Americans Buy 10MM FICO Credit Scores

Fair Isaac reported that its myFICO consumer division and its partners have sold the 10 millionth FICO score to U.S. consumers. The myFICO program was introduced in March 2001. In 2002, [myFICO.com][1] introduced the “FICO Score Simulator” and a Web tool matching consumers’ FICO scores with current auto, home equity and mortgage loan rates in their states. In 2003, [myFICO.com][2] launched a three credit bureau score options and myFICO “Identity Theft Security.” Last year, myFICO and Equifax introduced “Score Watch,” the first product to continuously monitor subscribers’ FICO scores and credit files and alert them to changes that could qualify them for better interest rates.

[1]: http://myFICO.com
[2]: http://myFICO.com

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Experian to Acquire LowerMyBills.com

Experian is acquiring LowerMyBills.com for $330 million, plus up to a $50 million on performance-related earn-out over the next two years. LowerMyBills.com offers savings through relationships with more than 400 service providers across 17 service categories including home loans, credit cards, long-distance and wireless services, and auto and health insurance. Experian provides global information solutions to more than 50,000 clients. Annual sales exceed $2.5 billion.

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HSBC and Geant Launch a VISA

The UAE’s first co-branded hypermarket credit card has been launched by HSBC, Geant and VISA. The new “Geant La Carte” offers the “Stars Reward” program, a cash-back feature in the form of Geant shopping vouchers. HSBC Bank Middle East is the largest and most widely represented international bank in the Middle East with 29 branches throughout the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Autonomous Area including an offshore banking unit in Bahrain. Geant hypermarket is a part Groupe Casino, a French retailing giant with a turnover in excess of US$30 billion per annum.

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Diebold Introduces the Next Generation IDM

Diebold has introduced the fifth generation of its “Intelligent Depository Module,” representing a new standard in ATM check-imaging technology. Among the most important advancements are those that enhance security. The module includes a patent-pending, double-detect capability, which prevents the insertion of multiple checks and enhanced magnetic ink detection, reducing the risk of accepting photocopied checks. Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self-service delivery systems, security and services. Diebold reported revenue of $2.4 billion in 2004.

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EASCIA Forms an Executive Board

The Egyptian Association for Smart Cards Industry & Applications
announced the formation of its executive board under the leadership of Moustafa Samaha. The board includes ten high level members representing the banking sector, industry entrepreneurs and active organizations in the field of smart cards manufacturing, development and promotion. The association will be working closely with banks to implement the worldwide payment card standard (EMV), in line with the Middle-East’s
compliance mandate of January 2006.

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CompuCredit Profits Triple in Q1

Atlanta-based CompuCredit reported that profits for the first quarter nearly tripled over the year-ago period to $49.2 million. The sub-prime specialist says improved credit quality and three newly acquired portfolios have set the firm up for a breakthrough year. Delinquency (60+ days) dropped sharply to 8.7%, compared to 10.4% in the prior quarter, and 10.5% for 1Q/04. Net charge-offs, based on average credit card loans, dropped to 9.2% from 12.0% in 4Q/04, and 15.7% in the first quarter of last year. Total managed receivables for the first quarter were $2,274,329,000, an 8.8% increase compared to one-year ago. As of March 31st, CompuCredit had 3,009,000 accounts, compared to 2,276,000 at the end of 2004. The net interest margin was 20.8% in the first quarter, as compared to 20.2% for the fourth quarter of 2004, and 19.9% one-year ago. In morning trading, CompuCredit’s stock was up 7%, trading near $31 per share. For complete details on CompuCredit’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

COMPUCREDIT NET INCOME SNAPSHOT
1Q/04: $17.7 million
2Q/04: $13.8 million
3Q/04: $37.9 million
4Q/04: $27.0 million
1Q/05: $49.2 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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CREDIMAX JCB

CrediMax BSC has signed a card-issuing license agreement with JCB International. The new card will mark the first time that a JCB card will be issued in Bahrain in local currency. The new “CrediMax JCB Card” offers cash back of 1% through December and a 2.5% minimum payment, compared to 5% for most other cards. JCB has had a presence in Bahrain since 1997 through a merchant acquiring license with the Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait. CrediMax, which was the card center division of BBK until it was established as a separate, wholly-owned subsidiary in 1999, succeeded to all of BBK’s credit card business operations together with JCB merchant acquiring services. At present, CrediMax has a network of 3,500 merchants, covering 85% of the country’s total credit card merchants. It has a cardholder base of about 50,000 for other brand cards and expects to issue more than 10,000 “CrediMax JCB Cards” in the first 3 years.

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iPayment Revenues Double in Q1

Nashville-based iPayment reported that revenues doubled to $163.4 million for the first quarter. Net income increased 37.4% to $6.9 million, compared to one-year ago. Charge volume more than doubled to $6.2 billion in the first quarter from $2.9 billion in the first quarter of 2004. iPayment is increasing its target range for annual revenues from approximately $650 million to $675 million. iPayment is a provider of credit and debit card-based payment processing services to over 130,000 small U.S. merchants. For complete details on iPayment’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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CO-OP Network 04 Cash Payout Soars by 37%

CO-OP Network announced a 2004 patronage distribution of $10.3 million for its members, which represents slightly more than one-cent per ATM and point-of-sale transaction.The distribution to member-shareholders exceeded the previous record–$7.5 million in 2003–by 37.3 percent. CO-OP Network is wholly-owned by its credit union shareholders, with 1,790 credit union members, 19,648 surcharge-free ATMs, 80 million-plus monthly transactions and 21 million cardholders.

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RBS Lynk Introduces Payments Unplugged

Atlanta-based RBS Lynk has rolled-out “Payments Unplugged” as its new line of wireless payment solutions. “MobileLynk” is the first wireless product to be introduced in the “Payments Unplugged” product line. “MobileLynk” transmits encrypted payment information to RBS Lynkâ™s proprietary processing platform over a national wireless network. The MobileLynk solution combines a cellular phone with a docking sled that has a built-in magnetic credit card reader and printer. Wireless data service for MobileLynk subscribers is available through several carriers including Sprint, Verizon, AT&T or Cingular Wireless. In addition, MobileLynk subscribers have access to Lynk VT, RBS Lynkâ™s proprietary Internet-based virtual terminal for reporting, application enhancements or for use as an additional POS terminal.

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Credit Manager’s Index Post its 3rd Jump

The National Association of Credit Management “Credit Manager’s Index” for April shows growth after a strong first quarter. The CMI rose for the third straight month to 59.3. The CMI manufacturing sector was flat, but the services sector, boosted by a 11-point increase in dollar collections, rose for the third straight month to 60.2, an overall change of 3.44%. The “CMI” is a monthly survey of the business economy from the standpoint of commercial credit and collections.

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