Wincor Nixdorf Names a New U.S. CEO

TX-based Wincor Nixdorf has named Brad Waugh, formerly with Watch Hill Partners and MasterCard Advisors, as its new U.S. CEO. Waugh previously served as founder, President/CEO of Watch Hill Partners (WHP), a venture-backed CRM (Customer Relationship Management) consulting that specialized in the optimization and mobilization of sales force and service level automation of financial services companies. Prior to his executive roles at Watch Hill Partners and MasterCard Advisors, Waugh was President at an infrastructure management services company, and executive vice president for a consulting and technology services company. Wincor Nixdorf is one of the world’s leading suppliers of IT solutions to the retail and banking industries.

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DataWave Systems Acquired by InComm

British Columbia-based DataWave Systems is being acquired by Atlanta-based InComm Holdings for $36 million in cash. DataWave is a provider of prepaid and stored-value delivery systems in Canada with operations in the U.S. InComm plans to integrate DataWave’s 10,000 retail locations and 6,000-plus POSA terminals located in Canada and the U.S. into its network of more than 145,000 retail locations. DataWave will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of InComm. Josh Emanuel, DataWave chairman and CEO, will remain as president of the InComm subsidiary. InComm offers financial debit cards, gift cards, music downloads, ring tones, games, long-distance cards, online games, broadband, digital television as well as bill payment solutions. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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Credit Card APRs Up 476 bps Since Jul 04

Even though gas prices are falling and consumer optimism is rising it appears the Fed will hold the lid on short-term interest rates tomorrow. Regardless, credit card interest rates continue to climb with punitive rates among the top issuers hovering at an unprecedented 32.24% this month. The rising rate climate has also largely driven fixed interest rate credit cards from the market with the exception of short-term promotional rates. According to CardTrak (www.cardtrak.com), the average fixed interest rate is now 14.55% versus an average variable interest rate of 16.34%. Since the Fed started tightening rates in July 2004, the average variable credit card interest rate has soared 476 basis points. More than 86% of credit card accounts now carry variable interest rate structures. Most of the top issuers charge at least nine points over the prime rate for standard accounts which means a return to 17%-18% APRs.

CREDIT CARD INTEREST RATES
Month Prime Fixed Variable
Aug 04 4.50% 12.85% 11.89%
Sep 04 4.75% 12.88% 12.11%
Oct 04 4.75% 13.00% 12.19%
Nov 04 5.00% 13.04% 12.37%
Dec 04 5.25% 13.09% 12.49%
Jan 05 5.25% 13.22% 12.67%
Feb 05 5.50% 13.25% 12.84%
Mar 05 5.75% 13.32% 13.08%
Apr 05 5.75% 13.39% 13.17%
May 05 6.00% 13.48% 13.45%
Jun 05 6.00% 13.59% 13.61%
Jul 05 6.25% 13.64% 13.84%
Aug 05 6.50% 13.76% 14.24%
Sep 05 6.75% 13.80% 14.49%
Oct 05 6.75% 13.87% 14.64%
Nov 05 7.00% 13.91% 14.89%
Dec 05 7.25% 13.93% 15.20%
Jan 06 7.50% 14.08% 15.53%
Feb 06 7.50% 14.11% 15.75%
Mar 06 7.75% 14.15% 15.81%
Apr 06 7.75% 14.19% 15.99%
May 06 8.00% 14.23% 16.02%
Jun 06 8.00% 14.32% 16.10%
Jul 06 8.25% 14.42% 16.27%
Aug 06 8.25% 14.55% 16.34%
Source: CardTrak (www.cardtrak.com)

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ABS 2Q/06

Charge-offs for credit card-backed bonds in the U.K. continued to deteriorate during the second quarter, hitting a record 7.0%, compared to 4.5% one-year ago and 6.6% for the prior quarter. Delinquencies also edged upward during 2Q/06 to 3.8% compared to 3.7% in the first quarter. According to FitchRatings, increases in bankruptcies and individual voluntary arrangements continued to strongly influence the rising charge-off numbers. To tackle the issue of bankruptcies and
IVAs, some originators are considering reviewing their underwriting policies, enhancing their predictive scoring and managing their various delinquent portfolios in an attempt to reduce losses. Meanwhile, the monthly payment rate on credit card ABS declined in the second quarter to 17.2%, compared to 18.9% for the first quarter. The Fitch “Yield Index” also declined to 19.9% at the end of 2Q/06, from 20.7% at the end of March.

