Citibank Connects with ADA Members

Citibank has launched the “Citi Connection for Dentists” program offering American Dental Association members business credit cards along with auto loans, line of credit, real estate assistance, mortgages and student loans. Citigroup is a global financial services company with 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services.

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Transaction Systems Consolidates

Transaction Systems Architects has combined its three business units into one under the ACI Worldwide name. ACI Worldwide had been TSA’s largest business unit, with nearly 78% of the Company’s revenues over the past twelve months. TSA expects annual pre-tax savings between $6.4 million to $6.7 million. The Company will take a fourth quarter charge of $1.2 million for the restructuring and possibly up to $2.8 million next year. Technology Strategy will be headed by CTO Charles Linberg. Marketing and Business Development will be headed by Jeffrey Hale. Finance will be headed by CFO David Bankhead. Legal will be headed by General Counsel Dennis Byrnes. Administration will be headed by David Morem. TSA also announced that Dennis Jorgensen, President of IntraNet Worldwide, will be retiring.

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Check$mart to Install Q Xpress 200

Ohio-based Check$mart has agreed to install Q Comm’s “Q Xpress 200” POS terminal at 172 locations nationwide. Under the terms of the contact, Check$mart will be able to provide Q Comm’s suite of leading prepaid products to check cashing and payday loan customers, enhancing recurring customer traffic and adding value at the point of sale. Check$mart can also benefit from Q Comm’s online sales reporting tools, which provide employee-level sales reporting. Q Comm International is a prepaid transaction processor that electronically distributes prepaid products from service providers to the point of sale.

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AmEx to Launch Two Alitalia Cobrand

Alitalia and American Express have teamed to launch two co-branded credit cards. The “Alitalia Card American Express” and the “Alitalia Card Business American Express” will be launched later this year. According to the Agenzia Giornalistica Italia, both parties have reached an exclusive long-term strategic agreement that also includes an extension of the agreements to the travel sector.

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Ernex Powers the Delta Hotels Gift Card

Ernex is providing its real-time loyalty and gift card technology to Delta Hotels. The new gift card comes in several fixed
values including $25, $50, $100 and $250. Variable gift cards are also available to be purchased for corporate incentives or for employee reward programs for values between $100 and $5000. Delta Hotels
also plans to use the variable gift cards for marketing programs, as compensation rewards for high-value customers, or as rewards for their Delta “Privilege” loyalty program members. Ernex has managed the technology behind the Delta “Privilege Membership Card”
since January 2003. Ernex is a division of Moneris Solutions. Delta Hotels has 37 city centre and airport hotels and resorts in Canada.
It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fairmont Hotels.

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MC to Launch the Small Business Challenge

MasterCard will kick-off its new “Small Business Challenge” in New York City this Friday with appearances by “The Apprentice” winners Bill Rancic and Kelly Perdew. SVP of Corporate Payment Solutions Steve Abrams kicks off the MasterCard “Small Business Challenge” in Union Square and will be available to discuss MasterCard small business initiatives including the “Get Wired” Sweepstakes, the “Small Business Challenge” and the multi-city “Small Business Technology Download”. During the “Small Business Challenge”, Rancic and Perdew will lead a group of small business owners competing for an office make-over.

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MasterCard in a Breast Cancer Fundraiser

MasterCard and Linens ‘n Things have launched an October fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Foundation whereby customers making a $1 contribution will have it matched by Linens ‘n Things and MasterCard for a total contribution of $3. Linens ‘n Things will match each dollar donation made, up to a total of $100,000. In addition, when store guests donate $1 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation when using a MasterCard card for their purchases, MasterCard(R) will match the dollar donation, up to $100,000. Linens ‘n Things with 2004 sales of $2.7 billion, is a national large format retailers of home textiles, housewares and home accessories.

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Publix Super Markets Takes on Interchange

FL-based Publix Super Markets has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against VISA and MasterCard over their interchange business practices. The suit alleges the associations and their members engaged in deceptive practices and restricted competition. The suit also claims that interchange charged to retail merchants is anti-competitive. Publix, with 865 stores in the South, joins the wave of approximately 40 other interchange lawsuits filed by merchants making similar charges. Last week, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and the National Cooperative Grocers Association filed an antitrust, class-action lawsuit against VISA, MasterCard, BofA, Citibank, Bank One, Chase, Capital One, among others, alleging the defendants colluded in setting interchange fees for credit cards. The first major lawsuit by merchants to take on U.S. interchange fees was filed in October 2004, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear VISA and MasterCard appeals in the “Wal-Mart” debit card lawsuit. (CF Library 9/27/05)

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VISA Supports IFC’s Credit Bureau Program

VISA International and the International Finance Corporation, the
private sector arm of the World Bank Group, announced an
agreement to support the development of credit bureaus in developing
economies. VISA International will be the first private sector
organization to contribute to IFC’s “Global Credit Bureau Program.”
VISA will provide financial support to IFC’s “Global Credit Bureau”
Program in emerging and developing markets which in the first year of
the program will include Brazil, Bulgaria, Nigeria, the Philippines,
Romania, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. Further, Visa
will provide technical support where needed, which may include sharing
expertise on credit risk management and disseminating best practices
to banks. IFC is an internationally recognized leader in advancing
credit bureau development and provides financial markets technical
assistance in more than 130 projects in 56 countries, worth $130
million in donor commitments as of June 2005.

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VISA Signs Ventus for Wireless Services

VISA has signed a multi-year agreement with Ventus Networks to provide wireless financial transaction routing technology and network management as part of their emerging products and services. Ventus Networks high-speed wireless transport solution operates in conjunction with TCP/IP and legacy protocols, enabling any remote device to communicate through a single network scheme. Ventus’ secured transport solution is recognized as falling within the VISA guidelines for CISP compliance. Ventus Networks is a full-service end-to-end global communications provider that specializes in designing, implementing, and managing complete private networks.

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US Bank Promotes Fleet/Aviation Card Exec

U.S. Bank has promoted Danny Moos to SVP/Business Manager for its “Voyager Fleet Card” and “Multi Service Card” Moos, 55, previously vice president of planning for Voyager, will now be responsible for the ongoing strategic development, day-to-day management and product management tied to these two business units, which are each uniquely positioned as one of the top two companies in their respective transportation fueling markets. Prior to joining U.S. Bank, Moos was executive vice president and chief financial officer at FleetCor Technologies, and held similar executive positions with publicly traded companies Phonetel Technologies and LDI Corporation. U.S. Bancorp has more than $204 billion in assets and is the 6th largest financial services holding company in the United States.

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Small Ticket Volume Could Top $50B in 05

Small ticket credit/debit card purchases may approach or exceed $50 billion this year. Last year, Americans racked up more than $35 billion in small ticket purchases, led by quick service restaurant credit/debit card purchases. This week, VISA reported that gross dollar volume for its six small ticket segments, which qualify for its “Small Ticket Payment Service,” grew to $2.2 billion in volume during August, an increase of 49.9%. Between 2003 and 2004, small ticket sales increased nearly 50% from $23.7 billion. Fast food sales in 2004 hit $22.5 billion, wherein the average ticket hovers around $11 per transaction. Credit/debit card sales of transactions $5 or less, grew from $10.8 billion to $13.5 billion during 2004. Under $5 transactions are expected to hit $18 billion this year.

Small Ticket Card Transactions Historical
2000: $ 5.7 billion
2001: $ 9.7 billion
2002: $14.0 billion
2003: $23.7 billion
2004: $35.5 billion
2005: $48.8 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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