T-Online VF Makes an Investment in Click&Buy

T-Online Venture Fund has made a 10% investment in Zug-based
FIRSTGATE Holding, owner of Europe’s in Click&Buy Internet
payment services. Besides the investment of the T-Online Venture Fund, interoperability between T-Pay, the online payment system by T-Com, and Click&Buy, is planned to be achieved. In future, this will open up the possibility for T-Pay, one of the leading German payment systems, to offer payment of T-Com bills through Click&Buy as well. Click&Buy system handles both billing in various currencies and the processing of credit cards, direct debits and the 40 most commonly used payment procedures in Europe.

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iPayment Revenues Rise 3% in 2Q/06

Nashville-based iPayment reported that revenues increased 3% to $189.2 million for the second quarter. However, the Company posted a net loss of $5.8 million for the second quarter, compared to net income of $7.7 million for 2Q/05. The loss was attributable to the buyout of iPayment by a group led by Greg Daily, iPayment’s Chairman and CEO, Carl Grimstad, iPayment’s President, which occurred in May. The group, Payment Holdings, paid $800 million for the purchase of the outstanding shares of iPayment’s common stock, $70 million to pay down the entire outstanding balance of iPayment’s previous revolving credit facility, and $20 million to pay transaction costs at closing. iPayment provides credit and debit card-based payment processing services to over 140,000 small merchants nationwide. For complete details on iPayments’s latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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CHIP & PIN

After six months of full implementation more than 99.8% of all “chip and PIN” card transactions in the U.K. are now PIN-verified. However, only 87% of the 975,000 tills in the country are upgraded to “chip and PIN.” APACS, the UK payments association, says this is changing quickly. The U.K.’s banks and card companies have now issued 130 million chip and PIN cards representing 92% of a total of 141 million cards. APACS noted that thanks to “chip and PIN,” in 2005, there was a reduction of nearly GBP 60 million in counterfeit and fraud on lost and stolen cards, a 24% decrease over 2004.

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Global Axcess Q2 Revenues Rise 10%

FL-based Global Axcess posted a 10% year-on-year increase in revenues of $5.5 million during the second quarter. However, the Company reported a net loss for the quarter of $373,100 compared to a net loss of $42,000 for the same period of 2005. Global Axcess say it is focusing on returning to profitability but continuing to review strategic alternatives with its advisors at Raymond James. Global Axcess, through its Nationwide Money Services subsidiary, provides turnkey ATM management solutions. NMS currently owns and operates approximately 4,600 ATMs in 42 states. It also provides proprietary ATM branding and processing for 83 financial institutions with over 700 branded sites nationwide. For complete details on Global Axcess’ latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Teens Attracted to Gift Card Malls

A new survey shows that nearly a third of teenagers are purchasing gift cards at gift card malls. The research also found that 48% of teen males purchase gift cards rather than purchase gift items for their families and friends throughout the year, while teen females purchased about 33% gift cards rather than gift items. The poll, commissioned by Stored Value Systems, discovered that males are more likely to purchase gift cards online (51%) than females (32%). Males (47%) are more likely than female teens (34%) to purchase gift cards with preset amounts on them, as compared to choosing an amount. Additionally, the survey of 603 college-bound teens reveals that the average number of gift cards teens purchased for friends and family over the past year was 4.3 gift cards. The average amount they loaded onto a gift card was $28.

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VISA Consumer Bill Payments Nears $100B

Last year, Americans paid $89 billion in household bills, including electricity, cable TV, home and cell phone, insurance and rent with VISA debit and credit cards, about 25% above 2004. This week VISA has signed its largest electric utility system to-date offering the VISA payment option. OH-based FirstEnergy Corp. is introducing a fee-free program to offer an online payment option that enables customers to automatically pay their monthly electric bills with their VISA credit or check card. FirstEnergy serves 4.5 million customers. Operating companies include Ohio Edison, The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, and Toledo Edison in Ohio; Metropolitan Edison, Pennsylvania Electric and Pennsylvania Power in Pennsylvania; and Jersey Central Power and Light in New Jersey. Since 2000, bill payments on VISA cards has more than tripled.

