NexTran Takes Over EZ Cash ATMs in NYC

NJ-based NexTran Industries and its affiliated company, Money Marketing, have signed a terminal management agreement to operate EZ Cash’s 400 ATMs installed in the metropolitan New York area. The EZ Cash turnkey management agreement may serve as a model for other independent sales organizations like EZ Cash, Park speculated. NexTran Industries, Inc. ([www.nextran.net][1]) is a full-service supplier of ATM technology and solutions. Money Marketing Inc. ([www.moneymarketingatm.com][2]) is a full-service supplier of transaction processing and ATM cash management services.

[1]: http://www.nextran.net
[2]: http://www.moneymarketingatm.com

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FTC Gets TRO Against Florida Platinum Card Marketer

The Federal Trade Commission has obtained a temporary restraining order against a Hollywood, Florida-based marketer of “Platinum” credit cards. The FTC says Platinum Universal, LLC, and its successor, Pulsar Data, marketing cards under the “Universal Card Services” and “Universal MasterCard” brand names, falsely represented to consumers that they would obtain a credit card after paying a fee, when, in fact, consumers did not receive a credit card. The fee charged for the card ranged from $99 to $200. The FTC says that consumers who paid the advance fee, did not receive the promised credit card. Instead, some consumers received a “stored value” card, while others received nothing at all. In some instances, the defendants send instructions to consumers on how to obtain the stored value card. None of the consumers receive the promised “Universal MasterCard” credit card, the FTC alleges. The FTC noted that the firm mostly targeted the Hispanic community.The investigation was supported by the BBB of Southeast Florida, the BBB of West Florida, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Florida Division Headquarters and the Hollywood Police Department.

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Capital One and Consumer Action Send Bankruptcy Message

The nation’s second largest issuer of sub-prime bank credit cards has teamed with a San Francisco-based non-profit consumer advocacy group to warn consumers about the long-term negative impact of filing personal bankruptcy. Capital One and Consumer Action have developed a guide, “Your Right to a Financial Fresh Start”, that discusses the legal process and implications of filing bankruptcy. Consumer Action says the guide provides a checklist of questions consumers should be asking themselves before they consider declaring bankruptcy. Capital One says the pamphlet is designed to guide consumers through the complexities and help them fully understand — and hopefully avoid — the serious measure of filing bankruptcy. The document is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese. Capital One and Consumer Action have formed an extensive relationship. Both concerns have been holding consumer financial management seminars for non-profit community groups this year throughout the country. (CF Library 11/19/03)

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SHAZAM’s Gift Card Program Gets ICEd

The SHAZAM network is deploying Hypercom’s “ICE Plus” card payment terminals and technology in support of SHAZAM’s new prepaid gift card program. SHAZAM’s gift card program provides a cost-effective solution for independent merchants. Merchants using the gift card program receive the functionality they need, along with a turnkey implementation. Merchants also benefit from lower administrative costs, increased efficiency and convenient electronic handling, recording and reporting. The SHAZAM network was founded in 1976 by community financial institutions wanting a voice in the delivery of electronic convenience to their customers. Hypercom’s products include secure web-enabled information and transaction terminals that work seamlessly with its networking equipment and software applications for e-commerce, m-commerce, smart cards and traditional payment applications.

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Black Friday Shoppers to Spend $1K On Gift This Year

The “2003 American Express Retail Index on Holiday Shopping” shows that “Black Friday” shoppers plan to spend $1,086 for gifts this holiday season. The overwhelming majority of shoppers (85%) say that they shop on Black Friday for the sales and to get the best prices. Others go simply to browse (50%), to get the most popular, must-have items (33%), because it’s a family tradition (33%) and still others genuinely enjoy the excitement of being in the stores that day (29%). The American Express Retail Index on holiday shopping was conducted by telephone between October 20, 2003 and October 28, 2003 and surveyed 803 heads of households, age 18 and older. American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850.

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Home Depot is Sued Over Free Card Loan Offers

Home Depot is being sued over its offering payment and interest-free periods on purchases made with in-store credit cards. Hagens Berman has filed suit in Washington and California allegeing that Home Depot violated California’s “Business and Professions Code” and Washington’s “Consumer Protection Act” by hiding the fact that consumers would be unable to pay off any existing or future balances without first paying off the interest-free promotional purchase. The practice is also widely used by VISA and MasterCard issuers who make 0% APR offers. Hagens Berman says thousands of California and Washington consumers have been duped into signing up for the retail store’s credit card as a result of these promotions. The law firm also sued Lowe’s in Washington for a similar offer. The lawsuit, filed in San Diego County Superior Court and in King County Superior Court seek class action status.

