Certegy 1Q/03

Certegy this morning reported first quarter profits of $12.2 million on revenues of $240.2 million. Excluding special charges net income would have been $20.1 million, a 25% increase over 1Q/02. Card Services’ revenues of $157.2 million in the first quarter were flat compared to 1Q/02. Certegy says growth of 13.7% in North American card issuing revenue was largely offset by a 16.8% decline in merchant processing revenue. Check Services generated revenue of $83.0 million in the first quarter, a 7% increase over 1Q/02. During the first quarter, domestic card issuing transaction volumes increased by 10.6%, driven primarily by 22% growth in debit card transactions. For complete details on Certegy’s 1Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Smart MARTA

San Diego-based Cubic Transportation Systems and Atlanta’s Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority have begun negotiations on a $100 million contract to upgrade the city’s fare collection system with smart card technology. Cubic says the proposed upgraded MARTA system could eventually be linked to other Atlanta-area transit agencies, as well as toll roads and airport parking facilities, providing “intermodal” fare collection in the area. Cubic is already creating such a regional system in the Washington, D.C. area, where smart cards are used for rail, bus and parking, and some employers credit their employees’ transit benefits directly on the transit cards. Cubic is linking the smart card system to 16 other bus and rail agencies in Virginia and Maryland. Under recently awarded contracts, the company is also creating regional smart card systems in Los Angeles and San Diego. Cubic expects negotiations with MARTA to be completed by the end of the summer.

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Viad 1Q/03

Viad Corp reported this morning 1Q/03 net income of $22.7 million on revenue of $415.4 million. Payment Services’ revenue for the first quarter grew 1.6% to $190.0 million but operating income was down 33.5% to $21.2 million. MoneyGram’s transaction volume grew by 34% as compared to first quarter 2002. MoneyGram’s agents increased by 10% in comparison to the prior year quarter to over 60,000. Viad says it expects its Payment Services segment revenue to grow at a mid single-digit rate compared to 2Q/02 while operating income is expected to be flat. For complete details on Viad’s 1Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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SCHLUMBERGER-SEMA 1Q/03

SchlumbergerSema reported first quarter revenue of $793 million, a 2% decline over the previous quarter, but up 12% year-on-year. Pretax operating income was $15 million, a decrease of 55% sequentially, and an increase of $14 million year-on-year. Schlumberger said that revenue for volume products of $202 million decreased 22% sequentially, but improved 1% year-on-year. The year-on-year improvement was mainly due to a 7% growth in mobilecom cards principally in North America and Europe, offset by a decline in parking terminals due to the exceptional Euro currency retrofit program that extended into early 2002. The sequential decrease reflected the seasonal drop in mobilecom activity, following telecommunications operators’ traditional Christmas campaigns coupled with reduced activity in prepaid phone cards.

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CARD BREAKOUT

The Institute of Banking Studies has released a report showing that only 11% of the credit cards used by Kuwaiti citizens are issued by foreign banks. About half of the cards issued from non-Kuwaiti come from Barclays, Citibank, and Bank of America. The research also showed that VISA is the most popular card in the country. More than three out of four Kuwaitis use VISA, while 59% use MasterCard, 17% use American Express, and 7% use Diners Club cards.

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Coinstar & FSV

Houston-based Financial Stored Value Payment Systems and Coinstar have teamed to create the first nationwide network of employee self service kiosks linked to payroll debit cards. The new service will utilize Coinstar’s network of kiosks located at more than 10,000 supermarkets in the USA. Initially, employees paid directly on a payroll debit card will be able to check their balances and print an “ePayStub” wage statement from the Coinstar Center. FSV will also offer a “payroll cash voucher” at participating supermarkets that an employee can redeem at the grocer for cash. The voucher feature will enable an employee to receive up to 100% of their pay in cash with a single transaction. Several states require employers to provide an employee a “free and clear” way to receive all of their pay. Other withdrawal options, including ATMs, have limits on transaction amounts. The program will be introduced this quarter.

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