Global Payments Adds Two Board Members

Atlanta-based Global Payments has named Alan Silberstein, president and COO of Debt Resolve, and Raymond Killian, chairman of Investment Technology Group, as new board members. Silberstein is currently the president and COO of Debt Resolve, an online, electronic collection and recovery service for banks and other lenders. Silberstein is also a member of the board of Capital Access Network, Inc. and of the advisory board of Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, Inc. In addition, he serves as treasurer of Yeshiva University’s business school, is a member of the Advisory Council of Columbia University’s engineering school, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations, financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

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Welcome Real-time to Power Smart Loyalty Card in Czech Republic

Aix-en-Provence-based Welcome Real-time announced that Komercn’ Banka has selected WelcomeÕs “XLS” technology for the launch of the country’s first EMV loyalty smart card. Komercn’ Banka has already begun converting all of their credit and debit cards to EMV and will use “XLS” to enhance their cards with numerous added-value services, such as gifts, loyalty points and surprise bonuses, designed to appeal to a wide range of customers and merchant segments. Welcome provides smart card software that enhances payment transactions with real-time point of sale features such as welcome gifts, surprise bonuses, personal reminders, targeted samples, loyalty points, coupons, punch cards, vouchers, tickets, cash back and more, all in a single convenient payment process.

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NPC Gets Starbucks Canadian Contract

Starbucks has expanded its processing contract with National Processing Company to include a multi-year agreement to process Canadian credit card transactions. Starbucks opened its first location in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971, and since has established itself as one of the most recognized and respected brands in the world. The company primarily sells whole bean coffees through a specialty sales group, a direct response business, supermarkets, and online at Starbucks.com. National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, National Processing Company, LLC is a leading provider of merchant credit and debit card processing. National Processing is 85 percent owned by National City Corporation ( ), one of the nation’s largest financial holding companies.

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Encore Expands to Online Debit

Encore Merchant Services has expanded its services to offer ATM and online debit cards acceptance nationwide for credit union member businesses. The customerÕs Personal Identification Number (PIN) is required for each transaction therefore minimizing fraudulent transactions. Check out time is reduced because there is no signature required on ATM and online debit transactions. Encore¨ Merchant Services is a division of Primax Payment Systems, which is headquartered in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Primax Payment Systems currently has over 5,000 merchants located in 48 states.

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HN Financial Migrates to Keycorp’s K23 Platform

HN Financial, a division of Hospitality Network and subsidiary of Saskatchewan Crown communications company SaskTel, has committed to Keycorp’s “K23” platform for deployment with merchants across Canada. HN Financial has already ordered 200 K23s and is actively promoting the Keycorp platform as its flagship POS terminal solution. HN Financial offers merchants the opportunity to use the POS terminals to generate revenue by charging their customers a service fee or a surcharge per debit transaction. Keycorp Canada, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of Keycorp Limited based in Chatswood, Australia.

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Smart Card Revenues to Top $1.6B by 2009

A new study by Frost & Sullivan entitled “World Card Reader Markets” shows that the smart card industry generated revenues totaling $1.17 billion in 2002, and is projected to reach $1.66 billion in 2009. The advantages of smart cards over magnetic stripe have caused a visible migration to chip cards but this process is not likely to be complete for at least seven to eight years. Although unit shipment of magnetic stripe, smart card and hybrid readers will receive a boost by the falling prices of components, profit margins will take a beating. To maintain high margins, vendors have to simultaneously expand into several markets such as low-end swipe, high-end ATM and the insertion reader segments. Frost & Sullivan is a global leader in strategic growth consulting. This ongoing growth opportunity analysis is part of the AutoID Subscription, which also includes market insights on Biometrics, RFID and POS terminals.

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Bank One Offers VISA Extras to Small Businesses

Bank One has launched a “VISA Check Card” that enables small business customers to earn rewards that range from retail gift certificates to companion airline tickets to NFL tickets. Bank One began offering the rewards program, called “Bank One VISA Extras,” to its 480,000 small business customers early this month and is the first bank to nationally launch the program, which was developed by VISA. Customers earn points toward rewards with each off-line purchase with “THE ONE Business Card.” With “Bank One VISA Extras,” users of “THE ONE Business” card will be able to earn 1 point for each $1 in qualifying purchases and 2 points for each $1, after $4,000 in qualifying purchases. Redemptions start at 2,000 points.

