LendingTree 3Q/02

LendingTree reported that during 3Q/02 the company processed 40,860 credit card requests and closed 33,266 of the transactions, which included cross-sell activity. The credit card activity produced $494,000 in revenue with an average revenue per transmit of $12.10. During the third quarter, LendingTree processed more than 300,000 mortgage requests, 90,000 home equity requests, and 106,000 auto credit requests. The company had 3Q/02 revenue of $30.9 million, 80% higher than the third quarter of 2001. The third quarter profit was $4.3 million favorable to the previous quarter’s loss and was $6.9 million favorable to the same quarter in 2001. The company has 189 participating lenders, an increase of nearly 50% over last year. For complete details on LendingTree’s 3Q/02 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Consumer Direct

Experian yesterday announced the formation of Experian Consumer Direct that combines the operations of CreditExpert and ConsumerInfo.com. The business of selling credit data to consumers has become a substantial business over the past twelve months. Equifax confirmed last week that its third quarter “Direct-to-Consumer” revenues increased 106% to $11 million. Experian’s consumer direct business took shape in April with the acquisition of ConsumerInfo.com from Homestore.com, Inc. for $130 million in cash. Since ConsumerInfo.com’s founding in 1995, the company has provided more than 5 million credit reports to U.S. consumers. Its Internet properties, which include CreditMatters.com, FreeCreditReport.com and QSpace.com, receive more than 10 million visitors monthly. ConsumerInfo was the first U.S. company to offer consumers online access to single-bureau credit reports, three-bureau credit reports and lender-style credit scores. The company recently announced that its “CreditCheck Monitoring Service” has reached 1 million members. About three-quarters of ConsumerInfo.com’s revenue is derived from membership subscriptions. For an annual subscription of $79.95, members can access their credit reports as often as desired, monitor their files monthly and receive advice on managing credit and debt levels. ConsumerInfo.com also sells individual credit reports, credit scores and other services at prices ranging from $9.95 to $44.95.

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ASK FUNDING

Sophia Antipolis-based ASK has closed a new round of financing of
US$15.8 million. Apax Partners enters into the capitalization of ASK
alongside three existing investors that contributed $3.2 million to this
round, CDC-Ixis Innovation, Credit Lyonnais Private Equity and the Banque
de Vizille. New investors AdAstra and iglobe partners invested $4.9
million in this round. Other existing investors are Advent Venture
Partners and LongTerm Partners. The additional funding enables ASK, which
will approximately double its sales to $20.9 million this year, to
accelerate its already strong growth. The investment comes at a time when
the worldwide market is developing rapidly, growing 46% in 2001 and
forecast to grow 58% in 2002. ASK will utilize the new capital to expand
its production capacity and to accelerate its international sales activity,
particularly in America and Asia.

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Certegy 3Q/02

Certegy Inc. reported third quarter revenue of $254.5 million and net income of $24.4 million compared to $238.0 million in revenues and $26.0 million in net income for 3Q/01. Certegy added 2.2 million cards globally during the quarter, increasing its North American card base to 22.2 million and its international card base to 24.0 million. Card Services generated revenue of $167.6 million an increase of 2.9% over the prior year quarter. International card revenue declined by 2.3% due to unfavorable currency rates and volatile economic conditions in Brazil. Check Services generated revenue of $86.9 million in the third quarter, an increase of $11.7 million, or 15.6% over the third quarter of 2001. Check volumes increased 11.7% over the prior year quarter. Check Services’ operating income grew to $12.1 million, or 4.1% over third quarter 2001. The company expects 2003 revenue to increase 6% to 8%. For complete details on Certegy’s 3Q/02 earnings visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Business Science

Fair, Isaac unveiled its “Business Science” suite yesterday. A result of synergies created by the recent merger of Fair, Isaac and HNC Software, “Business Science” integrates the combined company’s standard-setting decision management technologies and makes them available to custom application developers. The introduction of Fair, Isaac’s new product suite corresponds with growing industry interest in the area of Enterprise Decision Management, or EDM. Enterprise Decision Management refers to the ways that organizations model, analyze and drive business processes based on data, business policies and desired outcomes. “Business Science” solutions allow organizations to create custom Enterprise Decision Management solutions for managing business decisions used within corporate software applications.

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QualTeq Deal

NJ-based QualTeq will license its patented “Foil Card” technology to Travel Tags/Xtreme Graphics. Travel Tags, based in Inver Grove Heights, MN, specializes in plastic printing using digital, silkscreen and UV lithography printing processes with a product line including membership cards, phone cards, identification cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and more. The company is part of the Taylor Corporation, an international corporation of more than 85 individual companies providing innovative solutions through printing, manufacturing, designing, distributing and e-commerce. QualTeq has also licensed its “Foil Card” technology to Plastag Corporation, Schlumberger, Versatile Card Technology, and CPI Card Group.

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Business Barometer

A majority of small businesses foresee expansion opportunities for their firms in the next six months and more than one fourth say they plan to add workers during the next six months.The survey, conducted for the American Express “OPEN Small Business Network,” also found that business growth was the top priority among small business owners, cited by 42%, and cash flow was the second most important business priority, cited by 18%. The cash flow issues of greatest concern include accounts receivable (18%); the ability to pay bills on time (16%); having enough cash on hand to win new business (15%) and the ability to track cash flow (8%). To manage cash flow issues that arise, small business owners report they are most likely to put off purchases (23%), obtain and use a line of credit (19%), use a charge or credit card (15%) or take out a short-term loan (10%). Only 3% said they would dip into personal or private funds. According to the survey, about three-quarters (74%) of small businesses use a credit or charge card for various business expenses, up slightly from March (71%). In addition, many small companies continue using “plastic” in non-traditional spending categories. While nearly half (49%) use a charge or credit card for travel expenses and 38% use them for entertainment expenses; 38% use a card to make purchases from wholesalers; to purchase office supplies (38%); and to purchase computer equipment (31%). In addition, 16% purchase business or professional services on their cards.

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CardData 3Q/02

Third quarter results continue to show a mixed bag when it comes to growth since the previous quarter. Among issuers reporting yesterday, Navy Federal Credit Union reported a 4.1% one quarter gain while the State Employees of Maryland Credit Union reported a 4% drop. For complete details on the top U.S. issuers third quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

ISSUER 3Q/02 OUT 2Q/02 OUT CHANGE
Navy
FCU $1,364,998,724 $1,310,381,509 +4.1%
Columbus
B&T $ 208,650,345 $ 213,593,388 -2.3%
Security Service
FCU $ 114,008,959 $ 112,593,905 +0.9%
California Commerce
Bank $ 91,242,026 $ 84,650,798 +7.1%
State Employees MD
CU $ 47,953,875 $ 49,853,207 -4.0%
TOTAL $1,826,853,929 $ 1,771,072,807 +3.2%

Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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SCM & Micron

SCM Microsystems announced it will provide smart card readers to MicronPC as part of a joint initiative to provide secure network access to GSA and military personnel under the DoD’s “Common Access Card” program. SCM’s USB, serial and PCMCIA smart card readers will be offered as an external option on MicronPC’s ClientPro 325, 525, and CH desktop computers, as well as the TransPort T1000, V1000, and GX3 notebooks.

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