Global Axcess Buys East Coast ATMs

FL-based Global Axcess has completed the acquisition of an independent ATM operator with 111 ATM locations along the east coast for $908,000 in cash. Global Axcess is expected to gain an estimated $ 1 million in annual revenue, $330,000 in annual EBITDA, and over $180,000 annual income from the acquisition. Global Axcess Corporation is an independent electronic financial transaction processing company. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Nationwide Money Services (NMS), EFT Integration Inc. (EFTI), and Electronic Payment and Transfer Corp., the company provides turnkey ATM management solutions, traditional certified transaction processing, terminal driving, and offers products intended for new ATM users.

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JCB AirPlus Travel Payment Solution Launched

JCB and AirPlus have partnered to launch the “JCB AirPlus Travel Payment Solution,” which provides a broad business travel management solution to AirPlus multinational clients with operations in Japan.
JCB created the new “JATPS” business model with AirPlus by combining two of its corporate solution products, the JCB international air ticket
purchasing system and the JCB corporate credit card. The first, the JCB
AirPlus Company Account provides a convenient, integrated payment
method for corporate purchases of air tickets and a wealth of data
including air carrier name, route and seat class as well as the usual
itemized information. The second solution product, the “JCB AirPlus Corporate Card,” allows employees to pay for their other business-related expenses. The new “JCB AirPlus Travel Payment Solution” offers AirPlus clients the benefit of JCB JACA/JACC information through the “AirPlus Information Manager” system, an intelligent cost analysis tool that provides detailed expense reports.

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Cardware Systems Signs a BPO Deal with EDS

Cardware Systems has signed a 10-year, $54 million business process outsourcing services agreement with EDS to support its prepaid stored value card programs. The agreement requires that EDS deliver a full range of card processing and customer service management activities for various programs offered by Cardware Systems. Cardware will be able to provide the pre-paid stored value platform to financial institutions worldwide. Greg Stimson, COO of Cardware Systems, says that the alliance between Cardware and EDS will enable Cardware to connect with EDS’s customer management service and BPO services. EDS is a provider of broad portfolio of business and technology solutions, helping clients improve business performance. Cardware Systems, LLC provides a pre-paid stored value platform and markets pre-paid store value card products.

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DINERS MASTERCARD

Diners Club has inked the final agreements to link up with the MasterCard network in North America. Beginning in November, corporate and personal “Diners Club” cards in Canada will be re-issued with a new design showing the “MasterCard” brand mark and hologram on the front of the card. Diners Club also plans to offer cards enhanced with MasterCard acceptance to new U.S. corporate customers by the end of this year. Phase two of the implementation will include distribution of the enhanced cards to existing “Diners Club” cardholders in the USA. “Diners Club” cards issued by Diners Club International franchises (outside the USA and Canada) will include the MasterCard brand on the back of the card, enabling these cards to be accepted at MasterCard merchants in the U.S. and Canada and processed as MasterCard credit card transactions. When these cards are used outside of the USA or Canada, they will continue to be accepted and processed by “Diners Club” as they are today.

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Bankruptcy Filings Down 9% in August

The momentum in bankruptcy filings continues to slow as filings in August declined 9.0% year-on-year, and 5.7% sequentially. During August, 125,783 filings were made compared to 138,266 for August 2003. Year-to-date bankruptcy filings were 1.06 million, down 3.8% from the same time last year. The total number of bankruptcies filed in the 12-month period ending June 30th, was 1,635,725, down 0.9% from a year ago. For the second quarter of this year total filings were down 0.4% to 421,100. The decline for the first half of this year is the first drop in consumer bankruptcy filings since 2000.

Monthly Filings Historical
Aug 03: 138,266
Sep 03: 127,079
Oct 03: 148,044
Nov 03: 131,921
Dec 03: 113,383
Jan 04: 114,737
Feb 04: 124,719
Mar 04: 152,567
Apr 04: 145,543
May 04: 136,509
Jun 04: 127,742
Jul 04: 133,390
Aug 04: 125,783
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Experian Tackles CNP Fraud Prevention

Experian has introduced a new suite of fraud prevention solutions for on-line merchants, call centers and payment processors who deal with card-not-present transactions. The new “Cardholder Verification” service identifies high-risk transactions in real-time, in an online process that utilizes Experian’s credit and noncredit verification databases with information on 215 million consumers. The information verified includes identification information, as well as bill to/ship-to, e-mail address and IP addresses. Alerts are sent for high risk cardholders, closed accounts, and lost or stolen credit cards. In a single, instant inquiry that is transparent to the consumer, “Cardholder Verification” clients can choose several automated options including: consumer verification only; credit card verification only; consumer verification along with credit card verification; and, online interactive challenge questions with the consumer.

