AmEx Launches the 2004 Villas Program

American Express has launched the “2004 Villas Program,” which offers a special $500 travel benefit to “Platinum Card” users and a special $750 travel benefit to”Centurion Card” members. Amenities vary by property but include: one free night during a seven-night stay, complimentary massage for the entire party, credits toward a sightseeing excursion, wine tasting or special cooking class, gourmet gift baskets and complimentary entertainment. The Villas Program offers Card members the utmost in choice, flexibility and luxury in a vacation. American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850.

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Household Lands the Bernie & Phyl’s Card

Household has signed an agreement to manage the private label credit card program for Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture, the largest privately owned furniture retailer in Massachusetts. Bernie & Phyl’s credit cardholders will be able to purchase brand name furniture and accessories for their entire home. In addition to receiving opportunities for special financing, cardholders will also receive exclusive money-saving offers. Household International, Inc., based in Prospect Heights, Ill., is a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc., one of the top 10 financial services holding companies in the United States.

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PLATINUM COLLECTION

MasterCard International reported the number of “MasterCard Platinum”
cards issued in Asia/Pacific has more than doubled in 2003. The card was
first introduced in Asia/Pacific in 1998. During 2002, MasterCard added
“The Platinum Collection” program for “Platinum MasterCard” users
throughout Asia/Pacific. The program offers an assortment of more than 150
hotels, golf courses, restaurants and merchants, offering some 200
extraordinary packages and value-added benefits. The program also includes
concierge services, a special Web site, and e-newsletter. MasterCard says
“Platinum” cardholder spend close to three times that of a standard card
cardholder.
In the Asia/Pacific region, MasterCard has 122.0 million cardholders, and
annual gross dolar volume of $213.1 billion last year.

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Advanta Volume Up 20%; Card Loans Up 12%

Business card specialist, Advanta, reported that its managed receivables topped $3.0 billion during the first quarter, a 12% gain over 1Q/03. Charge volume was $1.9 billion for the first quarter, a 20% gain over the first quarter of 2003. Net income for the first quarter of $9.4 million compared to net income in 1Q/03 of $5.9 million. The issuer ended the quarter with managed receivables of $3,077,146,000. Card volume for the first quarter was $1,921,923,000. Charge-offs on managed receivables dropped to 7.19% on an annualized basis, as compared to 7.31% for the quarter ended December 31st, and 8.02% one-year ago. Over 30 day delinquencies on managed receivables also declined, to 5.37%, compared to 5.82% in the prior quarter, and 6.36% in 1Q/03. For complete details on Advanta’s 1Q/04 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Australian Credit System Needs Overhauled

A new research report finds the current Australian consumer credit reporting system is antiquated, and that replacing it with a model that captures more comprehensive consumer credit histories could drive down credit defaults by 25% to 63%. The study, reported in this week’s CardFlash International ([www.cardflashinternational.com][1]), found that the current system, which restricts lenders to accessing only the negative credit history of the potential borrower, unnecessarily allows some Australians to spiral into debt, while denying basic forms of credit to others who do not have a defined credit history. The ACIL Tasman Report, commissioned by MasterCard, found that a comprehensive system would generate an overall increase in capital productivity of up to 0.1%, which would translate into economic benefits to the Australian economy of up to $5.3 billion, in net present value terms, over the next ten years. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the annual consumer credit market in Australia is valued at around $202 billion and over the past decade the overall rate of growth in consumer credit has averaged more than 14% per annum. ACIL Tasman says Australia stands at odds with the rest of the world by maintaining its current credit reporting regime. The sharing of comprehensive credit information now extends to more than 40 countries, including most countries in the OECD and the Asia-Pacific region.

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

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CardSystems to Process Through Merrick Bank

ISO processor, CardSystems Solutions, has signed a deal with UT-based Merrick Bank to enable ISOs processing payment transactions on CardSystems Solutions’ multi-channel payment processing platform to settle those transactions through Merrick Bank. As part of this arrangement, CardSystems Solutions will refer new ISOs and banks to Merrick for VISA and MasterCard sponsorship. CardSystems’ processes transactions for more than 90,000 merchants through its network of ISO’s and financial institutions. Merrick Bank is a sub-prime bank credit card issuer with about $500 million in outstandings. At the end of 2003, Merrick had 493,668 gross accounts, 449,872 active accounts, and 417,120 cardholders, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). Merrick handled $400.8 million in cardholder charge volume last year.

