Australian Card Debt Rises 13% in November

Revolving balances, or balances accruing interest, edged near the A$20 billion level for first time during November, in a country with just 20 million residents. Based on historical data from the Reserve Bank of Australia, revolving balances will easily top that milestone for December. The latest data show that revolving balances increased to A$19,981,000 during November, up 13% from one-year ago. Gross dollar volume for purchases on credit card and charge cards in November rebounded by more than 10% from the prior month. Total outstandings for November were up A$475 million compared to October, and up nearly 12% since November 2003. During November, Australians charged A$13.0 billion in purchases on credit/charge cards compared to A$10.8 billion one-year ago. At the end of November, consumers owed A$28.6 billion on credit cards versus A$25.5 billion for November 2003. Card credit limits reached A$76.5 billion at the end of November, compared to A$68.4 billion for November 2003. There are 11.4 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 10.8 million one-year ago.

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GlobalCollect to Process World of Warcraft

GlobalCollect has been selected by Blizzard Entertainment to process the online payments for World of Warcraft in all European countries. GlobalCollect’s online payment platform, WebCollect, will make it possible for players to pay their subscription fees online following their free one-month access to the game. The month-to-month subscription plan costs 12.99EUR per month, the three-month plan costs 11.99EUR per month and the six-month plan costs 10.99EUR per month. Best known for blockbuster hits including the Warcraft series, StarCraft(R), and the Diablo(R) series, Blizzard Entertainment (www.blizzard.com), a division of Vivendi Universal Games, is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. GlobalCollect provides international payment services for non face-to-face businesses including Internet, mail and telephone order.

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Global Links and Symmetrex Sign an Accord

Global Links Card Services signed an agent agreement with Symmetrex to provide GLCS with residual income for GLCS’s client debit card programs. This agency agreement allows GLCS to receive monthly residual income for customers when GLCS is not the Card Issuer. Symmetrex is focused exclusively on providing card issuance and transaction processing services for stored value programs, prepaid debit, payroll, employer incentives and healthcare saving accounts. PTS in November, 2004, acquired Glove Box, Inc. Glove Box, Inc. owns the rights to the patented, revolutionary Glove Box(TM), the only product that offers contamination reduction through automated glove dispensing.

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National Consumer Protection Week Starts Today

“National Consumer Protection Week” launches today. VISA USA launched its “STOP FRAUD” campaign this morning, urging consumers to play hide-and-seek with potential identity thieves. VISA in partnership with Call For Action, has helped many identity theft victims via a hotline. Since the hotline launched in April 2003, several hundred identity theft victims have been assisted in reclaiming their identities. Additionally, more than 300,000 identity theft brochures have been sent to consumers, while more the 3.2 million consumers have sought identity theft information via the Internet.

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Barclay’s Juniper Buys a $50MM CU Card Portfolio

Barclay’s Juniper Financial Corporation has purchased Oregon Community Credit Union’s $42.9 million credit portfolio, entered into an agent relationship, and jointly launched the “Oregon Community Credit Union World MasterCard”. The new card issued by Juniper provides Oregon Community Credit Union’s 87,000 members flexible rewards, no fee and the worldwide merchant acceptance of a MasterCard. Cardholders using the Oregon Community Credit Union World MasterCard earn valuable rewards on purchases everywhere MasterCard is accepted. Oregon Community Credit Union serves more than 87,000 members and currently has an asset size of $700 million. Juniper Financial Corporation, a member of Barclays Group, is a leading full-service credit card issuer headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware.

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Chase/Regal Entertainment MasterCard is Launched

The largest movie theatre operator in the world has launched the first co-branded credit card to reward movie-goers. The new “Regal Entertainment Group Platinum MasterCard,” issued by Chase, will offer a value-added reward program, and deliver “Priceless” experiences unique to REG circuits, comprised of Regal Cinemas, United Artist Theatres, Edwards Theatres and Signature Theatres across the USA. Specific details about the rewards program will be made available when the card launches in the Spring. Point of sale materials, national print advertising, direct mail, and online support will also support the launch. The deal also includes a multi-year marketing agreement making MasterCard its official payment card brand. Regal Entertainment Group operates 6,242 screens in 560 locations in 40 states.

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Cash Technologies and ClaimRemedi Expand Deal

Cash Technologies’ Heuristic Technologies division has extended its relationship with ClaimRemedi to eight years. ClaimRemedi’s software permits healthcare insurers and providers to electronically analyze these claims and rapidly identify and correct the data errors, providing dramatic reductions in processing costs. The software has been extensively tested and successfully deployed nationwide. Cash Technologies, Inc. develops and markets innovative data processing systems, including the BONUS((TM)) and MFS((TM)) financial services systems and EMMA((TM)) transaction processing software.

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NOV 04

Revolving balances, or balances accruing interest, edged near the A$20 billion level for first time during November, in a country with just 20 million residents. Based on historical data from the Reserve Bank of Australia, revolving balances will easily top that milestone for December. The latest data show that revolving balances increased to A$19,981,000 during November, up 13% from one-year ago. Gross dollar volume for purchases on credit card and charge cards in November rebounded by more than 10% from the prior month. Total outstandings for November were up A$475 million compared to October, and up nearly 12% since November 2003. During November, Australians charged A$13.0 billion in purchases on credit/charge cards compared to A$10.8 billion one-year ago. At the end of November, consumers owed A$28.6 billion on credit cards versus A$25.5 billion for November 2003. Card credit limits reached A$76.5 billion at the end of November, compared to A$68.4 billion for November 2003. There are 11.4 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 10.8 million one-year ago.

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BioPay Enters a North Carolina Food Chain

VA-based BioPay has inked a deal for Winston-Salem, NC-based Lowes Food Stores to offer biometric payments to its some customers in the Spring, with full deployment in all 108 Lowes Foods stores by the end of the year. BioPay’s biometric payment service allows people to conveniently pay for purchases with the touch of a finger. There is no cost for customers to enroll or use BioPay. Lowes Foods employs 8300 people and operates 108 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Since 1999, BioPay(R) has been providing smart, secure methods for processing financial transactions. BioPay’s payment service offers merchants a low-cost form of customer payment and gives consumers a convenient, secure and quick way to pay for purchases.

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Deluxe and PPS Team to Fight Fraud

MN-based Deluxe Financial and First Data’s Primary Payment Systems have formed a strategic alliance to introduce a new service to help financial institutions fight fraud. Deluxe Detect, powered by Early Warning, is a new relationship-screening tool that enables financial institutions to reduce fraud at the new account desk by providing identity verification and reliable risk assessment in real time. Deluxe offers a variety of checks and related products to enhance consumer satisfaction, strengthen check program security, increase revenue and improve efficiency. Primary Payment Systems, Inc., an affiliate of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), provides services that combat check, identity and new account fraud.

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