EGG 3Q/04

Egg reports that its new MasterCard product, launched in June, has racked up more than GBP100 million in card balances. Egg also projects its interest income to rise significantly in the fourth quarter after recently bumping up its standard variable rate by 100 basis points. For the third quarter, Egg produced an operating profit for its British “Egg VISA” card of GBP18.6 million versus an operating loss of GBP2.7 million for its French “la Carte Egg VISA.” Overall, the Egg Group posted a year-to-date loss before tax of GBP103 million, which includes GBP113 million in exits costs for France and the operating losses of GBP35 million incurred in France up to the date of its announcement to withdraw from the market. Banque Accord is in the process of acquiring the French Egg credit card portfolio for GBP97.5 million. The portfolio has 66,000 customers and net assets of approximately GBP143 million. During the quarter, Egg added 105,000 new credit cardholders in the U.K. to bring its total portfolio to 2,249,066 cardholders. Total Egg credit card outstandings were GBP3,306 million at the end of September. For complete details on Egg’s third quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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TSAI’s Revenues Slip 3%; Net Income Rises 10%

Transaction Systems Architects reported that revenue for the quarter ended September 30th was $69.7 million, a decrease of 2.9% from the same quarter last year. Net income for the quarter was $10.0 million, compared to net income of $9.1 million for the year ago period. During the quarter, the Company added twenty-one new customers while maintaining a worldwide presence of 76 countries. ACI Worldwide, the Company’s largest business unit, added ten new customers during the quarter. Insession Technologies, the Company’s e-infrastructure business unit, added 11 new customers and licensed 11 new applications to existing customers during the quarter. The Company completed the quarter with $229.6 million in backlog. TSAI estimates revenues for the next twelve months to be between $279 million and $308 million. For complete details on TSAI’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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LaserCard Corp. Revenues Jump 200% in 3Q/04

LaserCard Corporation, f/k/a Drexler Technology Corporation, reported revenues of $7.8 million, a 200% increase over 3Q/03. Highlights of the second quarter ended September 30, 2004 include a $5 million follow-on order by the Department of Homeland Security for LaserCards(R) to be used as Green Cards, the follow-on purchase order of 265,000 chip-ready optical memory cards for the national ID card program in the Middle East, a $0.3 million follow-on order for secure, durable non-optical ID cards for the national family ID program in the Middle East, and the change of their corporal name to LaserCard Corporaton. After the second quarter, LaserCard Corporaton added new VARs in the U.S., Greece, and Poland. They also received orders for 38,000 optical/smart cards for the Gujarat and Delhi states, located in India. In addition, German operations received the ISO9000 certification. LaserCard Corporation is a manufacturer and marketer of LaserCard(R) optical memory cards, chip-ready Smart/Optical(TM) cards, and other advanced-technology secure identification cards. It has sold more than 25 million secure ID cards, meeting demand requirements for border security, digital governance, and national identification.

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Discover’s Postal Service Agreement is Approved

The U.S. Postal Service confirmed it has inked a “Negotiated Service Agreement” with Discover Financial Services. The Discover NSA is similar to the Capital One NSA implemented last year. Bank One, which struck a deal with the Postal Service in June, is now awaiting approval from the Governors of the Postal Service. Under the terms of the Discover NSA, the issuer will earn lower rates for First-Class Mail volume in excess of 405 million pieces in the first year of the agreement. In exchange, Discover will accept information electronically from the Postal Service about undeliverable-as-addressed First-Class Mail in lieu of receiving the actual mail. Since September 2003, Capital One has been able to mail credit card solicitations using First-Class Mail at discounts up to 6 cents per piece under its NSA. (CF Library 8/27/04)

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Encore Capital Group’s Profits Soar 90%

San Diego-based Encore Capital Group reported that gross collections were up 22% to $59.9 million, and that total revenues were up 58% to $46.5 million. Net income rose 90% to $5.9 million. The Company spent $21.0 million to purchase approximately $721 million in face value of portfolios during the third quarter, a blended purchase price of 2.91% of face value. Credit card portfolios represented 42.2% of total purchases in the quarter. Encore has been shifting to more profitable non-credit card portfolios, which do not require contingent interest payments. For complete details on Encore’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Comments Requested on Retail Credit Risk Guidance

The federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies are requesting comment on proposed guidance for “Internal Ratings-Based Systems for Retail Credit Risk for Regulatory Capital”. A description of the agencies’ current views about the components and characteristics of a qualifying IRB system for measuring credit risk of retail exposures is provided to banking organizations through the proposed guidance. Comments are requested by January 25, 2005. Directions on how to file a comment are found in the Federal Register notice.

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Continental Airlines Expands Online Payment Options

Continental Airlines is now accepting checks via the TeleCheck “Internet Check Acceptance” service, cash via Western Union and is offering the “Bill Me Later” service from I4 Commerce. Customers who purchase tickets at continental.com using cash, check, or deferred payment options before December 31, 2004 will earn an electronic certificate, valid for a 5% discount on a future Continental Airlines ticket. Continental Airlines operates over 3,000 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, making it the world’s 6th largest airline. It serves more domestic and international destinations than any other airline in the world. FORTUNE ranks Continental as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and as the top airline in its 2004 edition of Most Admired Global Companies.

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Capital One’s Board Expands to Nine Members

Capital One has named Ann Fritz Hackett, president of the Horizon Consulting Group, to its Board of Directors. Ms. Hackett will serve on the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee and its Governance and Nominating Committee, filling a new seat on the Board. Before her career at Horizon, Hackett served as vice president and partner in strategy and human resources at Strategic Planning Associates, Inc. She serves on the board of Woodhead Industries, Inc. and formerly served on the Board of Trustees at Dartmouth College, her alma mater. Capital One Financial Corporation is a holding company with principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B. Capital One is a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world.

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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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