ECHO SCAN

eFunds Corporation, a leading provider of electronic payments, risk management and business process outsourcing solutions, announced a strategic reseller agreement between its wholly-owned subsidiary Deposit Payment Protection Services, Inc., and ECHO, a leading provider of electronic payment and transaction processing services. ECHO will offer the SCAN OnLine service in conjunction with their extended services, providing customers with a seamless check management system across both paper and electronic transactions.

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Hypercom & Abanco

IL-based ABANCO International has awarded Hypercom a $16 million contract for payment technology and terminals. ABANCO is an ISO and a registered agent of EFS National Bank and Fleet National Bank. The contract is for Hypercom card payment terminals and technology with the “HyperSafe” operating system security and Hypercom “Electronic Receipt Capture” signature capture software. Earlier this week, NJ-based MSI Merchant Services signed a one-year contract for 10,000 Hypercom “ICE” card payment terminals. MSI provides services to more than 25,000 businesses in the retail, hospitality and emerging market sectors.

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eFunds & Cyota

eFunds Corporation announced it has selected Cyota, the leading online payment security company, to provide MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa to its debit card issuing customers. eFunds will implement Cyota’s SecureSuite Processor Edition as a hosted service to provide real-time payment authentication for both solutions, which verify cardholder identity during online purchases.

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CARD DEFAULTS

The Monetary Authority of Singapore reported that credit and charge card
defaults hit $124 million for 2002, a 56% increase over 2001. This year may
be worse as charge-offs in January hit $12.1 million and in February rose
to $13.1 million. Payment card activity has also declined this year. In
February, payment card volume declined to $861.2 million, compared to $1.1
billion in January, and $887.7 million for February 2001. Credit card
outstandings now stand at $2.5 billion for February, compared to $2.4
billion in January, and $2.2 billion in February last year.

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Hypercom & MSI

NJ-based MSI Merchant Services has signed a one-year contract for 10,000 Hypercom “ICE” card payment terminals. MSI provides services to more than 25,000 businesses in the retail, hospitality and emerging market sectors. In March, NJ-based PayRight Merchant Services also inked a deal for 10,000 payment card terminals from Hypercom. In February, Hannaford Bros, a major Northeast supermarket retailer, agreed to deploy 2,000 “ICE 5500M” terminals with the “HyperSafe” operating system in more than 100 of its multi-lane stores. In January, Hypercom announced that footwear specialist Genesco is rolling out Hypercom’s “ICE” card payment technology and terminals to its more than 975 U.S. retail locations by mid-year. And, last month, Bridgeview Payment Solutions, which provides services for more than 27,000 merchants nationwide, signed a contract with Hypercom’s Golden Eagle Leasing unit to offer payment terminal leases. Hypercom maintains an installed base of more than five million terminals in over 100 countries. (CF Library 1/14/03; 2/24/03; 3/5/03; 3/19/03)

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ONLINE BANKING

A new study shows that banking online is now more popular than shopping
among British consumers. The new survey by Consumer Analysis Group revealed
that 65% of consumers with home Internet access now regularly bank online
compared to only 44% for home shopping. Almost a quarter of those
questioned (23%) said a preference towards face-to-face dealings was a key
reason for not wanting to shop online whereas only 14% cited the same
reason for banking. The survey also found the under 35s to be most active
in banking and managing their finances online but older people have caught
the habit too (73% of under 35s compared to 64% of 36-50s and 61% of over
50s). When informed about a new kind of consolidated online personal
finance management service known as account aggregation that requires only
one password to access all accounts, a sizeable majority (62%) said they
would be interested in finding out more about it.

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MBNA CFO

MBNA Corporation announced that Vernon H.C. Wright has been appointed Chief Financial Officer of the corporation, succeeding M. Scot Kaufman, who has been named Chairman of the corporation’s Finance and Loan Committee, and a member of the corporation’s Executive Committee. Mr Vecchione remains CFO of MBNA American Bank, the corporation’s primary subsidiary.

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OTI 4Q/02

Rosh Pina-based OTI, a contactless smart card solutions provider, reported that even though revenues were off by 10% last year, the Company successfully reduced its operating loss by 60% and its net loss by 47%. The firm’s “EasyFuel” petroleum payments program in Europe, South America, and South Africa, as well as its involvement with MasterCard’s new “PayPass” contactless smart card payment program in the USA are set to be key revenue drivers for this year and beyond. Revenues for the fourth quarter were $3.9 million compared to $5.7 million for the year-ago quarter. Net loss for the quarter decreased 48%, to $2.0 million, from a net loss of $3.9 million, in the fourth quarter of 2001. The company, which is now listed on Nasdaq, says it expects to reach profitability in 2003.

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Metris Shrinkage

Metris Companies, and Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank, confirmed yesterday they intend to shrink the size of their credit card portfolio this year by $2.1 billion. The sub-prime issuer says it hopes to achieve the target through lower credit card account acquisitions, attrition in the portfolio, and third party sales. Metris has also tightened credit line increases to existing credit cardholders, and selectively repriced loans that exhibited increased risk levels. The issuer says it has already reduced customer commitments by over $3.5 billion by closing inactive credit card accounts and reducing credit lines on higher risk credit card accounts. Last year, Metris’ account base decreased by nearly 500,000 accounts. At the end of 2002, Metris had $11,319,109,000 in credit card loans and 3,425,000 active accounts. Metris also announced yesterday it received a $125 million term loan commitment from the Thomas Lee Equity Fund as a back-up financing facility, with an annual interest rate of 12%. (CF Library 1/29/03)

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Renewal Incentives

Concord’s rising star, Bond Isaacson, is receiving a $500,000 bonus for each large financial institution which renews with the processor. Isaacson is also set to receive 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. Dan Palmer, who was chairman and CEO, is now sharing the top executive spot with Isaacson. Palmer is now a director instead of a chairman. Under terms of the employment agreement, Isaacson received a signing bonus of $500,000 and was granted an option to purchase 400,000 shares of the Company’s stock. He also receives an annual salary of $500,000. Next month he will receive a bonus of $600,000 and another bonus of $600,000 in May 2004. Isaacson formerly worked for BofA, VISA, and IBM. (CF Library 9/13/02; 2/13/03).

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