ICICI Bank Launches its First UK Credit Card

India’s ICICI Bank has launched its first U.K. credit card program using Card Tech Limited’s processing service. CTL’s Processing service supports the issuing and acquiring transaction processing needs of over 20 clients from established centers in the United Kingdom and Cyprus. ICICI says it launched the new new VISA “Chip and
Pin” only four months after the project began.

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CIBC Completes Sale of Juniper to Barclays

CIBC completed an agreement to sell U.S.-based Juniper Financial Corp. to Barclays Bank on December 1st. Barclays signed a deal in August to acquire Juniper Financial and its $1.4 billion credit card portfolio from CIBC for $293 million in cash. The deal represents a premium of 15.2%. Juniper, with 700,000 accounts, also has co-branded relationships with AirTran Airways, Best Western, Caesars Entertainment, Frontier Airlines, Gulf Petroleum, Midwest Airlines and Sinclair Oil. Barclaycard Chief Executive, Gary Hoffman, will become Chairman of Juniper, and Juniper will become part of the Barclaycard International business.
CIBC acquired a 51% interest in Juniper Financial Corp., a credit card issuer based in Wilmington, Delaware, in 2001 and subsequently increased its ownership to 98%. The remaining 2% was owned by senior management of Juniper Financial Corp. Barclays purchased 100% of Juniper Financial Corp.

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USA Technologies to Ship its Mini in January

USA Technologies confirms it will begin shipment of its “Business Express Mini” in January. It is the smallest unattended credit card-activated business services center on the market. It is largely targeted at hotels, motels, and convention centers. “Mini” is approximately the size of an ATM kiosk and comes equipped with a PC that has Internet access, Windows XP, CD and DVD drives and a dedicated laser printer. It will also provide a printed receipt at the end of the transaction, charging the cost to a customer’s credit or debit card. USA Technologies provides networked credit card and other non-cash systems in the vending, commercial laundry, hospitality and digital imaging industries.

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HSI and Givex Team to Launch a Restaurant Gift Card

AZ-based Hospitality Solutions and Givex have teamed to provide Ladeki Restaurant Group with a new gift card program for Ladeki’s locations in California, Nevada, and Arizona. The HSI Profit Series Point of Sale System is an easy to use, scalable, windows-based, point-of-sale solution designed to fit into nearly any hospitality environment. The simplicity of design is backed by extraordinary capability and intuitive graphics. Hospitality Solutions International (HSI), a division of MICROS Systems, Inc. provides technology solutions for the hospitality industry, with capabilities in software development and systems integration, as well as ASP Services and Internet based products. The Ladeki Restaurant Group, founded by Sami Ladeki, includes Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza with locations in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.

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Average Credit Card Ticket Up 16% Since 1994

While gross dollar volume on bank credit cards have increased 2.5 times since 1994, the average transaction has increased about 16% over the past decade. The average transaction on a general purpose credit card, carrying the VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover brand, is now approaching $102, compared to $87 in 1994. Last year was the first time in the industry’s history that the average credit card transaction topped $100. The increase in credit card ticket size is clearly related to the sharp rise in debit card transactions which siphon off smaller transactions. The average off-line debit purchase transaction is currently $39.78, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Avg. Bank Credit Card Transaction
1994: $87.28
1995: $89.90
1996: $91.76
1997: $96.22
1998: $96.52
1999: $98.91
2000: $99.46
2001: $99.25
2002: $99.76
2003: $101.64
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Tidel Reorganizes Debt and Raises New Funds

ATM manufacturer, Tidel Technologies, has completed a reorganization of its debt with Laurus Funds and secured additional financing of $3.35 million. Tidel expects to report operating losses for each of the quarters and for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2004, however, due to gains from certain non-operating items, the Company expects to report a net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2003 and March 31, 2004, and for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2004. Tidel Technologies, Inc. is a manufacturer of automated teller machines and cash security equipment designed for specialty retail marketers.

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OPC Renews Sacramento County, California

Official Payments has signed a renewal contract with the Sacramento County, California Department of Finance and Administration, to continue providing electronic property tax payment services to the citizens of Sacramento County, California. With this renewed and expanded contract, Official Payments Corp. enables Sacramento County taxpayers to pay current and prior year property taxes 24 hours each day, 365 days each year, through e-PropTax, the Sacramento County Tax Collector’s Online Property Tax Information System at www.eproptax.saccounty.net, or by calling 1-888-877-3575. Tier is a leading provider of transaction processing and packaged software and systems integration services for public sector clients.

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PAGO STUDY

Pago released its third annual e-commerce study based on the evaluation of some 16.5 million purchase transactions processed on the its platform in the course of 2003. Based on all purchases made in
all shops, the study showed that credit cards account for 93% of all
payments and that foreign shoppers use credit card payment for 99% of their purchases in German shops. However, electronic direct debit now has a share of about 64% of total payments in German shops. In German e-retailing the credit card is used for 38% of all purchases and the electronic direct debit for 47%. For German consumers, 52% of their purchases were made at international e-retailers followed by
telecommunications services. The research also showed that the credit card is the most popular payment method in e-retailing taking a share of some 46%, purchases on invoice account for a mere 10.9% in this sector. VISA card payment accounts for about 62.5% of all purchase transactions, MasterCard is used for 29.7% of purchases, and the other payment methods account for a total of about 6.4%. MasterCard users,however,generate a higher average shopping cart value (117.00 euros) than VISA cardholders (101.30 euros). In international e-commerce, nearly every third credit card transaction is unsuccessful! The success rate in international shops is about 65.5%; the rate in German shops is considerably higher
(83.0%).

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VISA Preferred Over AmEx by 40% of Americans

If given the choice, 40% of Americans would select VISA as their favorite brand over all other card payment networks. American Express came in second with 34% of the vote. The findings come from CardWeb.com’s homepage poll of 1,099 unique visitors conducted last month. In response to the question: “Some banks may soon issue American Express and Discover cards alongside their current VISA and MasterCards. If your bank offered you a choice between all four brands which one would you select?”: VISA scored 39.76%, MasterCard 16.1%, American Express 33.84%, and Discover 10.28%. MBNA is now offering AmEx cards to some of its affinity groups. MBNA is the first U.S. bank to issue credit cards accepted on the AmEx network. Under the terms of the partnership, MBNA manages the customer accounts and receivables, and provides all customer service, billing and payment systems, accounting support, credit and fraud resolution, and card marketing. (CF Library 11/5/04)

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Q Comm International Gets a New CEO

UT-based Q Comm International has hired Michael Keough, formerly with ClearOne Communications, as CEO and President. Previous to joining Q Comm, Mr. Keough served as Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chief Strategy Officer of ClearOne Communications, a $60M publicly traded company with 265 employees specializing in audio, video, and web- based conferencing products and services. Q Comm International provides proprietary prepaid transaction processing and information management systems that facilitate electronic recharge or distribution of prepaid products from service providers or their distributors to retail points of sale.

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