Arbitration Test

Arbitration clauses in consumer credit card agreements were strengthened last week as California’s Second District Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts provisions of the California Unfair Practices Act. Under the ruling class action arbitrations are effectively prohibited. Card issuers began switching to arbitration clauses in 1999 to stem the flood of class action cardholder lawsuits over business practices. The move has drawn widespread opposition by trial attorneys, who benefit the most from class action credit card lawsuits. The California case resulted from an action taken by a Discover cardholder who claimed that Discover breached its cardholder agreement by imposing a late fee on payments that were received on the due date but after an undisclosed 1 p.m. cut-off time.

Details

IGT EZ Pay Deal

NV-based Horseshoe Gaming Holding Corp. has signed an agreement to deploy 3,000 new IGT machines and three “EZ Pay” systems to be installed over the next three years, along with retrofits of “EZ Pay”-ready machines. The program includes the purchase of more than 3,000 new IGT machines and three EZ Pay(R) systems to be installed over the next three years, along with retrofits of EZ Pay(R)-ready machines to offer ticket functionality on 100% of the machines on Horseshoe’s three casino floors.

Details

EURONET UK

Euronet Worldwide is selling its UK ATM network to Bridgepoint Capital
Limited for $29.6 million. Bridgepoint, a London-based private equity firm,
plans to operate the 745 ATM UK network under the name Bank Machine
Limited. Bridgepoint has also signed an outsourcing agreement with Euronet
to drive the ATMs from its European Operations Center in Budapest, Hungary.
Euronet plans to use the proceeds to repay debt and/or invest in new
business. Euronet Services (UK) Ltd. was formed in 1998. All 22 of its
current employees will remain with Bank Machine Limited. Euronet says it
will focus on obtaining additional outsourcing contracts in UK and
throughout Europe.

Details

CardinalCommerce Sales Exec

CardinalCommerce announced it has hired Roger Connolly as senior vice president, International Sales. He is located at Cardinal’s executive offices in Cleveland, Ohio and London, UK.

Michael A. Keresman, III, CEO and co-founder of CardinalCommerce, stated, “Roger Connolly is a highly significant addition to our executive team. He brings us extensive international experience and a successful track record in the development and sale of secure banking systems and commerce platforms. We are pleased that he has joined us, and we look forward to his contribution.”

Mr. Connolly has more than 20 years’ experience in assisting banks and other financial institutions around the world. Previously, he was employed as vice president, Global Sales at The Brodia Group, a leading global vendor of transaction authentication technology for web-based, mobile and other network devices. Prior to joining Brodia, Mr. Connolly held globalexecutive sales positions at Trintech Technologies, Commerce Direct International and Wang (Europe).

Mr. Connolly commented “I am very excited to join Cardinal’s executive team at a time when the demand for authentication technology is soaring. As the expanding volume of online transactions brings with it increasing levels of fraudulent activity, especially in emerging markets, Cardinal’s authentication solutions are perfectly positioned to become the #1 choice for banks and financial institutions around the world, who demand a safe, secure and confidential onlinepayment method for cardholders and merchants.”

About CardinalCommerce Corporation

CardinalCommerce Corporation is a leading provider of a technology-neutral authentication platform for securing electronic and wireless commerce, thus ensuring that individuals, businesses and government agencies can process electronic transactions and access confidential information safely, securely and privately. A significant application of Cardinal’s proprietary technology, the Cardinal Payment Authentication Platform, provides consumers, merchants, credit/debit card issuers, and processors the ability to conduct fully authenticated Internet-based e-commerce, while protecting the transactions from fraud. For more information, visit [www.cardinalcommerce.com][1].

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

Details

LUOTTOKUNTA SMART CARDS

Luottokunta has selected LogicaCMG to provide the national implementation
of a new end-to-end card processing solution, enabling the issuance of
multi application smart cards. This major implementation will replace
Luottokunta’s entire platform for card issuing, acquiring, interchange,
settlement and transaction switching. It will support new security features
to achieve full compliance with the global EMV standards, allowing all
banks and retailers in Finland using Luottokunta’s services to process chip
card transactions. It will also enable other chip applications such as ID,
advanced loyalty, travel and other applications to be integrated onto a
single smart card. Luottokunta is a co-operative credit institution jointly
owned by Finnish banks and merchants. The company is the sole issuer and
acquirer of VISA cards in Finland. Luottokunta is also a dual issuer and
acquirer for Eurocard/MasterCard products as well.

