Gemalto Achieves Interac Certification for Banking Cards

With Card certification from Interac, Canada’s debit and Automated Banking
Machine (ABM) network, Gemalto can now provide financial
banking institutions with chip-based cards for use within Interac’s Shared
Services, including Direct Payment, Canada’s national debit card service,
and Shared Cash Dispensing for cash withdrawals at ABMs. Interac’s Shared Services will be ready to use chip-based
banking cards in 2007 and by 2015, magnetic stripe cards will no longer
be accepted within the network. Gemalto is a
global leader in digital security with pro forma 2005 annual revenues of
$2.2 billion, operations in about 100 countries and 11,000 employees
including 1,500 R&D engineers.

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Commerce Bank Tops 800K Cards; Loans Up 9%

MO-based Commerce Bancshares topped 800,000 cardholders during the fourth quarter as outstandings grew 9% and volume rose nearly 5% year-on-year. According to CardData, the nation’s 33rd largest bank credit card issuer had 742,724 gross accounts in 4Q/06 of which 42% were active during the quarter. Fourth quarter credit card outstandings were $733.2 million and credit card volume for the quarter was $560.7 million. The issuer’s cardbase grew 6.9% to 806,256 cards. Commerce, a regional issuer in the Mid-West, offers consumers the “Commerce Miles VISA Gold” card; the “Royals MasterCard”; three “Commerce Special Connections VISA” cards; and the “Garfield VISA” card. The bank also offers a “VISA Business Platinum” card. For complete details on Commerce Bank’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

OUTSTANDINGS
4Q/05: $672.7 million
1Q/06: $651.8 million
2Q/06: $694.8 million
3Q/06: $703.5 million
4Q/06: $733.2 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Agricultural Bank Extends Western Union Contract

Western Union has signed a three year contract with The Agricultural
Bank of China. In addition to the Agricultural Bank of China, Western Union also works with China Post to provide its money transfer service.
These relationships ensure that Western Union has an extensive network and offers an outstanding money transfer service for customers throughout China. Since 1994, Western Union has been sharing global experience and technical expertise in China. Western Union is a leader in global money transfer services, operating through a network of approximately 285,000 agent locations in over 200 countries and territories.

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Debt Resolve Acquires First Performance Corp

NY-based Debt Resolve has acquired all of the outstanding shares of First Performance Corporation, an accounts receivable management agency. FPC has a diverse experience across a range of industries, including bankcard, retail, oil cards, mortgage and prime and sub-prime automotive loans. FPC has established East and West Coast operations in Las Vegas, NV and Ft. Lauderdale, FL, as well as offshore capabilities. The company maintains a staff of approximately 100 collectors between the two locations and has capabilities in place to quickly grow to over 300 collectors. FPC gross revenues in 2006 exceeded $6 million. John Tonetti, FPC?s President, will maintain his current position. Debt Resolve provides lenders,collection agencies, debt buyers and utilities with an online bidding system for the resolution and settlement of consumer debt and a collections and skip tracing solution.

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Pacific Financial & Allow Card Drop Merger Plans

Pacific Financial has decided to terminate its letter of intent to merge with AZ-based Allow Card of America. Upon completion of due diligence by the related companies it was mutually agreed to terminate the merger opportunity. Pacific Financial Solutions provides financial services and products providing its customers with prepaid stored-value and kiosk enabling devices.

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TSYS to Process for National Processing Company

TSYS Acquiring Solutions (formerly Vital Processing Services) has reached an agreement to provide transaction processing services for National Processing Company (NPC), formerly Iron Triangle Payment Systems. TSYS Acquiring Solutions supplies acquiring solutions, related systems and integrated support services. NPC and its affiliate companies are now the sixth-largest merchant acquirer in the US, providing processing services for more than 275,000 merchant locations and hundreds of independent sales organizations and processes more than $25 billion in purchase volume annually.

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MasterCard Launches Another PayPass Spot

MasterCard continues to aggressively promote its contactless “PayPass” program. This past weekend, during the “AFC Championship Game” the card network unveiled a new television spot starring New England Patriots’ back-up quarterback Vinny Testaverde. MasterCard intends to air the spot exclusively on its lifestyle-themed Web site, priceless.com, throughout the remainder of football season. Creative for MasterCard’s “Priceless” campaign is handled by McCann-Erickson/New York. MasterCard has several “PayPass” trials in place for this year. The Ohio Turnpike launched a trial of “PayPass” in December. MasterCard also rolled-out out 6,000 new “PayPass” vending machine locations throughout the U.S in Philadelphia, New York City, Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington D.C., Denver, Seattle, Miami and Orlando. Plus, a three to six month pilot of “Near Field Communication”-enabled mobile phones with “PayPass” is getting underway in New York City. (CF Library 12/15/06; 12/21/06)

