AmEx’s Stiefler Takes Over Digital Insight

CA-based Digital Insight has named Jeffrey Stiefler, formerly President of American Express and President and CEO of IDS Financial Services, as Chairman, President and CEO to replace the retiring John Dorman. Stiefler brings world-class strategic leadership and more than 25 years of industry experience to Digital Insight. Stiefler will assume his new role in early September 2003. John Dorman, who has served as Digital Insight President and CEO since 1998, and as Chairman since 1999, plans to retire after a transition period. Dorman will remain on the Board of Directors and has entered into a consulting agreement that extends through December 31, 2004.

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ICON SCRUTINY

The joint venture card deal between American Express and CartaSi is getting closer scrutiny by the Italian antitrust authority. The venture, known as “Icon” will possibly boost CartaSi’s market share from 50% to 70%. The Italian card company currently has 7.5 million cards-in-force. Established in 1985 by a consortium of 16 banks as Servizi Interbancari, CartaSi SpA, as it is officially now known since January 1st of this year, is made up of four companies: CartaSi SpA; SI Servizi; SI INEC; and S.I. Immobiliare. CartaSi was set up to provide the Italian banking system with an international payment card system entirely owned and managed by a domestic company. CartaSi, was launched in 1986 as the first “dual” credit card providing access to both Eurocard/MasterCard and VISA. CartaSi SpA has more than 900 member financial institutions and provides acquiring operation services to 484,000 merchants. Italy’s antitrust authority will conclude its investigation by April 30, 2004.

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Williamson to Lead Xign Payment Services Network

CA-based Xign, an EBPP specialist, has named Bill Williamson, formerly of SAP America, FileNet, Honeywell Computer, Dictaphone/Pitney Bowes, and Xerox, as VP/Worldwide Sales to lead the expansion of the Xign Payment Services Network. Williamson will direct the Xign sales force in expanding the market for the Xign Payment Services Network, the fastest growing business-to-business electronic settlement network of its kind. Williamson served as vice president, western region, Consumer Products, for SAP America, where he managed software sales and consulting services for 14 western states.

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AmEx Blue Card Volume Up 40%

American Express indicated yesterday it will shortly announce a partnership with a major European air carrier. AmEx also noted Wednesday that “Blue Card” volume is up 40% for the first six months of 2003, compared to the same period in 2001.”Blue” now represents about 19% of the company’s total managed U.S. lending receivables. AmEx said that early vintage “Blue” products have write-off rates that are much better than early vintage “Platinum Optima” cards. AmEx says that FICO levels of new “Blue” customers have been consistent and strong throughout the four years it has offered the product, and in fact were slightly higher in the first six-months of 2003. AmEx also noted that its new “5% Cash Rebate” card has seen a 75% average monthly spend increase vs. the original “Blue Card.” In June the Company announced a corporate co-brand card with American Airlines and also strategic partnerships with Qantas and Air Canada.

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Morris to Unload COF Stock, Leaves in April

Capital One confirmed yesterday that Nigel Morris is departing Capital One in April. Morris also announced Wednesday his intentions of dumping 3 million shares of Cap One common stock within the next year. The option exercises and sales are Morris’ first since May 2001. The options he is exercising will expire in July 2004, three months after Morris leaves the company. After completion of the stock sales, he will own approximately 3.3 million options to purchase shares of COF common stock. Four months ago Cap One announced that Morris was stepping down as President and COO to become Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, effective May 1st. His role in executive management will conclude at the end of this year. Morris recently entered into an employment agreement with the company outlining his responsibilities prior to his planned departure in April 2004. Morris, who has four young children, says he wants to spend more time with his family and to pursue personal interests. Morris built Cap One with long-time business partner and CEO Richard Fairbank. (CF Library 4/22/03)

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iPayment 2Q/03 Revenues Double

Nashville-based iPayment, a recent IPO, reported second quarter revenues of $54.3 million compared to $21.5 million for 2Q/02. The company also announced it has closed on the acquisition of Card Payment Solutions for $16 million, which included $12 million cash, approximately $3 million in stock and the assumption of approximately $1 million of debt, plus a contingent payment based upon performance up to a maximum $3 million. CPS is an ISO with a portfolio of over 4,000 small merchants and annual charge volume of approximately $400 million. iPayment provides credit and debit card-based payment processing services to 66,000 small merchants. For fiscal 2003, the Company is expecting annual revenues of $205 million to $215 million, including the CPS acquisition, and an operating margin of approximately 11.5% to 12.5%. iPayment IPO in May raised $46.1 million in net proceeds. For complete details on iPayment’s 2Q/03 performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com). (CF Library 5/13/03)

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Charge-offs in Singapore Hit 12-Year High

Bank credit card issuers in Singapore reported the highest monthly level of charge-offs in twelve years, according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International, to be released today. During June card issuers lost $17.5 million, bringing total charge-offs for the first half of this year to $86.5 million. The rising losses were driven in the second quarter by the outbreak of SARS. The government recently reported that Singapore’s economy contracted by 11.8% in the second quarter, the worst-ever. According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, bank credit card issuers lost $14.0 million in May, $15.6 million in April, $13.6 million in March, $13.7 million in February, and $12.1 million in January. Card volume for the first six months of this year has fluctuated between $2.4 billion and $2.5 billion. The total number of cards in the country at mid-year was 3.3 million, which included 2,295,027 primary cards and 992,555 supplementary cards.

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NACHA Launches an E-Bill Pilot

NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association said yesterday it will conduct a pilot program in which companies will deliver billing information electronically using the ACH network. Under the EBIDS model, a billing company would originate a zero-dollar ACH transaction that contains a summary of a consumer’s billing information in an attached addenda record, and enter the transaction into the ACH Network through its corporate bank. The consumer’s financial institution would receive the transaction via the ACH Network, and present the billing information at its Internet banking web site. The consumer would enter the Internet banking web site, using the financial institution’s existing logon procedure, and view the bill and authorize payment. The consumer’s financial institution would then send an ACH credit back to the biller’s bank, along with remittance information.

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Providian and Accenture Expand IT Relationship

Providian’s Enterprise Technology group has inked a deal to expand its relationship with Accenture for technology application development and maintenance services. The arrangement calls for the two organizations to work together to increase the service levels and performance of Providian’s IT operations. The agreement also builds on Providian’s existing relationship with Accenture, which has previously assisted Providian in upgrading its credit card technology platform, among other initiatives. Providian plans to administer the relationship through its Enterprise Technology group.

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Magner Becomes CEO of Citigroup’s Global Consumer Group

Citigroup has promoted Marjorie Magner, who joined Commercial Credit, a predecessor company to Citigroup, in 1987, as Chairman/CEO of the company’s Global Consumer Group. The Global Consumer Group has delivered core income growth in excess of 20% annually since the creation of Citigroup in 1998. Ms. Magner will report to Robert B. Willumstad, President and Chief Operating Officer-designate of Citigroup. She will remain on Citigroup’s Management Committee. Magner will lead all of Citigroup’s efforts to serve consumers through retail banking, cards and consumer finance and provide them a full range of innovative and comprehensive products and services.

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Stock Market Gains May Spur New Credit Card Borrowing

A new survey by Cambridge Consumer Credit Counseling shows that 28% of Americans are more willing to take on more credit card debt because the value of their stock portfolios has risen recently. Conversely, almost three quarters (72%) say stock market gains have not impacted their willingness to take on more debt. In August 2002, a period in which the stock market had been declining sharply, 43% of Americans said they were less willing to take on additional debt and 57% said they were unaffected by the declining value of their stock portfolios.

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