PaymentCentric to Distribute JADEAdvantage Terminals in the Middle East

PaymentCentric has signed a deal to distribute CyberNet POS terminals in the Middle East. PaymentCentric is now deploying more than 300 EMV-certified countertop “JADEAdvantage,” which feature
32bit processor, open architecture, tamper resistance and built-in PED functionalities. CyberNet EMEA recent opened a Middle East and Africa office based in Dubai. The Company is a subsidiary of CyberNet Inc headquartered in Seoul, Korea. PaymentCentric was founded by the joint efforts of RS/2 Software Group and a group of leading Jordanian investors and financial institutions.

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OTI and Hypercom Team to Help Expand MasterCard PayPass

On Track Innovations has partnered with US-based Hypercom to deliver contactless electronic card payment programs, such as MasterCard’s “PayPass.” The pact will align OTI’s matched-antenna, contactless technology with Hypercom’s electronic payment terminals. Last year, MasterCard successfully completed market trials of “PayPass,” which utilizes OTI’s contactless card technology. OTI says Hypercom’s integration of contactless technology-enabled terminals in the U.S. will be an important step in the successful expansion of the “PayPass” program planned for later this year. Using “PayPass,” consumers simply tap or wave their payment card on a specially equipped merchant terminal that then transmits payment details wirelessly, eliminating the need to swipe the card through a reader.

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VASCO Launches the Digipass 585 for Banking and e-Commerce

VASCO has launched a portable strong authentication token for the banking, e-commerce and corporate network access markets. The new “Digipass 585” combines the flexibility and ease of use of a one-button token such as “Digipass G03” with the wide array of functionalities and applications of classical “Digipass” tokens for the banking world such as “Digipass 300, 700 and 580.” When closed, the “Digipass 585” can be used as a one-time password generator. An extended help function can also be added, allowing end users, banks or corporations to store data such as the telephone number of the bank’s help desk, or the bank account number of the end user in the Digipass. When the Digipass is opened, it displays every function of a full-featured banking “Digipass,” including a keyboard, PIN protection, one-time password and
digital signature functionalities. It is also capable of supporting complex character sets such as traditional and Mandarin Chinese, Thai and Russian characters.

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FEB04 VOLUME

Debit cards continued to outpace the growth of credit cards, as February’s volume rose more than 15% to GBP 10.5 billion. The monthly average of credit card volume for the year ending February 2004 was GBP 9.2 billion, compared to GBP 8.6 billion for the year ending February 2003. The Association for Payment Clearing Services also reported that credit card repayments grew faster than borrowing over the past twelve months. Repayments grew by 12.5% against a 7.3% growth in spending. APACS also reported that compared to January, plastic card expenditure in February remained flat, from GBP 20.07 billion to GBP 20.10 billion, reflecting the typical annual pattern. Month-on-month transaction volume grew by 2.1% to 431.2 million.

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STRATEGIC PLANNER

MasterCard International has hired Alfredo Gangotena as senior vice president & general manager of Asia/Pacific. Gangotena oversee strategic planning. He was formerly the CEO of Priceline.com in Asia, operated by Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa. He joined the Internet venture in 2000 from the German multinational conglomerate, Henkel, where he was President and CEO, Asia Pacific from 1995 to 2000.
Previous corporations that Gangotena made significant contributions to include Proctor & Gamble, where he held several senior marketing and management positions between 1978 and 1992; The Walt Disney Company, as Vice President and Marketing Director of Disneyland Paris; and PolyGram France (now Vivendi Universal), where he was Chief Executive Officer. Gangotena will report to André Sekulic, MasterCard’s president, Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa.

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Merrill+ VISA Card Goes Nationwide this Quarter

Merrill Lynch said yesterday that after a successful pilot, it will launch the new “Merrill+ VISA” credit card nationwide during the second quarter. The increase in net earnings was driven by growth in net revenues and pre-tax earnings in all three business segments. First quarter net revenues were $6.1 billion, up 27% from the first quarter of 2003 and up 25% from the fourth quarter. Merrill Lynch is one of the world’s leading financial management and advisory companies with offices in 35 countries and total client assets of approximately $1.5 trillion.

