UBL & WELCOME

United Bank Limited has launched the first VISA smart credit card in South Asia. The new “UBL VISA” offers instant “Chip Rewards,” “RoadMiles,” and “Talk-Time.” The new card is powered by Welcome Real-time’s “XLS” software. UBL’s acquiring partner, RFM Loyalty, uses “XLS Server” to manage a network of payment terminals, which are equipped with a payment application developed using “XLS POS” software libraries. The “RoadMiles” feature offers free petrol every month based on spending. “Talk-Time” offers free phone minutes based on total spending, in addition to a free connection. UBL has more than 1,000 branches in Pakistan and a customer base of more than 3.5 million. RFM Loyalty is Pakistan’s only smart card solution provider. Welcome is a provider of payment software that utilizes the full capabilities of EMV standard chip credit and debit cards.

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Chase & United Offer Double Miles for Taxes

United Mileage Plus and Chase will give cardmembers two miles for every dollar spent when they use the UMP Visa card to pay personal income tax, property or quarterly taxes. Cardholders can earn additional bonus miles by enlisting H&R Block’s services. First-time clients of H&R Block will earn 1,000 bonus miles when they use the UMP Visa card to pay for tax prep services. United Mileage Plus has over 45 million enrolled members. United Airlines is the world’s second largest airline, operating more than 3,500 flights a day. JPMorgan Chase & Co.is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.1 trillion and operations in more than 50 countries.

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SK Telecom to Support MasterCard’s PayPass

SK Telecom has inked a deal with MasterCard to upgrade the
merchant network to accept MasterCard “M/Chip” and to support the MasterCard “OneSMART PayPass” contactless payment program on their existing payments infrastructure. MasterCard and SK Telecom will work
to develop new mobile payment models to enable MasterCard cardholders in
Korea to use SK Telecom’s “Moneta” mobile payments service. MasterCard “PayPass” has already been implemented in several retail locations in the U.S. including McDonald’s.

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Peter Mark Selects Trintech’s ReconNET

Peter Mark has selected Trintech’s “ReconNET” to automate
the verification and reconciliation of its cash, check and credit card
deposits. Prior to licensing “ReconNET,” the salon chain used an in-house system and paper reports for deposit verification and reconciliation. Peter Mark management will now use “ReconNET” to immediately detect and flag issues for review, so they can quickly resolve exceptions and reduce write-offs. Peter Mark has 68 salons nationwide.

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Revolving Credit Tops $800B Milestone in Jan

Revolving consumer credit hit the $800 billion milestone during January. Americans added $5.4 billion to revolving credit during January compared to $7.8 billion in January 2004. The change further verifies that more consumers are paying credit card balances off in-full each month or increasing their monthly payment. The monthly payment rate is hovering at 18%, an all-time high. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans owed $801.4 billion in revolving credit at the end of January, compared to $796.0 billion for December. One-year ago revolving credit stood at approximately $753.2 billion. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the fourth quarter was $696.7 billion, or roughly 87% of total revolving credit, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). At the end of January, Americans were $2018.5 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
Jan 05 Dec 04 Nov 04 Sep 04 Jun 04 Mar 04 Dec 03
GRWTH: 8.1% 8.5 0.9 5.5 10.4 -1.9 5.4
$OWED: $801.4 796.0 790.4 785.2 765.2 768.9 758.7
Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 3/07/05;
For complete historical data visit CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Lipman Lands $5MM NURIT Order from Turkey

Lipman Electronic Engineering has received a follow-on order for its “NURIT 8320” landline and “NURIT 8010S” wireless POS terminals from one of the largest privately owned banks in Turkey. The order is valued at approximately $4.8 million. Lipman develops, manufactures and markets a variety of handheld, wireless and landline POS terminals, electronic cash registers, retail ATM units, PIN pads and smart card readers, as well as integrated PIN and smart card solutions.

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MBNA & UFM Launch a Mortgage Rewards MasterCard

MBNA has teamed with Illinois-based United Financial Mortgage to launch a MasterCard with rewards to reduce mortgage principal. Cardholders earn one point for every dollar charged to retail purchases. When the cardholder accumulates 5,000 points, a check for $50 will be sent to the borrower. MBNA is the largest independent credit card lender in the world and the recognized leader in affinity marketing, endorsed by more than 5,000 organizations worldwide. United Financial Mortgage Corp. is an independent originator and servicer of residential and commercial mortgage loans.

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InfiCorp Buys a Tallahassee CU Card Portfolio

Florida Commerce CU has sold its credit card portfolio, consisting of 4700 accounts with $10.3 million of receivables, to InfiCorp, a specialty credit card company which partners with credit unions. InfiCorp has entered into an agent agreement with Florida Commerce to issue cards under Florida Commerce’s name. The transaction was arranged by Massachusetts-based Alliance Companies LLC.

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Cardtronics Attracts a $75MM TA Investment

Texas-based Cardtronics, Inc announced an investment of $75 million by TA Associates, a leading private equity and buyout firm. TA Associates joins The CapStreet Group as a private equity investor. Cardtronics is the nation’s largest independent owner/operator of ATMs with a nationwide network of approximately 25,000 locations. TA Associates manages $6 billion in capital and has invested in more than 350 companies. The CapStreet Group, formerly Summit Capital Group, is a private equity firm that manages investment funds totaling more than $400 million.

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Asta Funding Acquires Option Card

NJ-based Asta Funding has acquired Denver-based Option Card for $13.5 million. Asta says the deal includes portfolios of distressed consumer receivable debt of approximately $197 million, a facility in Denver with two experienced managers in debt buying and debt management, an established legal network, and a computer software system that will be incorporated into the Company’s existing computer system. In addition, the acquisition brings the Company the right to purchase a small monthly forward flow of high quality distressed consumer receivables with liquidation rates in line with the Company’s typical portfolio buys, from a new relationship with a major financial institution.

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