Rogers to Test Mint PayPass MasterCard

Rogers Communications has initiated a market trial of the “Mint PayPass
MasterCard” at its Toronto headquarters campus. Over the course of the
trial, employees at the Rogers Campus need only register for the Mint
MasterCard, which can be used for contactless payments at MasterCard
PayPass designated merchants at the Campus and traditional purchases
wherever MasterCard is accepted worldwide and access prepaid
functionality which allows cardholders to preload value on their card.
Peoples Trust of Vancouver is responsible for card issuance. Rogers
Communications is a diversified communications and media company engaged
in three primary lines of business: Rogers Wireless, Rogers Cable and
Rogers Media.

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AUG DEBT

Credit card borrowing continues to downshift, as Brits lopped-off GBP146
million during August, compared to adding GBP584 million in
August 2004. There was a stronger increase in overall consumer credit in
August as a result of higher demand for loans and overdrafts, but in
marked contrast, credit card lending fell for the second time this year.
This weakness on cards ties in with the very weak retail sales data and
reflects consumer caution in relation to their borrowing. The British
Bankers Association also says that total sterling lending to the UK
private sector showed a net underlying increase of GBP8.0 billion
(+0.7%) to GBP1,119 billion. This was down on the previous month’s rise
of GBP11.6 billion and the average of +GBP10.0 billion over the previous
six months. The BBA collects data from Abbey National, Alliance &
Leicester, Barclays, Bradford & Bingley, HBOS, HSBC Bank, Lloyds TSB,
Northern Rock and The Royal Bank of Scotland.

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Freeman to Chair the BAI Board of Directors

Douglas Freeman, chairman and CEO of NetBank, has been elected chairman of the BAI Board of Directors. Over his more than 30-year career in financial services, Freeman has held a number of executive positions, including President of the Consumer Finance Group at Bank of America; President of the Consumer Finance Division at NationsBank, N.A.; Chief Corporate Bank Executive and Chief Consumer Bank Executive at Barnett Bank; and Executive Vice President of Business Banking at Wells Fargo Bank. Freeman had served as Chief Executive Officer of Resource Bancshares Mortgage Group, Inc. for more than two years prior to NetBank’s acquisition of that company. BAI is the financial services industry’s professional organization focused on enhancing organizational and individual performance.

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ASAP Funding Targets Credit Card Merchants

Global Debit Cash Card and its ASAP Funding subsidiary have launched a test of a new “AdvanceFundsPlus” product, which provides working capital to merchants by the purchase of a portion of their expected future sales at a discount and then collects a percentage of the merchant’s daily credit card sales for repayment. AdvanceFundsPlus provides working capital to businesses that accept credit cards. ASAP Funding’s target clients are small and mid-size businesses that need working capital, but cannot meet the requirements to qualify for bank financing. The United States has about 6,000,000 million businesses that are classified as small or mid-sized which comprise the target market ASAP Funding is seeking to serve.

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Discover Q3 Profits Slip 28%; Card Loans Flat

Morgan Stanley reported this morning that its Credit Services division, including the “Discover Card,” posted $239 million in pre-tax profits for the quarter ending August 31st, compared to $330 million for the year-ago quarter. Managed outstandings were essentially flat compared to year-ago levels, but transaction dollar volume increased more than 5% year-over-year, while delinquency and charge-offs continue to fall compared to prior quarters. Managed merchant, cardholder and other fees were $532 million, up 7% from last year. At quarter end, managed credit card loans were $47.1 billion. However, the managed net interest income fell $87 million from a year ago, reflecting a tighter interest rate spread. The managed credit card net charge-off rate for the third quarter was 5.12%, 64 basis points below a year ago. The managed credit card over-30-day delinquency rate was 3.91%, a decrease of 90 basis points from the third quarter of 2004, and the managed credit card over-90-day delinquency rate was 1.80%, 42 basis points lower than a year ago. Total transaction volume increased to $26.7 billion, compared to $25.4 billion for 3Q/04. The account base declined during the third quarter by 300,000 accounts from the second quarter. Domestic active accounts declined 2% from 3Q/04 to 19.2 million. For complete details on Discover’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

