Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Selects Chordiant Software

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has selected Chordiant Software to furnish its customer service processing for its “Card Products Division.” Chordiant’s system automates and manages key business processes from the initial point of customer contact through to the various back-office systems, contact center agents will be provided with real time information from a variety of different sources. Furthermore, the integration of Chordiant “Enterprise Contact Center” with CIBC’s deployment of Chordiant “Marketing Director” will allow marketing campaigns to be directly connected with the contact centers that execute them.

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MBNA Does Fishy Deal in NASCAR Winston Cup Race

Bass Pro Shops and MBNA America have teamed to co-sponsor Atlanta Motor Speedway’s fall NASCAR Winston Cup race for the next four years, known as the “Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500”. Bass Pro Shops and MBNA also sponsored the spring Winston Cup race this season, providing some of the most memorable moments of the racing season, including a unique largemouth bass winner’s trophy. Bass Pro Shops leads the nation in outdoor retail sales while MBNA America is recognized as the world’s largest independent credit card lender.

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Global eTelecom Gets New COO

FL-based Global eTelecom has named Ron Williams, former founder and President of EZ-Check, as its new COO. Ron Williams joined Global eTelecom as President in April 2002. He was elected to erve on the Board of Directors in March 2003. Combined with CEO John H. Beebe, Williams’ vision and direction has been a key force behind the operational efficiencies and recent evolution of Global eTelecom’s product offerings and increased customer service and satisfaction.

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Capital One in Talks to Issue Debit Card in India

The Life Insurance Corporation of India is reportedly in talks with Capital One to issue a debit card in the country. The insurance concern also fielded proposals from SBI Card and Corporation Bank, but preferred the Capital One proposal. LIC wants to issue a debit card linked up to its insurance policies. However, the firm wants a competitively priced card. According to the Business Standard, LIC has asked for a waiver of joining fees and annual fees for card holders, plus a reduced rate of interest for cash advances. LIC was asking for rates that were as low as 0.9% to 1.0% per month against the existing rates of 1.9% to 2.2% per month.

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Nevada Takes Top Spot in Card Growth

Nevada remains the fastest growing state for credit card activity with an annual growth rate of 13% versus a national average of 9% for last year. Bank credit card balances, excluding retail credit cards, averaged $7,875 per Nevada household versus a national average of $6,276 for 2002. Consumers in Nevada owed $6.3 billion in bank card balances at the end of 2002, compared to $5.6 billion at the end of 2001. According to data complied by CardData and RAM Research Group, Idaho was the second fastest growing state for bank credit card debt, followed by Iowa, New Mexico, and North Dakota.

Bank Credit Card Outstandings
STATE 2002 2001 CHNG
Nevada $6.3b $5.6b +13%
Idaho $4.8b $4.3b +12%
Iowa $5.1b $4.6b +11%
New Mexico $3.9b $3.5b +11%
North Dakota $1.0b $0.9b +11%

Source: RAM Research’s Bankcard Barometer (Aug 03) and CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Starwood to Reign in Upgrades Made Through Pre-Paid Channels

Starwood Hotels, which has a co-branded credit card relationship with American Express, announced last night that as of January 1st it will no longer permit “Elite” members to upgrade or use other special amenities if the reservation was made through a pre-paid channel such as expedia.com or hotels.com. Members can earn on incidental spend during stays. Stays do not count toward elite level thresholds. Stays are eligible for elite level hotel benefits. No change to current policy.

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BANAMEX TWIN CARD

Banamex has become the first MasterCard financial institution worldwide to offer the new “MasterCard SideCard” as the “Banamex Twin Card.” Banamex, a/k/a Citibank Mexico, is also offering cardholders the ability to set a monthly usage limit per additional card. Issued as a companion card to a full-sized MasterCard card, the new “MasterCard SideCard” is the first companion card capable of incorporating contactless chip technology. This allows issuers the ability to add the MasterCard “PayPass” feature, which provides cardholders with a way to pay in quick payment environments such as fast food restaurants. The “SideCard” has a case which can be attached to a key ring or lanyard while protecting the magnetic stripe. At the point of interaction, the cardholder simply flips the card out of its case and swipes the card through the terminal. Banamex says it has issued the new card to thousands of cardholders since its launch last month.

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NPC Signs Dinnerware Specialist Mikasa

Mikasa, Inc. has signed a multi-year credit card processing agreement with National Processing for all VISA and MasterCard transactions accepted at retail stores in the USA. Mikasa is a leader in tabletop dinnerware, stemware, flatware and decorative accessories. Quality and great design have been synonymous with the Mikasa brand for over half-century. Mikasa was acquired in 2001 by Arc International and the two companies compose the largest tabletop company in the world. Mikasa markets its products under the Mikasa and Studio Nova brand names.

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ACE Cash Express Revenues Decline 1.5% for 2Q/03

Dallas-based ACE Cash Express reported second calendar quarter revenues of $53.8 million, a 1.5% decline over year-ago levels due to the loss of loan product offers in Georgia, North Carolina, and Alabama and its transition to a materially different lending process in Florida. Total revenue increased by $5.0 million, or 2 percent, to $234.3 million in fiscal 2003 from $229.3 million in fiscal 2002. Net income increased to $12.8 million in fiscal 2003 from $10.1 million in fiscal 2002, a 26 percent increase, resulting in fully diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2003 of $1.25, as previously forecast and announced on July 17, 2003.

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Three Quarters of Small Business Owners Optimistic

A new survey of small business owners has found that nearly one-third say they need help in obtaining a loan and 44% state that access to capital is a challenge. Of the nearly 2,500 owners of industrial small businesses surveyed nationwide, 50% said they started within the last 11 years and 78% used personal sources to obtain the capital needed to start or purchase their businesses. Only 16% relied on a bank loan. The findings come from the SBA, Thomas Regional and MasterCard, which also found that 78% of industrial small businesses are optimistic about growing over the next 12 months. More than half plan to increase staff, 51% say they will buy new/additional equipment and 26% will either move to a larger facility or open a new one.

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Wachovia Picks Interlink/NYCE Over STAR

VISA’s “Interlink” online POS debit card network and “DPS” off-line debit card service beat out Concord EFS and its “STAR” network for the Wachovia contract. Wachovia also announced Thursday it has awarded its ATM transactions business to NYCE. The “Plus” network will continue to serve as Wachovia’s international ATM network and a secondary network to NYCE in the USA. Wachovia has been mulling its contract with Concord EFS for the past year. Concord EFS confirmed yesterday it was notified by Wachovia of its desire to move its network access business prior to its current contract expiration date of December 31, 2004. Concord says it does not expect its earnings in 2003 or 2004 to be affected by this event due to the continuing payment obligations contained in Wachovia’s contract. Last year Concord hired former VISA senior executive Bond Isaacson to assist with the renewal of several expiring contracts. Isaacson is to receive a $500,000 bonus for each large financial institution which renews and an additional $2 million bonus if he renews a certain number of the financial institutions on Concord’s list. He was hired in September of last year as EVP, and was promoted in February to co-CEO and named a director. Isaacson formerly worked for BofA, VISA, and IBM. (CF Library 9/13/02; 2/13/03; 4/1/03).

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