Interlink Sales Volume Soars 72% in Q2

VISA’s online domestic debit brand, “Interlink,” added 6.4 million cards to its network during the second quarter, compared to 2.7 million added in the prior quarter. Sales volume soared by more than 72% to $25.9 billion for 2Q/05, compared to one-year ago. The number of “Interlink” merchants grew by 4.1% to 1.3 million. The average “Interlink” sales transaction was $32.38 for 2Q/05. At the end of 2003, VISA had 70 million “Interlink” cards, which rose to 88.3 million by the end of 2004. Gross dollar volume (sales & cash) rose 70% in the second quarter 2005 to $27.8 billion.

INTERLINK HISTORICAL
Sales Volume Cards
2Q/04: $15.0 billion 87.0 million
3Q/04: $19.4 billion 88.3 million
4Q/04: $23.4 billion 88.3 million
1Q/05: $22.5 billion 91.0 million
2Q/05: $25.9 billion 97.4 million
Source: VISA USA

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EDGARS MASTERCARD

Leading retailer Edgars Consolidated Stores has teamed with
Standard Bank to launch the first no annual fee general purpose
cobranded credit card in the country. The new “Edgars MasterCard” will
be offered to low risk store credit card holders. Edcon currently has
more than 3.8 million private label credit card customers. The Company
estimates that as many as 86% may qualify for the new card. Edcon says
its internal research shows that of the existing Edcon account holders,
approximately 68% do not currently own a bank credit card. The new
credit cards will be either Edgars or Jet branded. Qualifying Edgars
customers will receive their credit card offers from August and Jet customers will receive theirs later in the year.

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Atlanta Falcons Kick Off a Gift Card

Stored Value Systems is now issuing gift cards for the Atlanta Falcons. The gift cards are available now exclusively at the new retail store, Falcons 365 in Perimeter Mall, and on the new website [www.falcons365.com][1]. Stored Value Systems, Inc. is one of the world’s leading providers of electronic gift cards and other card-based transaction programs and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Comdata Corporation, a business-to-business issuer and processor of payment cards.

[1]: http://www.falcons365.com

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JCB to Use SAS Enterprise BI Server

JCB is deploying the SAS “Enterprise BI Server” for its new credit management system. JCB first implemented SAS in May 2002 when it started its “New Credit Management System Development” project, using SAS for data management, development and implementation of various credit models. The success of that implementation led JCB’s decision to use the server. JCB says it expects a 5% year-on-year increase in its revenue. JCB plans to fully adopt the newly enhanced system with SAS “Enterprise BI Server” by January 2006.

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RBS Lynk Tops 36,000 ATMs

Atlanta-based RBS Lynk says it has added eight new ISOs as clients this year and now processes transactions for more than 36,000 ATMs nationwide. RBS Lynk was recently chosen by Advanced ATM Systems, Inc. (Tempe, Arizona), ATM Cash Dispensers, Inc. (Jackson, Maine), ATM Cash Now (Barrington, Illinois), ATM Source, Inc. (Blaine, Minnesota), B&B Financial Services, LLC (Baltimore, Maryland), Express Teller Services, LLC (Phoenix, Arizona), More Than Cash, Inc. (Los Angeles, California) and Network ATM, LLC (Mayfield Heights, Ohio) as their long-term ATM processing partner. RBS Lynk is a single-source provider of electronic payment processing services and is a member of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

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BBVA Bancomer Expands First Data Deal

BBVA Bancomer has renewed and expanded its payment processing agreement with First Data to include its credit card and retail operations in the USA. Under terms of the new contract First Data will now provide payment processing services to Finanzia USA, BBVA’s subsidiary. First Data has provided credit card processing services to the bank since 1994. BBVA Bancomer offers financial products through 1,687 branch offices and 4,172 ATMs to over 10.2 million customers.

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First Data Lands Finanzia USA Contract

First Data has renewed and expanded its payment processing agreement with Mexico’s BBVA Bancomer to include its credit card and retail operations in the USA. Under terms of the new contract First Data will now provide payment processing services to Finanzia USA, BBVA’s subsidiary. First Data has provided credit card processing services to the bank since 1994. BBVA Bancomer offers financial products through 1,687 branch offices and 4,172 ATMs to over 10.2 million customers.

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Safeway Offers the All-Access VISA Cards

Texas-based NetSpend is now offering its “All-Access VISA” prepaid and gift cards via 1,200 Safeway stores nationwide. For $9.95 consumers can buy a card and load funds at their discretion. No credit check or bank account is required. This card will also feature the All Access National Savings Program, which allows cardholders to link their prepaid debit card to an interest- bearing savings account. The card funds, including the savings account, are insured by FDIC. NetSpend Corporation provides prepaid debit cards for America’s underserved markets.

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Card Solicitation Embarrasses Chase

A California man recently received a credit card solicitation addressed as a “Palestinian Bomber.” Chase says the inappropriate address on the letter came from a mailing list Chase purchased from a vendor. The issuer says it is embarrassed by the incident and regrets that its automatic screening procedures did not catch the erroneous information. The Palestinian-American, Sami Habbas, of Corona, CA, says the credit card offer did not address him by name, but as “Palestinian Bomber” on the envelope and twice within the letter. He also claims he called the telephone number on the solicitation and provided the operator with his postal code and an invitation code. The operator then addressed him as “Mr. Palestinian Bomber.” The Council on American-Islamic Relations has requested that Chase apologize and to compensate Habbas.

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PassMark Acquires Voice Authentication Firm

PassMark Security has acquired a major voice authentication solutions company enabling the firm to deliver real-time, comprehensive, multi-channel authentication in early 2006. The acquisition of Vocent will expand PassMark’s authentication platform for the consumer mass market, including a “voice token” that can be used for high-risk transactions or as an additional authentication factor. Vocent developed a system that identifies wired and wireless phones, in combination with biometric voiceprints, to instantly authenticate remote users over the phone. PassMark has pioneered the “Two-Factor Two-Way Authentication” for the Internet and email. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Yield Running Well Ahead of Last Year

Yield among credit card-backed bonds has risen sharply this year and is now running between 84 and 92 basis points above last year. Yield is primarily finance charges and fees, collected during the month as an annualized percentage of the total loan balance. Moody’s Investor Services reported that yield hit 17.75% in June from 16.98% a year ago. Moody’s also noted that second quarter yield was up, to 17.75% from 16.91% a year earlier. FitchRatings reported that its yield index for June increased 79 bps to 17.69%, compared to 16.64% one-year ago.

ABS YIELD
Jan 05: 16.64%
Feb 05: 16.27%
Mar 05: 17.71%
Apr 05: 17.27%
May 05: 16.90%
Jun 05: 17.69%
Source: FitchRatings

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MasterCard Earns Best IT Workplace Award

For the third year in a row, MasterCard has earned a place on the IDG Computerworld’s “Best Places to Work in IT”. The “Best Places to Work in IT” feature has ranked the top 100 work environments for technology professionals, based on a comprehensive questionnaire regarding company offerings in categories such as benefits, diversity, career development, training and retention. Computerworld is a business unit of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading technology media, research and events company. MasterCard International manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment cards brands including MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus and serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories.

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