Realtor Referral Service Accepts Plastic

Seattle-based Progressive Homesellers, a realtor referral service, is now accepting credit cards for its $2,500 flat fee. Visitors to the company’s website can enter all of their property information into an online form and then pay the real estate commission in advance. Progressive’s listings are taken by brokerages like Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and Prudential who have agreed to list and sell homes for the flat fee.

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Wright Express Revenues Up 28% in Q4

ME-based fleet card specialist, Wright Express, reported that total revenues increased 28% to $64.4 million for the fourth quarter. Net income was $28.3 million, compared with net income of $14.3 million for the same period last year. Total fuel transactions processed increased 10% to 58.0 million. Payment processing transactions increased 16% to 43.2 million. Total MasterCard purchase volume grew to $228.6 million, an increase of 30% from the comparable period a year ago. For the first quarter Wright Express expects revenue to be in the range of $62 million to $67 million. For complete details on Wright Express’ latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Global Cash Access Revenues Climb 14%

Las Vegas-based casino cash access machine specialist Global Cash Access reported fourth quarter revenues of $115.4 million, an increase of 13.4% over the same quarter last year. Adjusted net income was $7.2 million in 4Q/05, an increase of 18.3% over 4Q/04. Cash advance dollar volume was up 14.8% and ATM transaction volume was up 13.1% in 4Q/05. The number of cash advance transactions increased 4.8%, from 2.2 million to 2.3 million. The average transaction amount increased from $484.92 to $524.40. The number of ATM transactions increased to 14.9 million. Cash disbursed was $2.57 billion compared to $2.13 billion, an increase of 20.7%. During the quarter, GCA signed definitive contracts with MGM MIRAGE, with installations commencing in December. The Company also continued its international expansion with the commencement of operations in Switzerland and Belgium. For complete details on Global Cash Access’ latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Rewards Network Revenues Dip 16% in Q4

Chicago-based Rewards Network posted a 16% decline in total sales for the fourth quarter to $69 million. Net income for the quarter dropped to $2.1 million compared with net income of $2.5 million for 4Q/04. The Company say the decrease was caused primarily by a lower restaurant merchant count, and declines in the sales yield, the number of qualified transactions, and the average qualified dining transaction amount. The number of restaurants has declined from 10,502 for 4Q/04 to 9,957 at year end 2005. The number of active accounts has dropped from 3.75 million to 3.43 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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MEKONGBANK AMEX CARD

Phnom Penh-based Cambodia Mekong Bank Public and American Express have launched the first “MekongBank American Express Gold Credit Card” for the Cambodian market. MekongBank will issue AmEx cards in US dollars. The new card will be targeted at the higher end of the market. The American Express Foundation made two recent grants totaling $115,000 to the World Monuments Fund to support preservation and planning initiatives for Phnom Bakheng at Angkor and the Banteay Chhmar Temple of Jayavarman VII. Under terms of the deal, MekongBank will be responsible for all operations in support of the new credit cards, including customer service, marketing, billing and accounting, credit management and charge authorizations. In addition, MekongBank will be responsible for providing services to local merchants accepting American Express Cards and for signing up new merchant partners.

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Motorola Launches the M-Wallet Solution

Motorola has introduced a new service enabling money transfers and POS purchases with mobile phones. The new “M-Wallet” solution is network and device agnostic and works with GSM, CDMA, or iDEN technologies and is compatible with Symbian, PocketPC, Palm, J2ME, Brew and SimTk. The solution consists of two components, a “M-Wallet” application that consumers and merchants download from the Internet and the “Wallet Service Center” which allows the operator to manage administration, registration, issuance of credit and debit cards, coupons, archiving, customer profiles and maintenance. Motorola says its new service will enable merchants to issue virtual loyalty or gift cards directly to their customer’s mobile phone. These cards can be redeemed via a mobile phone or can allow customers to conduct secure point-of-sale transactions, collect loyalty points and obtain store receipts at existing retail merchant locations. “M-Wallet” users must opt-in to receive coupons or other promotional services, allowing them to choose preferred merchants who participate in the program and thereby reducing spam.

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Discover Realigns PULSE Top Executives

Discover Financial Services announced that Stan Paur, who has served as President and CEO of PULSE EFT Association for more than 23 years, will become Chairman of the network effective March 31st. David Schneider, PULSE EVP and Chief Corporate Development Officer, will succeed Paur as President, reporting to Diane Offereins, EVP/CIO of Discover Financial Services. Offereins oversees the operations of PULSE, which Discover Financial Services acquired in January of last year. Schneider has been associated with PULSE for more than 18 years. The PULSE ATM/debit network serves more than 4,100 financial institutions and more than 3.2 million merchant terminals and 250,000 ATMs.

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Austin Logistics Releases ActionSelect

Texas-based Austin Logistics announced the general availability of “ActionSelect,” its collections treatment management solution for all types of consumer debt. ActionSelect reduces the time it takes to accurately predict, optimize, simulate and deploy the most effective treatment strategy for each delinquent account in a company’s portfolio. Austin Logistics is a provider ofpredictive analytic and business intelligence software solutions.

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GPN Approves ExaDigm XD2000 Terminal

ExaDigm’s “XD2000” point-of-sale terminal has received “Class B” certification from Global Payments. The XD2000 can support a range of Global’s payment processing applications, including credit, debit, EBT and purchasing card level II support. This certification allows Global Payments to offer fast, reliable, secure transactions to its merchant customers utilizing Internet Protocol (IP) connections. ExaDigm is a provider of IP wireless, wired and modular point-of-sale (POS) terminal solutions. Global Payments is a provider of electronic transaction processing services.

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Finance Charges Rebound During December

Yield, which consists primarily of cardholder finance charges, among asset-backed securities, increased by 40 basis points to 18.4% during December, compared to the prior month and up 60 basis points compared to one-year ago. The higher yield in a higher interest rate environment is driven primarily by punitive interest rate polices. On a comparative basis, December’s yield of 18.4% is on par with the 2005 average yield, also 18.4%, and is 80 bps higher than the 2004 average of 17.6%. According to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ “Bank Card Credit Card Quality Index,” charge-offs declined slightly to 7% in December but remain artificially high due to the rise in bankruptcy filings in early October. S&P also reports that after three consecutive months of decline, the payment rate rose 90 bps to 19.7% in December from 18.9% in November, with more than three-fourths of the trusts reporting increases.

ABS YIELD DECEMBER HISTORICAL
2000: 19.9%
2001: 19.1%
2002: 18.2%
2003: 17.8%
2004: 17.8%
2005: 18.4%
Source: Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services

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