Over-Limit Fees to get Supreme Court Review

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a ruling over the treatment and disclosure of over-limit fees. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati previously ruled that credit card over-limit fees should be part of the finance charge rather than a separate fee. The ruling came in response to a class action lawsuit filed against Household. The complaint charged Household with violating the “Truth in Lending Act.” The Supreme Court was asked by U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson to reverse the ruling of the lower court. A ruling on Household Credit Services vs. Pfennig is expected within the next year.

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Check Truncation Act of 2003 Passes Senate

The U.S. Senate passed the “Check Truncation Act of 2003” last week after the U.S. House passed the bill earlier this month. The legislation would, over the long term, increase the efficiency of the nation’s check clearing system by permitting the optional truncation or removal of the original paper check as soon as possible from the clearing and settlement process and enable electronic image processing. Banks desiring to continue processing paper could receive a substitute check, a paper reproduction created from an electronic image of the original check, for clearing and settlement and ultimate return to the account holder. A substitute check would have the legal equivalence of the original paper check.

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Ultramar Migrates to Keycorp K26 Terminals

Montreal-based Ultramar has decided to migrate to Keycorp “K26″ electronic payment terminals. Ultramar operates about 1,100 retail outlets in Eastern Canada. Although the initial order is for only 50 terminals, Ultramar has indicated that the”K26” will be the payment terminal of choice for its retail outlets as the older technology is replaced. A key step in the migration program will be customizing Keycorp’s special petroleum industry payment application software and migrating the legacy “Ultramar POS” application to the new Keycorp platform. Keycorp will also provide application enhancements for Ultramar.

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Capital One Renames Auto Finance Business

Capital One has changed the name of PeopleFirst Finance LLC to Capital One Auto Finance, an auto finance business Cap One acquired in October 2001. The change will leverage the strengths of PeopleFirst’s online business model with Capital One Auto Finance’s proven ability to provide customized consumer and dealer products and services. Capital One Auto Finance will also provide the convenience, ease and value of PeopleFirst’s direct-to-consumer online auto loans. PeopleFirst will be moving to the new web address http://www.capitaloneautofinance.com on June 27, 2003.

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USTT Introduces a Spin-Off of e-Port for the Hospitality Market

PA-based USA Technologies has developed a spin-off of its “e-Port ID” system for hotels which can identify guests by their room key, control access to secure areas in the hotel, as well as bill purchases to the guest portfolio through the “InfoGenesis” property management system software. The solution is embedded computing and networking technology that connects to a hotel’s system network and allows hotel guests to use their intelligent room key cards to make purchases from hotel vending machines. The new e-Port solution, which was developed by USA Technologies together with InfoGenesis, has already been implemented successfully at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

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FEE LITIGATION

The battle between VISA/MasterCard and the Reserve Bank of Australia over credit card reforms ended today in Federal Court. Justice Brian Tamberlin indicated he may issue a ruling within the next two months. Last year, the RBA issued new reforms on the credit card business permitting merchants to recover from cardholders the costs of accepting credit cards. The new standard went into effect January 1st. Also under the new RBA rules, interchange fees will decrease from around 95 basis points to approximately 55-60 basis points by October 1st. The new interchange rates will cost bank credit card issuers an estimated US$300 million per year. VISA and MasterCard argued before Federal Court that they are not a “designated payments system” and therefore not subject to RBA regulatory power. The card associations also argued that the RBA reforms will make it difficult for banks, card associations and specialist payments business to grow earnings in credit cards and will make the country less attractive for new entrants.

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The VISA and MasterCard Australian Battle Awaits Justice’s Ruling

The battle between VISA/MasterCard and the Reserve Bank of Australia over credit card reforms ended today in Federal Court. Justice Brian Tamberlin indicated he may issue a ruling within the next two months. Last year, the RBA issued new reforms on the credit card business permitting merchants to recover from cardholders the costs of accepting credit cards. The new standard went into effect January 1st. Also under the new RBA rules, interchange fees will decrease from around 95 basis points to approximately 55-60 basis points by October 1st. The new interchange rates will cost bank credit card issuers an estimated US$300 million per year. VISA and MasterCard argued before Federal Court that they are not a “designated payments system” and therefore not subject to RBA regulatory power. The card associations also argued that the RBA reforms will make it difficult for banks, card associations and specialist payments business to grow earnings in credit cards and will make the country less attractive for new entrants.

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Paymentech Offers NIADA Members Lower Fees

The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association has signed Dallas-based Paymentech to offer the association’s 17,000 members a better price structure on credit card processing fees. Paymentech’s arrangement with NIADA means that dealers can avoid hefty application and conversion fees and they will have no monthly service charges. Since Paymentech specializes in payment processing for the automotive industry its solutions are especially tailored to meet the needs of auto dealers. NIADA members will benefit from the relationship with competitive pricing, having a single provider, no statement or terminal fees and more.

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50 Million Accounts Now on TS2 with TRIAD 7.0

Fair Isaac and TSYS reported Thursday they have successfully completed the conversion of more than 20 portfolios totaling 50 million credit card accounts on TSYS’ “TS2” processing platform to “TRIAD 7.0”. TRIAD has been providing quality account management solutions to the United States, Canada and Europe for more than a decade. Its flagship product TS2 is a state-of-the art card processing system which houses transaction and customer histories, scoring, account and custom information and incorporates that information into card issuers’ account processing and billing functions.

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Triton ATMs Go Live with PaySpot

MS-based Triton confirmed that its ATMs have begun offering Euronet’s U.S. based prepaid phone recharge program. Euronet’s “PaySpot” is the latest service to go live in the Triton “Waves” program completing the first bundle of “Waves,” which includes “CashWorks” check cashing and Western Union “@ATM” money transfers. Core Data is the first processor to certify “Triton Waves.” Triton’s “9100” and “9700” lines began shipping with “Triton Waves” software in March. “Waves” enabling kits are also available for Triton’s “9600” series ATMs. “Waves” is an acronym for “with added value enabled services.” Triton has more than 83,000 ATM and ATM management software installations in 17 countries worldwide.

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