Genpass Introduces a STV Card for CUs

Texas-based Genpass has introduced a stored-value MasterCard debit card for credit unions. This allows credit union members to utilize funds with no processing cost or fraud risk to the credit union. The card can also be used by credit unions to provide transaction accounts to prospective members who have not yet established other accounts with the credit union. Genpass, Inc.is a provider of stored value card services and a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Bank.

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Ahli United Bank to Offer AmEx Platinum Cards

Ahli United Bank has signed a deal to issue American Express platinum
cards to its private banking clients. The bank says it intends to offer
the cards at half the usual AmEx annual fee. AUB recently
launched its Ahli Contact Center. Through the Contact Center, AUB is
offering delivery of a variety of products and services to the
customers’ doorsteps. A specialized courier company will deliver
statements, chequebooks, manager cheques, demand drafts and new ATM and
credit cards to customer’s homes or offices. AUB is a fully-fledged
commercial and investment banking institution based in Bahrain providing
wealth management, retail, corporate, treasury, offshore and private
banking services. It was also recently recognized with the “Bank of the
Year in Bahrain” Bankers Award in 2004 for the second consecutive year by
Banker Magazine.

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Oct 20th is Get Smart About Credit Day

The American Bankers Association Education Foundation has set October 20th as the day for the 3rd annual “Get Smart About Credit Day.” Volunteer bankers across the country will teach students how to budget, use credit cards responsibly and build a positive payment history. A recent survey reveals that teenagers spent $169 billion last year, an average of $91 per week and a majority have had no class in personal finance. The ABA Education Foundation, a non-profit subsidiary of the American Bankers Association, is committed to developing and providing education programs that lead to financial literacy.

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Micro Issuers Rebound in the 2Q/05

After three consecutive down years, bank credit card issuers with less than $1 million in outstandings made a comeback in the second quarter. Since 2000, micro issuers have experienced a 7.1% decline in outstandings but rebounded in 2Q/05 with a 4.6% gain over 2Q/04. According to CardData’s second quarter portfolio survey, volume among micro issuers soared by more than 40% in the second quarter compared to one-year ago. The strong gain in volume, the rebound in receivables, was somewhat offset by a 2.5% decline in active accounts. According to R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers, micro portfolios with less than $1 million in assets currently carry a premium between 5% and 10% if sold. Next week, the top issuers will release their second quarter report. For the latest second quarter 2005 results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Mid-Level CU Issuers Climb 10% in Q2

Mid-level credit union bank credit card issuers, with at least $100 million in receivables but less than $300 million, posted a 10.2% gain in the second quarter compared to one-year ago. This is the fourth straight year of steady growth following the 2001-2002 recession. Since 2000, mid-level credit union portfolios have grown about 37%. According to CardData’s second quarter portfolio survey, volume among mid-level credit union issuers increased 8.4% in the second quarter compared to 2Q/04. Active account were up 1.2% year-over-year. Meanwhile, the nation’s largest credit union bank credit card issuer, Navy FCU, surged more than 15% in second quarter outstandings. For the latest second quarter 2005 results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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BNL Converts Entire ATM Network to Agilis Power

Banca Nazionale del Lavoro is deploying a custom application created by Diebold’s “Agilis Power” software toolkit as the standard for its more than 1,300 multivendor ATMs. The project covers the
bank’s entire network and is currently being rolled out. More than 500
of the bank’s ATMs are already operating with Diebold’s “Agilis Power.”
Diebold redesigned the bank’s self-service distribution
architecture with the help of its cross-vendor software platform. The platform enables the ATMs, which are supplied by three different vendors, to provide Web-based advanced functionalities in an integrated multichannel environment.

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WIZARD MASTERCARD

GE Money’s Wizard Home Loans, which it acquired in October, has
launched a new low cost credit card that carries a “Health Warning” on
debt. The new “Wizard Clear Advantage MasterCard” is a stripped-down
card without rewards but offers a 12.4% annual interest rate, a
six-month 0% interest rate on balance transfers and no fees for annual
membership, overseas purchases, cash advances and ATM withdrawals. The
card is Wizard’s third card program but GE Money’s first Wizard card
launch since the acquisition last year. Wizard currently offers two
credit cards linked to home loans: “The Wizard Fast Card” and the
“Wizard MasterCard.” Wizard Home Loans launched in the mortgage market
in 1996 and in eight years is now Australia’s leading non-bank lender
with over 250 branches across Australia and New Zealand. GE Money has
assets of over A$30billion and more than 3 million customers in
Australia and New Zealand.

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Metris Gets a Wells Notice; Pays-Off Debt

Metris Companies confirmed it has received a “Wells Notice” from the SEC. The SEC investigation, first disclosed by Metris in August 2003, concerns the company’s reporting and treatment of allowance for loan losses for 2001 and its valuation of retained interests in securitized loans. The “Wells Notice” covers the company’s current CEO and its controller. A “Wells Notice” indicates that the SEC staff plans to recommend that the SEC bring a civil injunction for possible violation of securities laws. Metris also announced yesterday, that it intends to prepay its remaining $49 million in corporate debt in mid-August. Over the last ten months, Metris will have prepaid all of its $450 million of corporate debt.

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Global Commercial Payments Solutions Expands

U.S. Bank, the first to offer a U.S. corporate bankcard, reports that
it now issues and services cards in 37 countries, with statements in the
local language and currency. The issuer recently inked deals with Banco
Uno in Nicaragua and National Bank of New Zealand. The U.S. Bank
expansion comes via London-based Global Commercial Payments Solutions, a
global joint venture between VISA and seven key VISA commercial card
issuers. GCPS also includes 16 partner banks that can issue commercial
cards in an additional 28 countries. More than a dozen U.S. Bank clients
have gone global in the last 12 months and more than 30 companies
worldwide have implemented programs through GCPS, representing an
overall charge volume in excess of $1.75 billion.

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