BIOMETRIC PURCHASES

Sao Paulo-based CTF Technologies do Brasil Ltda. has introduced a
fingerprint biometric reader to control the authorization for refueling at
CTF-enabled highway refueling depots. The new process will eliminate the
need for cash advances, cheques, credit cards or any other freight card to
be issued to contract drivers by fleet owners subscribing to the CTF –
FRETE system. CTF Technologies owns and operates the CTF refueling system,
which is an advanced computerized management system for the transportation
industry that controls refueling and credit authorization through two of
Brazil’s largest private banks, Banco Bradesco
and Unibanco. Initially, only stations operated by Cia. Ipiranga de
Petroleo will participate in this program. CTF has exclusive agreements
with both Ipiranga and Petrobras Distribuidora, Brazil’s largest fuel
distributor,
which together deliver over 50% of the total fuel sold in Brazil.

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Humboldt Deal

Humboldt Bank has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of its proprietary merchant processing operations to an affiliate of First National Bank Holding Company. Under the terms of the agreement, Humboldt Bank will receive $32 million in cash, and expects to recognize an after-tax gain on sale during the first quarter of approximately $18 million. The transaction is expected to be completed by March 15th. Humboldt will continue to provide card sponsorship processing for two ISOs. However, these agreements mature over the next 13 months and the bank does not expect to renew these agreements or to enter into any new ISO processing agreements. In October, Humboldt Bancorp terminated a deal to sell its proprietary merchant bankcard operations to Nashville-based iPayment Holdings. (CF Library 10/8/02)

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Credit Bureau Lawsuit

TransUnion and Equifax have agreed to reach a settlement in a class-action lawsuit involving bankruptcy notations made in consumer credit files. Experian has already finalized a settlement. The lawsuit grew from South Carolina case wherein a consumer was unable to get a car loan because of a bankruptcy notation in his credit file. The man had co-signed a loan for his son-in-law, who later filed for bankruptcy. The case was heard on January 17th, at which time Experian offered its settlement. U.S. District Judge Margaret Seymour has set a preliminary settlement conference for next Tuesday.

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Choice Hotels Promotion

Choice Hotels International is launching a triple miles promotion for Feb 15th thru Apr 30th for members of American Airlines “AAdvantage,” Delta Air Lines “SkyMiles,” Northwest Airlines “WorldPerks,” United “Mileage Plus,” US Airways “Dividend Miles,” and, Southwest Airlines “Rapid Rewards.” The triple miles/credit promotion is supported by a multi-million dollar advertising campaign to air on cable networks and throughout the NCAA “March Madness” tournament, airing March 15 through April 5 on CBS. Print advertisements are slated to run in national publications such as USA TODAY.

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Desert Schools FCU & Voyager 3.0

AZ-based Desert Schools Federal Credit Union has expanded its relationship with Corillian by licensing the latest version of Corillian’s “Voyager” Internet banking platform, “Corillian Voyager 3.0”. Corillian Voyager 3.0 will provide Desert Schools’ more than 225,000 members with enhanced Internet banking, bill payment capabilities and a new look and feel to Desert Schools’ “ePAL” online banking service at https://epal.desertschools.org/. Desert Schools also licensed the Corillian Business Finance Suite to provide innovative Internet banking services to its small business banking members.

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Algonquin Travel & UATP

Universal Air Travel Plan confimed the successful launch of its
pilot program which allows direct acceptance of UATP accounts by travel
agencies. Ottawa-based Algonquin Travel is the pilot program’s first
participant. Algonquin began accepting and processing UATP transactions
in December. UATP is working with a limited number of corporate agencies
around the world to launch the program and plans aggressive expansion
throughout 2003. Universal Air Travel Plan, formerly known as “Air Travel Card,” is the
world’s first corporate travel payment system. The plan has more than US$7
billion in annual billings.

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eFunds Executives

AZ-based eFunds has hired Kevin Reager, formerly with Bank of America, as SVP/Division Executive, eFunds ATM Solutions; Mike Feliciano, formerly with NYCE, as SVP/Division Executive, eFunds EFT Solutions; and, Tommy Andrews, formerly with FleetCor, SVP, eFunds Corporate Development. These appointments complete eFunds’ reorganization to a business division model around eFunds’ four core lines of business, EFT Solutions, ATM Solutions, Risk Management Solutions and Outsourcing Solutions, which began in December 2002.