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Waiting to Make Purchases #2 Consumer Pet Peeve

A new survey has found that waiting to make purchases at retail outlets ranked as #2 on the “wait we hate the most” list. The survey conducted for NCR by Opinion Research also found that 39% of consumers are willing to use time-saving self-service alternatives to help reduce their wait times. The top reasons for consumers’ frustration with waiting for service or waiting in line were: the lack of employees able to assist them (44%), a concern for being late (39%), not knowing how much longer they’d have to wait (33%) and the time it takes for each person ahead of them to finish (19%). The survey found that consumers figure they are spending more than two days per year waiting in line for service. Thirty-nine percent of the survey respondents said they would be extremely or very interested in using a self-service kiosk or other self-service device if one was available to help them complete the activity at hand more quickly.

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AmEx Q4 Card Profits Rise 29% Year-on-Year

American Express reported that its U.S. Card Services division posted fourth quarter net income of $535 million, up 29% year-over-year, but down 8% sequentially. U.S. gross dollar volume rose 13% and the AmEx cardbase expanded 12% during the fourth quarter, compared to the year ago quarter. Total net revenues for the fourth quarter increased 18% to $3.8 billion, however, total expenses increased 13% and the provision for losses increased 3%. Total worldwide card loans rose 17% to $63.5 billion. Delinquency on total card loans (30+ days) declined to 2.6% versus 2.7% in the prior quarter. Charge-offs on total card loans increased to 3.7% compared to 3.5% for 3Q/06. Card volume in the U.S. hit $109.7 billion, up sharply from the prior quarter. The total number of domestic cards-in-force grew by 1.3 million from the prior quarter to 48.1 million cards. For complete details on American Express’ fourth quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

American Express U.S. Card Portfolio Snapshot
4Q/06 3Q/06 2Q/06 1Q/06 4Q/05 Ann Chng
Volume $109.7b 101.7 102.5 92.9 93.0 +18.0%
Cards 48.1mm 46.8 45.4 44.0 43.0 +11.9%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Buckeye Discover Gift Card is Launched

Glimcher Realty Trust and Salt Lake City-based NBO Systems have partnered to issue the Buckeye Gift Card from The Ohio State University. Available in denominations from $25-$500, the Buckeye Gift Card may be used to purchase products or services everywhere Discover Network Cards are accepted. Glimcher Realty Trust is a real estate investment trust specializing in the development of regional and super regional malls. NBO develops, markets and supports stored-value prepaid card programs.

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BofA Managed Q4 Card Loans Up 7%; Tops $200B

Bank of America reported that Card Services had Q4 revenue of $5.46 billion, an increase of 15% compared to the fourth quarter of last year and net income rose 88% to $1.86 billion. Managed card loans at the end of the fourth quarter increased 7% year-on-year to $203.4 billion. Excluding business cards, BofA had $170.5 billion in fourth quarter outstandings compared to $164.5 billion in the prior quarter. Fourth quarter Card Services charge-offs were 4.45%, compared to 4.11% in the prior quarter and 9.35% one year ago. The managed 30+ day delinquency rose to 5.16%, compared to 4.90% in the third quarter and 4.13% for 4Q/05. BofA also reported that its merchant acquiring business handled $91.3 billion in processing volume during the fourth quarter from total transactions of nearly 2.1 billion. Purchase volume for U.S. consumer and business cards was $60.9 billion for 4Q/06 compared to $57.1 billion for 3Q/06. (BofA now includes consumer finance, international card operations and merchant services in reporting Card Services.) Debit card revenue increased 23% to a record $1.91 billion. BofA also had 17,079 ATMs at the end of 2006, compared to 16,785 in the prior year. For complete details on Bank of America’s 4Q/06 performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

BOFA/MBNA EOP CARD LOAN HISTORICAL
4Q/05: $189.3 billion
1Q/06: $184.9 billion
2Q/06: $190.1 billion
3Q/06: $194.9 billion
4Q/06: $203.4 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Ceridian Hires Quality & Service Ops Exec

MN-based Ceridian has hired Michael Shea to serve as EVP of quality and service operations. Previously, Shea was SVP of operations for GE Commercial Fleet Financial Services. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota. Ceridian Corporation is an information services company that provides human resources outsourcing. Through its Comdata subsidiary, Ceridian is a major payment processor and issuer of credit cards, debit cards and stored value cards.

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