AAMS Signs Hotel Group

ABN AMRO Merchant Services has inked a deal with Arlington Hospitality, Inc. to provide authorization and settlement services for all VISA and MasterCard transactions accepted at 78 corporate-owned and managed hotel properties in 16 states including 66 AmeriHost Inn hotels. Arlington Hospitality is a publicly traded company engaged in the development, construction, ownership, operation and management of AmeriHost Inn hotels and other mid-price hotels.

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High Speed Check Conversion

MagTek has released an upgraded model of its MICRImage check reader and image scanner with an integrated V.34 high-speed modem, enabling a retailer to transfer check image data to a remote archive at high speed directly from the POS. In addition to its integrated modem, the MagTek MICRImage check reader/scanner also comes equipped with a standard RS-232 serial port for transmitting the MICR data to a POS terminal for check authorization. Additionally, the MICRImage provides an intuitive, efficient command interface to facilitate integration into any POS application.

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OASIS CEO

Toronto-based Oasis Technology has named David Pasieka to the position of president and CEO. Pasieka replaces departing president, chief executive officer and co-founder Ashraf Dimitri, who has led Oasis since its inception in 1989. Pasieka brings more than 23 years of global operations, senior management and business development experience at several technology companies, including World Gaming PLC, AT&T Canada, MetroNet Communications Corporation, 724 Solutions Inc., and Bell Canada. Oasis also noted it expects to close a round of funding with an aggregate value of US$5.8 million this month.

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Charge-Offs 1Q/02

Charge-offs among the top ten issuers of VISA and MasterCards increased by slightly more than 22% during the first quarter compared to 1Q/01. Providian and Citigroup continued to report the largest jump in losses, while Bank One/First USA and Fleet reported decreasing charge-offs over the past twelve months. Discover and American Express also posted significantly higher losses during 1Q/02, surging 35.5% and 27.4%, respectively. American Express’ charge-off rate increased from 5.1% one year ago to 6.5% for 1Q/02. For the fiscal quarter ending Feb 28, 2002, Discover reported a charge-off rate of 6.49% compared to 4.79% for fiscal 1Q/01. Among the top ten VISA and MasterCard issuers, the average for the first quarter came in at 7.30% compared to 5.98% one year ago. If Discover and AmEx are included the average for the top issuers would be 7.17% for 1Q/02 compared to 5.81% for 1Q/01. For complete portfolio details on the top U.S. issuers visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

TOP TEN VISA/MC ISSUER CHARGE-OFFS
1Q/02 4Q/01 1Q/01 4Q/00 ANN CHNG
1. Citigroup: 6.41% 5.91% 4.84% 4.22% +32.4%
2. MBNA: 5.00% 4.86% 4.25% 3.87% +17.6%
3. First USA: 5.69% 5.59% 5.81% 5.41% – 2.1%
4. Chase: 5.87% 5.48% 5.05% 4.86% +16.2%
5. Cap One: 4.00% 4.42% 3.75% 3.98% + 6.7%
6. Providian: 15.05% 12.70% 9.34% 8.49% +61.1%
7. BofA: 5.43% 4.90% 4.37% 4.32% +24.3%
8. Household: 7.17% 6.69% 6.27% 5.83% +14.4%
9. Fleet: 5.42% 5.38% 5.55% 4.97% – 2.3%
10. Dir Merch: 13.00% 10.90% 10.60% 9.70% +22.6%
AVERAGE: 7.30% 6.68 5.98% 5.57% +22.1%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Lipman & EXS

Electronic Exchange Systems has signed an agreement with Lipman for the purchase of 20,000 POS terminals. The agreement reflects EXS’ decision to primarily sell NURIT solutions, and in particular the NURIT 3020 and NURIT CAPTURE signature capture solution. Powered by NURIT APPS Value Added Applications, Lipman features both landline and wireless POS solutions under the NURIT brand. This complete product line includes traditional POS terminals, ECR, ATM, Scrip and Kiosk solutions for the retail, restaurant, mobile commerce, direct marketing, and fleet markets.

