Starbucks VISA Offers a Free NY Times Sub

The “Starbucks Card Duetto VISA” is offering new cardholders, through December 31st, a free six-week subscription to The New York Times Sunday edition and $10 “Duetto” dollars, to be loaded on the card. Colleagues can apply for the promotion by visiting the Duetto Web site at [http://www.firstusa.com/cgi-bin/webcgi/webserve.cgi?partner_dir_name=starbucks&page=cont&mkid=6S19][1]

[1]: http://www.firstusa.com/cgi-bin/webcgi/webserve.cgi?partner_dir_name=starbucks&page=cont&mkid=6S19

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Transcard Signs JCB Acquiring & Issuing License

Sofia-based Transcard SA has signed acquiring and card issuing license agreements with JCB International. Transcard will start merchant operations by March 2005 and card issuing by September 2005. Transcard entered the credit card business in 2002, when there were only
about 50,000 credit cards in Bulgaria. Offering cash-back benefits that
vary from 1 to 30%, Transcard built a substantial base of over 60,000
cardholders with 100,000 cards in two short years. It offers “Classic” and “Gold” cards for individuals, a “Business” card for corporate clients, and a “Fleet” card for use at gasoline stations. They are expecting to issue 30,000 of the new JCB cards in the first year. In merchant acquiring, Transcard is planning to achieve a coverage rate of 80% of merchants accepting credit cards in Bulgaria by the end of this year. JCB’s merchant network includes 11.7 million merchants and spans 190 countries and territories.

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Equifax Credit Rankings for Consumers Launched

Equifax has introduced its first consumer credit comparison tool: “Equifax Credit Rankings”. Equifax Credit Rankings enable consumers to rank their own credit information against the averages of similar credit information from a local zip code or from around the U.S. Categories of comparison such as mortgage payments, auto loan balances, total debt, credit card debt, the amount of open credit accounts, and late payments are offered in the Credit Rankings. Equifax Credit Rankings is designed to encourage consumers to better manage their credit and overall financial wellbeing. Equifax, Inc. is a world leader in turning information into intelligence.

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Hypercom Beats Estimates; Expects a Strong Q4

Hypercom posted revenues of $63.2 million for the third quarter, compared to $59.4 million one-year ago. Revenues were dampened by a delay in component deliveries for the “Optimum L4100” multi-lane product, however, the matter was resolved after the close of the quarter and the deferred orders have been shipped. Hypercom reaffirmed its full year revenue guidance of $254-260 million. The Company expects a strong fourth quarter due to the deferred orders from 3Q/04, and the increased demand for multi-lane and outdoor QSR products. The Company closed the quarter with a sales backlog of $49.5 million, versus $51.8 million as of June 30th, and $69.9 million one-year ago. During the quarter, Hypercom received an additional order for 10,000 payment terminals from an existing QSR customer and launched several new multi-lane pilots with major drug, grocery, and department store chains. For complete details on Hypercom’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

HYPERCOM REVENUES SNAPSHOT
3Q/03: $59.4 million
4Q/03: $63.4 million
1Q/04: $50.8 million
2Q/04: $64.7 million
3Q/04: $63.2 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Chase Pumps Out Another Gas Related Card

Amerada Hess and Chase have partnered to launch a co-branded credit card that offers 10% cash back on gas purchases for the first 90 days, and 5% thereafter. Besides the gas cash back, the card offers a 1% rebate on all other purchases. The current interest rate varies between 11.74% and 17.74%, depending on credit risk. There is no annual fee. Chase has extensive experience with gas partnerships since it was the first issuer of the “Shell MasterCard” and the current issuer of the “Marathon Platinum MasterCard.” Shell also offers the “PerfectCard” which features a generous rebate on gas purchases regardless of the brand. Hess has more than 1,250 locations in 14 states on the East Coast.

