AmEx Hosts the China Business Travel Forum

The Shanghai International Conference Management Organization has teamed with American Express to produce the “China Business Travel Forum.” It is the first large-scale business travel event in China to
receive full support from the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative
Commission. The two-day Forum will focus on creating a business-to-business environment for exhibitors and delegates to learn
about and understand new products, share experiences in business travel
and entertainment management, both in China and around the world,
as well as to explore and engage in partnership opportunities.
The Forum is expected to draw more than 700 participants
representing companies from around the world who have an interest in
corporate travel management in China.

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ACI Supports Interac Chip Card Migration

ACI Canada announced an aggressive plan to offer shared services using chip cards with a target of early 2007 for the first chip transaction. They have worked closely with Interac on developing EMV debit specifications and achieving full support of the specifications within ACI’s core “BASE24” solutions. Interac recently decided to
have a Canadian chip card infrastructure in place within two years.
ACI provides application software and technical consultancy based on its
extensive experience with EMV solutions around the world. The range of
ACI’s EMV-enabled software supports transactions initiated at multiple
delivery channels, from ATMs and point-of-sale devices to wireless
telephones and PCs connected to the Internet.

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CUs Post a Solid First Quarter Performance

UT-based America First Credit Union posted a staggering 51% gain in gross volume as outstandings grew nearly 17% during the first quarter. Other credit unions with portfolios ranging from $30 million to $98 million reported a 10.8% gain in 1Q/05 outstandings and a 6.6% gain in first quarter volume. America First CU reported $151.4 million in outstandings and $133.8 million in volume, as its account base expanded by 8.2%, compared to one-year ago. TX-based Randolph Brooks CU posted an 11% gain in outstandings and a 9% gain in volume. San Diego-based Mission FCU reported a 6% increase in outstandings and a 4% increase in volume. St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch Employees CU posted an 18% gain in outstandings and a 7% gain in volume. AL-based Max FCU reported an 18% increase in outstandings and a 13% increase in volume. CT-based Sikorsky Financial CU posted a 4% gain in outstandings and a slight gain in volume. For complete details on the first quarter performance by the nation’s top portfolios, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Credit Unions 1Q/05 ($ millions)
ISSUER RECV Y/Y VOL Y/Y
Randolph Brooks CU $98.4 +11.1% $79.2 + 8.6%
Mission FCU $80.0 + 6.1% $45.3 + 3.7%
Anheuser-Busch Emp CU $44.9 +17.8% $27.9 + 6.9%
Max FCU $42.2 +18.2% $16.4 +13.1%
Sikorsky Fin CU $30.4 + 4.1% $18.0 NC
TOTAL: $295.9 +10.8% $186.8 + 6.6%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Axalto Launches EMV Americas Assistance

Axalto launched a new service to help card issuers, associations, acquirers and merchants to successfully implement the EMV
standard in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and other countries in the Americas.
This initiative from Axalto provides support through every phase of the
migration to EMV. The company’s full line-up of hardware
and software products as well as personalization and training services
allows customers converting to EMV to concentrate on their core
business. Axalto is also leveraging some reference projects with VISA and MasterCard members around the world. Axalto has produced 3 billion smart cards to date.

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Personalized Card Carrier System is Unveiled

Chicago-based BOWE Bell + Howell has rolled-out a new system that dynamically creates one-to-one personalized carriers directly from raw demographic data. The “Plastic Card System” uses PrintSoft’s “PReS” software, selectively prints on up to eight form types using Oce’s “5160” cut-sheet printer, and securely matches and attaches cards in variable positions at a rate of up to 8,000 cards per hour. The “PCS” systems also offers the flexibility to decode any type of card and print full-color graphics and barcodes on both sides of the carrier. Additionally, the BOWE Bell + Howell’s “PCS” processes a wide array of document formats and has the ability to read a wide array of codes, including barcodes, 2D Datamatrix, contact or contactless smart card chips, magnetic stripes and OCR.

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Study Finds Rate Tart Fixation Fails

A new study shows that a mere 11% of consumers are considering taking out a 0% in the next six months whilst six out 10 cardholders have never been tempted by an opening offer. The finding flies in the face of the fact that card issuers spent GBP 53 million on advertising their 0% cards last year. The total spent on all advertising by all credit card companies during 2004 was GBP 83.6 million. The Co-operative Bank’s poll also shows that credit card customers are not fooled by low introductory rates. Three out of four said no annual fee and 64% stated a competitive standard rate were the most important aspects they took into consideration when choosing a new card.

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GCA Lands the Wynn Las Vegas Contract

The new Wynn Las Vegas resort has signed a multi-year agreement to use the products and services of Global Cash Access. The new casino is set to open April 28th. GCA says it will use the property to showcase its “QuickJack Plus,” a multi-function patron kiosk that incorporates GCA’s “Casino Cash Plus 3-in-1” ATM. “QuickJack Plus” offers an interface to redeem slot tickets, vouchers and coupons, perform ATM, debit and credit card cash advance transactions, redeem club points for complimentary services and cash and break bills to exchange currency. GCA provides cash access and related marketing services to approximately 960 gaming properties and other clients in the U.S., U.K., Canada and the Caribbean.

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Annual Future of Banking Conference Set for October

The “Fifth Annual Future of Banking in China Conference” will be held at Pudong Shangri-la in Shanghai, October 26th and 27th. The event is sponsored by the Asian Banker and the Shanghai Banking Association. The conference will seek to address issues that are emerging from a “whole new world” of retail banking in China. Some of the issues to be covered include implementing a credit risk management systems, growing the credit card business and building sustainable growth in retail banking.

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MOSIAK & WESTJET

BMO Bank of Montreal’s “Mosaik MasterCard” is now offering very low redemption levels for travel on WestJet to major U.S. cities.
“Mosaik MasterCard” cardholders who have the “Gold Reward Option” can redeem WestJet flights in Canada and to the U.S for no more than 1,600 “AIR MILES” reward miles. This represents a credit card spend of $3,000 to $15,000 less than that required on competitive travel reward credit card programs for similar destinations. BMO introduced the “Mosaik MasterCard WestJet 1/$15 AIR MILES Gold Reward Option” in May 2004. WestJet is Canada’s leading low-fare airline offering scheduled service throughout its 33-city North American network.

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Affluent Middle Income Market to Emerge

MasterCard released a report indicating a dynamic transformation of Malaysia’s consumer market over the next decade that will result in the emergence of an affluent middle income market by 2013. The study
concludes that by 2013, Malaysia’s real GDP per capita will reach RM21,500 and income per household will be at RM47,400. The highest and upper/middle income groups will be the most significant consumers in Malaysia, commanding a total spending power of RM257 billion. The MasterCard Insights report also highlights that by 2013, there will
be four lifecycle stages that will stand out prominently – the young
singles, young married with children under 10 years, older married with
children below 20 and the empty nesters.

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BP PetroChina Installs NCR RealPOS Terminals

BP PetroChina is installing NCR “RealPOS 30” terminals in its “Express” convenience stores across Guangdong Province. BP PetroChina currently operates 382 retail service stations in Guangdong, 200 of which include “Express” convenience stores. The NCR “RealPOS 30” offers a compact design and the terminal can be configured as a diskless thin-client or full-function disk-based POS system. It provides interfaces for serial- and USB-based retail peripherals and includes a powered printer port for improved cable management. The new terminal was introduced in China last year.

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