HumanaAccess Card

Humana, Evolution Benefits, and BANKFIRST have teamed to launch a prepaid MasterCard that provides access to “Flexible Spending Accounts” and/or “Health Reimbursement Arrangements.” The “HumanaAccess MasterCard” will initially be issued to Humana employees, however the firm intends to make the new card available to Humana commercial members with HRA-style plans in 2004. The card is powered by the Evolution Benefits’ “Benny Card” that enables users to access FSA/HRA funds they set aside by swiping their card at the provider’s office or pharmacy. KY-based Humana has approximately 6.6 million medical members located primarily in 18 states. On May 6th, the IRS issued its stored value card guidance in the form of Revenue Ruling 2003-43. The ruling addresses the use of stored value cards with FSA/HRA accounts. The Ruling upholds the existing IRS substantiation requirements that call for third-party receipts and adjudication of all claims.

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BestBank Indictments

The former CEO and founder of Colorado-based BestBank, a now defunct issuer of sub-prime credit cards, was arrested Friday afternoon as he was passing through customs in Los Angeles. Edward Mattar III, and four other executives, were indicted two weeks ago on 95 counts of fraud in connection with the 1998 failure of BestBank which cost depositors more than $200 million. The other four individuals indicted and arrested include: Thomas Alan Boyd, a former director and president at BestBank; Jack Grace Jr., former director and CFO of BestBank; and, Glenn Gallant and Douglas Baetz, principals of Florida-based Century Financial. The indictment alleges that Mattar, Boyd, Grace, and Gallant fraudulently took more than $5 million each. BestBank offered a sub-prime credit card that included a travel club membership. Under the “BestBank VISA” program consumers would received a $600 credit limit in exchange for a $498 club membership fee and a $45 annual card fee. The program signed up 500,000 cardholders in its two year run and produced $240 million in credit card outstandings. The bank was seized by authorities after BestBank’s bad debt topped $134 million. (CF Library 7/27/98; 8/27/98)

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Diebold COO

Diebold announced it has begun the search for a COO following the sudden, recent death of Wes Vance. Vance, who served as the company’s COO since October 2001, died on April 26 when the private plane he was piloting crashed southeast of Columbus, Ohio, in Jackson County. The search will focus on identifying a candidate with a very strong background in global operations. The company is interviewing both internal and external candidates. The Lenkaitis Group is coordinating the external search process for Diebold.

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Chordiant & DWL

CA-based Chordiant Software and Atlanta-based DWL have teamed to integrate their products to enable retail banks and card issuers to improve customer service and employee productivity by creating a unified single view of the customer across the enterprise. Chordiant and DWL believe that an effective customer-focused sales and service strategy depends upon a single operational view of the customer that is accurate, complete and current. DWL and Chordiant are able to offer the industry’s most robust enterprise business process system and enterprise customer hub for unified customer knowledge and end-to-end business process to all channels, whether assisted or through self-service.

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Onex & Air Canada

Toronto-based Onex Corporation may run into some turbulence in its bid to acquire a 35% equity interest in Air Canada’s “Aeroplan” loyalty program. Ernst & Young, the court-appointed monitor for Air Canada, have asked for an extension to the talks between Onex and Air Canada, and have indicated it may recommend that Air Canada solicit for other bids. In late January, Air Canada agreed to let Onex acquire a 35% equity interest in its”Aeroplan” loyalty program for US$177 million. Ernst & Young says the recent revisions to the “CIBC Aerogold VISA” deal, as well as the inclusion of another credit card issuer in the program has affected the value of the Onex-Aeroplan agreement. “Aeroplan,” launched in 1984, has more than six million members. In January 2002, “Aeroplan” became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Canada. Last year, “Aeroplan” generated cash revenue in excess of $600 million, of which less than forty percent represented billings to Air Canada. Approximately 1.4 million round-trips were redeemed for travel on Air Canada and its worldwide “Star Alliance” partner airlines in the past year. Aeroplan has more than 90 partnerships with airline, hotel, car rental, financial, telecommunication, retail, services and entertainment partners.

