MasterCard 3Q/02

MasterCard passed the 300 million mark in U.S. payment cards during the third quarter. Gross dollar volume for the third quarter hit $155.9 billion compared with $125.0 billion for the 3Q/01, a 24.7% increase. MasterCard’s year-to-date volume of $439.7 billion represented a 17.8% increase over the same period in 2001. Purchase volume grew 16.6% and cash volume grew 21.0% during this same period. At September 30th, the number of MasterCard cards issued in the USA increased 15.1% to almost 309 million. In Canada, MasterCard GDV rose 19.8% for the first nine months of this year, and 21.1% for the third quarter of 2002, in each case compared to the same period in 2001. Purchase volume in Canada remained strong in the first nine months of 2002, representing over 82.2% of GDV in that region. At the end of the third quarter, Canadian banks had increased the number of MasterCard cards issued by 19.1% compared to 3Q/01. For more details on MasterCard’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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NJ Dining Card

DiningGiftCard.com has launched a prepaid dining gift card for consumers living in Central New Jersey. the dining gift card allows the recipient to enjoy fine cuisine from more than 40 restaurants, ranging from four-star to family fare, in the five-county area of Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Somerset and Union. The cards are available in denominations of $25, $50, $75, $100, $150, and $250.

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MI Ski Card

For the ninth season, the Michigan Snowsport Industries Association has released its prepaid “White Gold Card” that enables purchasers to ski one time at each of the 23 participating ski areas across the state. The card looks like a credit card, divided into squares. Each ski area is assigned to a square and one square is designated for the ski tune-up. The purchaser takes the White Gold Card to the ski area’s lift ticket window, where the square corresponding to that ski area is punched out.

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Check Fraud

Attempted check fraud at the nation’s banks surpassed $4.3 billion in 2001, doubling for the second time in four years. The American Bankers Association Deposit Account Fraud Survey Report says actual dollar losses remained relatively stable at $698 million, up slightly from the $679 million that banks lost in 1999, the last year of ABA’s survey. Since the last survey, the number of check fraud incidents increased 34% to 600,085 cases in 2001. However, average losses per case went down from $1,518 in 1999 to $1,163 in 2001. The most common type of check fraud in 2001 was forgery, with about one-third of fraud cases and fraud losses attributed to forged signatures and endorsements.

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Billserv Seeks Strategic Alternatives

Texas-based Billserv said yesterday it has cut jobs, reducing its salary burden by 66%, and is aggressively pursuing strategic alternatives, including investment in or sale of the Company. he Company took this action due to continued weak capital markets and lower than anticipated available cash. The Company will continue to seek new customers and focus on servicing its existing customers.

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Sears Trouble

Sears was hammered yesterday as it stock fell to its lowest level in two decades following an analyst downgrade by Goldman Sachs which suggested the retailer may suffer a prolonged slump in profit and sales growth, on top of beefing-up credit card reserves. Meanwhile, another analyst thinks the stock market has not yet adequately discounted the price of Sears shares based on the information found in the Sears 10Q, filed earlier this week. FL-based Allen Douglas Securities issued a warning and a sell recommendation on Sears yesterday. The research firms says the recently released Cash Flow Statement data indicates that Sears generated negative operating cash flow of ($1.1 Billion) for the nine months and ($928 million) for its third quarter. The research firm also says another reason for the sell recommendation is the complete lack of confidence in Sears’ management based on recent events. After two Chicago newspaper articles suggested that Sears’ management was unaware of its credit card receivables problem, the head of Sears’ credit card division abruptly left the company. Also Sears gave EPS guidance of $.80 to $.82 per share for its third quarter, but changed the EPS guidance to $.59 ten days later. For complete details on Sears’ third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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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

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.NET CARD

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.

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ONLINE TRUST

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.

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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.

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TRINTECH BUY-BACK

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.

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