Savings Banks Renew with GZS through 2006

GZS Gesellschaft für Zahlungssysteme reports that nearly all of Germany’s savings banks have extended their contracts with GZS until 2006. Collectively, savings banks have 2.6 million VISA and MasterCards in force. Its customer base includes Hamburger Sparkasse, Frankfurter Sparkasse, Stadtsparkasse, and Kreissparkasse Köln. HSH Nordbank which was formed from the recent merger of Hamburgische Landesbank and Landesbank Kiel have also chosen GZS for its credit-card processing and, at the start of 2004, it, too, switched processors, engaging GZS with the handling of a former Landesbank Kiel credit-card portfolio. GZS processes for about 2,200 banks, retailers and industrial enterprises.

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ICBC to Launch a Dual-Denominated American Express Card This Year

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has entered into a partnership to issue the first American Express-branded credit cards in the country. ICBC, which already has 100 million cards-in-force including the “Peony” card, expects to issue the new card by the end of this year, and possibly 4 million AmEx cards within the next ten years. The AmEx/ICBC card will be denominated in both renminbi and U.S. Dollars. The agreement is subject to regulatory approval. In January, Citibank and HSBC Holdings were approved to issue local-currency denominated credit cards in China. HSBC will issue cards through Bank of Shanghai, while Citibank will work through Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. Currently, there are 25 million credit cardholders, and virtually all of them are secured credit cards. American Express has now established card-issuing partnerships in 90 countries around the world. It recently signed a card-issuing agreement with MBNA, its first U.S. bank partner in the United States.

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Intelli-Check Revenues Climb 9% Last Year

Woodbury, NY-based Intelli-Check reported that revenues for 2003 rose 8.5% to $1.2 million. However, its net loss rose to $6.8 million from $5.6 million in 2002. The Company is a developer and marketer of proprietary document verification technology, which is contained in its “ID-CHECK” units and in its “ID-Check PC” software, and will be contained in its “ID-Check PDA” software products and the next release of “C-Link,” the company’s net workable data management software. Its software is now hardware-independent, meaning that it can be used on a variety of data processing devices, including POS terminals or computers. For complete details on Intelli-Check’s fourth quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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MoneyWi$e Partnership Hands-Out $125K

Consumer Action and Capital One announced their joint “MoneyWi$e” financial literacy partnership will grant more than $125,000 to 36 community-based non-profit organizations in 8 states. Now in its second year, the MoneyWi$e stipend program provides financial support to help local organizations deliver financial literacy training to under-served communities across the country. Capital One Financial Corporation () is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries include: Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., which offer consumer lending products, and Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., which offers primarily automobile financing products. Consumer Action is a non-profit, membership-based organization founded in San Francisco in 1971.

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Cash Systems 4Q/03 Revenues Up 78%

Minneapolis-based Cash Systems reported that revenue for the fourth quarter was $8.8 million, an increase of 77.6%, compared to 4Q/02. Income from operations was $585,000, an approximate $1.0 million improvement from the prior year period. Net income increased over $500,000 to $330,000, compared to a net loss of $195,000 in the prior year period. For the full-year, Cash Systems posted revenue of $32.7 million, an increase of 113.2% over 2002. Net income for 2003 was $1.7 million, compared to the net loss of approximately $971,000 in the prior year period. During 2003, the casino ATM operator began providing cash access services at Grand Casino Coushatta, the five Seminole tribal casinos in Florida, the Agua Caliente and Spa Resort Casinos, and Trump Casino in Gary, Indiana. Cash Systems recently completed a private placement which raised more than $9 million in working capital. For complete details on Cash Systems fourth quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 3/29/04)

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

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UATP Selects New Marketing Partner Awards

UATP honored 11 of its issuer airlines yesterday who will qualify for a portion of UATP s $1.5 million cooperative marketing rebates, which are paid to Issuers each quarter. Gold-level awards, the highest level achievable, were given to eight airlines American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Lufthansa/AirPlus, Qantas Airways, SAS, United Airlines, and US Airways for their compliance with all 11 minimum marketing standards adopted by UATP s board of directors and implemented last year. UATP is a global corporate travel payment network. UATP accounts are actively issued by 15 member airlines and accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel by more than 200 airlines worldwide.

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Moneris Signs Signature Vacations for Processing

Moneris Solutions has signed Signature Vacations, Canada’s leading package holiday company, to a six-year agreement for credit and debit card processing. Signature Vacations chose eSELECTplus because it provides travel agents access to a web-based tool on their desktop, enabling real-time processing of credit card orders and quick end-of-day batch processing. Moneris Solutions Corporation is Canada’s largest provider of payment processing solutions for merchants. Signature Vacations is Canada’s leading mainstream package holiday company, specializing in sun-destination vacations.

