FTC Expands the ChoicePoint Claim Campaign

The FTC is sending reimbursement claims to consumers who may have been identity theft victims due to the ChoicePoint data breaches. The Federal Trade Commission has mailed reimbursement claim forms to more than 2,400 consumers. In December 2006, the Commission mailed claim forms to 1,400 consumers who were identified with the assistance of law enforcement, with instructions on how to file a claim. In April 2007, 1,500 consumers were identified and contacted. The FTC also has created a Web site – http://www.ftc.gov/choicepoint – where consumers who do not receive a letter can download a claim form and obtain information about the claims process. In 2005, ChoicePoint, which compiles and sells personal information, announced that it had sold information about many consumers to people who turned out to be identity thieves. The FTC and ChoicePoint reached a settlement requiring the company to pay $5 million to be used to reimburse consumers for expenses due to identity theft caused by ChoicePoint’s security breach.

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First Data Intl Inks PC Vendor Lenovo

First Data International has signed a three-year merchant processing agreement with PC vendor Lenovo. Under the terms of the agreement, First Data will handle all e-commerce payment processing for Lenovo. All transactions and authorizations will route through First Data’s global merchant processing platform. ABN AMRO will serve as the major acquiring bank, and will provide Lenovo its full suite of transaction banking solutions, including payments, treasury and investment management and trade services. First Data International, part of First Data Corp., is a provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses worldwide. ABN AMRO is a leading international bank with total assets of EUR 1,054.60 bln.

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Polo Endorses Bluefish Concierge MasterCard

FL-based Bluefish Concierge has been named the “Official Concierge & Credit Card” of Bridgehampton polo, which is hosting this year’s “Mercedes-Benz Polo Challenge.” Bluefish is in its fourth year of a joint venture to issue a credit card with Bank of America. The global firm organizes white glove access to exclusive events and travel experiences on behalf of corporate executives, celebrities, professional athletes, and other high net-worth individuals. The “Bluefish Concierge MasterCard” carries no annual fee and offers up to $1 million in travel accident insurance. (CF Library 5/8/03)

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Alaric Names New Head of Marketing

Alaric International, in an effort to reorganize its marketing division,
has
appointed Martin Hewgill as the Head Of Marketing. The company is
strengthening the marketing division due to its growth and development
including new regional offices in Australia and the U.S. Hewgill has been a
senior subject matter expert in the payments and risk management industry
for 25 years. He served as Fraud and Risk Management Consultant at ACI
and was latterly a Director of Fraud Product Strategy at Fair Isaac
Corporation.

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WMATA SmarTrip to Utilize ACI’s BASE24-eps

ACI Worldwide’s “BASE24-eps” has been selected by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for processing and routing of debit and credit card transactions from WMATA’s ticketing machines. “BASE24-eps” offers greater flexibility in routing and processing card payments, as well as improved real-time transaction management and monitoring. The increased online management capability of BASE24-eps will enable WMATA to monitor card traffic, help detect fraudulent transactions and reduce its overall network operation costs. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority serves the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia with a 106 miles subway system and 1500 bus fleet. Currently, the region has an installed card base of over 2.3 million contactless SmarTrip cards.

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Commerce Bancorp to Deploy NCR Personas

NJ-based Commerce Bancorp has renewed and expanded its ATM hardware, software and services agreement with NCR Corporation. Under the terms of this new agreement, Commerce will deploy NCR Personas M Series ATMs with NCR’s APTRA software. In addition to traditional maintenance, cash replenishment services and currency management, Commerce will also receive Incident Management and Help Desk services. Commerce operates 450 store/branch locations and deploys more than 650 ATMs in nine states and has $47.4 billion in assets.

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Pipeline Data Renews its First Data Deal

Pipeline Data has renewed its merchant processing agreement with CTS Holdings, a subsidiary of First Data. First Data will continue to provide comprehensive card processing services to Pipeline’s merchant account base. Pipeline Data is a value-added provider of merchant payment processing services and other related software products. First Data Corp is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for over 5 million merchant locations and 1,900 card issuers and their customers worldwide.

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HUAXIA CARD

Huaxia Bank has announced the issuance of its first credit
cards. In partnership with Germany’s Deutsche Bank, Huaxia Bank has introduced the cards into the fiercely competitive local credit card market. In 2005 Deutsche Bank bought a stake in Huaxia. It was the European firm’s first direct investment into China’s banking industry.
China Huaxia Bank is a medium-sized bank with a nationwide branch network, is the smallest of China’s five domestically listed shareholding banks.

