MASTERCARD 3Q/05

Growth in MasterCard International’s gross dollar volume and purchase volume growth continued in double digits during the third quarter.
Excluding online debit programs such as “Maestro,” the European region
posted a 13.6% year-on-year increase in GDV as the South Asia/Middle
East/Africa region soared by 43% and Latin America increased by 33.5%.
Gross dollar volume of $424.4 billion was up 12.5% year-on-year while
purchase volume increased 14.5% to $300.0 billion. Purchase transactions
for the third quarter hit 4.26 billion compared to 4.12 billion in the
prior quarter. Globally, MasterCard has 725.3 million cards-in-force
linked to 628.7 million accounts. The number of acceptance locations
worldwide as of September 30th was 23.9 million compared to 23.3 million
for the second quarter. For complete details on MasterCard’s third
quarter results, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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FirstMerit Adds Mini; Discover Drops 2GO?

OH-based FirstMerit Bank is adding a mini VISA card to its debit card program while it appears that Discover is dropping is “2GO” mini card option. FirstMerit is the first Ohio bank to offer the pint-sized debit card to its customers. The new “Mini Check & Cash Card” is three-quarters the size of the original debit card and fits on a key chain. Meanwhile, Discover has apparently dropped the “2GO” option from its online credit card solicitations. The Company has not issued a statement but has been notifying web sites to drop any mention of the “2GO” card by today. Discover pioneered the key-chain card in March 2002, after a one-year pilot. The “Discover 2GO Card” is shaped differently and is housed in a protective case that attaches to a key chain, belt, or money clip. Bank of America began issuing a mini VISA in October 2002. (CF Library 3/21/02; 10/2/02)

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MC Europe Holds 7th Fraud Conference

MasterCard International brought industry leaders together in Rome
this week to collaborate in the fight against payment card fraud at the
seventh annual MasterCard European Fraud Conference. The
European conference is part of MasterCard’s continued global drive
to lead the payments industry in security and risk solutions. Speakers
included the Chief Risk Officer for MasterCard, the deputy chief of the
Italian State Police, as well as representatives from technology
provider Mblox and Turkish bank Garantibank. There were updates on
European chip migration and the Single European Payments Area, plus
breakout discussion workshops for delegates on a number of
security-related topics.

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VISA TORINO

VISA has launched a new television commercial in the USA that features World Champion and Olympic hopeful Lindsey Jacobellis to help introduce the new medal sport of snowboardcross. The commercial, titled “Nervous,” uses Jacobellis to reassure consumers about the important security features of the “VISA Check Card.” Snowboardcross will be making its debut during the Torino Games. The “Nervous” spot is the fourth in a series of national commercials on the topic of security (“Metaphors” featuring Tom Brady and the New England Patriots offensive
line, “Super Heroes” featuring popular Marvel Super Heroes, and
“Rooftop” featuring Donald Trump), which reinforce VISA’s multi-layered
approach to payment card security. VISA’s marketing
efforts around the “TORINO 2006 Olympic Winter Games” include national
promotions and advertising, a fundraising campaign to support the
journey of future American Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and
customized programs for Member financial institutions and merchant
partners alike.

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Heartland Revenues Rise 39% in the 3Q/05

NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems posted third quarter revenues of $228 million, up 39% compared from one-year ago. Net revenue, which is total revenue less interchange and dues and assessments, was $50.9 million in the third quarter, an increase of 35.4% from 3Q/04. This is the first quarter that Heartland has been public. Bank card processing volume for the third quarter increased 36.1% to $9.3 billion. Record processing volumes reflect a continued rapid expansion of the Company’s active merchants, to 106,500 at September 30th, a 25.5% increase from September 30, 2004. The Company also installed 11,670 merchants in the quarter, a 12.1% increase from the third quarter of 2004. Processing and servicing expense declined to 9.9% of revenues during the quarter as over 67% of new merchants installed and 55% of total transactions were on its internally developed front-end processing system HPS Exchange. For complete details on Heartland’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Deloitte Projects Holiday Sales to Rise 6%+

Deloitte’s “Annual Holiday Mood Survey” shows that 68% of households are likely to spend the same or more this year than last. Consumers in Southern California are slightly more optimistic, with 72% planning to spend the same or more during the holidays than last year. Deloitte says non-auto holiday sales will increase in the 6% to 6.5% range during the November-to-January period, less than last year’s exceptional 8.6% increase, but still above the last decade’s average growth rate. Gift cards remain the #1 gift purchase this year, with 67% of nationwide respondents indicating that they will purchase an average of 4.9 cards, making them even more popular than last year, when 64% nationally purchased an average of 4.7 cards. Nearly 70% of consumers nationwide will spend some of their holiday budget on the Internet, which represents 21% of their total holiday spending.

