want to reach those customers since April, 1998.

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Hypercom Q2 Revenues Climb 10%

Hypercom posted a 10% increase in revenue for the second quarter of $66 million. The terminal maker says an expansion in Brazil, increased product sales in Mexico and growth in certain Central European markets were the revenue drivers. Net income before discontinued operations was $4.2 million compared to a loss of $18.1 million in 2Q/05 and net income of $2.8 million in the first quarter of this year. (The 2005 second quarter loss included restructuring charges of $16.0 million.) During the quarter Hypercom entered into marketing initiatives with Symbol Technologies, Wincor Nixdorf, StoreNext Retail Technologies, NOVA Information Systems, Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions, and Element Payment Services. The Company also entered the Portugal market and expanded its presence in Africa. Hypercom has now expanded to 90 its number of international distributors. The Company rolled-out the “P4100 PIN Pad,” the first universal RF-enabled multi-application PIN entry device that meets the PCI security standards. Hypercom also introduced the “Optimum M4100 Blade,” the first high-security palm-sized 32-bit wireless credit/debit terminal with signature capture touch screen. Additionally, the Company introduced, during the second quarter, a new network server appliance enabling plug-and-play deployment of value-added applications for retailer POS systems. For complete details on Hypercom’s second quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). CF Library 4/19/06; 4/20/06; 4/21/06; 6/14/06)

HYPERCOM REVENUE HISTORICAL
2Q/04: $63.1 million
3Q/04: $62.8 million
4Q/04: $74.6 million
1Q/05: $50.6 million
2Q/05: $60.2 million
3Q/05: $66.5 million
4Q/05: $68.1 million
1Q/06: $61.0 million
2Q/06: $66.1 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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ID Theft Concerns Drive Report Requests

The ABA has released a survey that shows that 32% of consumers said they requested a free copy of their credit report because they were concerned about identity theft. Twenty-nine percent obtained it because it was free, 27 percent got it when applying for a loan, and 5 percent of consumers request it annually. The ABA Education Foundation webpage provides tips for protecting your financial identity.

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