Debt Resolve to Acquire Creditors Interchange

NY-based Debt Resolve has signed a deal to acquire Buffalo-based Creditors Interchange for $64 million. Creditors Interchange maintains eight satellite operations offices throughout the U.S. and two facilities in Canada, a call center in India, and has over 850 employees. Creditors Interchange has approximately $60 million in annual revenue. The Company is managed by Bruce Gray, President and CEO, and John Farinacci, COO and VP of Operations, who will both remain after the acquisition. Gray will also become EVP of Debt Resolve and a member of the Board and Farinacci will become SVP Debt Resolve. Debt Resolve is actively engaged in the purchase and collection of distressed accounts receivable using its First Performance subsidiary. The transaction is expected to close at the end of June.

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TRM Selects NCR for its U.S. ATM Network

ATM provider TRM Corporation has selected NCR to maintain its network of 2,500 TRM-operated, multivendor ATMs in the U.S. The three-year contract includes first- and second-line maintenance services. TRM operates a large installed base of NCR EasyPoint ATMs and units from other vendors. TRM has provided convenience ATMs and photocopying machines for retailers and financial institutions in high-traffic consumer environments. NCR is a global technology company.

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MasterCard Launches a Business Sweepstakes

MasterCard today launched the “Run Your Business, LIVE Your LIFE” sweepstakes. Each time small-business owners use their “MasterCard BusinessCard” or “Debit MasterCard BusinessCard” between May 1st and June 30th they will be automatically entered to win a $100,000 cash prize: $50,000 for their business and $50,000 for themselves. The promotion is being run in conjunction with the free Microsoft “Office Live Seminar Series” which kicks-off today with expert advice and insights on topics critical to small-business success. MasterCard is a sponsor of the free Webinars.

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CO-OP Network Free ATMs Rise 80% Since 02

CA-based CO-OP Financial Services now operates 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs via its network in 50 states and 10 countries. In 2002, the CO-OP Network operated just 14,000 surcharge-free ATMs. CO-OP Financial Services is the nation’s largest credit union service organization with nearly 2,000 credit union members, 120 million-plus monthly transactions and 24 million cardholders. This week, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association partnered with CO-OP. The “CO-OP Network” currently has 564 surcharge-free ATMs located in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia-based Freedom Credit Union, with more than 55,000 members is the most recent Pennsylvania credit union to join the “CO-OP Network.” The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association supports more than 500 member credit unions and serves nearly three and a half million members. At year-end 2006, CO-OP had 24,364 surcharge-free ATMs.

CO-OP Free ATMs
2002: 14,000
2003: 18,000
2004: 19,000
2005: 20,000
2006: 24,000
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Transaction Wireless Signs a SPS Contract

San Diego-based Transaction Wireless has entered into its first processor licensing agreement with gift and rewards card processor Secure Payment Systems Under the agreement, Transaction Wireless will perform its first processor integration with SPS to build a wireless transaction system that lets consumers redeem and manage that allows consumers to buy and send gift cards, request balances, combine balances from multiple cards, add funds to cards, and more via their mobile phone. For merchants, the gift card transaction platform will become a powerful communication and branding tool. The application incorporates text messaging, Internet, and voice technologies and operates on any wireless system or transaction processing platform. Secure Payment Systems provides transaction processing and risk management systems.

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Chase Hires a New Card Head for Canada

Chase Card Services has hired Robert Paterson, formerly with CIBC, as Canada Card Executive for Chase Canada. Paterson has over 15 years of leadership experience within the financial services industry. He has a proven track record in the development and execution of business programs internationally. He has held key leadership positions in retail, small business lending, mortgages at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). At CIBC, he was the Small Business segment head and was responsible for the strategic direction of the Small Business segment. While at CIBC, he was president and CEO of BizSmart, a no-fee daily small business bank in association with Staples Canada. Most recently, he was a senior expert at McKinsey & Co. where he lead the financial services group Asia region.

