VASCO Organizes a Scandinavian Banking Summit

VASCO Data Security International is organizing its first Scandinavian banking summit in Denmark. The event in Copenhagen is VASCO’s first regional banking summit. VASCO designs, develops, markets and supports patented “Identity Authentication” products for e-business and e-commerce. The Company has over 300 financial institutions in its customer base, including 80% of the banks with the largest deployments of strong authentication products in the financial sector.

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Wright Express IPO Set for This Month

Cendant reaffirmed its plans to dispose of its ownership interest in its Wright Express subsidiary in via $1 billion IPO later this month. Today, Cendant distributed one share of PHH common stock for every 20 shares of Cendant common stock outstanding as of January 19, 2005. Cash will be issued in lieu of fractional shares. The distribution was structured to qualify as a tax-free stock dividend to Cendant stockholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes, although cash received instead of fractional shares will be taxable. Cendant Corporation is primarily a provider of travel and residential real estate services.

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Heartland Payment Systems to Offer CrossCheck

CrossCheck has signed an agreement to provide check authorization services, including electronic check conversion, to Heartland Payment Systems. Using CrossCheck’s authorization services, Heartland will be able to offer merchants the convenience and safety of accepting low-numbered, out-of-town, even out-of-state checks with confidence. Heartland’s check conversion service offers check conversion at the point-of-sale and delivers funds directly to the merchant’s account. Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com), a provider of bank card-based payment processing services to U.S. merchants, was ranked America’s eighth largest card acquirer by processing volume (The Nilson Report 2003). CrossCheck, Inc., (www.cross-check.com) provides check approval for a variety of merchants nationwide.

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MasterCard Finds a Rising Number of Women Travelers

A new report shows that women travelers are becoming Asia’s new spending powerhouse. The report, prepared for MasterCard, showed that the ratio of male to female travelers in Asia/Pacific has been dramatically shifting from 90:10 (males to females) thirty years ago, to around 60:40 (males to females) today – implying that about 56 million of the 139 million travelers in the region are women. MasterCard’s “Asian Lifestyles Survey” that monitors travel attitudes and
trends amongst male and female travelers in 13 markets in the
Asia/Pacific indicates that 77.5% of women consider travel as
important for their lifestyles, and 36.7% reported that they have
taken at least one international flight for personal travel purposes in
the past 12 months.

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Fiserv EFT Transaction Volume Rise 14% Last Year

Fiserv EFT reported total volume of 4.2 billion transactions in 2004, a 14% increase over 2003 volume. The ACCEL/Exchange Network also reported record volume for the year of 281 million transactions, a 26% increase over 2003. ATM transactions were up 33% for the year to more than 41 million, while POS transaction activity increased by 25% to 240 million. ACCEL/Exchange transactions are currently enabled at 73,000 ATMs and approximately 2.4 million POS devices nationwide. In addition to its own ACCEL/Exchange Network, Fiserv EFT also drives the Armed Forces Financial Network; FL-based Credit Union 24; the surcharge-free Allpoint Network; and EBT transactions.

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AmEx to Spin-Off AEFA to Grow its Payments Business

American Express announced plans to spin-off its Financial Advisors unit to shareholders to focus on its core global payments and network business. The transaction is intended to be tax free to shareholders and expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2005, subject to certain conditions. After the spin-off, American Express will consist of the world’s largest charge and credit card business, and a network that processes more than $400 billion in transaction volume from several million merchants throughout the world. American Express Company (http://www.americanexpress.com), founded in 1850, is a global travel, financial and network services provider.

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GLXS’ ATMs-Made-Easy Program Quadruples in 1st 9 Mos

FL-based Global Axcess reports that its “ATMs-Made-Easy” program has expanded from 61 ATMs to 286 ATMs in its first nine months. ATMS-Made-Easy is a series of comprehensive, turnkey ATM program. Global Axcess Corp was founded in 2001 with a mission to emerge as one of the nation’s leading network-based electronic commerce and transaction processing companies. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Nationwide Money Services, Inc., the Company provides turnkey ATM management solutions that include cash, project and account management services.

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Barclaycard Extends its Siemens BPO Contract

Barclays PLC has signed a GBP 45 million extension of its business process outsourcing contract with Siemens Business Services.
The contract also includes Barclaycard. Siemens has been running areas of Barclays’ retail banking back office since 2000 -including: account closures, transfer of funds and administrative processing for direct debit and standing order instructions. Back office operations have been transformed through improved operational efficiencies and the deployment of new technologies, using the Siemens global service delivery platform.
Siemens established an international business unit for BPO in October
2004 in the UK.