Consumer Bill Payments on VISA Cards
2000: $25.1 billion
2001: $31.6 billion
2002: $39.9 billion
2003: $50.6 billion
2004: $71.4 billion
2005: $89.0 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Triton Adds a Marketing Projects Manager

ATM manufacturer Triton Systems has hired Alicia Blanda as Marketing Projects Manager. Blanda, who has more than 15 years of experience in advertising, marketing and public relations, and seven years of experience in the financial services industry, is responsible for the company’s public relations efforts and marketing to the financial services industry. Triton is the largest provider of off-premise ATMs and ATM management software in North America, and has more than 145,000 installations in over 23 countries worldwide.

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NCO Drives ARM Index to a Near High

The indicator of economic conditions affecting the accounts receivable management industry rose to just below its all-time high. The index was driven by the market capitalization of public ARM companies, especially the upcoming buyout of NCO Group. The “Kaulkin Ginsberg Index” for June rose to 1472.5 compared to 1458.6 for the prior month. During the first quarter the ARM index hover around 1200. The KGI remains up 13.0% year over year. KGI says the Index should continue to gradually increase until after the completion of the NCO Group buyout Last month PA-based NCO Group inked a definitive agreement to be acquired by One Equity Partners and Michael Barrist, Chairman, President and CEO of the Company for $1.26 billion. The price represents a 44% stock premium. (CF Library 7/25/06)

KGI HISTORICAL
Jan 06: 1179.3
Feb 06: 1229.3
Mar 06: 1222.4
Apr 06: 1472.7
May 06: 1458.6
Jun 06: 1475.2
Source: Kaulkin Ginsberg

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PSCU Signs Firstmark CU for Processing

San Antonio, TX-based Firstmark Credit Union with 21,000 credit cardholders has signed a long-term credit card processing agreement with PSCU Financial Services. The credit union is launching an ambitious campaign to grow its credit portfolio, so it had very high requirements for its new credit processor, according to Connie Shoemaker, Firstmark Credit Union’s Vice President of Retail Lending. Firstmark Credit Union (formerly San Antonio Teachers Credit Union) is a member owned, locally controlled, not-for-profit financial cooperative. PSCU Financial Services is owned by more than 500 member credit unions representing 10 million cardholder accounts and more than 345,000 online bill payment subscribers.

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TNS to Support 20K ACS POS Terminals

Affiliated Computer Services has selected TNS to provide cohesive transaction processing networking for more than 20,000 POS terminals nationwide for EBT. EBT is the electronic system that allows a recipient to authorize transfer of their government benefits from a Federal account to a retailer account to pay for products received. ACS, a global FORTUNE 500 company with more than 55,000 people supporting client operations reaching nearly 100 countries, provides business process outsourcing and information technology solutions to world-class commercial and government clients. Transaction Network Services is one of the leading providers of business-critical, cost-effective data communications services for transaction-oriented applications.

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Zebra Intros Desk-Top Dual-Sided Printer

Zebra Technologies has unveiled the “Zebra P430i” desktop plastic full-color card printer/encoder with dual-sided printing. The Zebra P430i uses the same wide range of options as Zebra’s industry-leading P330i single-sided printer. A patented card feeder system provides reliability via simplicity, using the weight of the card stack itself to ensure consistent feeding. Zebra Card Printer Solutions is a division of Zebra Technologies Corporation, which delivers innovative and reliable on-demand printing solutions to businesses and governments in 100 countries around the world.

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ICMA Opens Registration for Athens EXPO

The International Card Manufacturers Association’s “Annual EXPO” has been scheduled for October 8 to 11 in Athens. Seminar topics will range from contactless technology, card design and personalization trends to advanced ID technologies and card materials. In addition to the main conference program, ICMA will also reveal the results of the “Annual ICMA Global Market Survey.” Participating sponsors include Kurz, Lucchesi, Pittsburgh Embossing Services, Waytek, Spartanics, Digicard, Bayer Material Science and MasterCard.

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