Marriott Rewards Cardholders Assist Red Cross

The “Marriott Rewards” program has set up an option for its loyalty card holders to redeem points for “Marriott Gift Cheques” that are forwarded to the Red Cross for victims needing assistance paying for hotel rooms and food. The cheque will be sent to the member, who can then forward it to the American Red Cross. Marriott International owns more than 2,600 lodging properties in the United States and 65 other countries and territories with sales from continuing operations of $10 billion.

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CheckFree Acquires Integrated Decision Systems

CheckFree has purchased Integrated Decision Systems, a provider of enterprise portfolio management solutions to the financial services industry. The purchase of IDS will increase connectivity with broker/dealers, give CheckFree’s money manager clients links to a larger network of broker/dealer organizations, extending CheckFree’s client base to include more participants in the investment management industry and will allow CheckFree to drive further growth in the market. Integrated Decision Systems provides enterprise portfolio management solutions for the financial services industry, with over $4 trillion in assets under management. CheckFree Corporation provides financial electronic commerce services and products to organizations around the world.

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VISA Kicks-Off the NFL Season with a New TV Spot

VISA USA this week is unveiling a new national television commercial featuring two-time Super Bowl MVP, Tom Brady and his New England Patriots offensive line. The new “Metaphors” spot will premier during the NFL season kickoff game on September 8th. “Metaphors” marks the second VISA national television commercial which features the Patriots. It is also the third in a series of national commercials on the topic of security. The new spot compares how the Patriots’ offensive line provides a pocket of protection for Brady. Each lineman represents one of the multiple layers of protection VISA provides for every purchase, including “Zero Liability,” “Fraud Monitoring,” “ID Theft Assistance,” “Verified by Visa,” and the “3-Digit Security Code.” VISA will also reinforce the security message through online extensions of the Patriots spot with the “Know the Metaphors” Web site.

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VISA Details Other Marketing Plans for the NFL

VISA USA detailed its integrated marketing plans for the upcoming 2005 NFL season. Besides a new commercial, VISA will launch a national usage promotion with more than 1,000 winners. The NFL campaign also debuts an NFL-themed “Gift Card” program and a financial literacy initiative for high school students, using NFL players as ambassadors. The marketing campaign will have record activation with 148 issuers participating in the NFL program. Select NFL fans will also receive preloaded “NFL VISA Gift Cards” at stadiums in denominations ranging from $20 to $100. VISA also announced that “VISA Signature” cardholders will be able to purchase tickets and VIP trip packages to “Super Bowl XL” and the “2006 NFL Pro Bowl” through the “VISA Signature Access Program.” VISA cardholders participating in “VISA Extras” program will be able to redeem points for NFL tickets, merchandise and experiential rewards. VISA’s event marketing program for this NFL season will feature a new mobile-marketing tour, the “Visa End Zone Dance,” which offers consumers the opportunity to simulate catching a touchdown pass and demonstrate their most enthusiastic touchdown celebration. The tour will begin this week and conclude at the “Super Bowl.”

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USTT-Powered PictureStation Kiosks Deployment

USA Technologies, the provider of a credit card technology solution for Sony’s “PictureStation” kiosks, announced that the kiosks will be installed on 14 university campuses by the end of this year. The PictureStation kiosks will enable students to print their digital photos, scan and print photos and burn their digital photos onto CDs simply by swiping their debit/credit cards. USA Technologies provides networking of wireless non-cash transactions, associated financial/network services and energy management.

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Global Payments Hires a VISA EVP as EVP-CMO

Global Payments has hired Kevin Schultz, former EVP for Client Services at VISA USA, as EVP-Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, effective October. During his extensive career in the payments industry, Schultz was responsible for maintaining and growing the more than one trillion dollar Visa sales volume in the U.S., as well as growing and enhancing customer relationships, sales, implementations and customer support for Visa banks, merchants and data processors. Global Payments Inc. is a provider of electronic transaction processing services worldwide.

