CITI INTL 1Q/06

Citigroup reported that its international card business produced first quarter net income of $291 million, slightly less than one-year ago and significantly lower than the fourth quarter, driven by poor performance in Asia. During the quarter, Citi posted a 12% gain in international card loans, and an 8% increase in sales volume. Credit card loans as of March 31st stood at $24.1 billion, compared to $21.6 billion one-year ago. Charge volume for the first quarter was $17.4 billion, compared to $16.1 billion for 1Q/05. The account base edged up by 6% to 26.7 million compared one-year ago. In Asia (excluding Japan) net income dropped 52% sequentially and 47% year-on-year to $54 million. Citi says credit deterioration in the Taiwan cards market and costs associated with a labor settlement in Korea drove performance down. Charge-offs and delinquency increased during the first quarter. Delinquency (90+ days) was 2.22% compared to 1.64% for 1Q/05. Charge-offs were 4.13% compared to 3.83% for the year ago quarter. For complete detail’s on Citigroup’s international cards performance, visit CardData www.carddata.com.

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Barnes & Noble & Barclays Introduce New MC

Barclaycard and Barnes & Noble have introduced the “Barnes & Noble
Member MasterCard”, a new credit card for
customers who are members of the company’s loyalty program. The card
offers cash savings to Barnes & Noble “Members” on their purchases in
Barnes & Noble stores and at Barnes & Noble.com. In
addition, rewards are earned for purchases made outside of Barnes &
Noble. The “Member MasterCard” benefits include saving an extra 5% at
Barnes & Noble, the opportunity to earn points for “Barnes & Noble Gift
Cards” and a free $25 “Gift Card” after their first purchase on the card. The “Member MasterCard” has no annual fee.

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Hypercom Speeds Value-Added Apps

Hypercom introduced a new network server appliance enabling plug-and-play deployment of value-added applications for retailer POS systems. The new telco-grade appliance will come pre-loaded with application software along with tools permitting remote configuration by Hypercom that will eliminate the need for end users or ISOs to install, test, integrate and configure the software for the user’s network. Hypercom says the new appliance may also be loaded in the future with gift card, loyalty card, prepaid credit card, signature capture, electronic check conversion and other value-added payment applications. Other applications under review are non-traditional POS applications such as prepaid phone, Internet access and health account cards or airline loyalty cards; and/or Hypercom’s “HypercomView” software for managing POS networks.

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Alliance Data Q1 Profits Jump 52%

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems posted record first quarter revenue of $477.2 million, a 27% increase over the year-ago quarter. Net income rose 52% to $56.4 million driven by strong performance in its Marketing Services segment particularly its Canadian “AIR MILES” business. Transaction Services revenue increased 14% in the quarter to $191.7 million compared to the prior year. Credit Services revenue increased 32% in the first quarter to $199.1 million compared to 1Q/05. Marketing Services revenue increased 29% in the quarter to $176.5 million compared to the prior year. During the quarter ADS renewed its “AIR MILES” relationship with Canada Safeway and acquired ICOM, a supplier of targeted communications, consumer response lists and custom data. ADS raised its full-year revenue guidance by $100 million to $1.78 billion. For complete details on ADS’ first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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10% of All Teens Carry Credit Cards

A new poll found that 10.3% of teenagers indicate that they currently own credit cards. The study also found that among teens ages 13-14 5% reported owning credit cards. At age 17, the percentage of ownership climbs to 9.8% and then doubles again to 19.6% for teens 18-or-older. The “2006 Interprise Poll on Teens and Personal Finance,” conducted by Junior Achievement and The Allstate Foundation says 15.7% of teens who own credit cards make only the minimum payment due. About 1500 students participated in the poll.

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Hallmark Cards Upgrades to FTS TeamPoS

Fujitsu Transaction Solutions has been awarded a five-year POS hardware refresh and store technology maintenance contract by Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards, which includes approximately 10,000 “TeamPoS” terminals for about 3,300 U.S. stores. The contract also includes procurement of third party back-office servers, scanners, power supplies, printers, networking hardware and in-store application software. The deployment of equipment and responsibility for managed services will occur on a store-by-store basis over the five-year term of the agreement. A pilot program is expected to begin in April with full rollout starting in July, 2006.

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BofA/MBNA Global Card Profits Up 66%

The merged Bank of America and MBNA reported their first quarter together shows more than $2.0 billion in pre-tax profit for their global card services business, a 66% gain over 1Q/05 and more than double the prior quarter. Managed card loans at the end of the first quarter increased 5% year-on-year to $185.3 billion. The issuer says more than 3.1 million Bank of America and MBNA cards were issued in the quarter. First quarter credit card charge-offs were 3.12%, compared to 7.01% in the prior quarter and 5.06% one year ago. The managed 30+ day delinquency was 4.54%, compared to 4.05% in the fourth quarter and 4.57% for 1Q/05. BofA also reported that its merchant acquiring business handled $88.4 billion in processing volume during the first quarter from total transactions of 1.9 billion. BofA now includes consumer finance, international card operations and merchant services in reporting Card Services. For complete details on Bank of America’s 1Q/06 performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

BOFA/MBNA EOP CARD LOAN HISTORICAL
1Q/05: $174.8 billion
2Q/05: $176.9 billion
3Q/05: $182.9 billion
4Q/05: $189.4 billion
1Q/06: $185.3 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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StoresOnline Pro v5.0 is Released

Utah-based StoresOnline has released “StoresOnline Pro v5.0” which offers a simplified format enabling greater ease of access for repeat customers and is much easier to navigate than its predecessor. Its expanded offerings are extensive and include comprehensive “how to” outlines of various marketing techniques like search engine optimization, using vertical portals and planning PPC campaigns. StoresOnline is an e-services company that offers e-commerce technology, training and a variety of Web-based technology services to help small business owners and entrepreneurs.

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