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BofA Card Q1 Profits Up 51% as Metrics Improve

Bank of America reported this morning that its pre-tax credit card income jumped 51% during the first quarter compared to one-year ago, as the company opened more than one million new credit card accounts during the quarter compared to 741,000 in 1Q/03. Managed card outstandings increased nearly $0.7 billion during the first three months of this year, and are up 28% year-over-year. Card profits for 1Q/04 were $434 million, compared to $329 in the fourth quarter, and $287 million in the first quarter of last year. Managed card loans for 1Q/04 were $37.3 billion, compared to $36.6 billion in the fourth quarter, and $29.1 billion in the first quarter of 2003. First quarter charge-offs were 5.05%, compared to 5.14% in the prior quarter, and 5.35% one year ago. Managed 30+ day delinquency was 3.75%, compared to 3.93% in the fourth quarter, and 4.18% for 1Q/03. Managed 90+ day delinquency was 1.81%, compared to 1.77% in the fourth quarter, and 1.91% for 1Q/03. For complete details on Bank of America’s 1Q/04 performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

BOFA CARD LOAN HISTORICAL
1Q/03 $29.1 billion
2Q/03: $30.8 billion
3Q/03: $33.6 billion
4Q/03: $36.6 billion
1Q/04: $37.3 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Diebold’s Opteva 740 Finds its First Deployment

Dayton, OH-based, Liberty Savings Bank, has become the first customer to install Diebold’s “Opteva 740” drive-up ATM. It can serve as a cash dispenser for fast-cash lanes, an advanced-function ATM, or it can be upgraded with full-deposit automation functions, allowing financial institutions to deploy the terminal in a way that best meets its needs. The Opteva 740’s open architecture provides significant advantages to financial institutions by allowing them to more easily and quickly integrate future technologies. Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self- service delivery systems, security and services.

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Mehta Becomes Vice Chairman of Household

HSBC North America has named Bobby Mehta as vice chairman of Household, responsible for Household’s consumer lending and mortgage services businesses, HSBC Group’s worldwide credit card operations, and HSBC Bank USA’s first mortgage operations. Household Vice Chairman Bobby Mehta will be responsible for Household’s consumer lending and mortgage services businesses, HSBC Group’s worldwide credit card operations, HSBC Bank USA’s first mortgage operations, and strategic planning, corporate marketing and corporate development for HSBC North America Holdings. HSBC Bank USA has more than 400 branches in New York State, giving it the most extensive branch network in New York.

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Delta Rolls Out Two SkyMiles VISA Debit Cards

Delta Air Lines and the UK’s Lloyds TSB Bank have partnered to launch two co-branded credit cards and three co-branded debit cards for residents of Columbia. This is the first time Delta has offered a debit card that earns “SkyMiles” in any country. The new “Platinum VISA” and “VISA Gold SkyMiles” credit cards, and the “Platinum”, “Gold,” and “Classic SkyMiles VISA” debit cards all award one mile for every U.S. dollar spent. Purchases of Delta Air Lines products and services made with the cards will earn two miles for every U.S. dollar spent. As an introductory offer, customers who choose the “Delta SkyMiles Lloyds Platinum VISA” credit card will be awarded 7,500 bonus miles with their first purchase, and customers who choose the “Gold” credit card will be awarded 5,000 bonus miles. Delta now offers co-branded VISA cards in nine international markets. In the USA, Delta has partnered with American Express to issue co-branded credit cards.

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Super Affluent Targeted for a White VISA

Los Angeles-based startup Stratus Rewards officially announced its new super affluent, co-branded VISA card yesterday which offers rewards for private jet travel. The new white-colored “Stratus Rewards VISA,” issued through U.S. Bank, was first publicized last week in a national newspaper. The new, by-invitation-only credit card carries a $1,500 annual fee. “Stratus Rewards VISA” cardholders earn one point for each dollar charged. About 200,000 points are required for a free hour of flight on a seven-passenger “Citation Ultra” private jet. Stratus Rewards also permits members to pool their points with friends and colleagues. Annual membership dues are $500 for secondary cardholders. Business cardholders may also issue U.S. Bank’s standard “OneCard” at $75 each, to employees for faster point accumulation to the primary cardholder. Members also receive discounted charter flights and complimentary car service, upgrades and special benefits with luxury hotels, upscale merchandise discounts and unique offers through Vivre, special membership benefits and discounted initiation fees at Sports Club/LA, and a continuously expanding list of collective advantages with a network of affinity partners. Cardholders may also donate their points for cash contributions to a handful of select philanthropic organizations including Abercrombie & Kent’s Global Foundation and Carelift International.

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NPC and EWI Ink a Prepaid Processing Deal

KY-based National Processing Company has inked a muti-year deal for EWI Holdings to offer processing services for prepaid and cash payment transactions for NPC merchants. This alliance will provide NPC merchants with the ability to process payments for a broad variety of prepaid product offerings. EWI Holdings is a leading provider of advanced payment processing technologies to the prepaid and cash payments sectors in the US and Latin America. National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, National Processing Company, LLC is a leading provider of merchant credit and debit card processing.

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