CardSpeak

Incurrent Solutions is now offering interactive voice response and speech recognition solutions that integrate with the CardSite transaction warehouse. CardSpeak is a service bureau-based solution developed to augment card issuers existing touch-tone and speech recognition system capabilities. CardSpeak can upgrade any card issuer’s telephone support hot-line to include: cardholder transaction searches by dollar amount, date or merchant name or category across up to 24 months of billing detail; payment and balance transfers capabilities; instant credit approvals; ATM, branch, or store location capabilities; small business or corporate capabilities; enroll, delete, or revise employee administration; and MCC, GL, cost center, or merchant specific totals. Incurrent is offering CardSpeak through its strategic partnership with Worldwide Automation Services.

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Equifax Board

Equifax announced the election of Coca-Cola Co. executive Steven Heyer to its board of directors. Heyer is President and COO of Coca-Cola Ventures and a member of the Coca-Cola Co. executive management committee. He is also responsible for Coca-Cola’s Latin America operations and oversees the company’s non-carbonated beverage businesses. Heyer joined Coca-Cola in 2001 from AOL Time Warner where he most recently served as president and chief operating officer for Turner Broadcasting System Inc. Prior to joining TBS, Heyer was president and chief operating officer of Young and Rubicam Advertising Worldwide. Previously, he was senior vice president and managing partner at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Inc., where he spent 15 years serving in several senior positions.

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Spiegel & MBIA Settle

The Spiegel Group confirmed yesterday it has reached an agreement with MBIA Insurance Corporation over credit card bonds issued by OR-based First Consumers National Bank. Spiegel agreed to dismiss its litigation against MBIA and The Bank of New York, and MBIA agreed to withdraw its letter declaring a pay-out event. On April 10, MBIA declared the pay-out event under two of FCNB’s credit card-backed securities, for which MBIA insures the payments to noteholders and The Bank of New York acts as indenture trustee. Spiegel filed suit the following day and obtained a temporary restraining order against MBIA and The Bank of New York. Spiegel says the pay-out event would have diverted excess cash flow of approximately $20 million monthly to repay noteholders. On February 21, Spiegel announced plans to sell its credit-card operations. The company also signed an agreement with the OCC which included restrictions on extending credit to certain customers and requires the bank to obtain a $198 million guarantee, which has been provided through the company’s majority shareholder. In addition, the bank must provide to the OCC the details of a plan to sell, merge or dispose the bank. (CF Library 2/22/02;4/23/02; 5/28/02)

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PSCU Signs Nazarene

Payment Systems for Credit Unions and National City have been selected by Nazarene Credit Union, Brea, California, to manage the credit union’s credit card portfolio. Under the PSCU Portfolio Solution, Nazarene Credit Union will receive a turnkey solution provided and managed by PSCU. The entire process from evaluation and purchase, to maintaining on-going servicing of the credit card portfoliois will be handled by PSCU. National City owns the credit card portfolio and markets related card enhancement services through an agent relationship with Nazarene CU.

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AD CAMPAIGN

Diners Club International has launched its first unified North American advertising campaign. Five new ads to run in Canada as part of the “Travel in Good Company” campaign will feature professionals who work and travel in Canada and the card benefits that are specifically Canadian. Diners Club began the campaign in April with billboards in nine airports across the country (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa,Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax). In addition, print ads will appear on a monthly basis in the EnRoute in-flight magazine, which will refer the reader to the newly updated dinersclubcanada.com Web site.

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VISA & Ask Jeeves

VISA has contracted Ask Jeeves, Inc. for its corporate “Visa Card Advisor” Web site to direct consumers to requested information about VISA consumer credit cards. Through a question and answer interaction, the “Visa Card Advisor” will lead customers to relevant products by asking them questions such as “What special features are you interested in?” or “How would you rate your credit history?” By connecting customers to the answers they seek, Visa expects to enhance customer satisfaction and increase conversion rates.

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VBV EUROPE

Bibit Global Payment Services and euroConex have signed an agreement to adopt Verified by VISA which uses 3-D Secure technology. The partnership will target merchants in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Bibit’s announcement with euroConex follows a similar agreement between Bibit and Citibank to support the German and Swiss markets. VISA is offering protection for online retailers who adopt Verified by VISA, eliminating liability for card-not-present charge-backs. Being implemented in Europe immediately, the service will be available on a global basis by April 2003. Among the first Bibit clients to benefit from this technology will be Psion, a leading technology company and a major online seller of handheld computers. euroConex is a joint venture between Bank of Ireland and U.S.-based NOVA.

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En-point Direct

Payment Partners is announcing today the launch of En-point Direct which enables companies to bypass traditional foreign wire transfers. The solution can be implemented into any Web environment, back-end system, or proprietary client, to allow companies to send electronic payment requests with payment instructions specific to each country/currency embedded in the request and receive payment from international payors through their web, intranet, or extranet with the currency conversion handled in the background. En-point Direct also offers single sign-on/user identification and the option to deposit funds in the US via ACH directly into the customer bank account. The service also incorporates transaction-screening guidelines in the recently passed Patriot Act of 2001.

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BANAMEX C2IT

Banamex has launched an online money transfer service to enable customers to instantly transfer money from the U.S. Using Citibank’s c2it service, customers now have the option to directly deposit the money into a Banamex bank account or have the recipient pick up cash at any one of the more than 1,400 Banamex branches. Customers enroll in c2it and fund their c2it account from a U.S-based bank account or VISA/MasterCard bank credit card from any financial institution. Once the funds are available, they have the option to instantly send money directly to the recipient’s Banamex bank account. c2it also offers a guaranteed rate of exchange, so customers will know the exact amount of Mexican pesos being sent. Citibank, which owns Banamex, launched its c2it service in October 2000 and its international service in May 2001.

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Payment .NET Technology

British Columbia-based Paradata Systems has released a payment solution supporting .NET technology. The main component of the release is a .NET class library that supports all of Paradata’s offerings and sample applications written in languages such as C#, VB.NET, J#, and ASP.NET. The .NET program interface allows merchants and their developers to choose from a wide variety of integration options, each suited to different needs. This creates an easy integration process and allows them to take advantage of important features of .NET such as stability and error handling.

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Payless Lodging

FL-based Payless Lodging has launched a new member benefit to lower credit card processing costs by an average of 10% to 18%. Under a partnership with First Credit Card Corporation, Payless Processing analyzes the statements by hotel operators and provides a detailed breakout of what is being charged and the savings that can be achieved through minor adjustments. There are 47 different classifications for credit card transactions. Processing fees can vary greatly based on how the transaction is entered into the system and the way it is processed. Payless Lodging is a partnership of mid-priced independent motels, hotels, bed and breakfasts, condominiums and vacation homes that provides travelers online Internet access to reserve accommodations worldwide.

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MasterCard Restaurant Forums

MasterCard International and Zagat Survey host a series of Restaurant Industry Forums in six cities beginning tomorrow in Boston which will focus on the state of the restaurant industry and how to maximize profitability. Panelists will include nationally renowned restaurateurs, chefs, designers, journalists, and academics. In addition, Tim and Nina Zagat will discuss the results of the most recent Zagat Surveys covering each city. Other cities on the tour include: Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

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