0% Travel

Travelocity and Citibank are offering a 0% APR until Jan. 2003 on qualifying purchases made between today and Sept. 3, 2003 with the Travelocity World MasterCard. The promotion coincides with the launch of Travelocity’s Summer Sale which offers travelers savings of up to 70% on a wide range of air, hotel and car reservations. Travelocity is also offering those applying for the Travelocity World MasterCard an additional $25 off the purchase price of a last minute deal. Citibank offers the Travelocity World Card with a $50 annual fee and a 14.74% APR. The card was launched in 2000. Travelocity is also offering cruise customers, using a MasterCard, up to $150 back via a MasterCard Gift Card. (CF Library 8/24/00)

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LML 1Q/02

Vancouver-based LML Payment Systems reported that revenues for the quarter ending 3/31/02 were up 9.5% to $2.4 million. For the quarter there was a net loss of $567,579 compared to net loss of $2.5 million in the same year-ago quarter. LML is a financial payment processor providing check processing solutions including electronic check authorization, electronic check conversion and primary and secondary check collection including electronic check re-presentment to national, regional and local retailers. LML also provides selective routing of debit, credit and EBT transactions to third party processors and banks for
authorization and settlement.

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Catalog Cards

Generic credit cards offering guaranteed acceptance and no credit checks are flooding the Internet and have gone platinum. PA-based USA Credit has launched its Maxxim Platinum card alongside its USA Gold Credit Card. Both cards are catalog credit cards which require cardholders to make a down payment on catalog merchandise, with the balance financed on the card. The Maxxim Platinum is promoting a $7500 credit line while the Gold version promotes a $5000 credit line. USA Credit charges a $149.95 enrollment fee for each program and a $29.95 fee for credit limit increase requests.

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Telefyne & Q Comm

FL-based Telefyne Incorporated is promoting Q Comm’s Qxpress 200 POSA solution. Q Comm has already shipped new Qxpress 200 units to Telefyne and will continue to roll out additional units as needed. Telefyne is a facilities-based carrier and switch-based reseller of prepaid services that primarily targets retail and wholesale resellers. The company focuses on serving retailers and has amassed more than 4,500 retailers nationwide that it supplies directly in addition to about 15,000 more that it supplies indirectly through its distributors.

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NextCard Downgraded

Standard & Poor’s has lowered its ratings on all classes of NextCard’s credit card asset-backed notes in the 2000 and 2001 series. S&P also warned that base-rate triggers may be breached and since there has been no announced sale of the trust portfolio, the underlying credit card accounts are likely to be closed unless the NextBank receivership can obtain additional capital to fund future purchases by cardholders. Despite a static yield curve and declining base rate, the excess spread rate displayed by both series has continued to fall precipitously during the past six months, and is currently at negative 0.76% for series 2000-1 and negative 0.81% for series 2001-1. The excess spread decline is mainly the result of rising gross charge-offs (currently 16.61% as of the June distribution date). Losses may also increase further as the percentage of the collateral pool, which is greater than 90 days past due, displays an increasing trend and is currently at 4.50%. NextBank’s receiver, the FDIC, has requested and received four bids on the bank’s and the trust’s portfolio of credit card receivables, in an attempt to liquidate the bank’s assets. No sale has been announced as of this morning. (CF Library 2/8/02; 2/11/02; 3/14/02; 6/10/02)

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InterCept CEO Award

InterCept Chairman and CEO John Collins has received Ernst & Young’s 2002 Southeast Area Entrepreneur Of The Year award in the Technology Category. As the Southeast Area winner, Mr. Collins will be inducted into the Entrepreneur Of The Year Hall Of Fame at Ernst & Young’s annual international conference in Palm Springs, California November 21-22, 2002. Lifetime membership in the Hall Of Fame is limited exclusively to Entrepreneur Of The Year award recipients. National award recipients are announced at the international conference, with one recipient being selected as the National Entrepreneur Of The Year and featured on the cover of Entrepreneur Of The Year magazine.

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MasterCard International

As of this morning, MasterCard is “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” and more open. The conversion of MasterCard International into a private share corporation in conjunction with its merger with Europay International, has officially been completed and, as a shareholder-owned global payments company, MasterCard will now disclose detailed information about its business via quarterly and annual financial reports with the SEC. Europay has been a long-standing strategic ally in Europe for MasterCard. The Europe Region will continue to be based in Waterloo, Belgium. Dr. Peter Hoch, Europay’s chief executive, has become president of MasterCard’s Europe Region. MasterCard’s other regions, Asia/Pacific, Latin America/Caribbean, South Asia/Middle East/Africa and North America will continue to maintain their regional boards. MasterCard says the restructuring will provide full globalization of MasterCard’s processing functions with significant economies of scale. The integration also provides the opportunity for the Europe Region to benefit from MasterCard’s global expertise in brand building such as its “Priceless” advertising campaign, now seen in 45 languages and in 90 countries. MasterCard says its European customers will also benefit from the delivery of enhanced customized relationship management and consulting services. (CF Library 6/18/02)

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RED SIGNS VIRGIN

Virgin Mobile has signed a contract for Retail Decisions to provide payment authorization and settlement services. The deal is expected to process in excess of 3 million transactions annually. Virgin
Mobile, Britain’s fifth network, has over 1.75 million customers and is the UK’s leading pre-pay phone provider. With no monthly contracts, all Virgin Mobile customers have the facility to pre-pay their phone
using a payment card. Retail Decisions will be providing Virgin Mobile with a comprehensive security solution that will allow it to obtain a bank authorization and settlement, and screen the transactions against the
Company’s Hot Card File. In 2001, ReD processed more than 1 billion card transactions, stopping an estimated $396 million in fraudulent purchases.

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Biometric Acceptance

A new survey shows that 94% of Americans support the use of biometric devices to enhance airline security, and 84% would like to see biometric devices used to increase security at stadiums and public events. While 46% of those surveyed prefer using a PIN with their ATM card, 36% favor biometric authentication,and of the 42% who prefer the use of signatures with banking and credit card transactions, 32% would prefer to use a biometric. The study by WA-based SAFLINK Corporation says that overall, 90% said they would not be opposed to the use of some biometric device for verification purposes with payment card transactions. Only 11% of those surveyed perceive biometric identification as an invasion of privacy. The SAFLINK also found that more than 70% of those surveyed would be more willing to purchase products online if the transactions required biometric authentication, and 65% would prefer that hospitals and doctors used biometrics in place of passwords to protect patient records. In addition, 78% felt that biometric authentication would make their workplace computers more secure.

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eManager Re-Launched

Atlanta-based eDebt launched eManager, a recovery management advisory service available to creditors and portfolio buyers on an outsourced basis. eManager supports all aspects of recovery strategy, account placement and provides hands-on management of agencies. It also provides pre- and post charge-off account compliance reviews, performance reporting, agency audits and specialty account monitoring.

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