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PayPal and Authorize.Net Sign Zaldiva

Online collectible marketplace, Zaldiva, has signed a deal to offer PayPal and Authorize.Net’s eCheck online payment system. Zaldiva, Inc. has added two more convenient payment methods to its online store in an effort to attract all possible customers including international shoppers in 38 countries and consumers that do not have access to credit cards. The addition of Authorize.Net’s eCheck.Net is a payment solution that enables Zaldiva to accept and process electronic check payments directly from their web site. Zaldiva.com offers a variety of unique new and vintage collectible items including, but not limited to, comic books, statues, ornaments, DVDs, posters, dolls, action figures, t-shirts, and sports memorabilia — all things that make perfect gifts for just about anyone you can think of.

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Catuity Revenues Rise as Loss Shrinks

Detroit- and Australia-based Catuity reported this morning third quarter revenue of $1.1 million and a net loss of $375,936, compared to revenue of $567,000 and a net loss of $750,705 for the comparable quarter one year ago. The loyalty specialist says it expects 2003 revenue of approximately$4.75-$5.00 million and a loss of approximately $1 million. This compares to 2002 revenue of $2.97 million, and a net loss of $2.77 million. Catuity also announced today that a major customer of the company commenced an electronic coupon program using its software during the third quarter. As a result, Catuity software has been installed in more than 1000 stores. Catuity’s software is now in use in more than 4200 U.S. stores including multi-lane mass merchandisers and local independent retailers. For complete details on Catuity’s third quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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POINT Becomes the First Vendor to Certify an EMV solution under MasterCard’s TIP Program

Point Latvia has achieved MasterCard EMV end-to-end certification for VeriFone’s “SC 5000” smart programmable PINpad with the interbank organization Bankserviss. Therefore, Point Transaction Systems has become the first vendor in Latvia to successfully certify an EMV solution with MasterCard under the new “Terminal Integration Process.” The “SC 5000” provides an easy migration path to upgrade installed terminals or integrated point of sale systems to support global smart card solutions based on EMV specifications. The “SC 5000” is protected by a broad range of software-based security features and supports the EMV and Triple DES encryption standards. The Point Group also represents VeriFone in Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Estonia and Lithuania.

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Jet Opens West Coast Office and Hires McCune

IL-based plastic card manufacturer, Jet, has opened a California sales office and has hired Keith McCune VP/Sales. Operating since 1947, Jet’s over 100,000 square feet plant is ideally located in Downers Grove, Illinois, within close proximity to Chicago and O’Hare International airport. With over $30 million annually in sales and 200 employees, Jet is a nationally recognized graphic communications company. Jet is known for providing premium quality products and services to clientele from small design firms to Fortune 100 companies. Jet is a unique business providing customized print communication solutions across market segments. Keith’s recent experience as Director of Sales and his nearly thirty years in the industry make him a valuable resource for the marketplace.

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JCB Launches 3-D Secure Internet Authentication Program

As “Verified by VISA” and “MasterCard SecureCode” slowly gain acceptance by cardholders, JCB has launched its own Internet authentication program. JCB’s new ” J/Secure,” is compliant with the “3-D Secure” protocol and, like other authentication schemes, adds a password identification step to the traditional online shopping process. JCB says several vendors are already prepared to provide “J/Secure” software and many others are developing “J/Secure” solutions that willsubject to testing by JCB. Currently, JCB’s merchant network includes nearly 11 million merchants with cards issued in 18 countries. There are 48.4 million JCB cardholders worldwide.

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eFunds Extends American Airlines FCU ATM Contract

American Airlines Federal Credit Union has extended its contract with eFunds for risk management services and third-party electronic payment processing for AAFCU’s ATM locations, used by 200,000 members nationwide. AAFCU has branches located across the country, including concentrations in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Chicago, New York, Miami, Tulsa and Los Angeles. According to a 2002 Credit Union National Association (CUNA) study, credit union membership in the U.S has been on the rise since the credit union concept first took hold in the early 1940s. American Airlines Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Ft. Worth, Texas, serves the financial needs of American Airlines employees and their families. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., eFunds Corporation is an industry leader with nearly 30 years of experience and expertise in electronic payments.

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