WACOAL I-CARD

E. Sun Bank and Taiwan Wacoal, a major Japanese apparel company, have
partnered to launch a co-branded JCB card. The new “Wacoal I-Card”
offers a chip-based loyalty program and is targeted at women, featuring
a built-in sensor measuring the strength of ultraviolet exposure for the
protection of skin. The card is the first to carry Taiwan’s National
Credit Card Center’s own chip-based loyalty program. The loyalty program
lets cardholders earn points at more than 200 Wacoal merchants
throughout Taiwan. The card offers a progressive cashback program and a
points program. For the first three months the cardholder is rewarded
with up to NTD 300 in discounts on purchases, and triple points on all
shopping.

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Xpress Money Shops to Offer MoneyGram Services

UAE Exchange-owned Xpress Money shops in Australia are now offering MoneyGram international money transfer services. Xpress Money has a network of 24 convenient locations throughout Australia, and that number will soon increase to 28. Totally, MoneyGram has more than 150 locations in the country. UAE Exchange is one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East, offering money exchange and remittance services worldwide. MoneyGram is offered at more than 70,000 locations world-wide in over 160 countries.

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Morgan Beaumont Signs an STV/Debit Card Marketer

Los Angeles-based The Urban Network is teaming with FL-based Morgan Beaumont to offer stored value and debit cards to African Americans and Hispanic Americans. Morgan Beaumont is a chief provider of Stored Value and Debit Card Solutions in the United States. The Urban Network is a Los Angeles based media company with an audience of over 10 million African Americans and 3 million Hispanic Americans.

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First Data Picks Up Dillard’s and Mervyn’s Accounts

First Data picked up more than 9 million additional active accounts to process from GE Consumer Finance. GECF recently purchased the Dillard’s and Mervyn’s private label credit card portfolios, with 5.5 million and 3.6 million active accounts, respectively. FDC says the conversion of the new accounts will take three to six months. First Data currently processes more than 170 million private label accounts. In July, Target agreed to sell its $481 million Mervyn’s private label credit card portfolio to GECF for $475 million. Last month, Dillard’s unloaded its $1.3 billion private label credit card issuing bank to GECF for approximately $1.25 billion. (CF Library 7/30/04; 8/9/04)

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Prepaid King Picks Up Another 4,000 Locations; Tops 50K

Atlanta-based prepaid king, PRE Solutions, has acquired the assets of GTS Prepaid, adding 4,000 customer locations to its network. Following the acquisition, PRE Solutions will be delivering prepaid products and services to well over 50,000 retail outlets in the convenience store, check cashing, wireless agent, grocery, drug store and discount retail industries throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Last month, PRE Solutions acquired the prepaid products and processing business of the industry’s largest prepaid transaction processor. The acquisition of Everything Prepaid LLC was also an asset purchase transaction that added 10,000 relationships. Everything Prepaid’s U.S. retail partners included AutoZone, BP/Amoco, Xtra Mart, Tedeschi Food Shops, Travel Centers of America and Love’s Travel Stops. (CF Library 8/24/04)

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Paychek Plus! Payroll Debit Card Lands Another Client

OH-based Kellermeyer Building Services has become the sixth building services contractor to offer American EPAY’s “Paychek Plus!” debit payroll card, taking delivery of 10,000 cards. The debit card enables KBS to credit an employee’s pay electronically to the card, which employees can use to access their money at ATMs. They can also receive their pay at any U.S. Post office during each pay period through the Paychek Plus! ™ program. Cards can also be used at over 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the country, saving money at all major grocery stores. Money can be added from second jobs or government benefits and card-to-card transfers are available to send funds to family members in other countries. Employers also benefit from this service because the system is similar to direct deposit accounts for payrolls, eliminating the need for ESCHEAT compliance. American EPAY™ has been working on “punch-to-pay” solutions and serves clients in janitorial and building services, security and protective services, hotel management, and retail industries. Kellermeyer Building Services is the largest janitorial service in the U.S. specializing in retail.

