STMicroelectronics Revenues Up 28% in Q2

Geneva-based STMicroelectronics reported net revenues for the second quarter of $2.17 billion, up 7.0% sequentially, and up 27.6% over
last year’s second quarter. Gross profit was $812 million, up 13.2% sequentially from the prior quarter, and 33.8% above last year’s second quarter gross profit. As anticipated, the Automotive, Consumer, and Industrial markets were the strongest contributors. Telecom, including wireless and networking ASICs, was up over 2004 first quarter levels, but softness in hard disk drive applications caused Computer to
post a moderate sequential decline. Flash memory product sales increased 9.7% sequentially to $304 million. During the second quarter, STM became the first silicon manufacturer to be certified by MasterCard’s “CQM” (“Card Quality Management”) program as an approved supplier of secure microcontrollers for its chip-based debit and credit cards.

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Metris Posts Q2 Loss; Predicts 04 Profitability

After posting two consecutive profitable quarters, Metris Companies (Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank) posted a $70 million loss for the second quarter. The loss was due to the impact of costs associated with funding transactions. However, the Company predicted the adjustments, along with improvement in cardholder performance, will position the issuer to be profitable for 2004 because of a reduction in securitization transactions and higher excess spreads in the second half of 2004. The managed net charge-off rate for the second quarter was 17.0%, compared to 17.8% in the previous quarter and 19.1% for 2Q/03. The managed delinquency rate was 9.4% as of June 30th, compared to 10.4% at the end of the first quarter, and 11.2% one-year ago. The “Metris Master Trust” reported a delinquency rate of 9.5% as of June 30th, the lowest level since January 2002. The Company’s managed credit card loans for 2Q/04 were $7.1 billion, compared to $8.1 billion as of December 31, 2003. For complete details on Metris’ second quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

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Certegy’s Second Quarter Revenues Climb 15%

Certegy reported second quarter revenue of $284.1 million and operating income of $42.7 million, up 14.8% and 14.0%, respectively. Card Services produced revenue of $173.4 million, an increase of 8.2% above year-ago quarter. Merchant processing revenue increased 11.5%, driven by strong retail sales and revenue from the acquisition of Crittson. International card issuing revenue declined 0.4%, caused primarily by the purging of inactive cards by certain customers and prior year pricing adjustments in the Brazilian marketplace. Card Services operating income of $36.1 million increased 13.2%, compared to $31.9 million in the second quarter of last year. Check Services generated revenue of $110.7 million in the second quarter, an increase of 27.2% above the 2003 quarter. For complete details on Certegy’s second quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

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Rewards Network Growth Slows; Revises Forecast

Chicago-based Rewards Network reported sales for the second quarter of $90.6 million, a 3.3% increase year-on-year. Operating revenue climbed to $26.2 million, an increase of 8.7%. The Company closed the quarter with 3.5 million active members and approximately 21,160 total participating merchants. The Company noted that its restaurant merchant base is growing more slowly than originally projected. As a result, the Company lowered its full year target growth in total operating revenues to 8% to 12%, and growth in net income to 5% to 8%. Rewards Network provides loyalty and rewards programs for restaurants and hotels via its registered credit card platform. The network has 10,499 restaurants and 10,577 hotels participating in its rewards programs. For complete details on Reward Network’s second quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

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PCCharge 5.7″ Offers VISA’s CISP

GO Software has released “PCCharge 5.7” which provides enhanced security in conjunction with VISA’s “CISP.” The upgraded system provides enhanced security in conjunction with Visa’s Cardholder Information Security Program, support for Canadian Debit card transactions and overall improvements of previous capabilities. PCCharge 5.7 underwent an audit conducted by Ambiron, an enterprise security advisor firm, which tested the application using Visa’s CISP guidelines for merchants. GO Software, a subsidiary of Return On Investment Corporation is a leading provider of point-of-sale (POS) payment processing software.

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STV Card Partnership Takes Shape in California

Global Vision Holdings and FirstCard Resources has entered into an alliance to offer stored-value cards. Under an agreement, Global Vision is to perform major sales channel development for FCR and will earn a fee for cards sold as well as from residual revenue streams from fees generated through the use of these cards. GVHL is a financial services business and technology development company providing software, consulting and infrastructure for small to medium sized businesses and consumers on a global scale. FirstCard Resources, LLC is a leading customizing and turnkey provider of Prepaid (Stored-Value) Debit Cards issued in conjunction with banks, Visa and MasterCard.

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AKQA Hires Lot21 Founder

San Francisco-based AKQA, an interactive marketing firm, has hired Kate Everett-Thorp, former Chairman of Carat Interactive and founder of Lot21, as President/ Interactive Advertising. Ms. Everett-Thorp most recently served as Chairman and Chief Marketing Officer for Carat Interactive where she was charged with the integration of three companies, Carat Interactive, Vizium and Lot21, a company she founded in 1998. Prior to Carat Interactive, Everett-Thorp served as CEO of Lot21, which specialized in the creation of integrated marketing solutions. AKQA is the leading interactive marketing firm developing innovative strategy and technology solutions to help its clients achieve maximum results.

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Food Lion to Offer PRE Solutions Prepaid Cards

Atlanta-based PRE Solutions has inked a deal to distribute prepaid phone cards through Food Lion’s 1,200 locations throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. The agreement with Food Lion, one of the largest supermarket chains in the United States, has enabled them to sell prepaid products from the leading prepaid wireless providers such as Cingular, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile, TracFone, AT&T Wireless and ALLTEL. PRE Solutions Inc. is a leading provider of prepaid transaction processing solutions designed to offer retailers powerful revenue opportunities in prepaid products and other services. Food Lion, LLC is a subsidiary of Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group.

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Moneris Solutions Signs Midwest B&T

Illinois-based Midwest Bank and Trust Company has elected to renew its credit card processing contract with Moneris Solutions. Midwest Bank has been a Moneris customer for eight years. Midwest says that not only has Moneris contributed to a 27% merchant portfolio growth in the last year, they have also partnered with to launch a joint sales and marketing campaign to communicate the benefits of merchant acquiring to its current and potential business customers. Moneris Solutions serves more than 350,000 North American merchant locations and has a staff of over 1,100 employees.

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INDUSTRIAL CARD

Industrial Bank is issuing its first MasterCard dual-currency international credit card through China UnionPay. The new “Industrial
Card” provides real credit for Chinese consumers in that it does not require a deposit. The vast majority of credit cards issued in the country are secured credit cards. The new credit card also provides for an optional cardholder password, or PIN number, to enhance a cardholders’ security. The “Industrial Bank MasterCard” card is MasterCard’s second collaboration with China UnionPay to issue a credit card. In June, Ningbo Commercial Bank issued the first international dual-currency MasterCard credit card through China UnionPay – the “Huitong Card.” Other international MasterCard credit cards available in the Chinese market are primarily issued by large state-owned commercial banks or joint stock commercial banks.

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Axalto and Thales Power the First National Transport System

Thales has selected Axalto to provide the smart cards of its e-ticketing solution for the Dutch national transport project managed by Trans Link Systems. Conducted by Trans Link Systems and the East West consortium, the program is the first in the world to be implemented on a national scale and will offer integrated solution covering all means of public transport. The program involves 1.4 million contactless cards in its pilot phase, out of the total 12 million cards to be deployed by 2006. One single contactless card, “Axalto Easyflow,” will allow the
citizen to equally access ferries, buses, metros, trams or trains to
travel across the country. More than two million passengers per day are
expected to use the national transport once the project is fully
implemented.

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