FuelForce

U.S. Bank Voyager Fleet Systems said Monday it is now offering a new fuel management tool powered by Multiforce Systems. FuelForce authorizes and controls the dispensing of products to fleet vehicles from any number of sites while collecting accurate, valuable fuel usage and vehicle data for fleet management. The partnership between U.S. Bank Voyager and Multiforce integrates the Voyager Universal Fleet Credit Card program with the FuelForce automated fuel management system. The system uses a U.S. Bank Voyager fleet card or keypad entry to authorize fuel at any in-house dispenser, and eliminates the need for multiple sets of cards and/or keys. The FuelForce island controller can accept a U.S. Bank Voyager Universal Fleet Card from a pre-authorized “third-party” without dialing a network for authorization. A list of U.S. Bank Voyager account numbers, drivers, vehicles, and a current valid vehicle odometer reading reside in a distributed database at each fuel island controller. Voyager Fleet Systems provides universal fleet fueling and maintenance cards for more than 1.3 million vehicles.

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SK ACQUISITION

SK Telecom is reportedly pursuing the acquisition of Jeonbuk Bank’s credit card operations. The Maeil Business Newspaper says Jeonbuk plans to establish a new credit card company after spinning off its card operations in July. Jeonbuk Bank is in talks to sell about 50% of its credit card company for about KRW75 billion. The newspaper says SK Telecom is currently conducting due diligence on Jeonbuk’s credit card operations.

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FALCON FRAUD

Ta-Chong Bank has chosen HNC Falcon Fraud Manager to help enhance fraud detection capabilities for its credit card portfolio. Ta-Chong is EDS’ sixth customer in Taiwan to utilize Falcon Fraud Manager via the global EDS sales channel. Approximately 40% of credit cards issued in Taiwan are now protected by Falcon Fraud Manager. Falcon Fraud Manager is a neural network-based predictive software system that examines transaction, cardholder and merchant data to detect and mitigate fraud. The technology currently protects more than 450 million payment card accounts worldwide.

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NYCE Nabs Finney

NYCE Corporation has hired Robert Finney, formerly with First Data, Equifax and Microsoft/TransPoint, as Senior Exercutive to lead NYCE’s Network and Debit Processing sales. Mr. Finney will be charged with developing national sales strategies for NYCE Network services and NYCE/First Data Debit Processing services, which comprise ATM terminal driving, card processing for on-line and off-line debit, card production, and network gateway services. With 20 years in the financial services industry, Mr. Finney has a wealth of experience building business relationships for credit card, credit reporting and e-payments companies.

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Card Ads

First quarter ad spending by the four major card networks rose by 19% compared to the first quarter of last year. However, MasterCard significantly ramped up its message as American Express cut ad spending and Discover maintained the status quo. MasterCard spent nearly 80% more on advertisements this year, than during 1Q/01, according to data provided by CMR. VISA also jacked up ad spending by more than 50% for 2002. Totally, the four card networks shelled out $220.8 million during the first three months of 2002. CMR says total ad spending, across all industries in the USA, for the first quarter, came in at $23.5 billion, compared to $23.4 billion for the same time frame in 2001. For all of 2001, VISA spent $254.5 million; American Express $239.6 million; MasterCard $204.5 million; and Discover $162.6 million.

1Q/02 AD SPENDING
1Q/02 1Q/01 CHNG
VISA $86.2 million $57.1 million +51%
American Express $59.7 million $72.6 million -18%
MasterCard $43.8 million $24.5 million +79%
Discover $31.1 million $30.9 million + 1%
TOTAL: $220.8 million $185.1 million +19%
Source: CMR

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Spiegel Delisted

The Spiegel Group’s Class A common stock on the Nasdaq National Market System was delisted yesterday due to the company’s filing delinquencies and other public interest concerns however, the company says it intends to file its overdue 10-K and 10-Q upon reaching an agreement with its bank group to restructure its existing credit facilities. The company also stated that its majority shareholder has agreed with the bank group to provide important financial support to the company, and that the company has adequate liquidity to support its day-to-day operations, including making payments to all vendors in a timely manner. Management of the company said that it will make every effort to seek arrangements to create a liquid market in the stock.

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HP NSP

Starting today, HP will make available the next generation of Atalla Network Security Processors for electronic payments. The Atalla NSP is the first offering in the industry to deliver customers the full benefit of a secure Triple DES implementation. ACI Worldwide and Diebold have already accepted the solution as the new standard for their upcoming products. The Atalla NSP series is available in three models: High-End providing 540 Triple DES PIN translates per second; Mid-Range providing 120 Triple DES PIN translates per second; and Entry-Level providing 20 Triple DES PIN translates per second. The Atalla also offers logical security designed to safeguard keys while in transit or when stored on an application host system. The NSP command set can be configured to support customer-defined security profile with optional support for remote ATM key loading.

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Ford Card

Ford Motor Company is getting back into the credit card business. Ford and GE Card Services confirmed Monday they have begun a national launch of a new national private label credit card. The no annual fee, Quality Care Auto Service Card offers instant credit and same-as-cash financing with no payments for 90 days to qualified Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury customers. The nationwide rollout to all Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury dealers follows a successful test of the program in Texas and Oklahoma. More than 220 dealers enrolled and participated in the test. The program will be rolled out nationwide over the next three months, starting this week. GE says the key benefits include the ability to offer on-the-spot financing, promotional financing terms up to 12 months, low merchant discount rates, payment for credit card sales within two business days, and electronic processing of transactions. The dealer’s name is also embossed on the card to enhance customer loyalty. GE Card Services currently provides credit card services for nearly 100 million cardholders in North America.

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GE VISA Signs PA Bank

Chambersburg, PA-based Farmers and Merchants Trust Company has signed a deal with GE Business Productivity Solutions to market commercial VISA credit cards to F&M Trust’s middle market and small business customers. Through the program, companies are offered cost reduction opportunities with suppliers of business goods and services, as well as a web site providing tools for managing and accounting for purchases. F&M Trust also will benefit from GEBPS’ capabilities in marketing commercial credit card products. GEBPS offers its agent banks a complete marketing program, including direct mail and branch office marketing.

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MasterCard LPGA Pro

MasterCard International has signed a three-year sponsorship agreement with LPGA Tour professional Dottie Pepper, the first woman professional golfer to represent the brand. Pepper is the winner of 17 LPGA Tour titles, including two major championships, and is the only U.S. LPGA Tour player to have played on all six U.S. Solheim Cup teams. Pepper has represented the United States as a member of the 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000 Solheim Cup teams. MasterCard’s Dottie Pepper sponsorship plans include logo placement as well as promotional and appearance programs.

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Motorized Swiper

MagTek has released its Motorized IntelliCoder magnetic-stripe card activator which is fully capable of reading and writing Hi-Co and Lo-Co magnetic stripe cards according to ISO 7811. A hybrid Motorized IntelliCoder model is also available that includes EMV smart card read/write capability. The MagTek Motorized IntelliCoder is designed to work in concert with MagTek’s IntelliPIN portable PINpad and IntelliCAT system software. MagTek says that by eliminating manual swiping by operators, the new Motorized IntelliCoder sharply increases precision and reliability in the encoding process. This, in turn, reduces misreads at the point of card use, yielding cost savings for the financial institution both directly and through increased customer satisfaction. The company also notes the new Motorized IntelliCoder’s small footprint makes it ideal for crowded retail branch environments.

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