Fleet One Card to be Accepted at Sheetz

SunTrust’s Fleet One has inked a deal for card acceptance with PA-based convenience store operator Sheetz. This relationship makes it possible for Fleet One customers to purchase fuel with Fleet One branded fuel cards at any of the more than 300 Sheetz convenience stores, in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland. Fleet One(TM) provides financial service solutions to companies with fleets of vehicles, and the merchants that serve them. Sheetz, Inc., based in Altoona, PA, is one of America’s fastest growing, family owned and operated convenience store chains with more than 300 locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.

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ASPACE 100% Absorbed by ActivCard

ActivCard, which currently owns 49% of ASPACE Solutions Limited,
has acquired the remaining 51% equity interest in the UK-based company. ASPACE provides a multi-channel authentication and authorization solution to the banking industry. Under the terms of the agreement, ActivCard made an initial payment of $9.7 million, payable half in common stock and half in cash. The new set of ActivCard products, incorporating ASPACE’s advanced technology, will enable banks to authenticate customers and provide authorization for banking services, delivering a combination of better customer service and enhanced fraud protection.

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LG Group Bulks at a LG Card Rescue Plan

LG Card’s creditors have threatened to liquidate the credit card firm
if LG Group, the former parent of LG Card, does not go along with the
latest bailout plan. Korea Development Bank says LG Group said it was no
longer willing to help LG Card. LG creditors want LG Group to convert
the 875 billion won worth of commercial paper it is holding into equity
to help cover LG Card’s capital erosion. The creditors estimated they
would loss 180 billion won in losses from a liquidation of the credit
card firm.

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Optimal Payments Buys MCA Assets

Optimal Payments has entered into an agreement to acquire the operating assets from Merchant Card Acceptance Corp and its affiliated companies, Precision Management Consulting Inc. and Merchant Card Interactive Corp. for approximately US$4.6 million. MCA is an independent sales organization providing Canadian-based merchants with credit card and Interac PIN-based debit card acceptance. Optimal Payments will acquire the operating assets of MCA, which consist
primarily of agreements with merchants, employees and suppliers. MCA is
based in Toronto, Ontario and has approximately 40 employees across
Canada, of whom most are in sales.

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NOVA Acquires Umpqua Bank Merchant Portfolio

NOVA Information Systems has acquired the merchant portfolio of OR-based Umpqua Bank which produces about $215 million per year in volume. Through this alliance with NOVA, Umpqua continues to maintain industry leadership by presenting to its customers state-of-the-art product offerings. Umpqua Bank selected NOVA based on its superior technology and customer satisfaction achievements. Umpqua Bank was named #1 on “The 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon” large companies list for 2004 by Oregon Business Magazine. NOVA Information Systems, a leader in the payment processing industry, is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB).

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Precise Biometrics Lands a Major Card Reader Deal

Stockholm-based Precise Biometrics has received an additional order for 7,500 of the “Precise100 MC” fingerprint and smart card readers, and “Match-on-Card” software technology from SafeNet.
The Precise “Match-on-Card” technology makes it possible to store and match fingerprint information directly on a smart card. This order represents a continuation of a deployment to a government agency by SafeNet and Precise Biometrics. Precise Biometrics received the
two previous orders from Datakey, which was recently acquired by SafeNet.

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ORCC Completes the Incurrent Acquisition

Online Resources has completed its acquisition of privately held Incurrent Solutions. The purchase price for Incurrent consisted of $8.0 million in cash and 1.0 million shares of Online Resources common stock. Online Resources powers Internet financial services for 700 firms nationwide. The Company’s proprietary account presentation, payment and relationship management services are branded to its client banks, credit unions, card issuers and processors, and payment acquirers.

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ANZ Makes Amends Over a No Fee Ever Offer

ANZ Banking Group has agreed to refund A$240,000 in annual fees to cardholders it promised “no annual fee ever.” The solicitations for the offer were sent out in 1996 to approximately 5,000 consumers. In 2002, the bank began levying a A$48 annual fee. After customers complained to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, ANZ agreed to apologize and issue the refunds. ANZ said it “lost its corporate memory,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

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British Lead in Average Holiday Card Purchases

Based on total population, Britons will use debit and credit cards to make US$886 in purchases during December, while Australians will charge US$765 per person, and each American will average US$578. Combined, the three countries will rack up US$237 billion in payment card volume in December, with US$162.8 billion on credit cards, and US$74.2 billion on debit cards. The U.K., with a population of 59 million, will produce US$52.3 billion in payment card purchases, with 55% of the volume on debit cards. Australia, with slightly more than 20 million persons, will generate US$15.3 billion in total card purchases, with 71% on credit cards. The U.S.A., with 293 million individuals, will rack up US$169.4 billion in total card purchases, with 76% on credit cards.

DEC PURCHASE VOLUME
(US$ billions)
Debit Credit Total
Australia 4.4 10.9 15.3
U.K. 28.7 23.6 52.3
U.S.A. 41.1 128.3 169.4
TOTAL 74.2 162.8 237.0
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Maestro Tops 548 Million Cards Worldwide

“Maestro,” MasterCard’s global PIN-based debit brand, now appears on more than 548 million cards worldwide, a 7.4% increase over one-year ago. Europe continued to be the largest cardholder base for “Maestro” with 246.5 million cards as of September 30th, a 5.2% increase over the same date in 2003. At the end of the third quarter, there were 149.9 million “Maestro” cards issued in Asia/Pacific, 78.0 million in Latin America, and 27.4 million cards in the South Asia, Middle East and Africa region. In the United States, “Maestro”-processed purchase dollar volume nearly tripled and purchase transactions grew 170%. U.S. “Maestro” volumes set all-time records in September 2004, which was the twelfth consecutive month of growth in transactions and dollar volume.

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Iowa Expands its OPC Contract

The State of Iowa has expanded its payment processing contract enabling Iowa businesses to make several types of electronic business tax payments through Official Payments systems with a debit or credit card. These payments may be made with a major debit or credit card. Official Payments Corp. accepts payments for Iowa individual income taxes, estimated income taxes, delinquent income taxes, certain court payments, and has added certain business, sales and use, and withholding taxes. Tier is a leading provider of transaction processing and packaged software and systems integration services for public sector clients.

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HOLIDAY 04

Credit card and debit card spending over the first two weeks of December is up 3.5% year-over-year, or approximately $475 million in Canada. For the third year in a row, December 23rd is expected to be the busiest shopping day of the year. Moneris says it processed 8.49 million transactions on December 23rd last year and 8.38 million transactions in 2002. Moneris says based on the total dollar volumes spent on debit and credit cards in hundreds of merchant categories, video tape rental stores were up 15.4%, bakeries were up 15.0% and pet stores were up 9.4%. Family clothing stores were up 12.6%, men’s and women’s clothing stores were up 12.5%, and children’s and infants wear was up 8.8%. Moneris processes for more than 350,000 merchant locations.

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