BEETLE/OnePOS Introduced

Wincor Nixdorf has introduced an integrated, retail-hardened enclosure for its “BEETLE POS” systems. The BEETLE /OnePOS was designed with simplified serviceability, aesthetics and operator ease-of-use in mind. Wincor Nixdorf’s BEETLE family is the most prolific open POS platform in the world. Highly versatile, the BEETLE addresses the complete spectrum of retail touch points, including thin-client POS terminals, lean- and thick-client POS systems, self-service kiosks, inquiry and service desk workstations, and mobile POS devices. Wincor Nixdorf Inc. is one of the fastest-growing providers of IT products and solutions for the retail and banking industries.

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Symbol Technologies Releases New Terminal

Symbol Technologies has introduced a “Windows CE .NET”-based payment transaction terminal that complies with “VISA PED” security requirements. The new “Symbol PD 8500” is a signature-capture and payment transaction system with an interactive color display. The product also includes industry resistive, passive pen technology. The “Symbol PD 8500” features on-board Ethernet and Wi-Fi capabilities for seamless integration into the retail enterprise network and central device management. Using the “Symbol Wireless Networker PC Card” through the PCMCIA slot, the payment terminal can wirelessly transmit transaction information and be connected to POS systems. The terminal has a 5.7-inch color VGA display that includes a pressure sensitive touch pad.

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Vietcombank to Issue MasterCards and Sponsor 11 Affiliate-Members

Vietcombank announced it will sponsor 11 commercial banks to be affiliate-members of MasterCard. The partnership is the first-of-its-kind in the country with the signing ceremony attended by key officials from the government and the State Bank of Vietnam. Under the terms of the agreement, MasterCard has appointed Vietcombank as its “Sponsoring Principal” in the country that, on behalf of its affiliate members, will acquire and exclusively issue a range of MasterCard-branded payments cards. Vietcombank will also issue MasterCard electronic and MasterCard-branded debit cards exclusively, commencing in the second quarter.
Vietcombank will also launch a series of acquiring initiatives including deployment of ATM, “Cash Dispensing Machines,” and “Electronic Data Capture” machines on behalf of its commercial banks. The affiliate-member banks include: Techcombank, VPBank, Military Bank, Habubank, VIB Bank, NASB, Housing Bank, Tan Viet Bank, Viet A Bank, Chohung Vina Bank and Maritime Bank.

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VISA MOVIN’ OUT Ad Hits Airwaves Today

VISA USA is launching a TV commercial today to support the national tour of the award-winning musical, “MOVIN’ OUT.” The last time VISA sponsored a single theatrical touring production was on the national tour of “A Chorus Line.” The ad, created by BBDO New York, features music by Billy Joel, choreography by Twyla Tharp and some of the original Broadway cast members. VISA is the only card accepted for single-ticket sales of the national tour of “MOVIN’ OUT,” which starts January 27th at Detroit’s Fisher Theatre. VISA is also the only card accepted at the American Theatre Wing’s Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards. Additionally, VISA has produced six Broadway-themed national TV commercials including three national television spots promoting the Tony Awards. Additionally, VISA is the presenting sponsor of Live Broadway’s Open House Tours.

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LG Card Finalizes Bail-Out Plan, Averts Bankruptcy

LG Card continues to operate after agreeing on a 3.78 trillion won bailout package that included help from the state-run Korea Development Bank and ten of its creditor banks. More than half of the package included a debt-for-equity plan that involved about two trillion won in debt. Under the rescue plan, KDB ended up owning 25% of LG Card in return for investing 500 billion won. National Agricultural Cooperative Federation and Kookmin are the next biggest contributors in the debt-for-equity plan, taking a 16% and 14% stake respectively. The creditor banks provided loans of 1.65 trillion won under the rescue plan. Nine of the ten creditor banks will be protected from providing additional loans. However, KDB has pledged to inject another 125 billion won into LG Card if necessary. The South Korean Financial Supervisory Service recently reported that LG Card’s delinquency rate rose from 11.4% in October to 14.7% for November.

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Citi Card Payment Rewards Program Launched

Citibank has launched a program to reward on-time payments with points. The new “Citi Card Payment Rewards” program offers one point for each on-time dollar paid. Cardholders who make six consecutive on-time payments receive 600 bonus points. Cardholders who sign up for the “AutoPay” service receive an extra 250 points. Points can be redeemed for a lower interest rate, cash rebate, merchandise, gift certificates, gift cards, or discounts. Cardholders can lower their APR by 1% for 3 months for 3,000 points. Interest rates can be dropped 1% for 12 months for 5,000 points, or 2% for 12 months for 10,000 points. A $25 gift card can be purchased with 3,000 points. Cardholders can also opt for a cash rebate: 3,000 points for $15; 5,000 points for $25; or 10,000 points for $50.