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LML Puts Heat on Lawsuit Defendants via PRNews

Vancouver-based LML Patent/LML Payment Systems says it is ready to litigate its patent infringement complaint after the court granted two extensions to some of the defendants. In July, LML filed lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for Delaware against Telecheck Services, Electronic Clearing House, Xpresschex, and Nova Information Systems. According to LML, three defendants, ECHO, Xpresschex and Nova all recently switched lead counsel, resulting in the delays. LML says the defendants have 15 more days to file a response. LML claims that the four companies infringed on its three e-check patents. LML is represented by Kirkland & Ellis. (CF Library 7/15/04)

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Symbio Technologies and Next Wave do a VAR Deal

NY-based Symbio Technologies, a developer of server software that manages diskless thin client networks running Windows and Linux applications, has signed a VAR agreement with several companies including Compuclaim Inc., Next Wave. Inc., Omniis Ltd., Quad-C, and Tangent Systems. Symbio Technologies uses an international network of authorized VARs to market to business, education, and government users. Symbio Technologies has 14 VARs in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

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BabyMint Now Enables Student Loan Payments

Atlanta-based BabyMint has expanded its college savings program to enable members to direct their shopping rebates towards the outstanding balance of their student loans. Consumers can receive a rebate up to 30% on purchases made through BabyMint’s network of over 500 retailers. The rebates are tracked and deposited into any 529 college savings plan or Coverdell educational account that the consumer chooses. Such rebates have the potential to represent an incremental $1.1 billion per year in assets for individual investors. The new program enables members to pay off their debts quicker. BabyMint is the flagship brand of Vesdia Corporation, the nation’s leading microinvesting technology company. BabyMint’s “savings engine” helps consumers save money toward their child’s college education.

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AmEx/Costco Launch a New T&E Card – Traveling & Eating

American Express and Costco have rolled-out a new set of co-branded credit cards that offer bonus rewards for eating out and traveling. The new “TrueEarnings Card” and the “TrueEarnings Business Card” features a unique rewards structure, earning 3% cashback for eating out; 2% cashback for traveling; and, 1% cashback on all other purchases. Cardholders receive an annual rebate as a coupon that can be redeemed for cash or used for purchases at Costco warehouses. Both cards carry no annual fee and offer a 0% intro rate for the first 90 days on purchases. The on-going APR is prime +8.99%. The American Express-Costco relationship began in 1999 with the launch of the “American Express Costco Cash Rebate Credit Card” and the “American Express Costco Business Charge Card.” Costco currently operates 321 warehouses in the USA. (CF Library 11/18/99)

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MasterCard Advisors Finds a New President

MasterCard has hired Keith Stock as its new president to replace the retiring Henry Mundt. Stock previously worked for Capgemini, f/k/a Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, as managing director of the banking group. He also served as head of the Financial Institutions group at A.T. Kearney and spent nearly ten years at McKinsey & Company serving international financial institutions. He also founded First Financial Investors and served as Chairman and CEO of Treasury Bank. MasterCard Advisors provides access to experts across payments strategy, information solutions, cardholder services, customer relationship management, information technology, marketing, operations, research, rewards programs and risk management.

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Sub-Prime Portfolios Shrink 25% Since Mid-Year 2002

Regulatory tightening, economic weakness, and vigorous litigation have taken a toll over the past two years on the pure sub-prime market. Excluding major players with sub-prime segments, the nation’s top five sub-prime specialists have experienced, on average, a 25% decline in outstanding balances, and an 18% erosion in their account bases over the past two years. Bucking the trend is SD-based First Premier Bank, which peaked in the fourth quarter of 2002, but managed to post a 10.5% gain in outstandings, and a 22% increase in accounts since 2Q/02. While First Premier’s growth has been organic, UT-based Merrick Bank posted a whopping 65%+ gain in its portfolio, thanks largely to its acquisition of Providian and NextCard accounts in 2002. Among the losers is DE-based Cross Country Bank, which has seen its portfolio cut in half over the past two years. CCCB has been embroiled in litigation over its business practices. Major players with significant sub-prime segments include Capital One, Providian, Household, and Metris/Direct Merchants. For 2Q/04 details on U.S. card issuers visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

PURE SUB-PRIME PLAYERS
(2Q/04)
Rank/Issuer RECV 2YR CHNG ACCTS 2YR CHNG
1. CompuCredit $1.96B -13.3% 2.2MM -4.3%
2. Cross Country $1.21B -48.8% 1.8MM -51.4%
3. First Premier $673MM +10.5% 3.3MM +22.2%
4. Bankfirst $522MM -46.7% 853K -46.7%
5. Merrick Bank $513MM +68.7% 567K +66.3%
TOTAL $4.88B -24.8% 8.72MM -17.7%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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