Shift4 Adds the Processing of Canadian Debit PIN Pad Transactions

Ireland-based FreeStar Technologies has acquired Helsinki-based Rahaxi
Processing Oy. Under terms of the agreement, provides for FreeStar to make
incremental cash payments of $4.3 million to the Rahaxi’s owners over the
course of 13 months. In addition, Rahaxi’s owners are entitled to receive
10% of the net profits generated by Rahaxi for the next year.

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National City 4Q/02

National City reported a 4.7% increase in credit card outstandings for the fourth quarter, from $2,203,055,593 for 4Q/01 to $2,307,403,461. Charge-offs, on a managed basis, edged up from the previous quarter, due to seasonal increase in losses, but remained below year-ago levels. National City reported a 4Q/02 charge-off rate of 5.69%, compared to 5.12% in the previous quarter, and 5.22% for 4Q/01. Charge volume was up 7.5%, from $1.2 billion for 4Q/01 to $1.3 billion for the latest quarter. After three quarters of declining growth in its account base, National City added 18,544 net new accounts for 4Q/02 for total accounts of 1,692,356. The issuer’s active account rate is running at 63.9% of total accounts. At the end of 2002, National City had 1,363,917 cards-in-force. For complete details on National City’s 4Q/02 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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CIBC Launches Verified by Visa via Cyota and TSYS to Entire Portfolio

Groupement des Cartes Bancaires CB has selected Sagem to develop a new
generation of bank cards: “CB/EMV/DDA.” Besides an EMV application, the new
bankcard will also allow for other applications such as loyalty, electronic
signature and electronic purse. The new smart card will also contain a
cryptoprocessor, which uses “Dynamic Data Authentication” to make every
transaction unique. Currently there are in excess of 45 million CB cards in
circulation, and the CB banking community plans to issue the new CB/EMV/DDA
card as of 2004.

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Wincor Nixdorf Linux

The SCO Group announced plans to work with Wincor Nixdorf to provide Linux-based retail POS solutions to based on its “SmallFoot” Linus-based template and toolkit. The joint retail solutions will rely on Wincor Nixdorf’s BEETLE(R) POS family and SCO’s Linux POS solution, SmallFoot. With over 600,000 installations, Wincor Nixdorf’s BEETLE family is one of the most prolific non-proprietary POS platforms ever sold.

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Debit Battle

The National Retail Federation, Food Marketing Institute, International Mass Retailers Association have teamed to issue an appeal to consumers to stop using debit cards like credit cards. The retailers say consumers should be careful when they use debit cards so that they don’t get “fooled” into making a choice that ends up adding, what is, in effect a “hidden tax of roughly two percent on every purchase.” The appeal did not address the fees that cardholders may incur from making a PIN transaction. The retailers described the “debit card deception” as follows: “If a consumer chooses debit and punches in their secret PIN for a $100 purchase, the transaction costs merchants about 15 cents. But if a consumer signs a debit receipt instead, the transaction fee soars to more than $1.50. And that signature debit transaction is much slower and much more prone to fraud.” The retailers say the their lawsuit against VISA and MasterCard, slated for trial in April, will not end up pulling debit cards out of the hands of consumers but it will give merchants and consumers the “proper choice” to use on-line PIN debit.

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Cap One General Auditor

Capital One has hired Thomas Emerson, formerly EVP/General Auditor at Wells Fargo, as SVP/Chief Auditor, replacing Dale Bateman who is being moved into a new audit-related function. Prior to Wells Fargo, he was executive vice president, chief auditor and chief examiner for Norwest Corporation, which he joined in 1986. Emerson was recruited to Norwest from Bank of America, which he joined in 1970, where he was Vice President and Deputy Chief Auditor for the World Banking Audit Division.

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Aussie Card Debt

The Reserve Bank of Australia reported this week that credit card volume in November hit $9.47 billion among 84.6 million transactions. The level was down $125 million from record volume in October. Australians currently owe $22.4 billion on credit cards compared to $19.4 billion on year ago. Over the past twelve months credit limits have increased about 11% to $64.2 billion. There are approximately 8 million credit cardholders in Australia among a total population of slightly more than 20 million, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com][1]).

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

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DELINQUENCY & WOORI

A new study projects that the number of credit cards issued in Ireland
will grow nearly 40% over the next four years. Mintel says cards-in-force
by 2006 should top 2.6 million based on current growth patterns. The
research firm says between 1997 and 2001, credit card debt increased 76% to
Euro 1.1 billion. The growth in card debt mirrors the rapid rise in
consumer spending during the same period, which nearly doubled. Mintel says
card issuers should be aware that Irish consumers have become less brand loyal.

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Online Volume Record

CO-based Corporate Express says it sold a record $7+ million in office products on January 7th through its e-commerce channels, which now account for nearly 50% of the Company’s total daily office products sales. As part of the $7 million e-commerce sales, E-Way, Corporate Express’ online ordering tool, had a record day of more than $5.3 million in online sales. With a B2C-style interface and customizable B2B functionality, E-Way provides Corporate Express customers with a robust procurement application. In addition, Corporate Express’ integrated solutions, which include EDI and XML integration with customers e-procurement systems, also achieved a new high of more than $2 million.

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KS Community Banks & ICBA

The Community Bankers Association of Kansas has endorsed the credit, debit, merchant or Internet banking programs and solutions offered by ICBA Bancard. With this announcement, the CBAK joins 32 other state banking organizations that endorse the credit, debit, merchant or Internet banking programs and solutions offered by ICBA Bancard. Currently over half of the Association’s growing membership participate in an ICBA affiliated program or service.

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SCA Signs FL Jeweler

Ft. Lauderdale-based J.R. Dunn Jewelers has signed a private label credit card program deal with NJ-based Shoppers Charge Accounts. SCA services brick-and-mortar and catalog retailers, who also have e-commerce businesses, throughout the U.S. The company acquires retailers’ receivables or will develop private label credit card programs for merchants who currently don’t offer a house charge. In both situations, SCA assumes responsibility for generating customers’ billing statements; managing credit, collection, and lockbox functions; and creating customized marketing programs.

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