Adams Leaves FDC

First Data announced this morning that Eula Adams, president of Card Issuing Services, will leave the company effective March 1. As a leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data serves approximately 3 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment.

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E*TRADE ATMs

E*TRADE Access said Tuesday it has acquired a portfolio of more than 4,000 ATMs from CIBC’s “XtraCash” ATM network. The deal brings E*TRADE Financial’s ATM network to more than 15,000 ATMs, the second largest ATM network in the USA. The newly acquired ATMs will expand the company’s reach in California and the western United States. During the third quarter, CIBC announced its plans close its U.S. electronic banking operations, including the Amicus FSB and CIBC National Bank. As part of the shutdown, CIBC transferred customer deposits with a balance of $1,000 or more to E*TRADE Bank. E*TRADE Access is a wholly owned subsidiary of E*TRADE Group and was founded in 1993 as an off-premise ATM network. In May 2000, E*TRADE completed the acquisition of Card Capture Services to bring its network to 8,800 machines. In October of 2001, E*TRADE Bank signed a deal to issue VISA cards. The card was introduced last year. E*TRADE says it wanted to provide a single card that can be used by all its customers for access to E*TRADE Bank and E*TRADE Securities. Customers using selected E*TRADE ATMs have the ability to make withdrawals, request balance inquiries and transfer funds from and between E*TRADE Bank and E*TRADE Securities accounts. In 1998, E*TRADE and First USA launched two co-branded VISA cards. (CF Library 6/29/98; 5/9/00; 10/11/01; 11/15/02; 12/2/02)

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CARD FEES

A new survey predicts that retailers in Australia will lose nearly 30% of
the business if they charge a fee for credit or debit card payments. The AC
Nielsen survey found that 39% of credit card holders would prefer to pay by
cash if a fee for credit is assessed. Only 3% of the 1400 respondents to
the survey say they have been charged a fee since January 1. Meanwhile VISA
has launched a campaign to warn 250,000 retailers about the impact of
charging fees for card payments. VISA is also reminding retailers they must
inform customers of the policy before they make a purchase. Effective
January 1st, merchants in Australia have the right to charge a fee to
customers for using a credit and debit card.

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Oberthur 4Q/02

After a sluggish first half in 2002, Oberthur Card Systems reported that revenues for the fourth quarter were up 15.5% over the third quarter, to $130.2 million. Smart banking card sales hit 11.0 million cards in the fourth quarter, up 3.7% over the previous quarter, driven by migration programs in the United Kingdom, France and Benelux. However, full year 2002 revenues declined by 9.1% to $480.4 million, due to a broad internal reorganization. After posting a first half loss, Oberthur says that EBITDA has more than tripled compared with the first half. Over the course of 2002, Oberthur was able to achieve lower purchasing prices of components, reduce its staff more than 10%, and cut net debt from 142 million euros on EOY 2001, to less than 90 million euros as of EOY 2002.

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CO-OP Nertwork 2002

The CO-OP Network reported yesterday that its transaction volume rose 34% during 2002 to 640 million transactions as it added 370 credit unions, more than 7,000 ATMs, and two million cardholders in 2002. The company’s previous one-year record for transaction volume was established in 2001 with 477 million annual transactions. With 1,165 member credit unions, 15,000 surcharge-free ATMs, an average of 53 million monthly transactions and 12 million cardholders, CO-OP Network is the No. 1 credit union EFT network in North America.

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LaFalce Advises Household

Household has named former Congressman John LaFalce of New York to its Consumer Advisory Board. In addition to former Congressman LaFalce, Household’s blue ribbon panel includes former Senator Connie Mack (R-FL), former White House chief of staff Thomas “Mack” McLarty, Democratic National Committee vice chair Lottie Shackelford, former California State Senator Art Torres, and Ohio State University College of Law Professor Vincene Verdun.

