Nasty Dibz

TX-based Dibz, Inc has signed Cory “Nasty” Nastazio, one of the most prominent names in BMX Freestyle, to provide Dibz exclusive online video and images, among other marketing opportunities, for purchase only with the new Dibz prepaid card. Through sponsoring and partnering with extreme “core” sports events and athletes, like Cory Nastazio, Dibz appeals to these young people who often have online access, disposable income, but no credit card. Dibz will provide exclusive online content of Cory Nastazio such as video trick tips, candid interviews, movie clips, photos, home video, mobile phone voice mail greetings, and other unique content available for purchase at the Dibz Launch Pit using a Dibz Powered Card.

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Segment Growth

Credit Unions are reporting higher average balances and volume than most other credit card segments. According to the May issue of RAM Research Group’s Bankcard Barometer, released this morning, average balances, per active account, among credit union portfolios are $2,562 compared to an average balance of $2,385 for the top ten U.S. issuers. Based on 1Q/02 data, credit unions reported an average first quarter volume of $1,231 per active account versus $1,096 for the top ten.

SECTOR MONITOR (1Q/02 vs 1Q/01)
BAL VOL
Cobranded/Affinity: $2471 $1143
Sub-Prime/Secured $1524 $ 489
Low Rate >$2 Billion $2393 $1088
Low Rate

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Chase Voyager

Corillian Corp. confirmed yesterday that JPMorgan Chase Bank has successfully converted to the Corillian Voyager Internet banking platform and launched its next-generation online banking service to all new and existing online banking customers. Chase customers will continue to have real-time, customizable access to most of their financial accounts to check balances, transfer money — now including wiring money to any U.S. bank accounts — and pay bills anytime and anywhere the customer has Internet access. Chase also leveraged the Corillian Voyager platform to maintain the additional features such as Direct Deposit of Payroll and Federal Tax payments that existed for their small business customers.

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CALL CENTER CLOSED

The Juarez call center for Kentucky-based National Processing will be closed by the end of this year, after 14 years of operations. NPC says it set up the operation to handle its former labor-intensive and paper-based operations. NPC’s assets in Mexico consist primarily of a voice-authorization call center and a vacant 58,000-square-foot-facility. The Company expects to record an after-tax charge in the range of $2.0 million to $2.5 million, in the second quarter of 2002, for severance costs, building and equipment write-downs, and related items.

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EPISUITE ID

San Diego-based ImageWare Systems has released its EPISUITE ID software solution in Chinese which enables users to design ID cards; capture photos, signatures and fingerprints; maintain a secure database of cardholder information; and encode magnetic stripes, bar codes, and smart chips. EPISUITE Chinese will be launched from ImageWare’s Singapore offices and will expand the company’s presence in the Asia Pacific.

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DE LA RUE EXPANSION

Hampshire-based De La Rue has acquired a controlling interest in US-based Sequoia Voting Systems, a provider of touch screen voting systems. De La Rue will acquire an 85% interest while Dublin, Ireland-based Smurfit will retain a 15% interest. De La Rue will make an initial cash payment of $23 million and the potential of subsequent payments up to $12 million during the next three years, based on agreed sales growth targets. Sequoia has installed more than 35,000 Direct Record Electronic full face and touch screen voting machines in 16 states. One in five of the world’s ATMs have a De La Rue cash dispensing mechanism inside and more than 2,000 financial institutions in 60 countries rely on De La Rue to secure their transactions.

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Experian Clients

Experian reported Wednesday that it has signed 13 more clients for its CRM, Truvue, and National Fraud Database services including GE Capital, VISA, First American Payment Processing, American Express, Bank One/First USA, and Discover Financial Services. Experian also reported that as a whole, sales for the year increased by 7% and operating profit by 6%, despite difficult market conditions particularly in North America. At constant exchange rates and excluding acquisitions and disposals, sales grew by 3% and operating profit by 4%.

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AMEX CARD

Karachi-based Union Bank has signed an agreement with American Express to issue Rupee-billed American Express cards in Pakistan. The launch follows the signing of an Independent Operator Agreement between Union and AmEx in July 2001, under which Union Bank issues and markets American Express cards in Pakistan, signs new merchant locations, and provides customer services to both cardholders and merchants in the country. Now consumers in Pakistan can choose to have either a US Dollar denominated American Express Card or a Rupee-billed Card. American Express established Global Network Services in 1997 to form strategic alliances with banks and financial institutions around the world to issue cards on American Express’ global merchant network. To date, GNS has built 76 partnership arrangements in close to 80 countries around the world.

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PaySafeNow

NY-based FreeStar Technologies and EnelPunto Payment Gateway report their PaySafeNow system is now fully operational at the e-commerce Web site for Radio Shack in the Dominican Republic. EnelPunto has established FreeStar’s PaySafeNow system as the standard, approved e-commerce payment technology for its merchant network comprised of 50 online vendors, including Radio Shack-Latin America. FreeStar’s ePayPad, a consumer-side card swipe device that enables online users to make purchases over the Internet using PIN-authenticated ATM and debit cards, is also being marketed directly to consumers over Radio Shack-Latin America’s site.

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BEETLE USB

Wincor Nixdorf has released a low-cost solution to adopt the Powered USB standard throughout Wincor’s BEETLE family of POS appliances. Migrating from serial to Powered USB connection technology takes a matter of minutes on the BEETLE systems. The serial ports on the BEETLE system’s internal board can be removed and replaced with Powered USB ports—a simple process that typically does not require outside service technicians. Powered USB device connections provide a locking connector that secures cables to the host. This is a critical requirement in the retail environment, where accidentally disconnecting a peripheral can bring a checkout lane to a halt. Powered USB also overcomes the limitations of standard USB connections that provide enough power for a keyboard and mouse, but are insufficient for scanners, displays, and printers.

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MasterCard MVP

MasterCard International launched its “MasterCard Vendor Program” this week, which gives vendors a single point of access to the comprehensive business and technical information needed to serve financial institutions using MasterCard’s payments platform. Financial institutions are increasingly deploying advanced technology on a global scale to deliver new products and services and better serve customers. MVP is a single, global resource for vendors that provide a range of services to these institutions, facilitating vendors’ capability to effectively serve financial institutions with any MasterCard-related project, at any location. Vendors in the MVP have access to up-to-the-minute technical information and support, as well as business and product briefings from a variety of sources within the organization, including operations, chip, mobile commerce, e-commerce and debit. More than 75 vendors currently participate in the program.

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