AIR SAHARA VISA

Standard Chartered Bank has teamed with Air Sahara to issue a co-branded “VISA Gold” card. The new “Air Sahara Standard Chartered VISA Gold Credit Card” offers one free companion ticket per year or two free tickets for children when travelling with spouse, per year. The card also offers three complimentary upgrades to business class, each year, as well as a 5% discount throughout the year on all Air Sahara tickets purchased with the card. For every Rs. 125/- spend on the card, users will earn 1.5 “Cosmos” miles. Cardholders are automatically enrolled in Air Sahara’s “Cosmos – Power Flier Programme.” The card carries an annual fee of Rs. 3000/-. Standard Chartered Bank and Air Sahara have had a relationship for two years.

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Wal-Mart and GE Jazz Up Store Card

Wal-Mart is beefing-up its private label credit card in response to the demands of its 11 million cardholders, and following its contract renewal with GE Consumer Finance. Under the new card program, cardholders will be able to choose their own payment due date, receive a 3-cents-per-gallon discount on Wal-Mart gasoline purchases, and receive $20 cash back at time of purchase with no additional fees. Wal-Mart is also offering the option to purchase AT&T pre-paid long distance minutes at a deeply discounted rate, and to make in-store payments at any Wal-Mart register. Existing customers will automatically receive their new cards in the mail by the end of this month. New customers can apply by logging on to the gift registry at any Wal-Mart store, and receive “express credit” for immediate use. GE Consumer Finance issues the Wal-Mart private label credit card and Chase issues the co-branded “Wal-Mart MasterCard.” GE and Wal-Mart have renewed their partnership through 2009. GE and Wal-Mart recently inked a separate deal to launch the first private-label credit card programs for Wal-Mart and SAM’s CLUB stores in Canada. Wal-Mart operates more than 2,936 discount stores, and more than 532 warehouse clubs in the USA. (CF Library 10/3/03)

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PinXpress Marries Surfnet Premiere for New Kiosk Solution

Vancouver-based EWI Prepaid and San Diego-based Info Touch Technologies have teamed to deliver a PIN-based line of prepaid products on retail kiosk networks across North America. Info Touch has integrated EWI’s “PinXpress” payment processing solution into its proprietary kiosk security
and management platform, “Surfnet Premiere.” The kiosks will offer prepaid long distance; prepaid wireless top-up; prepaid local dial-tone; prepaid mobile content; prepaid Wi-Fi access; and, prepaid directory assistance.

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Ombudsman Logs 1,400 Card Complaints This Year

The Banking and Financial Services Ombudsman reported they handled nearly 1,400 complaints about credit cards over the past year, a slight decrease from the previous year. The most common complaint about credit cards pertained to unauthorized transactions and incorrect debits. Through the end of June, the number of overall cases dealt with by the Ombudsman declined by 13.3%. During the year, BFSO officers still answered a total of 44,304 calls, and received a total of 6,930 written complaints. The BFSO said disputes about consumer finance (29%), housing finance (21%) and deposit accounts (18%) represented the majority of cases received by the service during the year in review.

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EDCON PIN-PADS

Retailer EDCON is deploying VeriFone “SC 5000” programmable POS PINpads nationwide in an initial deal worth $1.7 million. Prism Holdings and First National Bank have implemented the sophisticated programmable POS technology into Edgars, CNA and United Retail (Jet, Sales House, Cuthberts and Smileys) stores throughout South Africa.
Apart from supplying the initial 700 “SC 5000” PINpads, Prism has developed an integrated payment application for the terminals into Edcon’s existing POS system. Prism Holdings transaction switching entity, Prism TranSwitch Services, provides the links to the banking sector and to other systems POS infrastructure. With Edcon as a client, PTSS now switches card payment and other value-added service transactions to over 600 stores.

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Electronic Exchange Systems Powers MYOB Merchant

MYOB has selected Electronic Exchange Systems as the credit card
processing engine for its “AccountEdge” software solution. The new
merchant services features are also fully integrated with MYOB’s small
business management and accounting software, “MYOB Plus” and “AccountEdge
2004.” MYOB has worked with more than 450,000 small businesses worldwide.
Electronic Exchange Systems, based in California, has a national network of
over 150 affiliated offices.

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CardBASE Technologies and CyberSoft Integrate Smart Card Systems

Dublin-based CardBASE Technologies and Taiwan-based CyberSoft have integrated card systems to support the issuance of EMV cards. The combining of CyberSoft’s “CardPac” credit card system and CardBASE’s “MASCOT” smart card management system, provides card issuing banks with an out-of-the-box solution that protects their current investment in card infrastructure while also complying with EMV. “MASCOT” is an integrated solution aimed at the bulk issuance and lifecycle management of smart cards in a single or multi application environment. The integration was completed in six weeks using the “MASCOT Integration Toolkit.

