Buyout of NCO Group Moves Along

PA-based NCO Group has 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. Blank Rome acted as legal counsel to NCO and Bass, Berry & Sims acted as legal counsel to the Special Committee. Credit Suisse acted as financial advisor to the Special Committee. Dechert acted as legal counsel for OEP and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton acted as legal counsel for Barrist. Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase acted as financial advisors to OEP. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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Encore Capital is Up for Sale

Encore Capital Group, Inc., a leading distressed consumer debt management company, announced that the Special Committee of its Board of Directors that was formed to consider strategic alternatives has retained Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. to act as co-financial advisor to the Special Committee along with J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., which continues to act as a financial advisor to the Special Committee. Deutsche Bank will act in lieu of Lazard Freres & Co. LLC as a result of Lazard having advised the Special Committee of a potential conflict in connection with its engagement.

About Encore Capital Group, Inc.

Encore Capital Group, Inc. is a systems-driven purchaser and manager of charged-off consumer receivables portfolios. More information on the company can be found at http://www.encorecapitalgroup.com.

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Online Resources’ Q2 Revenues Rise 21%

VA-based Online Resources Corporation reported revenue for the second quarter was $17.4 million, up 21% from $14.3 million in second quarter 2005. Net income was $1.4 million, down 11% versus $1.6 million in the prior year. Online Resources serves over 8 million billable end-users and processes approximately $75 billion in bill payments annually. For complete details on ORCC’s second quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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American Express’ Card Profits Up 29%

American Express reported that its U.S. Card Services division posted second quarter net income of $616 million, up 29% year-over-year. Marketing, promotion, rewards and cardholder services expenses increased 15% due to higher rewards costs, marketing and promotion activities. However, provisions for losses declined 17% due to lower write-offs which benefited from last year’s bankruptcy legislation and improved collections. Bank partners that issue cards on the American Express network added 2.6 million cards-in-force from a year ago. Card volume in the U.S. increased 15.8% to $102.5 billion. The total number of domestic cards-in-force grew by 1.4 million from the prior quarter to 45.4 million cards. For complete details on American Express’ second quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

American Express U.S. Card Portfolio Snapshot
2Q/06 1Q/06 4Q/05 3Q/05 2Q/05 Ann Chng
Volume $102.5 92.9 93.0 89.0 88.5 +15.8%
Cards 45.4m 44.0 43.0 42.0 41.0 +10.7%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Diebold’s Q2 Revenues Climb 17%

Diebold posted second quarter revenue of $726.4 million, up 17.4% from 2Q/05. Net income for Q2 was $17.2 million, compared to net income of $32.0 million in the second quarter of last year. The Company says the process of realigning its global manufacturing operations, including the consultation process around the planned closure of the production facility in Cassis, France, continues to present a number of challenges. Production levels at the French facility are significantly lower than expected, resulting in higher levels of exports to Europe from its manufacturing facilities in North America and Asia. The Company anticipates this situation will continue, which will cause manufacturing costs to remain higher than usual. Total orders for ATMs and security products/services were down in the low single-digit range compared to the prior year period. Financial self-service orders were down in the high single-digit range, with solid order growth in Asia Pacific more than offset by double-digit order declines in the Americas. For complete details on Diebold’s second quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

DIEBOLD REVENUE HISTORICAL
2Q/05: $629.2 million
3Q/05: $622.3 million
4Q/05: $817.6 million
1Q/06: $623.7 million
2Q/06: $726.4 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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StoreNext to Market Hypercom’s Optimum

TX-based StoreNext Retail Technologies will market Hypercom’s “Optimum” payment terminals to independent grocers and regional chains via StoreNext’s nationwide dealer network. The integrated solution provides grocers with signature capture, debit conversion, electronic check conversion, Pay By Touch biometric payments and Blackhawk gift card support. Hypercom Corp. delivers a full suite of high-security, end-to-end electronic payment products and services. StoreNext Retail Technologies LLC is the No. 1 supplier of retail technology to independent grocers and regional chains.

