STMicroelectronics Makes Organizational Changes

STMicroelectronics announced that, effective January 1st, it will realign its product groups to increase market focus and realize the full potential of its products, technologies, and sales and marketing channels. The Company will combine the Telecom Group of TPA with the Consumer Group of the present CMG (Consumer and Microcontroller Groups) to create a new product Sector, to be headed by Philippe Geyres, Corporate Vice President. The new entity formed by the combination of these converging product Groups will account for over one third of ST’s annualized sales, and will take the name of Telecom and Consumer Sector. The Company also announced that Aldo Romano, Corporate Vice President, Telecommunications, Peripherals, & Automotive Groups and Salvatore Castorina, Corporate Vice President, Discretes & Standard Circuits Group (DSG) are retiring. Also, Joel Monnier, Corporate Vice President, R&D will resign early next year.

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Belbios Selects GlobalCollect for Cinema Payments

Belbios, a subsidiary of the UK-based Tixway has selected GlobalCollect to process payments for cinema tickets sold
via the Internet. Belbios will use GlobalCollect’s soft descriptor
technology to process online payments for cinema groups in the
Netherlands, like Pathe and Jogchem’s Theaters, whereby the name of the
specific movie theater will appear on the customer’s credit card statement. GlobalCollect is currently the only Payment Service Provider offering dynamic descriptor technology. GlobalCollect is a fully owned subsidiary of the publicly listed TPG N.V.

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Fair Isaac Launches a Global FICO Score

Fair Isaac has launched the “Global FICO” score for businesses operating outside the U.S., Canada, U.K. and South Africa. The “Global FICO” score is already being implemented by lenders in Poland, Sweden and Mexico. Fair Isaac built its “Global FICO” scoring formula with a flexible but comprehensive library of variables to extract predictive value from the widest range of available credit data. The company has also developed and validated preconfigured software that intelligently interprets available credit data for consistent assessment of risk. Use of preconfigured software additionally helps clients implement the scoring solution quickly.

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Diners MasterCard Alliance Finalized

After five months of negotiating, Diners Club and MasterCard have executed the final agreements to expanded acceptance for the “Diners Club” card. “Diners Club” cards, issued in the USA and Canada, will be redesigned to include the “MasterCard” brand mark and hologram on the front of the card in order to function as MasterCard cards. The redesigned cards will be issued in a phased approach, beginning with corporate and personal “Diners Club” cards across Canada in November. Diners Club also plans to offer cards enhanced with MasterCard acceptance to new U.S. corporate customers by the end of this year. Phase two of the implementation will include distribution of the enhanced cards to existing “Diners Club” cardholders in the USA. “Diners Club” cards issued by Diners Club International franchises (outside the USA and Canada) will include the MasterCard brand on the back of the card, enabling these cards to be accepted at MasterCard merchants in the U.S. and Canada and processed as MasterCard credit card transactions. When these cards are used outside of the USA or Canada, they will continue to be accepted and processed by “Diners Club” as they are today. (CF Library 4-29-04)

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VISA Debit Captures Fall Fashion Sales

VISA reports that debit card volume during the first two weeks of this year’s fall fashion shopping season was up 26% over last year. Between September 1st and 15th, Americans rang up $720 million at clothing retailers using “VISA Check” cards, compared to $570 million in 2003, and $450 million in 2002. A Harris Interactive poll, commissioned by VISA USA, shows that 54% of 18-34 year old consumers would use a debit card to purchase an item, such as a sweater or pair of jeans, versus only 23% for cash and 5% for checks. When consumers were asked which payment method best would get them through busy check-out lanes this fall, a mere one percent agreed that checks would be the fastest.

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iBill Acquisition Hits Another Snag

In the continuing saga of iBill, Care Concepts yesterday announced it has rescinded the closing of its acquisition of Media Billing Company and its wholly owned subsidiary Internet Billing Company purchased from Penthouse International last month. Last week, Care Concepts received a notice from the AMEX of its intention to de-list the Company’s stock after it failed to provide details on the acquisition. Penthouse International last month announced a deal to sell iBill less than six months after acquiring the business from Atlanta-based InterCept. Penthouse’s Media Billing subsidiary acquired iBill in March in a transaction valued at approximately $33 million. Penthouse sold iBill to FL-based Care Concepts for $55 million in stock. (CF Library 3/17/04; 3/23/04; 5/25/04; 8/2/04; 9/1/04)

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Bank Executives Slowly Going Mobile

TowerGroup has released a study on the adoption of mobile data devices by financial services executives. The research titled, “Mobilizing the Financial Services Enterprise: Business Mobility Gets Unwired,” discusses what’s driving a growing number of financial services firms to take definitive steps toward going mobile on an enterprise level. TowerGroup says adoption of mobile data devices by financial services executives stands at approximately 10% of total industry employment, a number it expects to rise to 35% by 2009.

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