AOL & OPEN

America Online and the American Express “OPEN” small business network have signed a multi-year contract which makes the “OPEN Network” the exclusive small business card advertiser on AOL for small business. AOL will also integrate “OPEN Network” content and articles designed to assist small business owners in managing their companies. “OPEN Network” cardholders will also be eligible to receive special subscription offers for “AOL for Small Business” and benefits, such as a 50% discount on a six-month enhanced online Yellow Pages listing on AOL, MapQuest, Netscape, and CompuServe. AOL for Small Business was launched in November. AmEx launched the “OPEN: The Small Business Network” in January 2002. (CF Library 1/18/02)

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Marcus Theatre Card

TN-based Comdata has introduced the “Marcus Theatres Entertainment Gift Card”, the 10th largest theatre circuit in the USA and one of the largest in the Mid-West. As part of the agreement with Marcus, Stored Value Systems will manage card production and packaging, and provide Internet-based back office reporting that will allow Marcus to track card redemption rates, perform card activation and analyze purchasing trends not previously available with its paper-based gift certificate program.

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UATP Execs

Washington, DC-based Universal Air Travel Plan has hired Ken Murphy, formerly with the Export-Import Bank of the United States, as VP/Marketing and has promoted Emily Carter to VP/Member Relations and Recruitment. UATP offers a global air travel management control and cost savings program. The UATP brand corporate travel card provides the most complete data and lowest administrative cost of any charge product in the airline industry.

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What-If Simulator

MD-based CreditXpert has launched a “What-If Simulator” for consumer credit reports, to be offered first by Trilegiant. Based on a hybrid of artificial intelligence, statistical techniques and analytical methods, the CreditXpert What-If Simulator(TM) enables consumers to experiment with actions like applying for credit, refinancing, opening accounts, missing payments, or updating information – and view their potential effects – before taking steps that impact their credit standing.

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SKY PEARL PARTNER

BOC Great Wall International Credit Card is the latest partner in “The Sky
Pearl Club.” “Sky Pearl” is China’s largest frequent flyer program and part
of China Southern Airlines. All “Sky Pearl Club” members who use the BOC
Great Wall International Credit Card can earn points to exchange for “Sky
Pearl Club” miles. Each 16 purchase points earned from credit card
purchases can be exchanged for one “Sky Pearl Club” mile. Available now
through May 31, 2003, “Sky Pearl Club” members can earn 8,000 purchase
points if they apply for a BOC Great Wall International Credit Card and use
the card at least once.

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ICM EPIS Terminal

Lake Oswego-based ICM Telecommunications, a prepaid telecommunications services provider, said Thursday it has successfully completed beta testing of its “EPIS” terminal in the retail store environment. The EPIS terminal will achieve industry average gross margins of 25 percent on average gross sales of $1,100 per unit per month. ICM Telecommunications forecast is 1,500 units installed by years end.

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Smart and Final Digital Receipts

Warehouse grocery chain Smart and Final has delivered its 25th million digital receipt using AfterBOT’s “ReceiptsPLUS” solution, which creates and stores all POS transaction activity from its 240+ stores and delivers the data via real-time Web-access. AfterBOT’s Retail InSIGHT Management(TM) solution leverages an atomic- level POS database created by the ReceiptsPLUS(TM) platform to enable a host of customer, marketing and business services.

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One World Payment Systems

Las Vegas-based One World Payment Systems, a developer of electronic payment solutions and a processor of payment transactions for emerging markets, announced yesterday it has terminated its plans to acquire Golf Product Technologies. One World Payment System is a payment transfer company. It is a developer of electronic payment solutions and a processor of payment transactions for emerging and specialty markets.

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CARD VOLUME

The Financial Supervisory Service reported that credit card gross dollar
volume increased 60%, and credit card loans grew 39% last year. However,
profits among the top issuers in South Korea sunk by nearly 90%, as credit
card delinquencies soared during 2002. Credit card gross dollar volume for
2002 was 688 trillion won. Credit card loans ended 2002 at 270 trillion
won. The Korea Economic Daily says combined net profits among LG Card
Company and eight other independent card issuers came in at 318 billion
won, an 88% decline. The profit decline was blamed on higher credit card
reserves and marketing costs.

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Sears Canada MC

Sears Canada confirmed this week it plans to expand its “Sears MasterCard” program across Canada this year. The company launched the MasterCard in September in Ontario only, and at year-end 2002, had activated 125,000 accounts with $150 million in outstandings. Sears Canada has nine million retail cardholders, the largest store credit card program in Canada, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramreportcom][1]). At year-end 2002, the Sears Canada card had $2,753,000,000 in card outstandings. Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network of 123 department stores, 40 furniture and appliances stores, over 2,100 catalogue pick-up locations, 140 dealer stores, 17 outlet stores, 45 floor covering centers, 52 auto centers and 111 Sears Travel offices. In the U.S., Sears has $12.3 billion in outstandings in the “Sears Gold MasterCard” program, compared to $5.3 billion on year ago. U.S.-based Sears has $18.5 billion in store card outstandings.

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

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GPT 4Q/02

NY-based Global Payment Technologies reported Thursday a 32% increase in revenues for the fourth calendar quarter compared to the previous quarter. However, the firm showed a net loss of $340,000 for the final three months of 2002, compared to net income of $118,000 in the prior year period. GPT says the reduction in gross profit is primarily the result of a 28% reduction in sales and an increase in operating expenses. Revenues for the fourth quarter were $5.96 million. GPT is a manufacturer of currency acceptance systems used in the gaming, beverage, and vending industries. For complete details on GPT’s 4Q/02 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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