Encore Capital Revenues Climb 27% in Q3

San Diego-based Encore Capital Group reported that revenues rose 27% in the third quarter to $59.2 million while net income increased 32% to $7.8 million. Gross collections were $83.9 million, the highest level in the Company’s history and a 40% increase over the $59.9 million in the same period of the prior year. During the third quarter the Company spent $14.2 million to purchase $381.5 million in face value of debt. Encore is a systems-driven purchaser and manager of charged-off consumer receivables portfolios. For complete detail on Encore’s latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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MasterCard Presents First Leadership Summit

MasterCard Canada will present “The Financial and Payment Services
Leadership Summit” on November 7-8, 2005 in Toronto. The
first Canadian event of its kind, the theme of the summit is “Beyond
Credit: The Future of Payments in Canada” and will examine the future
evolution of the Canadian payments system, the role of consumer credit in the Canadian economy and the coming wave of innovation in the industry. Key topics will include how credit cards enable economic growth and spur
commerce, emerging trends in the Canadian payments market, social impact
of payments, major technical innovations and trends impacting the
global market and managing corporate and government payments.

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PassMark and PostX Integrate Solutions

PassMark Security and PostX have combined PassMark’s secure authentication with PostX’s secure “Messaging Application Platform” to deliver a comprehensive, end-to-end security solution for email and all Web-site interactions between financial institutions and their customers. The system securely identifies the customer with strong two-factor authentication (password plus token), using the customer’s computers and phones as second-factor authenticating hardware tokens and authenticates the bank to the customer with a “PassMark”, a secret image known only to the bank and that customer. When a customer sees his unique PassMark, he instantly knows that the email or Web site he is looking at came from the real bank. PostX ensures secure electronic delivery of information to business and customer relationships. PassMark Security develops anti-fraud and authentication solutions for consumer ecommerce.

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USPS to Deploy NCR’s POS ONE Nationwide

The U.S. Postal Service has signed a services agreement with NCR and selected “NCR POS ONE” software as its exclusive retail POS system. The software is currently deployed in 8,500 post offices. Approximately 60,000 postal counters in more than 15,000 post offices across the country will be utilizing “POS ONE” software with currently installed POS hardware by the end of next year. USPS says the “POS ONE” software solution coupled with NCR’s “Teradata Data Warehouse” has enabled the post office to expand improve customer service and raise efficiency and productivity.

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Monthly Payment Rates at a 15 Year High

The amount Americans are paying each month on their credit card bills has blasted through the 19% level and is now the highest in nearly 15 years. The monthly payment rate has remained above 18% for the past four months and is now more than 200 basis points above year-ago levels. For September, the figure was 18.39% or 122 basis points above August. One-year ago the monthly payment rate was 17.56%, according to FitchRatings. As a result of the steep rise in payments, driven by debt consolidation via mortgages, the bank credit card industry has experienced sluggish growth in card loans. During the third quarter, the top issuers posted an average gain in card loans of only 1.9% over the third quarter of last year. Two of the nation’s top issuers, Citibank and MBNA, reported at least a 1% decline in outstandings compared to 3Q/04, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 10/31/05)

MONTHLY PAYMENT RATES
(Prime Credit Card-Backed Securities)
Sep 05: 17.56%
Jan 05: 17.70%
Feb 05: 17.64%
Mar 05: 16.32%
Apr 05: 18.52%
May 05: 17.18%
Jun 05: 18.29%
Jul 05: 18.47%
Aug 05: 18.39%
Sep 05: 19.61%
Source: FitchRatings

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

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Ernex Names New Sales Director

Ernex has announced that Edward Goh has joined the organization as Sales
Director, Western Region (Canada). Goh is a veteran in the financial
services industry, having worked as the Senior Director, Regional Sales
for First Data International for the past five years. His role at Ernex
will involve developing new sales leads through various channels. He
will be based in the Ernex head office in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Ernex, a division of Moneris Solutions Corporation, is a provider of
marketing solutions that include privately branded and multi-merchant
loyalty programs, stored-value gift cards, reward fulfillment services
and loyalty database hosting services.

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VeriFone Unveils PCCharge Performer

VeriFone has introduced “PCCharge Performer,” a bundled hardware and software package that provides merchants with an all-inclusive PC-based electronic payments solution that includes the “SC 5000” programmable PIN pad with magnetic stripe reader. PCCharge Performer provides a highly flexible payment processing solution that is supported by a wide array of major processors and supports multiple payment types. Easy to install and use with a familiar and intuitive Windows-based GUI interface, the product meets the latest security standards, such as PABP validation, CVV2, AVS and data file encryption.

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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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