CheckFree Nabs UK’s Martin Pearce

Atlanta-based CheckFree has hired Martin Pearce from Morgan Stanley Asset Management Group as Executive Director of Business Development. Pearce has been a member of the ISITC executive committee, co-representative for the UK Securities Market Practice group, a member of the global executive SMPG committee and the GSTPA fund manager’s council. CheckFree is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products.

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Citibank’s Payroll Card Links Up to Allpoint Network

Citicorp Electronic Financial Services has joined the Allpoint surcharge-free ATM network, to provide surcharge-free ATM access for users of its payroll debit cards. Access to these 25,000 ATMs nationwide will be made available to select Citicorp EFS customers and their employees starting this month. Citicorp EFS actively markets payroll cards under private label branding as well as under the name “Citibank Payroll Card.”

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NextCard Bankruptcy Changed to Chapter 7

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Delaware has converted NextCard’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy at request of the Trustee and the FDIC. It is further ORDERED that within 30 days of the date of entry of the Order on the docket, NextCard, Inc. shall file a schedule of current income, current expenditures, all monthly operating report and the statement of intention, if applicable, as required.

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MARKS SPENCER MASTERCARD

High Street retailer Marks and Spencer is currently upgrading its 2.6 million charge card customers to a new credit card offering a loyalty program. The new “Marks & Spencer Money &more Credit Card” will then be offered to the general public in October. The new card was tested in
South Wales for the past eleven months. The “Marks & Spencer Money &more Credit Card” offers 1 point per £1 spent in Marks & Spencer UK stores, catalogue and Internet. The card also awards 1 point per £2 spent outside Marks & Spencer. Points are converted into vouchers to spend exclusively at Marks & Spencer UK stores. The new card will offer a standard retail APR of 14.9% versus the 18.9% currently assessed on the “Marks & Spencer Chargecard.” M&S is the second largest store card issuer in the UK. The company also announced that Marks & Spencer Financial Services is being rebranded as “Marks & Spencer Money.”

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Business Process Outsourcing Faces Challenges

A new research report suggests that business process outsourcing savings are largely a myth. The report from Forrester Research says that firms looking to outsource core business processes like human resources, and finance and administration to gain cost savings will not find a single vendor that can manage such complex offerings. The study says that companies experimenting with business process outsourcing report inflexible contracts, difficulty managing vendors, and a lack of performance metrics. Howevere, because no one vendor is able to completely master the complex set of skills needed to offer an end-to-end outsourcing solution, Forrester says vendors will be forced to focus on serving four individual segments of BPO including simple bulk transactions such as credit card or stock trade processing.

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ACI to Recommend Paragon’s WorkSmart ATM Suite

ACI Worldwide has signed a referral agreement with NC-based Paragon Application Systems to recommend Paragon’s “WorkSmart ATM Suite” to all its “BASE24” customers. With BASE24 and BASE24-es, ACI’s next-generation, open-systems implementation of their world-class payments platform, ACI offers a full range of functionality to support payment transactions in both traditional and emerging channels. While BASE24 included a proprietary configuration tool, for BASE24-es, ACI is recommending the WorkSmart ATM Suite as a comprehensive solution for ATM configuration and testing. Every second of every day, consumers are initiating electronic payment transactions – getting cash at ATMs, using debit and credit cards to make purchases in stores and on the Internet, banking by phone and PC, paying bills online. More than 150 financial institutions in 15 countries use Paragon’s productivity empowering software to improve quality and reduce time-to-market.

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BigPayBack Phone Card Targets College Market

An Indiana prepaid phone card firm has come up with a novel idea to market its “BigPayBack” phone card to the college market. For each $5.00 phone card purchased, the buyer will be entered into a contest to win $3,500 for future college tuition, current tuition or repayment of student loans. The drawing will be held every time 10,000 “BigPayBack” phone cards are sold. TPC Communications says there is no limit on the number of times a person can win an award. A discounted award is given to any winner who elects not to have the award allocated to assist in paying for a student’s college education.

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Cambridge Trust Company Launches Photo Debit Card

Cambridge Trust Company of Massachusetts has introduced a new photo “MasterMoney Debit Card” with the customer’s photo on the front of the card. The ‘PhotoCard’ is available free of charge to new and existing Cambridge Trust Company personal checking account customers. “Since the photograph will be digitized and embossed as part of the plastic, it is one of the most advanced and secure cards in the marketplace and will act as a deterrent to identity theft,” added Roller. Cambridge Bancorp and its subsidiary, Cambridge Trust Company, are based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the heart of Harvard Square. Cambridge Trust Company is a 113-year-old Massachusetts chartered commercial bank with nine Massachusetts locations in Cambridge, Concord, Lincoln, Weston, and Beacon Hill.

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Mexico’s Banamex Launches First MasterCard SideCard

Banamex has become the first MasterCard financial institution worldwide to offer the new “MasterCard SideCard” as the “Banamex Twin Card.” Banamex, a/k/a Citibank Mexico, is also offering cardholders the ability to set a monthly usage limit per additional card. Issued as a companion card to a full-sized MasterCard card, the new “MasterCard SideCard” is the first companion card capable of incorporating contactless chip technology. This allows issuers the ability to add the MasterCard “PayPass” feature, which provides cardholders with a way to pay in quick payment environments such as fast food restaurants. The “SideCard” has a case which can be attached to a key ring or lanyard while protecting the magnetic stripe. At the point of interaction, the cardholder simply flips the card out of its case and swipes the card through the terminal. Banamex says it has issued the new card to thousands of cardholders since its launch last month.

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Coalition on Online Identity Theft is Formed

A group of top financial services, information technology, and electronic commerce firms announced they are forming an industry coalition to fight online identity theft. The Information Technology Association of America led the effort which includes the backing of VISA, Microsoft, Amazon.com, eBay, RSA Security, among others. The “Coalition on Online Identity Theft” has set four primary goals: 1.) Expand public education campaigns against online identity theft to protect consumers; 2.) Help promote technology and self-help approaches for preventing and dealing with online identity theft; 3.) Document and share non-personal information about emerging online fraudulent activity to stay ahead of criminals and new forms of online fraud; and, 4.) Work with government to cultivate an environment that protects consumers and businesses, and ensures effective enforcement and criminal penalties against cyber thieves.

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UK’s Marks and Spencer Launches MasterCard

UK retailer Marks and Spencer is currently upgrading its 2.6 million charge card customers to a new credit card offering a loyalty program. The new “Marks & Spencer Money &more MasterCard” will then be offered to the general public in October. The new card was tested in South Wales for the past eleven months. The “&more MasterCard” offers 1 point per £1 spent in Marks & Spencer UK stores, catalogue and Internet. The card also awards 1 point per £2 spent outside Marks & Spencer. Points are converted into vouchers to spend exclusively at Marks & Spencer UK stores. The new card will offer a standard retail APR of 14.9% versus the 18.9% currently assessed on the “Marks & Spencer Chargecard.” M&S is the second largest store card issuer in the UK. The company also announced that Marks & Spencer Financial Services is being re-branded as “Marks & Spencer Money.”

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Gene Lockhart Joins Qsent Board

Gene Lockhart, former president at MasterCard, BankAmerica Global Bank and AT&T Consumer Services, has been named to the Board of Directors for Qsent, a provider of contact accuracy services. Mr. Lockhart has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of MasterCard International, President of BankAmerica Corporation’s Global Retail Bank, and President of AT&T Consumer Services. Lockhart currently serves on the Board of Directors for IMS Health, Inc. and Radio Shack. Qsent is the leading provider of contact accuracy services, supplying definitive contact information solutions for use in core business processes.

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