Capital One Ratings Affirmed with a Stable Outlook

Fitch Ratings this week affirmed all outstanding ratings of Capital One and revised its “Rating Outlook” to “Stable” from “Negative” due to improved funding and liquidity. Approximately $22.4 billion of deposits and $7.0 billion of unsecured debt is affected by this action. A complete list of ratings is detailed at the end of this release. Rating concerns reflect the continued existence of the Memorandum of Understanding, competitive pressures in the U.S. consumer credit card market that has negatively affected margins, and ability to maintain credit quality within acceptable ranges. Capital One Financial Corp., based in McLean, VA, is a leading consumer financial services company and one of the largest issuers of general purpose credit cards in the U.S. COF is also active in auto finance and consumer installment lending.

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VISA and NFL Renew; Super Bowl Ad Scheduled

VISA USA announced Tuesday it has renewed its sponsorship contract with the National Football League for six more years. The nation’s largest payment card network also confirmed yesterday it will air a new 30-second commercial on this weekend’s NFL “Super Bowl XXXVIII,” promoting its “Olympic Games” sponsorship. Under terms of the NFL sponsorship agreement, VISA will continue to offer national pass-through rights to its members and merchants for use of the NFL shield logo, “Super Bowl,” “Pro Bowl,” and collective use of the 32 NFL team marks. The renewal agreement also gives VISA exclusive acceptance for the “Pro Bowl,” the “NFL Experience” and other future initiatives. Additionally, the agreement covers new marketing initiatives supported by the NFL, such as weekly usage promotions, “Pro Bowl Balloting” and Hispanic marketing and, VISA’s sponsorship of the NFL “Kickoff Live” event. In this weekend’s “Super Bowl XXXVIII” commercial, members of the U.S. women’s beach volleyball team are preparing for the upcoming summer games. However, these athletes are so eager to hit the beach in Athens, they are braving the frigid winter elements in typical beach volleyball attire. The ad, titled “Snowball” highlights two Olympic hopefuls and representatives of its “Gold Medal Athletes” program: Kerri Walsh and Misty May from the U.S. women’s beach volleyball team. The ad is part of VISA’s long-running “Visa. It’s Everywhere You Want To Be” series, and is produced by Moxie Pictures via BBDO New York. Since 1990, VISA has run two new commercials in the Super Bowl.

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Fiserv 4Q/03 Profits Rise 20% to $82MM

WI-based Fiserv reported processing and services revenues of $749.5 million for the fourth quarter, a 30% increase over 4Q/02. Fourth-quarter earnings hit $81.9 million, a 20% increase over the year-ago period. The Company closed 12 acquisitions last year, adding combined annualized revenues of more than $610 million. During the fourth quarter, Fiserv signed new contracts or expanded existing ones with Sovereign Bank, Northern Trust Company, Associated Mortgage Company, ND-based Community First Bankshares, Citizens Financial Services. The Company serves more than 15,000 clients worldwide. For complete details on Fiserv’s fourth quarter results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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February 26th is Concord Merger Vote Day

Concord EFS has set February 26th as the date for shareholders to vote on its amended merger agreement with First Data. The Securities and Exchange Commission has declared effective the amended registration statement filed by First Data Corporation containing a proxy statement/prospectus related to the proposed merger. Concord EFS, Inc., a vertically integrated electronic transaction processor, provides the technology and network systems that make payments and other financial transactions faster, more efficient, and more secure than paper-based alternatives.

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Debit Card’s 1995-2000 CAGR Exceeds 40%

NY-based publisher Packaged Facts has released a new report on the U.S. Debit Card market which found debit card’s average CAGR, between 1995 and 2000, was 42%, compared to 14.6% for overall electronic payments, and 9.5% for credit cards. In 2003, Americans made 10.47 billion transactions using their debit, or, “check cards.” Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, produces research reports on a wide range of consumer industries, including information on domestic and global market trends and opportunities. MarketResearch.com is the leading provider of global market intelligence products and services.

