Winners Named in Comin’ Up Roses ATM Sweepstakes

U.S. Bank last week named the winners in its “U.S. Bank’s Comin’ Up Roses ATM Sweepstakes” which awarded a $25,000 cash Grand Prize and also awarded four customers and two employees a free trip to the “Rose Bowl Game” and the opportunity to ride on the U.S. Bank float in the “Rose Parade”. The Sweepstakes took place from Sept. 22, 2003 until Nov. 7, 2003. All U.S. Bank branches in the bank’s 24-state footprint participated. The winners of a trip to the Rose Bowl Game and the Rose Parade are: U.S. Bank customers Keith Backer, New Rockford, N.D.; Bob Johnson, Aloha, Ore.; Pamela Dedrick, Bloomington, Minn.; and Jason Skinnor, Columbus, Ohio. U.S. Bancorp with assets of $189 billion, is the 8th largest financial services holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,201 banking offices and 4,506 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions.

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7-Eleven Takes Vcom to a New Level

Nearly 1,000 of 7-Eleven’s “Vcom” financial kiosks now offer 24×7 online shopping. The expanded service is the result of its partnership with MA-based Cyphermint which recruits the online merchants. Cyphermint also uses its “Pay Cash” system to enable “Vcom” users to pay for their purchases with cash. There is a $1 service fee for each transaction. The kiosk’s bunch-note acceptor can handle up to 30 bills inserted at one time and dispense exact change. 7-Eleven’s “Vcom” financial kiosks also offer ATM transactions via American Express and check cashing through Certegy Check Services. Users can also purchase Western Union money orders and conduct money transfers. Bill payment services are also provided by e-Money Systems. 7-Eleven says it also plans to offer auto insurance services through the kiosks through Public Access Insurance.

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Moneris’ SmartSELECT Terminals Empower RadioShack POWER Card

RadioShack Canada’s new “POWER Card” program has selected Moneris’ “SmartSELECT” terminals. RadioShack and Household Finance launched the new card in September which offers five per cent off most purchases. Moneris currently processes all MasterCard, VISA and Interac Direct Payment transactions for RadioShack Canada. Offering full credit and debit payment options, Moneris’ “SmartSELECT” terminals
also have the capability for private label, loyalty and gift card transactions. RadioShack Canada has more than $600 million in annual retail sales. Moneris processes for more than 350,000 merchant locations.

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Payment Rates and Yields Invert for the First Time

For the first time, monthly payment rates have exceeded the monthly portfolio yield rate. The news comes at a time when consumer debt has resumed at a brisk pace, and indicates that both revolvers and convenience users are in a very healthy situation for the first time since the start of the recession in 2001. For the month of October, the monthly payment rate hit 18.01% of outstanding balances while the monthly yield rate settled in at 16.77%. Payment rate is one of the most important performance variables for credit card-backed securities. Yield levels are affected by cardholder agreement terms and the annual percentage rate charged by the issuer, the percentage of convenience users in the portfolio, and the level of charge-offs and delinquencies in the portfolio. The yield has declined due to the low interest rate environment coupled with fairly high levels of charge-offs and delinquencies. However, charge-offs and delinquencies have shown recent signs of declining. Last week, the Federal Reserve reported that during October, Americans added $2.2 billion to revolving credit at an annual growth rate of 3.6%, more than twice the rate of growth one-year ago. For complete details on October’s portfolio performance statistics visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

PORTFOLIO PERFORMANCE
(as of the month of October each year)
Year Payment Rate Yield
2000 14.80% 18.20%
2001 14.89% 18.30%
2002 16.19% 17.60%
2003 18.01% 16.77%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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ACG ATM-Remarketers Mourns Loss of Top Sales Guy

Atlanta-based ACG ATM-Remarketers sadly reported last week the death of Michael Owen Ham, its 15-year VP/Sales. During his more than 15 years with ACG, he was instrumental in the company’s success, including the expansion of the employee base by 500 percent. Ham is survived by William and Patricia Ham of Columbus, Ga., Ida and Henry Becker of Bradenton, Fla., and Mark and Pat Becker of Palmetto, Fla. ACG ATM-Remarketers is a provider of custom refurbished ATMs and kiosks at a cost 30 to 60 percent lower than that of comparable new equipment, as well as parts, maintenance and training for community financial institutions and independent store operators.

