EGG FRANCE

Auchan’s Banque Accord has made an offer to acquire some of the assets of Egg France. In July, Prudential, majority owner of Egg, announced it was exiting the credit card business in France after racking up nearly GBP100 million on losses for its “la Carte Egg VISA” in the last five quarters. The partial disposal with Banque Accord will result in the re-deployment of approximately 100 of Egg France’s 450 workforce. Banque Accord has 3.5 million clients in Europe including more than 2 million in France, and employs more than 700 people in France, Warsaw, Lisbon. Banque Accord has a call center in Tours. The Banque Accord and Egg deal involves Egg’s unsecured lending business, which includes 66,000 credit card customers. For the second quarter, Egg produced an operating profit for its British “Egg VISA” card of GBP19.4 million versus an operating loss of GBP16.5 million for its French “Egg VISA.”

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Espirit Selects ValueLink for Gift Cards

First Data announced that Hong Kong-based clothes retailer ESPRIT Holdings has selected its ValueLink subsidiary to assist in the development and implementation of Esprit’s electronic gift card in the USA. Esprit’s gift card was launched to coincide with the reopening of a flagship store in New York City during September and the roll-out of four additional U.S. stores in the fall. The gift card has been specially designed to mark Esprit’s return to the city, drawing inspiration from the lively spirit of Times Square. The company designs, manufactures and sells quality clothing and accessories for men, women and children in 40 countries and through more than 2,500 company-owned and franchised stores.

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GCA Signs 7 Casinos for QuickJack and 3-in-1

Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access has signed seven contracts with Native American casinos for the use of cash access including the “QuickJack Plus” multi-function patron kiosk and the “Casino Cash Plus 3-in-1” ATM. QuickJack Plus uses Casino Cash Plus 3-in-1 ATM offering customers a user-friendly service enabling them to redeem slot tickets, vouchers, and coupons, make ATM transactions, redeem player club points, and exchange currency. GCA provides roughly 960 gaming properties with marketing services and is the leading supplier of cash access and customer relationship marketing technology to the Gaming Industry.

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The FSS Cracks Down on Merchant Card Practices

The Financial Supervisory Service announced it is cracking down on merchants who refuse to accept credit cards or boost the sales price for card purchases. Between July and September, the FSS found that nearly 300 merchants engaged in the practices. The FSS has since referred the merchants to the National Tax Administration and National Police Agency. Retailers in violation of the credit card rules are subject to a maximum prison term of a year or a maximum fine of W10 million.

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Primeton EOS and Boasteel Launch a Master Access Card

Primeton EOS has powered the “Master Card Project” of Baosteel.
The specific requirement of the project includes the implementation of the unified management of Card Issuing System, Access Control (including vehicles), attendance, food & beverages and commuting; and the connection to the Human Resource System. The “Master Card” aims to
realize the modernization and automatization of the management of above systems on the foundation of the company’s Backbone through technologies like computer software, network communications and smart cards, etc.
Baoshan Iron & Steel Company Limited has 15,000 employees and over 50,000 external cooperation staff. Headquartered in Zhangjiang High-tech Park, Shanghai, Primeton currently employs some 150 people.

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CO-OP Cuts PIN POS Fees for Credit Union Members

CA-based CO-OP Network has announced a PIN POS price reduction resulting in an estimated $7.4 million annualized cost savings for its 1,742 member credit unions. CO-OP projects the monthly PIN POS cost savings to be $600,000 for its members. CO-OP Network is wholly-owned by its credit union shareholders and provides volume discounts on products and services that include risk management as well as debit and deposit access. CO-OP has 19,000 surcharge-free ATMs, 80 million monthly transactions, and 19 million cardholders.

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Wells Fargo and Banorte Expand Remittance Network

Wells Fargo and Grupo Financiero Banorte have teamed to increase by more than one third the number of banking locations in Mexico that can receive consumer remittance services from Wells Fargo banking stores in the USA. The alliance provides the beneficiaries of Wells Fargo’s
“InterCuenta Express” customers with access to both a third more bank branches and ATMs in Mexico. The new partnership, with Wells Fargo’s other banking agreements in Mexico, expands Wells Fargo’s already sizable remittance distribution network to a combined total of over 4,000 banking stores and 10,700 ATMs in Mexico. Banorte has over
1,000 branches and 2,500 ATMs throughout Mexico. Last year, Banorte remitted over $600 million to Mexican beneficiaries.

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Telkomsel and VISA Introduce simPATI Autorefill

VISA International and Telkomsel have launched the “simPATI Autorefill” program through VISA cards. This service enables VISA cardholders to automatically reload their mobile airtime credit, as well as that of family and friends who use “simPATI” pre-paid cards. The program offers an alternative way of adding currency value to, or
“topping up,” pre-paid cards via a credit card and complements current
“simPATI” pre-paid automatic refill services such as those provided by
ATMs, electronic payment channels in Telkomsel outlets, Mobile Banking recharges, M-Kiosk services and pre-paid “HALO” cards. The new service offers an alternative form of pre-paid automatic refill for 10.9 million “simPATI” customers and more than seven million VISA cardholders across the country.

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Desjardins Group Lowers ATM Maximum Withdrawal

Desjardins Group has reset the maximum amount that a Desjardins caisse member will be able to withdraw from an ATM of another financial institution will go from $1,000 to $500. The bank says that if members
wish to withdraw more than $500 in one day, they will have to go to a Desjardins ATM, which will require that they confirm their identity by entering their date of birth. On average, Desjardins caisse members carry out more than 400 million direct payment transactions on some 40,000 Desjardins POS terminals and 320 million transactions at its 2,900 ATMs every year.

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NCR Acquires Kinetics for $26 Million

NCR has acquired Lake Mary, FL-based Kinetics for $26 million. The privately-held Kinetics is a provider of self-service solutions for the travel industry. The firm produces hardware and software solutions, as well as engineering, developmental, and preventive maintenance services designed to help businesses capture more revenue, expand distribution channels, and enhance customer service. Kinetics will operate as a subsidiary of NCR, and its employees will remain with Kinetics.

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Fair Isaac Introduces the DP-FICO Score

Fair Isaac and DP Information Group announced a multi-year agreement
that will leverage Fair Isaac’s “FICO” credit-risk scoring technology to
help lenders to sharpen their evaluation of consumer risk.
The companies announced the new “DP-FICO” score which provides
creditors with a numeric snapshot of a consumer’s credit risk based on
information in the consumer’s credit bureau profile. Built using Fair
Isaac’s “Global FICO” score technology, the “DP-FICO” score is designed
to rank-order the risk of consumer credit applicants and existing credit
account holders throughout DP Info’s market. DP Info Group’s credit
bureau will begin providing DP-FICO scores to financial institutions and
credit lenders starting in 2005.

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