Details

iNetEvents Acquisitions

Los Angeles-based iNetEvents has inked a deal to acquire 100% of International Card Establishment, Inc. and GlobalTech Leasing, Inc., both headquartered in Oxnard, California. Following the two acquisitions and a share restructuring, iNetEvents will own 100% of both I.C.E. and GlobalTech Leasing and have approximately 17.6 million shares outstanding. The current online registration business will continue to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.

Details

MASTERCARD WORKING

MasterCard International has introduced a new corporate payment program
for European small business. “MasterCard Working in Europe” combines card
programs, value-added services, productivity tools, and
savings/discounts. MasterCard says 19 million European small companies are
projected to spend over â_¬250 billion in routine business expenditures in
2003. “Working in Europe” provides member financial
institutions with a customizable approach to designing card-payment program
that ‘work’ for their small and mid-size business customers. Beginning
later in 2003, “MasterCard Working” in Europe will provide access to
“MasterCard Smart Data Express” that will streamline reporting and
transaction displays and help small companies consolidate and manage their
spending.

Details

DPI & ERA

TransFirst’s Data Processors International subsidiary has been selected as the preferred e-check processing provider for the Electronic Retailing Association. Through this two year agreement, ERA member organizations will receive full e-commerce, credit card and e-check processing services through DPI, which will provide these services with volume discounts on transaction fees, no upfront deposits, and low reserve rates.

Details

Citigroup 4Q/02

Citigroup reported this morning that its North America Cards division, which includes the card operations of Mexico-based Banamex, posted $818 million in profits for the fourth quarter, a 22% increase over 4Q/01. Card volume for 4Q/02 was up 8% to $65.7 billion and average outstandings hit $114.1 billion, a 6% increase over the year-ago quarter. Profits were driven largely by a 10% increase in revenue and the lower cost of funds. Citi’s 4Q/02 ROA was 2.70% compared to 2.37% one year ago. The strong performance came despite a loss of 4.4 million accounts over the past twelve months. Citigroup’s North American account base dropped from 93.1 million accounts for 4Q/01 to 88.7 million for 4Q/02. Citi also reported a lower delinquency and charge-off rate compared to the previous quarter and year ago period. Delinquency (90+ days) declined to 1.84% for 4Q/02, compared to 1.86% in the third quarter, and, 1.96% one year ago. Charge-offs dropped to 5.61% from 5.75% in 3Q/02 and 5.69% in 4Q/01. For complete details on Citigroup’s 4Q/02 performance as well as historical performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

VISA Hall of Fans

VISA’s “Hall Of Fans” at the Pro Football Hall of Fame has named Philadelphia Eagles fan, Jim “Torchman” Convey, and Oakland Raiders fan, Charles “Darth Raider” Ybarra, among others to its list of recognized fans. The exhibit showcases the honorees through individual panels featuring the fans’ names, photographs and short testimonials. The exhibit also includes famous fan mementos, such as a Redskins’ Hogette dress and a barrel that Denver’s Barrelman used to wear; an honor roll with the names of previous Visa Hall of Fans honorees; and a film of the league’s most dedicated and sometimes outrageous personalities.

Details

Euronet UK

Euronet Worldwide is selling its UK ATM network to Bridgepoint Capital Limited for $29.6 million. Bridgepoint, a London-based private equity firm, plans to operate the 745 ATM UK network under the name Bank Machine Limited. Bridgepoint has also signed an outsourcing agreement with Euronet to drive the ATMs from its European Operations Center in Budapest, Hungary. Euronet plans to use the proceeds to repay debt and/or invest in new business. Euronet Services (UK) Ltd. was formed in 1998. All 22 of its current employees will remain with Bank Machine Limited, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com][1]). Euronet says it will focus on obtaining additional outsourcing contracts in UK and throughout Europe.

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

Details

Card Scam Busted

The FTC last week filed charges against seven corporations and nine individuals for engaging in deceptive and unfair activities in the marketing of advance-fee credit card packages. The Assail Telemarketing Network marketed products under the names “Advantage Capital,” “Capital First,” and “Premier One.” The FTC alleges that the defendants operate an advance-fee credit card scam through a network of boiler rooms, Canadian front men, and outsourced fulfillment and customer service centers. The court has temporarily halted the defendants’ operation, froze their assets, and appointed a receiver to take over the corporate defendants. The defendants include: UT-based Assail, Inc. and Infinium, Inc., Market-Reps.com, Inc., all headquartered in Cedar City, Utah, TX-based Specialty Outsourcing Solutions, Inc. and NV-based Summit Communications International, Inc.; FL-based Capital First Benefits, Inc.; and, ID-based Premier One Benefits, Inc.

Details