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Advantex 1Q/03

Toronto-based Advantex Marketing International reported an 11% increase in revenues to $21.5 million, and a net loss of $825,000 for the first three months of this year. Last month, Advantex launched its expansion of the “CIBC Aerogold ADVANTEX Benefit” program to include retailers, and, this month, will introduce an embedded “Advantex Benefit” into several selected premium CIBC VISA credit cards, providing bonus rewards specific to the loyalty currencies offered on each of these cards. Next month, Advantex will begin earning income from its new “US Airways Dividend Miles Rewards” program. The Company signed multi-year agreements with US Airways and Bank of America to replicate the “Advantex Benefit” business model in the USA. Advantex recently signed an agreement with UAL Loyalty Services for a “United Mileage Plus Shopping” program for more than 40 million “Mileage Plus” members. The combined credit cardholder base of these two U.S. airline frequent flyer programs more than triples the Company’s current credit cardholder customer base. For complete details on Advantex’s first quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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FNBO & Katz

Ronald A. Katz Technology has signed First National Bank of Omaha to a patent license for its automated customer service systems. The license to First National Bank of Omaha covers services in the “Financial Services Call Processing” and “Automated Securities Transactions” Fields-Of-Use. These services, including customer service provided to consumer and business accounts, are delivered through automated systems as well as the combination of automated systems and live agents.

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First Hawaiian Cardinal Centinel

BancWest’s First Hawaiian Bank has signed a deal to offer CardinalCommerce’s “Cardinal Centinel” payment authentication software. sudden, recent death of Wes Vance. First Hawaiian Bank is a principal subsidiary of BancWest Corporation, the largest Hawaii-based company, with total assets of $34.9 billion. BancWest is a wholly owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas. CardinalCommerce is the leading provider of online merchant payment authentication for securing online transactions.

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RAHAXI VOLUME

Helsinki-based Rahaxi Processing reported that its gross turnover totaled US$226.2 million for the quarter ended March 31st. The company currently processes approximately 1 million card payments per month for an established client base comprising companies such as Finnair, Ikea and Stockman. The company is a subsidiary of Dominican Republic-based FreeStar Technology Corporation.

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Barclaycard CAMS II

Barclaycard has inked a five-year contract to deploy Computer Sciences Corporation’s merchant acquiring and card issuing solution. The agreement marks the first time that Barclaycard has moved responsibility for the technology behind its merchant acquiring business to a third party. As the largest independent card processor in Europe, Barclaycard will implement CSC’s “CAMS II” solution as well as incorporate “CSC e4” integration architecture to create a universal business process management environment. The “CAMS II” platform supports multiple products including debit cards, credit cards, smart cards and consumer loans. Because of its open architecture, it can support future strategic initiatives involving practically any card or electronic-oriented transaction, including payroll cards, stored-value cards and virtual cards for Internet purchases. In 2001, 1.4 billion purchases were made with credit and debit cards in the 230,000 outlets belonging to Barclaycard Merchant Services’ customers in the UK. Their PDQ terminal base is over 160,000.

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E-PAY TAB

e-pay Australia Pty Ltd has partnered with Tab Limited to launch a real-time prepaid payment option for account holders in retail outlets throughout the country. TAB has over 200,000 account holders who use prepaid account funds to place bets via the phone and Internet. TAB, with a total combined turnover of US$2.5 billion per year, has more than 330 dedicated retail outlets and 1,600 outlets located in licensed hotels and registered clubs. Customers deposit funds into their accounts at these outlets. The added e-pay locations enable customers to deposit money to their accounts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 533 participating e-pay retailers, including 7-Eleven, Quix, Mobil, Video Ezy and Nextra. Within three months an additional 1,036 existing e-pay retailers will add TAB functionality to their systems. e-pay is a Euronet subsidiary and currently supports top-up purchases for mobile service providers at more than 50,000 POS terminals in approximately 18,000 retail locations. TAB is Australia’s largest national wagering company accepting bets on thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing as well as sporting and other events.

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eBay Bump

eBay’s stock rebounded late yesterday after a brief drop this week in the wake of jury verdict that found the company infringed on the patents of a Virginia man. The patents related to eBay’s “Buy it now” service which involves the use of fixed-price sales. Thomas Woolston and his company MercExchange LLC were awarded $35 million. However, it is most likely the case will eventually be settled out-of-court. The success of the lawsuit has raised concerns among other Internet players in light of the number of e-business process patents secured by private individuals and tiny firms. Woolston holds four e-commerce patents and has ten more pending. The patent involved in this week’s verdict was filed four months before eBay was launched in 1995.

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