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PayPal Expands Buyer Protection Program

PayPal is expanding its “Buyer Protection” coverage from $500 to $1,000, effective November 8th. PayPal Buyer is a free program that offers increased security for buyers on eBay.com. eBay sellers in the U.S., Canada, Germany, and the UK, can provide PayPal Buyer Protection by keeping a 98% positive feedback rating and having a minimum of 50 feedback points. Matt Bannick, senior vice president of global payments and general manger of PayPal, claims that PayPal Buyer Protection has been very successful in increasing confidence in buyers who shop on eBay. PayPal is an eBay company that provides individuals and businesses with an email address to send and receive payments online. eBay has a strong platform for the sale of goods and services and is The World’s Online Marketplace (R)

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Radiant Outdoor Kiosks Get Deployed

Sheetz is deploying Radiant’s outdoor kiosks, which are designed to allow added features such as debit pin pads and magnetic stripe readers for credit, debit, loyalty, and gift card processing. The Radiant outdoor kiosks operates the Sheetz Order-at-the-Pole program, which enables customers to order sandwiches and Espresso Bar items as they fill up their gas tanks. The kiosks have touch screens to enable customers to order their food. They are supported by Intel(R) processors and chipsets as well as the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Embedded operating system. Radiant Systems, Inc. provides innovative store technology for foodservice, petroleum/convenience store, and cinema industries. It has distributed solutions to more than 50,000 sites around the world. Sheetz, Inc. is one of the nation’s fastest growing convenience store chains with over 300 locations along the east coast. The company’s 2003 revenue exceeded $2.3 billion and ranks 109th on the Forbes list of top privately held U.S. companies.

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CO-BRAND WINNERS

The “Special Olympics Advantage Credit Card” from the Bank of Ireland, the “Statoil MasterCard” from SEB Kort of Sweden, and the “The Bonus Card” from Garanti Bank of Turkey, have been selected as winners in the MasterCard Europe “European Co-Brand Partner of the Year Awards.”
The three award winners were selected from over 2,500 MasterCard co-brand programs in Europe, and were independently judged. The “Special Olympics Advantage Credit Card” from the Bank of Ireland won as “Best Launch in 2003/4.” This card program raised over one million euros for the Games across the many program initiatives that were implemented, not only helping to contribute to a unique event but also resulting in one of the fastest growing and best known co-brand programs ever to be launched in Ireland. The “Statoil MasterCard” SEB Kort of Sweden, launched in 1997 and re-launched last year, won as “Best Usage/Expansion Program in 2003.” The “Bonus Card” from Garanti Bank of Turkey, introduced in 2000, won the “Long Term Achievement Award.” The card program is Turkey’s fastest growing card, with three million cardholders, 1,000 partner merchants and their 52,000 points of sale. The judges for the Awards were Bob Hand, Managing Director of Affinity Solutions Ltd (R) a specialist partnership marketing consultancy; Alan Leach, Director and Co-Founder of Finaccord(R) a research based consultancy company focused on affinity and partnership in European financial services; and, Peter Trembling, Managing Director of The Affinity Company (R) independent affinity and co-brand consultants.

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Q2 Delinquent Dollars Edge Down by 32BPS

Credit card delinquencies, based on total dollars outstanding, declined to 4.33% during the second quarter, remaining slightly below last year’s second quarter delinquencies of 4.51%, and last quarter’s ratio of 4.65%. However, the number of past-due credit card accounts increased slightly to 4.28%, year-on-year and sequentially. A record high of 4.43% was reported for the fourth quarter of 2003. The data are based on statistics gathered by the American Bankers Association for its quarterly “Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin.” The ABA attributes the uptick in delinquent accounts to high gas prices which have constrained household budgets. The composite ratio of closed-end installment loans 30 days or more past due decreased to 1.80% from 1.86% of all accounts. This has been a steady improvement for five consecutive quarters.

2Q CREDIT CARD DELINQUENCY HISTORY
(based on total dollars outstanding)
1980: 3.25% 1990: 3.46% 2000: 3.54%
1981: 2.86% 1991: 4.48% 2001: 4.13%
1982: 3.03% 1992: 4.19% 2002: 4.08%
1983: 2.81% 1993: 3.86% 2003: 4.51%
1984: 2.80% 1994: 3.06% 2004: 4.33%
1985: 2.88% 1995: 3.58%
1986: 3.83% 1996: 4.61%
1987: 3.28% 1997: 5.24%
1988: 3.44% 1998: 4.57%
1989: 3.06% 1999: 4.10%
Source: American Bankers Association

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AmEx Launches an Affinity Card for New Yorkers

American Express is introducing an affinity card for New Yorkers next week. The new “IN:NYC Card” offers “INSIDE Rewards” points redeemable for certificates at more than 70 New York City establishments or for one-of-a-kind experiential rewards. Cardholders earn one point for every dollar spent and double points on dining, movies, mobile phone service, cable and satellite TV service, Internet service, gym membership, and magazine/newspaper subscriptions. “IN:NYC” cardholders can also share or transfer “INSIDE Rewards” points with friends and family. Another “IN:NYC” benefit provides cardholders with VIP access to concert venues. Beginning October 5th, New Yorkers can apply for and access card benefits through a special Web site. Advertising will hit the New York City area on October 5th in a print and outdoor media campaign that includes subways and stations, bus shelters, merchant establishments and local publications. The card will be formally launched on October 7th at the SoHo art exhibit.

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Fiserv’s Personix Adds Translucent Cards

Fiserv’s Personix has added a line of translucent cards to its “Card Collection.” Personix is offering 35 different prototype card designs. With the four new copyrighted designs, financial institutions now have more than 39 card-design options in the “Card Collection,” including 12 designs available as photo cards. The “Card Collection” features pay-as-you-go ordering, no minimum inventory requirements, no creative costs or setup fees, and fast turnaround on plastic delivery. Personix provides plastic-card manufacturing, personalization and mailing services and high-volume laser printing, mailing and electronic document delivery solutions to more than 9,000 clients worldwide.

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