Earthport makes trading update

Source: Earthport

Earthport, the global payments utility, is pleased to announce the following update:

Business update
The Company has signed a contract with the global retail payments specialists M Cashback UK Limited, ("M Cashback") for the provision of a remittance service to global retailers. Under the terms of the agreement M Cashback will use the Earthport UPN for remittances to bank accounts in over 50 countries. The integration process was started immediately and was successfully completed in just two weeks and the service is now live for M Cashback to provide to its clients on a white-labelled basis.

Bob Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, M Cashback Limited commented, "This new partnership has created a store to bank account process that allows remittances to be provided in a fast and efficient manner in modern retail outlets."

Earthport has established subsidiaries in Japan and Brazil to facilitate the opening of bank accounts in response to increasing demand for Earthport's services in the respective regions. The operation in Japan is called Earthport Kabushiki Kaisha (kk) Japan and in Brazil, is called Earthport Pagamentos Brasil Limitada. Both of these additional geographies will facilitate the enlargement of the banking network and client base.

Earthport Middle East is continuing its early successes with Al Ghurair Exchange, which went live on 7 July, with LuLu Exchange to go live by the middle of August and Al Ansari Exchange is to go live by 7 September. As per the Regional Update of 18 June 2009, these are for the provision of Cash-to-bank services from the Middle East. A number of other opportunities are being actively progressed and further announcements will be made in due course.

Earthport USA continues to expand its presence in the US and following the teaming agreements with two of the world's leading consultancies and Business Process Outsourcing companies to utilise Earthport's UPN both directly within their own organisations and to resell into their client base.

Operational update
The Earthport Technology team has recently implemented Web Services Description Language ("WSDL") as part of the web-based money transmission service offered to the Group's global customers. Benefits of the language include lowering the cost of integration to the Earthport proprietary platform; accelerating new service implementation; and simplifying the go-to-market capability for current and new customers, which includes a more straightforward bank registration process. WSDL is an extension to the Service Oriented Architecture Protocol (SOAP), already adopted by the IT development team and our clients, and is used in combination with XML schema to provide web services over the Internet.

Furthermore, Earthport is developing a new service to be offered to SME clients with a web-based interface to the Earthport UPN enabling small corporates to access the service and to be marketed to private individuals. This exciting new product is forecast to go live in the second half of this fiscal year.

The Company is also pleased to announce the appointment of Nigel Godolphin as Global Sales Director. Nigel's remit is to deliver the prospects that the Company has in its pipeline and to build a truly global business based on Earthport's widening reach and appeal. Nigel has worked in the Banking, Cards and Payments industry for the last 30 years, including Director of Global Payments at arvato Finance Services Ltd - a Bertelsmann AG company; Enterprise Solutions Director at Fidelity National Information Services Ltd; and Enterprise Solutions Manager at Barclays Bank PLC.

Strategic Review
The Company's Strategic Review, announced on 30 June 2009, remains ongoing and the Company and its advisers are having discussions with a number of parties which are still at an early stage, some of which may or may not lead to an Offer for the Company, further announcements will be made as appropriate.

James Bergman, Chief Executive Officer, commented: "The Board is pleased with progress as the Group continues to develop its global network. We have achieved further contract wins this year and are receiving greater recognition by third parties of Earthport's potential and I have every confidence that Nigel will build on this success as we continue to build a truly global organisation. We look forward to partnering with IBM for the third year at this year's SIBOS in Hong Kong in September 2009."

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