PIN-Debit Potential

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray projects a long runway for continued growth of PIN-based debit payments considering that only 26% of U.S. merchants with credit card terminals can process PIN-based debit card payments. The research firm recommends investors consider Concord EFS, owner of the STAR network, and First Data, 64% owner of the NYCE network, as solid plays in this growing market. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray says it believes the recent emergence of a new breed of payment processor, those that acquire transactions and own EFT networks will aggressively promote PIN-based debit at the point of sale and drive higher penetration at merchant outlets. The firm notes that more than 80 billion cash and check transactions per year are up for grabs. The 2003 antitrust debit card trial will also lay a major role in driving more PIN-based debit card transactions as merchants migrate to lower cost PIN-based transactions and possibly benefit from lower off-line debit card transaction fees.

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VISA E-SCHOOL

VISA International has launched an e-learning service which allows the employees of VISA’s 687 member institutions in the Asia-Pacific region to take courses through VISA Business School, a
training portal devoted to credit card operations and management. The new service is powered by NetDimensions’ Enterprise Knowledge Platform which is able to handle both Asian and Western languages.
More than 100,000 people in 14 Asia Pacific countries are eligible to take courses using the portal. During 2001, a total of US$480 billion was spent in Asia Pacific using VISA cards, an 80% increase over the previous year.

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Fraud Shield

Experian has introduced Fraud Shield Score which blends 22 predictive fraud indicators with key predictive credit risk variables into one score. Among these warning signs are indications that consumer credit was established before the applicant was 18, credit was established prior to the issue date of a Social Security number, and a high probability the Social Security number on the application belongs to another consumer. Other predictive fraud indicators include inconsistencies with telephone numbers, addresses and drivers’ license numbers. Implemented in conjunction with Experian’s proven Fraud Shield tool, the new scoring capability assists lenders by reducing the number of applications that require costly manual review by providing a full perspective on fraud risk and the potential of first-payment default.

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Customized ATM Screens

Fujitsu Transaction Solutions has teamed with Philadelphia-based mCom to offer a new application that creates personalized ATM screens tailored to a customer’s transaction needs and patterns of interaction and behavior integrating Fujitsu’s Series 8000 Web-enabled ATMs and Prism software. Under the agreement, effective immediately, Fujitsu will offer mCom’s suite as a value-added portion of its ATM products and services, and mCom will develop and integrate the software.

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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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