Citi Prepaid Takes Shape With Ecount Deal

Citi is making big inroads with the prepaid market as it announced the acquisition of market leader PA-based Ecount. Privately-held Ecount serves a base of more than 1,200 corporate clients across North America with paperless payment solutions including prepaid card solutions. In November Ecount teamed with XBux, a player in action sports performance payouts, to launch the “XBux Prepaid VISA”. In October, Ecount partnered with the Advertising Checking Bureau which services more than 200 of the top manufacturers with an extended suite of Web-based offerings. In September, Ecount’s CEO and Co-founder, Matt Gillin, was elected to the Board of the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association. (CF Library 9/25/06; 10/4/06; 11/13/06)

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Top E-Merchants Lose 60bps to Online Fraud

A new poll of the 110 largest online sellers in the U.S. has found that an average of 0.6% of their total revenue is lost to online fraud and that 50% of this group report a fraudulent order rate of 0.25% or less. The survey, sponsored by CyberSource for the Merchant Risk Council, also found that “Platinum” merchants use an average of 8.2 fraud-fighting tools, versus 4.8 in the overall sample and 7.5 for other large merchants. The most notable difference is in order velocity monitoring. These automated systems, which flag suspicious patterns in the order flow, are in place at 88% of the “Platinum” merchants surveyed, compared with only 33% of the overall merchant base and 57% of other large merchants. Other tools most commonly employed by the “Platinum” merchants are “Address Verification Service”, company-specific fraud screens (86%), negative lists (81%), “Card Verification Number” (74%) and IP geolocation (74%).

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Citi to Stop Cardholder Rate/Fee Abuses

Citi announced yesterday it is eliminating its “universal default” and the “any time for any reason” increases to the rates and fees of its customers’ credit card accounts. The move comes on the heels of growing criticism in a Democratic-controlled Congress over credit card practices and abuses. Citi says the only reason the rates and fees will increase before the card expires is if a customer pays late, exceeds the credit limit or pays with a check that bounces. When the interest rate on the card is linked to the prime rate, the rate would change only as the prime rate moves up or down. The “universal default” elimination is effective immediately. The “any time for any reason” changes are effective immediately for new customers, will be implemented for existing bankcard customers by April and will be reflected in Citi’s customer communications by summer.

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VeriFone Quarterly Revenues Surge by 61%

VeriFone reported that its net revenues for the quarter ended January 31st surged 61% to $216.6 million, driven by the Lipman acquisition and strong international performance. However, the electronic payment solutions provider posted a net loss of nearly $1 million for the quarter, compared to a profit of about $14 million one-year ago due to recent acquisition and inventory costs. But, the Company says it is increasing its second quarter internal expectations for net income to be in the range of $0.36 to $0.37 per share, compared to the net loss of $0.01 per share in the quarter ended 1/31/07. During the quarter, VeriFone obtained the “RBS Streamline Certification” for its “Vx Solutions” product line; obtained approval of the “EMV7816 Interface” with Germany’s ZKA; obtained certification for the “Nurit 8210” from Sistema 4B in Spain; achieved a major milestone by supporting all the large bank applications for the “One POS Project” in Turkey; announced the first U.S. acceptance of “MasterCard PayPass” in Philadelphia taxicabs; and announced two new systems in the “MX Solutions” payment platform: the “MX830” and “MX850.” Last April VeriFone signed an agreement to acquire Lipman for $793 million in cash and stock. For complete details on VeriFone’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 4/10/06)

REVENUE HISTORICAL
4Q/04: $111.3 million
1Q/05: $117.9 million
2Q/05: $125.7 million
3Q/05: $130.5 million
4Q/05: $134.6 million
1Q/06: $142.2 million
2Q/06: $147.6 million
3Q/06: $156.6 million
4Q/06: $216.6 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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iPay Technologies and Bradford-Scott Data Partner

KY-based iPay Technologies has announced a partnership with IN-based Bradford-Scott Data Corporation, enabling Bradford-Scott’s credit union clients to offer their members bill pay services using the “iPay” bill payment platform. iPay Technologies provides online bill payment solutions and direct support to more than 1,100 financial institutions. Bradford-Scott Data distributes the “Sharetec System” from Sharetec Systems and is a provider of core data processing systems for credit unions.

