Comdata to Offer Fiscal’s Trav Star 1

Comdata has signed a marketing agreement with Fiscal Systems, a provider of integrated back-office and point-of-sale systems for travel centers, to market Fiscal’s “Trav Star 1” system. Trav Star 1 is an integrated, real-time point-of-sale system that ties all of a merchant’s revenue centers–fuel, restaurant, general merchandise into a POS-to-back office solution, including touch-screen and POS scanning technology, inventory control, employee scheduling, a loyalty program and more. Fiscal Systems, Inc. assists retailers to capture, manage and act upon transaction information. Comdata Corporation is a business-to-business issuer and processor of payment cards, primarily in the retail and transportation industries.

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Cold Stone to Use Omni 3750 for Gift Cards

Cold Stone Creamery is equipping franchisees with the VeriFone “Omni 3750” payment solution to implement a nationwide electronic gift card program. The Omni 3750 accommodates dial, broadband and wireless transmission technologies that are quickly upgraded as merchant needs dictate. It features an ATM-style interface, clam-shell printer and large backlit display. Cold Stone Creamery has more than 1,100 stores with $285 million in sales. VeriFone Holdings, Inc. provides secure electronic payment technologies

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Global Card Profits Up 4% at Mid-Year

The most profitable bank credit card issuers in the USA racked up nearly $15.0 billion in global net income during the twelve months ending June 30th, a 4% increase over the year-ago period. After leading the pack one year ago with a 33% gain, MBNA has fallen into negative territory with a 15% contraction since 2Q/04. MBNA posted a very weak first quarter with only $31.7 million in net income. This year, the combination of Chase and Bank One has emerged as the leader with a 40% gain in profits. Citi, which posted a 26% gain one-year ago, has fallen to a 14% year-on-year gain. American Express TRS profits rose to 17% compared to 13% at mid-year 2004. Capital One’s growth was the same as mid-year 2004. For complete details on mid-year results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Card Profits
(12 month period ending 6/30/04)
1. Citi Global: $4.70 billion +14%
2. Chase: $3.30 billion +40%
3. AmEx TRS: $3.06 billion +17%
4. MBNA Global: $2.16 billion -15%
5. Cap One Global: $1.72 billion +23%
TOTAL: $14.94 billion + 4%
SOURCE: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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AmEx Offers Instant Travel Redemptions

American Express launched a new “Membership Rewards” option enabling cardholders to use their points to book travel directly on the AmEx travel Web site. Cardholders can also use “Membership Rewards” points to cover all or part of the costs of any hotel room and cruise. The Membership Rewards program offers access to 23 airline partners, 15 of which offer cardholders the ability to transfer points directly into their airline frequent flier program. The program also offers access to more than 250 hotel partners, and almost 40 luxury cruise liners.

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Chase Adds blink to its United VISA

The first airline rewards card to feature contactless technology has been introduced. Chase and United have added the “blink” option to the “United Mileage Plus VISA.” More than 200,000 of the cards have been issued to cardholders this summer in Colorado, a major United hub destination. In May, Chase became the first bank to launch a large-scale market-by-market roll out of Chase cards with “blink” in Atlanta and Denver. Currently, there are over 1.5 million Chase cardholders using cards with “blink.” Participating locations to-date include 7-Eleven, Arby’s, CVS, Edwards Theatres, RaceTrac, Regal Cinema, United Artist Theatres and Walgreens. By the end of 2005, Chase plans to introduce Chase cards with blink to other select markets and have thousands of merchant locations accepting blink across the country.

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GECF to Issue an IKEA Card in the USA

GE Consumer Finance has signed IKEA to offer a new private label credit card to IKEA’s U.S. customers. Consumers will be able to apply for the IKEA Card at in-store kiosks or on the company’s web site (www.ikea-usa.com). Those who are approved will be able to shop with the card right away. GE Consumer Finance, a unit of General Electric Company, is a leading provider of credit services to consumers, retailers and auto dealers in 47 countries around the world, with $150 billion in assets. IKEA is the world’s largest home furnishings company.

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Q Comm to Resell IPP of America Services

Utah-based Q Comm International has partnered with IPP of America and will resell IPP’s bill pay service on Verifone “3750” terminals. IPP provides consumers with bill payment services to regional and national vendors such as utility, cable, and wireless telecommunication companies. Q Comm International is a prepaid transaction processor that electronically distributes prepaid products from service providers to the point of sale. IPP is an alternative financial services provider offering electronic bill payment, prepaid long distance, wireless coupons, prepaid home phone, debit cards, wireless phone activation, money transfer, and merchant services.

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Smart Card Nominations are Open

The Smart Card Alliance is accepting nominations for its “Outstanding Smart Card Achievement” awards. Any North American-based organization or individual is eligible to win an OSCA award. The first category is for end users or issuing organizations deploying smart card technology. The second category is for supplier organizations, such as product and solution vendors and the third category is for an individual who stands out for his or her leadership, vision, support and commitment to the smart card industry. The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.

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Triton RT2000 ATM Goes Outdoor

Triton’s “RT2000” ATM has emerged as a popular choice for outdoor placement with Phoenix-based Express Teller Services launching a pilot program at more than a dozen gas stations that do not house a storefront. Triton’s RT2000 provides merchants a low-cost, easy to service alternative to more expensive through-the-wall ATMs and provides an affordable new option for retailers that want an all-weather ATM that is visible and accessible to customers from the sidewalk, lobby, parking area, or mall atrium. Triton is a provider of off-premise ATMs and ATM management software in North America and has more than 133,000 installations in over 23 countries worldwide.

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CARD SHARE

Credit card market share, based on gross dollar volume, has dropped 30 basis points over the past year from 83.3% to 83.0% as more merchants assess surcharges for credit card use. As a result, charge cards from American Express and Diners Club have gained ground despite more expensive merchant fees. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, the market share of credit cards, based on gross dollar volume, has plummeted from a high of 86.3% in September 2003 to 82.8% in October 2004. Since then, the credit card share has bounced around 83%.
The RBA recently released data showing that the average merchant service fee charged by Bankcard, MasterCard and VISA in the second quarter was 92 basis points, down from 99 basis points a year ago, and from 140 basis points immediately prior to the interchange reforms. Since the reforms came into effect, the average merchant service fee charged by American Express has fallen by around 15 to 20 basis points to 2.36%, while the average fee charged by Diners Club has fallen by around five basis points to 2.31%.

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Wincor Introduces the BEETLE/iPRO POS System

Wincor Nixdorf announced the availability of the “BEETLE/iPRO”, a high-performance POS system featuring “Intel Pentium 4” and “Celeron” desktop processors. The BEETLE /iPRO supports open standards, allows flexible configurations, and delivers faster processing speeds, improving POS interactions. Wincor Nixdorf is a supplier of IT solutions to the retail and banking industries with net sales of EUR 1,576 million.

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