Express (Amex) and eFunds, the US payment processing and
information intelligence solutions provider, have formed a global,
multi-year strategic partnership in which eFunds will provide
processing services for the Amex portfolio of prepaid

eFunds said that its prepaid card processing expertise will provide
Amex with increased flexibility, greater capacity and enhanced
functionality to handle the increase in sales and transaction
volume of its prepaid card business. Under the terms of the
agreement, eFunds will take operational responsibility for
transaction processing, including key tasks such as card
activation, account maintenance and transaction

eFunds will support the growing portfolio of Amex gift cards, which
now includes personalised themed gift cards for children, teens and
birthdays. Amex gift cards are redeemable at US retailers and
restaurants that accept Amex, and are available for purchase at
tens of thousands of locations across the US, including
supermarkets, drug stores, shopping centres, banks and American
Express Travel Service locations, as well as online at

eFunds will provide processing services to Amex-backed gift cards
sold by shopping centres in the US; the Travellers Cheque Card,
available online and at banks and travel agencies in the US, UK and
Germany; and incentive cards issued by American Express Incentive
Services, a joint venture of Amex and Maritz.

According to US research consultancy Mercator Advisory Group, the
open prepaid market is estimated to grow by more than 55 percent
per year over the next four years, making it one of the
fastest-growing payments markets.

Prepaid cards issued with global card brands, such as Amex,
represent the most rapidly growing segment of the prepaid market.
In 2005, $14.1 billion was loaded onto open prepaid cards,
representing an increase of $5 billion over 2004, according to