TONI&GUY Select Givex for Gift Card Management

Internationally renowned hair salon TONI&GUY has selected Givex as their card management provider for gift cards, loyalty schemes and incentive programs. Starting next month, Givex’s gift card program will be gradually launched in 240 TONI&GUY franchises in the U.K. and Ireland with Australia and other European locations starting later this year.
The TONI&GUY group currently has 217 salons in the U.K., 139 internationally in 35 countries worldwide. Givex is among the fastest growing transaction processors worldwide.

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Laurentian Bank Teams With Western Union

Laurentian Bank of Canada has completed an agreement to offer the Western Union Money Transfer service across the bank’s network of 156 branches. The agreement follows the completion of a successful pilot project launched in December. The deal also expands upon the relationship between Laurentian and First Data. FDC has provided card processing services to Laurentian Bank since 2000. With the addition of the Laurentian Bank branches, Western Union’s Canadian agent network now includes more than 3,200 locations including almost 300 locations in Greater Montreal area.

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First Data Acquires EuroProcessing International

EuroProcessing International is being acquired by First Data from Reiten & Co Capital Partners. EPI is active in ten Central and Eastern European countries including Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Serbia and Montenegro, Russia and Hungary. The deal will give First Data a foothold in Eastern Europe and the Nordic region. EPI has more than
330 employees. The Company provides issuer and acquirer processing services including ATM and POS transaction processing, rental and maintenance, debit and credit card management, card personalization and electronic top-up of prepaid mobile airtime through POS, ATM and GSM messages.

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HSBC Financial Acquires Invis

HSBC has acquired all the ordinary share capital of Invis. Invis negotiated more than C$4.5 billion of mortgages on behalf of homeowners and homebuyers in 2004. More than 550 individual mortgage brokers
work with Invis in locations from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland.
HSBC Financial offers a diversified range of consumer financial services to the Canadian public through a network of over 100 retail branches and other distribution channels.

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Shell Canada Selects ViVOpay

Shell Canada has selected ViVOtech’s “ViVOpay” technology to enable its in-store “easyPAY” contactless payment program. The easyPAY key fob-based system is based upon a wireless radio frequency technology that is unique to Shell Canada. easyPAY also offers the national AIR MILES Reward Program to its users. easyPAY AIR MILES Collectors are automatically awarded AIR MILES for qualifying purchases. ViVOtech provides an end-to-end transaction platform that allows consumers to make contactless payments with more than 70,000 of its contactless payment readers shipped around the world.

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AmEx Offers Braille/Large Print Statements

American Express this morning announced the availability of Braille and large print statements for AmEx cardholders with vision impairments in the USA. Cardholders can request the new service by calling AmEx directly. Nationwide, ATMs have been upgraded to accommodate vision impaired customers. The American Foundation for the Blind estimates there are approximately 10 million blind and visually impaired people in the USA.

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MC ASIA-PACIFIC Q1

MasterCard International reports that its gross dollar volume in the Asia-Pacific region rose 7% in the first quarter to $61.95 billion.
First quarter volume in Indonesia more than doubled to more than $1 billion, while volume soared in Singapore by 81%, and by 76% in Thailand. Within the Asia-Pacific region, the number of MasterCards increased 9.5% to 133.6 million cards. The number of 1Q/05 transactions increased 14% to 489.4 million. Other countries with strong first quarter GDV growth include the Philippines (+32%) and Malaysia (+22%). In Indonesia the number of cards increased 59% to 5 million. In Singapore the number of cards increased 24% to 1.8 million. In Thailand the number of cards increased 66% to 6.0 million. In the Philippines the number of cards increased 30% to 3.7 million and in Malaysia the number of cards increased 19% to 4.8 million.

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VISA’s U.S Payment Card Share Tops 53%

VISA’s share of the U.S. market is now 53.5%, compared to 29.0% for MasterCard. During the first quarter, gross dollar volume hit $602.9 billion for the four major payment card networks, an 11.5% increase over 1Q/04. According to final figures gathered last week by RAM Research’s Bankcard Barometer, VISA had $322.1 billion in Q1 GDV, while MasterCard posted $174.5 billion. American Express posted $79.6 billion in Q1 GDV while Discover reported $25.9 billion.

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Late and Over-Limit Fees Hit Market Limit

The pace of increase for late payment fees and over-limit fees has slipped over the past year. However, many issuers have lowered the bar on balances where the highest fees apply. During the past twelve months late payment fees have increased 4.8%, compared to 5.6% for the previous year. Over-limit fees have grown 2.5% between April 2004 and 2005, compared to 6.3% in the prior year period. The most common late fee is now $39, and the most common over-limit fee is $29. The average late payment fee is now $33.43. The average over-limit fee is now $30.66, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

FEE HISTORICAL
Late Fees Over-Limit Fees
Nov 04: $32.58 $30.31
Dec 04: $32.61 $30.35
Jan 05: $32.81 $30.43
Feb 05: $32.98 $30.49
Mar 05: $33.04 $30.56
Apr 05: $33.43 $30.66
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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First Data Expands in The Netherlands

First Data and International Card Services have signed an agreement to launch an alliance for merchant and ATM acquiring in the Dutch market. ICS currently has relationships with over 90,000 merchants in the Netherlands for the acceptance of VISA cards. ICS has been operating a card issuing and acquiring business in the Netherlands since 1975. FDC serves 4.1 million merchant locations and 1,400 card issuers globally.

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Gas Prices Cut into Household Budgets

Nearly 90% of Americans say that rising gasoline prices are a concern for them and their household budgets, according to the latest “Cambridge Consumer Credit Index.” The overall Cambridge Consumer Credit Index fell by 6 points from May to 65. The Index fell on two questions: use of debt in the past month and plans for taking on debt in the next six months. The intent to take on debt in the next month rose slightly. The Cambridge Consumer Credit Index is a forward looking economic indicator gauging consumer spending and debt. It is released on the fifth business day of every month to coincide with the Federal Reserve Board’s G19 release of consumer credit outstanding data.

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