The Apprentice to Speak for Advanta

Advanta has signed Bill Rancic, a successful business owner and recent winner of the television series, “The Apprentice,” to serve as its corporate spokesperson.This is the first corporate spokesperson agreement for Rancic, an entrepreneur who launched a cigar business out of his studio apartment and grew it into a successful global company. Last spring, Rancic won the televised competition on “The Apprentice,” which was one of the highest-rated television series of the year. The hit series tapped into the entrepreneurial dreams of millions of young Americans and has sparked renewed interest in people who own their own businesses. Rancic will be an ambassador for Advanta in public appearances, media interviews, marketing and promotional campaigns. He will be promoting the features and benefits of the company’s credit card.

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DeltaBank & GE

GE Consumer Finance is acquiring Moscow-based DeltaBank, a VISA issuer with more than 103,000 credit cards in-force. The acquisition is GECF’s third major acquisition in the past thirty days, following the purchase of the assets of Dillard National Bank and the Mervyn’s credit card portfolio from Target. Over the past year, GECF’s assets have grown more than 20%, from $97.1 billion to $116.9 billion. During the second quarter, GECF produced net income $600 million on revenues of $3.8 billion. DeltaBank was founded in 2000 and provides bank cards, personal loans, and sales finance through branches and more than 70 imbedded points of sale in established retail outlets, such as IKEA and other major retailers. The DeltaBank deal is GECF’s largest in Russia and is expected to close by year end.

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CMKXTREME Prepaid VISA Launched

Las Vegas-based CMKXTREME has launched a prepaid VISA card for its race fan affinity group and CMKX DIAMONDS Inc. shareholders. The VISA Pre-Paid Stored Value card is neither a credit card nor a debit card and does not require a banking account to be opened when applying. The card is signature based for point-of-sale transactions and PIN based for ATM transactions. Cardholders can securely add additional funds to their card through a free Web site or through a toll-free telephone system from an existing checking account or credit card.

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JCB Co-Branded Airline Card Launched

Taiwan’s Macoto Bank and Japan Asia Airways, a subsidiary of Japan Airlines Corporation, have teamed to launch a co-branded JCB international credit card. The new “JAA/JCB Card” enables cardholders to earn mileage rewards that they may exchange for ticket awards with JAL Group and other partner airlines, upgrade awards on JAL Group flights, free hotel accommodation awards, a 10% discount for in-flight purchases on JAL Group international flights, and many other premiums. Macoto Bank says its target market for the new card is approximately 9 million in Taiwan, and it anticipates issuance of more than 30,000 cards in the first year, according to CardFlash International ([www.cardflashinternational.com][1]). JAA was established in 1975 to operate between Japan and Taiwan, after JAL agreed to stop its services to Taiwan in exchange for the right to fly to mainland China. JCB has formed alliances with more than 320 financial institutions globally to increase merchant coverage and cardholder base.

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

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CTFS Options MasterCard Balances Up 24%

Canadian Tire Financial Services reported that its net managed credit card receivables increased 27% year-over-year to $2.5 billion, driven by a 24% increase in “Options MasterCard” average balances to $1,384. The “Canadian Tire Options MasterCard” currently makes up 96% of CTFS’ credit card portfolio. During the quarter, CTFS partnered with Bank of Montreal to launch the “Canadian Tire Commercial Link MasterCard” for business customers in the third quarter. The card will replace the existing commercial card that is held by more than 50,000 active Canadian Tire business customers. CTFS says estimates that its credit card portfolio will hit $2.8 billion by year end. For complete details on CTFS’ latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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ReD to Distribute Cardinal Centinel

Retail Decisions has signed an agreement to offer the “Cardinal Centinel” service through its payment and risk management platforms. he agreement will enable Retail Decisions’ customers to access Cardinal’s merchant software platform for authenticating payments through the Verified by Visa, MasterCard(R) SecureCode(TM) and JCB J/Secure(TM) payment initiative programs. Retail Decisions (ReD) is an international electronic payment transaction services business that provides fraud prevention, enterprise-wide payment processing and value-added transaction and consulting services to the retail, finance, telecommunications and e-commerce sectors. CardinalCommerce Corporation is a leading provider of a technology-neutral authentication platform for securing electronic and wireless commerce, thus ensuring that individuals, businesses and government agencies can process electronic transactions and access confidential information safely, securely and privately.

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Information Processing Hires New CEO

FL-based Information Processing Corporation has named Olan Beard, former president of FFS Transaction Corporation, as president and CEO.. Mr. Beard has over 22 years experience in the banking industry, working for banks such as First State Bank of Abilene, NCNB, and Security State Bank. Most recently he served as President of FFS Transaction Corp., LLC, having been promoted to that position from Executive Vice President of Operations in the year 2000, and continued to serve in that capacity until accepting his current position with IPC. Information Architects Corporation has three (3) wholly owned subsidiaries whose prime focus is banking and financial products.

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V+MC Credit Card Purchase Volume Up 11%

At mid-year, MasterCard continues to hold the lead in the number of U.S. credit card accounts, with 213 million accounts versus VISA’s 209 million. However, MasterCard’s purchase volume growth for the second quarter has slowed to an annual rate of 8.3% compared to VISA’s 13.6% second quarter growth. During the second quarter, the average purchase volume per VISA credit card account was $723 compared to MasterCard’s $501. The average VISA credit card purchase transaction is now $85.51 compared to MasterCard’s $83.49. Combined, VISA and MasterCard purchase volume is up approximately 11% year-on-year for the second quarter, and up 17% compared to 2Q/02. As of June 30th, there were 553.2 million VISA and MasterCard credit cards-in-force in the USA linked to 422.1 million accounts. For complete details on VISA and MasterCard’s second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Hypercom and SiVault Assist Healthcare

Hypercom and SiVault Systems have teamed to combine SiVault Systems’ end-to-end signature verification technology with Hypercom’s point-of-transaction card payment technology to improve the authentication and fulfillment of medical prescriptions. Deployment of the Hypercom-SiVault solution will give pharmacy operations, doctors and insurers a powerful new solution to help confirm the authorized fulfillment of prescriptions, and in doing so, help stem prescription fraud in a rapidly expanding market. SiVault Systems is a recognized leader in the secure storage and retrieval of signed documents and biometric signature-based authentication for processing of online transactions. Hypercom is a leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at point-of-sale transactions for consumers, merchants, and acquirers, and yield increased profitability for its customers.

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ECHO Revenues Up 15% as Net Income Doubles

Electronic Clearing House reported that its total revenue for the second calendar quarter was up 14.9% to $12.2 million as net income doubled to $651,000. Bankcard processing and transaction revenue increased 8.2% to $9.3 million in the quarter. ACH transactions processed nearly doubled to 6 million transactions. The gross margin from processing and transaction revenue improved to 37.1% from 32.2% one-year ago. During the quarter, ECHO trained VISA member banks’ sales teams and associates on the “Visa POS Check” program’s numerous merchant benefits. The Company has rolled out the program at Cole National Corporation’s Pearle Vision and Things Remembered chains, with a total of 1,200 locations running on the system. For the fiscal year to end with the next quarter, the Company tightened its guidance on revenue growth to 16-20%. For complete details on ECHO’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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