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OBERTHUR 4Q/02

After a sluggish first half in 2002, Oberthur Card Systems reported that
revenues for the fourth quarter were up 15.5% over the third quarter, to
119.3 million euros. Smart banking card sales hit 11.0 million cards in the
fourth quarter, up 3.7% over the previous quarter, driven by migration
programs in the United Kingdom, France and Benelux. However, full year 2002
revenues declined by 9.1% to 440.1 million euros, due to a broad internal
reorganization. After posting a first half loss, Oberthur says that EBITDA
has more than tripled compared with the first half. Over the course of
2002, Oberthur was able to achieve lower purchasing prices of components,
reduce its staff more than 10%, and cut net debt from 142 million euros on
EOY 2001, to less than 90 million euros as of EOY 2002.

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Carte Blanche Bennies

Diners Club has lifted its annual limit on complimentary tickets on British Airways for “Carte Blanche” cardholders. Diners previously limited “Carte Blanche” cardholders to one complimentary ticket per year, according to CardTrak ([www.cardtrak.com][1]). Cardholders who purchase a full fare round-trip ticket in any of four classes of service on British Airways, can request a complimentary companion ticket. British Airways offers the Concorde, First Class, Business Class, or World Traveller Plus (premium economy) service. Round-trip air fare, per person, for the Concorde from New York’s JFK Airport to London’s Heathrow currently runs about $12,500. Diners also offers unlimited access to free companion tickets on Korean Air for “Carte Blanche” cardholders. Citigroup revived the “Diners Club Carte Blanche” card in December 2000. Other features of the card include access, for up to three guests, to many of the world’s finest private, semi-private and public golf courses. The card carries a $300 annual fee. (CardTrak New 12/15/00)

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

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Heartland PayDay VISA

NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems has launched the “PayDay VISA” card for its small- and mid-sized business clients. The new signature and PIN-based payroll cards are aimed at helping employers reduce costs associated with producing, handling and distributing traditional paychecks as well as the re-issuance of replacement checks in cases of loss or theft. Visa estimates the potential cost savings alone for replacing lost, stolen or damaged paychecks is approximately $50 million annually.

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GEMPLUS & SAGEM

Smart card specialist Gemplus, and biometrics specialist Sagem, have
teamed. The cooperation derives from a recent joint national identity
customer win in the Sultanate of Oman, where 1.5 million
biometrics-enabled smart cards are to be issued to the local population by
the end of 2003. Sagem provides advanced biometrics technology and system
integration technology and expertise, while Gemplus delivers smart card
technology, as well as the related software & services required for
identity programs.

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ViVOpay

Santa Clara, CA-based ViVOtech has launched a contactless payment terminal that enables merchants to upgrade their current magnetic-stripe POS to accept payment from contactless cards at a low cost. “ViVOpay” terminals are currently being piloted in Orlando as part of a trial for MasterCard “PayPass.” The Orlando pilot involves contactless payments for gas stations, convenience stores and fast food restaurants. “ViVOpay” is designed to accept RF payments, as well as infrared proximity payment technologies, using the same system. In addition to contactless cards, consumers will soon be able to make payment by pointing or clicking their cell phones or PDAs. ViVOtech has more than 10 patents pending on various enabling technologies. The company is privately held. The management and advisory board includes former executives from First Data, Citibank, Diebold, Intuit, McCaw Cellular, Mervyns, VeriFone and VISA. In December, MasterCard launched “PayPass.” Manufacturing companies supporting “PayPass” include Infineon/SC2, OTI/Samsung, Philips Semiconductor/Oberthur. Card manufacturing supporters include CPI Card Group and Oberthur USA. Card personalization providers include First Data and MBNA. POS providers include C-SAM, OTI, Panasonic, Stella, VeriFone, ViVOtech, and 3 Form Design. Testing and compliance supporters include Cadimes, Caradas, and Consult Hyperion. Merchant installations are by Edgar Dunn and OTI. (CF Library 12/12/02)

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OTI LISTING

Smart card contactless technology provider OTI announced that the Deutsche
Boerse AG approved the admission of the company to the “Prime Standard
Segment.” Trading of OTI Shares on the Neuer Markt segment has been
stopped. The company was listed on the Neuer Markt since Aug 31, 1999.
Deutsche Boerse AG has decided to close the segment at the end of 2003. OTI
was also recently listed on NASDAQ.

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