NCR’s ATM Revenues Drop 5% in Q1

NCR reported that first quarter revenue of $259 million for its ATM business was down 5% year-on-year and down nearly $200 million from the prior quarter. Price erosion and lower volume drove operating income down to $13 million compared to $25 million in 1Q/05. In the Retail Store Automation unit revenue declined 2% to $172 million compared to one-year ago. The unit also posted an operating loss of $7 million due to lower profit in Japan and foreign currency fluctuations. During the quarter, Brown Shoe Company (Famous Footwear and Naturalizer Stores) has signed an order to equip all of its 1,300 stores with NCR POS systems running on “Windows Embedded for Point of Service” software platform. The Company also completed its acquisition of Tidel’s ATM assets. NCR says it expects lower profit during the second quarter in its ATM business due to the lingering impact of price erosion as well as manufacturing and supply-chain transition costs. For complete details on NCR’s current and past performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]) (CF Library 1/6/06; 1/13/06)

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

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MC Names a New Americas President

MasterCard has named a new president for its Americas region which includes the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Walter Macnee, who served as president of MasterCard Canada between 2001 to 2004, will take over the reins from Ruth Ann Marshall on May 15th. Marshall, who joined MasterCard in 1999, is taking early retirement but has agreed to stay through June to help with the transition. MasterCard is currently in the process of launching an IPO. Before returning to MasterCard, Macnee was EVP of CIBC in charge of its bank’s credit card business and national collections. He also served as Chairman of VISA Canada and Director of VISA International. The Americas region generates more than half of the MasterCard’s worldwide volume.

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Rewards Network Sales Slip 10%

Chicago-based Rewards Network posted a 10% decline in total sales for the first quarter to $68 million. Net income for the quarter was $1.8 million compared with a net loss of $3.7 million for 1Q/05 and net income of $2.1 million in the prior quarter. The Company says its Marketing Credits Program sales declined 9.7% to $62.6 million, driven by a 16.2% decrease in merchant count. The number of restaurants has declined from 9,957 at year end 2005 to 9,522. However, the number of active accounts increased from 3.43 million to 3.47 million over the same period. The Company provides airline miles, loyalty/reward program points and “Cashback Rewards” savings to its members. For complete details on Rewards Network’s latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Chase Intros Fan Reward Programs

Chase has teamed with Sports Loyalty Systems to become the official credit card of the fan reward programs of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Cardholders earn one point for every dollar spent on the credit card which can be redeemed for exclusive sporting event experiences, memorabilia and other merchandise. Rewards start at 500 points. The Los Angeles Dodgers “Think Blue Rewards” was launched March 4th. The Arizona Diamondbacks “MVP Rewards” program was introduced on April 11th.

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AmEx Launches a FSA Benefits Card

American Express has introduced a new card that links to flexible spending accounts. PayFlex and WageWorks, FSA administrators, have agreed to market the new “Benefits Plus Card” to corporations and their employees. As part of these agreements, PayFlex and WageWorks will manage the payments and claims process. AmEx also recently introduced the “HealthPay Plus Card” that provides access to the “Health Savings Account” funds. The new “HealthPay Plus Card” is issued in partnership with WellChoice, the parent company of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield.

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ADS Renews Abercrombie & Fitch

Alliance Data Systems has signed a multi-year renewal agreement to continue providing private label credit card services for Abercrombie & Fitch which has 361 store locations nationwide. Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will continue providing Abercrombie & Fitch with private label credit card services including account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization; private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; customer service functions; and marketing services. Abercrombie & Fitch is a multi-channel retailer with 2005 sales of $2.7 billion.

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OPC Powers California EZPAY

The California Employment Development Department has launched “EZPAY” via Official Payments Corp. to enable California businesses to make payroll tax deposits with all major payment cards. Employers are eligible to participate in a variety of unique special offers highlighted on the “Special Offers” tab at www.officialpayments.com. Citizens and businesses using credit or debit cards with bonus rewards programs may, depending on their card’s program, earn reward points, airline frequent flyer miles or cash back for paying their taxes. Official Payments charges a convenience fee of 2.5% of the payment amount for this service (minimum fee of $1.00).

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New World Restaurant Goes VPN

New World Restaurant Group is deploying the Netifice “Retail Connect VPN” service to link its 430 Einstein Bros and Noah’s Bagel sites around the country and cut payment card transaction times from 30 to 35 seconds to approximately 5 seconds NWRG is standardizing on Netifice to increase the reliability of restaurant data communications and deliver capabilities that help drive customer satisfaction. The company is also using Netifice to provide HotSpot services to customers at select restaurant locations. Netifice Communications is a global provider of flexible IP VPN solutions.

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Fujitsu & Accelitec Team for Contactless

Fujitsu Transaction Solutions and Accelitec have formed a strategic alliance to offer contactless transaction systems to retailers. Under terms of the agreement, Fujitsu will resell and integrate Accelitec’s PayPilot suite of transaction solutions into its GlobalSTORE point-of-sale (POS) application and Pervasive Retailing Framework. Fujitsu’s PRF is a unified set of software, services and tools that enables real-time retailing interoperability that integrates with retailers’ store systems, Web operations and loyalty and marketing programs. Accelitec, Inc. is a provider of RFID-based transaction management systems.

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GEMPLUS Exec New Eurosmart Chair

Jacques Seneca, President EMEA of Gemplus has been unanimously elected
Chairman of Eurosmart during the General Assembly. Seneca’s first
action as chairman of Eurosmart was to broaden the current steering
committee to make sure all segments of the industry are properly
represented: smart cards, semiconductors, terminals and equipment
manufacturers as well as system integrators will bring their
contribution to the strategic and administrative management of the
Association. EUROSMART is an international association located in
Brussels representing the Voice of the Smart Card industry for
multi-sector applications. It aims at developing standards and improving
quality and security application.

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Canadian CU Deploys POSH ATM Switch

British Colombia-based Columbia Valley CU has implemented Open Solutions Canada’s “POSH” switch for ATMs. The latest version of the POSH switch provides full-function ATM support, enhancing Open Solutions’ existing POSH application to include both issuer and acquirer services while streamlining the provision of operational support for switching by centralizing payment services in the Oakville, Ontario office. The POSH switch provides full-function transaction services to major financial institutions worldwide. Open Solutions Inc. offers a fully featured strategic product platform that integrates core data processing applications.

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