CO-OP Network Offers Online Marketing Materials

CO-OP Network has launched a new service that enables member credit unions to customize and purchase an array of marketing materials. Available on the CO-OP Network Extranet, the “Credit Union Marketing Program” is designed to educate cardholders to recognize the CO-OP Network logo, which represents its 19,500 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. Through online ordering, credit unions can choose from more than a dozen items, including posters, brochures and tent cards. Additionally, the credit union can customize many of the pieces by placing their logo next to the CO-OP Network emblem and selecting the most appropriate layout for their branches.

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MasterCard Launches a Best Western Promotion

Best Western and MasterCard International have teamed up to put members of the Gold Crown Club International to quickly earn a free night’s stay. Between March 8 and May 15, 2005, GCCI guests who stay three times at any Best Western hotel worldwide can earn a free night toward a future stay. If members select MasterCard as their form of payment, they can earn a free night after just two separate qualified stays. Best Western International is the world’s largest hotel chain with more than 4,100 hotels. MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company and manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment card brands including MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R).

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Shell Says Q4 Promotion Boosted Card Volume

Shell Oil Products says its fourth quarter promotion with Citibank and MasterCard helped increase card usage by an average of 22% nationwide, compared to the same period last year. The results, which exceeded company expectations, were accomplished through a sweepstakes tied to MasterCard usage at Shell stations. More than 30 million people qualified for the sweepstakes and were entered for the chance to win one of 35 2005 “Chrysler Crossfires” and $1,000 worth of Shell premium-grade gasoline each time they used their MasterCard cards at Shell. The promotion helped increase total MasterCard transactions at Shell by 19%, which correlated to a 22% increase in total payment card transactions for Shell nationwide. A direct-mail offer was also sent to 5 million consumers with an incentive for applying for the “Citibank Shell MasterCard” during the promotion.

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RoboServer Announces a National Roll-Out

RoboServer Systems, developer of the Self-Serve Machine, enabling fast-food customers to process their own orders on a touch-screen kiosk, announced that it has begun the marketing process of the Self-Serve Machine for rollout to the Top 50 quick-service restaurant chains. RoboServer Systems has developed and deployed Point-of-Sale and Self-Serve software technology for the restaurant industry for more than three years.

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Asta Acquires $520 Million in Charge-Offs

New Jersey-based Asta Funding announced that the company has recently purchased distressed consumer receivable portfolios aggregating approximately $520 million, for approximately $20 million. Asta Funding, Inc., is a leading consumer receivables asset management company that specializes in the purchase, liquidation and management of performing and non-performing consumer receivables.

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MasterCard Measures Women’s Advancement in Asia

MasterCard has launched the “MasterIndex of Women’s Advancement in Asia/Pacific.” The survey found women were trailing their male counterparts overall, but were closing the gap in tertiary education and labor force participation. The report found that the “MasterIndex” score for each of the 13 markets ranged from 45.5 to 92.3. Thailand (92.3) and Malaysia (86.2) had the highest composite scores. The “MasterIndex” compares the socio-economic level of women to men in 13 markets using four key indicators: participation in the labor force, tertiary education, managerial positions and above median income.

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Peer Performance Sags for Issuers #11-20

The second tier of U.S. bank credit card issuers, ranking as #11 through #20, continued to erode in outstandings. Last year, the peer group, with a collective market share of 5.6%, posted about a 1% decline in outstandings, after dropping more than 4% in 2003. Within the segment, USAA posted the strongest growth in 2004 as outstandings rose 20%. Advanta was the second strongest portfolio, tacking on nearly 15% last year. Over the past five years, USAA and Advanta have grown 41% and 94%, respectively. Metris Companies led the four issuers posting declines. Metris’ outstandings dropped more than 19% last year, and are down 45% from its peak in 2001. Other top gainers over the past five years include CompuCredit and Navy FCU. Target, which ranks as #14, entered the card business in 2001.

Second U.S. Issuer Tier ($billions-outstanding)
RANK ISSUER EOY 04 2004/2003 2004/2000
#11 Metris $6.6 -19.1% -29%
#12 USAA $6.5 +20.0% +41%
#13 US Bancorp $6.3 +11.1% +21%
#14 Target $4.6 + 8.8% NA
#15 Frst Natl NE $4.0 -10.5% +24%
#16 Advanta $3.3 +14.7% +94%
#17 Natl City $2.5 – 1.6% + 9%
#18 Citizen’s $2.3 + 1.4% -26%
#19 CompuCredit $2.2 – 6.2% +53%
#20 Navy FCU $1.8 +10.7% +50%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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BAIDURI – AMEX

Baiduri Bank has launched its first “Classic” and “Gold” American Express cards. The new cards feature the “Extra Bonus Points Program” enabling cardholders to earn triple points on all local spending. There is also no expiration date for “Baiduri Bonus Points.” The card carries a 0% APR for balance transfers for the first six months and low minimum payments of 2.5% of the outstanding balance or BND 25, whichever is higher. Other benefits include free supplementary cards and travel insurance. Baiduri/AmEx cardholders receive complimentary travel accident coverage up to BND 100,000 on the “Classic” card, and up to BND 300,000 on the “Gold” card. The travel insurance will be available to cardholders who spend a minimum of BND 100 in the first three months upon receipt of the card. Additionally, the “Classic” card includes two free “Supplementary” cards, and the “Gold” card comes with four free “Supplementary” cards for family members or other persons of the applicants’ choice. Baiduri Bank is owned by Baiduri Holdings, Royal Brunei Airlines, Royal Brunei Technical Services and BNP Paribas.

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Former CardWeb.com Advertising Exec Dies

CardWeb.com’s first chief advertising executive died Friday, March 4th after a nearly six-month battle with brain cancer. Joan Gassman, who served as SVP/Sales and Marketing, from 1995 until her retirement in 1998, was among the early pioneers of credit card marketing on the Web. On hand in New York City on September 11, 1995 for the formal launch of CardWeb.com at the annual ABA BankCard Conference, Gassman spent most of her time helping Internet-challenged bankers up the learning curve. At the time, only three of the nation’s top ten credit card issuers operated a Web site. However, she was instrumental in forging relationships with such early-adopters as First USA, Providian, Wachovia, NextCard, AFBA, and other card issuers. Her contributions to the credit card Web advertising paradigm has continued to influence Web advertising partnerships to this day. Robert McKinley, CEO of CardWeb.com, said “Joan possessed the unique ability to foresee the impact of the Web on ordinary people, had the gift to communicate its importance to the banking community, and was able to successfully bridge the chasm between credit card providers and users.”

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Skanetrafiken Selects Cubic for Resekortet Fare System

Transport operator, Skanetrafiken, has selected Cubic Transportation Systems for the design, delivery and implementation of
the “Resekortet” smart card-based fare collection system. The contract replaces Skanetrafiken’s existing ScanPoint-supplied, magnetics-based fare collection system for the transport operator’s 56 rail stations and 950 buses. The new system will consist of operating software, communications, driver control units and validators for buses; and ticket vending machines, station validators and handheld devices for rail. Cubic will also supply and install its “Nextfare” central system for Skanetrafiken’s back office computing system. The contract also includes an option for customer services and maintenance.

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