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Avantel and Todito Sign Deals to Use PinXpress

Avantel and Todito have signed deals for San Diego-based EWI Prepaid to distribute these companies’ prepaid services electronically with its “PinXpress” payment processing solution. Avantel will offer its prepaid long-distance services electronically for the first time through “PinXpress.” Consumers can purchase an Avantel prepaid long-distance from a POS retailer and instantly receive a PIN to use the service. Avantel is serves the corporate and residential market and is owned by MCI Worldcom and Banamex. Todito is Mexico’s leader in prepaid Internet connections and is aggressively targeting the North American Hispanic Internet market. With “PinXpress,” Todito will offer its prepaid Todito ISP service for Internet connections in the USA and Mexico. Todito is jointly owned Grupo Dataflux and TV Azteca.

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4Q/03 Produces Mixed Bag Thus Far

Early returns in the fourth quarter portfolio survey continue to show mixed results. Mid-sized player, Columbus B&T, posted a 4%+ gain in year-over-year outstandings. However, MS-based TrustMark reported a 4% drop in receivables over the past year. AL-based Max Federal Credit Union reported a strong 18%+ gain in outstandings according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

ISSUER 4Q/03 RECV Y/Y CHANGE
Columbus Bank & Trust $225,113,234 +4.3%
Travis FCU 79,073,426 -0.9%
TrustMark Natl Bank: 55,039,556 -4.0%
Max FCU 34,432,351 +18.6%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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EVO MASTERCARD

RHB Bank Berhad is deploying Welcome Real-time’s “XLS” enhanced payment software to add value to its EMV-compliant “EVO MasterCard.” The new card offers a “Smart Shopping” experience with free gifts, instant rewards and double reward points at the POS. RHB Bank says that applications for the new card make up about one third of the total incoming applications. At about 300,000 cards in circulation, with EVO contributing to the steady flow of active cards and half a million in receivables, RHB says it has close to 10% of market share in terms of principal cardholders. The “EVO MasterCard” is RHB Bank’s first chip card. Welcome’s payment software is designed to boost card provider revenues with services such as instantly awarded loyalty points, coupons, punch cards, vouchers, tickets and cash back, all integrated within a single convenient payment process.

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Wincor Nixdorf Introduces VersaLane

Wincor Nixdorf has introduced “VersaLane,” a mobile, battery-powered POS solution. VersaLane gives retailers the flexibility to configure checkout lanes whenever and wherever they’re needed, allowing them to deploy temporary checkout lanes for seasonal or weekend traffic, garden centers, sidewalk sales, new store openings and other applications. With VersaLane, retailers can make the most of their valuable floor space, decreasing the amount of space dedicated to fixed POS displays and freeing up more room for promotional campaigns, seasonal merchandise and impulse purchases. Wincor Nixdorf’s BEETLE(R) family is the most prolific open POS platform in the world. Wincor Nixdorf Inc. is one of the fastest-growing providers of IT products and solutions for the retail and banking industries.

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November ABS Performance Generally Downbeat

Charge-offs, among credit card-backed securities, inched up in November compared to October, but were down slightly from November 2002. Delinquency stayed the course during November compared to the previous month, but were 30 basis points lower than one year ago. According to Standard & Poor’s “Credit Card Quality Index,” which tracked $416.4 billion in securitized credit card loans for November, the data are generally downbeat. Charge-offs are still relatively high compared to historical averages. The overall trend for 30-plus delinquencies continues to be relatively stable. Yield, which primarily consists of cardholder finance charges, has declined to 17.0%, after peaking at 21.1% in March 2001. The payment rate for November dropped 140 bps to 15.5% from the prior month. Aside from July 2003, the October payment rate of 16.9% was the highest payment rate reported by the S&P index since January 2002. The base rate, which remains at historical lows, remained unchanged (3.6%) during November, with two-thirds of the trusts either reporting a decreased or unchanged base rate during the month. The excess spread rate, which decreased by 70 bps to 6.4% during November, is currently at its lowest level since May 2003 (6.3%), after remaining stable (7.0%) for the past four months.

Credit Card Quality Index
Nov01 Nov02 Sep03 Oct03 Nov03
Yield (%) 19.0 17.7 17.6 17.6 17.0
Payment rate (%) 15.4 14.7 16.3 16.9 15.5
Charge offs (%) 6.6 7.2 6.9 6.9 7.0
Delinquencies (%) 5.3 5.5 5.2 5.2 5.2
Weighted base rate (%) 4.7 4.0 3.7 3.6 3.6
Excess spread (%) 7.8 6.5 7.0 7.1 6.4
Source: Standard and Poor’s

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