ChockBox and ICE 5500 Team for QSRs

OR-based Chockstone has released its “ChockBox” application suite on the Hypercom “ICE 5500” card payment terminal for the QSR industry. The payment solution will combine Chockstone’s stored value application with Hypercom’s smart, fast and easy-use payment technology to support credit/debit, electronic gift, loyalty and promotions marketing transactions at the point-of-transaction for the QSR industry. Chockstone is the Technology Behind Stored Value(TM). As the leading stored value card processor, Chockstone focuses on gift, loyalty, and marketing card programs for multi-unit QSR and retail organizations. Hypercom Corporation is a leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point-of-transaction for consumers, merchants and acquirers, and yield increased profitability for its customers.

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PULSE Transactions Up 35% in 1Q/04

The volume of electronic transactions processed by PULSE EFT Association increased 35% in the first quarter compared to a 27% gain in the prior year. During the first quarter, PIN debit transactions at the point of sale increased 44% compared to the same period last year. ATM transactions increased 24% during the quarter compared to 1Q/03. PULSE also added more than 110 new member financial institutions during the quarter. The network links an estimated 90 million cardholders with more than 200,000 ATMs and 3.2 million POS terminals at retail locations nationwide.

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MAG-IC X1000

Schlumberger’s Axalto subsidiary is planning to launch a new, code division multiple access portable point-of-sale terminal this summer, that provides a long-range wireless payment solution. Axalto is also set to bump-up the frequency used for its digital enhanced cordless telecommunication, portable POS terminal for short-range PIN-based transactions, from 1.9GHz to 2.4GHz, enabling it to operate in more countries worldwide. The “MagIC X1000 CDMA” terminal uses “1XRTT,” the leading-edge CDMA data wireless technology, which enables greater coverage at an affordable cost and always-on capability. The terminal is EMV approved, and compliant with the latest PIN entry security standards. Axalto’s “MagIC X1000 DECT” will be on the market before summer. The “DECT” terminal has a range of up to 300m and can support a network of four handsets and two bases. The new worldwide version of the “MagIC X1000 DECT” is EMV and PED approved, and is also compliant with the latest global PIN entry security standards.

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Encore Merchant Services Offers TeleCheck Eclipse

Encore Merchant Services has announced the “TeleCheck Eclipse” all-in-one payment terminal, which combines an integrated inkjet printer, check reader, and credit and debit card processing. This digital process allows merchants to accept checks as quickly, safely and easily as credit cards while improving the cash flow of their business. Primax Payment Systems currently has over 5,000 merchants located in 48 states. Encore® Merchant Services targets new business through credit unions to offer full service credit and debit card acceptance services to credit union member businesses nationwide.

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Credit Unions to Offer a MasterCard BusinessCard

Dallas-based TNB Card Services has introduced a “MasterCard BusinessCard” for credit unions that offers an optional “Member Miles Rewards Program” or a cash-back rebate program. The card gives small business owners better money management tools to track business expenses and employee spending. TNB Card Services, owned and directed by credit unions since 1976, provides full-service credit and debit card processing, as well as an agent issuing solution for credit unions nationwide. 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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Hypercom Introduces an IP Gateway Device

Hypercom Corporation has rolled-out a compact, high speed, low cost Internet Protocol gateway device that converts existing Hypercom terminals into faster, IP-enabled card payment terminals. The new “Hypercom IN-tact 1101” allows the retailer with as few as one or as many as 16 Hypercom terminals to quickly and easily connect to the Internet. The device uses “3DES” and “SSL” session security to encrypt and transmit transactions virtually instantaneously. Hypercom says the “IN-tact 1101” gives ISOs the ability to deliver an array of time saving and/or revenue-generating, profit-building services to the merchant countertop. For example, the “IN-tact” continually monitors and alerts an ISO to any interruption in services. Secure remote management options allow a help desk to proactively troubleshoot issues right down to the terminal level, perhaps even before the merchant has realized that a problem exists.

