UATP Names General Counsel

Washington, DC-based Universal Air Travel Plan has named Patricia Vercelli, formerly with Drinker, Biddle & Reath, as general counsel. Vercelli had been a senior associate in the Washington, DC office of the Philadelphia law firm of Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP, where she represented U.S. and foreign clients on matters ranging from technology transfer and intellectual property to general commercial contracts. UATP is the world’s first corporate charge product. UATP accounts are actively issued by 14 member airlines and accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel by more than 200 airlines worldwide.

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Americans Pay Bills With Tax Refunds

A new survey by Cambridge Consumer Credit Index found that 48% of Americans used their Bush tax refund checks to pay off bills including credit cards (15%) and other bills (33%). At that time, 28% said they would save the money in a bank account, 23% planned to use it to pay off bills, 19% expected to use it to pay off credit card debt, 9% would spend it on everyday items, 9% would purchase things that they had always wanted to buy, 6% spent the money in other ways and 6% planned to invest in stocks and bonds. These findings are the result of monthly nationwide telephone poll of 1000+ adults conducted by ICR/International Communications Research in the past week, sponsored by The Debt Relief Clearinghouse.

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DataWave Systems Launches NextWave Cash Cards

Vancouver-based DataWave Systems has signed a deal with Money Card, Moneris Solutions, CU-Connection, Nextwave Card, and PACE Savings & Credit Union to launch cash cards in the Canadian market. The cash card program is being spearheaded by Nextwave Card (50% owned by DataWave.) Nextwave will market the cash card to customers in the financial services sector providing the hardware and software required to activate and reload cards, as well as monitor and report transactions to vendors. Moneris Solutions in Toronto is responsible for settlement of funds from card transactions, while CU-Connection in Scarborough, Ont. is responsible for authorizing all transactions and providing switching services to facilitate settlement of funds. PACE Savings & Credit Union in Vaughn, Ont. is acting as the authorized Bin number issuer for all prepaid cards. National Money Mart is the first customer to use the Nextwave cash card system. Following the successful pilot of Nextwave cash cards at five Money Mart branches in Victoria, B.C., the company plans to introduce branded personal cash cards at its 295 Canadian branches in a phased rollout starting in 2004.

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PPP ORGA, and CPI Take Top Elan Honors

The International Card Manufacturers Association, which met in Cancun last month, has released the names of this year’s winners of the “Élan Awards for Card Manufacturing Excellence.” The “Best Financial Card Design” award was given to Perfect Plastic Printing and ORGA Card Systems for their dual effort in creating the “Public Bank MasterCard.” Finalists for the “Best Financial Card Design” included Security Plastics for its “MBF Gaia VISA Gold Card” and Trub AG for its “VISA Classic Special Edition” featuring Wassily Kandinski Art. The “Best Non-Financial Card Design” winner was CPI Card Group for its “Starbucks VESPA” card. Finalists for the “Best Non-Financial Card Design” included Plastag Corporation for its “Discovery Channel Gift Card” and Innovative Plastic Printing Corp. for its “Friedman’s Advantage Plus Card.” The ICMA also presented its second annual “Spiritus Award” to Pune, India-based M-Tech Innovations and the UK’s ID Data Systems.

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iDine Rewards Network Drops iDine

Chicago-based iDine Rewards Network Inc. has changed its name to Rewards Network Inc.. The new name was selected to reflect more closely the expanded business focus of the company. The company’s stock will continue to trade on the American Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol IRN. Rewards Network Inc., headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, provides loyalty and rewards programs via its registered credit card platform. Incentives are offered through the iDine branded program, airline frequent flyer dining programs, club memberships and other affinity organizations.

