November Online Spending Rise 19% Over 03

Online consumers spent $8.8 billion overall, excluding travel, in November, marking a 19% jump over last year. The 2004 figure represents a 62% increase from the $5.5 billion that consumers spent online during the 2002 holiday season. Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive, and Nielsen//NetRatings’ “Holiday eSpending Report” also revealed that 36% of consumers purchased items online because prices were lower on the Web, while 34% purchased gifts online due to the wider selection of products. Thirty-three percent of consumers said they bought online, because they preferred to avoid the crowds in stores. As of the end of November, 17% of consumers indicated that they finished holiday shopping, according to the “eSpending” report.

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Second Shopping Weekend Tops Black Friday Weekend

MasterCard reported yesterday that global transaction volume for the second shopping weekend of the holiday season was up nearly 16% and exceeded the Black Friday weekend. Based on MasterCard’s “Banknet” there were 64.6 million authorizations for the second holiday shopping weekend, as compared to 55.8 million for the same period in 2003. This compares to 64.2 million over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. On “Black Friday” MasterCard processed over 35.1 million transactions, a 10.1% growth over the 31.8 million authorization transactions it handled on the same day in 2003.

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Wells Fargo and ICICI Launch a US Remittance Service

ICICI Bank has teamed with Wells Fargo to launch a
new remittance service that allows customers in the U.S.A. to send up to US$3,000 a day from their U.S. accounts to accounts in India for $8.00 per transaction. Partnering with ICICI Bank Limited allows Wells Fargo customers’ beneficiaries to access a remittance distribution channel of 470 banking stores and 1790 ATMs in India. The U.S.- India remittance product is Wells Fargo’s third such international remittance product launch in the last nine years, and the second into the Asia-Pacific region. Wells Fargo recently announced its launch of the
International ATM Remittance Account to the Philippines.

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iPayment Switches Attorneys to Fight a Bankruptcy Suit

After their original attorneys, Greenberg & Bass, were removed last week for ethics issues, Nashville-based iPayment has named White & Case to fight the lawsuit filed by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court Trustee, which alleges fraud by some of iPayment’s officers and directors. The Motion to Disqualify was successfully brought by Special Counsel to Trustee Ehrenberg, Pratter & Young, Attorneys, who alleged that the conduct of iPayments lawyers was a violation of the lawyer’s Canon of Ethics. Judge Zurzolo agreed and ordered their immediate removal. iPayment is now in search of new lawyers. iPayment, Inc. issued the following statement in response to a press release issued by the law firm of Pratter & Young regarding a suit against the Company and certain officers and directors in the United States Bankruptcy Court on behalf of a U.S. Bankruptcy Court Trustee.

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CIBC 2004

CIBC reported that its credit card loans increased 3.2% in the latest quarter to C$11.547 billion. For the entire 2004 fiscal year, which ended October 31st, the nation’s largest bank credit card issuer posted an 8% increase in credit card revenues to C$1,384 million. Since 2001, CIBC credit card profits have increased nearly 23%. Recently, CIBC announced it completed an agreement to sell U.S.-based Juniper Financial Corp. to Barclays Bank. Barclays agreed to pay $293 million in cash for the $1.4 billion credit card portfolio from CIBC. The deal, which closed December 1st, represents a premium of 15.2%. CIBC acquired a 51% interest in Juniper Financial in 2001, and subsequently increased its ownership to 98%. The remaining 2% is owned by Juniper senior management. For complete details on CIBC’s latest results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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eBay Names a New President of PayPal

eBay has promoted Jeff Jordan from SVP of eBay North America to President of PayPal. Jeff Jordan, formerly Senior Vice President, eBay North America, has been named President of PayPal. Since joining eBay in 1999, Jordan has led eBay.com to achieve more than 400 percent growth in gross merchandise volume reaching $4.5 billion in the third quarter of 2004 eBay is The World’s Online Marketplace(R). Founded in 1995, eBay created a powerful platform for the sale of goods and services by a passionate community of individuals and businesses.

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OTI’s Saturn 5000 Approved for ExpressPay

On Track Innovations'”Saturn 5000″ contactless reader has received certification from American Express to support its “ExpressPay” contactless payment program. This follows OTI’s recent announcement as the only company to date to obtain type approvals on both its MasterCard “PayPass” compatible card and reader solutions. “ExpressPay” is an alternative to cash for making purchases at merchants where speed and convenience are important — such as quick serve restaurants, supermarkets, drug stores, gas stations, and corporate cafeterias. The “Saturn 5000” is built to allow quick upgrades of existing POS terminals to accept contactless payments, with the reader facing the customer for easier payment experience. OTI designs, develops and markets secure contactless microprocessor-based smart card technology to address the needs of a wide variety of markets.

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ATM GROWTH

The number of global ATMs has tripled in the last decade to 1.3 million, and increasing 17% since 2001, and should hit 1.7 million by 2009. While the USA is the largest ATM market with 380,000 ATMs, Asia-Pacific will likely overtake North America as the largest ATM market next year. The research by London-based Retail Banking Research shows that Asia-Pacific is largely driven by a buoyant Chinese market. RBR says the top five emerging markets: China, Russia, South Korea, India and Brazil, only represent 20% of worldwide ATM installations, but account for 43% of global market growth between 2001 and 2003. The report also suggests that replacement machines will make up an increasing share of ATM shipments as markets reach maturity, and will increase from 51% in 2003 to 80% in 2009. Only two countries, the USA and Japan, currently have more than 100,000 ATMs. The USA regained its position as the largest ATM market from Japan in 1996, as a result of the installation of a large number of off-site machines by non-bank deployers. While the USA and Japan remain the largest ATM markets, their share of the global ATM market is falling, as emerging markets continue growing at a higher rate. Brazil is in third place with over 90,000 ATMs, while South Korea and China have around 80,000 and 70,000 respectively. Germany and Spain are the only European markets with more than 50,000 ATMs.

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BofA and Alaska Airlines Launch a VISA Platinum

Alaska Airlines and Bank of America have rolled-out a new “VISA Platinum Card” in Canada. The new card gives cardholders the opportunity to earn miles for credit card charges and other benefits including one $50 (USD) round-trip Companion Certificate upon approval, and each year thereafter. Cardholders also receive 5,000 “Bonus Miles” upon approval, 2,000 “Anniversary Bonus Miles,” and one mile for every dollar in purchases. The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan network includes 11 airlines serving more than 700 destinations on six continents. Alaska and its sister carrier, Horizon Air, together serve more than 80 cities in Alaska, the Lower 48, Canada and Mexico.

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Phishing Season Opens Big in November

Phishing season has opened again with nearly 100 attacks during the first month of the holiday season. The sharp rise in November attacks is up more than 80% over the previous month. The data are from the Proofpoint “Anti-Spam Lab.” The data were culled from the more than 1.2 million email inboxes currently under protection by Proofpoint’s messaging security solutions. The Company expects to see similar exponential increases in both holiday spam and holiday-themed phishing attacks during December. A recent report from the Anti-Phishing Working Group found that hackers are apparently achieving new levels of automation, possibly commanding software tools, and BOT nets to vastly increase the potency of their phishing campaigns. (CF Library 11/24/04)

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