Money Transfer Class Action Settlement Approved

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York has given preliminary approval in regard to a worldwide class action settlement over money transfers outside the USA. The proposed settlement affects users of Western Union, Orlandi Valuta, or Tex Mex money transfer services who sent money electronically. The Court has set February 9, 2004 as the deadline for members of the Class to comment on, object to, or opt out of the settlement. A Court hearing to determine the fairness of the settlement has been scheduled for April 9,2004.

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National Do Not Call Registry Draws 15,000 Complaints

Since re-opening the “National Do Not Call Registry” one week ago, the Federal Trade Commission reports it has received more than 15,000 complaints from consumers against telemarketers. The number of registered telephone numbers has also jumped from 50 million to nearly 54 million within six days. As of October 15th, nearly 21,000 telemarketing organizations have accessed the registry.

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eFunds Buys Oasis Technology for $28MM

eFunds confirmed this morning it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Toronto-based Oasis Technology for $28 million in cash. Oasis, founded in 1989, is a provider of software to enable u-payments through an open platform. The company has 150 clients in 75 countries. The combined organization will now serve more than 200 software customers in over 80 countries around the world. eFunds says the deal will enable it to make an immediate entry into new markets with an open solution platform, expanding its domestic and international customer base. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of this year.

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Wells Goes Plus and Expands Interlink Support

Wells Fargo has inked a contract renewal with VISA for debit and credit cards. Under terms of the deal, Wells Fargo also will begin replacing MasterCard’s “Cirrus” network with VISA’s “Plus” network for ATM transactions. Other terms call for VISA to be Wells’ primary brand for debit and credit card transactions. Wells also agreed to expand its commitment to include VISA’s “Interlink” pin-based POS network. Wells Fargo is the nation’s second largest issuer of debit cards, with more than 15 million debit card accounts.

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U.S. Bank Signs Three-Year Contract with Travelex

U.S. Bank has signed a three-year contract with Travelex for the fulfillment of foreign currency and drafts by U.S. Bank customers and employees, including access to Travelex’s “My Travel Wallet”. Travelex offers over 100 currencies to its business partners through the Currency OnLine and My Travel Wallet programs. U.S. Bank is a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. With assets in excess of $182 billion, U.S. Bancorp is the 8th largest financial services holding company in the United States. Travelex is the world’s largest foreign exchange specialist, with over 650 retail branches at key airport, seaport and rail locations, in addition to tourist and business centers around the world.

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Digital Insight’s AXIS Signs Two NY Clients

Apple Bank for Savings and Ridgewood Savings Bank have signed deals to offer Digital Insight’s “AXIS” Internet banking and bill payment to their customers. Apple Bank is the 5th largest savings bank in the state of New York with $5.6 billion in assets. Ridgewood Savings has approximately $3 billion in assets and has used Digital Insight for website hosting and development services since 2000. Digital Insight(R) Corporation is a leading Internet Banking provider for visionary financial institutions.

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British Politicans and Bankers Square-Off

Members of the British Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee took on the heads of Britain’s largest credit card programs last week week over credit card disclosure and pricing. Barclays, Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland, and HBOS, agreed to offer more clarity to credit card terms and conditions via a summary box, similar to the one used within the USA. The banks were also criticized for taking advantage of the huge spread between the Bank of England base rates of 3%, and an average credit card interest rate of nearly 18%. Barclays made £450m from credit cards in 2002. The spirited debate between the bankers and the politicians led to the head of Barclays admitting he would not chronically borrow on credit cards because they are too expensive. However, all the bankers denied that profits from their credit card businesses were excessive.

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Politicians and Bankers Duke it Out Over Card Clarity

Members of Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee took on the heads of Britain’s largest credit card programs this week over credit card disclosure and pricing. Barclays, Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland, and HBOS, agreed to offer more clarity to credit card terms and conditions via a summary box, similar to the one used within the USA. The banks were also criticized for taking advantage of the huge spread between the Bank of England base rates of 3%, and an average credit card interest rate of nearly 18%. Barclays made £450m from credit cards in 2002. The spirited debate between the bankers and the politicians led to the head of Barclays admitting he would not chronically borrow on credit cards because they are too expensive. However, all the bankers denied that profits from their credit card businesses were excessive.

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OCC Clears Sears – Citibank Card Deal

The OCC yesterday approved the acquisition by Citibank USA, of substantially all of the credit card accounts of Sears National Bank. Under current federal banking laws, Sears and Citicorp will be cleared to close their transaction, on or after, October 31st. Sears and Citibank announced their definitive agreement to sell Sears’ domestic private-label and bank credit card portfolio to Citigroup for more than $3 billion in mid-July. Other terms of the deal include payment for approximately $3 billion of Sears’ net invested capital, related to loan loss reserves. Sears also expects to receive approximately $200 million in annual performance payments from Citigroup based on items such as new account and credit sales generation activities. In addition, Sears expects to realize annual savings of more than $200 million as Citigroup will absorb costs associated with Sears’ zero percent financing program. (CF Library 7/16/03)

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Al Alrajhi Bank Deploys Diebold Opteva Units

Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corporation has purchased more than 200 Diebold ATMs, including “Opteva” units. The units will operate on Diebold’s “Agilis” software platform, an open system that allows multiple vendors’ terminals and their respective technologies to co-exist. Al Alrajhi Bank has the largest branch and ATM network in the region. Diebold operates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through its distributor Alhamrani Universal.

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CNBC Goes FreedomPay for Employees

CNBC has decided to deploy FreedomPay’s tap and go cashless payment and loyalty solution in its New Jersey employee dining facilities and employee commuter bus fleet. FreedomPay, Inc. is the world leader in business process outsourcing (BPO) to the nation’s largest hospitality food service providers, Fortune 1000 corporations, healthcare facilities, universities, sports and entertainment, and the military delivering a global infrastructure for world class payment, loyalty and settlement services.

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Household Adds $1B During Third Quarter

HSBC’s Household reported this week that its VISA/MasterCard third quarter receivables jumped by nearly $1 billion since the second quarter. Over the past twelve months, Household’s bank credit card outstandings have increased 11%, to $17,555,886,000. Quarterly charge volume is up 3.7% since 3Q/02 to $9.7 billion. Year-to-date, Household’s charge volume is $27.4 billion. Household’s active accounts have increased 15.4% in the third quarter to end at 12,627,000. At the end of the second quarter Household had $16,610,531,000 in credit card loans. Meanwhile, Household also announced this week the launch of the “Build Your Tomorrow” consumer education program. The program includes a $25,000 grand prize sweepstakes, 120 financial education workshops, $8 million in customer scholarships, and $3 million in financial education grants. Household has also partnered with Equifax to help consumers understand credit scores. For complete details on Household’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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