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iBIZ and ai Team for a Hosted 3-D Secure Service

TX-based iBIZ Software and the UK’s ai Corporation have partnered to combine the ai “SmartAuth” with iBiz’s “CommerSafe MPI” to provide a hosted service for “3-D Secure” payer authentication for Internet merchants, acquirers, payment gateways, and payment service providers. By requiring cardholders to authenticate themselves in real-time against their issuing bank, programs like Verified by Visa and SecureCode bring a high level of security to online transactions. iBIZ is a pioneer and a recognized leader in online payment card security and offers robust authentication solutions for the entire e-payments industry.

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USTT Hires a Business Development Executive

PA-based USA Technologies has hired John Roughneen as VP/Strategic Business Development. Most recently, Mr. Roughneen was Vice President and General Manager of Crane ARM, a business unit of Crane Merchandising Systems. His responsibilities with Crane included the development of the Automated Retail Machine from concept inception to deployment. USA Technologies is a leader in the networking of distributed assets, wireless non-cash and m-commerce transactions, associated financial/network services and interactive media technology and energy management.

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Top 10 Issuers Grow 25% During the Recession

Despite a recessionary period, the nation’s top issuers expanded their card portfolios by 25%, on average, between year-end 2000 and 2003, based on outstandings. Among the top ten issuers, who now comprise about 80% of the U.S. market, Capital One, Bank of America, and JPM Chase led the charge with growth rates of 76%, 59%, and 44%, respectively. Collectively, the top issuers held card loans of $539.8 billion as of EOY 2003, compared to $431.8 billion as of EOY 2000. The overall industry grew 19% during this period, from $568.5 billion to $677.0 billion. Discover and Bank One were the only top issuers to post single digit gains over the three-year period, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

RANK/ISSUER 2003 2000 CHNG MS
1. Citigroup* $119.8b $103.2b +16% 17.7%
2. MBNA 85.8b 70.4b +22% 12.7%
3. Bank One 76.3b 67.0b + 8% 11.3%
4. JPM Chase 52.3b 36.2b +44% 7.7%
5. Discover** 48.4b 47.1b + 3% 7.1%
6. Cap One 46.3b 26.3b +76% 6.8%
7. AmEx 38.5b 28.7b +34% 5.6%
8. BofA 36.6b 23.0b +59% 5.4%
9. HSBC/HH 18.8b 15.2b +24% 2.8%
10. Fleet 17.0b 14.7b +16% 2.5%
TOTAL: $539.8 $431.8 +25% 79.7%
*Citigroup includes some non-US cards, possibly $5 billion
** Discover data as of 11/30/03
MS= Market Share based on Outstandings
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Yogurt Specialist Joins the Upromise Program

The Dannon Company has joined the Upromise college savings program. The Dannon Company, Inc., is a leading national producer of yogurt products in the United States with corporate headquarters in Tarrytown, NY, and plants in Minster, OH; Fort Worth, TX; and West Jordan, UT. Upromise is a service that helps families save for college. Members can automatically earn money for college while making everyday purchases at more than 18,000 grocery and drug stores, 200 online shopping sites, 9,000 restaurants and 7,000 hotel locations nationwide, as well as tens of thousands of retail locations.

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UK Post Office Offers Loans and Eventually Cards

The UK’s Post Office Ltd and Bank of Ireland launched a major joint venture to offer financial services products via the Post Office’s 16,500 branches in Europe. The partnership began this week with the introduction of an unsecured personal loan product, and may be followed by credit card products in late 2005. The personal loan product offers amounts ranging from $1,800 to $49,000, with interest rates ranging from 7.9% to 14.9%. The Post Office will also offer payment protection insurances. Besides a point of sale marketing and on-line advertising the Post Office is supporting the launch with TV advertising starting on April 5th featuring the “ant” theme. Bank of Ireland, which in the UK operates mainly through Bristol & West plc as well as its own brand branch network, will invest $230 million into the venture over the next 10 years to provide core infrastructure and start-up costs. The venture is equally owned by the Post Office Ltd and Bank of Ireland with profits split evenly between the two. The Post Office offers 170 products and services, including banking, travel insurance and foreign currency, bill payments, lottery products, license applications, phonecards and mobile phone top-ups, and postal services.

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