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Blackboard Partners with PE Systems to Cut Credit Card Processing Costs for Colleges, Universities

WASHINGTON and SPOKANE, Wash., Nov. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB), a leading provider of campus card commerce, security and financial services, today announced a new partnership with PE Systems, LLC to cut credit and debit card processing costs for colleges and universities.

Hundreds of higher education institutions already use the leading Blackboard Transact(TM) platform to support millions of dollars in campus financial transactions every day. By partnering with PE Systems, the companies can leverage PE Systems' analytic process to help higher education institutions lower processing expenses for credit card payments.

"PE Systems does all the work for us," said Elizabeth Brock, Assistant Vice President and Controller at George Mason University. "They're the ones unraveling the complexities of our merchant statements. My existing credit card processing relationships are as solid as ever. The only difference is we've put thousands of dollars back into George Mason University's bottom line."

The partnership leverages the Blackboard Payment Gateway(TM), a powerful IP-based processing system which provides flexible, scalable and secure payment processing and fraud management services to campuses nationwide

"The performance of our Blackboard Payment Gateway has provided an environment for dining services that is seamless and reliable for the customers and for the reconciliation and reporting process," said Randy Willis, SkyCard Office Manager at Fort Lewis College.

To date, PE Systems has analyzed over $270 billion in payment card transactions at over 20,000 client locations, identifying savings opportunities more than 96 percent of the time. Higher education systems working with PE Systems have realized savings ranging from $237,900 during one three-year period to $1.7 million over a six year period. In each case, the institutions were able to recognize savings without switching their current payment processing providers or established banking relationships and used the savings to fund additional, much needed student services and educational programs.

"PE Systems has vast expertise in the payments processing industry and brings tremendous value to our clients in higher education who are looking to identify cost savings with their payment card processing operations," said Mark Gunter, Vice President at Blackboard Transact. "We are pleased to team up with PE Systems to bring continued value to the Blackboard Transact community."

"Because these institutions are continually challenged with doing more with less, we are particularly pleased to have been able to help reduce and manage one of their largest line item expenses to the benefit of their students," said Bob Skattum, Chief Operating Officer of PE Systems. "We excited to partner with Blackboard to deliver similar savings and service to our mutual clients."

For more information about Blackboard Transact, please visit For more information about PE Systems, please visit

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

About PE Systems, LLC.

Established in 2001, PE Systems is a privately-held company based in Spokane, Washington, whose sole purpose is to help clients nationwide to understand, simplify, and manage the expense of their payment processing environment. Through patented technology, we're able to offer cost-saving solutions that significantly reduce your credit and debit card processing expenses -- just like we have for more than 20,000 merchant locations around the country. Universities, higher education, non-profits, retailers, media corporations, online merchants, and professional sports teams rely on PE Systems for accurate oversight and management of processing fees, saving their organizations valuable time and improving transactional margins.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of ourForm 10-Q filed on November 5, 2010 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of November 15, 2010. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to November 15, 2010.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.