Paymentech Tops 20,000 C- and P-Stores

Paymentech has won a multi-year contract to provide settlement processing for 1,663 Alimentation Couche-Tard’s Circle K convenience stores nationwide. Circle K is among Paymentech’s growing roster of petroleum merchants. In addition to Mac’s Convenience Stores, Paymentech provides electronic payment processing to numerous petroleum marketers at nearly 20,000 petroleum/convenience store locations across the country. Circle K is the leader in the Canadian convenience store industry and the fourth-largest convenience retailer in North America. Paymentech, L.P. processes more payment transactions than any other company in North America — and more than half of all Internet transactions — for retailers accepting U.S.

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SVC Financial Services Opens Headquarters

SVC Financial Services has opened its corporate headquarters in the Financial District of San Francisco. The San Francisco office joins SVC’s previously established Enterprise Business Development and technology R&D office in San Jose, CA serving Silicon Valley, and its Media and Entertainment Business Development office in El Segundo, CA serving Hollywood. SVC Financial Services is a provider of an integrated suite of secure electronic payment, web application development, digital rights management and multimedia authoring solutions with a focus on the online retailing and entertainment industries as well as the companies that serve them.

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Bentley Commerce Inks a Debit/STV Card Deal

Los Angeles-based Bentley Commerce has inked a deal for Morgan Beaumont to provide Bentley Commerce’s network of 180 trade exchanges and their 50,000 trading members with debit cards and stored value cards. Morgan Beaumont will develop and implement a multi-phase launch of real time transaction processing technology for Bentley, which will include voice authorizations, account balances, debit card trade purchasing branded with logos of participating exchanges, and stored value barter cards that exchanges will be able to use instead of printing restaurant scrip. Bentley Commerce Corp. is a business-to-business, Internet e-commerce company that seeks to establish a new marketplace and distribution channel for worldwide barter and trade. Morgan Beaumont, Inc., is a private global technology solutions company that is one of the premier providers of Stored Value Card Solutions and technology in the United States.

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Colwick Travel Joins Universal Air Travel Plan

Dallas-based Colwick Travel Corporation has joined the Universal Air Travel Plan global travel payment network and will settle its UATP transactions through UATP Settlement Services. The company’s decision to become a UATP Merchant was motivated by the appreciable reduction in merchant service fees it would pay for accepting UATP as opposed to the high cost of other credit cards and its ability to provide a comprehensive service to their UATP customer base. UATP accounts are actively issued by 15 member airlines and accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel by more than 200 airlines worldwide. Colwick Travel Corporation was established in 1977 as a full-service travel management company that provides businesses and individuals with unsurpassed service and exceptional cost savings.

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Fleet One to Issue WILCOHESS Fuel Card

Nashville-based Fleet One announced a deal to provide credit card issuing, authorization, and billing services for the commercial fleet customers of WILCOHESS, including a private label fleet card. The alliance between Fleet One and WILCOHESS also provides Fleet One cardholders with over 200 additional fueling sites in the Southeast. Fleet One provides transactional financial service solutions to companies with commercial vehicles, and the merchants that serve them. WILCOHESS, an A.T Williams Company, operates over 200 convenience stores and travel plazas in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.

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Q Comm Revenues Up 46% in 4Q/03

UT-based Q Comm International yesterday reported that it shipped more than 1,500 new “Qxpress 200” terminals during the fourth quarter. Transactions rose from 277,000 in third quarter to 318,624 in fourth quarter. The Company is a provider of prepaid transaction processing and electronic POS distribution solutions. For the fourth quarter, Q Comm booked revenues of $7.24 million, a 46% increase over one-year ago. Net losses for the quarter were $2.25 million, compared to net losses of $1.13 million posted for the same three-month period in the prior year. Terry Kramer was recently named CEO/president of the Company. For complete details on Q Comm’s 4Q/03 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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United’s Ameniti Card Gets New Benefits

United Airlines has beefed-up its new “Ameniti” loyalty card with new benefits including unlimited use of select “Arrivals Suites” and free passes to United’s Red Carpet Club. Ameniti members can now receive two complimentary passes to the Red Carpet Club, as well as access to select International Arrival Suites for a nominal fee. The Ameniti luxury travel program is owned and operated by UAL Loyalty Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of UAL Corp. United, its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products and services of other participating companies or partners.

