Benny MasterCard Signs 1-800 CONTACTS

1-800 CONTACTS Inc. has signed with Evolution Benefits for its “Benny MasterCard”-linked FSA/HRA program. Benny, a debit MasterCard(R) or Visa(R) card, enables employees who access 1-800 CONTACTS to give out their Benny card number, which will automatically draw the amount from the appropriate tax-advantaged account. Employees accessing 1-800 CONTACTS no longer have to pay with a retail credit or debit card, file claims, and wait to be reimbursed. All transactions can be performed electronically, in compliance with IRS regulations. 1-800 CONTACTS sells over 150,000 replacement lenses per day. Contacts can be ordered by phone, fax, mail, or Internet. Evolution Benefit’s Benny™ debit card applies advanced payment technologies and pioneering electronic substantiation methodologies to FSAs, HRAs, QTAs, and HSAs. Evolution Benefits currently powers the programs of almost 40 managed care organizations and over 1250 employers, which includes 30 of the nation’s top-ranked companies and hundreds of thousands of employees.

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Certegy Plans to Sell Merchant Acquiring

Certegy reported that its third quarter revenues increased 13% year-over-year to $262.7 million. The Company also announced a plan to sell the Company’s retail merchant acquiring business. Card Services generated revenue of $149.5 million in the third quarter, an increase of 6.7% above 3Q/03. The Company’s North American card issuing operation posted revenue growth of 5.2%, while international card issuing revenue increased by 26.0%. Check Services generated revenue of $113.1 million in the third quarter, an increase of 23.3% over 3Q/03. Certegy says it expects revenue growth of 14% to 16% in the fourth quarter. For complete details on Certegy’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Affinity Card with Travel Rewards Launched

U.S. Bank has launched an affinity card that generates contributions based on activation and volume for the non-profit group, as well as rewards for the cardholder. The new “Pheasants Forever VISA” is aimed at the 2.5 million pheasant hunters across the country. The card is available as a regular “Platinum” card, or as the “Travel Rewards VISA Platinum” card. Both cards offer a 0% six-month introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers. The “Platinum” card carries an ongoing interest rate of prime +3.99% to prime +12.99%, depending on credit risk. The “Travel Rewards” version carries an ongoing interest rate of prime +5.99% to prime +14.99%, depending on credit risk. Under the “Travel Rewards” program, cardholders earn one free reward point with every net purchase dollar charged, up to 10,000 points a month. Points can be redeemed for free tickets on any airline, no blackout dates, seating restrictions, or zone restrictions. Points can also be used for merchandise and gift certificates. Pheasants Forever has more than 108,000 members in over 600 local chapters across the continent.

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Three Major Retailers Select Clearingworks

The May Department Stores Company, Price Chopper Supermarkets, and Cabela’s have each selected U.S. Dataworks’ “Clearingworks” to support their payment processing infrastructures. The May Department Stores Company will expand its use of UDW’s Clearingworks technology for over 1,000 department and specialty stores affiliated with May. Price Chopper Supermarkets has used UDW’s Clearingworks Point of Purchase technology to replace its former outsourced electronic check conversion processing. Clearingworks determines best-fit clearing and least-cost routing of check payments, enabling Price Chopper to reduce their check tender costs. Cabela’s, a world outfitter of hunting, fishing, and outdoor gear, has chosen the Clearingworks solution to process electronic check conversion for its store, catalogue, and online sales. US Dataworks develops software designed to help organizations transition from traditional paper-based payment and billing processes to electronic solutions that automate end-to-end processes for accepting and clearing checks.

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5/3 to Offer Neos’ Smart Card Loyalty Program

I.C.E.’s Neos Merchant Solutions is teaming with Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions to roll out its smart card based loyalty program to Fifth Third’s merchant customers nationwide. Neos began working with Fifth Third earlier this year and has been training Fifth Third’s Bank Processing Solutions’ Sales and Relationship Management teams about how Neo’s program can provide loyalty solution to merchants, leading to successful implementation of turnkey programs to their customers. Neos offers gift and loyalty card services and designs, encodes, prints, and fulfills all of its customer orders. Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions is one of the largest providers of credit, debit, EBT, ACH, and check acceptance services in the nation. It processes nine billion ATM and POS transactions per year for over 207,000 merchant locations and 1,350 financial institutions worldwide. International Card Establishment, Inc., (I.C.E.), is a growing provider of products and services for the electronic transaction processing industry.

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Key Possibilities MasterCard Gift Card Arrives

KeyBank launches the “Key Possibilities MasterCard Gift Card” in denominations from $25 to $2,500. The card enables people to give any gift, providing recipients with something they truly want. The Key Possibilities card is a prepaid debit card and may be used where MasterCard debit cards are accepted. If the card is lost or stolen, remaining value on the card can be refunded.

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Northern Trust Company to Launch an Elan Card

The Northern Trust Company has chosen Elan Financial Services to create and operate its branded credit card program for high net worth clients. The new program will offer Northern Trust clients a prompt, responsive service and enhanced program options and features such as a valuable rewards program. Northern Trust Corporation provides investment management, asset and fund administration, and fiduciary and banking solutions for corporations, institutions, and affluent individuals around the world. It has offices in 15 U.S. states and international offices in six countries. Elan Financial Services supports over 7,800 ATMs, 15 million ATM/POS cards, and 2 million credit cardholders with a range of products and services such as credit card issuing, ATM, debit card, and merchant processing.

