Indala Posts Two Consecutive Banner Years

San Jose-based Indala Corporation says it has achieved record growth in 2004 for the second consecutive year. Joe Grillo, chief executive officer of Indala parent company, Identification Technology Group (ITG), and Marc Freundlich, Indala president, made the announcement during a “town-hall” employee meeting at the Company’s San Jose headquarters. Indala Corporation is a leading security technology company that develops and manufactures 125 kHz proximity; 13.56 MHz contactless and contact smart cards; and associated readers for physical and network access-control applications.

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Cap One Picks Monte the Grizzly as Top Mascot

The University of Montana’s “Monte the Grizzly” has been named Capital One “Mascot of the Year” for a second time. Monte proved himself the fittest, surviving competition from 11 deeply talented (and oddly-proportioned) dogs, birds, turtles and gophers and working tirelessly to bring glory to the University of Montana. The break-dancin’, back-flippin’, never-hibernatin’ bear, who won the crown in 2002, again received ferocious support from the school’s administration, alumni and passionate fans. Capital One Financial Corporation (http://www.capitalone.com) is a bank holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One FSB, offer consumer lending products.

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MASTERCARD HOLIDAY

MasterCard International reported an 18% increase in global holiday transaction volume, processing 774.9 million total authorizations between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. More than $60 billion in card transactions were processed over its network during the holiday period, a 13% increase over 2003. MasterCard says that December 23rd was the highest volume day of 2004 with 36.9 million transactions moving across its network. “Black Friday” (the day after Thanksgiving) was actually the 6th busiest day of the holiday shopping season based on MasterCard data.

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NACM’s December CMI Shows a Growing Economy

The National Association of Credit Management “Credit Manager’s Index” for December shows that although there continues to be a slight erosion in month-over-month growth, the economy continues to grow. The CMI, a monthly survey of the business economy from the standpoint of commercial credit and collections, was launched in January 2003 to provide financial analysts with another strong economic indicator. The National Association of Credit Management (NACM), headquartered in Columbia, Maryland supports more than 25,000 business credit and financial professionals worldwide with premier industry services, tools and information.

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Cap One’s Credit Limit Policy Draws Attention

Capital One’s policy of not reporting limits on credit card accounts picked up national publicity last week. Capital One considers the information proprietary, but credit experts say the practice is resulting in skewed FICO scores, knocking as much as 50 to 70 points off. According to the Washington Post, mortgage experts say the difference is significant, costing borrowers thousands of extra dollars.

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Cap One’s Fixed Rate Promotion Draws a Lawsuit

Capital One’s high profile “No Hassle” advertising campaign has produced a lawsuit by the Minnesota Attorney General. The suit, filed last week, alleges that Cap One’s description of its “fixed” interest rates are false, deceptive and misleading. The lawsuit says that consumers inquiring about a “fixed” rate are told that “Unlike most credit card companies, Capital One’s fixed rate is not variable and will not go up and down as interest rates change.” Only if a consumer “probes” does Capital One concede that it cannot guarantee that its rates will stay the same forever. The suit also offered examples of TV ads and direct mail offers promoting “fixed” interest rates. The suit seeks injunctive relief prohibiting Cap One’s alleged false, deceptive and misleading conduct and civil penalties.

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Tidal Wave of Money Collected Online Last Week

An estimated $350 million has already been donated online since the devastating tsunamis struck South Asia on December 26th. San Diego-based Kintera says its nonprofit clients have raised over $50 million online in the past week for disaster relief efforts. The Company says the phenomenal amount of money donated online is evidence that the Internet is now the accepted way to contribute to a cause. Donating online offers consumers the definitive giving experience, combining immediacy, convenience and confidence. A benefit of online donations for nonprofits during a time of crisis is that organizations can see their funds in real-time, and can allocate money quickly for relief efforts.

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More Americans to Shed Fat than Debt in 2005

According to a national survey 36% of Americans polled are focused on weight loss for 2005 as opposed to 31% who are concerned with eliminating outstanding debt. Roper/Bankrate says this is a significant change from the 2003 poll in which 37% of those polled were more concerned about their debt, while only 29% were concentrating on losing weight. The survey found that the average amount of debt Americans polled need to pay off is $11,288, which is slightly less than the 2004 survey result of $11,895.

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Payday Loans Link up to Debit Cards

Chicago-based CashNetUSA is now offering free debit cards for access to payday cash advances. CashNetUSA provides customers with the easiest payday cash advance loans. Customers fill out the payday cash advance application and set up a member account with CashNetUSA. CashNetUSA will review customers’ payday cash advance loan applications and have an answer within 30 minutes. CashNetUSA ( http://www.CashNetUSA.com ) combines an easy user interface with top notch customer service in providing a system designed to make our payday cash advance customers feel like they are #1.

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eCHEX Inc to be Acquired by Trimfast Group

NJ-based Trimfast Group is acquiring eCHEX Inc, providers of a reloadable prepaid MasterCard. eCHEX, Inc. is a Sales and Marketing organization with financial services, and retail distribution relationships. In combining all of these elements, eCHEX has created ECHEX(TM) stored value card (svc), a Pre-paid reload able ATM/MasterCard. Trimfast Group is an emerging growth company actively looking for additional mergers or acquisitions. These mergers or acquisitions will be targeted towards private companies with a significant ability for growth.

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Metavante Acquires Prime Associates

Metavante is acquiring NJ-based Prime Associates, a provider of software, data and services that address the regulatory and compliance mandate of financial institutions such as anti-money laundering regulations. The acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on M&I’s financial results. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Prime Associates, Inc. is a leading international provider of software, data and services that address the regulatory and compliance mandate of financial institutions. Metavante Corporation delivers banking and payment technologies to financial services firms and businesses worldwide.

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LG Group Fights Credit Card Bailout Plan

LG Group continues to reject a rescue plan assembled by LG Card’s creditors. It is likely LG Card will begin to liquidate. LG creditors want LG Group to convert the 875 billion won worth of commercial paper it is holding into equity to help cover LG Card’s capital erosion. The creditors estimated they would loss 180 billion won in losses from a liquidation of the credit card firm.

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