Park-by-Phone Solution Launched at CSU

Denver-based Clancy Systems International has launched a parking payment solution called “Park-by-Phone” at California State University at Fresno. This new program will allow drivers to pay for parking in lots and meters owned by participating agencies with a mere phone call. Their parking will fees will be instantly validated and there will no longer be a need to search for correct coins, cash, cards, or other means of payment.

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InterCept Suspends Guidance While Talks Underway

Atlanta-based InterCept announced yesterday it will not provide earnings guidance for next year while it considers a proposal to take the Company private. Last month, InterCept announced that a special committee of its board of directors had been formed in response to a possible offer for the company by its CEO. The firm has also engaged Morgan Keegan and Raymond James as financial advisors, and Alston & Bird, as outside legal counsel, to assist its special committee. InterCept reported third quarter revenues of $64.1 million, a 3.4% decrease compared with 3Q/02. Net Income for the quarter totaled $18,000, compared with net income of $2.8 million, for the three months ended September 30, 2002. (CF Library 11/12/03; 11/14/03)

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Half of Americans Go Online to Holiday Shop

A new report found that more than one-half of Americans are planning to log on to compare prices, browse, purchase or send electronic cards, compared to 46% last year. The American Express Retail Index on Internet shopping also shows that 31% of holiday shoppers will purchase gifts on the Internet versus 18% in 2002. Holiday Internet users, who plan to buy for more people than their offline counterparts (15 vs. 13 recipients), will spend $1082 on average for gifts this year. On average, they will spend about a quarter of their overall holiday shopping budget online. Men will spend more of their budget online than women (27% compared to 24%). This year, more online shoppers will use the Internet to compare prices (62%, up from 56% of Internet users last year). A majority of Internet gift-purchasers (78%) say deep discounts will motivate them, followed by special storewide sales (69%) and free delivery or gift-wrapping (53%).

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HSBC Bank Brasil Installs Fair Isaac’s Falcon Fraud Manager for Debit Cards

The “Falcon” has landed on debit cards in Brazil. HSBC Bank Brasil S.A.-Banco Multiplo is deploying Fair Isaac’s “Falcon Fraud Manager for Debit Cards” to cut losses related to debit card transactions. This represents the first installation of the debit card fraud management system in Brazil. HSBC Bank Brasil has 3.9 million customers. Brazil accounts for the majority of general-purpose cards issued in Latin America, generating more than half of the region’s purchase transactions in 2002. HSBC Bank Brasil also has 5,000 ATMs nationwide. Fair Isaac says that 20 of the top 25 financial institutions worldwide use its fraud detection solutions.

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Consumers Still Have Online Fraud Concerns

A new survey shows that Americans will conduct 25% of their holiday shopping online this year even though more than 50% have increased concerns about online fraud. The survey, conducted via Opinion Place, for Chicago-based SPSS, says the number of consumers shopping online this year is up 6% from 2002. However, the research revealed that 52% are at least somewhat more concerned about using their credit card online this year than last. Identity theft is considered to be the greatest concern for 54% of consumers, with credit card theft second at 26%. While 84% feel their passwords are at least somewhat secure, only 44% of respondents never change their passwords. The longer a consumer has been shopping online, the more likely they are to change their passwords. SPSS says that Internet merchants lost nearly $500 million due to fraudulent orders during the 2002 holiday shopping season.

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SouthTrust Bank and NetBank Opt for a NCR/Corillian Solution

SouthTrust Bank and NetBank have upgraded their Internet banking services using a solution provided jointly by NCR and Corillian. The solution combines enhanced features and functionality developed and integrated by NCR on the industry-leading Corillian Voyager Internet banking platform, which is hosted and managed by NCR in its eCommerce operations centers. Corillian is the top provider of online banking solutions to leading financial institutions. Empowered with Corillian solutions, some of the world’s most visionary financial institutions provide their customers with the tools to manage their finances more effectively. NCR Corporation is a leading global technology company helping businesses build stronger relationships with their customers.

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AMDS Posts Strong Residual Revenue Growth in November

Memphis-based American Merchant Data Services says that residual revenue rose 81% during November. This increase was due in part to strong pre-holiday sales from Prepaid Master Cards, Gift and Loyalty Cards, Check Verifications and the continued growth of new merchant accounts. According to Retail Card Forum, “American Express estimates that retail gift card outstanding balances alone are currently $1 Billion and project they will grow to $15 Billion in the next 2-1/2 years.” American Merchant Data Service is a “value added” independent sales organization engaged in the commercial electronic processing industry.

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Sainsbury’s Set to Offer Euronet’s e-pay Top-Up Service at 750 Locations

Sainsbury’s supermarket stores has inked an agreement to use Euronet Worldwide’s electronic top-up services. Euronet’s “e-pay” service enables consumers to purchase additional prepaid minutes for their mobile phone accounts at participating retailers. When the Sainsbury’s rollout is completed, “e-pay” will add more than 10,500 points of sale across 750 locations, including 220 petrol stations, to its retail network for top-up services. “e-pay” now provides this service to all five major UK retailers. “e-pay” currently supports top-up purchases for mobile service providers at more than 73,000 POS terminals in approximately 27,000 retail locations.

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Fincentric Names New President and CEO

Vancouver-based Fincentric Corporation has named Alice Laberge as its new president and CEO, effective immediately. Laberge brings more than 20 years of senior management experience to this role. Prior to joining Fincentric, Laberge worked at MacMillan Bloedel Limited, now part of Weyerhaeuser Company, where she held a number of positions including Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Finance. Laberge was honored with the 2001 PEAK Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Association of Women in Finance. Fincentric is a leading provider of core banking and relationship management software to the global financial services industry.

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CHARGE ANYwhere Picks Up Another Distributor

NJ-based ISO, United Bank Card, is now distributing Comstar Interactive’s “CHARGE ANYwhere” wireless credit card processing solution. United Bank Card also will give customers using Lipman USA’s Nurit¨ 3010 and Nurit¨ 8000 Portable Payment Solutions the option of routing their credit card and other wireless transactions through the Comstar Gateway via either of the nation’s two largest wireless data services Ð Cingular Wireless’ Mobitex network or the Motient network. United Bank Card, Inc. is a payment and transaction processor that serves businesses nationwide. Comstar Interactive Corp. is a privately held, Edison, NJ-based innovator of Web-enabled wireless solutions both for businesses and individuals.

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NACHA-Certified ACH Professionals Up 12% This Year

NACHA reported this week that 546 payment industry professionals have received accreditation or were re-accredited this year under the “Accredited ACH Professional Program,” bringing the current number of AAPs nationwide to 2,334. Four hundred forty-one payments professionals received accreditation by passing the national AAP examination, administered on October 21, 2003. Of those, 400 received accreditation for the first time, and 41 received 5-year re-accreditation. An additional 105 payments professionals received re-accreditation in 2003 through NACHA’s continuing education program. NACHA is the leading organization in developing electronic solutions to improve the payments system.

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Bank One’s Betrusted Holdings Buys Baltimore Technologies

Baltimore Technologies has been sold to Bank One’s Betrusted Holdings for $8.26 million. With this acquisition, Betrusted gains Baltimore’s flagship “Unicert” PKI infrastructure technology product, with more than 300 customers, in the high-end government, financial services and telecommunications markets. Betrusted also gains these top-tier clients, a leading market position in the global PKI market, top tier security professionals as well as a proven partner network. This acquisition greatly accelerates Betrusted’s mission to becoming the first call for trust services to the world’s leading organizations. Betrusted is owned by One Equity Partners, Bank One’s private equity group.

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