Choice Club Card

Choice Hotels Canada and Ernex Marketing Technologies have teamed to launch the “Choice Club Plus” loyalty card offering 6.5 points for every dollar spent at any Choice. Ernex delivers real-time electronic marketing solutions to a variety of industries, including loyalty database hosting solutions, coalition marketing capabilities, real-time points/loyalty programs, Swipe ‘N Win sweepstakes programs, custom coupons/messaging capabilities and stored-value gift card programs.

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FNMS & ACI

First National Merchant Solutions is now offering ACI’s “Proactive Risk Manager” fraud detection software. The system employs expert rules-based strategies and advanced client server account management software to detect suspicious activity, and builds on the expertise of First National staff by allowing them to create rules in real-time. When the system discovers a transaction that matches a rule, an alert is generated and delivered to appropriate personnel for action. The system can generate alerts for both merchant and transaction-based fraud.

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Redeshop Brand

Credicard S.A. has sealed a deal to transfer ownership of the “Redeshop” card brand to MasterCard International. The new “Maestro Redeshop” cards will be accepted throughout the Maestro network of acceptance locations, including 285,000 POS locations and 8,000 ATMs in Brazil. With this move, MasterCard says it consolidates its position in the Brazilian debit card market, reaching nearly 42 million cardholders. Credicard launched “Redeshop” in 1994. Credicard has a base of more than 8.3 million cards issued under the VISA, MasterCard and Diners Club brands. The company’s gross sales volume in 2001 was $17 billion giving Credicard a 25% market share within Brazil.

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Jack in the Box

Payment card acceptance within the quick-service food industry is gaining momentum. San Diego-based Jack in the Box confirmed yesterday it has inked a card processing deal with National Processing Company. Under the agreement, NPC will provide authorization and settlement services for all MasterCard and VISA transactions accepted at participating Jack in the Box restaurants. The company operates or franchises more than 1,860 quick-serve restaurants in 17 states. Two weeks ago McDonald’s announced it will broaden card acceptance next year, and may top 10,000 locations by the end of 2003. KFC introduced card acceptance last year in most of its outlets. Burger King and Wendy’s have pilot programs underway with decisions on full-scale deployment set for early next year.

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Holiday Travel

A new survey from American Express found that more than 70% of Americans are traveling this holiday. Of those planning to travel, 55% will be driving and 16% flying to their holiday getaway. Travelers are also spending more this holiday season compared with previous years: 13% of respondents said they plan to spend $500 or more on their holiday travel, compared with 10 percent in 2001 and 9 percent in 2000, the survey found.

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3Q/02 U.S. Volume

Credit and debit card volume, based on third quarter statistics, is now growing at a 13.7% annual rate. MasterCard is leading the pack with U.S. card volume that is growing between 19.40% and 24.6% annually. MasterCard stats show a 19.4% increase in card volume compared to 3Q/01, but stats previously released to CardData indicate the growth may be as high as 24.6%. Nevertheless, MasterCard is growing about twice as fast as VISA. American Express showed a 7% increase in third quarter volume compared to last year, while Discover was flat compared to 3Q/01. Of VISA’s total volume for credit and off-line debit, $192.3 billion was for purchases and $60.7 billion for cash advances. MasterCard’s U.S. purchase volume was $114.8 billion and cash advance volume was $41.0 billion. Combined purchase volume in the U.S. is growing at 13.4% annual clip, while cash advance volume is surging by 21.4%. For complete details on 3Q/02 stats for the U.S. payment card networks visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

U.S. Third Quarter 2002 Card Charge
Volume by Brand
(credit + off-line debit)

TOTAL VOLUME
3Q/02
VISA $253.0b (+10.2%)
MasterCard $155.8b (+24.6%)
American Express $58.2b (+7.0%)
Discover $24.3b (NC)
TOTAL: $491.3b (+13.7%)

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

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BW STV Card

Best Western has launched a prepaid “Travel Card” that is available in U.S. dollars, Canadian dollars, and Euros. BW says by the end of the year the card will be available in 15 additional currencies. The company has more than 4,000 independently owned and operated hotels in over 80 countries and territories. The card is available for purchase or reloading on-line, at Best Western hotels, through a travel agent or by calling a toll-free number. Cards can be shipped or, for instant delivery, printed from a computer. Guests who are members of Best Western’s “Gold Crown Club International” frequent traveler program will receive one bonus point for every dollar purchased on the card. U.S. residents who purchase a $100 card have the option of selecting a 100-minute calling card from AT&T in lieu of the bonus points at the time of purchase.

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POS Finger-Scanning Pad

Hypercom’s Secure Systems and Transaction Group has developed a low cost finger-scanning pad that connects to a POS terminal, which is used to create a digital vector from the image of the fingerprint. The system, developed by Hypercom’s Secure Systems and Transaction Group, which supplies the Government’s security and transaction market, employs a low cost finger-scanning pad connected to the point-of-sale terminal, which is used to create a digital vector from the image of the fingerprint. The vector is a 256-byte value which, when coupled with the card number, provides an extremely reliable and foolproof method of identity verification.

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NC VISA Gift

OH-based National City Bank has launched an instant-issue “VISA Gift” card at more than 1,100 branch banking locations in a six-state region. Whatever the purpose, the National City Visa Gift Card provides recipients with purchasing convenience and flexibility. The Gift Card offers significant benefits over cash and checks, as all of Visa’s consumer security protection policies apply.

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LOGICA SRI LANKA

London-based Logica has signed a US$9 million contract to build a
national payments system for Sri Lanka. Logica will implement the “Real
Time Gross Settlement System” and the “Scripless Securities Settlement” for
the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. All commercial banks in Sri Lanka will be direct
participants in the Logica-developed “RTGS” system. Both the “RTGS” and the
“SSS” systems will use the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial
Telecommunications or “S.W.I.F.T.” message formats and will be connected
through a Delivery vs. Payment (DvP) link. Full disaster recovery
capabilities will also be provided by Logica. IBM Sri Lanka, and Just In
Time Holdings, Colombo, an established player in the Sri Lankan IT industry
will work with Logica to develop the system.

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Concord Execs

Concord EFS has promoted Bond Isaacson to president of financial services. Isaacson, formerly payments executive at BofA and VISA, joined Concord as EVP in September. Ronald Congemi, president, Star Systems, will continue to have responsibility for the STAR network. Concord also promoted Christopher Reckert as president of payment services. Reckert joined Concord in 1995. The Company also announced that Dan Palmer, chairman and outgoing CEO, will assume the role of chief strategic & financial planning officer in May when Edward Labry, president, succeeds Palmer as CEO.

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