Fair Isaac Releases Debt Manager 6.0

Fair Isaac has released “Debt Manager 6.0,” an end-to-end collections and recovery software, now featuring daytime account processing through “Routers,” the system’s rule-based workflow engine. Debt Manager is a flexible workflow management platform capable of managing delinquent accounts at both the customer and account level. It addresses all phases of the debt lifecycle. Fair Isaac Corporation provides predictive modeling, decision analysis, intelligence management, decision management systems and consulting services.

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NEW VISA CARDS

Korea’s Woori Bank, Lotte Card and Korea Exchange Bank have become the
first in the world to issue the newly-branded VISA card. VISA first
announced the change in its brand identity in March and it is now being
implemented globally, with the first signage starting to appear in shop
windows, on the Internet, on mobile phones and at major sponsored events
worldwide. Under the changes, VISA relocated its dove hologram to the
back of the card. The dove hologram, which was adopted in 1984, is now
being integrated with the magnetic stripe. The “CVV2” code will be moved
off the signature panel. The “V” in VISA has been enhanced with a gold
color to highlight the VISA wordmark’s unique serif, the size of the
VISA logo has been increased, and the banners used as borders in the
current design have been eliminated. “Visa Electron” will share the same
new VISA identity on the card and at the point-of-sale but will be
identified by the word “Electron” below the VISA logo. In some European
areas, “V” will be used on its own with a different brand name, such as
“V PAY.” The worldwide transition to the new VISA brand identity will be
completed by 2010.

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Axalto Profits Up 71% in the First Half

Axalto reported that it shipped close to 204 million microprocessor cards during the first six months of this year, a 32% increase in volume compared the year-ago period. Overall revenues were up 16% to $498 million and net income soared by 71% to $33 million. The Europe Middle East Africa area posted solid growth of 14% compared with the first half of 2004, reaching $275 million. However, the Americas recorded the fastest revenue increase, both in absolute terms, adding $40.2 million, and in percentage terms with a 52% jump in sales to $118 million. Axalto has 4,500 employees and worldwide sales of more than three billion smart cards to-date. For complete details on Axalto’s latest performance, visit CardData.com (www.carddata.com)

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Debit Card Settlement May Not Reach All

A claim filing specialist says billions of dollars will be left on the table in the $3 billion VISA/MasterCard class action settlement payout. San Francisco-based Spectrum Settlement Recovery says a large majority of the businesses eligible to recover money in the debit card settlement will miss their opportunity for a refund. Spectrum notes that court documents filed on August 22 by Garden City Group, the Claims Administrator, shows as many as one-third of the eligible businesses may not show up in data provided by the credit card networks. The amount of the settlement fund associated with this group, comprising approximately 2.8 million claimants, could rise well above the earlier 10% estimate. Spectrum says the Garden City filing indicates that claimants will receive a 6-page claim form and an instruction manual up to 8 pages long which may scare away many eligible companies from filing.

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Virgin Aims a Fee at Rate Tarts

Chasing rates and switching credit cards is getting more difficult as UK
banks introduce balance transfer fees. Virgin credit card is taking
aim at so-called “rate tarts” with a 2% balance transfer fee with a cap
of GBP 50. Many UK issuers now offer 0% rate deals.
Capital One recently launched a card that offers a 0% rate through
January 2007 but it carries a 2% balance transfer fee with no cap.
Marbles and Co-op currently offer 0% balance transfer deals without
balance transfer fees. The Bristol Business School recently concluded
that “rate tarts” are costing the UK card industry about GBP 80 million
per month.

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Bank of Canada Raises Rates by One-Quarter Point

The Bank of Canada has raised its target for the overnight rate by
one-quarter of one percentage point to 2.75%. The operating band for the
overnight rate is correspondingly increased, and the Bank Rate is now
3.0%. The BOC said that with the economy operating close to full
capacity and consistent with its analysis in the “Monetary Policy
Report Update,” the interest rate increase will help to promote a
balance between aggregate demand and supply in the economy and keep
inflation on target over the medium term.

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Paymetric Joins the Texas Fast 50

Houston-based Paymetric has been named among the top ten fastest-growing technology companies in Texas by Deloitte & Touche’s “Texas Technology Fast 50 Program”. To qualify for the Technology Fast 50, companies must have had operating revenues of at least $50,000 in 2000 and $1,000,000 in 2004, be headquartered in North America, and be a “technology company,” defined as a company that owns proprietary technology that contributes to a significant portion of the company’s operating revenues; or devotes a significant proportion of revenues to the research and development of technology. Paymetric empowers organizations to leverage payment cards more effectively by integrating buying and selling functions directly into their ERP-enabled business operations.

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HSBC and GPN Form a Processing JV

HSBC has agreed to create a joint venture with Global Payments to provide payment processing services to merchants in the Asia-Pacific region. Under the terms of the agreement, GPN will pay HSBC $67.2 million in cash to acquire a 56% ownership interest in the joint venture. HSBC will control the remaining 44% and will contribute its existing Asia-Pacific merchant acquiring channel in ten countries and territories to the joint venture. HSBC’s merchant acquiring channel in the region provides services to more than 40,000 merchant outlets. In addition, the bank has agreed to a ten-year marketing alliance in which HSBC will refer new merchant customers to the joint venture for payment processing services. The agreement will cover merchants in Brunei, the Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region), India, the Macau SAR, mainland China, Malaysia, Maldives, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Taiwan.

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Checkgateway to Promote TransFirst Services

Arizona-based Checkgateway, an ACH specialist, has signed an agreement for NE-based TransFirst to provide card processing services to its clients. TransFirst is a provider of transaction processing services and payment enabling technologies and processes approximately $20 billion in annual sales volume for more than 160,000 merchants and more than 760 financial institutions. Checkgateway has been an ACH service bureau since 1993 and is an affiliate member of the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), an organization charged with making operational rules for the ACH network.

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Katrina Relief Gets More Industry Support

VeriFone has donated 500 counter top and wireless payment systems to assist merchants impacted by Hurricane Katrina. VeriFone is donating the systems through NOVA Information Systems to facilitate the FEMA debit card disbursements to impacted families. Wells Fargo announced it has increased its team member matching program for Hurricane Katrina disaster relief to $500,000, up from $250,000 announced last week. This will bring Wells’ total contribution for relief efforts up to $1.5 million. The Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security says it is working closely with the Department of the Treasury as well as with Federal and state financial regulators to both support implementation of solutions to the most immediate problems and create a plan of action to resolve long-term issues. State Farm Bank is waiving late fees and deferring payment with no interest on State Farm credit card accounts. Chicago’s Harris Bank announced it will waive the surcharge fee at its more than 500 Harris-branded ATM machines for Hurricane Katrina survivors who were issued a debit card by FEMA.

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