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

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Triton Partners with Verizon and Hits 100K Milestone

Triton and Verizon Wireless have signed a deal wherein Verizon Wireless will support a CDMA option on Triton ATMs; separately the Company announced that Cash Point Machines was awarded the 100,000th ATM that recently rolled-off the Triton assembly line. The Verizon Wireless option will be offered on new ATMs, coming from the factory fully configured and tested, and as an upgrade to more than fifty thousand Triton ATMs installed across the United States that are using dial-up phone lines. Verizon Wireless is the nation’s leading provider of wireless communications. 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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Chase Issues Universal MasterCard on the Spot

Chase and Universal Studios launched a instant issuance program for their co-branded MasterCard. Under the program, consumers are granted instant access to their credit line via a ready-to-use, general purpose “Universal Entertainment MasterCard from Chase.” The patent-pending program is debuting at Universal Studios Hollywood this week and will roll out at Universal Orlando Resort’s two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, later this quarter. The new “Instant Card Issuance Program” will completely replace the previous temporary internal theme park card. In December 2002, MasterCard, Chase and Universal teamed to launch the “Universal Entertainment MasterCard from Chase.” Cardholders earn one point per dollar on all everyday purchases and two points per dollar spent at select Universal Parks & Resorts retail locations. Points can be redeemed for movie and concert tickets, DVDs, CDs, advance movie screenings, and cardholders will have the opportunity to redeem reward points for unique Hollywood experiences, including tickets to celebrity events, spending a day on a television or movie set, backstage concert passes, or obtaining one-of-a-kind movie props in the Universal Entertainment online auctions. (CF Library 12/6/02)

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Source One Direct Plans to Double Size

Atlanta-based Source One Direct, which utilizes the “Datacard 9000 Series” system and the “Datacard UltraForm” card delivery system, have announced plans to double the size of its Atlanta operations due to double-digit growth. In a market enjoying only moderate to slow expansion, Source One Direct has experienced double-digit growth for the past several years by providing its customers with exceptional quality, powerful Web-based management tools and advanced one-to-one marketing capabilities — most notably, personalization of card carrier forms. Datacard Group offers the world’s best-selling secure ID and card personalization solutions.

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COF Metrics Improve for the 5th Consecutive Month

Capital One yesterday reported that its delinquency rate and charge-off ratio continued to drop in March for the fifth consecutive month. The issuer also added $400 million in outstandings last month. With $71.8 billion in managed loans, and approximately $45.3 billion in U.S. credit card loans, the issuer reported that charge-offs dropped to 4.74% for March, compared to 4.75% in February, and 5.00% in January. In April 2003, Cap One’s managed charge-off ratio stood at 6.36%. Delinquency dropped to 3.80% during March, compared to 4.14% for February, and 4.39% for January. Delinquency peaked last year in June when it hit 4.95%. At the end of first quarter, Cap One had 46.7 million accounts, including domestic and international credit cards and auto loans. For complete details on Capital One’s 1Q/04 performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

![][1]

Capital One 2003-2004
Month Charge-offs Delinquency
Apr 03 6.36% 4.86%
May 03 6.40% 4.82%
Jun 03 6.20% 4.95%
Jul 03 5.75% 4.92%
Aug 03 5.34% 4.74%
Sep 03 5.24% 4.65%
Oct 03 5.30% 4.52%
Nov 03 5.57% 4.46%
Dec 03 5.10% 4.46%
Jan 04 5.00% 4.39%
Feb 04 4.75% 4.14%
Mar 04 4.74% 3.80%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.cardweb.com/images/c/charts3/cofperformance_mar04.jpg

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Metavante to Acquire The Kirchman Corporation

Metavante Corporation has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Orlando-based The Kirchman Corporation, a provider of automation software and compliance services to the banking industry. Privately held, The Kirchman Corporation is a leading provider of automation software and compliance services to the banking industry, with over 800 financial institutions worldwide. Helping banks to create loyal customers is the core value at The Kirchman Corporation. Metavante Corporation delivers virtually all of the technology that an organization needs to offer financial services.

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