NCR and Ingenico Set to Battle a Process Patent

Ingenico is facing a patent infringement lawsuit from NCR over its “e(N)-Touch 1000” terminal. The NCR patent, issued in March, covers the transmission of an electronic credit card receipt with the captured electronic signature as a single integrated record. Ingenico says its terminal has never linked the signature and receipt in this manner. The Company says it is in the process of contacting its customers so that they are aware of and understand NCR’s “over-reaching” claim. Ingenico recently shipped its 300,000th “e(N)-Touch 1000” touch screen and signature capture terminal to major retailers in the USA. Ingenico says it will vigorously defend itself. NCR says it is sticking to its guns.

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PreCash Annual Volume Hits $1 Billion

Houston-based PreCash reported this week that payments on its nationwide network totaled $1 billion in 2003. PreCash reached this milestone through its exclusive offering of a simple and elegant alternative to customers who pay cash for subscription-based services such as cellular, Internet, cable/satellite television, etc. Unlike traditional cash payment methods, with the PreCash patented process, customers carry a reusable card that is permanently linked to their service account. PreCash has built the industry’s leading payment network that revolutionizes the way retailers and service providers collect cash payments for prepaid or postpaid subscription-based services. From its more than 22,000 retailers, PreCash is able to provide electronic access to the payment system to over 50 million Americans who do not have a credit card or bank account.

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GO Software Acquires the iAuthorizer Gateway

GA-based GO Software has acquired the assets and intellectual property of Atomic Software, and plans to redevelop the “iAuthorizer” gateway. As a result, GO Software plans to redevelop iAuthorizer and release an enhanced gateway product in the coming months. GO will continue selling, supporting and maintaining the dial-up Authorizer product for customers with existing integrations. GO Software is a leading provider of POS payment processing software. More than 85,000 businesses use GO Software’s solutions to process payments at high speed, expand tender types, and lower credit card costs.

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The November Revolving Credit Dip Returns

After two months of strong growth, consumer revolving credit for November dipped by $600 million. However, the one-month contraction was significantly better than November 2002, when revolving credit dropped by $900 million, or at a -1.40% annual pace. Revised figures, released Thursday by the Federal Reserve, also show that the October and September figures were better than previously reported. October’s revised annual growth rate is 4.3% compared to 3.6% reported last month. September’s revised annual growth rate is 6.8% compared to 6.5% previously reported. For November, consumers owed $739.4 billion in revolving credit, mostly credit card debt. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the third quarter was $645.7 billion, or roughly 88% of total revolving credit, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). At the end of November, Americans were $1994.6 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
Nov03 Oct03 Sep03 Aug03 Jul03 Jun03 May03
GRWTH: -0.9% 4.3 6.8 3.4 1.4 -2.4 7.7
$OWED: $739.4 740.0 737.3 729.1 726.8 725.9 727.9

Apr03 Mar03 Feb03 Jan03 Dec02 Nov02 Oct02
GRWTH: 3.4% 4.1 5.9 5.2 -6.7 -1.4 1.6
$OWED: $722.8 720.7 718.6 715.5 712.4 716.8 717.9

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 1/08/04;

For complete historical data visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][2])

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

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m-Qube and NCR Team for Mobile Couponing

NCR and m-Qube have inked a deal to integrate the m-Qube mobile messaging solution into the NCR “Advanced Store POS” application as well as the “Compris POS” system from Compris Technologies, a subsidiary of NCR. When integrated with NCR’s POS software, the m-Qube solution enables retailers to create highly customized mobile couponing programs that address the unique preferences of individual consumers. These offers can be delivered at the optimal time and place and easily be redeemed and measured at the POS. m-Qube is the leading North American wireless media, marketing and technology company. NCR Corporation is a leading global technology company helping businesses build stronger relationships with their customers.

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LG RESCUE PLAN

It appears that LG Card will avoid bankruptcy after its creditor banks reached an agreement on a 1.65 trillion won bail out plan. However, the issuer suspended cash-advance services this week as the deal was being worked out. Kookmin Bank, one of LG Card’s ten creditor banks, led the opposition to the bail out plan, but later caved in to pressure by the government. Some of the creditor banks wanted the state-run Korea Development Bank to cover more of the losses and spread the rest evenly among the participants. Under the rescue plan, KDB will end up owning 25% of LG Card in return for investing 500 billion won. National Agricultural Cooperative Federation and Kookmin will be the next biggest contributors in the debt-for-equity plan, taking a 16% and 14% stake respectively. If the rescue plan failed the LG Card would have faced court receivership or liquidation. If a liquidation of LG Card takes places it could produce losses of some US$22.5 billion for the creditor banks. The South Korean Financial Supervisory Service recently reported that LG Card’s delinquency rate rose from 11.4% in October to 14.7% for November.

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Intellectual Property Solutions Collaborates on Taxi Payment Solution

Intellectual Property Solutions has signed a two-year deal with Massachusetts-based Pipeline Data’s SecurePay subsidiary to offer a wireless taxi credit card acceptance solution. The Pipeline / IPS mobile card acceptance solution was certified for use by the City of Chicago, through IPS’s subsidiary, C&C Enterprise Co., Ltd., and has resulted in contracts being finalized with two Chicago area taxi companies. Certification is currently being sought in additional major US metropolitan markets.

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WesPay Acquisition Finalized

The Clearing House has completed its acquisition of Western Payments Alliance’s Check Services business. WesPay will continue to operate as an ACH Association, with approximately 1,000 financial institutions and 100 corporate members in California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Southern Washington and Guam. The Clearing House is the nation’s oldest banking association and payments processor. The Western Payments Alliance is a not-for-profit financial trade association providing electronic fund transfer services to approximately 1,000 financial institutions and 100 corporate members in California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Southern Washington and Guam.

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Chex Services Gets Booted from FL Casinos

Native American Cash Systems of Florida has abruptly run Chex Services out of its casinos and invited MN-based Cash Systems in. Chex Services, owned by CO-based Equitex, says NACSF claimed breaches of the five-year contract signed in December 2001. The termination notice required Chex Services to immediately vacate five of the Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribal casino properties by midnight on Sunday, January 4th. Equitex says the contract provided about $1 million in revenue per quarter. Meanwhile, Cash Systems has signed a multi-year contract with NACSF to provide cash access services at the Seminole Tribe of Florida casinos, including ATM, check cashing and cash advance services. Cash Systems says the contract is one of its biggest ever.

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Euronet Expands U.S. PaySpot Service Through an Acquisition

Budapest-based Euronet announced that its U.S. subsidiary, PaySpot, has acquired the California-based prepaid service provider Prepaid Concepts. The acquisition will add 4,500 POS terminals to PaySpot’s prepaid network. Precept distributes prepaid products for all the major U.S. wireless carriers, including ALLTEL, AT&T Wireless, Cingular, T-Mobile, Tracfone and Verizon Wireless, as well as several regional carriers. Precept also provides electronic recharge services for three current “Boost Mobile” master agents. PaySpot was launched in the USA during 2002, and features a state-of-the-art switching engine offering billing, customer service, trouble reporting, credit management, settlement and reconciliation. The system supports online electronic top-up at retail locations via a range of POS terminals or through integrated electronic cash registers for retailers with multiple locations and multiple checkout points. Euronet Worldwide has two other prepaid services subsidiaries, e-pay and Transact, which collectively provide services in 8 countries.

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