Freddie Mac Corporate Card

U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems, the largest issuer of VISA-branded commercial card programs, has signed Freddie Mac to a “VISA Corporate Card” program. U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems offers clients a full suite of solutions for commercial, fleet and B2B payment needs. U.S. Bank was the first to offer corporate bankcard, purchasing and relocation card programs, the first to offer a private-label fleet card and is one of the largest merchant acquirers in the world.

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Midwest Miles

Midwest Airlines, which has a co-branded program with Juniper Bank, has re-launched its frequent flyer program under the name “Midwest Miles,” and is unloading partnerships with Northwest Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, and adding new partnerships with American Airlines and Air Jamaica.  The program relaunch coincides with the February 28 delivery of the first of 25 new Boeing 717 aircraft, featuring a quieter cabin and newly designed Recaro seats with headrests and footrests for additional comfort.

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Experian & CardCops

Experian has teamed with CardCops.com, whereby the Internet will be monitored daily by CardCops to detect whether any credit cards issued by participating Experian clients appear to have been compromised.  As cards are detected in the daily search, the information will be deposited in secure FTP (File Transfer Protocol) sites established for each credit card issuer enabling them to monitor usage to determine if the cards have been stolen.  Credit card grantors will then determine the appropriate course of action.

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ComNet 1000

NJ-based NexTran, a subsidiary of South Korea’s Chungho ComNet Co., has launched the “ComNet 1000” countertop ATM which offers additional services, such as pre-paid wireless recharging, pre-paid long distance, wire transfers, check cashing, and the sale of movie tickets, beyond basic ATM functions. The ComNet 1000 provides the functionality of a large floor-model ATM in a countertop device, said Park. It can also be configured as a through-the-wall terminal or as a freestanding device using optional set-up kits.

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NHL Promotion

MasterCard and Best Western have partnered to offer MasterCard cardholders the chance to win trips to a 2003 NHL “Stanley Cup Finals” game and the option of earning quadruple airline miles on partner airlines during March. To win, simply stay at a Best Western hotel between March 1 and April 15. Pay for the stay with your MasterCard and receive a scratch-and-win game piece.  Or, request a free game piece by mail.  Game pieces are available while supplies last.

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SameDayPay.com

San Francisco-based BankServ has rolled-out “SameDayPay.com,” to enable consumers to make contributions to universities via electronic ACH transactions.  The way this product works, says Kvederis, a donor simply registers on-line at http://www.SameDayPay.com, chooses a user ID and password, then registers the checking or savings account from which the payment will be made. The school, which also has registered with SameDayPay.com, is notified the same day the payment is made, and the donor is likewise notified.

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Bankruptcy 2003

A credit ratings firm has predicted that bankruptcies will increase by roughly 8.0% in 2003 to a level of 1.65 million. Fitch Ratings also expects consumer credit quality to be challenged in the months to come. Meanwhile, for the December collection period, credit card chargeoffs and serious delinquencies moved in opposite directions. Fitch’s 60 days or more delinquency index posted a five-basis-point decline to 3.49%, its lowest level since October, yet 8 bps above prior-year levels. On the other hand, chargeoffs continued their upward movement for the fourth consecutive month. Chargeoffs increased 23 bps to 6.51%, the highest level since April 2002 and 68 bps higher than prior year levels. Sub-prime chargeoffs increased for the fifth month in a row to a level of 18.61%, up 199 bps from the November 2002 collection period and 24.7% from prior-year levels.

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Card Premiums

Premiums paid for smaller credit card portfolios, mostly credit unions, have been rising due to better credit quality than larger portfolios. So far during 1Q03, 16 larger deals have occurred, with an average premium price of 18.94%, up 44 basis points from year-end 02. According to investment bankers R.K. Hammer, 120 smaller deals (as little as $1MM or less) traded hands during 2002. Hammer says portfolios in the $15 million to $30 million range have commanded average premiums of nearly 22%.

Sale Portfolio Size Ave. Premiums Paid

< $7.5MM 15.1% $7.5-15MM 19.9% $15-30MM 21.8% $30-40MM 19.5% $40-50MM 18.3% $50-60MM 19.0% $60-70MM 19.5% $70-80MM 19.7% $80-90MM 18.9% $90-100MM 18.2%

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LLOYDS CLARITY-BLUE

Lloyds TSB has been drilling into its credit card customer base with the
help of SAND Technology’s ClarityBlue UK division. The “Customer
Intelligence Platform,” based on the SAND “Analytic Server,” will allow
Lloyds TSB to access prospect data from multiple data suppliers, select a
pool of prospects from hundreds of attributes, and reduce data acquisition
costs. This will provide a single-person view, which is capable of driving
the bank’s direct mail activities in a more intelligent, cost-effective
manner. Previously Lloyds TSB used bureau services, the standard market
approach, to handle its direct marketing campaigns. Using ClarityBlue’s
hosted platform, Lloyds TSB has considerably shortened campaign
turnarounds, introduced full mailing history for all mailed names, and has
enabled multi-supplier data access while providing the ability to profile
its existing customer base. ClarityBlue will also give Lloyds TSB full
contact history, allowing Lloyds TSB to benchmark different data suppliers
against each other as well as against campaign expectations.

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Metris Dividend

Metris Companies/Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank announced yesterday morning a dividend of one cent per share, but withdrew the dividend Thursday afternoon after it was determined the dividend could not be paid under the terms of its credit agreement which prohibits the payment of dividends following a year in which a loss was incurred. Through its enhancement services division, Metris also offers consumers a comprehensive array of value-added products, including credit protection and insurance, extended service plans and membership clubs.

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ANZ CARDS

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. says it made a $27 million
error in regard to payments made to Qantas Airlines for air miles
distributed via co-branded VISA cards. ANZ said it recently discovered it
was using an incorrect method of accounting for the treatment of frequent
flier loyalty points it has purchased from Qantas. Since 1999, points for
the “Qantas ANZ Business One Card” and bonus points for international
expenditure on the Qantas ANZ Card have been under-accrued. The associated
one-off charge will reduce the after tax profit of ANZ’s consumer finance
unit by a one-off charge of $27 million in the first half of 2003. As a
result, ANZ has made management changes in the cards issuing area and
increased financial controls within the business.

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