FreeStar Acquires UniComp’s Payment Processing Unit

Finland-based FreeStar Technology has acquired UniComp’s Smokey Mountain payment processing division in Murphy, North Carolina. This division currently processes payment transactions through many of the largest processors and has the ability to be a direct processor with full settlement capabilities. FreeStar issued 10,000,000 restricted shares of common stock in exchange for the assets of the division. FreeStar Technology is an international payment processing and technology company operating a robust Northern European BASE24 credit card processing platform based in Helsinki, Finland. UniComp, Inc., founded in 1985, is a leader in interactive, automated, customer self-service wireless kiosks and transaction processing for the retail environment.

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MBNA Metrics Improve in April as Card Loans Drop

MBNA this morning reported that its credit card outstandings declined $1.1 billion during April to less than $100 billion, compared to a peak of more than $104 billion in December. However, charge-offs declined to 4.69% in April, compared to 4.78% in March, and compared to 5.02% one-year ago. Delinquency also declined to 4.19%, compared to 4.25% in March, and compared to 4.49% one-year ago. MBNA recently reported that domestic credit card loans for the first quarter were $82.9 billion. Last week, MBNA reported that cardholder fees increased nearly 29% to $163 million on its non-securitized accounts during the first quarter, and that cardholder fee income generated by securitized loans increased 14% to $733.5 million. MBNA says the fee income increase was due modified late and cash advance fee structures, and a modification of payment due dates on credit card accounts. MBNA reported that net income for the first quarter increased to $519.7 million, an increase of 21% compared to the first quarter of 2003. For complete details on MBNA’s first quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 4/26/04; 5/11/04)

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MBNA 13-MO SNAPSHOT
Month Outstandings Charge-offs Delinquency
Apr 03 $93.9 b 5.02% 4.49%
May 03 $95.3 b 5.04% 4.36%
Jun 03 $96.4 b 5.01% 4.34%
Jul 03 $96.5 b 4.95% 4.35%
Aug 03 $96.8 b 4.81% 4.38%
Sep 03 $98.7 b 4.70% 4.36%
Oct 03 $98.8 b 4.61% 4.35%
Nov 03 $99.3 b 4.71% 4.44%
Dec 03 $104.2b 4.66% 4.28%
Jan 04 $103.1b 4.76% 4.32%
Feb 04 $101.3b 4.70% 4.46%
Mar 04 $100.9b 4.78% 4.25%
Apr 04 $99.8b 4.69% 4.19%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com
[2]: http://www.cardweb.com/images/m/mbna/trendline_apr04.jpg

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Global Axcess Revenues Up 14%; Posts Q1 Profit

FL-based Global Axcess reported that first quarter revenues increased 14.4% to approximately $2.8 million compared to $2.4 million reported for last year’s first quarter. The EFT processor posted a first quarter profit of $90,170 compared to a net loss of $76,863 one-year ago. Gross margins rose to 43.7% from 33.2% in the comparable quarter last year. During the quarter, the Company introduced two new programs: “ATMs-Made-Easy” and the “EasyGreen Cash Card.” Based on current available information, management estimates that year-end 2004 revenues will be in the range of $13.5 million and $14.0 million, representing an increase of more than 35% compared to year-end 2003. Net income is estimated to increase by more than 200% to approximately $1.0 million, up from $310,000 in the previous year. The Company also expects the number of ATMs in its network to expand by more than 100% in 2004 and the number of transactions processed on its network to increase by more than 50%. For complete details on Global Axcess’ first quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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United Merchant Services of California Renews GPN

United Merchant Services of California has signed an eight year extension to their agreement with Atlanta-based Global Payment for a comprehensive line of payment services including front and back-end processing, as well as bank sponsorship. United Merchant Services of California Inc. is a privately held corporation providing customized merchant bankcard programs to Western States’ community banks. Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services for consumers, merchants, Independent Sales Organizations, financial institutions, government agencies and multi- national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe.

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Providian Managed Data Continues to Improve

Providian this morning abandoned its practice of releasing reported and securitized charge-offs and delinquency, and is now reporting managed metrics on a monthly basis. Managed charge-offs dropped to 13.16%, compared to 13.88% at the end of the first quarter, and compared 14.33% in the fourth quarter. Managed 30+ day delinquency rate for April was 6.89% compared to 7.36% at the end of March, and compared to 9.29% at year-end 2003. Providian reported net income for the first quarter of $101.7 million, compared to net income of $4.7 million.The issuer added approximately 533,000 gross new accounts in the first quarter and ended the quarter with approximately 10.3 million customer accounts. Total loans for the quarter were $16.68 billion compared to $16.93 billion for the fourth quarter. For complete details on Providian’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Fairbank Plans to Unload 1 Million COF Shares

The Chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Capital One is unloading up to one million stock shares in the Company. The action is less than 10% of his current beneficially-owned shares. Fairbank will beneficially-own, vested and unvested, approximately 11.5 million options to purchase COF common stock after completion of the sale. Additionally, Fairbank has the opportunity to earn up to 355,410 restricted stock units based on Capital One’s performance between 2004 and 2006. This morning, Capital One announced that Fairbank adopted a pre-arranged stock trading plan to diversify his financial assets. Some of the options he is exercising will expire in November 2004 and others will expire in September 2005. The transactions under the plan are expected to occur between June 15, 2004 and September 30, 2005. Last year, co-founder, and former President and COO of Capital One, Nigel Morris dumped 3 million shares of COF common stock. (CF Library 8/7/03)

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Triton EPP Receives VISA Certification

MS-based Triton announced that its “Encrypting PIN Pads” (EPP) on the Triton RL5000 and FT5000 ATM have been certified as being compliant with new VISA security requirements. Visa mandates that all ATM EPPs be Visa tested and certified by July 1, 2004. Triton’s new EPP is the latest in a series of enhanced ATM security features, which include Triple DES encryption capabilities, now standard on all Triton ATMs. Triton is the largest provider of off-premise ATMs and ATM management software in North America and has more than 100,000 installations in over 17 countries worldwide.

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The Fiserv Clearing Network is Launched

Fiserv has launched the “Fiserv Clearing Network,” a venture that eventually will offer clearing and settlement services to all of Fiserv’s 1,700 check-processing clients through an agreement with United Bankers’ Bank of Bloomington, MN. The Fiserv Clearing Network also will offer transit-clearing services to United Bankers’ Bank customers, accept co-mingled cash letters of items drawn on Fiserv clients, and improve the return item process. United Bankers’ Bank provides lending, investment and depository products coupled with consulting services designed to meet individual community bank needs. Fiserv, Inc. provides industry leading information management systems and services to the financial industry, including transaction processing, outsourcing, business process outsourcing and software and systems solutions.

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JETSGO MASTERCARD

Discount airline, Jetsgo, has partnered with National Bank of Canada to launch a co-branded gold, rewards credit card. Besides awarding one air mile for each dollar spent, the new “Jetsgo Gold MasterCard” is offering the first 500 cardholders, who charge $5,000 in purchases to their card, a free roundtrip flight to any Jetsgo destination. The card is also awarding 3,000 “Welcome Jetsmiles” upon approval. Free flights can be earned for as little as 7,000 miles for flights under 500 miles. Medium haul flights (500-1000 miles) require 9,000 “Jetsmiles,” and cardholders need 11,000 “Jetsmiles” for flights over 1,000 miles. “Jetsmiles” features no blackout periods, no advance booking requirements, and no booking fees or surcharges when using reward travel. The new MasterCard carries an annual card fee of $99, which is discounted to $59 for the first year. A 1.9% interest rate will apply to all cash advances and balance transfers for a period of three months, after which a 19.5% interest rate applies. There are over 300,000 current Jetsmiles members. Jetsgo offers scheduled discount air service to 17 Canadian and seven U.S. destinations. National Bank of Canada also issues the following MasterCards: Syncro Card, Ovation Gold Card, Escapade Card, Les Ailes Card, Gold Edition Card, Regular Card, Ultramar Card, Sunoco Card, Husky/Mohawk Card, and a Platinum Card.

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KeyCorp Expands ATM Fee-Free Access in OH

Cleveland-based KeyCorp has added eight financial institutions in the state of Ohio to its list of agent bank relationships for fee-free access to Key’s ATM network. These institutions now provide their respective customers and members with fee-free access to Key’s network of automated teller machines. Through these agent bank relationships, each financial institution provides a cost-effective way to enhance customer service, allowing customers and members to perform transactions using Key’s network of 534 ATMs in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $84 billion.

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MasterCard Descends on St. Louis Schools

MasterCard yesterday blitzed sixteen St. Louis Schools to teach 2,400 students financial responsibility as part of the “JA in a Day” program. The massive event comes at a time when children have more impact on the economy than ever before. According to a YouthPulse Study by National Harris Interactive, American kids, teen-agers and young adults (aged 8 to 21 years) have annual incomes totaling $211 billion – most of which they spend, rather than save. MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members’ credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs.

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Giving Card Tops 8,000 Charitable Organizations

Vista, CA-based Cybertel Communications reported it has signed-up 8,000 charitable organizations to be recipients of the “Giving Card” rebates. The card, launched in mid-January, is an affinity product that enables credit card holders from MasterCard, VISA and American Express, who are members of affinity groups, to contribute to their affinity group or favorite charity by registering their currently held credit cards on “The Giving Card” Web site and using their credit cards at selected merchants. Cybertel says the participating organizations to-date, range in size from family foundations with only a few supporters to mega organizations with international influence and supporters from coast to coast. Cybertel is a fully integrated telecommunications service provider.

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