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First Data 3Q/03 Profits Up 5%, Revenues Up 10%

First Data this morning reported that third quarter profits increased 5% to $360 million, as revenue grew 10% to $2.14 billion. However, Wall Street punished the firm as its stock dropped more than 5% in early trading for producing a lackluster quarter. The Payment Services unit produced third quarter revenue of $935 million, up 14% from the same period last year. Operating profits for Payment Services grew 14% to $324 million. Western Union, which comprises more than 80% of Payment Services’ revenue, reported that its Mexico money transfer revenue grew 16% on 20% transaction growth. Merchant Services’ revenue grew 12% for 3Q/03 to $785 million, and operating profits grew 10% to $215 million. Total transactions processed in the third quarter grew 26%. Card Issuing Services posted third quarter revenue of $492 million, up 1%. Operating profits of $73 million declined as a result of decreasing sub-prime business, pricing adjustments and the deconversion of Citi’s bankcard portfolio. During the quarter, the company converted more than 15 million accounts, bringing the total for the year to 24 million. The pipeline of accounts to be converted is approximately 75 million; 11 million of which are scheduled to be converted by year-end. The accounts on file at September 30th stood at 332 million. Emerging Payments, First Data’s eONE Global business, reported $39 million in revenue for the quarter. For complete details on First Data’s 3Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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BofA Credit and Debit Card Profits Up 16%

Bank of America reported this morning that its card income increased 16% to $794 million. The issuer says consumer credit and debit card purchase volumes increased 14% and 23%, respectively, since 3Q/02. Managed credit card profits were $319 million for the third quarter, a 28% gain over 3Q/02. Total revenue for its managed credit card portfolio was $1.1 billion, a 26% gain over last year. At the end of the third quarter, BofA had $33.6 billion in managed credit card outstandings, a 20% increase the year-ago quarter. Third quarter charge-offs were 5.33%, compared to 5.74% in the prior quarter, and 5.13% one year ago. Managed 30+ day delinquency was 3.84%, compared to 3.99% in the second quarter, and 3.63% for 3Q/02. Managed 90+ day delinquency was 1.76%, compared to 1.80% in the second quarter, and 1.66% for 3Q/02. BofA also reported that its 2.8 million active bill pay users paid $12.7 billion of bills during the quarter. For complete details on Bank of America’s 3Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Einstein Bros and Noah’s New York Bagels Gift Cards Enhanced

Comdata’s Stored Value Systems and Salt Lake City-based Gift Card Solutions have integrated the electronic cash card program for NJ-based New World Restaurant Group with Radiant Systems Inc.’s POS system. Stored Value Systems is one of the world’s leading providers of electronic gift certificate and card-based transaction programs. Comdata Corp. is redefining the movement of money and information through technology for businesses, their customers and employees. Radiant’s back-office and point-of-sale technology enables businesses to deliver exceptional customer service while improving profitability.

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Experian Unveils Three New Products

Experian launched “ContactBuilder,” “BizLinks,” and “Public Record Extract” services this week. The “ContactBuilder” system provides closed-loop handling of information captured across online and offline channels and leverages Experian’s data management, offline fulfillment capabilities and e-mail marketing technology to help marketers acquire new customers, build stronger customer relationships, and improve the speed of communications. “BizLinks” is a new tool that helps financial institutions, credit card grantors, commercial lessors, and others identify where companies assign purchasing responsibilities in order to focus marketing activities where there is a greater potential to contact more commercial buyers per project. “Public Record Extract” provides access to four types of public record files in batch mode, including UCC data, corporate record data, fictitious business name, and derogatory filings.

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Coinstar Launches the TOP-UP Kiosk

Coinstar has launched the “TOP-UP” kiosk with partner PRE Solutions that offers self-service bill payment, a prepaid cash card, cell phone mobile content, online computer game time, prepaid wireless, prepaid long distance and prepaid Internet. The TOP-UP kiosks are the first offering for convenience store outlets from Coinstar Inc., the leader in self-service supermarket-based coin counting machines. The company already provides kiosks in more than 10,000 major grocery stores, with a history of 225 million automated point-of-sale transactions in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. Coinstar Inc. owns and operates the only multi-national network of supermarket-based machines that offer coin counting and other electronic services.

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