InterContinental Hotels Selects realtimemerchant

InterContinental Hotels Group has selected “realtimemerchant” from Global Card Services as its newest payment processing solution to facilitate credit and debit card processing at its properties. The realtimemerchant solution is a payment-processing gateway that controls credit card processing through a single Web interface. InterContinental Hotels Group owns, manages, leases or franchises more than 3,500 hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. Global Card Services is part of First Horizon National Corp and provides merchant credit card processing services.

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Sears Canada Looks for a Card Portfolio Buyer

Sears Canada is looking to unload its Credit and Financial Services unit according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International. The business, which includes a C$2.5 billion credit card portfolio, The “Sears Card” with C$2.3 billion in receivables and the “Sears MasterCard” with C$200 million in receivables, form the third largest credit card portfolio in Canada with approximately four million active accounts. Since the launch of the “Sears MasterCard” in 2002, the portfolio has doubled. The Credit and Financial Services business generated approximately C$100 million of operating income last year. Goldman, Sachs has been retained to advise Sears Canada on its strategic alternatives. Sears Canada expects to conclude its review in the third quarter.

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VISA Opens a Secret Super Processing Center

VISA yesterday acknowledged the opening of a new transactions processing center in the USA which began operations in March. The new “Operations Center Central” has a confidential physical location and features high security, redundant processing systems and remote operation capabilities. For the first time VISA has the ability to house multiple authorization systems under one roof, providing superior fail-over technology that complements its multiple data center architecture. The OCC also has two cooling systems, two power generators and other dual sets of mission-critical functions support each processing engine housed in the new data center. Additionally, physical “data halls” are used to separate mission-critical processing functions through industrial-strength firewalls. The OCC has management tools that enable VISA engineers to receive advanced warning of potential trouble spots throughout the global payment network. VISA says one of the highlights of the data center is its ability to remotely control other processing facilities within the VISA payment infrastructure, enabling engineers at OCC to manage another data center thousands of miles away.

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Ernex Beefs-Up its Points Multiplier Solution

Moneris Solutions’ Ernex division has added enhancements to its “Points Multiplier” which gives merchants the ability to award multiple points to a loyalty program member in real-time based on conditions defined by the merchant. Other new features of “Points Multiplier” include the ability to establish minimum spending levels or a specified number of locations to be visited for customers to qualify. Merchants using the Ernex solution can also set the gross spending threshold to qualify and the number of maximum points a customer can earn during the promotion.

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Rent One Selects HIMC/Fast Transact Solution

HIMC and Fast Transact have signed an exclusive merchant contract with Rent One Online. Under the agreement, Rent One Online will utilize the HIMC/Fast Transact Rental Payment Management solution with its web-based vacation rental software program. The company will begin converting its clients over to Fast Transact for credit processing beginning this week. Rent One Online provides 100% Web-based marketing, management and travel solutions for vacation rental managers. Fast Transact provides integrated electronic payment technologies. HIMC Corporation is a leading provider of payment services to over 25,000 customers and offers the The PayByCheck services suite.

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ORCC to Acquire Integrated Data Systems for $5MM

Online Resources has inked a deal to acquire privately held Integrated Data Systems, a technology provider to over 50 credit unions, for $5 million in cash and stock, plus assumption of $300,000 of debt. IDS will become part of the Online Resources Banking Division and continue to operate from offices in Woodland Hills and Pleasanton, California. Online Resources powers Internet financial services for over 700 firms nationwide, serving over three million consumer end-users and processes over $10 billion in payments annually.

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Payment Data Systems and Thalassa Partner

San Antonio-based Payment Data Systems has signed a multi-year agreement in which Thalassa will be an exclusive referrer of PDS solutions and PDS will have non-exclusive marketing and distribution rights to the “Debit Card Load Kiosk” that has been designed and is being delivered by Thalassa. Features of the Kiosk include a magnetic card reader, Las Vegas-class currency acceptor, a touch screen LCD interface, remote web monitoring and management, and customizable capabilities such as card dispensing and wireless communication. Payment Data Systems, Inc., is an integrated payments solution provider of electronic payments to billers and retailers.

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EFMARK Premium Armored & Fiserv EFT Expand

EFMARK Premium Armored has signed an agreement with Fiserv EFT to provide maintenance and cash replenishment services for approximately 4,000 ATMs in 7-Eleven retail stores nationwide. Fiserv EFT, a unit of Fiserv, Inc, provides ATM and debit services and serves 3,000 client endpoints across the United States, representing financial institutions of all sizes. The business unit operates more than 16,500 ATMs, owns the ACCEL/Exchange Network and processes approximately 385 million ATM and debit transactions per month.

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Intelligent Finance Terminates Card

Intelligent Finance, an online bank, is shutting down its “offset” credit card program due to costs involved in upgrading to “chip and PIN.” IF has 70,000 cardholders in the program. Cardholders have a month to transfer to another card issued by IF. Intelligent Finance is a division of Halifax plc, which merged in September 2001 with the Bank of Scotland to form a new banking group called HBOS. Since its launch in September 2000, the Company has provided a range of banking services, and created a radical new approach to personal finance.

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Scotiabank Deploys Borland’s JBuilder and Together

Scotiabank recently began leveraging the combined benefits of Borland’s “JBuilder” Java development environment and Borland’s “Together” enterprise-level modeling solution to speed the delivery of top-quality software. Other Borland customers include APIR Systems, BNP Paribas Securities Services, Maybank Sdn Bhd, New Zealand Reserve Bank,
TIAA-CREF and VISA International. Australia-based APIR, a financial services coding agency, has been using Borland support and ALM solutions for almost four years. APIR recently selected Borland “CaliberRM” and “Together Designer” to collect, model and manage their technical and business requirements for application development.

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Fiserv Acquires Interactive Technologies

Fiserv has acquired Interactive Technologies, a developer of fee management and billing software for large and mid-sized financial services organizations with annual revenues of about $10 million. Interactive Technologies Advantage Fee System is a multi-currency, multi-lingual product that is sold worldwide. Interactive Technologies currently has about 60 clients. Fiserv, Inc. provides information management systems and services to the financial and health benefits industries. The company serves more than 16,000 clients worldwide and reported $3.4 billion in processing and services revenues for 2004.

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Consumer Education Phish Fry is Scheduled

TRUSTe and the Anti-Phishing Working Group are planning their first “Phish Fry” Consumer Education Summit, to communicate simple measures people can take to protect themselves from phishing. The event, sponsored by Charles Schwab, Ernst & Young, Mail Frontier, RSA and Symantec will include more than fifty executives from security-focused companies that recognize the need to create a safe environment for digital communications with customers. Sessions include a review of the current state of phishing and spoofing trends followed by an overview of current consumer education efforts and new ideas with broader reach to educate a mass audience. TRUSTe runs an award-winning global privacy certification and seal program.

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