Mercury Payment Offers Free Gift Cards

Colorado-based Mercury Payment Systems, a processor offering free gift card programs, says a survey it conducted this month of 2,000 merchants shows that 70% of respondents said they plan on offering gift cards in the next three to six months. Industry statistics show that 62 percent of gift card users spend an average of 30 percent more than the original amount purchased on the card. This year, consumers are expected to spend more than $48 billion on gift cards, and volume is projected to reach $90 billion by 2007. Mercury Payment Systems is an integrated transaction processing company created to enhance point-of-sale systems by offering credit, debit, check, gift card and loyalty processing.

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OTI Estimates 56% Rise in Revenues

On Track Innovations expects revenues for the first nine months of 2005 to
reach $24 Million, which would represent an increase of 56% over the first nine
months of 2004. Revenues in the third quarter in 2005 are expected to be
approximately $9.5 Million. The increase is attributed mainly togrowth in the
contactless payments market. Additionally, OTI further indicated that it
expects revenues in regards to an announcement made September 29 regarding the
manufacture and sale of OTI based Travel Document inlays for an Asian
government. OTI designs, develops and markets secure contactless
microprocessor-based smart card technology to address the needs of a wide
variety of markets.

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Portfolio Recovery Associates Up 34%

VA-based Portfolio Recovery Associates, a defaulted consumer debt buyer, reported net income of $9.3 million, up 34% from the year-ago quarter. Total revenue increased 33% to $37.5 million for 3Q/05. The Company purchased $445 million of face-value debt during the third quarter of 2005 for $16.5 million. This debt was acquired in 29 pools from 13 different sellers. Productivity, as measured by cash collections per hour paid, the Company’s key measure of collector performance, stands at $136.18 for the first nine months of 2005, compared with $117.59 for all of 2004. For complete details on Portfolio Recovery Associates’ third quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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IPC and VISA Extend Partnership to 2008

The International Paralympic Committee and VISA International have renewed their exclusive partnership agreement making VISA the official payments sponsor of the IPC through the “Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.” The agreement includes exclusive marketing and promotional rights for Visa within the payment services category. Visa and its member banks will continue to develop promotions featuring the IPC, which will receive a financial contribution as well as marketing support through Visa cardholder communications, promotions and advertising. Visa sponsors the Paralympic Games as part of its agreement with the International Olympic Committee to support the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The International Paralympic Committee is the international governing body of sports for athletes with a disability.

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MC, Pocket Card and Itochu Enex Launch a PayPass Pilot

MasterCard along with Pocket Card and Itochu Enex will launch a pilot of the
“MasterCard PayPass” contactless payment program in December. This is the
second MasterCard “PayPass” pilot program to be launched in Japan and the
fourth in Asia/Pacific. There are also “PayPass” pilots in the Philippines and
Taiwan. The Itochu Enex pilot will include service stations in Chubu. Using
“PayPass,” consumers simply tap their payment card on a specially equipped
merchant terminal, eliminating the need to fumble for cash and coins, hand
their card over to a clerk or swipe the card.

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GEMPLUS 3Q/05

Smart card specialist Gemplus reported that third quarter net sales were up
15.5% to 247.9 million euros and that gross profits rose more than 29% to 82.8
million euros. The Company says this is the tenth consecutive quarter of
continuous strong progress as year-to-date operating income grew fivefold. In
the financial services sector, Gemplus posted an 11% gain in sales to 58.9
million euros. In total, Gemplus shipped 22.1 million smart payment cards, up
30% year-on-year. Payment microprocessor card revenue rose 12% year-on-year.
During the quarter, Gemplus delivered multi-application EMV smart card
microprocessor modules in mass volume to JCB and was selected to deliver its
new generation of off-line smart banking cards for the Russian bank,
Surgutneftegazbank. In addition, Gemplus was selected to deliver its
“GemInstant” cards to one of the top 10 US banks for their contactless payment
program and the Company delivered “GemLucence,” its first translucent payment
card, in volume for the Groupe Caisse d’Epargne. For complete details on
Gemplus’ third quarter performance as well as prior quarters, visit CardData
(www.carddata.com).