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Largest Supermarket PayPass Deployment Underway

ShopRite supermarkets have begun accepting MasterCard “PayPass” at over 200 ShopRite locations, the largest deployment of PayPass in the supermarket category to date. All participating ShopRite locations are fully equipped and ready to accept MasterCard PayPass in-store. The implementation of this technology provides a new level of convenience to millions of ShopRite customers. Purchases under $25 will not require the customer to sign the receipt. In addition, ShopRite will continue to accept traditional magnetic-stripe payment cards. ShopRite supermarkets are members of Wakefern Food Corporation, a retailer-owned cooperative with stores located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Delaware, serving than 4 million customers each week.

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FDC Completes its Intelligent Results Acquisition

First Data Corp has completed its acquisition of Intelligent Results, a customer data analytics and decision management software company. The strategic acquisition will provide the data analytics, predictive modeling and expertise to support development and enhancement of products. It also supports the company’s key strategies of growing the core business and expanding its product offering with special focus in fraud, loyalty and customer contact Intelligent Results’ proprietary customer analytics and decision management platform “PREDIGY” is used by clients in the financial services, utilities and government services markets.

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FAIR ISAAC & ACONITE

Aconite, a top provider of software and consulting solutions to
the global payments market, and Fair Isaac, the top provider of
analytics and decision management technology have joined forces to
improve fraud and risk management in an off-line ME environment. The
companies will jointly market “Falcon Fraud Manager” for payment card
fraud detection and “TRIAD” adaptive control system for credit risk
management with “ME Script Processor” and “ME Transaction Enabler,”
Aconite’s ME software solutions. Named after its originators Europe,
MasterCard and VISA, ME describes a set of requirements to ensure
interoperability between “smart” or chip-based payment cards and
point-of-sale terminals on a global basis.

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CashTechCard to Market iShop’s Prepaid Cards

CashTechCard Systems has entered into a joint marketing agreement with TV Media to market the “iShop” prepaid debit card program. CSI will be the exclusive provider of prepaid debit card products to TV Media, whose various advertising channels reach millions of U.S. households. The first 10,000 “iShop” cards have been ordered by TV Media from CSI. The “iShop Card” can be used for mail-order and online purchases and at millions of merchants and ATM locations around the world. Unlike conventional credit cards, virtually everyone is qualified to receive an “iShop Card”, including non-banked or underbanked customers. TV Media is a product marketing and services company. Cash Technologies develops and markets innovative data processing solutions in the healthcare and financial services industries.

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FAIR ISAAC & ACONITE

Aconite software and Fair Isaac technology management have announced a
joint venture, known as “Falcon” and “TRIAD” decision management, to
provide banks and transaction processors with fraud and risk management.
These capabilities will be available for companies worldwide and are
designed to help banks adopt a balanced online/offline authorization
policy, reduce operational costs, minimize fraud losses, and increase
revenue. Fair Isaac’s “Falcon Fraud Manager” is a payment card fraud
detection system, protecting more than 450 million accounts globally.
“TRIAD adaptive control system” automates customer management and
account decisions and is used to manage nearly 300 card portfolios
worldwide.

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Encore Capital Gross Collections Rise 31%

San Diego-based charge-off buyer Encore Capital reported that revenues from the debt purchasing business during the fourth quarter were $65.0 million, a 20% increase the same period of the prior year. However, net income declined 15% year-on-year to $6.6 million. Gross collections for 4Q/06 were $94.5 million, a 31% increase over 4Q/05. During the fourth quarter, the Company spent $63.6 million to purchase $1.4 billion in face value of debt. Asset classes purchased in the fourth quarter included credit card, healthcare, auto deficiency, telecommunications and consumer loans. For the full year of 2006, the Company spent $144.3 million to purchase $3.7 billion in face value of debt. The Company also announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a securities repurchase program under which the Company may buy back up to $50 million of a combination of its common stock and convertible senior notes. For complete details on Encore’s latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Alacra Adds Experian To List Of Data Providers

Alacra Business Solutions has announced the addition of Experian to its’
list of data providers. Experian brings to Alacra expertise in business
information allowing customers access to news on over 2.4 million UK
public and private companies and four million directors and
shareholders. More than 600 corporations, representing 50,000 end users
worldwide, use Alacra to find and deploy business information.

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