CYBERNET

CyberNet Inc, the Korean POS manufacturer, and its Surrey,
England-based subsidiary, CyberNet EMEA Ltd, have created a new
subsidiary in Poland. The new company, CyberNet Poland Ltd, is based in
Warsaw, is 100% owned by CyberNet, and will provide consulting, sales,
marketing, application development and customer support services to its
clients within the country. The new Managing Director of CyberNet Poland
Ltd is Wladyslaw Slebodzinski. CyberNet Poland estimates over 6 million
cards per year will be issued and 380,000 POS terminals deployed in
Poland in the next 5 years.

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Providian TRIAD

Providian has selected Fair Isaac’s “TRIAD” adaptive control system at TSYS to manage the risk exposure of its portfolio of 12 million consumer cards. TRIAD adaptive control system enables the world’s leading lenders to automate and improve credit account management. It facilitates the process of developing and implementing different credit and marketing strategies, using predictive analytics to forecast future performance in decision areas such as credit line management, delinquent collections, authorizations management, and performance pricing.

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VLSI TEST SYSTEM

Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient has selected Teradyne’s “J750k VLSI Test
System” for design verification and electrical qualification of contacted
smart cards. The small footprint of the “J750k” enables G&D to perform
design verification and qualification test up to 32 sites in parallel in an
engineering laboratory. The “J750k” features IG-XL test software. The basic
configuration starts with 64 pins at 50MHz and can be expanded up to 256
pins at 100MHz.

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Big Mac Processing

TN-based Concord EFS has landed the McDonald’s credit and debit card processing contract. The world’s largest QSR chain recently announced plans to begin selectively rolling out card-based payments by mid-2003. Under terms of the deal, Concord will provide transaction routing, authorization, and settlement for all credit and debit cards. McDonald’s says it select Concord after the company offered several options to improve the speed of the transaction, a critical factor for quick service restaurants. McDonald’s has more than 30,000 local restaurants serving 46 million people daily. Two weeks ago McDonald’s announced it will broaden card acceptance next year, and may top 10,000 locations by the end of 2003. KFC introduced card acceptance last year in most of its outlets. Burger King and Wendy’s have pilot programs underway with decisions on full-scale deployment set for early next year. Jack in the Box was the first fast-food firm in the USA to take credit cards. A recent VISA study found the average transaction for credit customers was 20% to 30% higher than for cash customers. (CF Library 11/13/02)

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USMS & GL

CA-based ISO U.S. Merchant Systems, Inc. says it has signed an LOI to partner with Global Links Corp. The objective of the strategic partnership is to introduce new proprietary electronic products and expand the sales force for both companies. US Merchant Systems is a Merchant Service Provider for VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Diners Club. USMS’s customer base accounts for 11,000 businesses and a 170 member sales team.

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FICO Gifting

After reluctantly opening credit scores to consumers, the industry has gone to other end of the scale offering consumers the option of gifting credit scores. Fair, Isaac announced Monday that U.S. consumers can purchase now “myFICO” products such as “Score Power” and the “myFICO Credit Advantage” subscription service, as gifts for other consumers. Once a gift purchase is made on Fair, Isaac’s consumer Web site, the company sends a digital gift certificate to each recipient with instructions for redeeming his or her gift. Customers also have the option of printing a paper gift certificate in their choice of themes to present to the recipient directly. The recipient can register on myFICO.com at any time to gain immediate access to the credit information gift. The “Score Power” service carries a $12.95 fee and the “myFICO Credit Advantage” has a $59.95 fee. Both services incorporate consumer credit data from Equifax. Equifax reported it has generated $27.5 million in direct-to-consumer sales so far this year. More than one million consumers purchased “Score Power” reports in the first year of the service, which was launched in March 2001. (CF Library 4/15/02)

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Canadian Crackdown

A federal district court has temporarily halted the business practices of a Toronto-based company charged by the FTC with promising consumers a major credit card, and charging an advance fee for it, but never delivering the credit card. According to the FTC, the defendants, operating under several names, targeted U.S. citizens representing that they would provide consumers with a VISA or MasterCard credit card that had an interest rate of 3.9% or 6%, credit limit of $2,500 to $5,000, and no annual fee, in exchange for an up-front “processing” fee ranging from $175 to $199. The fees were collected by debiting the customers bank account. The FTC estimates the scam produced $5 million in sales. The FTC’s complaint names Pacific First Benefit, LLC; Key Nation Benefit, LLC; First Federal Benefit, LLC; Federal Credit Services, Limited; and Alex Orphanou.

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ECHO 3Q/02

CA-based Electronic Clearing House reported revenues for the quarter ending September 30th of $8.6 million, a 9.5% increase from $7.8 million in the same period last year. The net loss for the quarter was $207,000, as compared to a loss of $37,000 in the same quarter of 2001. The net loss was attributable to a combination of factors, including a write-down of $80,000 in inventory, increased expenses related to the development of the “Visa POS Check Services” program, higher net interest expense and lower gross margin. The processor also announced that it named Alex Seltzer as CIO and COO. For complete details on ECHO’s 3Q/02 report visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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AmEx Donation Site

American Express has launched a new online giving portal to link cardholders with more than 800,000 charities. According to a new American Express survey of 800 general consumers, 76% of Americans plan to make a charitable contribution this holiday season. And, despite the economy, 84% plan to contribute the same or more this year than last. The average charitable donation this year is expected to be $125.

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