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VISA USA Hires Russell Reynolds to Find a CEO

VISA USA has retained Russell Reynolds Associates to assist in the search for candidates to replace its current president and CEO who retires in September 2005. President of Card Services for Bank of America and Chairman of the Visa USA Board of Directors, G. Patrick Phillips, will lead the search committee. Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest payment system. Cardholders in over 150 countries have over 1 billion Visa branded cards, which are accepted at millions of locations all over the world.

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Deluxe Rolls-Out the DeluxeCard VISA Gift Card

MN-based Deluxe Financial has launched the “DeluxeCard VISA Gift Card,” issued by First Federal Savings Bank of the Midwest. The DeluxeCard gift card can be used to buy anything wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. The card is an open-system prepaid card, enabling financial institutions to meet increasing demands for payment tools and a universal gift solution. Card designs are available for multiple occasions and consumers can choose a personal message that can be imprinted below the recipient’s name. The card can be sent directly to the recipient and funds up to $500 can be loaded on the card. Deluxe Financial Services offers checks and other related products to improve consumer satisfaction, strengthen check program security, increase revenue, and improve efficiency. Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest payment system. Cardholders in over 150 countries have over 1 billion Visa branded cards, which are accepted at millions of locations all over the world.

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Euronet Profits Quadruple as Transactions Double

Euronet Worldwide reported that third quarter revenues increased 88% and that net income more than quadrupled, compared to one-year ago. EFT transactions and prepaid transactions more than doubled. Consolidated revenues for 3Q/04 were $99.9 million, compared to $53.1 million for 3Q/03. Net income for the third quarter was $6.0 million, compared to a net income of $1.4 million for the third quarter 2003. The EFT processing segment posted third quarter revenues of $20.9 million, a 62% increase. The EFT processing unit processed 70.1 million transactions in the third quarter compared to 31.0 million transactions for the same period last year. The segment completed the quarter with 5,404 ATMs owned or operated, compared to 3,254 ATMs at the end of the 3Q/03. The prepaid processing segment reported third quarter revenues of $75.4 million, a 107% jump over 3Q/03. Total transactions processed by the prepaid processing unit in the third quarter were 59.8 million, compared to 26.3 million prepaid transactions processed in 3Q/03. The prepaid processing segment processes electronic point-of-sale prepaid transactions at more than 168,000 point-of-sale terminals across more than 79,000 retailers in Europe, Asia Pacific and the USA. For complete details on Euronet’s third quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Ascom Unveils a Miniaturized Contactless Mini Module

Ascom has introduced a miniaturized contactless mini module that turns a PDA or a PC into a ticketing machine. Integrated into a PC, a CMM behaves like a hermit crab, squatting its host’s micro-chip, therefore, it does not need to have one itself. This makes its price even more attractive, especially when produced in large quantities. It also makes it easier to create new ticket sales outlets, for example at news stands, where PCs will behave like real ticket office machines, with an external aerial option if necessary.

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Lightbridge Revenues Rise 16%; Beats Projections

MA-based Lightbridge reported third quarter revenues of $34.3 million, a 16% increase, higher than projected. Authorize.Net revenues increased 26% for the third quarter to a record $8.8 million. The Company added 5,500 net new merchant accounts to the Authorize.Net merchant base during the quarter bringing the total to 108,000. Lightbridge completed its acquisition of Authorize.Net Corporation for $82 million in April. The Company also signed an agreement to sell its “Fraud Centurion” software and assets to Subex Systems in August for $2.2 million in cash. Additionally, Lightbridge cut its workforce by 12% in 3Q/04. For complete details on Lightbridge’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 4/5/04)

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

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MASCOT Fights Cards-in-Transit Fraud

CardBASE Technologies has released its smart-card
management solution, “MASCOT” to fight cards-in-transit fraud.
Using “MASCOT,” “Chip and PIN” cards are rendered inactivate prior to posting. Only when in the hands of authorized recipients can they be reactivated, in their bank branch or another location, via a secure, web-based, using “MASCOT’s” post-issuance update technology. CardBASE says fraud using stolen credit cards has soared by more than 50% to £61.2 million in the year to end June 2004.

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