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Cap One U.S. Card Profits Rise by 50%

Capital One’s third quarter U.S. card profits ramped up by 50% year-over-year, as delinquency and charge-offs headed south. U.S. card outstandings of $46.1 billion are up 4% compared to one-year ago and 2% since the previous quarter. For the third quarter, COF posted net income for U.S. cards of $414.4 million, compared to $384.1 million in the second quarter, and $276.2 million one-year ago. The managed delinquency rate (30+ days) for U.S. credit cards was 4.14% for the third quarter, compared to 3.95% for 2Q/04, and 4.88% for the third quarter of 2003. The net charge-off rate for U.S. credit cards was 4.68% for the third quarter, compared to 5.19% for the second quarter, and 6.16% one-year ago. The overall managed revenue margin increased to 13.03% in the third quarter from 12.53% in the previous quarter. During the third quarter of 2004, Capital One grew its overall managed loan portfolio by $2.1 billion to $75.5 billion. The Company noted that it continues to diversify its business as 39% of total loans and 29% of earnings are now generated from businesses beyond the U.S. credit card segment. During the third quarter, Cap One sold its interest in a South African joint venture. This month, the Company sold its French loan portfolio. For complete details on Capital One’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

COF U.S. CARD NET INCOME
3Q/03: $276.2 million
4Q/03: $322.7 million
1Q/04: $386.8 million
2Q/04: $384.1 million
3Q/04: $414.4 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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MBNA Profits Up 10%, Loans Plateau

MBNA reported that net income for the third quarter rose 10% to $728.3 million as the issuer prepares to launch American Express cards next month. Managed loans for 3Q/04 were slightly down sequentially but up 4.5% year-over-year. Third quarter charge volume was up 11% compared to 3Q/03. Total managed loans at the end of the third quarter were $117.8 billion, and charge volume was $53.0 billion, including $17.7 billion in cash advances. Managed charge-offs decreased slightly to 4.61% compared to 4.95% in the previous quarter, and 5.13% one year ago. Delinquency on managed loans increased slightly to 4.11%, compared to 4.08% in 2Q/04, and 4.48% in 3Q/03. During the quarter, MBNA added 2.3 million new accounts. MBNA indicated future growth drivers will be its new rewards program, international card business, the launch of the AmEx credit card, and its expansion into professional practice financing and insurance premium financing. For complete details on MBNA’s third quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

MBNA TRACK RECORD
Profits Loans
3Q/03: $658.8 MM $112.8 B
4Q/03: $703.5 MM $118.5 B
1Q/04: $519.7 MM $117.6 B
2Q/04: $660.3 MM $118.2 B
3Q/04 $728.3 MM $117.8 B
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Alliance Data Q3 Net Income Up 23%

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems posted third quarter revenue of $298.9 million, a 15% increase over one-year ago. Net income rose 23% to $26.0 million. Transaction Services revenue increased 11% to $169.4 million. Credit Services revenue increased 14% in the third quarter to $121.4 million. Marketing Services revenue increased 18% to $85.0 million. The growth in Marketing Services revenue was driven by strong “AIR MILES Reward Miles” redemption growth, which increased 17%, and “AIR MILES Reward Miles” issuance growth, which increased 8%. During the quarter, ADS launched its first commercial credit card client with American TV and Appliance, signed Rona, Canada’s largest distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products, to become a national sponsor in Canada’s “AIR MILES Reward Program”, and acquired Epsilon Data Management. For complete details on ADS’ third quarter performance as well as prior quarters visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Providian’s Q3 Profits Up 28% Y/Y

Providian reported net income for the third quarter of $109.1 million, a sharp increase from last quarter’s $70 million profit, and up 28% year-on-year. During the quarter, the issuer signed up about 538,000 new accounts but lost just as many, ending the quarter at approximately 10.3 million accounts. The Company’s managed 30+ day delinquency rate at the end of the third quarter decreased to 6.27% from 6.44% at the end of the second quarter, and down significantly from last year’s 9.68%. Managed net credit losses in the third quarter were $453.8 million, resulting in a managed net credit loss rate of 10.39%, compared to 12.53% in the second quarter, and 14.37% for 3Q/03. The net interest margin on average managed loans in the third quarter was 13.48%, compared to 13.75% in 2Q/04, and compared to 14.79% for 3Q/03. Managed loans receivable as of September 30th, increased to $17.9 billion compared to $17.2 billion at the end of the prior quarter and $16.9 billion one-year ago. For complete details on Providian’s third quarter performance as well as prior quarters visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Providian Net Income Track Record
3Q/03 $85.3 million
4Q/03: $67.1 million
1Q/04: $101.7 million
2Q/04: $69.7 million
3Q/04: $109.1 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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KeyCorp Adds Surcharge-Free ATM Access to WV

Cleveland-based KeyCorp has signed its first surcharge-free ATM deal in West Virginia with WesBanco Bank. Key’s agent bank program enables banks, credit unions, and other financial services companies to provide customers and members surcharge-free access to Key’s ATM network without the investment needed to manage their own ATM system. Key’s nationwide network of almost 2,200 ATMs can be accessed by institutions. WesBanco’s customer service capabilities are significantly enhanced by the partnership with Key. Customers now have easy access to their accounts and can conduct business with WesBanco at home or while traveling. WesBanco, Inc. is a $3.9 billion multi-state bank holding company that provides retail and commercial, trust, investment, and insurance products and services. KeyCorp has assets of roughly $88 billion, making it one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies.

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