AmEx Leads in 2005 Volume & Growth

The top three volume leaders collectively topped $900 billion in gross dollar volume last year. American Express ranked as #1 posting during 2005 with more than $350 billion in GDV, a nearly 15% increase over 2004. Volume for Chase gained more than 6% while Citibank posted about an 8% gain.

TOP THREE VOLUME LEADERS
2005 GDV ($ billions)
2005 2004 CHNG
American Express $350.1 $304.8 +14.9%
JPM Chase $301.9 $283.7 + 6.4%
Citigroup $285.6 $264.6 + 7.9%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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TI Gets PayPass Certification for its Card Inlay

Dallas-based Texas Instruments has been certified for all three components of “MasterCard PayPass” conformity requirements for its solution that incorporates a secure, low-power microprocessor with an embedded “PayPass” application and a small-size radio frequency antenna, into a thin, PVC pre-laminate sheet that can be easily integrated into standard card manufacturing production processes.

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HSBC USA Profits Down 22% in 2005

HSBC USA reported net income of $976 million for 2005 compared to $1,258 million for 2004. The reduction in pre-tax income includes two meaningful inter-HSBC accounting events, both of which are eliminated upon consolidation. About $451 million of pre-tax premium amortization costs were recorded in 2005 on the private label credit card portfolio purchased from HSBC Finance Corporation at year-end 2004. Also, 2004 results included gains from the sale of credit card relationships to HSBC Finance Corporation of approximately $99 million. These transactions comprise the most significant factors in the year-to-year reduction in pre-tax income. The addition of the private label credit card portfolio significantly increased year-over-year revenues, provisions for credit losses and operating expenses. For complete details on HSBC’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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USA Technologies Now Trades as USAT

Pennsylvania-based USA Technologies is now trading under the ticker symbol “USAT” on the “Nasdaq Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board,” as a result of the recent reverse stock split. As a result of the reverse stock split, the Company now has approximately 5 million shares of common stock outstanding, and is trading at approximately $11.00 per share. USA Technologies is a leader in the networking of wireless non-cash transactions, associated financial/network services and energy management.

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BofA Hires a Head of Payments and Receipts

Bank of America has hired Len Heckwolf, formerly with JPMorgan Chase, as head of its new Payments and Receipts Product Management Group within the Global Treasury Services division. While at JPMorgan Chase (JPMC), Heckwolf led Consumer Payments Solutions, a business unit within JPMC’s treasury services unit that delivered ACH, national retail lockbox and consumer payments across the JPMC franchise. He also built a product organization focused on the middle market and commercial bank segments. In his 23-year career with JPMC, Heckwolf managed numerous product and operations businesses, including controlled disbursement, funds transfer, ACH, online bill payment, distributed capture, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and retail lockbox.

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DISCOVER ACCEPTANCE

Credomatic International has signed a deal to expand acceptance of the “Discover Card” in Central America. Credomatic will begin targeting major merchants in tourist destinations to offer “Discover Network” acceptance and will extended the program to the company’s entire merchant portfolio throughout the region. Credomatic facilitates credit card services for more than 65,000 merchants in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The “Discover Card” is currently accepted at popular tourist destinations in the
Caribbean, Mexico and Canada and widely accepted in USA. Credomatic
is a subsidiary of BAC International Bank.

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Peppercoin Offers a Contactless Option

Massachusetts-based Toscanini’s Ice Cream has become the first Peppercoin customer to enable a contactless payment option via Chase Paymentech Solutions. Peppercoin’s Small Payment Suite Version 3.0 provides physical, digital and mobile merchants with pre-paid, post-paid, subscription and pay-as-you-go pricing options and makes it possible to create innovative customer loyalty programs.

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VeriSign Integrates Microsoft’s InfoCard

VeriSign is integrating technology from Microsoft, code-named “InfoCard,” the “Microsoft Internet Explorer 7” browser, as well as VeriSign SSL certificates and the newly launched “VeriSign Identity Protection” to help combat phishing, pharming and other forms of online identity theft. To help end-users clearly differentiate between a legitimate and spoofed Web site, Microsoft’s IE7 browser and “InfoCard” technology will use VeriSign’s “Enhanced Validation” SSL certificates to provide clear and un-spoofable visual feedback about the sites’ authenticity. Only organizations that pass VeriSign’s rigorous authentication process will be issued “Enhanced Validation” SSL Certificates for their Web sites. When a consumer visits such a site, the IE7 address bar turns green and shows the name of the organization owning the certificate and the identity of the Certificate Authority, such as VeriSign, in the browser’s interface.

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eTransaction Growth Outpaces Security

The first international “Internet Confidence Index” was released this week which showed that the willingness to transact online is outpacing trust in the medium. More than 60% of U.S. businesses reported that their online dealings accounted for higher dollar amounts than at the same point 12 months ago, compared with 49% in both the UK and in France. RSA Security says that in the business community, a moderate assumption of risk is reflected in a Security index score of 22 that is substantially lower than the Transaction index score of 55. Among consumers, a similar assumption of risk is demonstrated in the Security index score of 5 relative to a Transaction index score of 37. Slightly more than two-thirds of U.S. businesses reported degrees of concern about the vulnerability of their networks, much higher than the European average of 37%. And almost half of U.S. consumers stated that that they have little or no confidence that several groups are taking the necessary steps to secure personal data.

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BofA Links Keep the Change to the USOC

Bank of America is making a donation to the USOC equal to 5% of all consumer debit card savings transfers resulting from the “Keep the Change” savings program during the month of February up to a maximum contribution of $500,000. In addition to its charitable contribution to the USOC, Bank of America will continue to match 100 percent of the Keep the Change transfers for the first three months a consumer participates in the program. After that, the bank will match five percent of the transfers a year, every year. The maximum match is $250 per year.

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