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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Providian’s Charge-Offs Resume a Decline

Losses for Providian’s credit card ABS dropped by 41 basis points in December, and delinquency edged down by 21 basis points. Since the start of this year, delinquency has collapsed by 342 basis points, and charge-offs have declined 563 basis points for the issuer’s card bonds. Charge-offs decreased to 11.73% in December, compared to 12.14% during November. One-year ago, Providian’s securitized charge-off ratio stood at 17.55%. Delinquency ticked down to 8.06% during December compared to 8.27% during November. One-year ago, Providian’s securitized delinquency ratio stood at 11.94%. Providian will release its managed charge-off and delinquency data with its fourth quarter earnings report on January 20th. For complete details on Providian’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

PROVIDIAN MONTHLY ABS METRICS
Month Charge-Offs Delinquency
Jan 04 17.36% 11.48%
Feb 04 16.08% 11.07%
Mar 04 17.17% 9.56%
Apr 04 15.84% 9.09%
May 04 14.82% 8.68%
Jun 04 14.44% 8.40%
Jul 04 13.17% 8.42%
Aug 04 12.39% 8.37%
Sep 04 12.45% 8.30%
Oct 04 12.11% 8.48%
Nov 04 12.14% 8.27%
Dec 04 11.73% 8.06%
Source: CardData(R) (www.carddata.com)

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

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GE MasterCard Enters the Canadian Market

GE Consumer Finance-Canada has purchased the small business MasterCard portfolio in Canada of First Data Loan Company Canada. Under terms of the agreement, First Data will provide card processing services for the accounts. The deal marks GE’s first entry into the Canadian market. First Data says it unloaded the portfolio to continue to focus on its core competency.

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NOVA to Process for 900+ SHOE SHOW Stores

NC-based SHOE SHOW is implementing NOVA’s credit and debit card processing services throughout its 918 stores operating in 33 states. SHOE SHOW, Inc.’s success has been based on a simple formula of providing quality products, service and value. Over the past forty years SHOE SHOW, Inc. has continued to grow with stores named SHOE SHOW, the SHOE DEPT, and Burlington Shoes. NOVA Information Systems, a leader in the payment processing industry, is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. NOVA partners with financial institutions, independent sales organizations, associations, government agencies and community banks to offer integrated payment processing services to their merchants and retailers.

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Pay By Touch Expands Acceptance

San Francisco-based Pay By Touch has inked a marketing alliance with Certegy, and is expanding its service for Piggly Wiggly stores. The Certegy alliance will enable Pay By Touch users, for the first time, to cash government and payroll checks at Pay By Touch merchant locations across the USA using the Pay By Touch finger scan technology along with Certegy’s “Paycheck Accept Verification and Check Guarantee” services. Meanwhile, all Piggly Wiggly shoppers in South Carolina and Southeast Georgia will soon be able to pay for their groceries with Pay By Touch. After a six-month pilot, Piggly Wiggly says it will launch Pay By Touch company-wide to all of its corporate-owned grocery stores by May. Piggly Wiggly has a total of 120 stores.

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Ingenico and IBM Ink a Marketing Partnership

Ingenico has formed a marketing partnership with IBM, wherein Ingenico will supply payment terminals and transaction acceptance technology for IBM’s “Retail Store Solutions” organization within the USA. The solutions have been integrated and are designed to work seamlessly together to provide optimal customer payment acceptance. INGENICO is the world’s largest provider of secure payment and transaction systems used by banking, retail, petroleum, transportation, healthcare and governments to ensure the secure acceptance and flow of electronic commerce.

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MBNA Earns the Fortune Employers Hall of Fame

MBNA has been named to Fortune magazine’s “Hall Of Fame” after eight consecutive years as one of the best places to work in the USA. MBNA becomes the first financial services firms to ever make the list. They are also one of only 22 companies to have appeared on the magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” since the list’s inception in 1998. The magazine cited MBNA for its benefits, child-care centers, generous tuition reimbursement, and adoption assistance program. MBNA drew particular praise for its generous maternity leave and was also cited for allowing new grandparents an extra week’s vacation to become acquainted with new grandchildren. In addition to honors in the United States, Fortune also named MBNA Ireland as one of the “10 Great Companies to Work For in Europe.”

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NOV 04 DEBT

Credit card outstandings rose GBP 500 million during November to bring total card loans to GBP 57.6 billion, a slight gain over last year’s pace. Total net lending to consumers for November hit GBP 183 billion, an increase of GBP 1.4 billion over October. Overall, consumer credit grew 0.8% in November, seasonally adjusted, GBP 100 million weaker than the increase in October. The three-month (annualized) growth rate fell to 10.4% from 11.7% in October while the twelve-month growth rate fell to 11.7% from 11.8% in October. Gross advances were GBP 18.8 billion, GBP 200 million higher than the average three months to October. The Bank of England continues to maintain its benchmark interest rate at 4.75%.

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