CustomCash

Internet Payment Solutions has launched “CustomCash”, an Internet payment method that enables consumers to shop on-line without sacrificing privacy and exposing personal information such as credit card numbers. CustomCash certificates are uniquely created for specific companies. Certificates are for a stated value and can be debited until the total value is exhausted. At no time are personal details such as credit card numbers ever transmitted over the Internet, thus making the approach secure as well as fraud-proof.

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Late Fees

For the first time in more than ten years late fees stopped climbing. During November, fees for late payments remained flat at $30.04. The most common late fee now charged by U.S. issuers is $29 with many of the top issuers now assessing a $35 fee on higher balances that become past due. Over the past twelve months late fees have grown by 6.3%. Since November 1994, late fees have surged by 140%, from $12.52.

BANK CREDIT CARD LATE PAYMENT FEES
Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov.
1994: $11.60 $11.71 $11.94 $11.95 $11.96 $11.97 $11.98 $11.99 $12.02 $12.44
2002: $28.58 $28.79 $29.65 $29.84 $29.88 $29.90 $29.92 $29.92 $29.96 $30.04
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Experian Buys Four Bureaus

Experian has acquired Credit Data Idaho, Inc., of Boise, Idaho; Credit Data Resources of Spokane, Wash; Credit Bureau of Pocatello, Inc. of Pocatello, Idaho; and Iberia Credit Bureau of New Iberia, La. Benefits accruing as a result of these acquisitions include the ability to provide all clients a more seamless interaction with Experian as well as a full range of products to optimize customer relationships. In addition, clients will gain access to all Experian products and services including portfolio management, collections, scoring and a complete suite of fraud prevention solutions.

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Weak Credit Growth

Americans added $2.4 billion to revolving credit during October confirming that consumer credit growth continues to remain weak. The Federal Reserve also revised data for September 2002 that shows a much slower rate of growth than previously reported. Last month the Federal Reserve said its data showed that consumers added $5.6 billion to revolving credit during September at an annual growth rate of 9.3%. The revised data show a 3.0% annual growth rate and a $1.8 billion expansion in consumer revolving credit. The expansion in October was modest even though consumer revolving credit for October 2001 contracted by more than $6 billion in the wake of terrorist attacks. Since the first of this year consumer revolving credit has grown $31.3 billion. Bank credit card debt at the end of the third quarter was $632.7 billion according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). According to the government figures released Friday, American consumers were $1.724 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages during October.

REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL
($billions)
Oct02 Sep02 Aug 02 Jul 02 Jun 02 May 02 Apr 02
GRWTH: 4.1% 3.0 6.2 8.9 6.0 4.1 8.0
$OWED: $723.7b 721.3 719.5 717.4 715.6 712.1 708.7

Mar 02 Feb 02 Jan 02 Dec 01 Nov 01 Oct 01 Sep 01
GRWTH: 4.8% 2.2 1.8 -9.7 12.7% -7.1 0.6
$OWED: $705.4 705.0 702.4 692.4 698.0 686.4 692.7

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 12/06/02; For complete
historical data visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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

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Chase Universal

After recently losing the Shell MasterCard co-brand program to Citibank, Chase has rebounded by nailing the Universal co-brand program from Discover/NOVUS. The new “Universal Entertainment MasterCard from Chase” will offer a wide range of rewards linked to Universal’s movies, television, music, theme parks and interactive games. Under terms of the deal, Chase will become the “Official Bank” for all of the Universal branded theme parks in the USA and Universal will be promoted throughout Chase’s branch network. Cardholders will earn one point per dollar on all everyday purchases and two points per dollar spent at select Universal Parks & Resorts retail locations. Points can be redeemed for movie and concert tickets, DVDs, CDs, advance movie screenings, and cardholders will have the opportunity to redeem reward points for unique Hollywood experiences, including tickets to celebrity events, spending a day on a television or movie set, backstage concert passes, and walking the red carpet at a movie premiere. Other card benefits include: complimentary Emusic downloads; invitations to advance movie screenings; 10% off select Universal Parks & Resorts tickets purchased online; and, discounts on select purchases at Universal Parks & Resorts. In March 1997, Universal signed a five-year agreement with NOVUS Services that included the “Universal Studios Card.” (CF Library 10/24/97)

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R-UIM NORTH AMERICA

North American CDMA operators will soon be able to offer low-cost
international roaming following the first successful test of “Removable User
Identity Module” (R-UIM) technology in a CDMA handset for the North
American wireless market. Nokia and Gemplus have teamed to test products
that would allow North American CDMA operators to realize the benefits of
“R-UIM” through Gemplus’ “GemXplore World R-UIM” technology. “R-UIM”
technology will allow North American wireless customers to roam between
various CDMA coverage areas, as well as GSM coverage areas simply by
transferring the “R-UIM” card from a CDMA phone to another CDMA phone or a
GSM phone designed to operate in the desired region.

