AJB Software Design Expands NCR Relationship

Toronto-based AJB Software Design and have extended their reseller agreement. The companies also announced that AJB has completed an interface to the new NCR “RealPOS Advanced Payment Terminal.” The NCR terminal will enable interfaces with technologies such as fingerprint recognition or forms of payment based on radio-frequency identification.
AJB and NCR have worked together to deliver payment solutions to several
leading North American retailers. Most recently, the companies
collaborated on a returns-management system designed to help retailers
manage and monitor customer purchases and returns.

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AmEx’s Linen on Yum! Brands Board

Yum! Brands has named Jonathan Linen, Vice Chairman of American Express, to its Board of Directors. Linen has risen through the American Express ranks over a 35-year career, and assumed his current position in 1993. As Vice Chairman, he is responsible for representing the company with its key corporate and government clients, business partners, industry associations and current and potential joint venture partners. Yum! Brands Inc., based in Louisville, Ky., is the world’s largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants with more than 33,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and territories.

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First Horizon Makes the Fortune Hall of Fame

First Horizon National Corp. has been elected again to Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and has earned inclusion in the magazine’s “Hall of Fame” for being one of only 22 companies to make the list every year since its inception in 1998. The list is compiled based on two criteria: an evaluation of the policies and culture of each company and the opinions of the company’s employees. Employee opinions are given more weight; two-thirds of the total score comes from employee responses to a 57-question survey that goes to a minimum of 350 randomly selected employees from each company. The 12,000 employees of First Horizon National Corp. provide financial services to individual and business customers through hundreds of offices located in more than 40 states.

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United Rolls-Out Elite Prepaid Cards

United Airlines has unveiled three prepaid travel cards that enable consumers to buy “elite” status. The cards will go on sale February 1st and will expire on February 28th, 2006. The “Premier” level card is available for $5,000; the “Premier Executive” level card requires $10,000; and the “1K” level card will cost $20,000. The new cards will also reward purchasers with a 5% discount on domestic United, United Express and Ted flights when that card is used for qualifying purchases on united.com. United’s “Mileage Plus” program has more than 45 million enrolled members.

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HOLIDAY HANGOVER

Canadians now carry an average credit card balance of C$2,451 per person, according to January survey. Cardholders in Alberta carry the highest average balance, C$2,935, while consumers in British Columbia carry the lowest average balance of C$2,075. The new BMO Bank of Montreal survey also found that Canadians spent approximately $970 each during the holidays (on gifts and other related expenditures) with most the of spending placed on payment cards. BMO says the survey showed that of those who carry a balance, 24% expect to take six months or more to pay off holiday card debt. The BMO Bank of Montreal “Post Christmas” survey was conducted by Decima Research between January 4th and January 6th, and was based on a randomly selected sample of 1,006 Canadians who made holiday expenditures.

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Walgreen’s Reverses its AmEx Decision

Walgreen has reversed an earlier decision to stop accepting American Express cards on January 14th. The development followed the signing of a new, long-term agreement between the companies on Friday. Walgreen says the deal is mutually beneficial. Last month, Walgreens said the higher merchant fees charged by American Express were not offset by the larger purchases anticipated by AmEx cardholders. The retailer noted that AmEx has not raised its rates since Walgreens began accepting the card chainwide in 1996. Walgreens will now accept American Express cards at all Walgreens drugstores nationwide, along with Walgreens.com, Walgreens Mail Service, Walgreens Home Care and Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy. Walgreen operates 4,683 stores in 44 states. (CF Library 12/16/04)

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Triton ATM Shipments Up 19% in 2004

Triton reports it shipped more than 20,000 ATMs last year, 19% more than 2003. This past year yielded sales increases in numerous regions including the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Africa, Canada and Australia. Triton is the largest provider of off-premise ATMs and ATM management software in North America and has more than 118,000 installations in over 17 countries worldwide.

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TI to Provide RFID Chips for PayPass

Texas Instruments plans to supply RFID chips for MasterCard’s “PayPass” line of RFID payment cards and tokens, with full production slated to start in the second half of this year. TI expects to submit this product for MasterCard certification in the second quarter of 2005. Full production is planned to start in the second half of this year. Texas Instruments is the world’s largest integrated manufacturer of radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders and reader systems.

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Providian’s Charge-Offs Resume a Decline

Losses for Providian’s credit card ABS dropped by 41 basis points in December, and delinquency edged down by 21 basis points. Since the start of this year, delinquency has collapsed by 342 basis points, and charge-offs have declined 563 basis points for the issuer’s card bonds. Charge-offs decreased to 11.73% in December, compared to 12.14% during November. One-year ago, Providian’s securitized charge-off ratio stood at 17.55%. Delinquency ticked down to 8.06% during December compared to 8.27% during November. One-year ago, Providian’s securitized delinquency ratio stood at 11.94%. Providian will release its managed charge-off and delinquency data with its fourth quarter earnings report on January 20th. For complete details on Providian’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

PROVIDIAN MONTHLY ABS METRICS
Month Charge-Offs Delinquency
Jan 04 17.36% 11.48%
Feb 04 16.08% 11.07%
Mar 04 17.17% 9.56%
Apr 04 15.84% 9.09%
May 04 14.82% 8.68%
Jun 04 14.44% 8.40%
Jul 04 13.17% 8.42%
Aug 04 12.39% 8.37%
Sep 04 12.45% 8.30%
Oct 04 12.11% 8.48%
Nov 04 12.14% 8.27%
Dec 04 11.73% 8.06%
Source: CardData(R) (www.carddata.com)

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

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GE MasterCard Enters the Canadian Market

GE Consumer Finance-Canada has purchased the small business MasterCard portfolio in Canada of First Data Loan Company Canada. Under terms of the agreement, First Data will provide card processing services for the accounts. The deal marks GE’s first entry into the Canadian market. First Data says it unloaded the portfolio to continue to focus on its core competency.

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