Transaction Systems Architects Under SEC Investigation

Omaha-based Transaction Systems Architects confirmed Friday that the SEC has issued a formal investigation into the company’s restatement of past financial results. The Company announced today that it has been informed that the Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a formal order of private investigation as to matters relating to the restatement. The Company will continue to cooperate fully with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Details

Intelli-Check Names Congressman to the Board

NY-based Intelli-Check has named former Wisconsin Representative to the Unites States Congress, Jim Moody, to its Board of Directors. Mr. Moody served on the powerful Ways & Means Committee which oversees the entire federal tax system, nearly two thirds of federal spending, including Social Security and Medicare, as well U.S. trade laws and federal debt management, during his five terms in Congress. Mr. Moody is currently with Morgan Stanley in Washington, DC. Previously, he served as president and CEO of InterAction, an association of U.S. organizations working overseas in economic development and humanitarian relief.

Details

HOLT RENFREW & AMEX

The world’s “best dressed credit card” is under construction and will ready for prime time in September. Designer clothing retailer Holt Renfrew and American Express have teamed to develop a suite of co-branded “Holt Renfrew Cards from American Express,” which will replace Holt Renfrew’s store credit card. The first card offered will be designed by Roberto Cavalli. The new card will also feature the new “Holt Renfrew Rewards” program that allows customers to collect points at Holt Renfrew and everywhere else AmEx is welcomed.
Cardholders receive one “Holt Renfrew Rewards” point for virtually every dollar they spend. And when the card is used at any Holt Renfrew location, they receive 40% more points for every dollar charged to the card. Points can be redeemed for “Holt Renfrew E-Gift Cards,” that never expire. Cardholders also receive 10% off their first Holt Renfrew purchase using the card, if they are a non-converted customer. Cardholders will also receive complimentary delivery for every Holt Renfrew purchase over $100 and priority complimentary service on basic hem and cuff alterations and complimentary access to a Holt Renfrew personal shopper.

Details

Fair Isaac’s Blaze Advisor Produces ROI of 210%

Fair Isaac released a white paper this week that shows its “Blaze Advisor” rules management technology produced an overall cumulative composite ROI percentage for all surveyed companies of 210% and the cumulative composite ROI value was $3.8 million. Fair Isaac commissioned IDC to conduct case studies on Blaze Advisor customers in the financial services, government and technology sectors and perform a cost-benefit analysis based on IDC’s standard ROI methodology. Some of the key cost-saving features included increased developer productivity, reuse of developed object models and rules, the ability to quickly reorder business rules, faster response to change requests, and improved quality control.

Details

SUREFIRE & EBS MERGER

The merger between SureFire Commerce and ebs Holding AG is being adjusted. As a result of the adjustment, the 17,904,702 shares which were originally to be issued to ebs Holding and would have resulted in a total float of 28,420,181 shares of SureFire and 100% ownership of ebs Billing, will be reduced to a total of 2,795,249 shares thereby resulting in a total float of 13,310,728 shares outstanding of SureFire and a 10.5 % ownership of ebs Billing. Under terms the revised merger agreement, ebs Holding will retain its 21% interest in SureFire and no longer be entitled to exercise its option for the remaining 42% and all warrant rights granted to ebs Holding pursuant to the Option Agreement and share options granted to ebs employees will be cancelled; until SureFire’s 2004 annual general meeting, ebs has agreed to a restriction on the voting rights attached to its SureFire shares such that it may only vote its shares in proportion to all the other SureFire Shareholders who exercise their voting rights at a particular meeting; ebs has agreed to pay to SureFire
the sum of US$500,000 payable in six monthly instalments; ebs has agreed not to acquire for a period of two years any securities of SureFire; and SureFire will reduce its holdings in ebs Billing to 10.5 %.

Details

Partnership Between AmEx and Italy’s CartaSi Scrutinized

The joint venture card deal between American Express and Italy’s CartaSi is getting closer scrutiny by the Italian antitrust authority, according to yesterday’s issue of the weekly “CardFlash International.” The venture, known as “Icon” will possibly boost CartaSi’s market share from 50% to 70%. The Italian card company currently has 7.5 million cards-in-force. Established in 1985 by a consortium of 16 banks as Servizi Interbancari, CartaSi SpA, as it is officially now known since January 1st of this year, is made up of four companies: CartaSi SpA; SI Servizi; SI INEC; and S.I. Immobiliare. CartaSi was set up to provide the Italian banking system with an international payment card system entirely owned and managed by a domestic company. CartaSi, was launched in 1986 as the first “dual” credit card providing access to both Eurocard/MasterCard and VISA. CartaSi SpA has more than 900 member financial institutions and provides acquiring operation services to 484,000 merchants. Italy’s antitrust authority will conclude its investigation by April 30, 2004.

Details

CANADIAN TIRE 2Q/03

Canadian Tire Corporation reported that its Financial Services unit significantly expanded its “Options MasterCard” portfolio during the second quarter, with net credit charge receivables up 29.3% to $2.02 billion compared to $1.56 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2002. During the quarter, Financial Services converted more than 25,000 retail card accounts to MasterCard accounts, bringing the year-to-date total to more than 46,000. Almost 2 million retail accounts have been converted to “Options MasterCard” accounts since the program’s launch. More than 192,000 new accounts were generated during the second quarter through the in-store card acquisition program. Also during the quarter, CTC Financial Services’ application for a bank charter was approved by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and, as a result, Canadian Tire Bank began operations on July 1, 2003.

Details

Equifax and IBM Ink 10-Year IT Agreement

This week, Equifax and IBM signed a 10-year agreement under which IBM will provide global on demand technology services for Equifax’s operations in the USA, Canada, and Europe. The new contract adds additional scope and five and one-half years to the existing relationship, providing $400 million in additional estimated revenue to IBM for a total contract value of $800 million. The agreement also provides Equifax with significant cost savings and future operational flexibility through IBM’s on demand technology services. Equifax expects savings generated by this agreement to reach $5 million in 2003, $9 million in 2004, and grow to over $20 million annually by 2006.

Details

COCARD Marketing Group Renews with NPC

National Processing Company has renewed a multi-year processing agreement with COCARD Marketing Group, an ISO with 35 sales offices throughout the USA. Under the terms of the agreement, NPC will continue providing merchant processing services, including credit and debit card authorization and settlement, to COCARD’s customer base. Founded by industry veterans, much of COCARD’s growth has been accomplished through various agent bank and referral relationships. By focusing on customer service and offering superior products, COCARD has quickly become a leading ISO among the regional merchant marketplace.

Details