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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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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