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PayPass and ExpressPay Shave Check-Out Times

A new white paper reports that MasterCard’s “PayPass” cardholder transaction volumes increased 12% from the prior year at the PayPass trial merchants, and that the American Express “ExpressPay” pilot results showed that customer average transaction size increased 20% to 30% compared to cash spending at participating merchants. The new study by the Smart Card Alliance, also says that in addition to an increase in transaction volume at “PayPass” merchants, “PayPass” also moved customers through checkout lanes more quickly. The most significant time savings recognized was in the drive-thru environment, where MasterCard’s “PayPass” shaved between 12 to 18 seconds off the purchase time as compared to cash. A time-motion study revealed that, on average, “ExpressPay” transactions are 53% faster than paying with payment cards with no signature, and 63% faster than cash.

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Plug & Play TPI Payment Appliance Launched

WA-based TPI Software is launching the “TPI Payment Appliance,” an in-store thin-server solution that can be easily integrated with other line of business applications such as CRM, accounting applications, PC cash registers systems as well as traditional payment terminals. The TPI Payment Appliance is a new plug & play embedded hardware solution that provides all the benefits of traditional software with the ease-of-use of traditional payment terminals. TPI Software, LLC, is a privately held limited liability company based in Redmond, WA, and is the leading provider of innovative Payment technologies for processing credit card, debit/ATM card, EBT, electronic check services and electronic signature/receipt & check image capture and retrieval services.

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Metris Posts Two Straight Profitable Quarters

Metris Companies chalked up two consecutive profitable quarters as the sub-prime issuer posted first quarter net income of $42 million, compared to a net loss of $83 million for 1Q/03. The sub-prime specialist also reported that charge-offs and delinquency headed south during the quarter. The managed net charge-off rate for the first quarter was 17.8%, compared to 21.7% in the previous quarter, and 18.0% for the first quarter of 2003. The managed delinquency rate was 10.4% as of March 31st, compared to 11.1% at year-end, and 11.5% posted one-year ago. Revenues for the quarter were $178.6 million, a 59.7% increase over $111.8 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2003. The increase is primarily due to a $157.0 million increase in securitization income, reflecting improved performance in the Metris Master Trust. This increase was partially offset by a $42.6 million reduction in credit card loan interest and fee income due to a $624.7 million reduction in average credit cards loans, and a $36.0 million reduction in enhancement services income due to the sale of our membership club and warranty business in the third quarter of 2003. Total expenses were $114.3 million for the first quarter, a decrease of $125.0 million from $239.3 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2003. For complete details on Metris’ first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

METRIS INCOME SNAPSHOT
1Q/03: -$82.5 million
2Q/03: -$24.7 million
3Q/03: -$75.0 million
4Q/03: +35.0 million
1Q/04: +$41.6 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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VISA DEBIT 03

For the first time, VISA’s global debit card volume has surpassed its credit card volume, as debit card volume reached US$1.48 trillion at the end of 2003. Yesterday, VISA commenced an ad campaign, titled “49% of the Story” touting that it is no longer a credit card company. During 2002, VISA’s debit card volume surpassed credit card volume in the USA. VISA reported that global VISA debit card volume increased 17% over the previous year. At the same time global Visa credit volume increased 5% from the previous year to US$1.45 trillion. Totally, VISA’s global card sales volume hit $2.9 trillion last year. VISA’s fastest growing region was Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, where annual volume grew 34%. In the USA, VISA grew 10% to $1.1 trillion.

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Triton Introduces a Through-The-Wall ATM for Retailers

MS-based Triton introduced its first through-the-wall ATM designed specifically for retail locations. The new “RT2000” incorporates the Intel “XScale” processing platform with dial-up communications and TCP/IP capabilities, an 80 mm thermal printer presenter, and a multi-lingual customer interface. Standard security features include a Triple DES-compliant EPP. Customer options for the “RT2000” include “Triton Waves,” a flexible package of revenue-generating functions that include Western Union Money Transfers, PaySpot prepaid wireless top-ups, and CashWorks check cashing. Options include a 6.5″ color display and a variety of single and multi-cassette dispensing options.

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