U.S. Bank & NW Missouri State U Partner

U.S. Bank and the Northwest Missouri State University Alumni Association has partnered to launch a suite of “VISA Platinum” cards. The card generates support for the alumni association each time a new card is activated and repeatedly thereafter each time the card is used. The Northwest Missouri State University Alumni Association fosters lifelong relationships through initiatives and opportunities that advance the University and its alumni, future alumni and friends. U.S. Bancorp, with $207 billion in assets, is the 6th largest financial holding company in the United States.

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I.C.E.’s Third Quarter Revenues More than Double

Camarillo, CA-based International Card Establishment reported that revenues for the third quarter were $7.7 million, more than double one-year ago. Gross profit for the quarter was $1.1 million as compared to $539,355 for the three-month period ended September 30, 2004. The net operating loss was $1.6 million for the third quarter as compared to a net operating loss of $593,095 for the three-month period ended September 30, 2004. The Company recently reported that total charge volume for VISA/MasterCard transactions for September exceeded $24 million and that it is acquiring new merchant accounts at the rate of more than 600 per month. During the third quarter, I.C.E. signed five fifth new member in its “ISO Rep Program.” For complete details on I.C.E/s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 9/22/05; 11/8/05)

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

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Purdy’s Chocolates to Offer Moneris Gift Card

Vancouver-based Purdy’s Chocolates has launched an Ernex-powered gift card program.
The gift cards will give
Purdy’s customers the flexibility to load the card with any dollar
denomination between $5 and $250. Gift cards can be purchased and
redeemed at any of the more than 50 Purdy’s Chocolates locations in
British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. Purdy’s debit and credit
transactions are processed using Moneris “HiSpeed 3100IP” terminals –
which will also now be used to activate and process gift
cards. Ernex is a division of Moneris Solutions. Moneris Solutions serves more than 350,000 North American merchant locations.

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Intervoice Acquires S1’s Edify for $33MM

Intervoice signed an agreement to purchase Edify from S1 Corporation for $33.5 million in cash. The acquisition will strengthen Intervoice’s position in the voice automation market and the added revenues and resources will enable Intervoice to accelerate the development and delivery of multi-channel, automated information solutions for both its enterprise and network customers. The merger is expected to close in December 2005. Over the last four fiscal quarters, as published in Intervoice’s and S1’s respective quarterly disclosures, Intervoice and Edify had combined revenue in excess of $200 million. The Edify Corporation provides voice and speech applications. Intervoice provides platform, software, applications and services necessary to optimize voice automation solutions.

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FreeStar Teams with Hypercom And Global Refund

FreeStar Technology announced that its Helsinki-based Rahaxi Processing subsidiary has introduced a new service card payment platform with
Global Refund and Hypercom. The point-of-sale device
bundles into one device the automatic delivery of three functions:
payment transaction processing; dynamic currency conversion in 12 major
currencies for Visa and MasterCard users and VAT tax refund detection.
The customer gets a VAT tax refund check at the time of the transaction.
Global Refund offers tax-free shopping services for some 225,000
merchants in 37 countries. Rahaxi currently processes in excess of one million card payments per month.

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VISA and AmEx Gain 30BPS in Market Share

Americans have made $1942.1 billion in purchases and cash advances on VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover credit/signature debit cards so far this year. Based on U.S. data through September 30th, VISA and American Express each gained 30 basis points compared to one-year ago. VISA crossed the $1 trillion year-to-date milestone during the third quarter as its share rose from 53.6% to 53.9%. American Express’ share rose from 12.9% on September 30th, 2004 to 13.2% for this year. MasterCard and Discover both lost 30 basis points. MasterCard dropped to 28.9% and Discover slipped to 4.0%. Overall, volume is up 12.7% over 2004 according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

U.S. Year-to-Date Gross Dollar Volume
(excludes online debit)
NETWORK Q3 YTD GDV SHARE
VISA $1046.3 billion 53.9%
MasterCard $ 560.7 billion 28.9%
American Express $ 257.1 billion 13.2%
Discover $ 78.0 billion 4.0%
TOTAL $1942.1 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Points.com and GlobalPass Ink a Reciprocity Deal

