CEO’s Cancer Delays MasterCard IPO

MasterCard’s planned IPO is being delayed until the second quarter due to surgery on the President/CEO. Bob Selander underwent surgery this week for prostate cancer and is recovering at home. The prognosis is excellent and he expects to be back in the office in early March. Selander says he has been advised not to undertake a demanding travel schedule, such as a road show, over the next couple of months. In September, MasterCard announced it was planning to go public in early 2006 by selling 49% in an IPO, raising about $2.5 billion. The card association said it will use the IPO’s proceeds to redeem stock from its existing 1,400 financial institution shareholders and plans to retain $650 million for litigation and marketing expenses. (CF Library 9/1/05; 9/16/05; 11/26/05)

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Discover Card Acceptance Expands South

Costa Rica-based Credomatic International has signed a deal to expand acceptance of the “Discover Card” in Central America. Credomatic will begin targeting major merchants in tourist destinations to offer “Discover Network” acceptance and will extended the program to the company’s entire merchant portfolio throughout the region. Credomatic facilitates credit card services for more than 65,000 merchants in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The “Discover Card” is currently accepted at popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada and widely accepted in USA. Credomatic is a subsidiary of BAC International Bank.

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Profit Technologies Lands MBNA’s Terry

North Carolina-based Profit Technologies has hired Bill Terry, formerly with MBNA, as a consultant for large financial institutions and credit card companies. Terry joins the team responsible for credit card engagements, where he will analyze and assess credit card products, operations, fees, and related processing to identify improvement opportunities. Prior to Profit Technologies, Terry completed a 15-year career as an executive of MBNA. Profit Technologies is an international earnings enhancement firm.

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European Processors to Merge for SEPA

Netherlands-based processor Interpay Nederland and Germany’s Transaktionsinstitut have agreed to merge by mid-year. The new firm will become the first European full-service payment processor in a consolidating payments market according to CardFlash International. The combined volume of the partnership will account for the processing and clearing of around 6.6 billion transactions per year, leading to a combined market share of the new entity in the Euro zone of over 10 per cent. The formation of a “Single Euro Payments Area” will result in Euro-domestic market, with harmonized basic payment products throughout Europe.

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frontierAlt Launch Card Services

frontierAlt Investment Management Corporation and MAK Allen & Day Capital Partners have launched frontierAlt Card Services, a specialty company that offers secure debit payment and low-cost money transfer solutions electronically throughout the world. The frontierAlt Cash Card has bank level security and can be used at any ATM or retailer with Interac, Cirrus or Maestro portals. The card is re-loadable on-line and is designed to facilitate cash payments and transfers
for individuals as well as corporations.

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Macalla Software Enables Mpay Payment Services

Ireland-based Macalla Software is supplying its Mobile Top-Up software
and related services to enable mobile phone re-charge and payment
services in the Middle East. Branded “Mpay,” the initial service allows
prepaid subscribers on the MTC Kuwait network to directly re-charge
their mobile phones without having to travel to a retail outlet or hand
over cash and to pay for these top-up transactions via their nominated
bank facility. Top-up call credit is applied automatically within
seconds. The service leverages commercial agreements between Al Bahar
United, MTC, Axalto and the shared electronic banking services company
(Knet) through which all Kuwaiti banks participate. Supported channels
are SMS, JavaCard and web with services available in Arabic and English.
Mpay is a subsidiary of Al Bahar Telecom, a leading telecommunication
company that is a significant stakeholder in IT and Telecommunications
products and services companies in Kuwait and Middle East.

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TATA MASTERCARD

Tata Sons and the State Bank of India have launched a multi-brand
MasterCard in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore,
Hyderabad and Jamshedpur. The new “Tata MasterCard” offers the ability
to earn and redeem loyalty points via 18 brand categories. The
categories include airlines, books and publications, departmental
stores, durables, fuel, groceries, hospitality, insurance, jewelry,
watches and accessories and telecom. The new card is available in three
versions: “Privilege,” “Premier” and “Leaders.” The target is two
million cardholders over the next five years.

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ACCEL/Exchange Network Transactions Up 46%

Fiserv’s ACCEL/Exchange Network reported that it grew its in-network transaction totals by 46% last year, signed 400 new members, including more than 210 credit unions and added 60,000 ATMs and 200,000 POS locations during the past year. Year-over-year transaction totals were 410 million in 2005, up from 281 million in 2004. The Network’s ATM transactions rose 27% to 52 million in 2005 from 41 million in 2004 and POS transaction activity increased 49% to 358 million in 2005 from 240 million in 2004. ACCEL/Exchange transactions are now enabled at more than 100,000 ATMs and 500,000 merchant locations throughout North America. The business unit operates more than 17,000 ATMs and currently processes approximately 435 million ATM and debit transactions per month.

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Paypass is the Ticket for Cineplex

Cineplex Entertainment and MasterCard
Canada have teamed up to enable moviegoers carrying PayPass-enabled
MasterCard cards to pay for tickets and concession items by simply
tapping their cards at designated PayPass readers in three theatres in
the greater Toronto area and will expand the program to more than 100
Cineplex Entertainment theatres across the country throughout 2006.
Cineplex Entertainment LP owns, operates or has an interest in 130
theatres with 1,275 screens and is the largest motion picture exhibitor
in Canada.

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