SureFire Commerce Becomes Terra Payments

Montreal-based SureFire Commerce has received the blessing of its shareholders to change its name to Terra Payments Inc.
The vote for the name change took place at the company’s annual and special shareholders’ meeting held in Montreal and is
intended to better reflect its diverse and expanding role as an international payments company. Shareholders also elected Michelle Cormier to the Board of Directors, replacing Markus Braun, a former director appointed by ebs Holding AG. Ms. Cormier was a director of the Corporation
from April 2002 until March 2003. Ms. Cormier is currently EVP/CFO of TNG Capital Inc., a privately held investment company and prior to January 2001, was VP/CFO of Repap Enterprises Inc. Messrs Tommy Boman, Mitchell Garber, Brahm Gelfand, Joel Leonoff,
Klaus Rehnig and Steve Shaper were also re-appointed to the board.

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Metris Cuts More Jobs, Aiming for Profitability

Metris Companies confirmed Thursday afternoon that it is cutting 25% of its senior management team at a cost of $2.5 million. The sub-prime issuer says the reduction in employees is due to the fact that its credit card portfolio is 15-20% smaller and that the company recently sold off its enhancement services business. Approximately 65 positions will be cut, mostly in the Minnetonka headquarters. Metris will employ approximately 3,000 employees following the reductions. According to CardData, Metris/Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank had $10.1 billion in outstandings at mid-year, compared to $11.7 billion for 2Q/02. The number of active accounts dropped from 4.8 million to 3.0 million over the same period.

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DNC – Congress Giveth and a Another Federal Judge Taketh

Whether or not the new “National Do Not Call Registry” will go into effect next week is still uncertain. Yesterday, Congress passed legislation giving the FTC the authority to establish the registry while another U.S. District Court ruled the registry was unconstitutional. Earlier this week, a U.S. District Court Judge in Oklahoma City ruled that the FTC wasn’t authorized by Congress to establish the registry. Yesterday, the House ratified the bill by a vote of 412 to 8. The U.S. Senate passed the bill by a 95-0 vote. The President is expected to sign the bill into law this morning. Also yesterday, a U.S. District Court Judge in Denver ruled the registry violates the First Amendment since it favors charitable speech over commercial speech.

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Eufora MasterCard Launches Major Sweepstakes

AZ-based Eufora, LLC is offering new cars to “Eufora MasterCard” cardholders in a monthly sweepstakes. Eufora said this morning it has already awarded cars for August and September. Under the program, cardholders receive one automatic entry into the sweepstakes for every $100 they spend in a month. The winner is randomly drawn on or around the 15th of each month from all entries received during the previous month. Winners have a choice of one of twenty-five $30,000 vehicles. The “Eufora MasterCard,” launched in 2002, offers cardholders a cash bounty for each referral cardholder. Cardholders can earn up to $900, for every ten referrals, each year. The “Eufora MasterCard” is issued by InfiBank and currently has less than 100,000 cardholders.

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Three European Banks Form International Card Processor

Banksys (Belgium), Interpay (the Netherlands) and SSB (Società per i Servizi Bancari – Italy) have joined forces to create the first pan-European initiative in international card processing. The new Brussels-based SiNSYS joint venture will handle annual volumes amount to 800 million transactions for 18 million cards and 500,000 merchants. Banksys and Interpay each hold a 24.5% interest, SSB holds 51%. SiNSYS services will be opened to other interbank organizations at a later stage. The three companies said the introduction of the euro has facilitated the development of a European market for payment processing. They said many national and international processors are now looking beyond their borders for greater cost-efficiencies.

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Providian Gets Ratings Upgrade and a Positive Outlook

The senior unsecured rating of Providian Financial was upgraded this morning by Fitch Ratings to “B+.” The “Rating Outlook” for Providian was also revised to “Positive” from “Stable.” Fitch says Providian has implemented more conservative underwriting and servicing practices and sold non-core assets, which have improved credit quality and liquidity. The “Positive Outlook” reflects Fitch’s view that if Providian can sustain improvements in credit quality and profitability, and resolve all regulatory issues, ratings could be raised further from their current levels. The company’s stock was trading around $11.30 per share this morning.

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