CUNA Finds CUs Embracing Online Banking

A new survey shows that 60% of credit unions now offer online banking, up from 45% two years ago. Nearly all offer the service for free. The “2006-2007 Credit Union Fees Survey” from the Credit Union National Association also revealed that 65% of credit unions that offer online banking also include a bill-pay function with their offering. Therefore, nearly 40% of all credit unions offer an online bill-pay program — up from 27% in 2004. Although the number of credit unions offering online bill-pay has continued to rise, the number of credit unions charging their members for this feature has dropped. Currently, only 33% of credit unions offering online bill pay charge for this service, down from 62% in 2004, and 81% in 2001.

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First Data Third Quarter Revenues Up 9%

First Data reported its first quarter without Western Union which was spun-off last month. Total revenue was 9% in the third quarter to $1.8 billion. For the third quarter, Commercial Services generated revenue of $1.1 billion, up 10% over 3Q/05, driven by transaction growth of 13%. Commercial Services’ operating profit was up 22% year-on-year to $294 million. Financial Institution Services produced revenue of $455 million, down 4% due to a large contract termination fee. Financial Institution Services’ operating profit was $96 million, down 2%. First Data International generated revenue of $332 million, up 45%, driven by organic transaction growth. First Data International’s operating profit was $32 million, up 9% over 3Q/05. First Data projects earnings per share in the range of $0.33 to $0.35 for the fourth quarter. The company also announced that it plans to repurchase $700 million of its shares by the end of 2007. For complete details on First Data’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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AmEx U.S. Card Profits Rise 31% in Q3

American Express reported that its U.S. Card Services division posted third quarter net income of $580 million, up 31% year-over-year, but down 6% sequentially. U.S. gross dollar volume rose 13.5% and the AmEx cardbase expanded 11.4% during the third quarter, compared to the year ago quarter. Marketing, promotion, rewards and cardholder services expenses increased 12% due to higher rewards costs, marketing and promotion activities. However, provisions for losses declined 3% due to lower write-offs which benefited from last year’s bankruptcy legislation and improved collections. Total worldwide card loans rose 16% to $58.5 billion. Delinquency on total card loans (30+ days) increased to 2.7% versus 2.4% one-year ago. Charge-offs on total card loans declined to 3.5% compared to 4.0% for 3Q/05. Card volume in the U.S. hit $101.7 billion, down slightly from the prior quarter. The total number of domestic cards-in-force grew by 1.4 million from the prior quarter to 46.8 million cards. For complete details on American Express’ third quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

American Express U.S. Card Portfolio Snapshot
3Q/06 2Q/06 1Q/06 4Q/05 3Q/05 Ann Chng
Volume $101.7b 102.5 92.9 93.0 89.6 +13.5%
Cards 46.8mm 45.4 44.0 43.0 42.0 +11.4%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Harris Teeter to Offer Western Union Services

The Harris Teeter grocery chain, with more than 150 stores throughout North Carolina and the Southeast U.S., will roll-out Western Union services by November 8th. Harris Teeter shoppers will have the ability to send and receive money through the Western Union Money Transfer service, send bill payments or prepay for wireless, home phone or Internet service with Western Union Payment Services, purchase a Western Union Money OrderSM payment instrument or load money onto a Western Union Prepaid MasterCard. The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global money transfer services. Harris Teeter, Inc. with headquarters in Matthews, NC, is a subsidiary of Ruddick Corporation.

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LINK2GOV Expands to Prior Year Business Taxes

Metavante’s LINK2GOV will begin processing credit card payments related to federal business tax Forms 941 and 940 for filing years 1997, effective January 1st. LINK2GOV’s QuickPay e-mail Reminder program offers automated reminders, prior to the next Form 941 tax return due date. Each convenience e-mail contains instructions on how to make a Form 941 Employer’s Quarterly Tax balance due payment at the Pay1040 site. Metavante Corporation delivers banking and payments technologies to financial services firms and businesses worldwide. Metavante products and services drive account processing for deposit, loan and trust systems, image-based and conventional check processing, electronic funds transfer, consumer healthcare payments, and electronic presentment and payment.

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Experian’s Hunter Fraud Fighter Expands

Experian has launched the “Hunter” fraud detection product in the Americas. Hunter leverages application data to track, link and manage fraud detection. Hunter has the flexibility to incorporate shared and third-party data to further build up the defense against fraudulent mortgage applications. Through validation, cross-referencing and a Web-based case management system, Hunter creates a virtual web of defense to prevent fraudsters from becoming customers. Experian is a global leader in providing analytical and information services to organizations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward of commercial and financial decisions.