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VISA Plans Summer Signature Debit Promotion

VISA USA will launch its third annual check card sweepstakes promotion this summer. The “Pick Up Your Pen Sweepstakes” will offer cardholders the chance to win back their purchase amount when they sign for their purchases between July 1st through August 31st. Check card purchases made on the Internet, by automatic-bill-payment, through mail order and by phone are also eligible. Recent consumer research conducted by VISA shows that these promotions can further drive check card usage. According to a December 2003 survey of VISA check cardholders, 82% of cardholders showed significant interest in the concept, 59% of cardholders were more likely to use their VISA check card more often because of this promotion; and 53% of cardholders claimed they were more likely to sign for their purchases after being exposed to the promotion. VISA is offering customizable marketing materials including: financial institution statement inserts, direct mail pieces, in-branch signage, web content, and marketing copy for newsletters and ATMs.

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Yields and Payment Rates Stand at 16.7%

After reaching a peak of 21.1% in March 2001, yield, among card-backed bonds, declined to 16.7% in January due to the continuing low interest rate environment. The monthly payment rate, also at 16.7%, increased 10 bps in January after a 110 bps increase in December. According to Standard & Poor’s “Credit Card Quality Index,” which tracked $425 billion in securitized credit card loans for Janury, the data are relatively mixed. The January monthly charge-off rate of 6.8% was a 20 bps improvement from December and is the lowest charge-off rate reported by the index since September 2002. Although charge-offs are still relatively high compared to historical averages, S&P expects charge-off levels to decline during the second half of this year. During January, 30-plus delinquencies increased marginally by 10 bps, while 60-plus and 90-plus delinquencies remained unchanged from the prior month at 5.1%. The overall trend for 30-plus delinquencies continues to be relatively stable, averaging 5.2% over the last 6 months. After peaking in May 2003 at 4.4% and 2.9%, respectively, the 60- and 90-plus delinquency buckets have moved down to more modest levels of 3.5% and 2.0%, respectively. The base rate, which remains at historical lows, decreased marginally by 10 bps to 3.5% during January. During the month of January the excess spread rate decreased by 60 bps to 6.4%. With charge-off levels and the base rate improving by 20 bps and 10 bps, respectively, during January, excess spread did not suffer the full effect of a 90-bps decrease in yield during the month and declined instead by 60 bps. The decrease during January returns excess spread to November 2003 levels, both of which are the lowest excess spread levels reported since May 2003.

Credit Card Quality Index
Jan01 Jan02 Jan03
Yield (%) 18.7 17.3 16.7
Payment rate (%) 16.9 16.5 16.7
Charge offs (%) 6.8 7.2 6.8
Delinquencies (%) 5.5 5.5 5.1
Weighted base rate (%) 4.4 3.9 3.6
Excess spread (%) 7.5 6.2 6.4
Source: Standard and Poor’s

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American Bankcard Offers a Small Business Package

Woman-owned American Bankcard Corporation, which processes through NPC, has a launched the “Small Business Advantage” program. Along with NPC’s credit and debit card processing services, ABC offers small business owners POS hardware and software, 24-hour merchant support, electronic check processing, EBT processing capability and secure e-commerce solutions. The program also offers discounted rates on commercial equipment leasing, business insurance, overnight delivery, car rentals, long-distance phone service, employee leasing, office products and computer equipment, and a variety of perks for business owners. ABC is also a SBA “Preferred Lender.” After just one year of operation, the company services over 220 national accounts. Andrea Deno is the founder and president.

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MBNA Canada Launches a Competitive Travel Rewards Card

MBNA Canada has ramped-up competition with the roll-out of a travel
rewards card that enables consumers to accumulate points on multiple cards
for the price of one. The new “MBNA Canada TravelRewards Platinum Plus
MasterCard” carries an $89 annual fee, compared to the $399 annual fee
charged for the recently launched “American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum
Card,” and the $120 annual fee for the “CIBC Aerogold VISA.” CIBC also
charges $50 for each additional card while extra MBNA cards are free. The
new “MBNA TravelRewards” credit card offers 5,000 bonus points the first
time a customer uses the card to make a purchase, plus an annual bonus of
2,500 on the anniversary of the date the account was opened. Redemption
levels for free flights begins at 15,000 points. Points may be used on more
than 75 airlines. MBNA is charging an interest rate of 18.99% for
purchases. The new “American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card,” launched
in January, is a charge card. The “CIBC Aerogold VISA” carries a 19.50% APR.

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