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GE Money Has Launched Mortgage Business

GE Money Canada has launched its mortgage business, offering residential
mortgages through brokers in Ontario with plans for other Canadian
markets soon. Known as non-prime mortgages, the GE Money mortgage
offering is primarily directed to consumers who may find it difficult to
qualify for traditional, bank-originated mortgage loans. These include
individuals who are self-employed, new to Canada or those with less than
perfect credit. GE Money Canada, part of GE Consumer Finance-Americas,
provides private label and MasterCard credit card programs and lending
options for retailers in key industries.

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U.S. Bank & Northwest Missouri State U Team

U.S. Bank and the Northwest Missouri State University Alumni Association have partnered to introduce the “Northwest Missouri State University Platinum VISA.” Two card styles are available – one featuring the university’s administration building and the other featuring the athletic Bearcat paw print. Cardholders may choose the standard Visa Platinum Card, or one of two rewards programs including the Cash Rewards Visa Platinum Card or Select Rewards Visa Platinum Card. The Northwest Missouri State University Alumni Association fosters lifelong relationships through initiatives and opportunities that advance the University and its alumni, future alumni and friends.

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Wright Express Renews Getty Petroleum Deal

Getty Petroleum Marketing has inked a five-year contract extension with Wright Express which has administered and offered a proprietary branded fleet card for Getty since 1986. Getty currently markets fuel under both the Getty and LUKOIL brands at approximately 1,300 Getty branded sites and at many new LUKOIL branded locations. The new business agreement also launches new, LUKOIL branded charge cards. These cards extend volume discounts to all current and future Getty / LUKOIL fleet customers, along with an expanding network of convenient locations offering quality fuel and convenience products.

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Bank Al Bilad Deploys Commerce Framework

ACI Worldwide has announced that Bank Al Bilad has licensed several
products including “BASE24,” “ACI Smart
Chip Manager,” “ACI Card Management System” and “ACI Proactive Risk
Manager.” The newly established Saudi Arabian commercial bank
selected ACI software to provide an end-to-end payment processing
infrastructure. Bank Al Bilad opened for business in May and was
created by a consortium of eight of the leading financial institutions
in the region with a combined capital of three billion Saudi Riyals
(approximately $0.8 billion U.S.). Based in Riyadh, it will focus on
delivering Islamic banking services to its customers. ACI Worldwide
provides solutions for consumer and wholesale payments and application
infrastructure, serving more than 800 customers in 84 countries.

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Fair Isaac’s 3Q/05 Profits More than Double

Fair Isaac reported third calendar quarter revenues of $203.3 million versus $190.4 million reported in the prior year period. Net income for the quarter totaled $35.7 million, compared with net income of $14.4 million, reported in the same quarter last year. Strategy Machine Solutions revenues were $109.6 million in the quarter, compared to $115.1 million in the prior year quarter, or a decrease of 4.8%, primarily due to a decline in revenues associated with marketing services and insurance solutions. Scoring Solutions revenues increased to $47.8 million in the quarter from $37.5 million in the prior year quarter, or by 27.5%, primarily due to an increase in revenues derived from risk scoring services at the credit reporting agencies and “PreScore Service.” Professional Services revenues increased to $33.4 million in the quarter from $26.4 million in the prior year quarter, or by 26.5%, primarily due to organic growth driven by the company’s customer management, collections and recovery and fraud solutions, as well as from the acquisition of Braun Consulting. Analytic Software Tools revenues increased to $12.6 million in the quarter from $11.4 million in the prior year quarter, or by 10.5%, due to revenues generated from the sales of Blaze Advisor and Model Builder products. The company expects revenue for fourth calendar quarter to be approximately $207.0 million. For complete details on Fair Isaac’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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