Ingenico Revenues Rise 26% in Q2

Terminal manufacturer Ingenico reported second quarter sales of 135.2 million euros compared to 107.0 million euros for 2Q/05. The Company says sales from Latin America, North America, Australia and Italy drove the higher figures. The Company says the supply-chain dysfunctions that severely hampered operations in 2005 were eliminated during the second half of 2005 and continued to bring positive effects this year. During the first half of 2006, Ingenico posted pre-tax profit of 10.2 million euros, compared to a 23.9 million euros loss booked in 2005. The Company noted that it reduced its workforce to 1,110 permanent employees at mid-year, down from 1,128 at year-end 2005. Ingenico is currently in the process of a merger with MoneyLine and signed a draft merger agreement last week. Ingenico and MoneyLine shareholders will vote to approve the merger on October 31st. For complete details on Ingenico’s latest results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Big 3 Charge-Offs Rise 43 BPS in Q2

The nation’s “Big 3” bank credit card issuers, who control slightly less than half the U.S. market, are seeing a rebound in charge-offs. BofA, Chase and Citi reported in the second quarter that charge-offs rose 43 basis points on average compared to the first quarter. Based on performance in the ABS sector its appears that overall charge-offs will be posting still higher for the third quarter. The “U.S. Credit Card Quality Index” published by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services reported earlier this month that charge-offs increased to 4.0% in July from 3.5% the prior month. However, compared to one-year ago charge-offs among the “Big 3” are down 170 basis points, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). Charge-offs peaked in the fourth quarter with BofA, Chase and Citi showing an average charge-off ratio of 6.70% as they digested record personal bankruptcies driven by the new bankruptcy reform laws. The “Big 3” have approximately $350 billion in bank credit card outstandings. (CF Library 9/13/06)

BIG 3 MANAGED CHARGE-OFFS
2Q/05 3Q/05 4Q/05 1Q/06 2Q/06
BofA 5.20% 4.81% 7.10% 2.89% 3.59%
Chase 4.87% 4.70% 6.39% 2.99% 3.28%
Citi 5.69% 5.57% 6.61% 3.49% 3.78%
AVERAGE 5.25% 5.03% 6.70% 3.12% 3.55%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Child Pornography Battle Continues

Credit card network executives testified last week in a Congressional hearing that they are very much into the battle to end card use for the Internet child pornography business. However, card executives testified that they cannot do it alone and need the support of financial services industry and law enforcement authorities. VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, BofA, Chase, Citi, First Data, First National Bank of Omaha, North American Bancard, First PREMIER Bank and Wells Fargo Bank were among 18 financial institutions that joined, in March, with the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children and its sister organization, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, in the fight against Internet child pornography. The members have set a goal to eradicate commercial child pornography by 2008. (CF Library 3/16/06)

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Arizona AG Expands Seizure Warrants

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has obtained a seizure warrant from an Arizona state court to seize some above average Western Union person-to-person fund transfers from Arizona and 28 other states to recipients in 26 locations in the Mexican state of Sonora. Western Union says it has faced seizure warrants over the past several years related to the Arizona Attorney General’s investigation into illegal immigration and drug smuggling activities, but, this the first time the warrants have applied outside the state. On September 20th, Western Union requested a federal court to issue a temporary restraining order against the Arizona Attorney General’s proposed seizure plan but was denied the TRO on technical and procedural grounds. On September 21st, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office obtained its seizure warrant from a state court which became effective on Friday. Western Union says it intends to continue fighting the matter including seeking a stay of the seizure warrant and other judicial review.

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Springbok Launches a Data Mining Tool

CO-based Springbok Services has launched “ProKnow,” a data mining tool that works in conjunction with its next generation prepaid processing platform, card personalization and fulfillment services. ProKnow(TM) is a web-based product that is fast and easy to set up and like all Springbok prepaid products, can be custom branded specific to the client needs. Clients can cause specific cardholder demographic information to be captured as part of the card activation process and later correlate that data to the spending transactions associated with the card. Springbok is a leading provider and processor of prepaid MasterCard programs issued through KeyCorp. Mercator Advisory Group is the leading, independent research and advisory services firm exclusively focused on the payments industry.

