Nashville-based iPayment reported that its first quarter charge volume soared to nearly $2.9 billion, compared to $1.9 billion in the previous quarter, and $1.3 billion one-year ago. First quarter revenues jumped by 71% to $80 million, and first quarter net income increased ten-fold to $5.0 million. The processor, which went public last May, purchased 18,000 small merchant accounts from First Data’s Merchant Services subsidiary for $55 million in cash in December. The 18,000 small merchant accounts produce about $4 billion in annual bankcard volume, and therefore the primary driver for the first quarter volume surge. The processor also reported that during the first quarter it repaid $11 million of the $45 million it borrowed to finance the acquisition from First Data in December. iPayment projects annual revenues of approximately $335 million to $340 million, and an annual operating margin of approximately 11% to 12% for this year. For complete details on iPayment’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).