Shanghai Shen JCB Card Launches this Month

China’s Bank of Shanghai is gearing up to launch its first JCB branded credit card next month. The new “Shanghai Shen JCB Card” will be denominated in both local Chinese currency and U.S. dollars and be issued in both “Standard” and “Gold.” The new card is targeted at Shanghai’s business travelers and expects to issue 50,000 cards in the first year, according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International. JCB is currently working with other Japanese partners to develop new services for JCB cardholders in China such as discounted package prices for tours in Japan and special deals on mobile phone rental in Japan. JCB has 12.2 million merchants in its network and 53.6 million cardholders worldwide.

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Dashen Bank to Issue VISA Cards and Use BASE24

Dashen Bank has become the first bank in Ethiopia to
issue and acquire VISA cards as well as license ACI’s “BASE24” e-payment processing solution. Dashen Bank will deploy ACI software to issue cards and authorize, route and switch both ATM and POS transactions while meeting processing requirements for EMV smart card transactions. This project will be carried out with the assistance of SS
Communications, ACI’s local partner in Ethiopia and an HP “NonStop”
accredited support partner. The solution will run on an HP “NonStop”
platform. In addition to handling settlement with VISA, the ACI “Card Management System” will maintain account information, track card usage and provide customer service. Dashen serves over 260,000 deposit
customers. ACI serves more than 500 customers in 78 countries.

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AssetExchange Lands a MBNA Executive as VP

Oregon-based AssetExchange has hired Ron Turochy, formerly with MBNA America, as Vice President. Turochy brings over 15 years of credit card partnership experience to AssetExchange and will assist credit card issuers with portfolio sales and the formation of co-branded credit card partnerships. AssetExchange is a leading credit card advisory and brokerage firm for financial institutions.

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Barclays Optimizes Marketing with Experian

Barclays has selected Experian-Scorex to help optimize
the targeting of its customer communications. Barclays will combine information about actual and potential customer events, such as insurance renewal date and credit products reaching the end of term, with channel and product propensity scores. Using mathematically based decisioning, Barclays will be able to make truly optimal decisions to proactively plan its marketing campaigns over time, taking into account day-to-day resource and business targets. Barclaycard is one of the largest global credit card companies with 13.4 million credit card customers around the world.

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UOB VISA

United Overseas Bank and VISA International have launched the first
platinum business credit card in Southeast Asia that specially caters to
the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. The new “UOB VISA
Platinum Business Card” offers an interest rate of 8% per annum and up
to S$2 million in travel insurance when trips are booked through UOB
Travel Planners. VISA has issued 238 million cards in the Asia-Pacific
region.

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Asia Pay Launches APAYcard Platform

Asia Payment Systems has completed technical development of its “APAYcard” transaction processing platform for use in China. The IP-based “APAYcard” system facilitates credit and debit card
transaction processing from anywhere in China via Asia Pay’s new data center in Shanghai. Live testing is now underway. Asia Pay is
developing a credit card processing network that provides clearing
services to merchants, oil companies and financial institutions in China, Japan and in related markets elsewhere in Asia.

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Gemplus Wins a Casino Card Lawsuit on Appeal

Gemplus says it has landed a successful result on appeal in a lawsuit concerning an alleged breach of contract by Gemplus regarding the promotion of smart card solutions for casino slot machines. On May 26th, the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal rendered a decision
in favor of Gemplus, reversing the judgment of the Marseille
Commercial Court of March 18th, 2004 which had found that Gemplus had breached the contract and had ordered Gemplus to pay the plaintiffs EUR 22 million in damages. The Court of Appeals dismissed all the plaintiffs’ claims for damages and ordered the plaintiffs to pay court costs and expert’s fees.

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BOS JCB CARD

Bank of Shanghai is gearing up to launch its first JCB branded credit card next month. The new “Shanghai Shen JCB Card” will be denominated in both local Chinese currency and U.S. dollars and be issued in both “Standard” and “Gold.” The new card is targeted at Shanghai’s business travelers. Bank of Shanghai expects to issue 50,000 cards in the first year. JCB is currently working with other Japanese partners to develop new services for JCB cardholders in China such as discounted package prices for tours in Japan and special deals on
mobile phone rental in Japan. JCB has 12.2 million merchants in its network and 53.6 million cardholders worldwide.

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ABS Charge-Offs Head South in April

Charge-offs, among “sub-prime” card-backed securities, nose-dived in April by 163 basis points. Despite the steep rise in bankruptcy filings, charge-offs in the “prime” asset-backed credit card securities market also edged down by nine basis points. Additionally, delinquency (60+ days) fell across the board in April for ABS card portfolios. “Sub-prime” delinquency (60+ days) dropped for the sixth consecutive month, while “prime” delinquency hit its lowest level in nearly three years. “Prime” charge-offs declined to 5.88% in April, 89 basis points below April 2004. “Sub-prime” charge-offs collapsed to 13.43 in April, and are now 373 bps below one-year ago. According to the “Fitch Credit Card Index,” “prime” delinquency (60+ days) fell to 2.80% in April, 40 bps lower than April 2004. “Sub-prime” delinquency (60+days) for April declined to 7.00%, the lowest level since July 2001.

ABS CHARGE-OFF HISTORICAL
Month Prime Sub-Prime
Apr 04: 6.77% 17.16%
Mar 05: 5.97% 15.06%
Apr 05: 5.88% 13.43%
Source: Fitch Ratings

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Student Loans Now Offer Air Miles

EduCap’s Loan to Learn is now awarding American Airlines “AAdvantage” miles or Delta “SkyMiles” to qualified student borrowers and their parents. Borrowers with loans of $25,000 or more will earn 15,000 AAdvantage miles or SkyMiles, while those whose loans are between $15,000 and $25,000 will receive 10,000 AAdvantage miles or SkyMiles. EduCap Inc is a Washington, D.C. non-profit organization, with a mission to promote an educated citizenry through its Loan to Learn and has disbursed billions of dollars in education loans.

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US Takes Leadership in Contactless

The NJ-based Smart Card Alliance says the recent expansion of contactless technology for payment cards in the USA is the start of a trend crossing over multiple businesses. Contactless smart chips are designed to work in many form factors – a plastic card, key fob, document cover or even a mobile phone cover. The SCA notes that contactless chip technology is not only growing for retail payments, but for transit payments as well. Sixteen major U.S. cities are in various stages of deployment of contactless technology for transit payments. While transaction speed is the driving force for contactless transit payments, security is the primary factor motivating financial institutions’ investment in the higher-priced contactless smart chip-based cards. The SCA predicts tens of millions of contactless payments cards will be issued within the next few years in the USA. This morning, the Alliance re-introduced its free white paper, “Contactless Payment and the Retail Point of Sale: Applications, Technologies and Transaction Models.”

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