PayCard MasterCard Payroll Card Launched

Wisconsin-based USA Paycard has rolled-out its “PayCard MasterCard” prepaid payroll card issued via Genpass Card Systems. This payroll card allows employers to use direct deposit for employees who lack a traditional banking relationship. This translates into lower payroll check processing costs. There are no employer costs to the program and the cards can be used by employees for free using the ‘cash-back’ option at retail POS locations. USA Paycard is a terminal processor in the U.S. driving more than 28,000 ATMs and is the sixth largest switch processor with 360 million transactions annually.

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DNC Forces APACS Outbound Call Shutdown

IL-based APAC Customer Services says it plans to exit virtually all of its outbound customer acquisition business, restructure operations and focus resources on profitable client relationships in a limited number of key industries. The Company has been hard hit by the national “Do Not Call” registry and regulations. For the second quarter, the Company reported a net loss of $5 million on revenue of $58.2 million. Revenue associated with the business the Company plans to exit was approximately $14.3 million for 2Q/05. The Company expects to incur $10 to $15 million in restructuring charges as it closes more than half of its Customer Interaction Centers and eliminates 400 salaried positions which will generate almost $40 million of annualized cost savings. For complete details on APACS second quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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ISO IMS Inks a Partnership with FDMS

Illinois-based International Merchant Services has inked a deal to process with First Data and for First Data Merchant Services to provide payment processing and POS equipment leasing services to IMS merchant clients. International Merchant Services Inc. is an electronic merchant bankcard processor. First Data Corp. is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses and consumers 4.1 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers worldwide.

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OCC Report Finds an Easing in Retail Credit

The OCC’s eleventh annual “Survey of Credit Underwriting Practices” found for the first time in its history a net easing of retail underwriting standards and that underwriting standards for retail credit products reflected more easing (28%) and less tightening (10%). OCC examiners found that easing of underwriting standards for retail credit was concentrated in real estate secured products such as home equity and first mortgage loans. The 2004 survey included the 71 largest national banks, that have assets of $2 billion or greater and covered the 12-month period ending March 31, 2005. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) was created by Congress.

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Chase Intros the AZ Electronic Payment Card

JPMorgan Chase is currently involved in a state-wide roll-out to provide electronic payment cards for state-administered child support payments in Arizona. This service, which eliminates paper checks, is also being extended on a voluntary basis to unemployment compensation recipients, making Arizona the first state to combine these payments in a single debit card, which can be used for purchases at merchants and at ATMs. The Arizona Electronic Payment Card offers several convenient features to cardholders, including 24-hour access to cash at more than 900,000 ATMs worldwide and the ability to make purchases anywhere the Visa debit logo is displayed. JPMorgan EFS is a leading vendor of government debit card and EBT services with projects in approximately 35 states and territories and is responsible for processing nearly 60,000,000 transactions and handling approximately $2 billion in funds.

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Fair Isaac and IBM Team to Fight Fraud

Fair Isaac and IBM have teamed to help banks combat fraud at an enterprise-wide level. The initiative aligns fraud control systems, strategies and services from IBM and Fair Isaac are designed to assist banks in evolving their fraud management capabilities beyond point solutions that detect traditional forms of fraud at the product level or within a line of business. The new fraud assessment service, which allows banks to maximize their systems and staff investments, follows the recent launch of Fair Isaac’s “Falcon One” system, a new enterprise software solution designed to help banks effectively combat both existing and emerging types of fraud at every point of customer interaction. “Falcon One” platform’s component-oriented architecture takes full advantage of IBM “DB2 Universal Database” and “WebSphere Application Server” capabilities to enable the scalability required for high-volume, high-speed transaction analysis

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Euronet Q2 Rev Soars 52%; Trans Up 59%

