COVER STORY
  The Global Back Office: Beyond the Hype 26
  U.S. card-industry firms began moving call centers to India and other nations several years ago to cut costs. But language can be a barrier, and old problems such as employee burnout and turnover are cropping up. Is an offshore back office still worth the effort?
  EDITOR'S NOTE
  EFT Sticker Shock 4
  CARD WATCH 6
  Wal-Mart Puts the Squeeze on MasterCard; How Spam Undermines Loyalty Efforts; Where the Fraud Is, and More.
  MERCHANT ACQUIRING
  New Markets For 2004 10
  Where will card payments gain share in 2004? Health care and recurring bill payments look to reach tipping points, while prepaid cards will move from red hot to white hot.
  DEBIT CARD REPORT
  Hard-Core Enthusiasm For High-Tech ATMs 16
  Despite signs that demand for their new, multi-function products may be weak, hope springs eternal for manufacturers of ATM hardware and software.
  Caution Over Tech Spending 18
  EFT processors are skeptical about the need for new switching systems.
  Debt Buyers Get Bullish On Non-Prime Paper 20
  Thanks in part to more players and cheaper financing costs for bad-debt buyers, prices for worked-over credit card chargeoffs are on the rise.
  A Change In Direction 34
  Card marketers seem likely to spend more in 2004, but with telemarketing under attack and response rates to direct mail low, where will the dollars go?
  Challenging the Americans 42
  SiNSYS has launched as a bank-owned card processor with ambitious targets: to build up a pan-European presence and process 100 million cards within the next 10 years. Can it beat the Americans?
  AFTERTHOUGHTS
  Bankruptcy: Crime Pays 48
 

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