Freedom III

TD Canada Trust is deploying a new high-speed, Internet-enabled POS terminal that can approve a credit or debit transaction and print a receipt in four seconds or less. The “Freedom III” terminal, produced by MIST, is an integrated POS terminal and thermal printer with a touch-screen, and a graphical user interface that merchants can use to authorize credit and debit card transactions, access on-line web banking services, store transactions and generate hourly and daily reports. The “Freedom III’ uses 128 bit SSL encryption for Internet transactions. The new terminal was officially launched yesterday in Toronto. To try out the new terminal, selected guests were given a CN$100 credit card to make purchases at a local skin care store with the products donated to a local charity. The terminal is also smart card ready.

![][1]

[1]: /graphic/mist/freedom3.jpg

Details

ATM CASH

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group reported that holiday transaction volume
at its ATMs are up 2% this year. In the first 11 days of December
£222,321,250 was withdrawn from around 1,600 cash machines.
The number of withdrawals has also risen from 3,897,027 to 3,910,619 and
the average cash machine withdrawal has also risen slightly to £56.95 (from
£56.06). The busiest Royal ATM in London is the Liverpool Street Station.

Details

Bauer Debt Formed

NY-based The Bauer Partnership confirmed plans this morning to enter the debt purchasing market with the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary, Bauer Debt Purchasing Corp. The new entity will seek to acquire large non-performing debt portfolios, including credit card debt. Bauer plans to acquire these large portfolios by utilizing its common stock as a currency and acquiring such debt at large discounts in bulk amounts. Bauer Debt will then enter into revenue sharing agreements with various national collection agencies in order to convert such portfolios into performing debt. The value of purchase debt is currently estimated at $2.4 billion. The prime debt share of the market is the largest with 40%, followed by fresh (33%), secondary (14%) and tertiary (13%).

Details

ACE & NC

ACE Cash Express and the State of North Carolina have settled a legal dispute over payday loans after ACE agreed to withdraw its lawsuit against the State over a federal preemption matter and the State agreed to end its suit against ACE. ACE will continue to provide check cashing, bill payment, wire transfers and money orders to meet the needs of consumers. The Company will continue to operate its check cashing business in compliance with the state law as it has in the past.

Details

FREESTAR & RAHAXI

Dublin-based FreeStar Technologies and its Rahaxi Processing
subsidiary have signed a processing agreement with Settlement Services
Limited for US$200 million in monthly transaction volume. Rahaxi Processing
Oy, acquired by FreeStar Technologies from Heroya Investments in September,
is a payment service provider based in Helsinki, Finland, offering full,
card present, payment processing; transaction authorization, data capture
and settlement facilities for VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Diners
Club and all bank-issued domestic debit cards. Rahaxi also provides
specialist value-added processing applications for fleet, fuel and loyalty
card schemes. Approximately US$10 million has been invested in the
development of Rahaxi’s hardware, software and brand name, to date.
FreeStar says the deal will contribute approximately US$1.6 million to
FreeStar’s gross revenues per month.

Details

Zebeck Fired

The board of directors of Metris Companies (Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank) announced over the weekend the termination of Ronald Zebeck, former chairman and CEO of Metris. The board also announced the appointment of David Wesselink to the position of chairman and CEO. Metris has been struggling in the wake of the acute fallout in the sub-prime credit card market. For the third quarter, Metris reported a net loss of $1.3 million following a second quarter loss of $36.4 million. The managed net charge-off rate was 15.1% for the third quarter, compared to 15.0% for the prior quarter and 10.7% for the third quarter of 2001. The managed delinquency rate was 10.8% for the third quarter, compared to 10.2% at June 30th, and 8.9% one year ago. Before joining Metris, Wesselink was with Advanta, which he joined in 1993 as SVP/CFO. Prior to Advanta, he spent more than 20 years at Household. He was named HFC’s CFO in 1982 and a SVP in 1986. Zebeck was named Metris chairman in May 2000. He became President and CEO of Metris Companies when the company went public in October 1996. Prior to joining Metris, Zebeck created and launched the General Motors credit card in 1992. Before General Motors, he served as director of marketing at Advanta Corporation and Colonial National Bank USA, and spent 10 years with Citicorp in New York. Metris’ stock has collapsed to $3 per share from its year ago price of $28 per share. For complete details on Metris’ latest financials visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 5/10/00)

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

Details

FDC Chairman

First Data announced this morning that Charles Fote will take over as Chairman of the Board on January 1st, replacing Ric Duques, who will remain a member of the board. Fote currently serves as President and CEO of FDC. He joined the company in 1975 and was named president and COO in 1998. He was named CEO in January of this year. Duques has served as chairman of the First Data Board of Directors since the company’s IPO in 1992. First Data reported 13% revenue growth in the third quarter, and a doubling of earnings per share compared to last year. Last week, Morgan Stanley raised its long term growth forecast for FDC from 12% to 15%. The company’s stock is trading around $36 per share, in the middle of its 52-week high and low. First Data serves approximately 2.8 million merchant locations and 1,400 card issuers. For complete details on FDC’s latest financials visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

Dismissal Request

MasterCard and VISA asked Judge John Gleeson on Friday to dismiss the Wal-Mart antitrust litigation asserting the retailers’ claims are legally and factually deficient, and do not merit being presented to a jury. The card associations provided evidence to show they have not conspired nor stunted the growth of online debit in the USA. The networks also asked the court to throw out the retailers’ request for billions of dollars in damages saying it is not based on any facts. VISA and MasterCard cited recent statistics which show the number of PIN pads in U.S. stores has grown by more than 30% each of the last two years, and the number of times consumers used PIN debit grew by 32% from 2000 to 2001, and by 39% from 2001 to 2002. VISA and MasterCard say the STAR, PULSE and the other PIN debit networks now handle more than 40% of debit card sales. A trial is set for April 2003 before Judge John Gleeson.

Details