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EFMARK-Bantek Lands a New CEO

IL-based EFMARK-Bantek, a provider of maintenance and cash services for ATMs and terminals, has landed Wayne Robinson, formerly with KKR, GE and Boston Consulting Group, as CEO. Robinson, a seasoned business veteran with deep operational and financial experience, will oversee the implementation of EFMARK-Bantek’s strategic plan across all divisions in its 43-state footprint. His appointment as CEO opens a new phase of development for the recently-merged company, which includes plans for a new company name, a broadening service portfolio, and entry into complementary market segments. EFMARK-Bantek is the nation’s largest independent ATM service company.

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Citi Introduces Credit Card Fraud Insurance

Citibank added “Fraud Insurance” to its credit card programs.
Covered by the insurance are risks associated with unauthorized card
transactions upon the credit card’s loss/theft up to CZK 100,000 (in
case of unauthorized web-made transactions, up to CZK 30,000), if the
same occurred within 72 hours, at the maximum, from the time when
stop-listing request is received. In addition, it also includes
insurance of keys up to CZK 3,000 and insurance of personal ID documents
up to Kc5,000 if those are lost/stolen together with the credit card.
The Fraud Insurance monthly premium fee is Kc79. This Fraud Insurance
policy is offered in conjunction with POJIÅ TOVNA CARDIF PRO VITA a.s.

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Mobilescape 5000 is Class B Certified

Houston-based wireless payment solutions provider, Commerciant, announced Global eTelecom “Class” B platform certification for its “Mobilescape 5000” wireless payment solution. There are tens of thousands of businesses in the U.S. that need to process payments in the field, and the Mobilescape 5000 offering from Commerciant provides a total solution, including hardware, software, integration services, wireless service, and 24×7 customer support and maintenance. Global eTelecom provides proprietary electronic check processing and Gift/Loyalty services to over 35,000 merchants nationwide. Commerciant, LP is the leader in wireless, handheld payment processing technology.

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MC Clears PrePay Chip & PIN Cards

Stored value card specialist, PrePay Technologies, has earned certification from MasterCard to issue “Chip & PIN.” The Company currently offers magnetic stripe cards. FSA regulated, PrePay Technologies, is the first company in the U.K. to acquire an “Electronic Money License” to issue e-money across Europe. PrePay’s current “Gift Card” & “Travel Money” card programs include Debenhams, Western Union, Comet, Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Outfit, Wallace, Evans, Burtons, Laura Ashley and others.

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Cash-Back is King with U.S. Cardholders

In conjunction with yesterday’s unveiling of the new “Freedom” rewards card, Chase released a survey that revealed 64% of respondents would change their credit card rewards features to receive cash back. The new Chase card offers cardholders the option to switch back and forth between points or cash. The survey also found people from the South and those age 55 and older are more likely to choose cash back, while Midwesterners and those between the ages of 25 and 34 say they are seeking easy rewards redemption programs. The “Change It Up Survey,” conducted by Greenfield Online and commissioned by Chase, found most want the freedom to explore a new city (26%), get a different job (21%) or experience a less hectic schedule (17%).

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Garanti to Offer Digipass for Java Phone

Garanti Bank is deploying VASCO’s “Digipass for Java Phone” for its retail customers. Garanti already uses the hardware “Digipass 260” for corporate banking. Retail customers will have the choice between the software “Digipass for Java Phone” and “Digipass 260.” “Digipass for Java Phone” is a software “Digipass that can be downloaded to any “Java” supporting mobile phone. The customized version of “Digipass for
Java Phone” used by Garanti, is able to compute digital signatures, in
addition to one-time passwords. VASCO has delivered more than 25 million “Digipass” products.

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Business Credit Card Web Queries Grow

A monthly snapshot of rising and falling business search trends among small business Internet users shows that credit card queries have ranked in the top 10 for the second consecutive month. The “August Business.com Barometer” shows business credit card queries have moved to #7, compared to #10 last month. Web searches for small business loans were up 74% compared to the prior month. Banking queries were up 31%. Business.com says these are all good indicators of growth as small businesses look to expand. Business.com attracts more than 3.2 million diverse business owners and decision makers.

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Euronet Ranked Among the Rising Stars

KS-based Euronet Worldwide has been ranked #36 overall on FORTUNE’s annual list of the “100 Fastest-Growing Companies for 2006”. The Company also placed fifth in the revenue growth category with a three-year annualized growth rate of 89 percent. Only 43 of the 100 companies from last year’s list appeared again this year in FORTUNE and Euronet was one of them. In addition to its overall ranking in 2005 as the 34th fastest growing company in America, Euronet also ranked among the top three companies in the revenue growth category. Euronet Worldwide is an industry leader in processing secure electronic financial transactions.

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