ATM GROWTH

The number of ATMs has increased by nearly 8,000 last year in the U.K. to a total of 54,412. The number of withdrawals from cash machines reached 2.53 billion in 2004, with an average value of GBP64 from bank-owned ATMs and GBP45 for withdrawals at independently-owned machines. Since 1997, the number of ATMs in the country has doubled from 23,200. According to APACS, the cash machine-using public has withdrawn a total of GBP1.0 trillion in cash from machines across the UK during the last ten years. APACS says the volume of cash typically withdrawn from different machines differs greatly, with an average of GBP13,000 per day from bank and building-society owned machines – which by and large have free access – compared to just GBP800 from those independently-owned machines that charge. The report also reveals that more people than ever are now regularly using cash machines – with 32.9 million using them to withdraw cash, check balances and even to top up mobile phones. Users now account for more than 75% of all plastic cardholders in the UK.

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Chase Introduces Contactless Cards

Chase Bank has become the first issuer to make a national roll-out of contactless general purchase consumer payment cards. The new “blink” card enhancement will be phased-in market-by-market in tandem with merchant acceptance. PA-based convenience store chain, Sheetz, will be Chase’s first partner to launch a co-branded credit card with “blink” functionality. Initially, Chase cardholders will be able to use the contactless function at major movie theaters, convenience and specialty retailers such as 7-Eleven, QSRs and drug stores. To support “blink,” Chase will launch a fully integrated marketing and advertising campaign to help educate and excite local consumers. The local campaigns will encourage cardholders to “blink lunch,” “blink a drink” or “blink a movie.” The campaign will leverage television, radio, newspaper and billboard advertising to reach consumers and will be complemented by several cardholder communications about the new card functionality.

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Cardtronics Buys Bank Machine Ltd

Hertfordshire-based Bank Machine Ltd has been sold to Houston-based Cardtronics. Bank Machine has more than 1,000 ATMs and its
clients include McDonalds, Spar, Mitchell’s and Butlers, the Post Office, Tesco, RoadChef and Odeon Cinemas. Cardtronics’ ATM portfolio will now include 10,000 owned and 16,000 managed units. Cardtronics will operate Bank Machine as a wholly-owned subsidiary, retaining its current management and staff of 50 employees. Bridgepoint owned 73% of BML after a management buyout of the U.K. ATM operations of Euronet Worldwide in January 2003. Last June, CardTronics purchased the E*TRADE ATM portfolio of 13,100 ATMs for $106 million in cash.

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Cardtronics Adds Another 1,000 ATMs

Houston-based Cardtronics has acquired the U.K.’s Bank Machine from Bridgepoint Capital. The deal will add 1,000 ATMs to the Cardtronics portfolio, bringing the total to over 26,000, more than double the number deployed in 2003. The Company says its ATM portfolio includes 10,000 owned and 16,000 managed units. Bank Machine’s clients include McDonalds, Spar, Mitchell’s and Butlers, the Post Office, Tesco, RoadChef and Odeon Cinemas. Cardtronics will operate Bank Machine as a wholly-owned subsidiary, retaining its current management and staff of 50 employees. Bridgepoint owned 73% of BML after a management buyout of the U.K. ATM operations of Euronet Worldwide in January 2003. Last June, CardTronics purchased the E*TRADE ATM portfolio of 13,100 ATMs for $106 million in cash. (CF Library 6/4/04)

CARDTRONICS HISTORICAL
2000: 4,000 ATMs
2001: 6,500 ATMs
2002: 9,000 ATMs
2003: 12,000 ATMs
2004: 25,000 ATMs
2005: 26,000 ATMs
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Banka Koper Deploys nCipher PayShield

Banka Koper is deploying nCipher’s “payShield” as part of MasterCard’s “Chip Authentication Program.” All of Banka Koper’s retail and commercial customers have been issued with MasterCard “OneSMART” cards, a “chip and PIN” credit or debit card that contains EMV standards-based security technology. When accessing their bank account or shopping online, users will be prompted to authenticate themselves to Banka Koper by inserting their card into the portable reader which is also provided by the bank. After users tap their PIN into the reader the card securely generates a unique, but more importantly, dynamic password which the user then types into the web page when prompted. By entering this ‘one time only’ password rather than a traditional, static password that may be used for many years and across multiple sites, the impact of the password being compromised is limited to a very short period of time and a specific web connection and commercial risk is therefore greatly reduced. Effectively, “CAP” can turn a “Card Not Present” transaction into a “Card Present Transaction.”

