MC ASIA-PACIFIC Q1

MasterCard International reports that its gross dollar volume in the Asia-Pacific region rose 7% in the first quarter to $61.95 billion.
First quarter volume in Indonesia more than doubled to more than $1 billion, while volume soared in Singapore by 81%, and by 76% in Thailand. Within the Asia-Pacific region, the number of MasterCards increased 9.5% to 133.6 million cards. The number of 1Q/05 transactions increased 14% to 489.4 million. Other countries with strong first quarter GDV growth include the Philippines (+32%) and Malaysia (+22%). In Indonesia the number of cards increased 59% to 5 million. In Singapore the number of cards increased 24% to 1.8 million. In Thailand the number of cards increased 66% to 6.0 million. In the Philippines the number of cards increased 30% to 3.7 million and in Malaysia the number of cards increased 19% to 4.8 million.

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VISA’s U.S Payment Card Share Tops 53%

VISA’s share of the U.S. market is now 53.5%, compared to 29.0% for MasterCard. During the first quarter, gross dollar volume hit $602.9 billion for the four major payment card networks, an 11.5% increase over 1Q/04. According to final figures gathered last week by RAM Research’s Bankcard Barometer, VISA had $322.1 billion in Q1 GDV, while MasterCard posted $174.5 billion. American Express posted $79.6 billion in Q1 GDV while Discover reported $25.9 billion.

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Late and Over-Limit Fees Hit Market Limit

The pace of increase for late payment fees and over-limit fees has slipped over the past year. However, many issuers have lowered the bar on balances where the highest fees apply. During the past twelve months late payment fees have increased 4.8%, compared to 5.6% for the previous year. Over-limit fees have grown 2.5% between April 2004 and 2005, compared to 6.3% in the prior year period. The most common late fee is now $39, and the most common over-limit fee is $29. The average late payment fee is now $33.43. The average over-limit fee is now $30.66, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

FEE HISTORICAL
Late Fees Over-Limit Fees
Nov 04: $32.58 $30.31
Dec 04: $32.61 $30.35
Jan 05: $32.81 $30.43
Feb 05: $32.98 $30.49
Mar 05: $33.04 $30.56
Apr 05: $33.43 $30.66
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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First Data Expands in The Netherlands

First Data and International Card Services have signed an agreement to launch an alliance for merchant and ATM acquiring in the Dutch market. ICS currently has relationships with over 90,000 merchants in the Netherlands for the acceptance of VISA cards. ICS has been operating a card issuing and acquiring business in the Netherlands since 1975. FDC serves 4.1 million merchant locations and 1,400 card issuers globally.

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Gas Prices Cut into Household Budgets

Nearly 90% of Americans say that rising gasoline prices are a concern for them and their household budgets, according to the latest “Cambridge Consumer Credit Index.” The overall Cambridge Consumer Credit Index fell by 6 points from May to 65. The Index fell on two questions: use of debt in the past month and plans for taking on debt in the next six months. The intent to take on debt in the next month rose slightly. The Cambridge Consumer Credit Index is a forward looking economic indicator gauging consumer spending and debt. It is released on the fifth business day of every month to coincide with the Federal Reserve Board’s G19 release of consumer credit outstanding data.

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Rodopi Software Offers a PCI Solution

San Diego-based Rodopi Software has launched a new program to address the company’s role in assisting customer compliance with the requirements of the VISA/MC PCI data security standards. Rodopi’s Card Security Program will enable customers to encrypt stored credit card data and log access. Rodopi Software designs web-based automation and back office applications that provide comprehensive provisioning, billing, and automated customer care solutions.

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Oberthur Lands the Turkey Smart Card Deal

The Turkish Armed Forces will soon issue multi-application dual interface smart cards from Oberthur Card Systems. Oberthur was chosen by OYAK Bank, which is in charge of implementing the program for the Turkish General Staff. The contract calls for the delivery of several million cards, starting with an initial roll out of two million cards in 2005, according to CardFlash International. The dual interface multi-application cards will include several applications including e-purse, access control, digital signature and health care. Oberthur had sales of $550 million last year.

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Card Issuer Web Sites Are Not Up to Snuff

A new study shows that the vast majority of credit card sites do not adequately inform prospects as to how rewards can be redeemed or how to compare competing card offers. Change Sciences Group says its benchmarking research is based on the “Typifi” technology which quantifies what online customers experience as they use a site, across all meaningful dimensions, including look and feel, ease of use, content, trust and effort. CSG says the top five Web sites that currently provide a best-of-class customer experience include National City, Fifth Third Bank, Capital One, Bank of America and Wachovia.

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Kintera Wins the Most Innovative Award

San Diego-based Kintera, which offers online giving via payment cards to nonprofit organizations, was named the winner of the “Stevie Award” for the “Most Innovative Company” category. The Stevie Awards are conferred in three programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards and The Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs. Kintera(R), Inc. provides an online solution to more than 15,000 accounts in the nonprofit, government and corporate sectors to help nonprofit organizations.

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USA Technologies Adds Another Patent

Pennsylvania-based USA Technologies, a specialist in wireless non-cash transactions, has been granted a patent for certain technology within its new versions of “VendingMiser” and “CoolerMiser. Both are devices that conserve electricity when installed in vending machines and refrigerated coolers. USA Technologies provides networking of distributed assets, wireless non-cash transactions, associated financial/network services and energy management.

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