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MasterCard Incents American Airlines AAdvantage Members

American Airlines and MasterCard have launched a December promotion that awards “AAdvantage” members 2,500 bonus miles for using a MasterCard, plus 1,500 bonus miles for using a “Citi/AAdvantage MasterCard”, and another 1,000 bonus miles if a round-trip ticket is purchased online at AA.com using a MasterCard. Now through Dec. 31, 2003, American Airlines is offering AAdvantage members a holiday gift of up to 5,000 bonus AAdvantage miles when they purchase round-trip tickets at AA.com using a valid MasterCard card. 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. American Airlines is the world’s largest carrier. American, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection regional carriers serve more than 250 cities in over 40 countries with more than 3,900 daily flights.

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TSYS Nabs a Card Expert for its European Operations

TSYS Europe has named a managing director. Kelley Knutson, formerly CEO of Clear Money Ltd., will join the Company on January 5th. Knutson also previously served as an executive with GE
Capital and VISA International. Mr. Knutson is a resident of London who has worked in Europe the past 14 years. TSYS established its European offices in 1999. TSYS Europe is currently engaged in
a number of critical initiatives: building a new data center in Europe; modifying the TS2 payments system to meet requirements of specific European markets; and introducing new technologies like debit, e-commerce,
store cards, gift cards and “TSYS ProphIT,” a workflow management system that connects disparate technologies across an enterprise.

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Intercept Privatization Deal is Off, for Now

Atlanta-based InterCept confirmed Friday that its CEO has pulled the plug on his proposed offer to take the Company private. John Collins says he was unable to put together a deal with possible financing sources that would be in the best interest of the shareholders. Last week, InterCept said it will not provide earnings guidance for next year while it considers the CEO’s proposal to take the Company private. Last month, InterCept announced that a special committee of its board of directors had been formed in response to the offer offer. InterCept reported third quarter revenues of $64.1 million, a 3.4% decrease compared with 3Q/02. Net Income for the quarter totaled $18,000, compared with net income of $2.8 million, for the three months ended September 30, 2002. (CF Library 11/12/03; 11/14/03; 12/4/03)

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California 529 Plan Offers Free Target Gift Cards as a Bonus

California’s ScholarShare, a state-sponsored 529 plan, is now giving away a $50 “Target Gift Card” to anyone who establishes an account worth $50 or more online through December 31st. This special offer will allow people to give two gifts for the price of one to loved ones this holiday season. ScholarShare allows account holders to save for a child’s college education with five different investment options with the added benefit of the money saved being state and federally tax-free. The Program’s Guaranteed Option guarantees both principal and a minimum annual rate of return. Funds from ScholarShare can be used at nearly all colleges and universities in the United States, many accredited professional and trade schools, and some schools overseas.

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Your Money Access Beefs-Up Transaction Reporting System

Orlando-based Your Money Access says it has upgraded its customer reporting functions to show larger volume merchants their transactions in real-time and now settles merchants’ payments transactions within 7 days. YMA is a payments processor for businesses all across North America, providing its merchants with additional flexibility in securing payments from the end-customer consumer. The YMA team represents over 40 years of banking experience. The YMA senior management team includes former Federal Reserve officials.

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FDC/Concord-DOJ Trial Gets Underway

Unless a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department is reached by this morning, First Data and Concord EFS will face off with the government today in federal court over their proposed merger. The talks between the parties reportedly came to a stalemate last week after First Data refused to completely divest itself of its interests in the NYCE network. FDC offered to sell part of its interest in NYCE to reach a settlement. Today’s trial is set for a fast track with both sides scheduled to conclude their cases by December 23rd. The proposed $7 billion merger between the two payments powerhouses has a January 31st deadline. If the merger falls through First Data will be required to pay Concord EFS $25 million. On April 2nd, FDC and Concord announced a definitive agreement to merge. Shareholders of both companies voted to approve the transaction on October 28th. The DOJ says the merger would substantially reduce competition among PIN debit networks, and could result in consumers paying higher prices for goods and services from merchants that offer debit transactions. The potential combination of the NYCE network with Concord’s “STAR,” “MAC” and “Cash Station” network could give First Data nearly as much control over PIN debit that VISA USA has over signature debit. (CF Library 10/24/03; 10/03/03)

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