LML Loses 7-Eleven Check Contract

Vancouver-based LML Payment confirmed this morning that 7-Eleven will not be renewing a contract for check authorization and recovery services. The contract is scheduled to terminate November 30th. The Company says that in fiscal 2003, it recorded revenue of approximately $2,000,000 directly attributable to this contract. LML says that at the request of 7-Eleven, it will explore the possibility of continuing to provide services up to possibly June, 2004. LML Payment Systems is a financial payment processor providing check processing solutions including electronic check authorization, electronic check conversion and primary and secondary check collection including electronic check re-presentment to national, regional and local retailers.

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2Q/02 Bankruptcy Filings Hit New Record

Bankruptcy filings for the twelve-month period ending June 30th hit an all-time high of 1.65 million, a 10% increase over the same period in 2002. Chapter 7 filings hit 1.17 million and Chapter 13 filings approached 500,000 over the past twelve months. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the total number of bankruptcy filings during the second quarter were 440,257, a 9.9% increase over 2Q/02. The 2Q/03 data was a high for quarterly filings.

ANNUAL FILINGS BY BANKRUPTCY CHAPTER
(for year ending June 30th)
Year Chap. 7 Chap. 13
2003 1,165,993 472,811
2002 1,053,230 440,231
2001 972,659 403,418
2000 885,447 380,770
1999 993,414 389,004
Source: Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts

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Equitex Revenues and Profits Drop in 2Q/03

CO-based Equitex reported second quarter revenues of $4.7 million, compared to $5.8 million for the second quarter of 2002. Net loss for the quarter ended June 30, 2003 was $453,150 as compared to a net loss of $32,457 for 2Q/02. In 1Q/02, Equitex produced $4.9 million in revenues from its sub-prime credit card marketing operations. The revenues ceased after the “Net 1st MasterCard” was shut-down by the regulators. FL-based Net First National Bank was closed March 1, 2002 by the OCC with the FDIC named as receiver. (CF Library 3/11/02; 5/22/03) For complete details on Equitex’s second quarter results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Register.com Selects Retail Decisions

Register.com has started to use Retail Decisions for payment processing and fraud screening for worldwide e-commerce transactions. Register.com will use ReD’s LiveProcessor payment processing solution to facilitate authorization and settlement of customer e-commerce payments. The transactions will also be validated by ReD’s ebitGuard(TM) automated fraud prevention service. Using Retail Decisions’ LiveProcessor and ebitGuard solutions will enable Register.com to offer a secure payment processing option for e-commerce payment.

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Versatile Card Technology Rolls-Out a Satin Card Finish

Downers Grove, IL-based Versatile Card Technology has perfected a new finish for laminated cards offering a smooth velvet finish and that is resistant to scratches. This smooth finish allows for the magnetic stripe to be encoded and to accept thermal print imaging, two important features in personalization that cannot be accomplished with a regular matte finish. The new finish feels somewhat like the standard matte finish cards, but the effect is even smoother. The process involves special plates and the end product is another advancement in laminated cards. VCT produces more than 1 billion cards per year.

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Saks Card Sale to Household Drives Profits Down

Saks reported a 2Q/03 net loss of $25.8 million primarily due to expenses related to the sale of the Company’s proprietary credit card accounts and receivables to Household Bank. The company says it posted a $10 million increase in SG&A expense, reflecting a $16 million reduction in credit contribution primarily related to its transaction with Household. For complete details on Saks’ second quarter results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Global Axcess Launches Branded Vault Cash

FL-based Global Axcess has launched “Branded Vault Cash”, and has signed Richmond, VA-based Conosolidated Bank & Trust as its first customer. Under this Agreement, NMS will manage up to $2,000,000 of Consolidated Bank & Trust vault cash in NMS- managed ATMs. Additionally, Consolidated Bank & Trust will receive branding rights and surcharge free transactions for its cardholders on a selected number of NMS-managed ATMs in Food Lion grocery stores.

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Quicken 2004 for Windows Released

Intuit has released “Quicken 2004 for Windows” offering “Express Setup”. Continuing a tradition of innovation that began with the birth of Quicken 20 years ago, Quicken 2004 redefines financial management for today’s connected world. Users can now receive the insight that software can provide with the ease of logging into a bank Web site. A completely redesigned investments area provides a place where every investor can easily answer the key questions about their portfolio.

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Asia/Pacific Retail Sales Poised to Recover

Retail sales growth in most Asia/Pacific markets is poised to recover from the devastating impact of SARS. According to the inaugural “MasterIndex of Retail” forecast released last week by MasterCard International, China is poised to lead in year-on-year percentage growth, with healthy growth expected from Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. Marginal growth is anticipated in the remaining markets with the exception of Korea and Singapore, which can expect to see retail sales shrinking over the next six months. The forecast for the second half of the year revealed that China tops the region for retail sales growth with forecasted 6.8% year-on-year growth.

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Fiserv’s CUIG Renews Five CU Agreements

Fiserv’s Credit Union Industry Group has added a new, integrated cross-selling capability for its “CUBE” and “CUBEOL” core-processing products, and also has renewed agreements with five longtime credit union clients. The five credit unions – Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union, MIDFLORIDA Federal Credit Union, Tech Credit Union, Animas Credit Union and Colorado Springs Credit Union (CSCU) – have been CUIG clients for an average of almost 18 years each. The renewal agreements include other related information technology services, including ATM and POS debit and credit card services, audio response services, Virtual Branch(R) electronic banking, and Open Loan Interface, which enables clients to use any third-party loan origination system or Web-based application.

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Welcome Real-time Nails Another Smart Loyalty Patent

Welcome Real-time has been granted a European patent for processing multiple merchant-specific rewards programs on a single card. As of today, Welcome has filed 98 patents in 37 countries and has been granted ten times as many patents as other smart loyalty vendors. The new patent provides new claims that extend and reinforce Welcome’s original 1996 patent covering fundamental features required by all smart loyalty systems on the market today. Welcome’s loyalty technology supports low cost native EMV cards as well as higher cost multi-application “Java” and “Multos” cards. As little as 1K of card memory is required to store 60 different programs.

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