Fingerhut Direct Partners with CoreCard Software

Fingerhut Direct has selected CoreCard’s “CoreISSUE Private-Label” credit management and payment processing system and “CoreCOLLECT”, a credit management tool, to manage the Fingerhut credit portfolio. As part of the evaluation process, CoreCard successfully completed a five million account scalability testing that was overseen by an independent consultancy and conducted at a HP test lab. CoreISSUE Private Label is an issuing system for private label card products with language and currency localization capabilities.

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GEMPLUS HR HEAD

Gemplus has named Philippe Duranton as Group Human Resources EVP. Duranton previously served as Human Resources EVP at Canal+ and Co-Managing Director, General Affairs, for the Television and Film Division of Vivendi Universal from 1998 to 2002. Prior to joining Canal+, Duranton spent nine years at Thales where he held numerous Human Resource management positions across the company’s divisions.
Duranton succeeds Didier Lachaud who was responsible for Human Resources management at Gemplus from 1997 to 2003.

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Gemplus Names Movie Exec to Head HR

Gemplus has named Philippe Duranton, formerly with Vivendi Universal, as Group Human Resources EVP. His new responsibilities include Gemplus’ Human Resources teams and the company’s personnel development programmes worldwide. Duranton spent nine years at Thales where he held numerous Human Resource management positions across the company’s divisions. Gemplus is the world’s number one provider of smart card solutions.

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BANINTER & SCOTIABANK

Scotiabank has signed a deal to acquire a portion of the dissolved Banco Intercontinental’s credit card portfolio. Scotibank is also acquiring up to 35 branches and hiring up to 460 employees of the Dominican Republic’s Baninter. With the completion of this agreement, Scotiabank will be the 5th largest private bank in the Dominican Republic in terms of branches. Full details of the agreement were not disclosed, but the transaction is to include the purchase of real estate of approximately US$25 million plus an option to purchase financial assets.

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EFG and the FTC Battle it Out in Court

TX-based credit card processor EFG Card Services was barred yesterday from processing transactions through the ACH Network for numerous fraudulent telemarketers and to halt the alleged deceptive marketing of their own advance-fee debit cards. The FTC obtained the temporary restraining order on July 8th, which also set up a temporary monitor over the defendants to review their business practices. In its complaint, the FTC alleged that EFG assisted and facilitated at least four client telemarketers engaged in deceptively selling advance-fee credit cards, and a fifth client engaged in deceptively selling a lottery scam. The FTC complaint also alleges that in April 2000, the defendants engaged in the marketing and sale of their own advance-fee stored-value debit cards ­ first the “First Freedom Financial” card and then the “AmeriOne” card. According to the FTC, the defendants charged consumers a one-time advance fee of between $80 to $100, as well as a $9.95 monthly service fee for these card. In May of this year, the FTC alleges, the defendants began marketing a new advance-fee card product, known as the “United USA Card,” making many of the same misrepresentations used in previous advance-fee stored-value debit cards. The FTC noted that EFG allegedly misrepresented the cards as credit cards, and that the “AmeriOne” card was affiliated with MasterCard.

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CATUITY & MARITZ

Catuity has signed a three-year licensing agreement with Maritz to operate the Catuity software through Maritz Loyalty Marketing. Missouri-based Maritz Loyalty Marketing offers a full-service mix of loyalty marketing capabilities including program strategy, program management, customer communications, rewards and fulfillment, creative execution and loyalty analytics through their proprietary VAULT platform. Catuity provides application software that allows merchants, transaction processors and payment card issuers to establish and administer customer incentive and loyalty programs integrated to the payment system at the point of sale. The patented Catuity system can be utilized via mag stripe, smart card, RFID or contactless tokens and to date, Catuity’s applet has been included on millions of chip-based credit cards.

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bcgi Signs Three for Payment Card-Enabled Prepaid Airtime

Boston Communications Group has signed new carrier implementations of its “Payment Agent Service” with Cellular One of Northeast Arizona, Cellular One of East-Central Illinois, and MI-based Thumb Cellular. The new service enables them to offer their prepaid wireless subscribers the ability to purchase airtime using their payment cards anytime, anywhere. In addition, bcgi enables carriers to bring the offering to market quickly through its TOTALsource implementation model.

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ASIA-PACIFIC RECOVERY

Thailand and India manifested the largest increases in consumer confidence from six months ago, while China and New Zealand remained optimistic, albeit at slightly reduced levels, while consumers in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong remained pessimistic. The Asia/Pacific region has been hard hit this year with the outbreak of SARS and the spillover effects of the war in Iraq and the threat of terrorism. The findings come from MasterCard’s “MasterIndex of Consumer Confidence” survey which studies 13 markets in Asia/Pacific. MasterCard International previously reported that its gross dollar volume declined in the Asia/Pacific region for the first time. During the first quarter of this year, MasterCard’s gross dollar volume dipped 6.8% to $54.2 billion. Card volume in South Korea particularly declined for all card issuers as the country continues to deal with huge charge-offs. MasterCard said Thailand’s rise to the top place in consumer optimism in Asia/Pacific is a direct reflection of the economy’s ability to generate strong income and employment growth from its domestic sector, especially in consumption related activities.

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SCM FINEREAD

SCM Microsystems has become the third company worldwide to achieve “FINREAD” compliance. A “FINREAD” compliant card reader, like the “STR-FINREAD,” is a universal PC peripheral device that can reliably secure smart card initiated transactions on the Internet in a non-trusted environment, such as a home PC. The “FINREAD” standard also guarantees interoperability between different smart card issuing entities and across multiple reader manufacturers. Carried out under the auspices of the European Commission, the multi-organization “FINREAD” program involves Banksys, Groupement des Cartes Bancaires, MasterCard Europe, Ingenico, Interpay Nederland, SIZ, VISA, France Telecom, Canal Plus Technologies, Sagem, Orga, OMNIKEY, and GTA.

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PAYSPOT DEALS

Euronet Worldwide announced that U.S. ATM processor Innobeta and ATM manufacturer NexTran have joined the “PaySpot”
program. “PaySpot” is a new U.S.-based top-up service that enables consumers to purchase prepaid wireless airtime and long-distance calling plans from ATM and POS devices. Consumers can recharge prepaid accounts from all major wireless carriers as well as more than 20 other regional wireless carriers. The program processes PIN-based debit/credit card transactions at the ATM, and immediately credits the consumers’ prepaid accounts. Cash-based purchases using a POS terminal are also accepted at “PaySpot” locations. “PaySpot” services are supported by
several ATM processors, including Concord EFS and Genpass, ATM manufacturers such as Triton and Tidel and more than 20 independent sales organizations, including Financial Technologies, ATM America, ATM USA, The Bailey Group and Welch Systems.

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Cap One Aims for Super-Prime Market with 4.99% Card

Seeking to establish itself as a market leader in the super-prime market, sub- prime specialist Capital One announced today a fixed on-going interest rate of 4.99% to its best customers. Capital One’s new “Platinum MasterCard” will offer the 4.99% fixed APR on new purchases and balance transfers. The new card comes in a market where a growing number of consumers understand that the majority of so-called “fixed” rates have little if any credibility, subject to change upon fifteen days notice. Cap One dubbed the card “the lowest long-term fixed rate in the nation.” The issuer was unable to define the length of “long-term” used in direct mail solicitations for the card. The new card also offers no balance transfer or cash advance fees and no annual fee.

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