Equitex Posts a $3.5 Million Loss in Q2

CO-based Equitex reported that its second quarter revenues declined from $4.5 million in 2Q/03 to $3.5 million, and that its quarterly net losses grew from $500,000 in 2Q/03 to $3.5 million in 2Q/04. Statements of operations for 2Q/04 contained a total of $2.9 million in non-cash charges and operating expenses were also impacted in the six months ended June 30, 2004.

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Xign Lands Another Order to Pay Client

Williams, an integrated natural gas company, has selected Xign to automate its “Order to Pay” processes. The Order to Pay service will help eliminate paper and data entry, which will substantially lower costs associated with the settlement of business transactions. Williams’ business initiative to apply best practices to improve productivity and lower operational costs will be supported by Xign’s service.

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Prepaid Processing Shakeout Begins Led by PRE Solutions

Atlanta-based PRE Solutions has acquired the prepaid products and processing business of the industry’s largest prepaid transaction processor. The acquisition of Everything Prepaid LLC was an asset purchase transaction. The firm had 10,000 relationships with U.S. retail partners including AutoZone, BP/Amoco, Xtra Mart, Tedeschi Food Shops, Travel Centers of America and Love’s Travel Stops. Following the acquisition, PRE Solutions will have more than 50,000 retail partners throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Claude Ricks, former CEO of Everything Prepaid, has joined PRE Solutions as VP/Indirect Sales.

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Senior Loan Officers Say Card Underwriting is Unchanged

The “July 2004 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices” yesterday reported that standards for approving applications for credit card and other consumer loans, as well as most terms on these loans, were unchanged, on net, since the April survey. Lending standards and terms for commercial and industrial (C&I) loans were further eased by domestic banks and U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks over the past three months.

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Catuity Revenues Deeply Impacted by Target

Catuity reported second quarter revenue of US$135,000 compared to US$1.7 million for 2Q/03. The second quarter net loss was US$1.1 million, compared to a net loss of US$15,000 for 2Q/03. The decline in revenue was anticipated and was principally due to US-based Target’s decision to discontinue deployment of smart chip technology. Catuity recently said it would no longer pursue the stalled U.S. smart card market and would focus on the real time loyalty opportunity with merchants that have fully integrated systems and on existing point of sale business service requirements for which retailers, merchant services companies and financial institutions have existing budgets. For complete details on Catuity’s second quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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NOVA Purchases SEB Kort and Norge’s Acquiring Business

SEB Kort AB and Europay Norge AS have signed a definitive agreement for the sale of their merchant acquiring business to a Norway-based affiliate of NOVA Information Systems. EuroConex Technologies will manage the processing services for all new and existing merchant customers, and will market merchant services under the
euroConex brand. SEB Kort’s portfolio in Euroline Norge (owned by
Europay Norge) consists of more than 45,000 points of sale for
MasterCard and VISA in Norway. Europay Norge established its financial services in 1972, and the acquiring business was renamed Euroline after it was purchased by SEB Kort AB in 2003. Europay Norge currently has approx. 50 percent market share of the international card market (merchant volume) in Norway. In 2003 the overall acquiring market in Norway amounted to NOK 42 billion (Euro 5 billion) distributed over 93 million transactions, and the use of cards is increasing steadily.

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VASCO Launches Digipass Host Authentication

VASCO Data Security International launched “Digipass
Host Authentication” to tackle the phishing schemes. “DHA” allows an end-user to check whether a bank’s or a merchant’s Web site is genuine.
The entire Digipass product range is available with the “DHA” functionality, including “Digipass GO3.” When visiting a Web site, a Digipass user can send a 7 or 8 digit, time based one-time password to the host server. The host server will respond with a time based 4-digit host authentication code. When the 4-digit code matches with the 4-digit code generated by the Digipass, the end-user knows that he is visiting a valid Web site.

