20% of Students Turn Down Credit Card Offers

A new report has found that more than 20% of college students surveyed have decided to avoid potential credit card pitfalls by not obtaining even one credit card. More than 30% of students have just one card, according to the research by Atlanta-based NetBank. More than half of the students who have credit cards said they pay their credit card statement in full each month and don’t carry a balance. NetBank also says the survey showed that the first thing students look at when selecting a bank is the amount of fees charged for not maintaining a minimum balance. Their second biggest concern is belonging to a bank that provides easy access to fee-free ATMs.

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MasterCard Shareholders Approve 2006 IPO

MasterCard shareholders yesterday approved changes to the governing documents of MasterCard, the proposed initial public offering and a new long term incentive plan. More than 85% of MasterCard’s outstanding shares were voted at Monday’s special meeting, the highest quorum ever achieved by the company. Each of the proposals was approved by over 94% of the votes cast except for the incentive plan proposal, which was approved by over 91% of the votes cast. The new corporate governance and open ownership structure includes the appointment of a new Board of Directors comprised of a majority of independent directors, the transition to a publicly traded company and the establishment of a charitable foundation which will hold 10% of the company’s shares. 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)

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U.S. Contactless Market Drives OTI Growth

Rosh Pina-based On Track Innovations posted revenues for the third quarter of $12.1 million, a 120% jump over the same period of last year.
The Company says the increase in revenues represents the rapid
advancements in the contactless market around the world and in
particular the U.S. market, where it will deliver contactless solutions
for more than ten million payment cards in 2005. During the third
quarter, OTI completed a series of strategic acquisitions in China,
increasing manufacturing capacity to 1.5 million units per week by the
second half of 2006. The Company also completed a $22.2 million private
placement of new equity financing with institutional investors from the
US, Switzerland and England. For complete details on OTI’s third
quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Arby’s Launches a Dec. MasterCard Promotion

MasterCard and Arby’s have launched a December promotion for its 1,000 U.S. restaurants whereby customers using a MasterCard credit card are automatically entered for a chance to win $25,000 in MasterCard gift cards. There is no purchase necessary to win and participation is available in-restaurant or via mail. Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. is an Atlanta-based company that is the franchisor of the Arby’s restaurant system, which consists of nearly 3,500 restaurants worldwide.

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Pay By Touch Names an EVP of Biz Development

Pay By Touch has named Gus Spanos as EVP of business development after he recently led a $130 million fundraising effort. Spanos brings a wealth of experience in finance and operations. Prior to joining Pay By Touch, he was a partner at JH Partners where he helped raise the firm’s inaugural institutional private equity fund that consisted of the nation’s top five university endowments. In addition to his eight years in private equity, Spanos began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and later spent seven years as an operating executive at several private equity sponsored companies. Spanos earned his MBA degree from The Stanford Graduate School of Business and his AB degree from Harvard College.

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AmEx Finanzmanagement Teams with update for CRM

Update software AG has established a Customer Relationship Management
partnership with Heidelberg-based American Express Finanzmanagement. The credit card company has added
personal advisory services in the areas of liquidity, provisioning and
asset management to the range of financial services it holds available
for cardmembers in Germany. By the end of 2005, some 100 financial
advisors at 16 branches of AmEx Finanzmanagement will work with update’s
CRM system. Via the Web-based user interface, they will be able to
access the centrally stored customer data from their respective
workplaces. The marketing department will use the CRM system primarily
for analytical tasks such as controlling or customer value calculations,
and the results will flow back directly into the operational process.
update software is one of Europe’s leading providers of CRM solutions
with revenues of EUR 15.3 million.

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Vantage Debit MasterCard Adds Credit Building

San Ramon, California-based AccountNow has expanded its “Vantage Debit MasterCard” product with a credit building feature which reports bill payments to the PRBC credit bureau. The free credit builder is a new feature of the AccountNow Pay Anyone Bill Pay service. It provides the millions of unbanked or underbanked U.S. consumers a credit builder product that allows them to demonstrate their credit worthiness by paying ordinary bills on time. The service is free of charge to all new and current AccountNow members who use the AccountNow Bill Pay service. The AccountNow Bill Pay service is the first such service of its kind. PRBC is a national credit bureau with a community economic development mission.

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First Data Teams with MICROS-Fidelio for EFTPOS

First Data and POS solutions provider, MICROS-Fidelio, have teamed to transform the management of EFTPOS payments within Australia.
The solution provides commercial benefits for operators within the
hospitality and travel industry sector and modernizes the way bill
payments are made. The integrated EFTPOS system eliminates the
requirement for dedicated EFTPOS terminals and delivers
additional functionality, such as dynamic currency conversion.
Australia’s seafood restaurant Doyle’s was the first site to go live with the system.

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M-tech Innovation Wins ICMA Spiritus Award

The International Card Manufacturers Association announced that Pune-based card manufacture M-tech Innovation is a winner of
the “Spiritus Award.” M-tech took an active role in aiding the Tsunami
relief funds. They not only raised a substantial amount of money to
donate to the Sakal Tsunami funds, they also hold a highly successful
annual blood donation camp. Winners of the award were determined based
on a number of factors, including the level and depth of involvement by
company staff; the overall impact of the program on the community, i.e.
the number of people affected or helped by the program; the overall
effort put into the program in terms of hours of service or complexity
of the program’s development; and the overall impact of resources such
as money, time, expertise, and in-kind donations. ICMA is a non-profit
association comprised of plastic card manufacturers, personalizers and
related industry participants.

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