Chase Acquires Kohl’s Cards for $1.5B

JPMorgan Chase has inked a cash deal to acquire Kohl’s $1.5 billion private label credit card portfolio. The total purchase price will be equal to the receivable balances purchased at the closing date. Chase will also continue to issue to store card under a long-term strategic alliance. The Kohl’s portfolio has more than 13 million accounts. All of Kohl’s current credit organization associates will remain employees of Kohl’s. Kohl’s expects to use the initial proceeds from the transaction to repurchase its stock, fund store expansion and for general corporate purposes. In anticipation of the sale of the credit accounts receivable, Kohl’s board of directors has authorized a $2 billion share repurchase program.

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Government Smart Card Conference Planned

The Smart Card Alliance has scheduled its “5th Annual Smart Cards in Government Conference” for April 18-20 in Arlington, VA. This year’s theme is “Government Smart Cards in Action: The Implementation Phase Begins.” The conference program is divided into two separate tracks. The implementation and policy track includes sessions on Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), ePassports, Registered Traveler, DHS First Responder and the REAL ID Act. The technical track features sessions on FIPS 201 compliance, dual interface cards, biometric templates, contactless interfaces, ePassport testing, physical access control system integration, card management, conformance testing and certification, and standards progress.

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Info Touch ZapLink Expands in Texas

Seattle-based Info Touch Technologies/TIO Network has deployed 25 of its “ZapLink” kiosks at select Circle K convenience stores in El Paso, Texas. The kiosks enable cash preferred customers to securely access personal accounts and view balances on select billers without the need to have account number present. They can also pay a host of bills including wireless, utility and cable and update their accounts in real time.

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JAN DEBT

Driven by holiday spending credit card outstandings neared the GBP 57 billion level during January. The figure is GBP 700 million above the prior month and GBP 2.9 billion higher than year-ago levels. The Bank of England says, however, that the annual growth rate of overall consumer credit continued to fall, to 8.7% in January. The annual growth rate of consumer credit was 9.3% in December. The increase in total net lending to individuals in January was GBP 700 million stronger than the increase in December and GBP 1.4 billion higher than the previous six month average.. The twelve-month growth rate remained unchanged, at 10.3%.

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VeriFone Revenues Climb 21% in 4Q/05

VeriFone reported that net revenues for the quarter ending January 31st rose 21% to $134.6 million as profits more than doubled. The payment terminal manufacturer says the increase was driven by a 24% year-over-year gain in its international business. VeriFone’s net income for the quarter was $13.8 million compared to $5.8 million for the year ago period. During the quarter, VeriFone received one of the largest Indian orders in its history, winning a 50,000 unit order for “Vx 510” systems from ICICI. The Company also signed its first major contract with Mexico’s FIMPE association of banks and announced a major multi-year, multi-million dollar contract award from General Electric’s Retail Sales Finance Unit. VeriFone also unveiled its smallest and lightest fully-functional mobile handheld payment platform, the new, Wi-Fi equipped “Vx 670” during the quarter. For complete details on VeriFone’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 11/15/05)

REVENUE HISTORICAL
4Q/03: $ 87.9 million
1Q/04: $ 89.5 million
2Q/04: $104.0 million
3Q/04: $108.6 million
4Q/04: $111.3 million
1Q/05: $117.9 million
2Q/05: $125.7 million
3Q/05: $130.5 million
4Q/05: $134.6 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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BenSoft FSA Debit Card Hits 100K

San Diego-based BenSoft reports it has topped 100,000 participants of its “RepayMe.com” automated reimbursement plan software for flexible spending accounts which includes a personalized debit card. RepayMe is the 100% Web-based software solution that provides an integrated real-time debit card option, online participant claim entry, employee self service, employer self service, and a business processing outsource (BPO) option for FSA/HRA/HSA management.

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GCA Adds 26 Clients for Cash Access

Global Cash Access recently signed 26 gaming establishments for its “Casino Cash Plus 3-in-1 ATM” and “QuikCash” cash advance terminals. The Casino Cash Plus 3-in-1 ATM offers patrons a quick way to access cash through ATM cash withdrawals, point-of-sale (POS) debit card transactions and credit card cash advances with patented 3-in-1 rollover functionality. One of GCA’s most popular ATMs, the Casino Cash Plus 3-in-1 ATM, provides convenience to casino patrons and revenue potential to casino operators. Available in kiosk, countertop, wall-mount, free-standing and handheld models, QuikCash terminals can be installed virtually anywhere in a gaming establishment.

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22% of Unbanked Consumers Use Plastic

A new study reveals that 22% of the 10.2 million Americans that do not have a bank account have used a credit card in the past three months. The research showed that VISA is the most widely used card among the unbanked and that store credit cards were more popular than Discover or American Express. NY-based Scarborough Research says its study also showed that 46% of these consumers are likely to be ages 18-24, 52% are and more than twice as likely to have an annual household income of $35,000 or less. Additionally, unbanked consumers are also more than twice as likely to be either black or Hispanic. Surveying more than 210,000 adults annually, Scarborough is a joint venture between Arbitron and VNU Media Measurement & Information.

UNBANKED CARD USAGE
VISA 13%
MasterCard 9%
Store 5%
Discover 3%
Gas 3%
American Exp 2%
Source: Scarborough Research

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