MULTOS Releases an On-Card and Off-Card Specification

The “MULTOS Step/One” specifications are now ready for implementation. The specifications consist of two parts; an on-card specification defining application establishment, the API and security targets; an off-card element defining key generation and management processes, load and delete protocols and certificate formats. “MULTOS Step/One” exploits much of the security, flexibility and software interoperability of the original MULTOS platform, and affords issuers better choice and control by allowing them to individually manage vendors across the supply chain Ð from operating system implementers to card personalization bureau. First silicon is expected in the first half of 2004.

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Sears Canada Receives Government Approval for its New Bank Subsidiary

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has approved the opening of Sears Canada Bank. Current “Sears Card” and “Sears MasterCard” holders will receive an information package regarding their new issuer during the first quarter. Sears Canada has been ranked as the most trusted company in Canada. Sears Canada submit its application to the OSFI for a federally regulated bank in July. The company says the establishment of a bank will, among other things, facilitate the offering of a wide variety of innovative MasterCard products to customers. The Sears Card represents the single largest credit card franchise in Canada. Last year, the company introduced the “Sears MasterCard.” First rolled out in Ontario, the card has been introduced in British Columbia and Alberta. Sears Canada says a bank will bring greater regulatory certainty and harmonization across Sears Canada’s national financial services operations.

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MasterCard Deploys Changepoint for IT

MasterCard has signed an agreement to deploy “Changepoint,” an IT management solution, to approximately 3,000 users. MasterCard’s Global Technology and Operations group supports the global payments solutions company with information technology services and solutions worldwide. To facilitate the organization’s IT governance mandate, GTO’s management required real-time visibility into the performance of the IT investments and operations. MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members’ credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. Changepoint Corporation provides global services organizations and corporate IT departments with business process automation software to improve efficiency and provide total visibility into operations, enabling the proactive management of operational and employee performance.

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Shift4 Adds the Processing of Canadian Debit PIN Pad Transactions

Integrated debit at the point of sale in Canada has become a reality. Shift4 Corporation has added the processing of Canadian debit PIN pad transactions into its “$$$ ON THE NET” Web-based e-payment gateway solution. Shift4, in conjunction with its partner Retail Technologies International, has already installed its new Canadian PIN pad debit solution in some Canadian retail outlets, including Niagara Parks Commission and Build-A-Bear Workshop. “$$$ ON THE NET” also includes a comprehensive accounting application that provides the ability to report, review and correct transactions before settlement, as well
as archive and retrieve them to assist with charge back requests.

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ACE and Goleta Settlement Approved

The U. S. District Court in Dallas has approved the settlement agreement in the class-action lawsuit brought against ACE Cash Express and Goleta National Bank. The settlement agreement provides for the release of substantially all of the claims that were asserted or could have been asserted in the Purdie lawsuit and/or in other pending lawsuits against ACE regarding the former offering of Goleta National Bank short-term loans at ACE stores. ACE Cash Express, Inc. is headquartered in Irving, Texas and is the largest owner, operator and franchiser of check-cashing stores in the United States. Founded in 1968, the Company had a total network of 1,174 stores, consisting of 968 company-owned stores and 206 franchised stores in 36 states and the District of Columbia as of September 30, 2003.

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Experian Buys an Internet Loyalty Marketing Concern

Experian Consumer Direct has acquired a performance-based Internet loyalty marketing company. MetaReward is a developer of tools and technologies that enable Web publishers to offer performance-based marketing offers. The company has more than four years experience building technology platforms and developing marketing relationships. The MetaReward network is visited by more than four million consumers each month. MetaReward properties include NetFlip, FreeGiftCentral, MovieTicketSource and MisterPoints reward programs as well as the ExpertsOnCredit credit advice site. Third party Web publishers include both large, highly trafficked Internet properties and small to medium-sized Web sites and services. Experian did not disclose the terms of the purchase.

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MasterCard Complete Debit Processing Includes eFunds

MasterCard and eFunds this morning announced the formation of a debit processing alliance. MasterCard will now market eFunds’ EFT processing services under the MasterCard “Complete Debit Processing” brand and as an integrated component of the “MasterCard Debit” program. Traditionally, “MasterCard Debit” included the global point of sale and ATM brands, a worldwide merchant acceptance network, consumer, business and premium debit programs, deposit account consulting expertise, and offline/online debit transaction switching. With the introduction of “MasterCard CDP,” MasterCard will add a flexible, end-to-end debit transaction processing solution to the package of services and products already available under the “MasterCard Debit” umbrella. “MasterCard CDP” provides a single platform for processing both cardholder transactions and managing card issuance; facilitates card activation and plastic production; improves overall management of an ATM business; enables gateway routing for transaction authorization, settlement, multi-level reporting, as well as exception item processing and reconciliation tools; and, supports financial institutions, merchant acquirers, and merchants by providing direct connections to all regional, national and international networks for ATM, POS, EBT and other funds or debit transaction movement.

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CIBC Launches Verified by Visa via Cyota and TSYS to Entire Portfolio

CIBC has become the first major Canadian issuer to launch a “Verified by Visa” program. The deployment of the cardholder authentication service comes via TSYS’ “CardGuard” and Cyota’s “SecureSuite.”
Cyota has localized the service for Canadians to include bilingual support for CIBC’s English- and French-speaking customers. Cyota “SecureSuite” is a modular platform that seamlessly integrates multiple
payment security applications, including “Verified by Visa,” MasterCard’s “SecureCode” and more. TSYS implemented Cyota’s “SecureSuite” platform in 2001, and the companies have since delivered the services to multiple issuers worldwide. Cyota currently powers more than 80% of the cards eligible for the service in the USA. TSYS services more than half of all VISA accounts in Canada.

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First Data Agrees to Unload NYCE

As the government’s lawsuit against the First Data and Concord EFS merger was scheduled to get underway, a settlement was announced yesterday. First Data agreed to divest itself of its 64% ownership of the NYCE network. As a result, the date of the merger has been moved forward to April 30th, however it may be completed by the end of the first quarter. The U.S. Department of Justice agreed to give First Data eight months to complete the NYCE divestiture. First Data will hold NYCE as a separate unit until the sale. In connection with the DOJ settlement, the two companies yesterday also agreed to new financial terms, with a new value of approximately $6.9 billion, compared with a previous value of $7.2 billion. The revised merger agreement also extends the original January 31st end date to April 30th to allow sufficient time to obtain the necessary shareholder approvals of the revised terms. Yesterday’s settlement also included the District of Columbia and the states of Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

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Delta Launches Online Mall with AmEx Incentive

Delta Air Lines yesterday launched an online mall that offers American Express “Delta SkyMiles Credit Card” holders a 1,000 mile bonus for making a purchase on the site through February. SkyMiles program members may register at Skymilesshopping.com with their SkyMiles program number and begin shopping through the Web site immediately. Members may earn up to 10 miles per $1 spent. SkyMilesShopping.com is operated by Advantex Marketing International Inc., a leading provider of online and offline loyalty marketing programs throughout North America. Delta Air Lines, the world’s second largest airline in terms of passengers carried and the leading U.S. carrier across the Atlantic, offers 6,362 flights each day to 458 destinations in 82 countries on Delta, Song, Delta Shuttle, Delta Connection and Delta’s worldwide partners.

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