Liberty Bank Selects NEC’s Server Platform

Connecticut-based Liberty Bank has chosen NEC’s “Express5800/320Lb” fault tolerant server to support its ATM applications and its new ATM software platform, “Postilion”. Liberty Bank is now able to remotely monitor, analyze and manage its server and the IT staff has added the capability to swap out any component and replace modules without causing any ATM downtime. Liberty Bank is Connecticut’s oldest mutual savings bank, with more than $2.2 billion in assets and 35 banking offices. NEC Solutions Inc. is a provider of integrated solutions to wide range of markets, including the health care and public safety, financial services, cinema, retail and manufacturing markets.

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Some Banks Ease Credit Card Standards

The April “Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices” has found that 10% of banks, on net, indicated that they had eased standards on credit cards and non-credit-card consumer loans over the past three months. Those institutions that had eased their lending standards and terms over the past three months cited more-aggressive competition from other banks or non-bank lenders and half of those respondents cited a more-favorable or less-uncertain economic outlook as a reason for their move toward less-stringent lending.

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Operation STOP IT Hits 1,400 Web Sites

MasterCard last week reported it shut down nearly 1,400 phishing sites and more than 750 sites that potentially sell illegal credit card information as part of its anti-phishing and anti-identity theft campaign. “Operation STOP IT” was launched in June 2004. NameProtect, the company with which MasterCard partnered to launch the fraud fighting program, is now offering “NameProtection,” an expanded version of the program to MasterCard customer financial institutions. At an exclusive reduced rate, MasterCard customer financial institutions can access a new suite of technology and services to help prevent phishing attacks and other fraud. MasterCard also noted that it discovered and protected more than 35,000 MasterCard account numbers that were in jeopardy of being compromised.

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Personalized Phishing Hits the Web

Cyota says it has detected a new phishing attack wherein an organized gang of fraudsters is using real stolen information to target account holders by name to lure individuals into divulging additional sensitive information. The goal of “Personalized Phishing” is to enhance existing lists of stolen credentials with even more sensitive information not yet possessed by the fraudsters, such as ATM PIN numbers or credit card CVV codes. These complete sets of credentials have a much higher resale value among the online fraud communities than just the names and account numbers. Cyota says its “Anti-Fraud Command Center” has immediately begun blocking access to and taking down these fraudulent sites.

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RBS Lynk Inks Interactive Designs as a VAR

Georgia-based Interactive Designs has become the newest member of the “OneLynk Alliance,” RBS Lynk’s value-added reseller program. IDI is a manufacturer and distributor of salon management solutions in the US and provider of integrated software to help salon owners manage client data, inventory control, scheduling, employee commissions and POS equipment. RBS Lynk is a provider of electronic payment processing services, the third-largest processor of ATMs in the U.S. and is a member of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

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MBNA’s Outstandings Drop Lower in April

MBNA’s managed credit card outstandings slipped further in April to $95.9 billion. As a result, MBNA’s charge-offs edged up to 4.34% last month, compared to 4.29% in March, and 4.70% one-year ago. In May, MBNA’s charge-off rate was 4.88%, the high for 2004. Delinquency for consumer credit cards dropped to 4.16% during April, compared to 4.35% for March and 4.21% for April 2004. The high last year was 4.49%. MBNA recently reported that domestic credit card loans declined 4.6% from one-year ago to $74.8 billion. For complete details on MBNA’s first quarter results and monthly metrics, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

MBNA CONSUMER CREDIT CARD SNAPSHOT
Month Outstandings Charge-offs Delinquency
Apr 04 $ 98.0b 4.70% 4.21%
May 04 $ 98.5b 4.88% 4.15%
Jun 04 $ 99.4b 4.64% 4.10%
Jul 04 $ 99.5b 4.52% 4.00%
Aug 04 $ 99.7b 4.52% 4.01%
Sep 04 $ 98.8b 4.22% 4.15%
Oct 04 $ 98.5b 4.36% 4.18%
Nov 04 $ 99.9b 4.33% 4.21%
Dec 04 $101.9b 4.12% 4.20%
Jan 05 $ 98.6b 4.46% 4.34%
Feb 05 $ 96.9b 4.27% 4.50%
Mar 05 $ 96.1b 4.29% 4.35%
Apr 05 $ 95.9b 4.34% 4.16%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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FDC Expands its Latin America Presence

Panama’s Provident Bank & Trust has signed a payment processing agreement with First Data. FDC operates Processing Center, S.A. in Panama. PROCESA uses First Data’s “VisionPLUS” transaction processing platform to provide a wide range of payment services for credit, prepaid, gift and corporate cards. PBTBL is a principal member of VISA and MasterCard International since 2000.

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BluePay and HostAdvantage Join Hands

BluePay has become a member of SWsoft’s “HostAdvantage” program offering electronic payment processing expertise.BluePay, Inc.. supplies retail and ecommerce payment solutions, offering credit card processing in real time via the internet, software, and/or POS swipe terminals. SWsoft delivers server automation and virtualization software for service providers and enterprises, with more than 10,000 customers in over 100 countries.

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CTFS Options MasterCard Lifts Card Loans by 21%

Canadian Tire Financial Services reported that its net managed credit card receivables for the first quarter increased 20.5% year-over-year to $2.82 billion. The average credit card balance in the first quarter hit $1609, up 19% from one-year ago, largely driven by its “Options MasterCard” product. For the prior quarter, the average credit card balance came in at $1525. First quarter pre-tax earnings for CTFS were flat at $25.8 million. Canadian Tire’s MasterCard receivables represent approximately 91% of CTFS’ total managed portfolio. CTFS’ retail credit card and personal loan receivables make up the remaining nine percent of the portfolio. The average number of accounts with a balance decreased year-over-year due to the sale of Canadian Tire’s commercial MasterCard account portfolio to BMO Bank of Montreal in June 2004. CTFS, in conjunction with BMO Bank of Montreal, markets the “Commercial Link MasterCard” while the receivables are owned and managed by BMO Bank of Montreal. CTFS says it plans to increase gross credit card outstandings to $3.1 billion by the end of 2005. For complete details on Canadian Tire Financial Services’ first quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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GECF Strengthens in Central America

GE Consumer Finance has acquired 49.99% of Panama City-based BAC International Bank, a privately held retail bank and credit card issuer based in Panama City, Panama. BAC’s Credomatic subsidiary is a major debit and credit card issuer in Central American according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International. BAC has 178 branches in countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. BAC has about $1.7 billion in consumer credit card loans. GE Consumer Finance has more than $151 billion in assets. Credit Suisse First Boston advised BAC in the deal.

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Info Touch Deploys E-Wiz in North Carolina

Info Touch Technologies has installed “E-Wiz” kiosks at Exxon-branded On the Run convenience stores in Charlotte, North Carolina, bringing its total number of “E-Wiz” kiosks for non-banked U.S. consumers to 87. E-Wiz terminals provide customers with convenient access to a wide variety of services, such as bill payment, money transfer, pre-paid products and phone services. Info Touch Technologies, a strategic investment of Hewlett Packard, is building the “TIO Network” – a multi-retailer network of financial services kiosks for the non-banked consumer marketplace in North America.

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