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NBPCA Elects its Board of Directors

The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association has elected its Board of Directors. The directors include: Jim Accordino, president, TSYS Prepaid; Anil D. Aggarwal, CEO, Prepaid Media; Marilyn Bochicchio, executive director, NBPCA; Todd Brockman, SVP, VISA USA; Alpesh Chokshi, SVP, American Express; Tom Crowder, director, network strategic development, Discover Financial Services; Scott Galit, SVP, MasterCard Worldwide; Matt Gillin, CEO, Ecount; Brad Hanson, president, Meta Payment Systems; Dwayne Jones, president, Springbok Services; Jeremy Kuiper, managing director, BankFirst; Gary Palmer, EVP, eFunds; Juli Spottiswood, CFO, Parago and Steve Streit, President and CEO, Green Dot. The NBPCA was created last year and is a non-profit, inter-industry trade association.

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Acxiom Names Wise to its Board

AR-based Acxiom has named Halsey Wise, President and CEO of Intergraph Corporation, to its board. Wise joined Intergraph, a leading global provider of spatial information management software, in July 2003 as President, CEO and a member of the board. Prior to joining Intergraph, he served as CEO, North America, for Solution 6 Holdings, Ltd., the largest software company in Australia. Acxiom Corporation (Nasdaq: ACXM) integrates data, services and technology to create and deliver customer and information management solutions for many of the largest, most respected companies in the world.

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Opteva ATMs Deploy in Mississippi

Mississippi Employees FCU has become the first in Mississippi to deploy Diebold’s “Opteva” ATMs. After seeing a demonstration of Diebold’s Opteva ATMs at a Tampa credit union last November, MEFCU deployed an Opteva ATM with Diebold’s Bulk Note Acceptor (BNA) and Intelligent Depository Module(TM) (IDM) functionalities, as well as a drive-up Opteva ATM at its Tupelo branch. Mississippi Employees Federal Credit Union is a $26 million credit union with offices located in Columbus, Jackson and Tupelo, Miss. Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self- service delivery and security systems and services.

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Cards per Cardholder Jumps to 7.6

The number of payment cards per carded household hit a record of 17.0 last year compared to 16.7 cards in the prior year while the number of payment cards per cardholder jumped from 7.6 cards in 2004 to 8.6 cards last year. According to CardFacts ([www.cardfacts.com][1]), the average cardholder now has 4.0 general purpose credit cards, 3.1 store or gas credit cards, and 1.5 debit cards. There are 172 million Americans holding at least one credit, debit or retail card for personal and/or business use from an adult {18+} population of 215 million. Of the nation’s 111 million total households about 88 million U.S. households hold at least one credit, debit or retail card for personal and/or business use.

Average Number of Payment Cards
Per Cardholder Per Card Household
Bank Credit Cards 4.0 7.9
Retail Credit Cards 3.1 6.1
Debit Cards 1.5 3.0
Total Payment Cards 8.6 17.0
Source: CardFacts (www.cardfacts.com)

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

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Wallets Unveiled for Contactless Cards

CA-based Kena Kai is rolling-out a new line next month of “DataSafe Wallets” designed to protect contactless payment cards. The new ‘Contactless Credit Cards’ are designed to make purchases much more convenient. The user no longer has to actually swipe their card as they can simply wave it in front of a ‘reader’ to make a purchase. The new DataSafe Wallet line will include bi-folds, tri-folds, credit card wallets, women’s wallets, and passport holders in full-grain Italian leather. The DataSafe Wallets will begin shipping in October and will retail between $40 and $120.

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Pessimism Declines Among Small Biz

The number of small business owners who say economic conditions in the country are getting worse declined in September. The “Discover Small Business Watch” index rose to 107.7 this month from its inaugural baseline of 100.0 in July. The poll found that 51% of small business owners believe economic conditions in the country are getting worse, down from 61% in August. However, the number of companies planning to reduce new business spending rose to 38% from 34% in the prior month. The “Small Business Watch” also surveys consumer attitudes towards different segments of the small business economy. About 68% feel the real estate market is slowing down based on the length of time houses are on the market in their area and 58% say they are not likely to buy a new home for five or more years. Discover found that 32% of small business owners feel their business would be significantly impacted if the housing market slows down.

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GE Names a Retail Sales Finance Head

GE has promoted Glenn Marino, who has run GE’s Retail Sales Finance business since July 2002, to President & CEO, Retail Sales Finance, GE Money, Americas. Marino has run GE’s Retail Sales Finance business since July 2002. From 1999 to 2002, Marino was President of Monogram Credit Services. Santiago has led GE Infrastructure’s Oil & Gas business through a period of sustained growth since the acquisition of the Italian company, Nuovo Pignone, in 1994. GE (NYSE: GE) is Imagination at Work — a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world’s toughest problems.

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