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Everlink Purchases CGI Switching Assets

Everlink Payment Services and CGI Group have signed an asset purchase agreement
under which Everlink Services will acquire CGI’s electronic switching assets
for CDN$28 million. Everlink is acquiring CGI’s electronic switching IP, which
includes the “Relay” and “CyberGateway” switching solutions. As part of the
transaction, 39 CGI professionals will join Everlink Services. CGI will
continue to service credit unions providing banking services through its credit
union banking group. Everlink Payment Services Inc. is an electronic
transaction switching provider that specializes in gateway transaction
switching, ATM driving and monitoring, and debit card processing. CGI is an
information technology and business process services firm. Its annualized
revenue run rate is currently CDN$3.8 billion (US$3.0 billion) and at June 30,
2005, CGI’s order backlog was CDN$12.9 billion (US$10 billion).

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Chevron Promotion Pumps Up its Cardbase

Chevron’s Credit Card Enterprises reports it signed-up nearly 90,000 new credit card customers from its recent “$30 Credit” and “Triple Your Rewards” summer promotions. The summer “$30 Credit” promotion, announced in April, awarded its new gas cardholders up to $30 in fuel credits. If the customer was approved for a new Chevron and Texaco proprietary card and used the card to purchase a minimum of eight gallons twice during their billing cycle, they earned a $5 credit per month for up to six months. The “Triple Your Awards” program paid stations a $15 award for consumer credit card approvals during the months of July and August. Chevron also reduced processing fees by 10 basis points for retailers and marketers on credit and debit card purchases made between June 1st and August 31st. (CF Library 4/29/05)

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V PAY Tested in 21 Countries

VISA Europe has completed a series of “V PAY” transactions across Germany,
France, Greece, Turkey, Norway, Finland, Poland, Portugal, Hungary, Estonia and
Lithuania, bringing the number to 21 of countries where “V PAY” has
successfully been tested, with 31 acquirers across Europe. “V PAY” is an EMV
chip and PIN only debit product and is designed to be in line with the “SEPA
Cards Framework,” advocated by the European Central Bank and the European
Payments Council with the option to carry the “PLUS” mark enabling global
access to ATMs. “V PAY” is compatible with all EMV compliant terminals and has
its own acceptance mark.

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ASK TongFang Enters RFID Market

ASK TongFang marks ASK’s entry into the Chinese RFID market with partner
Tsinghua Tongfang, China’s third largest computer manufacturer. The company’s
key activities include a contact smart card business unit incorporating systems
integration. ASK TongFang will initially deliver pre-laminated contactless
products and contactless paper tickets to China. ASK is a supplier of
contactless cards, tickets, RFID tags and readers on the market with 50 million
contactless cards, tickets and RFID labels are already in use worldwide. THTF
is owned by Beijing Tsinghua University.

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TD Bank Selects TSYS for Card Processing

TSYS has signed a long-term agreement with TD Bank Financial Group to provide a
range of processing and support services for its consumer and commercial credit
card accounts. The bank plans to consolidate its card program from multiple
processing systems to the “TS2” payments engine in the near future. TSYS
provides outsourced payment services, offering a broad range of issuer and
acquirer processing technologies. TD Bank Financial Group serves more than 14
million customers with CDN$368.4 billion in assets.

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Gemplus Net Profits Soar 29% in 3Q/05

Smart card specialist Gemplus reported that third quarter net sales were up 15.5% to $300.8 million and that gross profits rose more than 29% to $100.5 million. The Company says this is the tenth consecutive quarter of continuous strong progress as year-to-date operating income grew fivefold. In the financial services sector, Gemplus posted an 11% gain in sales to $71.7 million. In total, Gemplus shipped 22.1 million smart payment cards, up 30% year-on-year. Payment microprocessor card revenue rose 12% year-on-year. During the quarter, Gemplus delivered multi-application EMV smart card microprocessor modules in mass volume to JCB and was selected to deliver its new generation of off-line smart banking cards for the Russian bank, Surgutneftegazbank. In addition, Gemplus was selected to deliver its “GemInstant” cards to one of the top 10 US banks for their contactless payment program and the Company delivered “GemLucence,” its first translucent payment card, in volume for the Groupe Caisse d’Epargne. For complete details on Gemplus’ third quarter performance as well as prior quarters, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Gemplus Gross Sales Track Record
3Q/04: $259.7 million
4Q/04: $293.4 million
1Q/05: $238.7 million
2Q/05: $285.8 million
3Q/05: $300.8 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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