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Diebold & IRS

Diebold said yesterday it intends to accept an offer by the IRS to settle on a claim concerning the deductibility of interest on corporate owned life insurance from 1990 through 1998 that will result in an after-tax charge of $24 million in the fourth quarter. The company has already paid approximately $31 million in prior quarters related to this claim. The company also paid an additional $3 million in the fourth quarter. As a result of this contemplated settlement, the company will not be required to make any further cash payments. By settling with the IRS now, the company will receive a tax refund of $4 million to $7 million in connection with this claim. The company will also save significant litigation costs, which would have occurred if it continued to dispute the claim.

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eFunds 3Q/02

Following several delays, AZ-based eFunds released its third quarter financials yesterday and confirmed it has restated prior financial statements. eFunds’ reported third quarter net income of $10.7 million compared to net income of $13.7 million in the comparable quarter of the prior year. Net revenue increased to approximately $144.0 million for the third quarter of 2002 from $141.3 million for the third quarter of 2001. The Company said it expects full year 2002 revenues to be in the range of $539 million to $545 million. For complete details on eFunds 3Q/02 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Canadian Volume

Toronto-based Moneris Solutions said it expects to handle more than 500 credit and debit transactions per second for a predicted total of 7.6 million transactions on peak shopping day, December 21st. The company says its data show that for purchases under $50, 59% of Canadians will use debit or credit. When purchases are between $50 and $100, the preference for plastic rises to 76%, and for purchases over $100, credit and debit are preferred by 84% of Canadians. Canadians are expecting to spend an average of $1,114 on holiday season expenditures this year including an average of $638 on gifts. A slight majority of Canadians (59%) say their total holiday expenditures will be the same as last year. Nineteen per cent will be spending more and 18% expect to spend less.

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FREESTAR & VISANET

Dublin-based FreeStar Technologies has received VisaNet
certification for its proprietary “PaySafeNow” system. The “PaySafeNow”
system is comprised of a card reader and ETSS software which allows the
consumer to process transaction securely over the Internet. The ETSS
system, marketed worldwide as “PaySafeNow,” integrates a consumer-side
card-swipe terminal (ePayPad) with a back-end host-processing center. It
encrypts sensitive financial data at the consumer’s personal computer,
using powerful DES encryption and algorithms. The “PaySafeNow” system
enables small- to medium-sized businesses and merchants to process credit
card, debit card and ATM transactions. More than 80% of small businesses
and merchants in Latin American and Eastern European countries do not offer
credit card transactions due to the high cost involved with alternative
systems.

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MasterCard Platform

MasterCard International confirmed the delivery of its new clearing system that will join the completed authorization, settlement, and network applications of its “System Enhancement Strategy.” The new clearing system is one of the last key components in MasterCard’s plan to deliver an advanced payments processing platform. The new platform, utilizing the industry’s first virtual private network, combines the speed and reliability of open, global technology standards with the flexibility of local service customization and value-added features to meet specific business needs. The platform, in conjunction with Banknet, MasterCard’s VPN, offers significantly enhanced transaction capacity and growth potential, enabling MasterCard to authorize transactions at average rates of more than 2.5 million transactions per hour. More than 97% of MasterCard transaction volume has been converted to the company’s industry standards-based “Integrated Product Message” format. The conversion rate to the new clearing format is ahead of schedule by five months, with MasterCard expecting to convert the remaining customers by April 2003.

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GCA ATMs

Global Cash Access says it has signed fifteen new gaming properties for cash access services and now operates more than 1,000 ATMs. GCA offers an array of products and services, ranging from the latest ATM technology to guest development marketing services that help casinos better understand their customers and increase traffic to the gaming floor and special events.

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