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Small Biz Economic Confidence Drops Sharply

Economic confidence among small business owners decreased in April, driven largely by a deteriorating outlook on economic conditions for their businesses, rising insecurity about the U.S. economy and increased cash flow issues. However, one bright spot is the continued increase in business development spending by small businesses. The Discover “Small Business Watch” indicator dipped to 110.3 in April, compared to 117.7 for the prior month and 120.0 six-months ago. Discover found that 32% of small business owners feel that economic conditions for their business are getting worse, up from 26% in March. Small business owners who said they have encountered cash-flow issues over the past 90 days jumped to 40%, up from 33% last month. About 55% of small business owners feel economic conditions in the country are getting worse, compared to 51% in March. But, 42% of owners plan to increase spending, which is the highest percentage since the “Watch” began in August.

Discover Small Business Watch
Aug 06: 100.0
Sep 06: 107.0
Oct 06: 120.0
Nov 06: 130.0
Dec 06: 109.7
Jan 07: 114.3
Feb 07: 113.4
Mar 07: 117.7
Apr 07: 110.3
Source: Discover Business Card

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BancorpSouth Selects PULSE for PIN Debit

BancorpSouth has selected PULSE as its sole PIN debit network provider for its 325,000 debit cardholders in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas. BancorpSouth is a $13 billion financial holding company with 290 commercial banking, mortgage, insurance, trust and broker/dealer locations. In addition to ATM and PIN debit network services, PULSE also provides the bank with gateway access to other networks. PULSE and BancorpSouth have worked together since 1997, and during that time have maintained a close relationship. Bank Senior Vice President Michael Lindsey serves on the PULSE Operations Committee. PULSE is one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks, currently serving more than 4,400 banks, credit unions and savings institutions across the country. PULSE is owned by Discover Financial Services LLC, a business unit of Morgan Stanley.

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PayPal Earns an AOTA Safety Award

PayPal has been given the “Online Safety Leadership Award” by the Authentication and Online Trust Alliance. The AOTA Leadership Awards were judged by a panel of experts in online safety including representatives of the AOTA Steering Committee and industry leaders. The judging process involved due diligence and research into each companies’ reputation and best practices as well as an intense scoring system. The awards were announced at the Authentication & Online Trust Summit held on April 18 & 19 in Boston, MA. PayPal was the recipient of the ecommerce category award. PayPal, an eBay company, enables any individual or business with an email address to send and receive payments online securely and easily using a bank account, credit card or stored balance. The mission of AOTA is to enhance online trust and confidence, by facilitating best practices and the deployment of Internet authentication and reputation standards and solutions.

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Voice-Verified Payment System is Launched

The world’s first voice-verified payment processing system eas introduced today. The new “Voice Pay” system uses the customer’s own voice as a means of digitally signing and authorizing payments. It incorporates “VoiceVault” voice biometric authentication technology. Consumers complete a short, one-time only enrollment process during which a few spoken words are used to generate a unique biometric voiceprint. Subsequently whenever a purchase is made, the user voice verifies the transaction over the phone or Internet. No special software or hardware is required. A consumer “Voice Pay” account can also be linked to a physical or virtual VISA or MasterCard. The “Voice Pay” patent pending process was developed by Nick Ogden, who founded the Internet payment processor, WorldPay, before it was sold to the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2002.

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CCI & Experian Develop Security Solution

The Center of Interbank Cooperation (CCI), a non-profit organization
composed of 230 financial institutions, will develop anti-fraud solutions
with Experian Ltd. The partnership will develop the “Service of
Prevention of Fraud” (SEPFRA) which is designed to prevent losses
to fraudulent activity. In turn, for automatic screening of credit
applications, CCI will implement Experian’s “HUNTER” anti-fraud
software. “HUNTER” compares data requests received to generate
real time alerts.

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U.K. Card Police Save Local Issuers $260MM

The U.K.’s “Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit” marked its fifth anniversary this past weekend after saving card issuers more than $260 million to-date. The “DCPCU” has recovered more than 125,000 counterfeit cards and card numbers and has secured 156 convictions and made almost 400 arrests on fraud related matters since 2002. The “DCPCU” also announced it is now headed by Detective Chief Inspector John Folan who replaced DCI Roger Cook in January of this year. During 2007, the banking industry also plans to merge its “Fraud Intelligence Bureau” with the intelligence section of the “DCPCU” to create a “Payments Industry and Police Joint Intelligence Unit.”

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