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Affordable Telecommunications and Cash Now Team

Houston-based Affordable Telecommunications Technology and Cash Now have signed a distribution agreement for Asia. Affordable Telecom will seek governmental licensing for Cash Now — ATM services as well as opening franchises in the region. The potential revenue for 100 stores and 300 ATMs is to generate $31,000,000 annually. In order to facilitate the expansion and growth, the company also announced today that it has in principle secured a $10,000,000.00 to $50,000,000.00 USD line of credit.

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Morgan Beaumont Intros the Prestige Payroll Card

Morgan Beaumont has launched the “Prestige Payroll Card,” supported by First Gulf Bank. The Prestige Payroll Card is a PIN-based and signature Visa-branded prepaid debit card that can be loaded with funds via employer payroll direct deposit and can be used to access those funds at ATM machines worldwide and anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Morgan Beaumont, Inc. is a technology solutions company and provider of stored value and debit card solutions.

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Discover, MasterCard & Others Join Relief Support

More credit card issuers have jumped on the bandwagon to support victims of the recent Katrina hurricane. To-date, bank credit card issuers and networks have pledged more than $15 million for relief expenses related to Hurricane Katrina. Morgan Stanley has allocated more than $1 million in support for the victims of the disaster and has established an employee matching program up to $500,000. Morgan Stanley’s Discover Financial Services has offered its affected cardholders payment relief, emergency replacement cards, emergency PIN numbers and other special services. Discover is also rebating all merchant fees associated with disaster relief contributions to the Red Cross made with Discover Cards and has enabled cardholders to donate their “Cashback Bonus” directly to the Red Cross. MasterCard has contributed $500,000 to the American Red Cross, $500,000 to AmeriCares and donated its advertising space in USA Today to the Red Cross. American Express has made an immediate donation of $500,000 to the Red Cross and will add $500,000 as a guaranteed minimum match of employee donations. HSBC North America is waiving late fees, over-limit fees and cash-advance fees for affected cardholders. Chase’s credit card unit is now deferring payments at least 30 days, waiving late fees and over-limit fees, and will file no negative credit bureau reports for 90 days for affected cardholders.

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Fair Isaac is Analytic Applications Market Leader

IDC has recognized Fair Isaac as the worldwide revenue leader in the analytic applications market for the third consecutive year. According to a recent IDC report, Fair Isaac led the worldwide Analytic Applications revenue category in 2004 with revenues of $384.5 million, an increase of more than 25 percent in revenues from 2003. Fair Isaac provides analytic applications that include predictive models and strategy optimization for business decision making.

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Jack Henry’s Symitar Names a New President

Jack Henry & Associates announced that Kathy Hooker-Burress has been named president of its Symitar subsidiary, a provider of software systems and related services for credit unions. Hooker-Burress has served as Symitar’s manager of national sales for more than five years, and has been instrumental in establishing Symitar’s Episys processing platform used by credit unions with assets exceeding $25 million. Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. is a provider of integrated computer systems and processor of ATM/debit card/ACH transactions for banks and credit unions.

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CARD BONDS 2Q/05

Delinquency, among U.K. credit card-backed securities, rose significantly in the second quarter to 3.3%. However, the charge-off rate in the second quarter slipped by 20 basis points over the prior quarter to 4.5%. According to FitchRatings’ “Credit Card Moves & Shakers UK,” the rise in delinquency was largely attributed to a sharp rise by Pillar Trust. With the exception of Pillar, all the trusts reported an increase in charge-offs from March to June. FitchRatings said that while the increased charge-off figures appear to give an adverse indication of overall market performance, the movement in delinquencies, excluding the impact of Pillar, can be taken as a positive sign that some of the measures introduced to combat rising charge-offs may be starting to take effect. The MPR index slipped slightly in June to 16.9% from March’s
17.2%. Fitch’s yield index fell by 20 bps to 19.4% at the end of June.

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