VISA & HP

HP said it has successfully completed a project for VISA EU’s new
purpose-built European Headquarters. HP says VISA EU faced a number of
challenges with regard to its IT systems and needed to consolidate IT
costs. HP handled the upgrade program and also provided server, storage and
printer products. The upgrade program has enabled VISA to make fundamental
changes to its technology infrastructure. In particular, VISA was able to
consolidate a previously dispersed and departmental server environment into
a single “ProLiant-based” server farm. Also, underneath this new system is
a disaster-tolerant storage area network (SAN) that forms a critical piece
of the business continuity requirement.

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Y-ME VISA

Bank One is launching this weekend an affinity credit card designed to raise money for a national breast cancer information and support organization. The Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization has been in existence for 25 years. Bank One will officially launch the card on Sunday, when it serves as presenting sponsor of the “Y-ME RACE Against Breast Cancer,” held each year on Mother’s Day in Chicago’s Grant Park. Bank One will donate $75 for each new cardholder who applies and activates the card at the race. The card will be offered with an initial rate of 8.9% and no annual fee. American Express is also involved in fundraising for breast cancer. For five years, AmEx has run its “Charge for the Cure” campaign, based on a $0.01 donation per American Express transaction at participating merchants. (CF Library 9/27/02)

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DOJ Appeal

VISA and MasterCard made their appeals yesterday at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, in the antitrust lawsuit brought by the U.S Department of Justice. The card associations asked the court to overturn the ruling permitting their members to issue competitor cards. VISA and MasterCard pointed to the success of American Express as an example that their rules have not stifled competition. VISA and MasterCard argued that a lifting of the issuing rules will benefit its competitors, not consumers who are protected under antitrust law. The government argued that the ruling should stand and showed several examples of how consumers have been harmed. A ruling by the three judge panel is not expected for several months. In October 2001, Judge Barbara S. Jones of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York abolished the VISA and MasterCard exclusionary rules. (CF Library 11/28/01)

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OPEN Cash Rebate

American Express has extended its highly successful cash rebate program to business credit cards. The “Business Cash Rebate Credit Card” is being offered through its “OPEN: The Small Business Network,” and offers a cash rebate of up to 2.5% on all purchases. Cardholders also earn a double rebate, or 5%, for doing business with merchants who are part of the “OPEN Network’s Everyday Savings” program. There is no limit to the amount of cash rebate earned. Card pricing is no annual fee and a 0% introductory APR for six months. Last month, AmEx extended the cash rebate program to its “Blue” smart card product. The “Blue Cash Card” offers a cash rebate of up to 5%. The annual cash reward for purchases is up to 3%. There is an additional rebate of up to 2% for purchases in months in which the account carries a balance. (CF Library 9/9/99; 4/3/03)

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iPayment IPO

Nashville-based iPayment’s initial public offering of stock is expected to debut this morning. The card processor, which focuses on small businesses, is expected to raise up to $72 million by selling 4.5 million shares at an expected IPO price of $16 per share. However, the IPO failed to price on Thursday, so it is uncertain if it will trade today. The company filed for an IPO in December. Two weeks ago the company reported first quarter net income of $900,000 on revenue of $46.7 million, compared to a 1Q/02 loss of $700,000 on revenue of $16.5 million. In 2002, the company posted a net loss of $493,000 on $115.8 million in revenue. In 2001, the company lost $4.9 million on $38.9 million in revenue. For complete details on iPayment’s performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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BANCAJA RISK MANAGER

Bancaja, the fourth largest savings bank in Spain, has chosen
ACI’s “Proactive Risk Manager v6.1” to protect its debit card users from
fraud. Bancaja will integrate the ACI software with its existing processing
system, enabling it to detect fraudulent debit card transactions initiated
via ATMs and POS devices. When a suspicious transaction is detected,
“Proactive Risk Manager” will alert personnel who can take appropriate
action. More than 50 banks, processors and retailers around the world have
licensed “Proactive Risk Manager” to monitor transactions for debit and
credit card fraud, merchant fraud, and to detect money-laundering activity.
Another 1,000 financial institutions access “Proactive Risk Manager”
services through processor relationships.

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Revolving Credit

Consumer revolving credit continues to expand at a faster pace than last year. In March consumer revolving credit expanded by 3.9%, as Americans added $2.3 billion in debt. Last March, consumer revolving debt expanded 2.2%. Bank credit card debt at the end of the fourth quarter was $660.9 billion or roughly 93% of total revolving credit, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). Preliminary first quarter figures indicate credit card debt declined to about $640 billion on March 31st. According to the government figures released Wednesday, American consumers were $1.742 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages during March.

REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
Mar 03 Feb 03 Jan 03 Dec 02 Nov 02 Oct 02 Sep 02
GRWTH: 3.9% 5.9 5.2 -6.7 -1.4% 1.6 3.0
$OWED: $721.4 719.1 715.5 712.4 716.8 717.9 721.3

Aug 02 Jul 02 Jun 02 May 02 Apr02 Mar 02 Feb 02
GRWTH: 6.2% 6.0 4.1 8.0 4.8 2.2 1.8
$OWED: $719.5 715.6 712.1 708.7 705.4 705.0 702.4

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 05/07/03; For
complete historical data visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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

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