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Summer Volume

Credit card volume during the summer vacation period may be sluggish if consumer spending continues to weaken. During the first quarter, card volume was down 5% as Americans charged $319.2 billion to their bank credit cards compared to $336.1 billion for 1Q/01. Government figures released yesterday indicate consumer spending or retail sales dipped by 90 basis points during May. The surprise news pushed the stock market down by more than 1%. Auto sales and gas sales were off significantly, while other retail sales weakened slightly in May. Consumers have been driving the recovery from last year’s recession and analysts are concerned they may be pulling back just as the summer vacation period gets underway. While credit card volume has been growing at a slower pace this year, credit card debt is growing at about half of the pace of 2001. During April, revolving credit, 90% of which is credit card debt, grew at an annual rate of 7.0% compared to 14.2% for April 2001. On an actual dollar basis, Americans added $4.2 billion to revolving credit in April 2002 compared to $9.4 billion one year ago.

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Online ICA

TeleCheck Service has enhanced its TeleCheck Internet Check Acceptance service by adding registration technology through its acquisition of ACHEX. The TeleCheck ICA service uses the ACH to access consumers’ checking accounts. The first time a consumer pays by check with the enhanced ICA service, they complete a brief registration form and TeleCheck utilizes its in-house databases to verify the consumer’s identity. The consumer’s personal information is stored off-line throughout the transaction process in TeleCheck’s bank-like security environment.

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USTT & Kodak

USA Technologies said this week the number of Kodak vending machines using its e-Port card payment technology is approaching 400 nationwide. Recent installations of Kodak vending machines have been made in Yankee Stadium, New York’s Times Square and Santa Monica Pier. Kodak Vending Machines are planned for deployment in locations such as the Pro Football Hall of Fame, many baseball stadiums, Miami Seaquarium, and the Chicago Museum of Science. The next installations out of a pending 100 include Six Flags America, the Las Vegas Thomas & Mack Convention Center, and the Memphis Zoo.

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GLXS Board

FL-based Global Axcess Corporation announced the addition of Donald Headlund to the Board of Directors. Headlund is currently President of Cardservice International, joining the firm in July 1991. Shortly thereafter he was named CFO and became President in May 2000. Global Axcess is a full service leasing, asset management and proprietary software company in the ATM business.

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MONEY TRANSFERS

The UAE General Postal Authority has signed a contract with Western Union Financial Services to offer money transfer services in 15 pilot locations. Western Union has 169 agent locations in the UAE and more than 6,100 agent locations in the Middle East & South Asia region. The UAE General Postal Authority and Western Union anticipate expanding locations from 15 to 70 locations early next year.
Western Union currently has agreements with nearly 70 postal organizations, including India Post, China Post, La Poste in France and Deutsche Post in Germany.

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TransLink Partner

San Mateo, CA-based WageWorks has partnered with the San Francisco Bay Area TransLink program, a smart transit card program currently being tested. WageWorks provides an online system for employees to take advantage of the TransLink smart card, by enrolling in their employer-provided WageWorks CommuteEssentials program. Under the WageWorks program, an employee can determine how much money they want to add onto the TransLink card each month.

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FINGERCELL EDK

Vilnius-based Neurotechnologija has released a complete biometric fingerprint solution for embedded devices that can match 500 fingerprints per second, one of the fastest EDK systems on the market.
FingerCell EDK can be used for both verification (1:1 matching) and identification (1:N). FingerCell’s algorithms are custom set for the EDK’s hardware, enabling enrollment times of less than one second; the software also provides a False Rejection Rate (FRR) of 3% and False Acceptance Rate (FAR) of 0.001%. FingerCell code is extremely compact, requiring only 512 KB of memory. The software is compatible with both the AuthenTec FingerLoc AF-S2 and AuthenTec EntrePad AES4000 sensors, or can be read from fingerprints from TIF and BMP format image files.

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