LLOYDS CLARITY-BLUE

Lloyds TSB has been drilling into its credit card customer base with the
help of SAND Technology’s ClarityBlue UK division. The “Customer
Intelligence Platform,” based on the SAND “Analytic Server,” will allow
Lloyds TSB to access prospect data from multiple data suppliers, select a
pool of prospects from hundreds of attributes, and reduce data acquisition
costs. This will provide a single-person view, which is capable of driving
the bank’s direct mail activities in a more intelligent, cost-effective
manner. Previously Lloyds TSB used bureau services, the standard market
approach, to handle its direct marketing campaigns. Using ClarityBlue’s
hosted platform, Lloyds TSB has considerably shortened campaign
turnarounds, introduced full mailing history for all mailed names, and has
enabled multi-supplier data access while providing the ability to profile
its existing customer base. ClarityBlue will also give Lloyds TSB full
contact history, allowing Lloyds TSB to benchmark different data suppliers
against each other as well as against campaign expectations.

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Metris Dividend

Metris Companies/Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank announced yesterday morning a dividend of one cent per share, but withdrew the dividend Thursday afternoon after it was determined the dividend could not be paid under the terms of its credit agreement which prohibits the payment of dividends following a year in which a loss was incurred. Through its enhancement services division, Metris also offers consumers a comprehensive array of value-added products, including credit protection and insurance, extended service plans and membership clubs.

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ANZ CARDS

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. says it made a $27 million
error in regard to payments made to Qantas Airlines for air miles
distributed via co-branded VISA cards. ANZ said it recently discovered it
was using an incorrect method of accounting for the treatment of frequent
flier loyalty points it has purchased from Qantas. Since 1999, points for
the “Qantas ANZ Business One Card” and bonus points for international
expenditure on the Qantas ANZ Card have been under-accrued. The associated
one-off charge will reduce the after tax profit of ANZ’s consumer finance
unit by a one-off charge of $27 million in the first half of 2003. As a
result, ANZ has made management changes in the cards issuing area and
increased financial controls within the business.

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Bankruptcy Reform 2003

The House Judiciary Committee slated a hearing on bankruptcy reform next week and it is expected that Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) will introduce a new version of the bankruptcy reform legislation. This will be the first hearing on bankruptcy reform this year, since the House voted down the legislation last year. In mid-November, the House rejected the rule on the conference report to H.R. 333 by a vote of 172-243. The revised version is expected to omit the “Schumer Admendment” which dealt with the dischargeability of debts related to abortion clinic protests. Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation yesterday praised the reintroduction of bankruptcy reform legislation. The NRF noted that bankruptcy filings reached a record high of more than 1.5 million last year, and one in every seven American households will have filed for bankruptcy in the next decade if the rate of increase continues. NRF sent a letter to Sensenbrenner thanking him for reintroducing the bill and another to all House members urging them to co-sponsor the measure. Bankruptcy reform bills were first introduced in Congress six years ago. (CF Library 5/23/02; 11/15/02).

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ReD & Direct Response Forum

NJ-based Retail Decisions has been appointed as an Advisor to the Conference Committee of the Direct Response Forum. The DRF is a not-for-profit organization, formed in 1990 by a group of direct marketers interested in developing and maintaining communications and relations between direct marketing companies and the credit card associations. Since its inception, the DRF has provided members with a unique, open forum for networking and education in all aspects of payment acceptance and processing and industry best practices.

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MBNA Aeroplan

Air Canada’s Aeroplan and MBNA have launched the new “Air Canada Aeroplan Platinum Plus MasterCard.” The program enables Aeroplan members, resident in the USA, to accumulate one “Aeroplan Mile” for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. There are 400,000 Aeroplan members in the USA. New cardholders will receive 5,000 bonus miles after using the card for the first time. They will also get two, free “Maple Leaf Lounges” passes. In addition, cardholders will receive a certificate to allow them to get a second airline ticket free when buying a ticket on any Air Canada flight in one of the eligible booking classes, for travel originating in the USA. Since its inception in 1984, Aeroplan has generated more than six million members in over 200 countries and has signed over 90 partnerships. In January 2002, “Aeroplan” became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Canada. Since then Air Canada recently agreed to let Onex Corporation acquire a 35% equity interest in Aeroplan for $245 million. (CF Library 1/28/03).

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TRINTECH 4Q/02

Trintech Group reported revenue for the quarter ending January 31st of
$10.5 million, compared with $15.5 million for the same period on year ago,
a decrease of 32%. Revenue for the fiscal year was $42.9 million, down 37%
from $68.3 million in the prior fiscal year. Fourth quarter software
license revenue remained flat at $5.7 million compared to the third quarter
of fiscal 2003, and decreased 5% from license revenue of $6 million for the
corresponding quarter last year. Fourth quarter product revenue was $2.7
million, a decrease of 61% from product revenues of $6.9 million for the
corresponding quarter last year. Fourth quarter service revenue decreased
by 19% from $2.6 million for the fourth quarter last year to $2.1 million
for the fourth quarter ended January 31, 2003. The company says it has
adjusted its cost base as pro forma operating expenses declined
sequentially by 10% this quarter. Trintech says it is on track for pro
forma profitability in the near term.

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Advance-Fee Cards

The FTC has obtained a preliminary injunction against an international telemarketing network that offered advance-fee credit card packages. The alleged network enabled fraudulent sellers in the USA to hide behind bogus Canadian front men as they telemarketed illegally through boiler rooms running from the Caribbean, United States, Canada and India. The ring was allegedly run by Kyle Kimoto, president of UT-based Assail, Inc. The firms involved include NV-based Summit Communications International/Advantage Capital; FL-based Capital First Benefits; ID-based Premier One Benefits; UT-based Infinium; UT-based Market-Reps.com; and TX-based Specialty Outsourcing Solutions.

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ANZ Card Error

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. says it made a A$27 million error in regard to payments made to Qantas Airlines for air miles distributed via co-branded VISA cards. ANZ said it recently discovered it was using an incorrect method of accounting for the treatment of frequent flier loyalty points it has purchased from Qantas. Since 1999, points for the “Qantas ANZ Business One Card” and bonus points for international expenditure on the Qantas ANZ Card have been under-accrued. The associated one-off charge will reduce the after tax profit of ANZ’s consumer finance unit by a one-off charge of $27 million in the first half of 2003. As a result, ANZ has made management changes in the cards issuing area and increased financial controls within the business, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com][1]).

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

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Target VISA & School Libraries

Target donated $200,000 to school libraries as a result of its “Library of Books” contest conducted for “Target VISA” cardholders. Target guests who made purchases with their Target Visa Card were automatically entered in the Library of Books contest. The winning guests, selected at random, won a $200 Target gift card and selected a school of their choice to receive a $10,000 gift for its library.

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AEROPLAN MASTERCARD

Air Canada’s Aeroplan and MBNA have launched the new “Air Canada Aeroplan
Platinum Plus MasterCard.” The program enables Aeroplan members, resident
in the U.S., to accumulate one “Aeroplan Mile” for
every dollar spent on eligible purchases. There are 400,000 Aeroplan
members in the USA. New cardholders will receive 5,000 bonus miles after
using the card for the first time. They will also get two, free “Maple Leaf
Lounges” passes. In addition, cardholders will receive a certificate to
allow them to get a second airline ticket free when buying a ticket on any
Air Canada flight in one of the eligible booking classes, for travel
originating in the U.S. Since its inception in 1984, Aeroplan has
generated more than six million members in over 200 countries and has
signed over 90 partnerships with airline, hotel, car rental, financial,
telecommunication, retail, services and entertainment partners.

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