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eFunds Moves to the NYSE

AZ-based eFunds is moving to the New York Stock Exchange on January 2nd under the symbol “EFD.” The Company anticipates its shares will begin trading on the NYSE on January 2, 2004 under the symbol “EFD.” eFunds’ common stock will continue to trade on the NASDAQ National Market under the ticker symbol “EFDS” until that date. eFunds Corporation is an industry leader with nearly 30 years of experience and expertise in electronic payments. eFunds provides electronic transaction processing, ATM solutions, risk management, professional and outsourcing services to financial institutions, electronic funds transfer networks, government agencies and retailers around the world.

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TSYS Names CEO and COO

TSYS has named Philip Tomlinson as CEO and Troy Woods as president and COO effective January 1st. Richard Ussery will continue as chairman of the board and an active member of the TSYS executive management team. In his new role as CEO, Tomlinson will be responsible for the company’s vision, strategic direction and ultimate fiduciary responsibility for TSYS’s performance. As president and COO, Woods will manage the day-to-day operations and execution of the company’s strategies. Synovus owns an 81-percent interest in TSYS. At the end of 3Q/03, TSYS had 267.9 million accounts on file, including: 142.2 million consumer accounts, 83.7 million retail accounts, 21.0 million commercial accounts, 7.9 million debit/stored value accounts, and, 13.1 million government service/EBT accounts. Of the 267.9 million gross accounts on file, 46.0 million are international accounts.

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Metavante Buys Printing For Systems

Metavante has acquired CT-based Printing For Systems. PSI is an application service provider to the insurance industry and is a major provider of identification cards to the healthcare industry. PSI will operate as a Metavante subsidiary within the Metavante Electronic Funds Group. In 2002, PSI technology drove production to over 48 million cards. PSI offers a complete technology solution for managing time-sensitive data used in combination with web-enabled applications and customized print-ready technologies to ensure on-time delivery of electronic and print media. The company’s systems and processes allow for online viewing and modification, dynamic sectioning and content, business rule-based content, geo-based directory generation and personalization by group or member.

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Concord/Money Network Payroll Cards on a Roll

Concord EFS reported this week that its alliance with Money Network has generated more than 100 new payroll card clients in the past 12 months and 25 in the past 60 days. New clients include major U.S. retailers and employers including Auto Zone, Best Buy, Kmart, Payless Shoe Source, American Airlines, and six of the nation’s largest temporary staffing firms, representing nearly 400,000 cards. All Money Network payroll programs currently issue PIN-secured debit cards including the STAR network. Concord and Money Network established a strategic alliance in 2001.

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PPI Hires Payfuse Gateway Executive

CA-based Payment Processing, Incorporated has hired Robert Renzulli, formerly with First National Merchant Solutions, as Director of Emerging Technologies. Mr. Renzulli joins PPI from First National Merchant Solutions, a First National Bank of Omaha subsidiary, where he served as Vice President of Solutions Development responsible for the technical sales engineering team, the Payfuse gateway and First National Batch product and solutions development. Prior to First National, Mr. Renzulli was Manager of Global Alliance Sales Engineers at Clear Commerce Corporation where he was responsible for successful gateway projects at Banamex in Mexico, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal and Visa International. Payment Processing, Inc., headquartered at the north end of Silicon Valley in Fremont, California, is a leading provider of custom payment processing solutions for Retail merchants, MOTO merchants and Internet merchants.

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American Express Jumps on the Wheel

American Express and the syndicated TV show, “Wheel of Fortune,” have signed a cross-marketing deal to promote “Blue Cash from American Express” to “Wheel of Fortune” viewers. Beginning this week and continuing through December 19th, “AmEx Blue Cash” will offer “Wheel of Fortune” viewers the chance to win $5,000 each night. Five winners will be chosen each night for ten nights, for a total of $250,000.00. From December 15th through December 19th, viewers will see a blue set, custom designed for “Wheel of Fortune.” It will feature a Blue Cash wedge on the Wheel, blue-themed prizes including blue cars, blue-themed trips to the House of Blues Hotel in Chicago, and to Las Vegas to see the Blue Man Group. The marketing and promotional program is being executed by Sony Pictures Digital Networks.

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