Club Rewards Wins its 8th Freddie Award

“Club Rewards” from Diners Club has won the “Best Affinity Charge/Credit Card Program” (Americas) for an eighth consecutive year in the “Freddie Awards.” More than 315 000 of the world’s most frequent travelers from 156 different countries and regions cast ballots. The Freddie Award is named after Sir Freddie Laker in honor of his accomplishments in marketing travel. Diners Club North America is owned by Citigroup and is a key franchise within the Diners Club International network.

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NetCert Launches a New Online Shopping Platform

NetCert has introduced a new generation of its “Great Online Shopping” platform, “Treasure Island Mall.” NetCert says that divisions between B2B, B2C, and C2C will gradually disappear, merging into a pan-business, pan-market environment. The core technology and design of NetCert’s credit account and “forced credit” transaction platform fits perfectly with this new trend of development. It is foreseeable that as China’s national limitations on participating in financial institutions are gradually relaxed, the NetCert system can become a new breed of online credit cards. The key features of the “Treasure Island Mall” are designed to create an easy and friendly shopping environment more conforming to real-life shopping habits, while enjoying the flexibility of online shopping with greater efficiency and pleasure.

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CASH2GO MAESTRO

The International Currency Exchange and MasterCard Europe have teamed to launch a PIN secured, pre-paid “Maestro” debit card to replace paper travelers cheques. The new “Cash2Go” card can be loaded with sterling, US dollars or euros. The minimum load value is GBP50, US$50 or 50 euros and the maximum is GBP2,500, US$2,500 or 2,500 Euros. The card is currently being piloted at ICE exchange bureaux in the UK, including those at Heathrow Airport, and selected branches of Travelcare, a UK travel agent. Full roll-out is scheduled to take place in the UK over the next three months.

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ACE MasterCard Adds a Savings Acct Option

Distra and Oracle have recently performed operational integration tests of a simulated end-to-end payments solution with Ohio-based Synoran. Synoran specializes in enterprise-wide payment solutions and check image processing. Distra is a software company that specializes in electronic payments and transaction processing applications. Oracle is the world’s largest enterprise software company.

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Asset Acceptance Capital Revenues Up 33%

Michigan-based charge-off purchaser, Asset Acceptance Capital, reported a 32.7% increase in total revenues, a 23.3% increase in cash collections. Revenues climbed to $66.0 million and cash collections of $80.4 million for the first quarter. Net income for the quarter was a record $15.1 million, compared with a net loss of $36.2 million for the first quarter of 2004. Asset reported that its average number of collectors grew 15.7% on a year-over-year basis to 1,000 collectors in the current period. For complete details on AACC’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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eFunds Grows with New Acquisitions

Arizona-based eFunds posted an 8% increase in first quarter net revenue to $114.2 million, excluding its ATM deployment business which it sold in November. During the quarter, eFunds acquired ClearCommerce Corporation, a provider of fraud prevention for card-not-present transactions. The Company also executed an agreement to acquire India Switch Company, a provider of ATM management and processing services in India, in the second quarter. Additionally, eFunds recently executed an agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of National Check Protection Services. The Company expects 2005 full year net revenue to increase 8% to 12% and net income to increase 17% to 22%. For complete details on eFunds 1Q/05 performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Optimal Group’s Q Revenue Triples

Montreal-based Optimal Group announced that revenues for the first quarter were $37.4 million, compared to $10.3 million for 1Q/04.
Underlying earnings from continuing operations before income taxes for
the first quarter were $4.6 million, compared to a loss of $3.4 million in the first quarter of 2004. Compared to the quarter ended December 31, 2004, underlying earnings increased by 10% from $4.2 million. For the second quarter, Optimal anticipates underlying earnings from continuing operations before income taxes to be approximately $5.4 million. Optimal Payments processes credit card payments for Internet businesses, mail-order/telephone-order and retail point-of-sale merchants, as well as processing checks and direct debits online and by phone. For complete details on Optimal’s first quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Pay By Touch Board Adds 3 Entrepreneurs

Pay By Touch recently announced the addition of Jack Penrod, Arthur J. Petrie and Roy Speer to its board of directors. Penrod began his global investment career in 1983 with Penrod’s Beach Club in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Petrie brings more than 45 years of real estate development and investment experience. He is chairman of Petrie Development Company. Speer is the founder, chairman and CEO of Home Shopping Network. Pay By Touch is a biometric payment service free to consumers to quickly and securely pay for purchases or cash checks using a finger scan.

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MBNA Launches an AmEx Cruise Card

MBNA and American Express have teamed with Celebrity Cruises to launch a co-branded credit card. The new “Celebrity Rewards American Express Card” offers the MBNA “Worldpoints” program, not AmEx’s “Membership Rewards.” Cardholders can redeem points for stateroom upgrades, onboard credits, or a free cruise on Celebrity. Points can also be redeemed for airfare, hotels, cash, and merchandise. Under the program, MBNA is awarding double points for travel and dining purchases until 2006 and double points on all spending with Celebrity Cruises. Otherwise, cardholders earn one point per dollar for all other spending. MBNA, which issues VISA and MasterCards, began issuing AmEx cards in October.

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Payment Data Systems Nails a Big Card Order

Credit Payment Services has ordered 50,000 debit cards from Texas-based Payment Data Systems. Payment Data Systems, Inc., is an integrated payments solution provider to billers and retailers for the processing and management of electronic payments via the Internet, point of sale, or payments taken by Customer Service Representatives or an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and the owner of the electronic bill payment portal Bills.com.

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RBC and Esso Offer Reciprocal Points

Canada’s RBC Royal Bank and Esso have teamed to integrate their rewards programs. Under the agreement, members of both “RBC Rewards” and “Esso Extra” programs will have the ability to transfer blocks of points between each program. “Esso Extra” is the first loyalty program for which RBC Royal Bank developed a reciprocal points exchange process. Esso and RBC Royal Bank began their relationship in 2000 with the launch of the “RBC Esso VISA.”

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Webpay Click & Buy Enters the U.S. Market

Billing Concepts and Switzerland’s Webpay International have formed a joint venture to offer the Webpay “Click & Buy” service for online digital content in the USA. This will combine Billing Concept’s Enabill multi-channel payment system to Webpay’s Click&Buy software solutions for global Internet payments as well as access to its Click&Buy Alliance Network. Billing Concepts, Inc provides telecommunications and network billing services. Webpay International has five million consumers and thirty-five hundred online merchants using Click&Buy in fourteen countries worldwide.

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