Third Quarter Receivables Up 8% in Early Results

Early portfolio performance reports are showing an 8% increase in receivables for the third quarter. The surveys, gathered by CardData, found that Wells Fargo Financial Bank posted a strong 31% gain in 3Q/04 outstandings, compared to one-year ago. Navy Federal Credit Union, with $1.65 billion in receivables reported a 9% increase, while three other mid-level players posted an 8% increase each. For complete up-to-the-minute data on the nation’s top issuers please visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

3Q/04 EARLY RESULTS (RECEIVABLES)
Wells Fargo Financial Bank $1,687,448,461 +31%
Navy Federal Credit Union $1,651,253,350 + 9%
Commerce Bancshares $ 570,233,753 + 8%
Columbus Bank & Trust $ 230,009,094 + 8%
Penna. State Employees CU $ 214,196,459 + 8%
TOTAL $4,353,141,117 +16%
SOURCE: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Affluent Say Reward Programs are Important

White Plains, NY-based TNS has released a report showing that frequent reward programs are winning over the market and building loyalty among affluent Americans, as 66% say the programs are important. The study found that 27% of affluent travelers have cards with air mile rewards, compared to 7% of non-affluent, and that 69% of the affluent market use reward cards versus 37% of non-affluent. Affluent travelers are also more likely to redeem their rewards, as 11% have cashed-in air miles in the past year, versus only 2% of non-affluent travelers. The affluent were defined as those with a net worth of over $250,000 and/or a household income above $100,000.

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SUMMARY BOX

A new APACS survey has found that the overwhelming majority of the British population back the introduction of the “Summary Box” on credit card marketing materials. To support the introduction, the credit card industry has launched a consumer education campaign on the Summary Box, via a special Web site. The “Summary Box” provides a concise summary of the features of each credit card, in a common format used by all card issuers, allowing customers at a glance to compare APRs, interest rates, interest-free periods, minimum repayment levels, and all charges for the card. According to the APACS survey, 99% of those people asked think the introduction of the “Summary Box” is a good idea, with more than nine-in-ten saying they would definitely or probably read it when making a card application. However, the research found that one-in-four consumers never read the small print, never read the full terms and conditions, and who don’t find it easy to compare different credit cards.

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VISA European Volume Climbs 12% at Mid-Year

VISA Europe reported that total cardholder spending increased by 12% to 878.9 billion euro, as card numbers climbed 9% to reach 240.4 million at mid-year. Expenditure on “VISA Debit” totaled over 613.2 billion euro with year-on-year growth of 12%. The number of transactions on all VISA cards in Europe surpassed 13 billion, up 10.5%, according to CardFlash International. Card numbers for individual countries are as follows: UK (80.6 million cards, +7.2%); Spain (35 million cards, +10.8%); France (25 million cards, +7.7%); Italy (16.6 million cards, +13.5%); Portugal (11.2 million cards, +1.3%); Germany (11.6 million cards, +8.2%); and, Greece (5.4 million cards, +8.6%). VISA Commercial products showed that total transactions were up 11.9%, with volumes of 32.3 billion euro.

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D-Link Launches a MasterCard for Re-Sellers

D-Link has launched a re-loadable debit MasterCard offering its re-sellers a sales credit for each qualifying D-Link networking product sold. Cash values range from $20-$100 depending on the kind of product sold. This rewards program proves D-Link commitment to its partners. Benefits of the new D-Link Network Rewards Program may be received by registering online at http://www.networkrewards.com . Once a re-seller is eligible to receive cash, the D-Link Rewards Card may be used to make everyday purchases. D-Link is a global leader in designing, developing, and manufacturing digital electronics. It is a dominant participant and performance leader in the networking and communications market.

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Benny Card Gets Rewards and Sweepstakes

Evolution Benefits has expanded its “Benny” benefits debit card with the “BennySweeps Rewards” program, combining elements of points programs and traditional sweepstakes contests. As the consumer-driven health movement accelerates, company officials feel the importance of developing strong ties with consumers, especially since the company offers benefit debit cards to help manage health benefits. BennySweeps offers prizes intended to increase enrollment. The enrollment sweepstakes will run from October 15, 2004-March 31, 2005. Grand prizes include vacations and ten first prizes will include $250 gift cards that can be used anywhere the cardholder pleases as long as debit cards are accepted. Benny can be a MasterCard(R) or VISA(R) debit card, which enables consumers to access pre- or post-tax contributions set aside for employer-offered benefits. Evolution Benefits is committed to giving consumers more choices and more responsibility in regard to employee benefits.

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NAP Shareholders Approve BofA Merger

Shareholders of Louisville-based National Processing have approved the merger with Monarch Acquisition and Bank of America. National Processing, Inc. will merge into Monarch Acquisition, Inc. and become a subsidiary of Bank of America. Each outstanding National Processing common share will turn into the right to receive $26.60 in cash with no interest. National Processing, Inc. is a leader in providing merchant credit and debit card processing through its subsidiary, National Processing Company, LLC. NPC supports more than 700,000 merchant locations and represents one out of six MasterCard(R) and VISA(R) transactions processed across the nation.

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Paperless FSA Program Launched

First Data and online retailer drugstore.com have teamed up to create a paperless “Flexible Spending Account” program that eliminates the process of identifying FSA-eligible products and submitting receipts to an FSA administer. Consumers participating in an FSA program can choose from over 2,000 FSA reimbursement eligible products and over 18,000 health and wellness products by visiting the Tax Advantaged Online Store at www.drugstore.com. All FSA-eligible products are tagged with a special icon to simplify the shopping process. FSA-eligible purchases are automatically set apart from ineligible purchases. Qualified products are automatically debited from the customer’s First Data account. Remaining products are billed to the customer’s personal credit card. First Data is a leader in commerce and payment services serving roughly 3.5 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers, and millions of consumers. drugstore.com, inc. encourages consumers to purchase products by providing them with a convenient, private, and informative shopping experience. It is a leading provider of health, beauty, vision, and pharmacy products.

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Moneris Expands Gift Card Business in Canada

Moneris Solutions has launched a new gift card program for independent Canadian merchants. Customized with the company name or logo, gift cards allow businesses to expand revenue, attract new customers, and build brand awareness. With Moneris gift cards, customers decide on the value they wish to load on to the card, from $1 to $250, according to CardFlash International. According to a recent report by the J.C. Williams Group, the gift card market in Canada is set to grow by 55% by 2006.

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Bill Matrix SVP Joins NACHA’s CEBP

Jerry Portocalis, BillMatrix SVP of Sales and Marketing, has been named the Marketing/Education chair of the Steering Committee for NACHA’s Council for Electronic Billing and Payment. Mr. Portocalis will support the organization by holding educational meeting sessions that discuss recent industry developments, practitioner case studies, analyst presentations, and technology applications. An active participant with the national NACHA and the CEBP, Portocalis gathered more than 15 years of experience in the electronic financial services industry, with positions at Bank of America, Automatic Data Processing (ADP), and Ceridian. The Council for Electronic Billing and Payment (CEBP) promotes electronic consumer and business-to-business billing and payment programs and services. BillMatrix Corporation is a provider of outsourced payment services for the nation’s largest companies.

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