QSR Card Volume May Top $36B This Year

Americans are on track to charge more than $36.0 billion worth of fast food to their credit and debit cards this year, compared to $22.5 billion one-year ago. VISA reported that quick service restaurant sales for August are running 67.3% ahead of one-year ago. The figures reflect growing consumer and merchant acceptance of carding small ticket purchases. VISA says QSR merchants are experiencing tremendous growth in terms of revenue and efficiency as a result of accepting plastic. The average QSR credit card ticket is $11.70. Americans spend about $140 billion per year in quick service restaurants.

QSR ON PLASTIC HISTORICAL
2000: $ 1.7 billion
2001: $ 3.7 billion
2002: $ 6.1 billion
2003: $12.9 billion
2004: $22.5 billion
2005: $36.0 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Hypercom Restructures its Latin American Ops

Hypercom has restructured its Latin American operations with the
establishment of two new regional headquarters in Mexico City and
Brazil. The two offices replace Hypercom’s former Latin American
regional headquarters in Florida. The Mexico City headquarters will
serve not only Mexico but Central America and the Andean countries of
South America (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Guyana),
The Brazil headquarters will cover the South Cone region of South
America, which includes Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The Association of Mexican Banks recently announced plans to spend up
to $300 million over the next three years on the expansion of the
point-of-sale network to encourage the use of debit and credit cards in
Mexico. Card payments today account for only 2% of Mexican purchases.
Hypercom provides complete card payment terminal, network access device,
server and transaction networking solutions.

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CO-OP Tests Digital Checks via an ATM

CO-OP Network has successfully captured, imaged, proofed and cleared its first digital check image from an ATM. To test the process, CO-OP Network utilized an authentic California Center CU ATM card and account. The transaction consisted of depositing a $25 check into an NCR “Personas M Series” ATM where it was routed through the CO-OP Network switch, consolidated on an NCR “ImageMark” server at eFunds and cleared through WesCorp. CO-OP Network says it will continue to work with key partners to standardize and support a comprehensive check imaging service across multiple terminal types. The technology will be available to its members in first quarter 2006.

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GECF Acquires an Interest in Keppel Bank

GE Consumer Finance has reached an agreement to acquire a
majority interest in Keppel Bank Philippines for $25.8 million. Keppel has 30 branches and provides a broad range of banking and financial
services, including deposits, personal loans, mortgages, auto loans and
credit cards. Upon regulatory approval and closing, GECF will assume operational control of the bank. Keppel has total assets of approximately $90 million.

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TNB Signs DESCO FCU for Card Processing

Ohio-based DESCO FCU has converted its credit card processing to Dallas-based TNB Card Services. DESCO FCU has 25,000 members and $180 million in assets. It serves counties in southern Ohio and northeastern Kentucky. The credit union has six branches in addition to its main office in Portsmouth. TNB Card Services, owned and directed by credit unions, provides full-service credit and debit card processing, serving more than 450 financial institutions and managing more than 1.6 million cards,

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WaMu’s Credit Card Goes National in Oct

Washington Mutual says it will launch a mid-October direct-mail credit card marketing campaign to its customers following its merger with Providian, which was completed today. The new Washington Mutual Card Services Division will be introducing a Washington Mutual-branded credit card over the next year. Providian CEO Joseph Saunders will continue to lead the credit card business from San Francisco as president of the new WaMu card division. In June, Providian announced it was being acquired by Seattle-based WaMu for $6.45 billion. Providian has the nation’s 9th largest general purpose credit card issuer with $18.6 billion in card outstandings, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 6/6/05)

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

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Diebold Puts Weber on the Board

Diebold has elected Alan Weber, recently retired as chairman and CEO of U.S. Trust Corporation, to its board of directors, effective October 1st. Prior to joining U.S. Trust in October 2002, Weber was vice chairman and chief financial officer at Aetna, Inc., where he was responsible for capital management, information technology, investor relations, e-business and financial operations. Weber currently serves as a director of ComputerRepair.com, an IT services company he helped establish. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Diebold is a global leader in providing integrated self- service delivery systems, security and services with reported revenue of $2.4 billion in 2004.

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The Debit Card Code is Strengthened

Effective October 1st, consumers now receive enhanced
information and a guaranteed response time when they report unauthorized or fraudulent debit card transactions to their bank. Under the upgraded debit card code, debit card users will receive specific notification that the card issuer will investigate the unauthorized transaction(s) and a decision on reimbursement will come from that investigation. The card issuer will respond back to the cardholder no later than 10
business days after the unauthorized transaction is reported to the
card issuer. If not all funds will be reimbursed to the cardholder, then the card issuer will provide information it believes shows that the
cardholder contributed to the unauthorized use of the card. If a problem cannot be resolved between the cardholder and the bank, the bank will provide written information on how the customer can escalate the matter through the bank’s formal complaint-handling process. The changes are detailed in the “Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Card Services.”

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Senators Want G-Card Credit Limits Lowered

A bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to repeal or retract the change that was made in federal procurement with respect to government credit cards when the emergency supplemental was passed dealing with the hurricanes. In the aftermath of the Katrina disaster, the government raised the limit on its credit cards from $2,500 to $250,000. Sens. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Ron Wyden of Oregon, both Democrats, say the change was wholly inappropriate. The proposed legislation would reset the limit to $2,500 for a single, non-emergency purchase, $15,000 for emergency domestic purchases and $25,000 for emergency purchases overseas. Last month, Charles Grassley, the Senate Finance Committee Chairman and a Republican, sought to lower the limit to $50,000, unless approved by a supervisor.

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U.S. Bank Rolls-Out BSU Alumni VISA Cards

U.S. Bank has launched three affinity cards for the 35,000 alumni of Minnesota-based Bemidji State University. Cardholders will have access to three different U.S. Bank credit card products, including a card that earns reward points that can be redeemed for gift certificates, merchandise and travel rewards, and another that provides rewards designed especially for college students. Bemidji State University is a public university founded in 1919, with a current enrollment of more than 4,600 students from 37 states and 41 foreign countries. U.S. Bancorp has $204 billion in assets and is the 6th largest financial holding company in the United States.

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UK PO CARD

The U.K. Post Office and the Bank of Ireland this morning launched a MasterCard offering two interest rates. The new “two in one” “Post Office Credit Card” offers standard credit card functionality but also offers a installment loan-like facility with a discounted interest rate for larger purchases. Cardholders can transfer large purchases between GBP 500 and GBP 2000 into the special line with an interest rate of 6.8%. (The credit card feature generally carries a 14.9% interest rate.) The purchases transferred to the special line can be repaid over a period of 12 months. Cardholders can use the facility for up to two purchases at any one time subject to an aggregate limit of GBP 2,000 and have one month to transfer the purchase to the loan-like facility of the card. The U.K. Post Office has 14,600 branches across the country.

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