AmEx Business Travel Produces 19% in Savings

A new study by Accenture shows that American Express Business Travel clients report achieving 19% greater overall savings for their T&E investments as compared to clients of other TMCs. Accenture found that American Express customers achieve 19% greater savings on air travel globally, 13% greater savings on hotel spend globally, and 15% greater savings on car rental spend globally. Other findings show that AmEx clients reported 15% greater compliance to their air policies and that negotiated air discounts were 43% higher for AmEx clients than others studied. The Accenture study involved 89 travel managers.

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MasterCard U.S. Volume Up 7% in Q2

MasterCard International yesterday reported that its U.S. gross dollar volume for the second quarter increased 7.2% over 2Q/03 to $168.7 billion, compared to a 7.3% annual growth rate for the prior quarter. The number of U.S. credit cards remained flat at 262.0 million, however, U.S. credit card accounts grew by 1.2 million during the second quarter. MasterCard added 1.5 million debit card accounts during the second quarter, compared to 2.1 million the first quarter. Credit card volume was up 6.4% to $134.2 billion, and debit card volume increased 10.7% to $34.5 billion. Combined purchase volume for U.S. credit and debit cards in the second quarter increased 8.8% to $129.4 billion, compared to one-year ago. At the end of the second quarter, MasterCard had 213.0 million credit card accounts. Debit card accounts stood at 51.1 million representing 55.4 million cards. During the quarter MasterCard processed 1.3 billion credit card transactions and more than 500 million debit card transactions in the USA. For complete details on MasterCard’s 2Q/04 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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InfiCorp Purchases Another CU Portfolio

Atlanta-based InfiCorp has purchased Colorado United Credit Union’s $5.8 million credit card portfolio with the assistance of AssetExchange. The $98 million credit union based in Denver, CO, selected InfiCorp from a pool of prospective partners presented by AssetExchange. AssetExchange is a leading credit card consulting and brokerage firm for financial institutions. Services include credit card portfolio brokerage, performance assessments, market valuations, and best practices consulting.

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Moneris Solutions Promotes Koontz

Moneris Solutions has promoted Deb Koontz to SVP/Affiliate Sales. She has held a variety of senior level sales and finance positions at Moneris Solutions. Before coming to Moneris Solutions, Koontz held a variety of sales positions during her 10-year tenure with Harris Trust & Savings Bank. In her new role, Koontz will focus on developing long-term sales strategies with Moneris sales channel partners, including Harris Bank and RBC Centura Bank.

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Hypercom Revenues Up 10% in the Second Quarter

Hypercom posted revenues of $64.7 million for the second quarter, compared to $58.9 million one-year ago. The gross margin percentage was 43.2% for 2Q/04 compared to 40.6% in the comparable prior year quarter, and income from continuing operations was $6.2 million versus $2.8 million. However, the terminal manufacturer reported a net loss of $9.4 million for the quarter due to a non-recurring charge of $12.9 million related to the Company’s completed contract with the Brazilian Health Ministry. The Company closed the quarter with a sales backlog of $51.8 million, versus $54.9 million as of March 31st, and $83.3 million as of June 30th. During the quarter, Hypercom announced major POS terminal marketplace wins in Lithuania and Malaysia; introduced the “IN-tact 1101” IP gateway device; and, announced a partnership with Lightbridge to provide Authorize.Net IP payment gateway services to retailers wishing to purchase Hypercom’s “Optimum L4100.” For complete details on Hypercom’s second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

HYPERCOM REVENUES SNAPSHOT
2Q/03: $58.9 million
3Q/03: $60.2 million
4Q/03: $63.4 million
1Q/04: $50.8 million
2Q/04: $64.7 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Vital Processing Services Gets New CFO

Vital Processing Services has named Bob Philbin as EVP/CFO. Philbin, an acquiring industry veteran, joins Vital to lead its finance and business operations and control teams. Philbin brings more than 20 years of accounting and financial management experience to Vital, having most recently served as senior vice president, finance and strategy, for Global Cash Access, a leading provider of cash access, financial management and customer relationship marketing technologies for the gaming industry. He also spent 16 years with First Data Corp. as director of tax, vice president and chief financial officer for international operations, vice president and chief financial officer for retail credit card processing, corporate vice president of finance and business development, and senior vice president and chief financial officer for joint ventures.

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American Express Business Travel Re-Launched

American Express has re-launched its corporate travel The re-launch is linked to the completed integration of previously acquired travel management company Rosenbluth International. The new American Express organization named, American Express Business Travel, has introduced new branding and advertising and has reshaped its product and solution set around delivering savings, service and control over 100% of its customers’ travel expenditures globally. The new unit enables access to industry expertise and automation yields, while allowing clients to leverage and aggregate spend, streamline internal processes and optimize contracts to ensure best in class spend management. The products also grant real-time data analysis and benchmarking that transforms a travel and entertainment program into a strategic driver to achieve business goals — enabling customers to drive desired organizational behavior, increase program compliance and track the performance of T&E investment for maximum return.

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Penthouse International Sells-Off iBill

Penthouse International has sold iBill and its Media Billing subsidiary to Care Concepts I, Inc. for $55 million. Penthouse’s Media Billing subsidiary paid InterCept $23.5 million for all of the outstanding member interests of iBill in May. As a result of the recent transaction, Penthouse will initially own 19.9% of Care Concepts. Through a registered iBill account, more than 27.0 million online consumers have used iBill to purchase restricted access to various online content and services. In 2003, iBill averaged 1.2 million transactions per month and completed approximately $330.00 million in gross transactions.

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Q Comm Revenues Up 50% in the Second Quarter

Q Comm International posted second quarter revenues of $8.9 million, a 50% increase for the same period in 2003. Net loss for the three months ended June 30th, was $883,000, compared to a net loss of $1,146,000, for 2Q/03. During the quarter, a net increase of 1,064 terminals placed in service under the broker model, an increase of 1% from the first quarter of 2004, bringing the total number of terminals in service to 5,600 worldwide. Q Comm also launched a prepaid application for the “VeriFone Omni 3750” terminal. For complete details on Q Comm’s second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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64K Dual Interface Smart Card CAC Ready

Oberthur Card Systems'”ID-One” 64K dual interface contact and
contactless smart card is the first of its type to receive the U.S.
government’s FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certification. The card is now
positioned for use in the next phase of the U.S. Department of Defense’s
“Common Access Card” program. Oberthur Card Systems’ “ID-One” solution
makes available all 64K for customer-specified applications and
biometric information such as facial, iris or fingerprint records.
The certification, which is awarded by the National Institute of
Standards and Technology, also allows Oberthur Card Systems to
compete globally for e-passport contracts.

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CardSelect Nails Another Multi-Application Patent

CardSelect International has received a Canadian patent
for its “Gateway Apparatus for Designing and Issuing Multiple
Application Cards.” CardSelect’s invention essentially provides an
Internet-based apparatus and method to link card issuers, service
providers and consumers in the effort to create multiple applications
from different vendors on one card. Services can include credit, debit,
loyalty, and ID, which can be combined on virtual cards, magnetic stripe
cards and or smart cards. Card applicants choose from a menu of services
from loyalty providers displayed on a network, thereby generating a data
file from which their personalized cards are issued. This customized
card then allows users to pay for purchases and accumulate loyalty
awards at the same time. The company was awarded a United States Patent
for this innovative process in 1999, and only a few months ago won
similar legal coverage in Japan. An additional patent is currently
pending in Europe.

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