Discover Thanks the Court and Files a Lawsuit

Discover Financial Services said the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for consumers, merchants and financial institutions. Discover also announced it has filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York seeking damages from VISA and MasterCard as compensation for harm caused by anticompetitive business practices of the two associations. The lawsuit was filed shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the appeal. Discover says it is seeking triple damages for the harm that the VISA and MasterCard violations have caused Discover.

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Patterson Press Becomes Personix Nashville

Plastic card manufacturer, Patterson Press, a unit of Fiserv, has changed its name to Personix Nashville. Senior Vice President and General Manager of Personix, Steve Knapp, claims that the integration between Personix and Patterson Press is the result of the name change. Personix has strengthened Patterson Press with the installation of new pre-press, printing and finishing equipment, along with a web press. Personix is a leading company of plastic card manufacturing. 100 million cards were projected for 2004. Personix is a chief provider of business-critical communications to the financial services, healthcare, telecommunications and retail sectors. Fiserv, Inc. provides information management systems and services to the financial industry, serving over 15,000 clients worldwide.

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InfiCorp Buys a $3.3MM Maryland CU Portfolio

Atlanta-based InfiCorp has purchased the $3.3 million credit card portfolio of Prince George’s Employees Credit Union in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, with the assistance of NH-based Brookwood Capital. Prince George’s Credit Union reported 2,600 credit card accounts and $3.3 million in receivables as of June, 2004. Total estimated assets for the credit union is $73 million. Brookwood Capital provides services including brokerage, consulting, and advisory services to credit card issuers across the nation.

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TNB Card Services Adds 4 Processing Contracts

TNB Card Services has recently taken over credit card processing services for Kings FCU in California, the FAA Technical Center FCU in New Jersey, and St. John Tulsa FCU and Muskogee FCU, both in Oklahoma. All of the new clients have transferred their credit card programs to TNB to obtain benefits associated with TNB’s variety of processing services. The four credit unions claim that TNB will provide better service to their members, perform a high level of customer service, provide more support than previous processors, and increase the use of credit cards. TNB Card Services provides credit and debit card processing across the nation. It serves more than 400 credit unions and manages over 1.5 million cards.

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Cap One to Sponsor a PBS Broadway Documentary

Capital One has made its first corporate sponsorship of a PBS series with the sponsorship of “BROADWAY: THE AMERICAN MUSICAL” documentary. This will be Capital One’s first corporate sponsorship of a series on PBS. BROADWAY: THE AMERICAN MUSICAL along with Capital One, strives to make American’s realize their own dreams. Capital One is partnered with Thirteen/WNET and PBS in order to bring the series to American viewers. Hosted by Julie Andrews, the series will feature archival footage, newsreels, autobiographical material, and still photos to name a few. BROADWAY: THE AMERICAN MUSICAL is co-produced by Ghost Light Films, Thirteen/WNET New York, NHK, and BBC. Capital One is a Fortune 500 company and is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards worldwide. Thirteen/WNET New York is a central program provider for public television.

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MC Predicts AmEx Experiments to be Short-Lived

MasterCard says it is disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen not to review the lower court decisions. MasterCard says the decisions by the trial court and the appeals court benefit only American Express, rather than the consumers that the antitrust law is supposed to protect. American Express may, in the short run, be able to induce a small number of financial institutions to experiment with AmEx issuance in the USA, MasterCard says. However, MasterCard believes that the vast majority of issuers, just like those outside the U.S., will realize that these arrangements stand to benefit American Express more than it benefits them or their cardholders. MasterCard predicts that issuers enticed by AmEx’ higher merchant fees could find they are losing transaction volume because of the smaller number of merchants who accept AmEx, particularly outside the USA.

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DioneDirect Introduced for Terminal Gizmos

Dione has launched its own e-commerce web site to provide a convenient way for its customers to support their payment terminal estates. “DioneDirect” provides a growing range of accessories,
consumables and maintenance items that can be ordered for next day delivery. The Web site will sell accessories such as PIN pad cradles,
terminal wet covers and holsters, plus consumables like printer paper
rolls and batteries. Maintenance items including card reader cleaners
will also be available. Launched initially to UK customers, the site
will be opened up to additional Dione markets with different language
versions during 2005.

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The Supervisor of Banks to Rein in Card Points

The Bank of Israel’s Supervisor of Banks wants to regulate point programs linked to credit cards. Yoav Lehman wants card issuers to detail how much the customer must spend in order to accumulate each point. Lehman also wants issuers to inform the customer of the minimum value of each point. He also is asking banks not to condition the
cashing in of accumulated points on anything other than a time deadline.

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EGG FRANCE

Auchan’s Banque Accord has made an offer to acquire some of the assets of Egg France. In July, Prudential, majority owner of Egg, announced it was exiting the credit card business in France after racking up nearly GBP100 million on losses for its “la Carte Egg VISA” in the last five quarters. The partial disposal with Banque Accord will result in the re-deployment of approximately 100 of Egg France’s 450 workforce. Banque Accord has 3.5 million clients in Europe including more than 2 million in France, and employs more than 700 people in France, Warsaw, Lisbon. Banque Accord has a call center in Tours. The Banque Accord and Egg deal involves Egg’s unsecured lending business, which includes 66,000 credit card customers. For the second quarter, Egg produced an operating profit for its British “Egg VISA” card of GBP19.4 million versus an operating loss of GBP16.5 million for its French “Egg VISA.”

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Espirit Selects ValueLink for Gift Cards

First Data announced that Hong Kong-based clothes retailer ESPRIT Holdings has selected its ValueLink subsidiary to assist in the development and implementation of Esprit’s electronic gift card in the USA. Esprit’s gift card was launched to coincide with the reopening of a flagship store in New York City during September and the roll-out of four additional U.S. stores in the fall. The gift card has been specially designed to mark Esprit’s return to the city, drawing inspiration from the lively spirit of Times Square. The company designs, manufactures and sells quality clothing and accessories for men, women and children in 40 countries and through more than 2,500 company-owned and franchised stores.

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GCA Signs 7 Casinos for QuickJack and 3-in-1

Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access has signed seven contracts with Native American casinos for the use of cash access including the “QuickJack Plus” multi-function patron kiosk and the “Casino Cash Plus 3-in-1” ATM. QuickJack Plus uses Casino Cash Plus 3-in-1 ATM offering customers a user-friendly service enabling them to redeem slot tickets, vouchers, and coupons, make ATM transactions, redeem player club points, and exchange currency. GCA provides roughly 960 gaming properties with marketing services and is the leading supplier of cash access and customer relationship marketing technology to the Gaming Industry.

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