Equifax Launches Take Control of Your Credit

Equifax now offers “Take Control of Your Credit”, an online resource to help consumers protect against identity theft and to better manage their credit. This service is available in both English and Spanish. For 106 years, Equifax has managed personal credit information for consumers and businesses. Equifax’s Personal Solutions Group provides a range of credit management tools to help consumers take control of their credit.

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Access to Diebold’s Diagnostic Software Sought

The NM-based Financial & Security Products Association has filed a motion in U.S. District Court seeking a preliminary injunction to prohibit Diebold from changing its previous ATM parts and service policies. The documents charge that Diebold changed its service and parts policies in its installed base for ATMs by preventing its customers from having those ATMs serviced by third-party maintenance companies on terms previously allowed. The FSPA says the change in policy is reducing competition, raising prices and restricting the availability of parts and services. The motion states that prior to 2004, Diebold maintained policies that permitted its customers to obtain without restriction ATM service from TPMs and that Diebold’s ATM customers and their third-party maintenance company had complete unconditional access to Diebold’s diagnostic software. The FSPA says a key provision of its complaint is putting back in place hold-harmless agreements under which third-party maintenance companies at the discretion of the ATM owner were allowed access to the diagnostic software installed on each machine.

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Chase Profits Rise Over 4Q/04 as ROE Hits 18%

J.P. Morgan Chase reported this morning that credit card profits for the first quarter rose sequentially to $522 million on revenues of $3.78 billion. The ROE of 18% for the quarter was the highest since its merger with Bank One. Chase says higher net interest income, lower provision for credit losses and lower expenses contributed to the improved profitability. Managed card loans of $133.4 billion were up 6.5% year-on-year and up 1% sequentially. During the first quarter, Chase added 2.74 million net new credit card accounts, ending the quarter with 94.4 million cards in-force. Charge volume for 1Q/05 was $70.3 billion, compared to $63.5 billion one-year ago. The managed net charge-off ratio for the quarter declined to 4.83%, from 5.24% in 4Q/04. The 30-day managed delinquency ratio was 3.54%, down from 3.70% in the prior quarter. The 90-day managed delinquency ratio was 1.71%, down slightly from 1.72% in the fourth quarter. Bank card volume for Chase’s merchant acquiring business was $125.1 billion with 4.3 billion transactions. Chase also reported that it ended the quarter with 8,596,000 debit cards. For complete details on Chase’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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MasterCard Introduces Usability Excellence Awards

MasterCard International will host the first annual Usability Excellence Awards, created to recognize the most usable sites on the Web. Beginning today, companies can nominate their sites for consideration. Winners will be chosen from each category based on seven important principles of Web usability: navigation, information architecture, accessibility, error prevention and recovery, writing for the Web, support and interface design. The Usability Services Team at MasterCard International was developed to assist in creating sites that function intuitively for a better consumer experience.

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Cyota Helps AOL Block Access to Phishing Sites

America Online has teamed with New York-based Cyota to step up the battle against “phishing” by identifying and blocking access to suspect sites, based on member feedback. When a possible phishing site is identified, AOL limits access to the site and informs members that it is suspected of being a dangerous site. America Online provides interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services. Cyota provides security and anti-fraud solutions.

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Intersections and ID Analytics Team for ID Fraud

Intersections has partnered with ID Analytics to provide consumers with stronger protection from identity fraud. The combined solution will provide consumers the ability to monitor in real time possible identity theft and allow them to take action. Intersections, Inc. provides consumer identity theft protection and credit management services to more than 2.9 million subscribers. ID Analytics, Inc. provides advanced analytic solutions that prevent identity fraud and manage identity risk.

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LaGarde StoreFront 6 Integrates Cardinal Centinel

LaGarde has integrated Cleveland-based CardinalCommerce’s payer authentication services, Cardinal Centinel, into its StoreFront 6 product, enabling greater credit card fraud prevention and alleviate the concerns consumers have towards online purchasing. LaGarde is a global provider of e-business solutions, offering the StoreFront software products and services to 50,000 Web stores in over 70 countries. CardinalCommerce Corporation provides a technology-neutral authentication platform for securing electronic and wireless commerce.

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Diebold ATM Revenues Climb 12% During 1Q/05

Diebold reported that ATM sales in the first quarter rose 12% to $173.3 million. ATM services revenues climbed 3.7% to $215.2 million. During the quarter, total “Opteva” ATM orders were approximately $109 million, an increase of more than 80% from 1Q/04. Diebold noted that ATM revenue growth was somewhat less than expected due to disappointing revenue performance in EMEA as it focused on completing much of the restructuring of its operations there. Diebold projects that financial self-service revenue will grow 7% to 10% for the full-year 2005. For complete details on Diebold’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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75% of Consumers Pay Bills for Personal Reasons

A new survey has found that nine out of ten Americans feel consumers are too much in debt. The survey, conducted last month by KRC Research for ACA International, found that far fewer Americans in the 18-34 age range (56%) believe consumers pay their bills because it is the “right thing to do” than do those 35-54 in age (70%). Across all age ranges, nearly three out of four Americans believe people pay their bills for personal reasons, including: that if they don’t they will be called by a collection agency (73%), they won’t be able to make additional purchases (73%) or their credit score will go down (71%). Ranked significantly lower was concern about the impact on the person/business they owe (29%) or concern about the impact on the American economy (19%).

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BBVA Bancomer Selects Welcome’s XLS for Vida Bancomer

BBVA Bancomer has chosen XLS to power its recently launched VISA chip credit card with enhanced payment features. The program, called “Vida Bancomer”, is the first of its kind in Mexico to offer a
new way to pay through automatic discounts, instant rewards and other
features designed to surprise and delight customers. “Vida Bancomer” cardholders in Mexico can obtain added-value benefits instantly in three ways: by obtaining discounts at the time of purchase; by accumulating and redeeming points at thousands of participating merchants; and
by obtaining electronic coupons that can be redeemed for merchandise,
discounts or cash back. More than 500 merchants with over 2,200 points of sale had formalized their participation in the “Vida Bancomer” initiative. It is expected that gradually over the first year after launch, more than 10,000 merchants will be affiliated to the program.
Welcome is a provider of payment software that utilizes the full capabilities of EMV standard chip credit and debit cards.

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HVB Bank Moves to Card Tech’s PRIME Platfor

HVB Bank has consolidated its credit card issuing on Card Tech’s
merchant management solution. CTL installed its “PRIME” platform at HVB Bank Czech Republic in 1993 and as a result of its successful track record, the bank chose to use it for HVB Bank Slovakia’s and HVB Bank Hungary’s credit card issuing. The banks also selected CTL’s “FRAUDGUARD,” as an ideal risk management solution to support their card issuing processing services. More than 170 banks from 70 countries use CTL solutions.

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Optimal Group Launches FireOne Group

Optimal Group announced that it intends to sell a minority
interest in a new subsidiary based in Dublin and incorporated in the
Republic of Ireland, to be named FireOne Group, through a flotation
on AIM, the London Stock Exchange’s global market for growing companies,
and has engaged Numis Securities Limited in connection with the
flotation. Numis Securities is part of the investment banking and
stockbroking group Numis Corporation. Following the completion of the
flotation, Optimal Group will remain the majority shareholder of FireOne. FireOne and its subsidiaries will carry on the activities that relate to the processing of on-line gaming transactions through the use of credit and debit cards, electronic debit and through FirePay, a leading stored-value, electronic wallet.

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