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RBC and Cathay Pacific Co-Brand

Royal Bank of Canada and Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific have teamed to launch a co-branded VISA card. Under the program, “RBC Cathay Pacific VISA Platinum” cardholders will earn one “Asia Mile” for each Canadian dollar spent on the card. Cardholders will also receive 5,000 bonus miles upon enrollment. Additionally, cardholders earn two “Asia Miles” for every Canadian dollar spent on flights booked online. RBC and Cathay Pacific are also awarding a free companion ticket with the purchase of a qualifying round-trip Cathay Pacific business class ticket from Canada to Southeast Asia.

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FDC Renews and Expands FirstMerit Deal

First Data has extended its consumer and commercial credit card processing contract with FirstMerit Bank and has expanded the agreement to include merchant processing services. First Data Corp. serves 4.1 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and 1.6 million ATM and retail locations through the STAR network. FirstMerit Corporation is a diversified financial services company with assets of $10.3 billion as of March 31, 2005, and 161 banking offices.

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Poni PIN Card Offers a Communal PIN

New Jersey-based American Cash Exchange has published its first communal PIN for the “Poni PIN Card.” The Poni cards enable customers in the US to purchase and instantly transfer cash to Mexico. The recipient uses a Poni Cash Card to withdraw Peso transfers from over 20,000 ATM machines in Mexico. There are no hidden exchange rate mark-ups or back-end fees charged to the recipient. American Cash Exchange, Inc. is a privately-held company offering personal payment solutions for the international marketplace.

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AMEX INTL 1Q/05

Card dollar volume on American Express cards outside the U.S. rose 17.5% year-over-year in the first quarter, compared to a 13.6% gain for U.S. cards during the same period. The number of non-U.S. cards-in-force as of March 31st was 25.8 million, a 5.1% gain over the previous year. Card volume outside the U.S. was $25.8 billion for the first quarter, which benefited from a weaker U.S. dollar. AmEx says Global Network Services volume rose more than 35% in the first quarter due to continued strong growth in non-U.S. partner volume and the addition of MBNA-related volumes in the U.S. During the quarter, American Express launched its first co-branded credit card in Mexico, and introduced a new “Platinum Credit Card” in Hong Kong. Also, Baiduri Bank in Brunei launched its first “Classic” and “Gold” American Express cards and Vietcombank and Viet Nam Airlines partnered to launch an American Express card for frequent fliers. AmEx also inked Global Network Services’ agreements with Union Bank of Switzerland and Russian Standard Bank. For complete details on American Express first quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com). (CFI Library 3/7/05; 4/12/05)

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Indonesia Becomes a Debit Card Hot Spot

VISA International reported that debit card transactions soared by 137% and cards-in-force exploded 189% in Indonesia last year. VISA says its 6,756,000 debit cardholders in the country are a fraction of the 60 million consumers with bank accounts that are eligible for VISA debit cards. Earlier this month, VISA launched a new television commercial in Indonesia and across Asia Pacific starring Catherine Zeta-Jones to promote the use of debit cards. Meanwhile, credit cards grew by 28.8% to 3,649,000 according to CardFlash International. Overall card sales volume soared by 96% to $7.3 billion with retail sales volume up by 32% to $2.3 billion. Indonesia was one of the first markets in the world where VISA launched the unembossed “VISA Debit” card in 2004.

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Fuel Card Volume Hits 21% of RSV

A new study found that fuel card volume growth averages over 4% across 16 European markets and that fuel card volume sales now account for 21% of total retail volume sales. The research was conducted by Research and Markets. From a regional perspective, Scandinavia is the most advanced fuel card market with private fuel cards being as preponderant as the commercial variety. In fact, it is estimated that there are around twice the amount of private fuel cards as those used by consumers. Not only is this region mature, it is verging on saturation.
In the UK and parts of Central and Southern Europe, an examination by R&M of card per commercial vehicle penetration rates shows there is still scope to develop business card portfolios, particularly at the smaller end of the market where the card per fleet vehicle sits below the European average of 0.4.

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