Homeland Security Picks LaserCard for Border IDs

Drexler Technology has received a $2 Million “LaserCard” order for U.S. Department of Homeland Security multi-biometric ID border crossing cards. The optical memory cards were tested at 24 biometric ID verification systems at airports and border crossing points earlier this year. After the test was successful, the Department of Homeland Security purchased approximately 1,000 cards for use in biometric verification systems. LaserCard markets include identification cards, electronic visas, homeland security, digital governance, child healthcare, vehicle registration, and immigration cards.

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U.S. Card Fee Income Expected to Rise 6.5%

U.S. credit card issuers are expected to generate $39.6 billion in fee income this year, a 6.5% increase over last year. Penalty fee income is expected to reach $10.7 billion, while the largest category of fee income, interchange income, will hit $19.8 billion. According to R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers, other fee income this year will include cash advance fee income of $5.1 billion, annual fees income of $3.2 billion, and fee income from enhancements of $800 million. Hammer says that total income (including interest and all fees) will be 18.50% ROA in 2003, or $119.5 billion for the year, before expenses. Roughly one-third of that is fee income based; and approximately two-thirds of the total revenue stream is for interest income on balances that revolve and incur finance charges. After expenses, the card companies are expected to earn over $27 billion, pre-tax in 2003.

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Global Payments Signs Sam Ash Music

Sam Ash Music Corporation has selected Global Payments for its card and check processing services. Global Payments will provide Sam Ash stores with check guarantee and recovery systems as well as providing front and back end credit card processing services and help desk support. Global Payments is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants around the world. There are 42 Sam Ash “Musical Instrument Mega Stores” located in 12 states.

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CREDIT ALERT

Carlson Marketing Group Canada and Intersections have teamed to launch a new service to give Canadians enhanced access to the two major credit bureaus in the country. “Credit Alert” will be offered to credit card-holding customers of several of major credit card issuers in Canada. The service’s features include: a one-bureau Credit Report with detailed credit history; a one-bureau Credit Score with easy-to-understand explanations; quarterly credit updates, including updated credit score; “Notify Express” two-bureau monitoring and notification of credit report activity every business day; access to credit education specialists and the consumer fraud resource center; ability to access credit information online; and, access to online educational resources.

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mbi Health Care Debit Card Reaches 300,000 Users

MA-based mbi reported this morning that it has surpassed 300,000 employees using its “Flex Convenience MasterCard.” The company says it has nearly tripled the number of card users since last July when it hit the 116,000 mark. Also, the number of employer groups offering the card has increased from 1,500 last year to more than 4,300 today. mbi introduced the first health care debit card to the marketplace in 1998. More than 210 health plans and third-party administrators offer the mbi “Flex Convenience MasterCard.” Major clients include BellSouth, SC Johnson, Staples, MCI WorldCom and BlueCross BlueShield of Rhode Island.

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InteliData Technologies Nabs Brown

InteliData Technologies has hired Anne Brown, former SVP/Internet Payment Strategy for Wachovia’s eCommerce Division, to lead its Payment Systems Group. Ms. Brown has over 25 years of experience in financial services and e-commerce. While with Wachovia, her management responsibilities included product design and development, strategic planning, ATM/POS networking and corporate marketing functions. Prior to Wachovia, Ms. Brown was President of AMB Incorporated, a management consulting practice focusing on credit and debit card related matters. She has also served as Sr. Director of the EFT Association and as Director of Marketing for the MOST ATM Network.

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CO-OP Changes Debit Card Processing Platform

Ontario, CA-based CO-OP Network has decided to move its Service Centers Corporation’s VISA and MasterCard signature-based debit card processing services to the CO-OP Network platform and by April 2004, 166 SCC member credit unions will have been converted to the new platform supported by eFunds. CO-OP Network is the No. 1 credit union ATM network, with 800,000 ATMs worldwide available to members. SCC developed the first shared branching network for credit unions, and has 300 participating credit unions today, which conducted 12.6 million transactions in 2002. The CO-OP Network now reaches beyond 17,000 surcharge-free ATMs and 16 million cardholders.

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EGG RESPONSE

Egg France has extended its customer service offerings with the use of “KANA Response” software for incoming e-mail. Egg France launched its first product in France, la Carte Egg, in November, and in the first two months of the credit card’s availability, 69,000 customers applied. Egg France needed a scalable eCRM application to meet the needs of its growing customer base. “KANA Response” provides agent-assisted service with fast, high volume, intelligent, automated e-mail, Web and instant messaging request management.

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VISA POS Check Service Now at Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo rolled-out its “VISA POS Check” service yesterday. Using “VISA POS Check”, a company is enabled to accept checks from customers, and have them authorized immediately, through real-time verification. The service significantly reduces the risks associated with check acceptance, by authorizing a customer while they are still at the counter. Wells Fargo is one of the first major financial institutions to implement “VISA POS Check”. Annually, merchants incur approximately $23 billion in check handling and fraud costs — averaging more than one dollar for every check written at the point of sale.

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China Union Pay Selects VeriFone

China Union Pay has selected VeriFone as an eligible payments terminal provider. VeriFone is the first payment solutions provider to be granted this designation. VeriFone will deploy its “Omni 3750” terminal under the pact. China Union Pay is the sole bank union in China established by more than 80 participating financial institutions to further develop bankcard development in China. To date, VeriFone has shipped nearly 200,000 “Omni 3750” terminals to 56 countries.

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Citibank’s U.S. Card Portfolio Shrinks in 2Q/03

Citigroup reported Monday that profits for its credit card business in North America increased 9% in the second quarter to $659 million. Credit card outstandings for North America increased 2% over 2Q/02, but declined 2% from the prior quarter. Charge volume for 2Q/03 also declined, 4% from the prior year quarter. At the end of June, Citigroup had $113.3 billion in credit card outstandings, compared to $115.5 billion in the first quarter, and $111.5 billion one year ago. Charge volume for 2Q/03 was $59.7 billion compared to $61.9 billion one year ago. Citi’s account base declined 7% over the past year, ending 2Q/03 at 85.2 million open credit card accounts compared to 86.7 million in the first quarter. Citi’s charge-offs increased from 6.04% in the first quarter to 6.23% for 2Q/03. However, delinquency (90+ days) declined from 1.91% for 1Q/03 to 1.86% for the second quarter 2003. For complete details on Citigroup’s 2Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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APTRA EDGE

Bank of Queensland (Australia) is deploying NCR “APTRA Edge” open multivendor software application to run its network of Diebold ATMs. This is the first deployment of “APTRA Edge” in Australia and New Zealand. “APTRA Edge” enables an organization to integrate its ATM network with other channels and systems within the enterprise. The software is already successful in Europe and the Americas. Bank of Queensland has $7.3 billion total assets

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