Cofinoga Names Diebold as Exclusive ATM Provider

Cofinoga Group, a primary grantor of credit to department store
customers across Europe, has appointed Diebold as the exclusive provider of its off-premises ATMs. The “Opteva” ATMs are powered by “Agilis,” Diebold’s open, high-performance software, which is capable of interfacing with a variety of multiple-vendor products, reducing the need for back-end support. The first of the ATMs, placed in Cofinoga’s commercial partners’ store locations, have been installed. Dozens of additional orders are expected to be formalized early in 2005. The agreement includes both Diebold ATMs and maintenance services.

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TSYS Buys VISA’s Stake in Vital Processing

TSYS has inked an agreement to purchase the 50% equity stake that VISA USA holds in Vital Processing Services. Vital is the second-largest processor of merchant accounts in the USA, serving more than one million merchant locations. The company was formed in 1996 as a joint venture between VISA and TSYS. Vital will now become a wholly-owned subsidiary of TSYS after the deal closes this quarter. Beverly Wells will remain the president, a position she has held since 2003. TSYS projects that Vital will add between $225 million and $235 million to its annual revenue.

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AJB Software Design Expands NCR Relationship

Toronto-based AJB Software Design and have extended their reseller agreement. The companies also announced that AJB has completed an interface to the new NCR “RealPOS Advanced Payment Terminal.” The NCR terminal will enable interfaces with technologies such as fingerprint recognition or forms of payment based on radio-frequency identification.
AJB and NCR have worked together to deliver payment solutions to several
leading North American retailers. Most recently, the companies
collaborated on a returns-management system designed to help retailers
manage and monitor customer purchases and returns.

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AmEx’s Linen on Yum! Brands Board

Yum! Brands has named Jonathan Linen, Vice Chairman of American Express, to its Board of Directors. Linen has risen through the American Express ranks over a 35-year career, and assumed his current position in 1993. As Vice Chairman, he is responsible for representing the company with its key corporate and government clients, business partners, industry associations and current and potential joint venture partners. Yum! Brands Inc., based in Louisville, Ky., is the world’s largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants with more than 33,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and territories.

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First Horizon Makes the Fortune Hall of Fame

First Horizon National Corp. has been elected again to Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and has earned inclusion in the magazine’s “Hall of Fame” for being one of only 22 companies to make the list every year since its inception in 1998. The list is compiled based on two criteria: an evaluation of the policies and culture of each company and the opinions of the company’s employees. Employee opinions are given more weight; two-thirds of the total score comes from employee responses to a 57-question survey that goes to a minimum of 350 randomly selected employees from each company. The 12,000 employees of First Horizon National Corp. provide financial services to individual and business customers through hundreds of offices located in more than 40 states.

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United Rolls-Out Elite Prepaid Cards

United Airlines has unveiled three prepaid travel cards that enable consumers to buy “elite” status. The cards will go on sale February 1st and will expire on February 28th, 2006. The “Premier” level card is available for $5,000; the “Premier Executive” level card requires $10,000; and the “1K” level card will cost $20,000. The new cards will also reward purchasers with a 5% discount on domestic United, United Express and Ted flights when that card is used for qualifying purchases on united.com. United’s “Mileage Plus” program has more than 45 million enrolled members.

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HOLIDAY HANGOVER

Canadians now carry an average credit card balance of C$2,451 per person, according to January survey. Cardholders in Alberta carry the highest average balance, C$2,935, while consumers in British Columbia carry the lowest average balance of C$2,075. The new BMO Bank of Montreal survey also found that Canadians spent approximately $970 each during the holidays (on gifts and other related expenditures) with most the of spending placed on payment cards. BMO says the survey showed that of those who carry a balance, 24% expect to take six months or more to pay off holiday card debt. The BMO Bank of Montreal “Post Christmas” survey was conducted by Decima Research between January 4th and January 6th, and was based on a randomly selected sample of 1,006 Canadians who made holiday expenditures.

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Walgreen’s Reverses its AmEx Decision

Walgreen has reversed an earlier decision to stop accepting American Express cards on January 14th. The development followed the signing of a new, long-term agreement between the companies on Friday. Walgreen says the deal is mutually beneficial. Last month, Walgreens said the higher merchant fees charged by American Express were not offset by the larger purchases anticipated by AmEx cardholders. The retailer noted that AmEx has not raised its rates since Walgreens began accepting the card chainwide in 1996. Walgreens will now accept American Express cards at all Walgreens drugstores nationwide, along with Walgreens.com, Walgreens Mail Service, Walgreens Home Care and Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy. Walgreen operates 4,683 stores in 44 states. (CF Library 12/16/04)

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Triton ATM Shipments Up 19% in 2004

Triton reports it shipped more than 20,000 ATMs last year, 19% more than 2003. This past year yielded sales increases in numerous regions including the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Africa, Canada and Australia. Triton is the largest provider of off-premise ATMs and ATM management software in North America and has more than 118,000 installations in over 17 countries worldwide.

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TI to Provide RFID Chips for PayPass

Texas Instruments plans to supply RFID chips for MasterCard’s “PayPass” line of RFID payment cards and tokens, with full production slated to start in the second half of this year. TI expects to submit this product for MasterCard certification in the second quarter of 2005. Full production is planned to start in the second half of this year. Texas Instruments is the world’s largest integrated manufacturer of radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders and reader systems.

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