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Just Pay It Convenience is Introduced

Metavante has launched an expedited payments solution that enables billers to accept credit and debit cards, PIN-less debit and electronic checks processed through ACH. The new “Just Pay It Convenience” also enables billers to comply with card association regulations, while alleviating or even eliminating ongoing transaction costs. “Just Pay It Convenience” also goes beyond expedited payments. It supports both enrollment and non-enrollment models, enabling customers to make one-time payments with minimal personal information, or to set up recurring payments. It can also be fully integrated with Metavante “Biller Service Provider,” an online bill presentment solution, which transforms existing paper statements into mirror-image electronic documents.

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Cap One and Consumer Action Hand-Out Grants

Consumer Action and Capital One announced that their joint “MoneyWi$e” financial literacy partnership will award stipends totaling $75,000 to community non-profit groups in 13 states. The stipends support the efforts of community educators to help individuals in their communities become financially fit. This year’s recipients – 22 community-based organizations – will provide more than 16,000 individuals with access to the MoneyWi$e curriculum. Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company, with more than 324 locations in Texas and Louisiana. Consumer Action is a national non-profit education and advocacy organization founded in San Francisco in 1971.

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Smart Payment Solutions Lands a Risk Exec

VA-based Smart Payment Solutions has hired Shazia Philipsen as manager of risk management. Before joining Smart Payment Solutions, Philipsen was a risk manager for Lloyds TSB Bank in London, one of the top three banks in the UK, where she supported all non-retail lending business streams to ensure Basel II, FSA and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. Philipsen earned an MBA from Southampton University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is fluent in English, Urdu, Punjabi and Spanish. Smart Payment Solutions is a payment processing company that helps organizations of all sizes grow and prosper.

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Dynamic Card Solutions Signs 250 Clients

CO-based Dynamic Card Solutions has signed its 250th customer, Citizens Commerce National Bank, a full-service community bank located in Woodford County, Kentucky. In May 2006, Citizens Commerce National Bank agreed to offer DCS instant issued Visa debit cards to its members. Citizens Commerce National Bank opened on November 12, 1996, with a single full-service location in Versailles, Kentucky. Founded in 1996 and a wholly owned subsidiary of Dynamic Solutions International, Dynamic Card Solutions is an innovative developer of instant issuance and PIN selection solutions for banks, credit unions and retailers.

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PayPal Nears 114MM Accounts; But Volume Slows

eBay reported that PayPal had 113.7 million total accounts at the end of the second quarter, a 44% increase from one-year ago. Total payment volume rose 37% to a record $8.9 billion which includes payments initiated through the PayPal system but excludes its payment gateway business. The number of active accounts hit 29.5 million as of June 30th, its highest level to-date. During the second quarter, PayPal handled 143.3 million payments, a 4% decrease over the prior quarter but, up 27% from 1Q/05. PayPal’s 2Q/06 transaction revenue rate was 3.73%, down one basis point from the prior quarter, but, up six basis points from one-year ago. The processing expense rate for the second quarter was 1.02%, compared to 1.08% for 2Q/05. PayPal’s transaction loss rate came in at 27 basis points, up eight basis point from one-year ago. For complete details on eBay/PayPal’s second quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

PAYPAL HISTORICAL
$VOLUME #ACCOUNTS
2Q/05 $6.5 billion 78.9 million
3Q/05 $6.7 billion 86.6 million
4Q/05:$8.1 billion 96.2 million
1Q/06:$8.8 billion 105.0 million
2Q/06:$8.9 billion 113.7 million
SOURCE: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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hotels.com Offers Prepaid VISA Cards

hotels.com has launched the “Hotels for Life” sweepstakes, through August 28, offering a $25 prepaid “VISA” card every hour, throughout the sweepstakes period. Those who enter the sweepstakes will have the chance to win the grand prize of “hotels for life” — the opportunity for two guests to stay at a three star hotel for six nights once a year for 25 years — an approximately $25,000 value. hotels.com is also giving away a $25 prepaid Visa(R) card every hour, 24 hours a day, throughout the sweepstakes period. Site visitors who register will receive one entry into the sweepstakes. hotels.com(R) is a leading provider of lodging worldwide, offering reservation services through its own web sites (including http://www.hotels.com and others), its interactive affiliate network (http://www.IAN.com ), and its toll-free call centers (1-800-2-HOTELS).

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