Bankruptcy Filings Rise 14% During June to 146K

Personal bankruptcy petitions in June rose nearly 14% over year-ago levels and increased significantly from the prior month. The number of filings increased by more than 3,000 last month, compared to a decline of nearly 9,000 filings between May and June of 2004. It is expected that bankruptcy filings will continue to outpace past years as the clock ticks towards the October 17th effective date of the new bankruptcy laws. Nearly 146,000 filings were made during June, compared to 127,742 for June 2004. This is the fourth month in a row that filings have moved up sharply after a steady two-year decline. Bankruptcy filings declined about 4% for the full-year of 2004. In January, filings dropped 13% and during February filings dived by 17% year-over-year. In the first six months of this year, there have been 827,612 personal bankruptcy filings.

Monthly Filings Historical
Jun 04: 127,742
Jul 04: 133,390
Aug 04: 125,783
Sep 04: 127,664
Oct 04: 133,404
Nov 04: 116,952
Dec 04: 113,957
Jan 05: 99,705
Feb 05: 103,457
Mar 05: 165,459
Apr 05: 170,130
May 05: 142,915
Jun 05: 145,946
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Preventsys Offers Out-of-the-Box PCI Compliance

Carlsbad, California-based Preventsys, has released its “Enterprise Security Management PolicyLab” system which supports “Payment Card Industry” data standards. Organizations using ESM will now be able to track, remediate and report PCI data security compliance. PCI data standards seek to tighten security measures surrounding credit card transactions and include 12 security requirements including encryption of cardholder data, network scans, logical and physical access controls and activity monitoring and logging. The Preventsys Enterprise Security Management System automates risk and compliance reporting for Fortune 1000 companies and large government agencies.

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Checkgateway Offers Strong Reseller Incentives

Phoenix-based Checkgateway is now offering resellers a 60/40 split above the buy rate for the life of the contract for new merchants through September 30th, instead of the usual 50/50 split above the buy rate. Checkgateway offers ACH processing, credit card processing, recurring billing solutions, FraudChek weighted scoring system, ChekNow, which converts paper check to an electronic check at the point of sale and a 24/7 merchant center. Checkgateway provides Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment processing.

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Euronet Revenues Up 52% Driven by ATM Outsourcing

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).

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NCR ATM Revenues Off 2% in Q2 Due to Rising US$

NCR reported that second quarter revenue for its ATM business was $323 million, down 2% from the year-ago period even though the quarter benefited from currency fluctuations. NCR says ATM revenue was also lower than expected due to the adverse timing of transactions in Eastern Europe and China. The Retail Store Automation unit generated $211 million of revenue, about the same as the first quarter of 2004. Overall, NCR reported second quarter net income of $127 million. During the second quarter, Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Smokey Bones) announced it plans to upgrade to NCR’s “RealPOS 70” POS terminals for its 1,300 locations nationwide. For the third quarter, NCR expects total revenue to grow 2% to 3% from the prior-year period. For complete details on NCR’s current and past performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]) (CF Library 6/22/05)

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

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Euronet Acquires TUSA; Expands Prepaid Business

Kansas-based Euronet Worldwide has acquired North Carolina-based TelecommUSA, a consumer financial services company that offers consumer money transfer services primarily between consumers in the U.S. and Latin America and domestic bill payment services. TUSA provides secure money transfer and bill payment services to the growing Hispanic market in the U.S. and has agreements in place for approximately 13,000 locations throughout Latin America with leading financial organizations for the distribution of funds. TUSA also offers bill payment services to consumers within the U.S., who can pay their bills to more than 5,000 billers nationwide. Euronet Worldwide processes secure electronic financial transactions.

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Washington State WIC Goes to Mag-Stripe Cards

Comdata’s Stored Value Systems has introduced the first magnetic stripe card “WIC” program in the State of Washington. This six-month demonstration replaces a paper voucher system with a plastic card used at grocery store check out. WIC is a federally funded supplemental nutrition program administered in all 50 states. Comdata Corporation is a business-to-business issuer and processor of payment cards.

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Paypro Card Expands Debit Cards in Latin America

Pay Pro Card Corporation is expanding its debit card operations in Latin America. The most recent expansion for Pay Pro is in
Guatemala, where the Company has signed preliminary agreements to
deliver its debit card programs to a bank. Once the program is
finalized, the Company expects to see sales of its debit card exceed
$2 million over an eighteen-month period. Currently, PayPro’s international payroll programs have a significant Latin American base with cards in Central America, Costa Rico, Panama, Columbia and Ecuador.
Pay Pro has debit card operations in six countries including its
domestic operations.

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ID Fraud Cost Victims 81 Hours and $4,000

Nationwide Mutual Insurance released a survey that showed ID fraud victims spend an average of 81 hours trying to resolve their case and that the average amount of total charges made using a victim’s identity is $3,968. More than half of all victims discovered their identity theft themselves, either by noticing unusual charges on their credit card or discovering funds were missing from their accounts. Only 17 percent were notified by a creditor or financial institution of suspicious activity on their account. It took on average five-and-a-half months after the crime occurred to realize that they were a victim. Nationwide is a diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $157 billion in assets.

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Diebold’s Opteva ABMs are Disability Compliant

Diebold has received a “letter of attestation” from the
Canadian Standards Association, confirming that the company’s “Opteva” automated banking machines comply with its accessibility standards and tests for older adults and the disabled. Diebold’s voice-guided ABMs work with a standard headset that plug directly into the ABM to receive private voice instructions. The ABM can also be programmed to blank out the screen for increased security during voice-guided transactions. The assessment pertains to Diebold’s “Opteva 500,” “520,” “720” and
“760” models.

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Diebold’s Global ATM Business Rises 12% in Q2

Diebold reported that ATM sales in the second quarter rose 19% to $212.7 million. ATM services revenues climbed 5.4% to $221.0 million. During the quarter, total “Opteva” ATM orders were approximately $131 million, an increase of more than 58% from 2Q/04. However, Diebold says that slower than anticipated upgrade and replacement activity in the North America regional bank segment, cost challenges in its transition to a single global product platform, a higher mix of lower-margin revenue and negative foreign currency exchange impact due to the strengthening of the dollar in the quarter are negatively impacting its overall profit margins. Total net income for the quarter fell from $43.6 million for 2Q/04 to $33.3 million for 2Q/05. Diebold projects that financial self-service revenue will grow 7% to 9% for the third quarter. For complete details on Diebold’s second quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Interchange Lawsuit Tossed but Big Battle Brews

The first major lawsuit by merchants to take on U.S. interchange fees charged by the VISA and MasterCard networks was thrown out of court yesterday for lack of standing under current antitrust laws. The decision by a judge of the federal court in the Northern District of California represents a key win for VISA and MasterCard but may have little impact on two other pending and significant lawsuits. In yesterday’s decision, the court found that the merchants had no factual basis to support their allegation that VISA and MasterCard set the merchant discount fee. Judge Jeffrey White found that the merchants, as indirect purchasers, lacked antitrust standing to assert any claims against VISA and MasterCard. The dismissed suit was filed by two small California merchants in October. In June, a small group of merchants filed an antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Connecticut, alleging collusive practices by VISA, MasterCard and major banks in setting credit card interchange fees at supra-competitive levels. Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, is representing the merchant plaintiffs with CT-based Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder acting as co-counsel. Two weeks ago, Kroger and six other major merchants filed a federal lawsuit against VISA over its interchange fee practices. (CF Library 6/23/05; 7/15/05)

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