DISCOVER CARD PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
3Q/04* 4Q/04* 1Q/05* 2Q/05* 3Q/05* Y/Y CHNG
Outstandings: $47.1b $48.3b $47.8b $46.8b $47.1b NC
Volume: $25.4b $25.7b $25.9b $25.4b $26.7b +5.1%
Accounts: 46.0m 46.2m 46.0m 45.9m 45.6m -0.9%
Actives: 19.6m 19.7m 19.5m 19.3m 19.2m -2.0%
Chargeoffs: 5.76% 5.45% 5.11% 4.94% 5.12% -64bps
Delinquency**: 4.81% 4.55% 4.24% 3.90% 3.91% -90bps
Yield: 11.69% 11.59% 11.23% 11.69% 12.04% +35bps
Notes: * 3Q/04 ended 8/31/04; 4Q/04 ended 11/30/04;
1Q/05 ended 2/28/05; 2Q/05 ended 5/31/05; 3Q/05 ended 8/31/05.
** delinquency is 30-90 days and excludes 90+ days.
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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EFMARK Acquires an Interest in Solvport

EFMARK Premium Armored has acquired a significant interest in OR-based Solvport, a provider of technical services and support for ATM and kiosk owners and operators. Solvport currently provides service to more than 40,000 ATMs, offering telephone support nationwide and on-site repair in 93 metropolitan areas. Solvport also enables EFMARK to strengthen its service directly to financial institutions through its “Tech-Connect” offering, allowing banks and credit union customers to perform their own first line maintenance. EFMARK is the nation’s largest “ATM only” service company. Solvport provides technical service.

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Diebold Lowers Expectations; Pres/COO Out

Leading ATM manufacturer Diebold announced this morning that its President/COO is leaving and that its ATM related revenue for the third quarter may be more than $50 million lower than the previous 7%-9% increase expected. The Company says the lower profit expectations are due to weak overall North America financial self-service revenue, impacted by the effect of Hurricane Katrina, operational inefficiencies, rising fuel costs and pricing pressures. Diebold Chairman/CEO, Walden O’Dell, is immediately taking over the President/COO position from the departing Eric Evans. O’Dell also announced that a new financial self-service business unit combining product and software development, manufacturing, procurement and marketing will be formed into a single global organization. The new business unit will be headed by Thomas Swidarski, who assumes the title of SVP/Financial Self-Service Group. Sales and service operations for both financial self-service and security will remain unchanged and continue to be structured in two organizations focused on North America and International markets. Diebold share price was down as much as 16% this morning.

TOTAL FINANCIAL SELF SERVICE REVENUE
3Q/04: $418.4 million
4Q/04: $528.8 million
1Q/05: $388.5 million
2Q/05: $433.7 million
3Q/05: $397.0 million (projected)
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Cendant and MBNA Launch the TripRewards MC

NJ-based Cendant Hotel Group and MBNA have introduced a new MasterCard that awards three points per dollar in addition to the ten points per dollar normally earned for qualifying hotel stays, for a total of thirteen points per dollar. The new “TripRewards Platinum Plus MasterCard from MBNA America” also earns two points per dollar for all other retail purchases. The new card is an enhancement to the current “TripRewards” program which as 5 million members. The “TripRewards” program features more than 6,000 hotels, points-earning opportunities with more than 40 earning participants and 270 point-redemption options, It is the world’s largest hotel loyalty program, based on the number of participating hotels. Cendant Hotel Group is the world’s largest lodging franchisor with 6,355 hotels on five continents under the Super 8, Days Inn, Ramada, Travelodge, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Wingate Inn and AmeriHost Inn brands.

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RewardsNOW Offers a Charitable Option

New Hampshire-based RewardsNOW is encouraging its bank and credit union clients and their members and customers to use their rewards points toward helping the American Red Cross with its massive Hurricane Katrina recovery effort. For every 5,000 points contributed, RewardsNOW will forward $25 to the American Red Cross, and the contribution will be in the name of the customer making the donation, with a receipt sent to the customer directly from the Red Cross. RewardsNOW is giving its client banks and credit unions the option of adding their own contributions on top of the contributions of their customers, through a customized donation-matching program. RewardsNOW is a provider of marketing services to banks and credit unions.

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American Airlines Offers a Cash Payment Option

American Airlines has inked a deal to accept payment for airfare in cash at over 46,000 U.S.-based Western Union locations. Customers can reserve tickets online or by phone. The service is available for a Western Union service fee of $14.95. AA says 32% of consumers simply prefer to pay for major travel expenses with cash or check. AA also says recent market research shows that approximately 50 million adults in the U.S. do not have credit cards.

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