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Fifth Third Bank Free Bill Pay

MI-based Fifth Third Bank has upgraded its on-line banking product to provide free Internet bill payment. Fifth Third’s new internet banking portal allows customers to create, customize and store a payee list by choosing from a roster of common payees, like the local phone, utility and water companies as well as personal payees, such as credit cards, loan accounts and more.

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ADS & 7-Eleven

7-Eleven and Alliance Data Systems have teamed to launch two stored-value programs. ADS will provide stored value and loyalty marketing services for 7-Eleven’s “Vcom” card and the “7-Eleven Convenience Card.” Vcom is 7-Eleven stores’ proprietary, self-service machine that offers ATM capabilities, enabling customers to conduct ATM transactions, purchase money orders and money transfers, and, cash checks. 7-Eleven plans to install Vcom kiosks in 1,000 of its stores by the end of May and, based upon the kiosks’ performance, the company could deploy an additional 2,500 kiosks in its stores starting in late 2003. Under a six-year agreement, ADS will support the prepaid “Vcom” card which allows customers to use the stored value for most purchases within the store and at the gasoline pump. In a separate three-year agreement, ADS will provide stored-value services for the new “7-Eleven Convenience Card” for sale beginning this month at participating 7-Eleven stores around the country. The “Convenience Card” is re-loadable and includes a corresponding key-chain card.

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PSO CARDS

Pakistan State Oil has launched two new credit cards, the “Fleet
Card” and the “Corporate Card.” The new cards, the first of its kind in
Pakistan, will join PSO’s card portfolio which also includes the “Loyalty
Card” launched in 2002. The new “PSO Fleet Card” is vehicle-specific, while
the “PSO Corporate Card” is employee-specific. The “PSO Fleet Card” enables
companies to set limits on individual fleet vehicle spending, and comes
embossed with the vehicle registration number along with the company or
fleet name. The “PSO Corporate Card” is a personalized credit card with
pre-approved fuel limit. The “Corporate Card” carries an annual membership
fee per card of Rs.100. There is also a 1.65% monthly service charge on
each bill. PSO launched its “Loyalty Card” in July 2002. The card entitles
customers to earn “PSO Loyalty Points” on every purchase of fuel or
lubricant. The points accumulated can be later redeemed from PSO’s
“Merchant-Consortium.” The card is free and is valid for a year. It also
offers a discount at a number of other merchants and restaurants in
Pakistan. In December, PSO signed an agreement with ABN Amro and Orix
Leasing to interface the “PSO Loyalty Card” and the “ABN-AMRO Debit Card.”
The interface entails an arrangement under which the magnetically encoded
loyalty card and debit card are transacted through Orix’s POS terminal and
the PSO network. The “PSO Loyalty Card” was distributed free-of-charge to
all ABN Amro debit cardholders in December and January.

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LendingTree 4Q/02

NC-based LendingTree reported this morning that it handled 51,182 credit card applications during the fourth quarter and closed 9.2% of the requests. The online loan referral service says its credit card activity produced revenues of $327,000 for the quarter. LendingTree closed a total of 7,264 credit card related requests during 4Q/02 for six total card issuers. Overall, during the quarter, the Company earned $5.6 million on posted revenue of $34.7 million. Revenue was up 12% over the same year ago period. LendingTree had 197 participating lenders at the end of 2002, representing an increase of 36% over last year. Loans available via the LendingTree Exchange include home mortgage, home equity, automobile, personal, debt consolidation, and credit cards. For complete details on LendingTree’s 4Q/02 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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VISA POS Check Service

One of the first processors to pilot the VISA “POS Check Service” in 2001 has renewed its contract. First National Merchant Solutions has renewed its contract with Electronic Clearing House. VISA’s “POS Check Services” program allows merchants to receive immediate online authorization for paper checks, by converting them into electronic transactions. Checks drawn against participating member banks in the program are processed and settled electronically by VISA. Checks drawn on non-participating banks, VISA routes to ECHO, the selected third-party processor for First National merchants, and the checks are processed and settled by ECHO. First National has branded and marketed the service under the “CompletePay” name. First National, a wholly-owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha, is estimating four times the growth of “Complete Pay” in 2003.

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