Clear2Pay Upgrades Corporate2Bank Payments Solution

Clear2Pay has rolled-out the enhanced “Corporate2Bank Payments” solution. Key features of “C2B Payments” include complete automation of payment processing; supports any payment format (MTXXX, EDIFACT, ISO20022, etc.); ability to warehouse payments for later processing; secure web screen to configure electronic notifications of payment status; wide range of standard internal and external communications adapters for rapid implementation; and, processing of remittance advices. “C2B Payments” provides banks with a solution to directly
interact with their corporates’ ERP systems helping them to optimize
their financial supply chain. Clear2Pay also recently announced the launch of the “PayPark Bank Payment Hub,” which is a core payments processing engine which decouples the business processes from the underlying functional components.

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Wells Fargo Card Loans Up 15%; Volume Up 21%

Wells Fargo Card Services and Wells Fargo Financial Bank reported third quarter outstandings of $8,250,228,818, a 15.4% increase over the same period one-year ago. Third quarter card volume rose 39% for Wells Fargo Financial Bank, and about 20% for Wells Fargo Card Services. Combined, Wells Fargo Card Services and Wells Fargo Financial Bank reported 3Q/04 volume of $4,829,539,359, a 21.4% jump over the year ago quarter, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). At the end of the third quarter, Wells Fargo Financial Bank had 545,708 active accounts, a 10.5% increase over the prior year. Wells Fargo Card Services had 3,479,886 active accounts, a 7.1% increase over the prior year. For complete details on Wells Fargo Card Services and Wells Fargo Financial Bank third quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Issuer 3Q/04 3Q/03 CHANGE
WF Card Services (IA) $6.562b $5.857b +12.0%
WF Financial Bank (SD) $1.687b $1.292b +30.6%
Total $8.249b $7.149b +15.4%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

WELLS FARGO CARD LOAN HISTORICAL
3Q/03: $7.2 billion
4Q/03: $7.5 billion
1Q/04: $7.5 billion
2Q/04: $7.9 billion
3Q/04: $8.3 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Ernex Launches a Revised Strategic Alliance Program

Ernex announced the launch of its revised “Strategic Alliance Program.” With the acquisition of Ernex by Moneris Solutions Corporation in November, the previous “Marketing Partner Program” underwent some
dramatic changes. Gone is the focus on processing partners, and in its
place is a renewed emphasis on expansion into the US market and
integration with leading POS and peripheral technology partners. The
four new alliance categories are: Integration Alliances, Peripheral
Technology Alliances, Complementary Service Alliances and Marketing
Agency Alliances.

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Hammer Facilitates SCA/Marvin’s Card Sale

Approximately 49,000 credit card accounts owned by a private label issuer, Marvin’s Building Materials and Home Centers (AL), have been sold through the investment banking firm R.K. Hammer, to Shoppers Charge Accounts. In the first three quarters of 2004, over 827,000 card accounts had been sold through the Hammer firm. R.K. Hammer is a provider of card portfolio sale and purchase advisory services, valuations and fairness opinions, and expert witness testimony/reports. The firm has generated over $367,000,000 in pre-tax profits for clients.

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CITI INTL 3Q/04

Citigroup reported that its international cards business produced third quarter net income of $200 million, an increase of 21% over the year-ago quarter. During the quarter, the issuer added 100,000 net accounts to its customer base, outside North America, ending the quarter with 20.8 million accounts. Charge volume for international credit cards was up 31%, to $13.5 billion for the third quarter. Total outstandings for international cards were $15.1 billion as of September 30th, an 18% gain over one year ago. However, outstandings are down from the second quarter’s $15.7 billion. In Japan, average credit card loans were flat sequentially, but up 9% over year ago figures. In the rest of Asia, credit card loans grew 30% to $8.6 billion. Citigroup holds $5.4 billion in card loans for the EMEA region and $500 million in Latin America, which grew 17% and 25%, respectively. Charge-offs increased during the third quarter as delinquency remained flat for international cards, compared to the previous quarter. Delinquency (90+ days) remained at 1.55% for 3Q/04. Charge-offs increased from 4.24% in 2Q/04 to 5.08% for the third quarter. For complete detail’s on Citigroup’s international cards performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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2005 Poised to be a Banner Year for Biz Cards

