ViVOtech Hires Three Senior Executives

ViVOtech, the leading supplier of Contactless payment solutions, announced the addition of three key executives to help the company position itself to capitalize on the enormous opportunities in the payment market. Peter Slocum is senior vice president of engineering, responsible for overseeing engineering growth, quality and customer support, and guiding the development of new products and services. Todd Ablowitz is appointed to the position of senior vice president of sales, responsible for driving global sales and business development and David Fiore has been named as chief financial officer (CFO), responsible for all financial operations. ViVOtech provides contactless payment software, transaction management systems and readers.

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Chase Launches the Herbalife VISA

Chase and Herbalife have teamed to offer a co-branded VISA card. The new “Herbalife VISA” offers two points for every dollar spent on Herbalife purchases and one point for every dollar spent on all other card purchases. Every time a cardholder accumulates 2,500 points, a $25 credit is automatically applied towards future purchases of Herbalife products. The program is available to Herbalife independent distributors in the U.S. Herbalife products are sold in 60 countries through a network of more than one million independent distributors.

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Americans Are Direct Deposit Ignorant

A new survey, sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve Banks, has found that 62% of Americans said that a paper check with your name on it can only be cashed if you sign or endorse it. Nearly half of those polled said direct deposit of payments like wages, salary or government benefits go through the Internet to be deposited into your account. The Treasury says it receives half a million calls a year from people reporting problems with Treasury checks. The Treasury also noted that it’s 30 times more likely to have a problem with a Treasury check than with direct deposit. The survey was released to promote the “Go Direct” campaign.

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Wells Fargo Q4 Card Loans Rise 16%

Wells Fargo Card Services and Wells Fargo Financial Bank reported fourth quarter outstandings of $10.3 billion, a 16% increase over the same period one-year ago. Fourth quarter card volume rose 39% for Wells Fargo Financial Bank and about 17.5% for Wells Fargo Card Services. Combined, Wells Fargo Card Services and Wells Fargo Financial Bank reported 4Q/05 volume of $6.16 billion. At the end of the fourth quarter, Wells Fargo Financial Bank had 719,989 active accounts. Wells Fargo Card Services had 3,802,159 active accounts. For complete details on Wells Fargo Card Services and Wells Fargo Financial Bank fourth quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Issuer 4Q/05 4Q/04 CHANGE
WF Card Services (IA) $7.92b $7.02b +13%
WF Financial Bank (SD) $2.39b $1.83b +31%
Total $10.31b $8.85b +16%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

WELLS FARGO CARD LOAN HISTORICAL

4Q/03: $ 7.5 billion
1Q/04: $ 7.5 billion
2Q/04: $ 7.9 billion
3Q/04: $ 8.3 billion
4Q/04: $ 8.9 billion
1Q/05: $ 8.7 billion
2Q/05: $ 9.2 billion
3Q/05: $ 9.5 billion
4Q/05: $10.3 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Oberthur Card Shipments Up 32% in Q4

Oberthur Card Systems reported that during the fourth quarter the company delivered more than 58 million microprocessor cards compared to 44 million in the year ago quarter. However, in the payment market there was a 28% decline to 16 million cards delivered in Q4 due to the end of the “chip & PIN” program in the UK. Oberthur notes that the quarter was also characterized by strong demand of contactless cards in the US. Sales of “Other Cards,” including magnetic stripe cards, loyalty cards, scratch cards and memory cards, reached $24 million, a 9% gain. For complete details on Oberthur’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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OBERTHUR 4Q/05

Oberthur Card Systems reported that during the fourth quarter the
company delivered more than 58 million microprocessor cards compared to
44 million in the year-ago quarter. However, in the payment market there
was a 28% decline to 16 million cards delivered in Q4 due to the end of
the “chip & PIN” program in the UK. Oberthur notes that the quarter was
also characterized by strong demand of contactless cards in the US.
Sales of “Other Cards,” including magnetic stripe cards, loyalty cards,
scratch cards and memory cards, reached 19.5 million euros, a 9% gain.
The growth was driven by Southern Europe and US dynamism, in
parallel with the purchase of a South African company, Africard, sales
of which amounted to 1.4 million euros during the period. For complete
details on Oberthur’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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ClickPay Solutions Names a New Sales Executive

Calfornia-based ClickPay Solutions has hired Christopher Rawson, formerly with First National Bank of Omaha, as VP/Sales. At First National Bank, he was responsible for developing and delivering gross margin growth from businesses with annual Visa/MC sales volumes in excess of $100M and transaction counts greater that 100,000 in a venue that initially covered a six-state region before broadening to a national responsibility. Prior to joining First National Bank of Omaha, Rawson spent 8 years with Concord/EFS National Bank developing and supporting their broad merchant customer base and eventually served as their Director of Agent Banking. ClickPay Solutions, Inc. is a premier sales and marketing organization that provides ‘Cashless-Check-Cashing’ services to retail locations nationwide.

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Van Fleet Promoted to Lead RewardsNOW as CEO

New Hampshire-based loyalty marketing specialist, RewardsNOW, has promoted Steven Van Fleet, formerly with MasterCard and First Data, from SVP to President and CEO. VanFleet has extensive payments industry experience in strategic planning, financial and product management, operations, new business development and more. He has also worked at Financial Interchange (Pulse EFT Switch) and Diebold’s ATM division. RewardsNOW is a premier provider of marketing services for the financial industry.

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PayCash NOW VISA Gets More Support

Boston-based Cyphermint has teamed with Harborlight Technologies, to boosts its “PayCash NOW VISA” debit card program, serving low-income HUD and Government Section 8 housing recipients. The PayCash NOW Visa Debit Card is reloadable and prepaid and provides residents who may not qualify for credit or checking accounts, a flexible and secure cashless payment option. Recipients of the program who apply and qualify will be able to pay their rent and utilities without the use of a major credit card, a checking account or cash. Headquartered in Marlborough, Mass., Cyphermint is a provider of global electronic cash payment and eCommerce infrastructure/integration solutions. Harborlight Technologies is a software company that provises advanced self-service solutions that enable banks and credit unions to offer self-service banking to customers.

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Payment Processing Acquires Paradata

CA-based Payment Processing has acquired substantially all of the assets of Whistler, B.C.-based Paradata Systems. Paradata’s payment system provides support for card-present and card-not-present payment, enables merchants to securely process credit card and e-check transactions and is easily integrated into any application. The Paradata payment system will be used to enhance the “PPI PayMover” payment gateway which was released in March 2005 and to provide Canadian processing support. In 2005, PPI processed nearly $3 billion in VISA and MasterCard payments.

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95% of New Bankruptcies Still Chapter 7s

The largest credit counseling organization in the U.S. says that in the 13 weeks after the new bankruptcy law took effect, a mere 4.5% of the 14,907 debtors it counseled had enough income to enter into a repayment plan. The National Association of Legal Document Preparers say that the evidence from Money Management International shows that “Chapter 7 Bankruptcy” is still the only option for most consumers to get a new financial start. Bankruptcy filings fell to a weekly rate of about 3,500 compared to 315,000 just before the new law took effect on Oct. 17, but the numbers have increased to about 5,000 per week and are expected to climb.

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