AsiaPay Launches a Secure Payment Gateway Solution

AsiaPay has launched “PayDollar PayGate,” a secure, payment gateway solution. This function-rich and user friendly electronic
payment-processing platform also provides readily multi-lingual capabilities support, multiple payment modes, with open and easy to deploy seamless interface integration with merchant sites of any industries. Furthermore, the platform also provides a variety of value-add features on payment risk control and support on latest security standards including VISA’s “Verified By VISA.” Currently, this payment-processing platform is serving over 400 merchants of Citibank and Wing Hang Bank.

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SureFire Commerce Named Canadian Technology Fast 50

SureFire Commerce has been named to Deloitte & Touche’s “Canadian Technology Fast 50” awards program. SureFire Commerce processes credit card, cheque and direct deposit payments for businesses around the world, via Internet, mail order-telephone order and point of sale transactions. Since its founding, the company has processed in excess of $3 billion in transaction value.

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AmEx Has Nearly 21.5 Million Reward Cards

American Express said this week that reward penetration across its U.S. consumer and small business cardsoinoforce base has increased from 31% in 1998 to 60% in 2003. The issuer said it intends to keep a strong focus on further leveraging this competitive advantage. The AmEx cash rebate products have been the most successful, while the new “Green” and “Gold” rewards programs have also experienced a strong response over the past year. AmEx also noted this week that despite the volume hits caused by the September 11th terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq and SARS, travel continues to deliver good profits. AmEx says its onoline capabilities, and its priceoforoservice approach, have produced a model that is more adaptable to the sales volatility realized over the last two years. In terms of volume growth, AmEx says it has performed better than the industry average, delivering higher growth than all but one competitor. Globally, AmEx now has proprietary card activities in 73 countries and 20 currencies, and network card relationships across 88 markets. At midoyear, American Express had 35.7 million total cardsoinoforce in the USA, according to CardData (www.carddata.com).

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9/11 Observance Declines on Second Anniversary

A national research study has found a striking decline in the number of people and employers expected to observe September 11 in a special way, compared to a 2002 study. In 2003, 19.2% said their employers had plans to observe the second anniversary, a drop from 39.3% in 2002. The survey was conducted for One Day’s Pay by Los Angeles-based Horizon Research. As in 2002, the research study found broad support for establishing September 11 as a voluntary day of service: 76.2% agreed that setting aside September 11 as a national day of voluntary or community service is “a good way” to observe the anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

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Direct Card Services Enhances STV Card

Los Angeles-based Direct Card Services has launched two new direct marketing programs. The “Business Advantage Program” is a benefit to merchants offering free or discounted legal, accounting and other professional services. The “Personal Advantage Program” is offered to consumers who purchase the “Personal Advantage Stored Value Card” from DCS. Both programs offer unlimited telephone time with attorneys and accountants; discount health benefits; free consumer credit reports; and, flight and travel coupons. Both programs are also available separately for an initial activation payment and ongoing monthly charge. Direct Card Services is a subsidiary of Direct Response Financial Services and is an ISO/MSP of Chase Merchant Services.

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Bank 2Q Profits Set Record as ROA Remains at 1.38%

Commercial banks and savings institutions earned a record $30.2 billion in the second quarter, breaking the previous quarterly high of $29.4 billion set in the first quarter of the year. However, the sharp rise in long-term interest rates since June could create some headwinds that may make it harder for the industry to set new earnings records in the quarters ahead. The report by the FDIC noted that gains on the sale of assets, strong loan growth, and declining loan losses were major factors in the record second quarter profits. For the second consecutive quarter, the industry’s ROA remained at 1.38%, the highest quarterly average in the industry’s history.

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PULSE Adds Significant Numbers of Members and ISOs

PULSE EFT Association reported this week it has recruited more than 220 new member financial institutions and has added 56 new ISOs so far this year. The network also introduced “PULSE Online”, a scalable solution that can be customized by individual financial intuitions, and developed a stored value card solution, “PULSE Access,” slated for roll-out in the fourth quarter. PULSE has also added new merchants this year including GAP, Barnes and Noble, ShopKo, Office Max, HyVee, and DollarTree. The network also established record highs in total volume processing for March, May, July and again August of 2003.

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