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MBNA INTL 4Q/03

MBNA’s international credit card portfolio has grown 73% over the past twelve months to hit $20.8 billion. During the fourth quarter, MBNA added 620,000 new international accounts, and $1.6 billion in outstandings. In Europe, total managed loans reached $17.2 billion. Approximately 440,000 new accounts were added during the fourth quarter in Europe. MBNA added 95 new affinity card programs during 2003 in Europe, including 32 new endorsements in Spain. In Canada, total managed loans reached $3.6 billion. Approximately 180,000 new accounts were added during the fourth quarter in Canada. MBNA also added 79 new endorsements during 2003 in Canada. MBNA has approximately 1,400 total international affinity contracts in place.

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Cyota Launches Email Fraud Fighter Solution

Cyota has released “FraudAction,” a new, proprietary solution that can pro-actively address email fraud such as “phishing” attacks. With Cyota FraudAction financial institutions can pro-actively address email fraud, protect their data, brand, and valuable accountholder trust as well as ensure the future of their growing e-initiatives and Internet services. Cyota is the leading provider of security and anti-fraud solutions for financial institutions. Cyota services multiple clients in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific with anti-fraud and security systems currently available to over 350 million accountholders.

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Concord Says NYCE Lawsuit Has No Merit

Concord EFS said yesterday it intends to vigorously defend itself against a lawsuit filed by NYCE last week. Concord believes that the suit, which relates to a 1993 agreement between NYCE and MAC covering transaction routing rules, is totally without merit. Concord says the STAR network routing rules were specifically amended to support the NYCE agreement when STAR was acquired by Concord in 2001. STAR’s network rules, which are established by its member financial institutions, support an open and flexible business environment that allows for collaboration, cooperation, and the resolution of issues when conflicting network rules come into play. Concord says the NYCE complaint attempts to undermine these rules by improperly extending to the entire STAR network the terms of an agreement expressly limited to the small number of financial institutions who are members of both the MAC and NYCE networks. (CF Library 1/23/04)

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CO-OP Serves 38 Military/Defense CUs

The CO-OP ATM has signed FL-based Eglin FCU, bringing the total number of military and defense-affiliated credit union members to 38, covering three million members. Situated along the Florida Panhandle in Fort Walton Beach, Eglin FCU, with $800 million in assets, provides financial services to more than 100,000 military and civilian personnel from Eglin Air Force base and Hurlburt Field. CO-OP Network is wholly-owned by its credit union shareholders and provides volume discounts on products and services that include risk management as well as debit and deposit access.

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Fair Isaac Profits Rise 45% in Fourth Quarter

Fair Isaac reported fourth calendar quarter revenues of $169.3 million, a 15.4% gain over 4Q/02. Net income for the quarter was $28.8 million, up 45% over same quarter last year. The company says the growth was due to excellent execution on a number of recently adopted growth strategies. Scoring Solutions revenues were up 3.3% to $35.3 million during the quarter. Strategy Machine Solutions revenues grew 22% to $103.3 million. Earlier this month, IBM inked a deal to become a global reseller of Fair Isaac’s core analytic capabilities for financial services providers. For complete details on Fair Isaac’s latest performance as well as prior quarters visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Ingrian DataSecure Platforms Protect Card Data

DHD Media has selected Ingrian “DataSecure Platforms” to bolster protection of customers’ credit card data, whether that data is in storage, in transit, or being used by a database or application. DHD Media’s implementation of Ingrian’s solution is a clear indicator of the value that they place on meeting and exceeding industry standards for securing customer data. DHD Media is an E-media and E-commerce services infrastructure company. Ingrian Networks brings complete data privacy to the enterprise. Ingrian DataSecure Platforms ensure that sensitive information is impervious to attacks, whether data is in storage, in transit, or in use.

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Hitachi and Omron to Combine ATM Businesses

CardFlash International reported Monday that Tokyo-based Hitachi and Kyoto-based Omron have agreed to establish a joint venture in October. Under terms of the arrangement, the new company will integrate the total business of Hitachi’s “Ubiquitous Platform Group Mechatronics Systems Division,” such as ATM’s, other self-service machines and terminal systems, with the ATM and other self-service machines, modules and solutions handled by Omron’s “Social Systems, Solutions, & Services Business Company and Advanced Modules Business Company.” Hitachi and Omron initially formed an ATM joint development alliance in 2000. Both companies said the joint venture is needed to strengthen their capability to respond to the diversification and enhancement of customer needs domestically, as well as strengthening the business structure in China among other overseas growth markets.

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