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Fiserv’s Personix Moves and Beefs-Up Service

Fiserv’s Personix division has moved its St. Paul card production operations to a larger facility in the same area and now offers next-day shipment on personalized card orders received before noon Central time. Other significant technology improvements include an automated inventory and picking system to enhance the company’s ability to effectively manage multiple plastic and insert inventories; refinements in security technology to integrate the latest systems that protect client data, card inventory and the facility itself; increased capacity for UltraForm, the Personix card carrier solution that enables clients to add customized messages; and expanded production capacity for gift cards. The new facility also features state-of-the-art phone and network technology that allows for increased capacity in Personix’s client services area, facilitating responsive communication with its clients. Personix, a division of Fiserv, Inc., is a leading provider of business critical communications to the financial services, healthcare, telecommunications and retail sectors.

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GE Mortgage and Equifax Canada Team to Offer Credit Score Access

GE Mortgage Insurance and Equifax Canada have signed a deal to enable Canadians to get personalized credit reports and scores online at GE Mortgage Insurance Canada’s Web site. GE Mortgage Insurance also announced that consumers who hold GE-insured mortgages through participating lenders have access to Equifax’s online credit reports and credit scores at a 15% discount as part of GE’s “Homebuyer
Privileges Program.”

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ID Theft Last Year Approaches 10 Million Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission yesterday reported that 27.3 million Americans have been victims of identity theft in the last five years, including 9.9 million people in the last year alone. According to the survey, last year’s identity theft losses to businesses and financial institutions totaled nearly $48 billion and consumer victims reported $5 billion in out-of-pocket expenses. The survey found in the past 12 months that 3.23 million consumers discovered that new accounts had been opened, and other frauds such as renting an apartment or home, obtaining medical care or employment, had been committed in their name. In those cases, the loss to businesses and financial institutions was $10,200 per victim. Individual victims lost an average of $1,180. Where the thieves solely used a victim’s established accounts, the loss to businesses was $2,100 per victim. For all forms of identity theft, the loss to business was $4,800 and the loss to consumers was $500, on average. According to the survey results, fifty-two percent of all ID theft victims, approximately 5 million people in the last year, discovered that they were victims of identity theft by monitoring their accounts. Another 26 percent – approximately 2.5 million people – reported that they were alerted to suspicious account activity by companies such as credit card issuers or banks. Eight percent reported that they first learned when they applied for credit and were turned down.

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Kabira and Kanbay Ink Partnership

San Francisco-based Kabira Technologies and IL-based Kanbay have inked a deal whereby Kanbay will serve as a preferred integrator and key domain expert for Kabira’s “Infrastructure Switch” software and “Model-Driven Framework Solutions” for credit and debit card services. This alliance will focus on supporting the development and deployment of advanced payment services for leading financial institutions around the world. Such services include: credit and debit card services, risk/fraud management and real-time micro-payments, in addition to custom value added service offerings. Kanbay is a global integration and managed solutions company with a rich heritage in serving the financial services industry. Kabira makes the software Infrastructure Switch and solution frameworks for providers of high-speed, high-volume, Real-Time Enterprise services.

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Credit Card Mail Volume Sinks for the Past Year

Credit card mail volume continues to decline for the fourth straight quarter, dropping nearly 20% from one year ago, even though response rates have edged up slightly. The latest figures also show a 25% decrease in May mail volume compared to April, and in June, mail volume was down by 4.5% compared to May. Research by Mintel’s Comperemedia and Synovate’s Mail Monitor both show that the decline in mail volume is led by Citibank, Bank One, Chase, Providian, and American Express. However, direct mail credit card pieces from Capital One and MBNA have continued at the same space. Mintel’s Comperemedia says it shows a 50% decline in card mail volume from Citibank and BankOne. Synovate’s Mail Monitor also reportedly showed that response rates increased to 0.6% for the second quarter of this year, compared to 0.4% one year ago. But, Mail Monitor data show that response rates in the first quarter of 2003 hit a record 0.9%. Synovate says historically issuers mail more in the second quarter and then cut back in third quarter as US households go on vacation. Mintel’s Comperemedia says that about half of all cards now have an introductory rate on purchases, but introductory rates on balance transfers have become more prevalent in the past 18 months. Card issuers are becoming more likely to offer the introductory rate on only balance transfers. Card issuers continue to use teaser rates to entice new cardholders; 90% of offers have some kind of introductory rate on purchases, balance transfers, or both. Card issuers have also continued to use rewards as part of their acquisition strategy. Approximately 50% of the card offers in June had some type of reward program attached to the card, compared to only 30% in June 2002. Over 80% of these cards have no annual fee attached.

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