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Discover Card Profits Slide 38% in 2Q/07

Morgan Stanley reported this morning that its Discover unit posted pre-tax profits of $333 million for 2Q/07, a 38% decline over the year ago quarter. Sequentially, credit card profits declined more than 10% as charge-offs increased, interest income declined and legal costs mounted for its upcoming spin-off and VISA/MasterCard litigation. Discover reported that net revenues dipped 13% from a year ago to $1035 million. Net sales volume rose to $25.2 billion, a 5% increase from 2Q/06. Managed credit card loans increased by more than $500 million from the prior quarter to $51.3 billion and up 6% from a year ago. Managed merchant, cardholder and other fees were $551 million for 2Q/07, up 2% from a year ago. The number of accounts continued to shrink from 45.9 million in 2Q/06 and 44.9 million in 1Q/07 to 44.5 million for the second quarter, a 3% year-on-year decline. The managed credit card net charge-off rate was 4.24%, 94 basis points higher than last year’s second quarter, and 19 basis points higher than the first quarter. The managed credit card over-30-day delinquency rate was 3.13%, 16 basis points lower than 2Q/06 and 32 basis points lower than the first quarter of 2007. The over-90-day delinquency rate decreased 1 basis point over the same period to 1.52% and was 17 basis points lower than the prior quarter. Morgan Stanley says the spin-off of Discover remains on track and is scheduled to occur on June 30th. For complete details on Discover’s second quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

DISCOVER CARD PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
($ billions; accounts/actives millions)
2Q/06* 3Q/06* 4Q/06* 1Q/07* 2Q/07* Y/Y CHNG
Outstandings: $48.5 $49.6 $50.3 $50.7 $51.3 +6%
Volume: $28.5 $30.2 $29.1 $30.3 $29.9 +5%
Accounts: 45.9 45.6 45.3 44.9 44.5 -3%
Actives: 19.6 19.6 19.8 19.7 19.6 NC
Chargeoffs: 3.30% 3.81 4.15 4.05 4.24 +94 bps
Delinquency**: 3.29% 3.41 3.51 3.45 3.13 -16 bps
Yield: 12.69% 12.38 12.23 12.27 12.38 -31 bps
Notes: 2Q/06 ended 5/31/06; 3Q/06 ended 8/31/06; 4Q/06 ended 11/30/06;
1Q/07 ended 2/28/07; 2Q/07 ended 5/31/07. ** delinquency is 30-90 days
and excludes 90+ days. Includes both domestic and international cards.
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Prime Factors Renews Thales Agreement

Prime Factors has announced the renewal of its e-security agreement
with Thales e-security for the sale of the company’s “Thales HSM 8000”
host security module. The device secures retail card transactions and
provides security for acquirers, switches and issuers. The two
companies have had agreements in place for 15 years. Prime Factors
has been selling software for the financial industry since 1981, and has
over 1,000 customers, including 24 financial institutions in the Fortune
500. Thales group employs 70,000 people in 50 countries and generated
revenues of $13 billion in 2006.

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Wal-Mart Markets a GE/Green Dot Prepaid VISA

Wal-Mart is rolling into financial services with the opening of 1,000 “MoneyCenters” in a quarter of its stores by the end of 2008. The first product out of the chute is a reloadable prepaid VISA card. The new Wal-Mart “MoneyCard” is being launched nationally with GE Money and Green Dot. The new card will be rolled-out to 1,300 Wal-Mart stores by the end of June and to another 1,300 stores by the end of July. The card offers online access to track activity, plus daily balance alerts via a cell phone or email. The card will sell for about $9 and has loading fees and monthly maintenance fees. Wal-Mart says it plans to offer low-cost check cashing, money orders, bill payment and money transfers via the new “MoneyCenters.” The retail giant says it wants to assist customers who are outside mainstream banking. Wal-Mart currently conducts more than two million money services transactions each week. With 225 currently, Wal-Mart “MoneyCenters” will double to 450 by the end of this year and then more than double again to 1,000 by the end of 2008. The Wal-Mart “MoneyCard” program was lauded for being the “Best Unbanked and Underserved Program” at the annual “Prepaid Expo Awards Ceremony” earlier this year.

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