MerchantPC

Infonox announced MerchantPC, an integrated PC-based POS software solution for food service retailers that connects counter service, home delivery and table service into one powerful and comprehensive system. Capitalizing on the latest in wireless, PDA and Internet technologies, MerchantPC integrates orders, transactions, payments, customer reporting, inventory control and financial management activities for food service operations.

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WINCOR DEAL

Bank of Ireland has signed a five-year agreement with Wincor Nixdorf to install and run an off-premises ATM network.
The first stage of the 500-ATM rollout has been underway since mid-January, with 100 new locations to be installed by the end of March. During the initial stage, over half of the ATMs will be installed in rural areas, with 20 percent of these in areas where cash dispensers are currently up to 20 kilometers distant. Under an agreement with the countrywide independent retail group, Musgrave SuperValu-Centra, the Bank of Ireland will be the preferred provider of ATM installations at up to 250 locations

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TSAI Board

NE-based Transaction Systems Architects has added two members to its Board of Directors, bringing the total number of board members to seven. John Curtis, legal and business consultant, and John Stokely, President of JES, Inc., an investment and consulting firm, have joined the board this month. TSAI offers software products that are used to process transactions involving credit cards, debit cards, secure electronic commerce, mobile commerce, smart cards, secure electronic document delivery and payment, checks, high-value money transfers, bulk payment clearing and settlement, and enterprise e-infrastructure.

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VBV EXPANDS

VISA International says that four of Thailand’s top commercial banks will deploy “Verified by VISA.” Bangkok Bank, Bank of Asia, Krungthai Card PCL, and Siam Commercial Bank, have agreed to roll-out the service by June 30th. VISA’s online shopping volume across Asia Pacific grew by over 80% in the fourth quarter compared to the same period in 2001. In Thailand, VISA’s online shopping volume rose by over 60% over the same period. There are currently close to 250 million VISA cards, including 184 million VISA-branded cards, issued in the Asia Pacific region.

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NYCB Military Waiver

New York Community Bank, a family of six member banks with a total of 109 branches serving communities from Southern New Jersey to Eastern Long Island, is offering men and women in the armed forces and their families with a special program of free checking, no-fee ATM transactions worldwide, free Online Banking, and other benefits. Enlisted men and women serving in any of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces and their spouses can use an ATM in any country and do so without incurring any ATM fees from New York Community Bank. The bank will also waive any fee on their NYCB checking account regarding minimums or monthly service charges.

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CTFS & MOSAIC

Canadian Tire Financial Services says that “Mosaic’s Postilion” EFT software will be
installed to handle authorization switching and routing for transactions initiated throughout Canadian Tire’s inter-related network of businesses. All credit and debit card transactions performed at Canadian Tire Retail, Canadian Tire Petroleum, PartSource, Mark’s Work Wearhouse and Canadian Tire Financial Services will be directed to a “Postilion” system for routing to the appropriate end point for authorization. In addition to providing the interfaces to numerous authorization hosts the “Postilion” system will manage the entire transaction in a secure environment to ensure transaction integrity and accuracy. Canadian Tire Corporation operates more than 1,000 stores and gas bars in an inter-related network of businesses engaged in retail, financial services and petroleum.

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Top 10 Market Share

Based on 2002 annual volume, all of the nation’s top ten issuers increased market share last year except Bank of America and Providian. The top ten U.S. issuers of VISA and MasterCard, now hold 56.1% market share of volume, compared to 56.2% for 2001. American Express and Discover, which both lost market share last year, have a market share of 16.4% and 6.8%, respectively. AmEx had a market share, based on volume of 16.9% in 2001, while Discover held a 7.0% share. Among the top U.S. VISA and MasterCard issuers, Sears National Bank made the largest percentage move, from 0.6% to 1.5%.

TOP TEN U.S. VISA/MASTERCARD ISSUERS MARKETSHARE
(based on volume and ranked by outstandings)
EOY 2002 EOY 2001
1. Citibank 16.0% 14.8%
2. MBNA America 11.2% 10.7%
3. Bank One 10.6% 10.5%
4. JPM Chase 5.9% 5.4%
5. Capital One 4.8% 3.8%
6. Bank of Am 3.5% 3.7%
7. Providian 1.2% 2.3%
8. Household 2.6% 2.6%
9. Fleet 1.8% 1.7%
10. Sears Natl 1.5% 0.6%

Source: CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

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MAESTRO GROWTH

MasterCard International announced from Venice that global merchant acceptance for “Maestro” was up 19.8% and the number of cards issued around the world increased 16.6% over the same period in 2001. With over 226 million cards in circulation, a 9% increase over year end 2001, Europe has MasterCard’s largest cardholder base for “Maestro.” Asia/Pacific, with over 188 million “Maestro/Cirrus” cards, is the second largest “Maestro/Cirrus” region as of year-end 2002. There was a nearly 33% increase in the number of “Maestro/Cirrus” cards from the same quarter in 2001. MasterCard reported the breakdown of “Maestro/Cirrus” cards in Asia/Pacific as: Australia/New Zealand 15.3 million; Greater China 84.6 million; Japan/Korea 72.8 million; and, South East Asia 15.8 million. With close to 30 million “Maestro” cards in circulation in Latin America and the Caribbean, growth in the fourth quarter of 2002 was close to 13% over 2001. South Asia, Middle East and Africa is a fast growing region for “Maestro” with 41% year-on-year increase in merchant terminals now accepting Maestro as of December 31, 2002, from the same period last year. The “Maestro” brand mark now appears on over 505 million cards worldwide and is accepted for purchases at over seven million merchant terminals in 93 countries and territories.

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ActivCard & CAC

ActivCard will be the primary identity management provider for Northrop Grumman Information Technology for the U.S. Army’s “Common Access Card” program. A task order was awarded to Northrop Grumman IT to provide $9 million of smart card middleware for the CAC program. With “ActivCard Gold” for CAC, Army personnel can use their multi-application smart ID badges for cryptographic network logon to their computing platforms, applications and Web sites; to encrypt and digitally sign e-mail; and to extend public-key infrastructure capabilities to access a host of military services, including VPN, remote access and benefits systems.

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Rush VISA Card

Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons and Unifund Corporation have teamed to issue a new pre-paid payroll VISA card. The new “Rush Prepaid VISA” is targeted at unbanked American households. Russell Simmons and Unifund have created UniRush Financial Services to handle the new card. UniRush says its research found that nearly 48 million Americans have been forced outside traditional banking systems and cannot have a checking account. Of this 48 million, nearly 19 million have an average income of between $10,000 and $22,500, but do not have a traditional checking account, and that 180 million checks are cashed at check cashing centers each year totaling $55 billion. UniRush also says approximately 12% of bank account holders do not receive a debit card and don’t have easy access to their funds.

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U.S. Bank Military Account

MN-based U.S. Bank has rolled-out a special fee-free military checking program. The program is available to those who are currently deployed or who will soon be deployed into action outside of the 24 states where U.S. Bank is available. U.S. Bank is offering waived monthly account maintenance fees; free U.S. Bank Internet banking and Internet bill pay; no charge for transactions completed at non-U.S. Bank ATM machine; free U.S. Bank logo style checks or a 50% discount on most other personal check styles; a $15 annual discount on a safe deposit box; free, 24-hour customer service including the acceptance of collect calls for those calling from overseas; and free U.S. Bank “VISA Check Card.”

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