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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CAP ONE 1Q/03

Capital One posted its first profit for its international credit card accounts portfolio during the first quarter. The issuer posted 1Q/03 net income of $18.1 million, compared to a $6.2 million loss in the fourth quarter, and an $8.5 million loss one year ago. Since the first quarter of 2002, Capital One’s international portfolio outstandings have grown 27.3%, from $4.2 billion to $5.4 billion. Charge-offs for the first quarter of this year was 4.28%, compared to 3.92% in the fourth quarter, and 3.58% one year ago. International delinquency for the first quarter of this year was 4.22%, compared to 4.18% in the fourth quarter, and 4.08% one year ago. Capital One noted that its UK operations became profitable for the first time last year. At the end of 2002, the U.K. Bank had 2.8 million accounts and $3.9 billion in credit card, revolving loan, and installment loan assets.The UK Bank has been operating independently in France since 2000. Besides the UK, the issuer also has operations and activities in Canada, South Africa and France.

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FNBO Smart VISA

Oberthur Card Systems says that First National Bank Omaha will issue more than 100,000 of its smart cards over the next two years. The FNBO “smart VISA” program is based on Oberthur’s advanced “CosmopolIC Lite” smart card. Among the card features is “fileIt,” a “Convenience Storage” application that enables individuals to store personal data. In addition, the card can be updated online from the bank’s Web site. The “Convenience Storage” application is based upon the “smart VISA Framework,” a comprehensive set of commands, data structures, security protocols and access methods developed by VISA U.S.A. and Oberthur to help manage personal data. Oberthur is a supplier for four of the nation’s largest financial services smart card programs and the number one provider for VISA and MasterCard worldwide.

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CATUITY CHAIRMAN

Catuity announced that Chairman David Mac Smith has voluntarily stepped down as Chairman, effective immediately. Te company said it decided to transition the role of Chairman to a nonexecutive chairman and therefore determined not to renew Mac Smith’s employment agreement, which expires August 31st. Mr. Mac Smith has advised that he is considering his position on the Board. Catuity is a leading provider of application software for loyalty programs integrated to the payment system at the point of sale.

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SchlumbergerSema 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. For complete details on Schlumberger’s first quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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ID Theft Insurance

VISA USA announced Tuesday it is offering “Personal Identity Theft Coverage” as a new optional benefit for cardholders. The insurance coverage goes beyond VISA’s zero liability policy by providing eligible cardholders with coverage ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 in reimbursement for lost wages, legal fees, and other costs associated with recovering from identity theft. VISA says member financial institutions will have the opportunity to purchase this coverage to offer free to their cardholders. Coverage amount is determined by the member financial institutions. VISA also announced a partnership with MD-based Call For Action to provide identity theft victims with free, confidential counseling, and support. In September, Equifax began offering free “Identity Theft Insurance” from AIG eBusiness Risk Solutions through the Equifax “Credit Watch” service. The AIG policy will reimburse up to $2,500 (after a $250 deductible) for certain expenses associated with identity theft. (CF Library 9/6/03)

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