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EFMA Payments Conference Attracts 45 Speakers

The “EFMA Cards and Payments Conference & Expo” has drawn forty-five speakers from 18 countries. Speakers include: Steve Abrams, Senior Vice President, Corporate Payment Solutions, Customer Group, MasterCard International; João Carlos Anselmo, Card Department Manager, Banif – Banco International do Funchal, Portugal; Gilbert Arira, Responsable de la Monétique, BNP Paribas, France; Elvan Bilge, Senior Vice President Third Parties, Garanti Bankasy, Turkey; Kamal Boushi, Senior Vice President, MasterCard Advisors, MasterCard Ireland & UK, United Kingdom; Claude Brun, Vice President, European Payments Council – EPC, Belgium; Brian Chambers, International Operations Director, Octopus Cards, United Kingdom; Ivan Clemente, Senior Vice President Operations, Mobipay España, Spain; and, Christopher Coonen, Directeur Général, PayPal, France. The event is scheduled for September 21-23 in Paris.

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AsiaPay Adopts J/Secure for 300 Clients

AsiaPay is adopting JCB’s “J/Secure” payer authentication program. About 20 major AsiaPay client merchants including Sinomedia Holdings and U Domain Web Hosting have started using the “J/Secure” program for online shopping. An additional 300 AsiaPay e-commerce client merchants are expected to follow immediately. JCB launched the J/Secure” program in April, and has been implementing it in e-commerce markets worldwide. AsiaPay’s adoption of the program is the first in Hong Kong.

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Major CUs Outpace the Top Ten & Industry Growth

Credit unions with at least $100 million in outstandings posted an average gain of 9% during the second quarter, compared to a 5% average gain reported by the top ten issuers, and a 4% increase industry wide. The Navy FCU and Pentagon FCU, each with outstandings over $500 million, posted gains of 8.8% and 9.2%, respectively. Sacramento, CA-based Golden 1 Credit Union posted the strongest gain, nearly 28%, growing from $148 million in 2Q/03, to $188 million in 2Q/04. For complete details on second quarter performance by credit unions visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Major Credit Union Outstandings >$100MM
($ millions)
CREDIT UNION 2Q/04 2Q/03 CHANGE
Navy 1615.0 1484.0 +8.8%
Pentagon 535.0 490.0 +9.2%
Boeing Employees 247.6 233.0 +6.3%
Pa. State Employees 213.1 198.9 +7.1%
Golden 1 188.3 147.6 +27.6%
America First 143.0 135.4 +5.6%
NC Employees 135.0 123.0 +9.7%
Security Service 128.7 117.5 +9.5%
Redstone 115.4 106.9 +7.9%
Delta Employees 100.0 99.3 +0.7%
TOTAL 3421.1 3135.6 +9.1%
INDUSTRY +3.8%
TOP TEN +4.7%
SOURCE: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Dialect Receives J/Secure Certification

Sydney-based Dialect Solutions Group has received “J/Secure” certification from JCB. “J/Secure” is a protocol that adds a secret password identification step to the traditional online shopping process.
Launched in April 2004, “J/Secure” is JCB’s proprietary authentication
program that uses the 3-D Secure protocol to secure online credit card
payments. Dialect delivers payment technologies and secure payment-processing solutions to a number of the world’s leading financial institutions, card associations and corporations.

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iBiz Software Enters the Japanese Market

Texas-based iBIZ Software has added JCB’s “J/Secure” to the list of programs that it is compliant for “3-D Secure Payer Authentication.” iBIZ Software is also entering the Japanese market with the local representation from MRS Corporation. The Company will be focus on enabling merchants to become compliant with “J/Secure” as well as other “3-D Secure” programs from VISA and MasterCard. In doing so, iBIZ will be working aggressively to help JCB implement payer authentication for their millions of cardholders who conduct online transactions. In other parts of the Asia Pacific region iBIZ is working closely with local iBIZness Partners to answer the needs of issuers and acquirers for comprehensive, robust and cost effective online authentication solutions.

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