Debit Dash for Charity Challenge Held This Week

VISA this week held its first-ever “Debit Dash for Charity Challenge” at a Winn-Dixie supermarket in Charlotte, North Carolina with two NASCAR drivers Rusty Wallace and Kurt Busch. The drivers were each given a list of items to purchase for the charities. The Visa Debit Dash was conducted to culminate the Visa/NASCAR Fast Cards, Fast Cars for Charity Challenge, in which Rusty Wallace and Kurt Busch raised money for charities based on their racing record this season. Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives.

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BASE24 Supports Eracom’s Host Security Module

Eracom Technologies’ “ProtectHost White” host security module is now supported by ACI’s “BASE24” transaction security services. ACI’s BASE24 Transaction Security Services combines support of Single and Triple DES, allowing customers to process in a mixed environment until card association and network mandates require them to completely adopt Triple DES. ACI software is used over 30 billion times a year to process these transactions, powering the world’s online payment systems. Eracom Technologies is a leading developer and global supplier of cryptographic-based hardware and software products for uncompromising IT security applications.

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Ryder System Licenses CheckFree i-Solutions for EBPP

CheckFree i-Solutions announced that Ryder System has licensed its software which will allow Ryder to provide electronic billing and payment services to qualified lease customers. CheckFree i-Series software, was integrated with Ryder’s existing technology platforms including its invoicing, accounts receivable and customer care systems. The new system is expected to enhance operational efficiency for Ryder and its customers by enabling e-mail consolidation of multiple invoices, multiple-level access for streamlined workflow, advanced payment capabilities and enhanced automation for customer care. Ryder is a Fortune 500 company providing leading-edge logistics, supply chain and transportation management solutions worldwide. CheckFree i-Solutions is the global leader in end-to-end, business-to- consumer and business-to-business solutions for electronic billing and payment and e-statement delivery.

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First Data and FirstCaribbean International Bank Sign Renewal

FirstCaribbean International Bank has signed a five year renewal for First Data to provide merchant processing services. The bank’s parent companies are Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Barclays Bank. FDC has provided similar merchant processing services for CIBC and Barclays for nearly 20 years. First Data entered Latin America in 1988 and has offices in Mexico City, Mexico; San Jose, Costa Rica and Sao Paulo, Brazil. FirstCaribbean has some US$9 billion in assets, and over 700,000 accounts. FirstCaribbean operates in fifteen countries and 25 islands.

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Perfect Plastic Printing Promotes Moser

IL-based Perfect Plastic Printing has promoted Dave Moser to VP/Sales. Dave has 25 years experience in the credit card industry in a variety of functions and has spent the past three years with PPP as Director of World Sales. PPP is the largest single plant manufacturer of acquire cards in the world producing over 300,000,000 cards annually in the most modern facility using state-of-the-art equipment under the most secure environment.

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Holiday Sales May Rise More Than 6% This Year

Bank One economists have forecast that total retail sales will rise 6.3% in November and December from a year earlier, nearly double the pace of last year. Bank One Corporation ( ) is the nation’s sixth-largest bank holding company, with assets of nearly $300 billion. Bank One has more than 52 million credit cards issued, and serves nearly 7 million retail households and over 20,000 middle market companies.

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VISA and MasterCard Appeal Australia Court Decision

VISA International and MasterCard International this week filed separate appeals to the September decision by Federal Court Justice Brian Tamberlin which upheld the Reserve Bank of Australia’s credit card reforms. VISA said the new credit card regulations give competitors an “unjustified competitive advantage” while MasterCard said there are “reviewable errors” in the court’s decision. Last month, the judge rejected the VISA and MasterCard claim that they are not a “designated payments system” and therefore not subject to RBA regulatory power. However, Tamberlin did not rule on whether the reforms are sound policy, that could impact bank earnings and possibly make the country less attractive for new entrants. Tamberlin did note that he was also not persuaded that the RBA failed to engage in a proper decision making process or misapplied the legislation. Last year, the RBA issued new reforms on the credit card business permitting merchants to recover from cardholders the costs of accepting credit cards and lowering interchange fees. At mid-year 2003, Australians owe a record $24.24 billion in credit card debt among 10,705,000 total credit card accounts.

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U.S. Bank Enhances Campus Card Loading

U.S. Bank now has campus card programs with 19 colleges and universities nationwide. The issuer announced this week its program with San Diego State University has been expanded to enable users to load their cards via “U.S. Bank Internet Banking.” The Diebold “CS Gold” software package is used to manage the SDSU “Campus Card” program. The enhancement complements the functions introduced last year that allow card holders to withdraw cash at an ATM or make purchases at merchants that accept PIN-debits. U.S. Bank won the SDSU “Campusbank Card” contract in November 2002. Other U.S. Bank campus card programs include Iowa State University, Xavier University and the University of Louisville.

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BART’s New Ticket Machines 56% Complete

San Francisco’s BART reported this week that the modernization and replacement of “Automatic Ticket Vending Machines” in all of the system’s 43 stations, is currently well underway. When fully installed, the system will have 579 new fare gates, which are 98% complete; approximately 480 ticket vending machines, about 56% complete, and 162 addfare machines, about 60% complete. The fare equipment installation is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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MD Credit Counseling Firm Sees $1MM in Card Debt

A Maryland-based credit counseling firm says it is not uncommon to deal with clients with more than $100,000 in credit card. Myvesta.org says it has worked with a client who had over $1 million in credit card debt spread out over 78 different cards. The firm says the average credit card and unsecured debt rose from $52,210 in 2002 to $77,036 in 2003 and mortgage debt rose from an average of $168,129 in 2002 to $207,958 in 2003. The average client came to Myvesta.org with 11.3 credit cards, up from 8.1 in 2002; a negative monthly cash flow averaging $2,468; and, 5.4 credit card late fees per month costing $169.

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GE Card Profits Up 80% in the Third Quarter

GE Card Services profits rose 80% in the third quarter to $266 million, compared to $148 million one year ago. Year-to-date, GE’s credit card profits are up 16% to $619 million. Compared to second quarter profits of $172 million, GE credit card 3Q/03 profits are up 55%. During the third quarter, GE teamed in the U.K. with Harrods, and in Australia with Coles Myer, to launch “DualCard,” a new co-branded product offering the benefits of both a store card and MasterCard as well as enhanced in-store benefits and loyalty programs. GE also agreed to acquire GC Corporation, a subsidiary of Promise Co., Ltd., the third-largest personal lender in Japan, adding approximately $1 billion in assets and more than three million credit card holders. Additionally, GE signed a multi-year extension with Brooks Brothers in the U.S. to continue private label credit card programs through 2006. For complete details on GE Card Services 3Q/03 results visit CardData (www.carddata.com.)

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Colorado Summit to Discuss Overarching Money Trends

CO-based DaVinci Institute will hold the “Future of Money Summit” this month that will look at trends such as the emergence of the multi-channel shopper, and how RFID tags are fueling automatic checkout lines. October 27-29, 2003 their researchers and top industry analysts have focused in on some of the forces at play in the money world, most of which are not very obvious. the Future of Money Summit blends historical events with current trends and makes forecasts about the world of money to come.

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