HOUSTON – The ATM and EFT world lost one of the last networks owned by its financial institution members in 2005 when the banks and credit unions which owned the PULSE EFT Association approved the network’s purchase by Discover Financial Services, the card arm of Morgan Stanley. Undoubtedly the prospect of a large financial payment, particularly for members which had been PULSE owners for years and which processed a large number of transactions through the network, played a role. Discover also promised a raft of new products and services which banks and credit unions could offer their members in the wake of the newly opened card market after Visa and MasterCard lost their legal fight over their policy of limiting the card brands the member financial institutions can offer. But those products have been generally slow in coming and, as 2005 closes, the card brand has only offered three: a program which allows a credit union to offer its members Discover cards and rewards them for each member who signs up, a program which allows credit unions to help Discover card holders to access cash from their cards, and a program which allows credit unions to offer pre-paid gift cards. Yet there are signs of broader opportunities ahead as the card brand conducted its first transaction from a debit card issued by a bank headquartered in China in December and that presaged the possibility of using PULSE branded cards across China in 2006. Significantly, PULSE’s move from being member-owned to being corporate-owned has left only two ATM networks – the Ontario, California based CO-OP Network and the Tallahassee Florida based Credit Union 24 – as the last two major ATM Networks owned by their participating financial institutions. [email protected]

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