MasterCard & Cardtronics Sign U.S. Pact

MasterCard has launched a surcharge-free ATM program in partnership with Cardtronics. The new program, which is open to all issuers of MasterCard, Maestro and/or Cirrus branded cards, does not require any brand changes, nor include ATM reciprocity requirements. Cardholders will be able to locate the nearest surcharge-free Cardtronics ATM via a free Web-based locator. Under terms of the deal, MasterCard will market the program to its members and Cardtronics will provide ATM services through its network, including processing, cash management, monitoring, and maintenance. Cardtronics is the world’s largest owner/operator of ATMs with a nationwide U.S. network of more than 25,000 locations operating in every major market and in all 50 states as well as 1,000 locations throughout the UK. The MasterCard ATM Network is the world’s largest with more than one million ATMs around the world and at 383,000 across the U.S.

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Survey Says Consumers Want Self-Checkout

A survey commissioned by NCR has revealed 88% of shoppers at the
METRO supermarket chain reported the self-checkout experience as
“very positive” and 86% said they will “definitely” or
“probably” use self-checkout again. Neither age nor gender had a
significant influence on consumers willingness to accept the new
technology. Real SB-Warenhaus GmbH, a division of the METRO Group,
operates hypermarkets under the brand of “Real” and supermarkets
under the brand of “Extra.” In fiscal year 2004, Real posted net
sales of 8.2 billion euros. The METRO Group is the third largest retail
trading corporation in Europe and number five in the world.

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Titanium Cards Come to Middle Earth

New Zealand’s Westpac has introduced Australasia’s first “Titanium” credit card and New Zealand’s first ever mini card. The new “Westpac Titanium MasterCard,” and its accompanying “Titanium SideCard,” targets high income earners and offers a minimum credit limit of $15,000, according to yesterday’s issue of CardFlash International. The mini card has a daily purchasing limit that can be set by the cardholder. Cardholders earn 1.5 “Hotpoints” for every dollar spent using the card and also receive exclusive offers such as accommodation packages at luxury resorts and various concierge services. Westpac says its new “Titanium” card is the only card in New Zealand to score 100% for card premium facilities using Cannex’s credit card star ratings methodology.

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Pago’s Trautmann Resigns; Markus Takes Over

Pago announced that Dr. Markus Weber will take over as the single CEO as
of October 1st. Previously, Weber had shared CEO responsibilities
with Ruediger Trautmann who resigned after 5 and a half years. Weber
became CFO of Pago on 1 February 2001 and has since been responsible for
Finance, Operations, IT and Risk Management Services. Previously, he was
a Director for Corporate Development at the Deutsche Bank. Pago is a
Deutsche Bank AG and Beisheim Holding Schweiz AG company. Pago
eTransaction Services GmbH is an international acquiring & payment service
provider for e-Commerce businesses, shops (point-of-sale) and mail-order
businesses.

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Elite POS Joins the OneLynk Alliance

RBS Lynk has signed Elite POS as the newest member of OneLynk Alliance. Elite POS is a leading provider of Aloha restaurant systems across the Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, and Northwest Virginia that provides point-of-sale (POS) solutions to regional restaurant clients. RBS Lynk is the ninth-largest merchant acquirer in the U.S., the second-largest processor of ATMs in the U.S. and is a member of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS Group.

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JULY DEBIT

Debit card EFT/POS volume picked-up in July at a per annum growth rate of 8.4%, compared to 8.2% in June. During July, Australian consumers used debit cards for A$6.7 billion in transactions. Over the past five years debit card volume has grown 143%. During July, Australians used debit cards for A$5.4 billion in purchases with 85.2 million transactions. Total EFT/POS transactions were 99.7 million for July according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. Over the past twelve months, Australians have used debit cards for A$77.7 billion in purchases. There were 25.2 million debit card accounts in the country at the end of July, compared to 24.8 million one-year ago.

