VISA THAILAND

The number of VISA credit cards issued in Thailand jumped 46% last year
to 2.8 million cards. VISA credit cards now makeup 80% of the total credit
card market in the country. VISA has also issued 4.5 million debit cards in
Thailand. MasterCard has a total of 1.46 million debit and credit cards
in-force. VISA says overall credit card volume increased 30% to THB187
billion. VISA also noted that delinquency plunged from 7.7% in 2001 to 4.8%
last year. Banking regulators passed new rules in 2002 limiting punitive
interest rates and late payment fees.

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VISA Truncation

VISA unveiled a new account truncation program yesterday that requires merchants to eliminate all the digits of a cardholder’s account, except the last four, from store receipts. The new policy also requires merchants to drop the card’s expiration date from receipts. The policy will go into effect July 1st, and in its first phase, affect all new payment card terminals. VISA says the move is an effort to fight identity theft and is already in practice by most major merchants. The move is also linked to bill sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) which would require merchants to drop the all the digits of a cardholder’s account, except the last four. Senator Feinstein attended VISA’s press conference yesterday in Washington. MasterCard has already adopted a truncation policy which goes into effect in two years. VISA also reported yesterday that , fraud within the VISA system has fallen to an all-time low of 7 cents per $100 transacted.

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Bank One & UAL

Bank One acknowledged yesterday that if United Airlines is liquidated it will have a significant impact on its credit card business. Bank One says the loss of its co-branding relationship with United Airlines could be as high as several hundred million dollars. Bank One says net income for its credit card would be negatively impacted by the dissolution of the marketing agreement, loss of fee and interest income and increased marketing expense to encourage customers to continue card usage. Bank One previously indicated that the United Program accounts for less than 10% of its total card business. In a 10-K filing yesterday, Bank One also disclosed that it opened 4.9 million new accounts during 2002 compared to 3.9 million in 2001. For complete details on Bank One’s 4Q/02 and 2002 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Dual-Plus Card

JCB, Sony, and Toppan Printing, have developed the world’s first smart card combining “FeliCa” contactless interface and EMV contact interface capability in a single smart card chip. The new “DualPlus” card will be issued to JCB employees in May when the company headquarters move to a new location. Contactless functions will include building and floor access control as well as cafeteria and vending machine post-payment, while contact applications will support employee benefits. Some cards will also be equipped with the contact interface EMV-standard credit application “J/Smart.” Sony says the linkage function of “DualPlus” enables further potential benefits such as the inclusion of contactless payments in the cardholder’s loyalty point program through a home card-reader. Also, in the future the addition of type B communication capacity, coming into wider use in government applications, promises even greater flexibility.

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MasterCard Europe

MasterCard’s gross dollar volume for Europe increased more than 16% during the fourth quarter to $68.8 billion while GDV for all of 2002 rose almost 15.0% to US$242.6 billion. For 4Q/02 MasterCard processed 852 million purchase transactions and 177 million cash advance transactions, up 16% and 9% over 4Q/01, respectively. At the end of the year, MasterCard had 77.2 million accounts representing 87 million cardholders, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com][1]). Europe is the largest cardholder base for MasterCard’s PIN-based debit, “Maestro,” with 226.1 million cards. Merchant acceptance in the European region was flat during 2002 at 5.9 million merchants. MasterCard noted that a key milestone last year was the completion of the merger with Europay International to form a unified, shareholder-owned, global payments company. Europay is now MasterCard’s Europe region. In connection with the merger, MasterCard launched two “Centers of Excellence” in Waterloo, Belgium, one for debit and one for chip and mobile commerce.

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

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MASTERCARD EUROPE

MasterCard’s gross dollar volume for Europe increased more than 16% during
the fourth quarter to $68.8 billion while GDV for all of 2002 rose almost
15.0% to US$242.6 billion. For 4Q/02 MasterCard processed 852 million
purchase transactions and 177 million cash advance transactions, up 16% and
9% over 4Q/01, respectively. At the end of the year, MasterCard had 77.2
million accounts representing 87 million cardholders. Europe is the largest
cardholder base for MasterCard’s PIN-based debit, “Maestro,” with 226.1
million cards. Merchant acceptance in the European region was flat during
2002 at 5.9 million merchants.
MasterCard noted that a key milestone last year was the completion of the
merger with Europay International to form a unified, shareholder-owned,
global payments company. Europay is now MasterCard’s Europe region. In
connection with the merger, MasterCard launched two “Centers of Excellence”
in Waterloo, Belgium, one for debit and one for chip and mobile commerce.

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Intercept 4Q/02

Atlanta-based InterCept reported 4Q/02 net income, excluding certain losses and impairment charges, of $2.8 million on revenues of $65.1 million. The net loss for the quarter, including all the charges, was $12.0 million, compared to net income of $3.6 million in the year ago quarter. InterCept says that an GAAP analysis determined that intangible assets of iBill and EPX were impaired. As a result the company took a charge of $20.0 million in the fourth quarter. Earlier this week InterCept announced a restructuring of its merchant services division. The Company’s merchant services operations, including Internet Billing Company, InterCept Payment Solutions (formerly EPX), as well as InterCept’s merchant portfolio operations in Tennessee, will now operate as a single business unit known as InterCept Payment Solutions. John Perry was named CEO of the unit. InterCept anticipates that 2003 earnings per share will be in the range of $0.80 to $0.90 per share. For complete details on InterCept’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 3/4/03)

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

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