GPN and Metavante Renew

Atlanta-based Global Payments has extended its agreement to serve Milwaukee-based Metavante’s merchant portfolio with front-end POS payment card processing services. Metavante’s solutions drive customer relationship management, electronic banking, electronic funds transfer and card solutions, electronic presentment and payment, financial account processing, and wealth management. Metavante EFT and Card solutions include debit, stored value, and credit card processing, card personalization, ATM management, gateway transaction processing, merchant processing, and transportation payment solutions. Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations, financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

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FTC Settles with Magazine Subscription Firms

The FTC has settled a lawsuit with Cross Media Marketing Corporation and its subsidiary Media Outsourcing for $1.1 million in regard to deceptive magazine subscription sales practices and credit card charges. In April 2002, the law enforcement agencies charged the telemarketers, who also operate under the name Consolidated Media Services or CMS, with violating federal laws by misrepresenting and failing to disclose adequately the costs and conditions of magazine subscription agreements and buying-club memberships. The named defendants include Cross Media, a Delaware corporation based in New York; Media Outsourcing, based in Atlanta, Georgia; Ronald S. Altbach, then-chief executive officer and chairman of Cross Media and president of Media Outsourcing; Dennis Gougion, a vice president; and Richard Prochnow, who previously owned and operated the magazine telemarketing business under the names Direct Sales Inc. and Magazine Sweepstakes Ltd.

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EU CARD

MasterCard has become the official corporate payments card of the European Commission. MasterCard Europe and Belgium-based member financial institution BCC (Bank Card Company) announced last week they were awarded the EU card program, replacing a five-year old corporate card program. The new program introduces MasterCard cards for the first time as the Commission’s official corporate credit card. It will be introduced to Commission employees in a phased roll-out throughout 2003, with the majority of the 4,000 cards expected to be rolled out in the first year.

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Diners Summer Promotion

Diners Club has launched a new summer promotion to boost card volume from its U.S. “Carte Blanche” cardholders. According to CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]), cardholders who charge at least $9,605 in each month, from July to September, will earn an extra 10,000 “Club Rewards” points. Citigroup’s Diners Club revived the “Carte Blanche” two and half years ago. The card carries a $300 annual fee and offers the best of Diners Club perks. For example, cardholders receive free companion air tickets and access, for up to three guests, to many of the world’s finest private, semi-private and public golf courses. (CardTrak 12/15/00)

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[1]: http://www.cardwatch.com
[2]: http://www.cardweb.com/images/d/dinersclub/summerpromo2.jpg

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Book Volume

VISA USA reported yesterday that the weekend release of the new Harry Potter book produced nationwide VISA transactions at bookstores of $33.4 million on June 21st, an 118% increase over the same day last year. VISA also noted that June 21st set a new record as the number of VISA transactions in bookstores exceeded one million for the first time ever during the summer bookselling season, a 141% increase over the same day last year. VISA said that the number of VISA credit and debit transactions in bookstores rose 26% in the first three weeks of June compared to the same period in 2002, due to other major releases including Hillary Clinton’s “Living History.”

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Hypercom Deals

NY-based ISO POS Payment Systems has awarded Hypercom a contract with a potential for up to 5,000 high-speed card payment terminals and technology, including the “T7Plus with HyperSafe” operating system. PPS is a full service provider of electronic transaction products and services to more than 400,000 merchants nationwide. The PPS deal is the latest in a series of new contract wins for Hypercom. Earlier this month, Staples announced it will purchase and install 6,500 Hypercom card payment terminals and technology including the new “ICE 6000Plus.” In April, Hypercom was awarded a 12-month contract for 10,000 card payment terminals and technology for use by FL-based JRs POS Depot. Also in April, IL-based ABANCO International awarded Hypercom a $16 million contract for payment technology and terminals. ABANCO is an ISO and a registered agent of EFS National Bank and Fleet National Bank. NJ-based MSI Merchant Services also signed a one-year contract this year for 10,000 Hypercom “ICE” card payment terminals. MSI provides services to more than 25,000 businesses in the retail, hospitality and emerging market sectors. (CF Library 4/2/03; 4/15/03; 6/11/03)

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Least Cost Routing Certified

VA-based InteliData Technologies has completed its certification and implementation of its “Payment Warehouse” and “Least Cost Routing” solution with the MasterCard RPPS. MasterCard RPPS delivers comprehensive access to electronic bill payment and presentment services, offering connectivity to approximately 95 percent of industry providers. The Company is also currently in production at two customer sites and is working with several other clients with respect to this technology launch although specific timeframes have yet to be determined.

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MSN Banking Center & Informa

Microsoft has signed a three-year agreement with London-based Informa Research Services for consumer bank product data for the MSN Banking Center. Under the terms of the agreement, Informa Research Services will provide banking data to help consumers increase gains or minimize costs on banking products, identify the best offers for them, and apply directly online. The Informa data feeds represent a significant addition to the MSN Banking Center, which recently underwent the most substantial overhaul since its launch several years ago. Informa Research Services will continuously update the data available on MSN, providing consumers with the most current bank product information available.

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Networks Targeted

MasterCard’s CEO said last week that its $1 billion settlement in the anti-trust class action debit card litigation will not cost the association as much as it appears. Robert Selander said that when you calculate the net present value of the amount paid out over 10 years, and consider the offsetting tax benefit, it’s a much smaller figure. However, Selander noted that the debit card lawsuit is not the only threat that faces MasterCard. He said it is ironic that MasterCard’s continued business success makes it a bigger and bigger target for government regulators worldwide. Selander says MasterCard’s success could lead to intervention that could disadvantage the four-party payment structure as we know it. Selander said from the Reserve Bank of Australia … to the Office of Fair Trading in the U.K. … to the Department of Justice in the U.S. … these legal and regulatory challenges are among the most significant threats he can imagine.

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Express Money Card

Household has signed an agreement to manage the private label credit card program for Furniture Row Companies, and its 250 stores in 29 states, and will launch the “Furniture Row Express Money Card”. Furniture Row brands include Oak Express, Sofa Mart, Bedroom Expressions, Denver Mattress & Furniture Row Outlet. Customers using the new Express Money Card will be able to purchase bedding and specialty home furnishings for their entire home. Household’s retail services business works with more than 70 partners at 63,000 locations across the country to help them attract new customers and build consumer loyalty.

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Hacker Law

A new California law will take effect next week requiring companies that do business within the state to notify customers of any security breaches wherein personal information, such as credit card numbers, are accessed by an unauthorized party. The hacker disclosure law is also gaining traction at the national level. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein reportedly plans to introduce similar federal legislation next month. The new law exempts some hacks if disclosure would hinder a criminal investigation. Otherwise companies are required to notify customers in the most expedient time possible. InternetWeek says of 376 organizations polled for the “2003 Computer Security Institute/FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey,” each experiencing a breach in the past year, half say they kept the incidents quiet. Thirty percent of those surveyed reported the breach to law enforcement, while 21% sought legal counsel. A majority of organizations say negative publicity was the reason for not disclosing security breaches to law enforcement.

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