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Global Payments’ Profits Up 23% in Q3

Atlanta-based Global Payments Inc. reported that third calendar quarter revenues increased 17% to $224.5 million. Net income for the quarter ending August 31st jumped 23% to $31.3 million. GPN says the growth was driven by its North American direct merchant channels, re-pricing initiatives in Canada, ISO growth in the USA and a favorable Canadian currency exchange rate. GPN also notes that the performance of its consumer money transfer channel and Central and Eastern European operations is solid. Additionally, the Company recently agreed to create a joint venture with HSBC to provide payment processing services to merchants in the Asia-Pacific region. GPN also raised its annual revenue guidance. For the Company’s 2006 fiscal year, annual revenue is expected to fall between $855 million and $883 million or up 9% to 13% over its just-ended 2005 fiscal year. For complete details on Global Payments latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 9/8/05)

GPN HISTORICAL
PERIOD REVENUES NET INCOME
3Q/04: $192.6mm $24.2mm
4Q/04: $188.5mm $16.8mm
1Q/05: $195.5mm $21.6mm
2Q/05: $207.7mm $25.9mm
3Q/05: $224.5mm $31.3mm
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Solo Mobile and Citizens Bank Launch a Gift Card

Solo Mobile and Citizens Bank of Canada are introducing a prepaid VISA
gift card. The new “Solo Mobile VISA Gift Card” can be purchased in any
denomination between $25 and $500 (for a nominal $2.00 issuing fee) and
are not reloadable. The card will be available at Bell retail locations
throughout B.C. starting September 26th. In November 2004, Citizens
launched the “West Edmonton Mall VISA Gift Card.”

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Infonox Introduces IDNox for the POS

San Diego-based Infonox introduced “IDNox” which verifies address, SSN, driver’s license and OFAC validation with real-time analysis at the customer touchpoint. IDNox is platform independent and uses application program interfaces that enable users to integrate the solution through XML or HTML, and it operates over TCP/IP or as a stand-alone application. IDNox is being used by tellers, cashiers, kiosks, ATMs and other Web-based services. Infonox enables financial service providers to create their own “hub and spoke” networks for the delivery of revenue generating services.

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Consumer Credit Score Knowledge Improves

A survey commissioned by the Consumer Federation of American and Providian has found that the proportion of consumers who understand that making payments on time influences credit scores rose from 87% in 2004 to 93% in 2005, however, consumers still lack basic facts of how credit scores are established and the importance of monitoring the information available from the credit bureaus. 31% of those surveyed said they had obtained their credit scores in the past year, up from 24% in 2004. 20% of the respondents know that just making minimum payments on credit cards will lower one’s scores and less than one-quarter (23%) know the identity of the three major credit bureaus. CFA is a non-profit association of some 300 consumer groups which seeks to advance the consumer interest through research, education, and advocacy.

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USTT Takes Card-Based e-Port into Golf

Pennsylvania-based USA Technologies has extended its “e-Port” credit card transaction technology into golf ball dispensing machines at golf clubs and driving ranges in North America. e-Port cashless technology already activates vending machines, unattended kiosks, college laundry services and office services. USA Technologies provides networked credit card and other non-cash systems.

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CyberSource to Acquire CardSystems’ Assets

CyberSource this morning confirmed it intends to buy the assets of troubled processor CardSystems Solutions. Under terms of the September 20th deal, CyberSource will acquire CardSystems’ 120,000 merchant processing contracts which produce more than $18 billion in annual processing volume. The agreement also includes CardSystems’ advanced payment processing platform with direct connections to major credit card association networks and banks and a network of ISOs. In May CardSystems reported a serious data security breach that potentially affected 40 million credit card accounts worldwide. Following the breach investigation, VISA and American Express notified the processor of their intention to terminate their relationships with the processor on October 31st. MasterCard continued to work with the processor. CyberSource says both firms are now working with the card associations and banks to provide uninterrupted processing for CardSystems merchants and channel partners. However, there are no assurances that the parties will be able to negotiate and enter into a definitive agreement concerning the sale of CardSystems’ business or consummate the transaction. If successful, the deal is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter. (CF Library 6/20/05; 7/8/05; 7/20/05; 9/1/05)

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