Revel MasterCard to be Unveiled

SD-based Fishback Financial Corporation is set to roll-out the “Revel MasterCard” next week. The new card is a prepaid card and already has 61 retail locations lined up. Fishback projects 750 partner locations by mid-2007. The card also offers “Revel Advance,” which allows qualified customers to establish a small dollar line of credit. The “Advance” is loaded on to the “Revel Card,” with the balance to be repaid in installments over a 4 to 10 week period. Fishback Financial has assets of more than $1.2 billion.

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Asia Payments Announces New CEO

Asia Payment Systems has appointed KK Ng to President and Chief Executive
Officer and a member of the Board. Ng was the CEO of InterPay
International Group whose acquisition by Asia Payments was announced last
week. Ng will lead an expanded management team that will integrate the
existing Asia Payments and InterPay operations as well as developing a new
vision, strategy and plan to spearhead the Company’s growth. Ng has over
28
years of experience in building, operating and turning around payment
businesses. He was a Director of Maestro International Inc., a subsidiary
of MasterCard International Inc., between 1992 and 1995, and served as an
Alternate Director on the MasterCard Asia Pacific Board, 1991-1995. He was
an independent consultant in MasterCard Advisors, a division of MasterCard
International Inc., during 2003-2005. He holds a B.Sc. (Engineering)
degree
from University of London and M.Sc. (Administrative Sciences) from The City
University Graduate Business School, London.

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AmEx Introduces the Discount Card

American Express has introduced a new “Discount Card,” available to purchasers of at least $500 in AmEx “Travelers Cheques” products bought between June 1st and August 31st. This new card offers savings of 10-50% on hotels, airfare, dining and entertainment, up to $500. Travelers will be able to use the “Discount Card” online for savings this summer at 7,000 hotels worldwide; on a major airline, with no black-out dates for domestic travel; for Samsonite and American Tourister luggage; and at more than 60,000 casual dining and fast-food restaurants worldwide. Discounts can also be applied to movie tickets at Regal Cinemas, Loews Cineplex and AMC Theaters; more than 600 DVD titles; and more than 100 magazines. The Card is valid from June 1st until June 1st, 2008 and discounts are applicable as partial payment online year-round.

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euroConex Named Merchant Acquirer of the Year

euroConex has been awarded the title of “Merchant Acquirer of the Year” at
the Cards International Global Awards event held in Milan, Italy. The
panel of judges cited the company’s strong international expansion and
high cross-border competence as the main drivers for the decision.
euroConex has demonstrated a successful acquisitions model over the past
few years, acquiring the merchant processing portfolios of
leading financial institutions including Alliance Leicester in the
United Kingdom, Bank of Ireland, Cardpoint in Poland, SEB/Europay in
Norway, and Citibank Card Acceptance. There are currently more than
200,000 merchant locations in the euroConex portfolio.

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Capital One Offers Disaster-Planning

Capital One released disaster-planning guidelines and a checklist to help small businesses prepare for emergency situations. The checklist provides details to help small businesses develop a continuity plan that addresses post-disaster recovery procedures; consider alternative operational locations; equip backup operations sites with critical equipment, data files and supplies;prepare for emergency cash management to handle cash flow and develop multiple and reliable communication methods to reach employees and customers.

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TIO and Presto C-Stores Enter Agreement

TIO Networks has signed an agreement with Presto Convenience Stores to
deploy self-serve automated bill payment and financial services
touch-screen terminals. The terminals enable cash preferred customers to
pay a host of bills including wireless, utility and cable and update their
accounts quickly and conveniently. Payments are made by feeding the cash
directly into TIO terminal’s note acceptor. Once the cash is accepted,
then TIO uses an Internet link to ensure timely posting of the payment.
Customers will also be able to purchase prepaid products and services and
revalue and/or activate stored value products.

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Marquis Jet Card is Recognized as Best

The “Marquis Jet Card” has been recognized as the “Best of the Best” by Robb Report in its 18th annual “Best of” report. The Marquis Jet Card program was named ‘Best Jet Card Program’ based on combining the simplicity and low financial risk of a jet card with many of the advantages of NetJets fractional ownership program and additional attractive benefits provided by Marquis Jet’s alliance partners.

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Sallie Mae Agrees to Buy Upromise

Sallie Mae inked a purchase agreement to acquire Upromise for an undisclosed amount. Upromise’s rewards service has more than 7 million members who have joined to save for college when they and their families buy gas or groceries, dine out or purchase other goods and services from more than 450 participating companies. Upromise is also the largest administrator of direct-to-consumer 529 college savings plans, administering nearly 1 million college savings accounts and over $10 billion in assets with tax-advantaged 529 investment options through partnerships with seven states. Sallie Mae has 10 million borrowing customers. Under the terms of the transaction, Upromise will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SLM Corporation. Upromise, which employs approximately 250 individuals, will retain its separate brand identity, management team and operations in Massachusetts.

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VISA & NFIB Offer an Entrepreneur Program

The National Federation of Independent Business’ Young Entrepreneur Foundation, in partnership with VISA USA, have announced a new online curriculum to teach budding entrepreneurs the basics of how to start a business. With this complimentary curriculum, teachers can educate future entrepreneurs on how to write a business plan, obtain funding and interact with business-related agencies, to name a few. Teachers can download the free program from both Visa’s Practical Money Skills for Life financial education program and the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation’s Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom programs.

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Word of Mouth Drives Business Cards

A new study has concluded that when it comes to marketing business
credit cards, the card industry needs to be focused on generating
positive word of mouth. Toronto-based The Warrillow & Co. research found
that business owners prefer to rely on recommendations from fellow
business owners before making any buying decisions. Using methodology
made famous by Bain consultant Frederick Reichheld, Warrillow calculated
each company’s “Net Promoter Score”, which is the percentage of a
company’s customers who would be very willing to recommend them,
subtracted by the percentage of the company’s customers who would be
unlikely to recommend them. The second-highest-ranking category on the
“Index” is the business credit card with an overall “Net Promoter Score”
of 29%. Topping the list was shipping companies.

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