NOVA Names a President & euroConex Chairman

NOVA Information Systems has promoted Stuart Harvey to the position of president of NOVA and chairman of euroConex Technologies Ltd, NOVA’s European affiliate. Harvey will be responsible for driving the company’s global merchant acquiring business. He joined NOVA in April 2003 and led the company’s international expansion, directing all business development and merger and acquisition initiatives for euroConex. He holds an MBA from The J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. NOVA Information Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp provides payment processing services.

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Card Data Shows Vacation Spending Way Up

Payment card data shows that Canadians are big on vacations this
year with spending at trailer parks and campsites jumping 32%; boat
rentals and leases up 30%; hotel rentals increasing 15%; and car rentals
up 10%. According to Moneris “FACTdata,” spending on tourist attractions
and exhibits was up 32%; video tape video game arcades increased 14%; and
public golf courses were up 11%. Retailers saw an overall increase of 4%:
categories in this sector worth noting include book stores, where sales
jumped 47%; photofinishing labs increased 20%; children’s and infants
wear stores were up 19%; sports apparel stores increased 18%; and sales
at both department stores and music stores were up 10%. Moneris is
Canada’s largest provider of credit and debit card payment services for
merchants in virtually every industry segment, handling more than two
billion transactions a year.

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Chevron/Texaco Launch Consumer Gift Cards

Chevron’s Credit Card Enterprises has launched its Chevron and Texaco “Consumer Gift Card” program in the USA and has upgraded the features on its existing “Business Gift Card” program. The dual-branded business gift cards may be used by Scrip Programs, so each purchase can help worthy causes like local school programs. Chevron Corp.and subsidiaries conduct business in approximately 180 countries around the world, producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas, and refining, marketing and distributing fuels and other energy products.

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Rewards Network Revenues Fall 19% in Q2

Chicago-based Rewards Network posted second quarter sales of $73.0 million, a 19.4% decrease from the prior year’s second quarter, due primarily to a lower restaurant merchant count and a decline in the number of transactions and the average dining transaction amount. Net income for the quarter was $1.4 million compared with net income of $4.4 million for 2Q/04. As of June 30th, Rewards Network had 3.6 million active member accounts and 10,376 restaurants in its rewards programs. Rewards Network recently added three new tiers for its airline programs offering up to 10 miles per dollar, depending on loyalty and dining frequency. For complete details on Reward Network’s second quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 7/21/05)

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

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Valutec Card Solutions Switches to HBNet

Valutec Card Solutions, a loyalty card provider to thousands of U.S. retailers, has switched to Hypercom’s HBNet for high-speed transaction transport services. HBNet will enable Valutec to speed up the checkout process for both dial and IP transactions at thousands of U.S. retailers who use Valutec’s electronic gift programs to offer their own store-branded cards. Valutec Card Solutions provides gift and loyalty card systems to the small and mid-market retail, restaurant and hospitality industries. Hypercom delivers complete card payment terminal, network access device, server and transaction networking solutions to merchants and financial institutions.

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e-Smart/Mybi Super Smart Card Launched

The Mybi Company and e-Smart Technologies have launched the “e-Smart/Mybi Super Smart Card.” It is the first multi-application e-currency biometric smart card to be used in Pusan as a digital city, e-government ID card, payment card for mass transportation, banking, point of sale, Internet and other diverse financial payment card
transactions. The Mybi Company is the largest e-Currency infrastructure
provider in Korea for public transportation and micro payments. e-Smart is the exclusive provider of the “Biometric Verification Security
System,” featuring the “Super Smart Card” for Asia and the USA. The “e-Smart-Mybi Payment Card Project” integrates Mybi’s e-Currency product into e-Smart’s “Super Smart Card.”

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Pcion Rejoins VCT to Head Card Manufacturing

Versatile Card Technology/QualTeq has re-hired Matt Pcion as the newest member of its senior management team wherein he will be responsible for the entire card manufacturing operation. Pcion has more than 16 years in the card industry, with a very strong printing background. His expertise in the printing industry brought him to Versatile Card Technology as Pressroom Manager. He continued to work at VCT until 2000 when he opted for a new challenge in the plastic card industry. He returned to VCT in 2001 as Plant Manager at VCT’s new Visa/MasterCard manufacturing plant and was appointed as Plant Manager at VCT/QualTeq Division in 2004.

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iPayment Rejects CEO’s Bid; Explores Options

Nashville-based iPayment has rejected a bid by its CEO to acquire the Company at $38 per share. Gregory Daily announced his buy-out proposal on May 13th. The Special Committee of the Board said last week that the offer undervalues the long-term prospects of the Company and it will explore alternatives that will enhance stockholder value, including, without limitation, the sale of the Company with potentially interested purchasers and a recapitalization transaction, as well as remaining independent and not undertaking any such transactions. The Committee also rejected Daily’s request for waivers to permit him to engage in discussions with certain members of management who also are stockholders of the Company. iPayment’s stock is currently trading around $37 per share this morning. It hit a 52-week high of $51.50 on December 28.

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MasterCard Extends $0 Liability Limit to A/P

MasterCard’s Asia/Pacific region has adopted a cardholder
liability limit of US$0(zero) for unauthorized use of any Asia/Pacific
issued, consumer MasterCard-branded cards. To qualify for the
protection, cardholders must meet certain conditions including having
exercised vigilant care in safeguarding their cards and immediately
notifying their issuing bank of the loss, theft and/or unauthorized use
of their cards. The accounts of such cardholders must also in be good
standing and cardholders must be in compliance with the terms and
conditions of their cardholder agreements with their issuing banks.

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ADS Takes Over the Gander Mountain MasterCard

Minnesota-based Gander Mountain Company, a specialty retailer for outdoor enthusiasts, is switching its cobranded MasterCard credit card program from MBNA to Alliance Data Systems. Alliance will provide account acquisition and activation, receivables funding, card authorization, card issuance, statement generation, loyalty marketing and database services, remittance processing and customer service functions. Gander Mountain Company offers competitively priced outdoor equipment, technical apparel and footwear in 91 stores in 15 states. Alliance Data Systems provides transaction services, credit services and marketing services and manages over 105 million consumer relationships.

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AmEx TRS Profits Up 10% Y/Y but Flat Q/Q

American Express Travel Related Services reported second quarter net income of $808 million, up 10% from 2Q/04 but essentially flat with the first quarter’s $801 million in profits. Marketing, promotion, rewards and cardholder services expenses increased 18%, reflecting both higher marketing and promotion expenses and greater rewards costs. In the prior quarter these expenses rose 29% over the prior year. Card volume in the USA increased 16.9% to $88.5 billion. The total number of domestic cards-in-force grew by 3.5 million to 41 million cards. Worldwide total card loans grew by 8% to $48.8 billion, compared to 2Q/04. Global delinquency declined from 2.5% to 2.3% over the past twelve months. Net charge-offs, as a percentage of worldwide loans, declined from 4.5% to 4.1% between 2Q/04 and 2Q/05. AmEx also noted that charge card interest expense increased 20% during the second quarter as a result of higher average receivable balances and increased funding costs. Professional services expense increased 10%, primarily due to increased technology costs that were driven by higher business and service-related volumes. For complete details on American Express’ second quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

American Express U.S. Card Portfolio Snapshot
2Q/05 1Q/05 4Q/04 3Q/04 2Q/04 Ann Chng
Volume $88.5b 79.6 83.4 75.6b 75.7b +16.9%
Cards 41.0m 40.3 39.9 38.0 37.5 + 9.3%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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