TeleCheck Signs Limited Brands

Limited Brands has signed an agreement with TeleCheck Services for TeleCheck’s “Check Verification and Recovery” services. TeleCheck Services is the world’s leading provider of paper and electronic check services, helping nearly 306,000 retail, financial institution, grocery, convenience store and other industry clients to increase their profitability, reduce risk and streamline operations. As a leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data serves approximately 2.8 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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Drexler 4Q/02

Drexler Technology reported net income for the fourth quarter of $397,000, versus $1,659,000, for the three months ended December 31, 2001. The Company also reported that it sold approximately 6 million “LaserCard” optical memory cards and 158 read/write drives in the fiscal 2003 first nine months compared with approximately 4.4 million optical memory cards and 210 read/write drives in the fiscal 2002 first nine months. For the full 12 months of fiscal 2003, ending March 31, 2003, sales of optical memory cards are forecasted to increase to approximately 8 million cards compared with 5.6 million cards for fiscal 2002. For complete details on Drexler’s 4Q/02 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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ADC and Network365

ADC and Network365 have teamed to co-market an end-to-end mobile payment solution that provides always on, secure m-commerce transactions. he ADC/Network365 solution integrates ADC’s Singl.eView(TM) dynamic transaction platform and Network365’s mzone(TM) product suite. It provides the mobile operator with encrypted and stored data on a subscriber’s credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts and other purchasing information for payment across various usage criteria, such as service type, volume, content and day part.

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HSBC & CLEAR-COMMERCE

London-based HSBC has inked a deal to use the ClearCommerce online
payment, risk management and authentication software for its worldwide
business banking portal for e-commerce merchants. The software will provide
support for a variety of payment types and more than 40 currencies, as well
as interfaces with European anti-fraud initiatives from VISA (3DSecure) and
MasterCard (UCAF). HSBC will firstly mplement the ClearCommerce solution in
the U.K. with further regions being added in the future.

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Debt vs Weight

Another survey has surfaced indicating Americans want to shed debt more than extra weight. The latest survey by Roper and commissioned by Bankrate.com, found that 37% of 1,012 respondents say they plan to concentrate on fiscal fitness this year, while 29% say physical fitness. People were also quizzed about how much debt and how much weight they will try to lose in 2003. Those trying to lose weight want to lose an average of 22 pounds. Those trying to lose debt want to lose an average of $10,911. Only 7% of adults said they will focus on improving neither their finances nor their health. Last week, MA-based Cambridge Credit Counseling released a survey showing that 29% of Americans ranked getting out of debt as important as losing weight as top New Year’s Resolutions. The findings were the result of monthly nationwide telephone poll of 1000+ adults conducted by ICR/International Communications Research in the past week, sponsored by The Debt Relief Clearinghouse.

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Bentley & BarterCard

Los Angeles-based start-up Bentley Communications has canceled its bid for Kryptosima and has opted to acquire Barter Card Group. Bentley previously announced an agreement with a reseller who would license the right to be Kryptosima’s exclusive sales agent to the online brokerage industry, and has already received $50,000 in cash payments under that agreement. The parties have agreed to dissolve that agreement, with Bentley retaining the cash already received.

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LinkPoint

First Data is demonstrating this week its LinkPoint “All-In-One Terminal” which offers credit, debit, EBT, gift card services/ValueLink gift card, loyalty, purchase card, TeleCheck guarantee and TeleCheck ECA. First Data processes virtually any payment while leveraging the existing synergies between its services and subsidiaries, such as PayPoint, ValueLink and TeleCheck. These relationships enable First Data to launch the only comprehensive suite of point-of-sale (POS) solutions tailored to meet the specific payment requirements of retail merchants.

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Iacobuzio to MC

Industry analyst Ted Iacobuzio is leaving his position as consumer credit research director at MA-based TowerGroup to head to MasterCard. Iacobuzio is joining MasterCard as VP of its Advisors group. TowerGroup announced this morning that Dan Murray will replace Iacobuzio. Murray began his career at American Express, where he held various marketing positions in the card division. He then joined Citicorp and held senior positions in the Card, Commercial, Retail Banking and Product Development Divisions. After leaving Citicorp, Mr. Murray joined Manufacturers Hanover Trust, where he was responsible for the national expansion of the bank’s card issuing and merchant acquiring businesses. Ten years later, Mr. Murray joined MasterCard International as general manager, Credit Products USA, where he was responsible for all marketing and member relations functions. After a successful tenure of growing market share for MasterCard, Mr. Murray turned his focus to financial services consulting by holding general management positions at PSI Global and TransAct Inc.

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ACE & Ithaca Printers

ACE America’s Cash Express has selected TransAct’s “Ithaca” brand POSjet 1500 two-color inkjet printer for use at the POS in ACE Cash Express’ network of nearly 1,200 stores. ACE Cash Express cashes and validates more than 1.3 million checks per month. The Company has operations in freestanding buildings, shopping centers, kiosks, retailers, and supermarkets. Its business includes check cashing, money orders, money transfers, lottery tickets, bill payments; all of which require mission critical receipt printing.

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Card Profits 2003

Credit card profit margins should be stable for most of 2003 as it appears unlikely the Fed will raise rates until late 2003. Bankruptcy filings should be more modest in 2003, further lessening the expense load on card issuers’ P/Ls. The predictions come from California-based investment banker R. K. Hammer who also expects tax cuts to pass Congress by July, and subsequently boost spending power thus driving higher merchant fee income and higher consumer balances. Hammer predicts the Feds will raise the Fed Funds Rate from 1.25% to 2.00% or 2.25% by the end of 2003. Therefore, Hammer says he projects gross card revenues to be up by 8% for the year, and pre-tax OROA profits to be up by 5%. Income from fees should top 35% of total revenue, as penalty fees and nuisance fees increase. Overall, companies whose earnings and reserves were not weakened by sub-prime lending can expect a good boost to profits for the year.

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