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NFL Team Limits Ticket Purchases to its MBNA Card

While some NFL teams only accept VISA for season tickets, the Washington Redskins have further limited card acceptance by requiring season-ticket holders to use its cobranded MasterCard if they want to use a credit card for payment. The team says that using the MBNA-issued “Redskins Extra Points MasterCard” will streamline the ticketing process, increase fan loyalty, and boost its profits. According to the Washington Post, the decision affects those buying tickets to FedEx Field’s 66,500 regular admission seats. Last August, MBNA rolled-out the “MBNA NFL Extra Points” credit card program, offering football fans a variety of NFL and NFL TEAM experiences such as dinner with a coach, golf with former players, sideline passes, game tickets, seat upgrades, etc. The card is available with the team logo of any of the 32 NFL clubs, or the NFL shield. Cardholders receive one point for each dollar charged. “Extra Points” redemptions include “VIP Draft Party Access” for 8,000 points, two game tickets for 35,000 points, dinner with a coach for 80,000 points, and two “Super Bowl” tickets for 200,000 points. MBNA is the official credit card issuer of the NFL and all 32 NFL teams. (CF Library 8/26/04)

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Top 3 U.S. Issuers Capture a 49.1% Market Share

The nation’s top ten bank credit card issuers increased their market share, based on managed card loans, by 70 basis points, to 84.5% during 2004. The top three VISA and MasterCard players now control nearly half of the U.S. market, while American Express held its 5.8% share, and Discover lost 20 basis points. MBNA lost the most share last year, falling from 12.6% in 2003 to 11.7% in 2004. The combined Bank of America/Fleet portfolio posted the largest gain in market share, from 8.0% to 8.5%. The Chase/Bank One portfolio posted the second highest gain of 40 basis points. Credit card outstandings at year-end 2004 came in at $687 billion, a 2.8% gain over 2003. The top ten issuers posted a 3.7% gain during 2004, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

CREDIT CARD LEADER SCOREBOARD
(EOP MARKET SHARE/MANAGED CARD LOANS)
ISSUER EOY-03 EOY-04 CHNG
1. Chase 19.3% 19.7% +40bps
2. Citi* 17.6% 17.7% +10bps
3. MBNA 12.6% 11.7% -90bps
4. BofA 8.0% 8.5% +50bps
5. Cap One 6.9% 7.1% +20bps
6. Disc** 7.2% 7.0% -20bps
7. AmEx*** 5.8% 5.8% NC
8. HSBC**** 2.8% 3.0% +20bps
9. Prov 2.5% 2.7% +20bps
10.Wells 1.1% 1.3% +20bps
TOTAL SHARE 83.8% 84.5% +70bps
TOTAL LOANS $560.4 $581.1 + 3.7%
INDUSTRY $668.0 $687.0 + 2.8%
* Citi includes approx. $2 billion in non-U.S. card loans.
** Discover’s fourth quarter ended 11/30/04.
*** AmEx does not include charge card outstandings or foreign card loans.
**** HSBC is estimated; no Q4 report issued to-date.
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Spartanics Executives Take Over the Company

Three Spartanics executives who have been responsible for managing major segments of the company in recent years have assumed ownership the Company. Tom Kleeman, who most recently had been CTO, assumes new duties as CEO. Bill Gillen, the former VP of Manufacturing, will now take on duties of COO. Tom O’Hara, the former Comptroller/VP Finance, will now be the President. IL-based Spartanics manufactures technology for inspection, die cutting, counting/batching, and special material handling systems for worldwide printers and card manufacturers.

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Gironde Transport Selects ERG for a Smart Card System

The Conseil General De La Gironde in the Bordeaux region of France has chosen ERG Transit Systems to provide and install their smart card fare collection system. The contract, which has a value of EUR 2.4 million, will be completed in mid-2006. The new system will allow the use of paper tickets, magnetic stripe tickets and smart cards, greatly increasing passenger convenience. It will be installed on 350 buses serving the interurban area. This is the fourth French contract awarded to ERG for smart card fare collection equipment within the past twelve months. In addition to the Conseil General De La Gironde, recent tenders awarded include Department of Bas-Rhin Strasbourg, Clermont-Ferrand and La Roche/Yon.

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