KS-based electronic payments provider Euronet Worldwide posted revenues of $132.2 million for the second quarter, a 52% jump over 2Q/04. However, net income for 2Q/05 declined 11% year-over-year to $3.9 million, due to foreign exchange fluctuations. The EFT Processing Segment posted second quarter revenues of $26.0 million, compared to $18.0 million reported for the second quarter of last year. The EFT Processing Segment processed 86.3 million transactions in the second quarter compared to 54.1 million transactions for 2Q/04. The segment completed the quarter with 6,565 ATMs owned or operated, compared to 5,097 ATMs at the end of the second quarter 2004. The Prepaid Processing Segment reported 2Q/05 revenues of $102.5 million, a 56% increase over the year-ago quarter. Total transactions processed by the Prepaid Processing Segment in the second quarter were 86.2 million, compared to 54.6 million prepaid transactions processed in 2Q/04. The Prepaid Processing Segment processes electronic point-of-sale prepaid transactions at more than 208,000 point-of-sale terminals across more than 101,000 retailers in Europe, Asia Pacific and the USA. For complete details on Euronet’s second quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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MPR Among Credit Card Bonds Returns to 18%+ Levels

After dipping in May, monthly payment rates on asset-backed credit card bonds returned to record high levels during June. Payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay toward outstandings each month, hit 18.29% for June, 111 basis points above May and 161 basis points above year-ago levels. According to FitchRatings, the monthly payment rate, among prime issuers was 17.18% in May and 16.68% one-year ago. Standard and Poor’s “Credit Card Quality Index,” also reported a spike in the payment rates during June of 18.9%. The highest among managed card portfolios was 18.48% in April. Since 2000, the lowest MPR average occurred in October 2001 when it dipped to 14.89%, according to CardData (www.carddata.com).

MONTHLY PAYMENT RATES
(Prime Credit Card-Backed ABS)
Apr 04: 17.31%
Nov 04: 16.67%
Dec 04: 17.09%
Jan 05: 17.70%
Feb 05: 17.64%
Mar 05: 16.32%
Apr 05: 18.52%
May 05: 17.18%
Jun 05: 18.29%
Source: FitchRatings

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LG Electronics and SBI Card Launch a Co-Branded VISA

LG Electronics and SBI Card have launched a co-branded credit
card, the first of its kind in the Indian consumer appliances industry.
The new “LG-SBI VISA” card features special offers for cardholders as
well as an annual fee waiver for consumers purchasing at least Rs2000 of
LG products. The card also offers an installment plan at 10% interest
rate and free balance transfers for 75 days. Other benefits include a
transaction fee waiver on IOC and IBP pumps for fuel purchases of more
than Rs 400. SBI Card is a joint venture of the State Bank of India and
GE Money. SBI Card currently has 1.6 million cardholders and offers a
wide range of card products.

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Wausau Names its Payment Solutions President

Wausau Financial Systems has hired Nancy Langer, formerly of Billeo and Carreker, as its President of Payment Solutions. Langer will lead the software and services for WFS’ market leading distributed capture solutions and payment processing and archive solutions. Additionally, Langer will identify and oversee customer-centric OEM and other strategic business opportunities. Prior to joining Billeo she ran her own consulting company, Langer & Company. WFS is the largest independent software and services provider for check image point of presentment across multiple capture points and is the largest remittance technology provider to the financial institution and corporate marketplaces.

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Consumer Group Exposes Universal Default Policies

San Francisco-based consumer group, Consumer Action, is releasing a report today showing that “universal default” policies are widespread. 45% of banks surveyed by CA said they have universal default policies – a slight increase from last year’s survey. CA found default rates as high as 35% (Merrick Bank). Runners-up for the highest default rates are Citibank, Bank of America and Providian at 29.99%. The lowest default rate is 12% (Arkansas National Bank). Eleven of the 21 banks with universal default policies are willing to reduce the higher rates if cardholders’ credit histories improve. Consumer Action, founded in 1971, is a non-profit education and advocacy organization based in San Francisco, CA, with offices in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, CA.

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UK OFT Requests Lower Late and Over-Limit Fees

The U.K. Office of Fair Trading has ruled that credit card late fees and over-limit fees far exceed the actual damage done to an issuer when a cardholder defaults. The OFT this week issued letters to eight major credit card companies notifying them that the fees are excessive and has given them three months to lower the fees or provide more information to justify the fees. Credit card late fees typically range from $35 to $45 according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International. Current British law restricts the damages that can be awarded to compensate for loss suffered as a result of a breach of contract. The breach must be an effective cause of the loss. The innocent party is entitled to be compensated for certain types of loss that were reasonably foreseeable at the time that the contract was made, but is not entitled to more. The OFT has powers to take enforcement action in the courts if necessary to protect consumers.

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