Fiserv EFT Certified for CUSC NGN

Wisconsin-based Fiserv EFT has become the first and only third-party processor to be certified by Credit Union Service Corporation for access to the Next Generation Network switch, a technology platform providing functionality, fraud prevention and connectivity capabilities. CUSC represents 55% of all national locations and 68% of credit unions participating in shared branching. Fiserv, Inc. provides information management systems and services to the financial and health benefits industries and serves more than 16,500 clients worldwide with $3.4 billion in processing and services revenues in 2004.

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Consumer Spending for Online Content Up 14%

A new survey shows that consumer spending for online content in the US grew to $1.8 billion in 2004, a 14% increase over 2003. Spending on “Entertainment/Lifestyles” grew 90%, to $413.5 million last year, while spending on “Business/Investment” content declined 6% over that same time period. According to the Online Publishers Association’s report, online “Personals/Dating” remained the leading paid content category in 2004, with spending at an all-time high of $469.5 million for the year, up 4% over 2003. According to the report, 19 million U.S. consumers paid for online content in the fourth quarter, up 2.6 million over the same period in 2003. With growth in paid content consumers outpacing growth in U.S. Internet users, paid content consumer penetration in the fourth quarter reached its highest point yet at 11.6%, while average consumer spending remained flat.

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CARD FRAUD 2004

British card issuers lost GBP 504.8 million in card fraud last year, a 20% increase over 2003. Like the USA, “card-not-present” fraud continues to be the biggest fraud type, making up 30% of total card losses in the UK. APACS, the UK payments association, says the growth in “CNP” fraud is directly related to the growth in online card use. APACS says 10% of all credit card spending now takes place online. However, fraud on cards stolen in the mail, or “mail non-receipt” fraud, exploded by 62% to GBP 72.9 million as criminals took advantage of the unusually high number of cards sent out due to the roll-out of new “Chip & PIN” cards. In 2004 there was an average of some 200,000 cards a day sent out. Ironically, fraud on lost/stolen cards and counterfeit cards is expected to nose-dive this year as the “Chip & PIN” program expands. At the end of 2004, 36 million cardholders and 688,000 tills were upgraded to “Chip and PIN.” Counterfeit card fraud increased 17% to GBP 129.7 million, and cards stolen or lost rose 2% to GBP 114.4 million. Fraud at UK cash machines also grew by 81% in 2004 to GBP 74.6 million. (CardFlash International Library 1/20/05)

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Republicans Kill More Bankruptcy Amendments

The U.S. Senate may take a final vote today on the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.” Yesterday, the Senate voted 53-46 to kill Sen. Charles Schumer amendment that makes bankruptcy difficult for abortion protesters who seek to discharge their fines. The Schumer amendment has historically tied up the legislation. The Senate also voted yesterday by 69-31 to limit debate on the legislation to 30 hours. It is expected that a flurry of amendments will be introduced today during the debate period by Democrats. If the legislation leaves the Senate without amendments, the U.S. House will quickly pass it, and the President will promptly sign it. The new laws could be in effect by October 1st.

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DSW Shoe Warehouse Customer Card Data Stolen

Retail Ventures yesterday confirmed that credit card and other purchase information from a portion of DSW Shoe Warehouse customers was stolen late last week. The compromised information affects consumers who shopped at 103 stores during the last three months. Customer information provided via DSW’s Web site was not impacted. The Company says federal law enforcement authorities, credit card companies, and issuing banks have all been contacted. DSW operates 175 DSW Shoe Warehouse stores in major metropolitan areas throughout the country. DSW sells 30 million pairs of shoes annually and employs over 5,000.

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Sig Debit Volume and Cards Up Shift in 2004

After down shifting for two years, growth in off-line debit volume rebounded in 2004, increasing 19% to $686 billion. Over the past five years, signature debit volume has enjoyed a CAGR of nearly 27%, compared to a CAGR of approximately 8.5% for VISA and MasterCard credit cards. Growth in the number of cards-in-force also picked up last year, growing about 15% to 228.7 million cards. This is the highest rate of growth since 2001. Compared to 2000, signature debit card volume has more than doubled as the number of cards-in-force has risen about 68%, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

VISA & MASTERCARD SIG DEBIT HISTORICAL
Year Volume Y/Y Cards Y/Y
2000: $301.8b +37.9% 135.9mm +18.2%
2001: $420.7b +39.4% 157.9mm +16.2%
2002: $496.4b +18.0% 174.9mm +10.8%
2003: $576.6b +16.2% 199.0mm +13.8%
2004: $686.0b +19.0% 228.7mm +14.9%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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AmEx Awards Bonus Points for QSR Purchases

American Express has launched a promotion rewarding cardholders with five “Membership Rewards” for every dollar charged at a fast food restaurant. The promotion runs through April 30th, according to CardTrak ([www.cardtrak.com][1]). American Express cardholders can earn up to 500 bonus points from fast food purchases during the promotion. The minimum purchase required is $5.00. For the the full year of 2004, credit card sales for fast food on all general purpose credit cards and debit cards was about $22.5 billion, with an average transaction of $12. Americans spend about $140 billion per year in quick service restaurants.

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

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Second AmEx/NYT Travel Show Sets a Record

The New York Times Travel Show, presented by American Express, announced that a record 26,000 visitors attended its second annual show. Consumers were able to research, plan and book vacations to all parts of the world. The New York Times Company, a leading media company with 2004 revenues of $3.3 billion, is ranked No. 1 in the publishing industry on Fortune’s 2005 list of America’s Most Admired Companies.

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HSBC Renews the Domain Home Fashions Card Deal

HSBC-North America’s retail services business has renewed its relationship with Domain Home Fashions to manage the company’s private label credit card program. Domain is an upscale retailer of unique and high quality home furnishings and winner of numerous industry and customer awards, including Outstanding National Furniture Store Chain. HSBC Retail Services is a leading issuer of private label (merchant branded) credit cards in the US. HSBC-North America serves more than 60 million customers.

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