A new survey has found that 39% of small businesses expect to increase business credit and debit card usage in 2005. The “Small Business Economic and Spend Outlook Survey” by MasterCard, also found that 70% of small businesses surveyed report holding one form of a business credit or debit card, although 20% report having only a business debit card. MasterCard says small businesses in the Northeast were most likely to use small-business credit and debit cards for more than 50% of business purchases. Small businesses in the West (30%) are more likely to have both a business debit card and a business credit card, while Midwestern companies are most likely to have neither (36%). The MasterCard research showed that, overall, small businesses expect 2005 to be a turning point, as many companies increase revenue, add staff, and grow.

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Experian Buys a Top Consumer Research Firm

Experian has acquired Simmons Research, a provider of syndicated research information on American consumers. Simmons recently ranked as the second fastest growing, privately held research company in America over the past five years. Simmons surveys more than 30,000 individuals annually to produce the “National Consumer Adults (English-speaking and Spanish-speaking), Teens, Kids, Adults and Household Studies.” Each of these reports provides individual and household information on approximately 8,000 brands in more than 450 data categories.

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Duetto VISA Lifts Starbucks Card Reloads by 40%

This week, Bank One/Chase and Starbucks are celebrating the first year anniversary of the “Starbucks Card Duetto VISA.” The card is the first to combine credit card functionality and rewards with a re-loadable stored-value card. Bank One/Chase says that 70% of “Duetto” cardholders use the “Starbucks Card” account, and that nearly 20% of “Duetto” cardholders use automatic reload. Also, the average amount that “Duetto Card” customers reload onto their “Starbucks Card” account is 40% higher than on the original “Starbucks Card.” Additionally, 61% of “Duetto Card” cardholders list the “Duetto Card” as their primary credit card. (CF Library 10/14/03)

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CheckFree’s APS and BillMatrix Partner

CheckFree’s American Payment Systems has extended its joint marketing agreement with Dallas-based BillMatrix. The agreement has enabled each company to offer clients a comprehensive range of payment offerings by providing referrals to the other company. The acquisition of APS by CheckFree Corporation was completed in June 2004. Sean Feeney, executive vice president of CheckFree and general manager of APS, says that the extension of the agreement allows clients to see how outsourcing multiple payment methods can reduce costs, increase cash flow, and improve customer satisfaction. American Payment Systems has over 10,000 retail locations and has been processing in-person payments for numerous billers since 1990. CheckFree Corporation provides financial electronic commerce services and products to organizations worldwide. BillMatrix Corporation provides outsourced payment services for the nation’s largest companies.

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VISA Cardholders Account for 25% of 03 Spending

Last year, international VISA cardholders spent S$1.7 billion in
Singapore, out of a total of S$6.9 billion spent by tourists in 2003.
According to the report, top spenders in Singapore in 2003 were VISA
cardholders from Australia who spent S$337 million, the United States
S$278 million, the United Kingdom S$250 million, Indonesia S$225
million, and, Japan S$169 million. According to a VISA-commissioned Network Economics Consulting Group report, international VISA cardholders spent most on computer products (S$240 million), followed by department stores (S$160 million), jewelry stores (S$138 million), clothing (S$127 million), household goods (S$69 million), and electronic stores (S$66 million).

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AssetExchange Facilitates 3 CU Portfolio Sales

OR-based AssetExchange has brokered the sale of three credit union credit card portfolios to two different buyers. North Jersey Federal Credit Union, an $8.3 million credit card portfolio, was sold to Inficorp and the New Horizons Community Credit Union and the California Preferred Credit Union, with $1.9 million and $1.1 million credit card portfolios respectively, were sold to Elan. AssetExchange is a leading credit card consulting and brokerage firm that offers credit card portfolio brokerage, performance assessments, market valuations, and best practices consulting services.

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