Entertainment Gift Card

WI-based Marcus Theatres has launched an “Entertainment Gift Card” for consumers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio. The stored-value gift cards are available in any amount from $5 to $500 dollars and can be reloaded with additional value. The cards go on sale this week at Marcus Theatres in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio, and at [www.marcustheatres.com][1].

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



SchlumbergerSema has introduced the “.NET Card,” which utilizes smart card
security to the delivery of Wi-Fi, digital rights management solutions,
next-generation mobile messaging and home entertainment applications. The
new technology enables easy integration with all types of multimedia
applications, and complements the company’s existing portfolio of smart
card platforms that will serve as the core technology for multimedia
network services through various connected devices such as MP3 systems,
game boxes, PDA’s, PC’s, cable and satellite TV systems, and, potentially,
next generation phones. The advanced infrastructure behind the “.NET Card”
technology incorporates a service layer designed to enable a range of
applications to be automatically downloaded and installed onto the smart
card. The platform also has multi-language functionality for maximum
flexibility and ease-of-use within the developer community. The platform
will allow cross functionality between applications and services developed
in any language supported by the “.NET” framework, including Visual Basic,
.NET, C# and J#. SchlumbergerSema has licensed an ECMA-335 standard named
Common Language Infrastructure from Hive-Minded as a component for its
“.NET Card” platform.



A new survey has found that online bank brands are failing to gain the
same trust as established high street bank brands. The new ICM research,
from brand consultants Henrion Ludlow Schmidt, reveals that trust in
established, high-street bank brands has soared from 73% to 82% since the
survey was last conducted in 2000, while trust in more recently branded
offerings has remained static at 7%, despite high-profile launches and
publicity. Of some comfort to bankers is that only 5% say they trust
neither – an improvement from 2000 when 14% declared their lack of trust.
Other findings showed: only 1% of Scots trust online bank brands more than
high street ones, with 91% putting their faith in traditional banks and 10%
of the 35-44 age group trust online bank brands most.


Synovus Cyota VbV

Synovus said yesterday it has selected the Cyota “SecureVbV-Processor Service” to deliver “Verified by VISA” to its 39 affiliate banks. Synovus has made the service available to all of its consumer credit and check card customers since November 1st. Synovus’ implementation of “Verified by VISA” will be delivered by TSYS, which implemented Cyota’s complete “SecureSuite” platform last year. Cyota “SecureVbV-Processor” allows financial institutions that process several institutions’ transactions to have a unified “Verified by VISA” service for their complete client base. Cyota’s “SecureSuite” platform is available as a hosted service from multiple locations worldwide, including the US, Europe and Japan, and can also be implemented in-house.



Trintech Group has secured the final approval of the Irish Takeover Panel
to commence its share buy-back program. The Irish Takeover Panel has ruled
that John and Cyril McGuire are not acting in concert and therefore would
not be required to make a mandatory bid for the Company if their relative
percentage ownership increased following the repurchase by the Company of
its own shares through the buy-back program. This ruling allows Trintech to
start the buy-back program, which is expected to commence in early December
following publication of the Company’s results for third quarter, the
period ended October 31, 2002.


Holiday Outlook

While many economists have been reluctant to forecast holiday sales this year, the annual American Express “Retail Index” on holiday shopping shows the average household holiday budget will rise 5% this year. This year’s holiday budget is expected to be $1,656, a modest increase from the $1,564 projected in 2001. The 2002 number is still below the 2000 projected high of $1,684. The 2002 AmEx index shows that consumers plan to spend $1,073 on gifts (up $29 from last year), and $238 for holiday entertaining (up $22 from last year). The Index reveals that fewer shoppers expect to pay in cash this year than last. Checks are also less popular as 39% cited this as their preferred payment method, down sharply from 59% in 2001. More consumers are using credit or charge cards this year; 63% plan to pay for at least some, if not all of their purchases with cards. Of that, 11% will use them to pay for all of their purchases, up from 9% last year, and 26% will use them to pay for some of their purchases, up from 21%.


[1]: /graphic/americanexpress/2002planstart.jpg



NCR has confirmed plans for a larger manufacturing plant and a
professional services center in Bangalore by September 2003 with an
investment of US$6 million. NCR recently opened an ATM manufacturing
facility at Pondicherry which enables the company to meet local demand
prior to the completion of the Bangalore facility. The Bangalore
manufacturing plant will produce ATM hardware, while the professional
services center will develop services and software for the Indian market.
NCR has already established a state-of-the-art ATM channel management
center in Mumbai, the first of its kind in Asia. The 5,000 square-foot
center has the capacity to remotely manage over 6,000 ATMs across India.
Over 900 ATMs are already managed through this facility, enabling deployers
to focus on their core business while NCR manages the efficient running of
their ATM networks.


CompuCredit 3Q/02

Atlanta-based CompuCredit reported third quarter net income of $22.0 million, compared to a $36 million loss in the prior quarter, and $15.0 million in income for 3Q/01. The company’s loan portfolio passed $3.0 billion during the quarter, as the company took over accounts cast off by Providian. During 3Q/02, CompuCredit added 2,286,000 accounts to bring its account base to 4,070,000. CompuCredit’s delinquency rate (60+ days) increased from 9.0% for 2Q/02 to 12.3%. One year ago CompuCredit’s delinquency rate was 10.9%. The adjusted net charge-off rate was 8.3% in the third quarter of 2002 as compared to 15.0% for the second quarter of 2002. The net interest margin was 21.4% in the third quarter of 2002 as compared to 13.1% for the second quarter. For complete details on CompuCredit’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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


eProcessing Network Expands

eProcessing Network says California Small Business Services, Eclipse Disappearing Screens and a California restaurant called Le Blue Zen are just three companies currently using the Company’s handheld-based mobile payments solution. eProcssing Network software on their devices is Palm software that reads the mag stripe reader and send the card and transaction information to eProcessing Network across the Internet. That information is processed and the retailer gets a response on the screen of their Palm handheld.


Little Tightening

The October 2002 “Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices” found that 15% of domestic banks indicated that they had tightened standards on credit card loans and other consumer loans over the past three months, about the same as in the previous survey. Over the same period, almost one-quarter of respondents reported reducing the number of exceptions granted to customers not meeting credit-scoring thresholds on all consumer loans. For the second consecutive survey, a small net fraction of domestic banks reported that demand for consumer loans was somewhat weaker over the past three months.