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Oberthur Microprocessor Cards Hit a New High

Paris and Los Angeles-based Oberthur Card Systems reported that during the third quarter revenues increased slightly to $155.8 million. During the quarter Oberthur delivered 68 million microprocessor cards, breaking the record of 58.7 million cards set in the second quarter of this year. In the “Payment & Services” segment, Oberthur delivered over 17.7 million microprocessor cards during the period, a 17.8% increase compared to 2Q/06. Sequentially, revenue grew 12.0% to $30.7 million. Sales in the “Other Cards” segment (magnetic stripe cards, scratch cards and memory cards) hit $20.4 million, a 12.7% decrease on a year-on-year basis. This is mainly due to the expected decline of magnetic stripe cards in line with the EMV migration in Italy & Spain. For complete details on Oberthur’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

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Former Vital CEO Becomes WAY Systems CEO

Boston-based WAY Systems has named Fred O. Gumbel as its new CEO. Gumbel was the founding Chairman, President and CEO of Vital Processing Services when it was formed in 1995 by TSYS and VISA merging their merchant processing operations. However, he abruptly resigned in June 1998 following differences with Vital’s Board. Since 1998, Gumbel has been CEO of Payment Insight, a consulting firm. Prior to Vital, he held senior positions at Citicorp and First Bank System, as well as serving as President of Electronic Data Systems Electronic Commerce Strategic Business Unit. WAY Systems says that its Board now includes founders of Hypercom, VeriFone, and TNS, as well as an executive team comprised of those who have held senior positions with VeriFone, Hypercom, Lipman USA, ClearCommerce and First Data. WAY Systems is a specialist in wireless transaction processing. The Company also holds exclusive worldwide rights to pocket-sized merchant POS solutions based on granted patents licensed from Fractal Commerce. (CF Library 5/21/96/ 6/1/98)

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ELAN AWARDS

The ICMA announced this year’s winners of its “Elan Awards for Card Manufacturing Excellence” at the ICMA Expo in Athens. The “Best Gift Card” was won by Perfect Plastic Printing for its “Best Buy Snowman Colorshift” card. PPP also won the “Best Secure Card” for its “Discover Fabric Embedded Card.” The “Best Non-Secure Card” winner was UV Color for its Target card with peppermint with scent and raised ink. The “Technical Achievement” winner was Travel Tags for its Target “Teachers Rule Wood Card.” Travel Tags also won the “Judges Choice” award for this card too. The “Best ID Card” award was won by CPI Card Group for the Police Department of Mexico’s “Policia Preventiva” card. The “People’s Choice” award was won by Jet for its Optimum “Chili’s Mother’s Day Gift Card.” NJ-based ICMA is a non-profit association comprised of plastic card manufacturers, personalizers and related industry participants, with more than 200 members globally.

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GCA’s Board of Directors Lands Fred Enlow

Global Cash Access has named Fred Enlow, a retired Group Executive Director for Standard Chartered Bank and its card business and former Vice Chairman and a Director of MBNA America Bank, to its Board of Directors. Mr. Enlow, 66 years old, is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in international banking and credit card activities. In 2000, he retired as Group Executive Director for Standard Chartered Bank PLC in London where he was responsible for their global consumer banking activities, overseeing a consumer portfolio of five million customers, three million credit cards and $25 billion in loan assets. Global Cash Access Holdings, Inc. is a holding company whose principal asset is the stock of Global Cash Access, Inc..

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McDonald’s & Walgreen Sued Over Payment Patents

AZ-based MedCom USA’s Chicago subsidiary, Card Activation Technologies, has filed lawsuits against McDonald’s and Walgreen for infringing on its payment transaction patent. As previously reported (August 1, 2006) MedCom USA, Inc. intends to spin off the payment transaction technology into a separate publicly traded company. Under the current plan, shareholders will receive, as a dividend, a share in the new entity for each share of MedCom USA, Inc. they own on the record date, which will be announced in the near future. MedCom USA, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: EMED) provides innovative healthcare and financial transaction solutions for electronically processing HIPAA compliant transactions within the healthcare industry.

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Western Union 3Q/06 Revenues Up 12%

The new publicly-traded Western Union Company reported that third quarter revenues rose 12% to $1.1 billion, driven by 14% revenue growth in the consumer-to-consumer segment and 4% growth in the consumer-to-business segment. Net income rose 7% to $258 million. In the third quarter, domestic money transfer transactions declined 5% due to softness in demand among Western Union’s Hispanic consumers as a result of the controversy surrounding immigration. However, Western Union-branded transactions from the U.S. to Mexico, which were also impacted by the immigration controversy, increased 4%. The consumer-to-consumer segment achieved transaction growth of 24% and the international business posted transaction growth of 30%. Western Union projects full-year 2006 revenue growth to be in the range of 11% to 12% with operating income growth, excluding the impact of expenses related to its spin-off from First Data, of 4% to 6%. For complete details on Western Union’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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