HSBC Buys the Neiman Marcus Card Portfolio

HSBC-North America has agreed to purchase the private label credit card portfolio of Neiman Marcus for $640 million. The Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman portfolio comprises a total of approximately 3 million accounts. The purchase price includes approximately $527 million in net cash proceeds and the assumption or repayment of approximately $113 million of the Company’s securitization liabilities. In addition, the Company will receive on-going payments related to credit sales generated under the new agreement. The transaction is expected to close on July 31st.

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Cap One Trims Down Auto Lending Business

Capital One is consolidating its direct-to-consumer auto lending business by relocating its Internet auto finance operations currently based in San Diego to Plano, TX. The changes will result in the elimination of approximately 290 internal positions and the closing of the San Diego location by the end of the first quarter of 2006. However, approximately 200 new positions will be available in Plano. The move is intended to leverage the scale of the existing operations and increase efficiency. Capital One and subsidiaries collectively had 49.1 million accounts and $81.6 billion in managed loans outstanding as of March 31, 2005.

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WaMu Wants to be a Major U.S. Card Player

In a conference call yesterday Washington Mutual and Providian filled in more details on their proposed merger. The companies said their target markets are similar – middle market consumers. WaMu says its in-house credit card team has done a great job of scoping out the requirements of cross-selling credit cards to its customers and starting to build the necessary infrastructure. But, they will soon be hosting joint planning sessions with Providian to start the integration process. The WaMu credit card team was headed by Ken Kido. WaMu has 1,968 retail stores where credit cards can be sold and 9.2 million debit cards outstanding. Plus, the bank has $136 billion of retail deposits and $184 billion of total deposits to fund assets and the growth of credit cards. WaMu also has 2.1 million online customers, who could have credit cards sold to them online, and $46 billion in home equity lines which are easy targets for credit cards.

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Bank of the West Picks Princeton’s PayAnyone

Bank of the West has selected the Princeton eCom’s “PayAnyone” to provide payments processing for online retail banking. As a result, Bank of the West will increase its electronic rate, lower costs, and lower claims. Bank of the West, with $41 billion in assets, operates 480 banking locations in 16 Western and Midwestern states. Princeton eCom is a provider of electronic payment solutions with more than 1400 banks and 200 biller customers,

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TSK & OBERTHUR

The Turkish Armed Forces will soon issue multi-applicative 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 in 2005.
The dual interface multi-applications cards will include several applications including e-purse, access control, digital signature
and healthcare. Oberthur had sales of 450.8 million Euros last year.

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PDS and Next Estate Communications Partner

Texas-based Payment Data Systems has inked a deal with Next Estate Communications to provide payment services for debit card loading and risk management. The PDS solution will provide payment origination for debit card loading that can come directly from a Next Estate Customer Service Representative or a Next Estate website. Payment Data Systems, Inc., is an integrated payments solution provider delivering comprehensive, cost-effective solutions to billers and retailers for the processing and management of electronic payments.

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Constructware Integrates Comdata’s BusinessLink

Comdata has integrated its “BusinessLink” suite of payment products with Constructware’s “Cost Management” for project management that tracks, reports and controls expenditures in less time through a project-specific credit card. Constructware will offer the Comdata-integrated corporate payment card as a standard feature to its existing clients as well as to new customers. Constructware develops practical technology solutions for the U.S. construction industry. Comdata(R) Corporation is a full-service merchant processor business-to-business issuer and processor of payment cards, primarily in the retail and transportation industries.

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HBNet to Power Pay By Touch’s iPay Service

Hypercom’s HBNet will provide high-speed transaction transport services for Pay By Touch. The use of HBNet will enhance Pay By Touch’s ability to speed the checkout process for both the dial transactions handled by its iPAY payment processing services and the IP transactions processed through its Pay By Touch biometric payment service. Pay By Touch’s “iPAY” service provides credit card, purchase card, debit, and electronic check payment processing services to more than 18,000 business customers.

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CO Transport Deploys Axalto Calypso Cards

Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses has deployed 50,000 dual interface smart
cards from Axalto for transport. The new “Lisboa Viva” transport is the
first deployment of Axalto transport cards in Portugal and is the first
dual interface smart cards to be used in the country. The cards will be
used as monthly subscription-based traveler cards for the train in
Lisbon. Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses specified “Easyflex CD Light”
smart cards from Axalto’s “Calypso” range of contact and contactless
cards. “Easyflex Calypso” cards can be used in contact mode for less
speed-sensitive operations such as card charging, enabling
implementation of sophisticated cryptography measures. Also,
the cards can handle multiple applications such as private and corporate
season tickets, unit journey tickets, user profiles and multiple operators.

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Strategic Payments Launches PayByCash

Virginia-based Strategic Payments and Internet Payment Solutions have launched the “PayByCash” payment processing platform to enable Web merchants to extend their payment options beyond credit and debit cards. Stratocash does not charge merchants transaction fees and can provide merchants with guaranteed payments, eliminating merchant risk of consumer payment fraud. Strategic Payments’ “Stratocash” service is accessible to Web merchants and content providers in virtually all industries. Internet Payment Solutions, Inc. customers can choose from more than twenty online and offline payment options.

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MasterCard Ads Aim for Corporate Payments

MasterCard has rolled-out a new U.S. print advertising campaign that focuses on the network’s suite of corporate payment solutions. MasterCard says the campaign represents a 46% increase in its large market commercial advertising spending, compared to last year. The ad focusing broadly on MasterCard’s commercial payments solutions features the headline, “Bean Counter. Number Cruncher. Penny-Pincher. Tightwad. What They Really Mean Is Thanks.” The ad spotlighting MasterCard’s corporate purchasing card features the headline, “Imagine How It’ll Feel Eliminating All That Process From Your Purchasing Process.” A third advertisement, focusing on MasterCard’s corporate card and T&E solutions, is expected to debut later this summer.

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ExxonMobil Says Card Promotion Was a Hit

ExxonMobil says its just concluded 90-day credit card promotion resulted in more than 80,000 new cardholders for its proprietary credit card. The company says a majority of these new cardholders took advantage of the free “Speedpass” offer. Beginning in March and running through the end of May, each new account received a $10 statement credit after the first use of the card. Exxon and Mobil retailers supported this promotion with their own giveaways ranging from travel mugs to $10 off a 10-gallon fill-up when customers applied for the ExxonMobil card. During the same period, GE Consumer Finance issued new, improved ExxonMobil cards to more than 7 million existing cardholders. More than 80% of existing cardholders have already made use of their newly-issued card.

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