Points International has signed an agreement with GlobalPass to
provide Points.com members with the opportunity to swap their reward program miles and points for “GlobalMiles.” Members can also swap out of “GlobalMiles” for miles or points in other rewards programs, gift
certificates, music downloads and more. New consumers signing up online
will receive a welcome bonus of 200 “GlobalMiles” and will automatically
be entered to win one of 10 prizes of 25,000 “GlobalMiles.” GlobalPass is an independently owned mileage based frequency program featuring online access. GlobalPass customers use “GlobalMiles” as currency for the purchase of goods and services from participating providers, including airline tickets from over 500 airlines worldwide. They also earn miles for each dollar spent if payment is made with a credit card.

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NAG Releases an Expanded NAG C Library

Portfolio managers involved in optimizations, modeling and other problem solving involving huge datasets can now access Numerical Algorithms Group’s updated “NAG C Library” which provides programmers with over 1,000 easily embedded numerical routines. Of particular interest to those working within the finance industry will be the extended optimization chapter, which now incorporates enhanced sparse matrix techniques, critical for efficiently solving problems that involve a very large proportion of zeros in the constraint or objective functions. A typical example is in a portfolio optimization problem where a constraint exists on the percentage of the portfolio invested in stocks within a given country. In such a problem there will be holdings specified for many stocks but most will be zero making the problem large but also predominantly sparse in nature. NAG’s C Library is available in a wide range of implementations, from PCs to supercomputers, covering Windows, Linux and major Unix platforms. NAG provides cross-platform mathematical, statistical, data mining components and tools for developers as well as 3D visualization application development environments.

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PAR3 Comm & Princeton eCom Team

PAR3 Communications and Princeton eCom have formed a strategic alliance combining PAR3’s automated notification solution and Princeton eCom’s electronic payment capabilities. The partnership enhances PAR3’s ability to accept immediate payment in response to a collections notification, and allows the companies to develop additional joint customers through the combined offering. Princeton eCom is a provider of electronic payment solutions with more than 1400 banks and 200 biller customers. PAR3 Communications, Inc. is the leading provider of enterprise customer communication solutions, delivering its solution through a software services model.

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Cash Beats Credit Cards for Holiday Purchases

A new poll suggests that cash has replaced credit cards as the second most-popular payment method during the winter holidays. However, debit cards remain the solid front-runner at 34%, the same as one-year ago. The survey conducted by BIGresearch for the National Retail Federation found that fewer consumers will be relying on credit cards when purchasing holiday merchandise this year (28.2% vs. 29.5% in 2004). The survey also found that cash has regained popularity, rising from 26% last year to 29% this year. The NRF says debt-conscious consumers will prefer to pay out-of-pocket for gifts this year and are making a conscious decision to reduce their reliance on credit cards. The NRF projects that U.S. holiday sales will increase 5.0% this year to $435.3 billion.

PAYMENT METHOD 2002 2003 2004 2005
Cash 34% 28% 26% 29%
Check 13% 12% 10% 9%
Credit 27% 30% 29% 28%
Debit 27% 30% 34% 34%
Source: NRF/BIGresearch

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Infineon to Spin-Off its Memory Products Business

Infineon has announced a proposal to create two focused and independent companies, one for logic and one for memory products. The Memory Products business will be carved out as a legally independent entity by July 1, 2006. As a next step, Infineon will consider an IPO of the Memory Products Company as the preferred option. Infineon, as the parent company, will focus on the Logic business, comprised of the business groups Automotive, Industrial Electronics and Multimarket and Communications. The realignment reflects fundamental shifts in Infineon’s target markets, characterized by changing market conditions and business processes. Infineon Technologies AG offers semiconductor and system solutions for automotive, industrial and multi market sectors, for applications in communication, as well as memory products.

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First Data Closes KMPS Acquisition

First Data has completed the acquisition of approximately
80% interest in Korea Mobile Payment Services, a provider
of value-added network services, an authorization switcher that
provides a network between merchants and issuers. The acquisition marks
First Data’s first official footprint in the Korean payment services
market. Korea Mobile Payment Services is a provider of credit card and
payment services. First Data serves 4.1 million merchant locations and 1,500 card issuers.

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