NOVA Gets Fidelity

NOVA Information Systems and Fidelity National Corporation have entered into an alliance and sales agreement in which NOVA will provide payment-processing services to the 459 merchant customers of Fidelity National Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fidelity National Corporation.

NOVA — the country’s third largest merchant payment processor — will immediately begin implementation of the contract with Atlanta-based Fidelity National Bank, which generated $127 million processing volume in 2001.

Fidelity’s alliance with NOVA allows it to offer a broader range of merchant products and services to its commercial customers. “This opens the door to exciting new opportunities for both Fidelity and its customers, said David Buchanan, senior vice president of Fidelity National Bank. “NOVA’s merchant processing experience will allow us to grow our commercial base and enhance our ability to offer state-of-the-art processing products and services.”

“We are truly excited to be associated with Fidelity National Bank,” said Pamela Joseph, senior executive vice president of business development for NOVA. “We are confident that our alliance will help strengthen Fidelity’s offerings by providing it with an expanded set of merchant processing tools.”

Fidelity National Corporation, through its operating companies, Fidelity National Bank and Fidelity National Capital Investors, Inc., provides a wide range of banking, mortgage and investment brokerage services through 19 full-service branches in Atlanta. Mortgage, construction and automobile loans are also provided through an office in Jacksonville, Fla. For additional information about Fidelity National’s products and services visit [www.FidelityNational.com][1].

Atlanta-based NOVA Information Systems, an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), manages and transports payment and other business information on behalf of retailers, community banks and regional financial institutions. NOVA specializes in providing integrated credit and debit card payment processing services, related software application products and value-added services to more than 650,000 merchant locations in the United States. For more information on the company, visit [www.NOVAinfo.com][2].

[1]: http://www.FidelityNational.com
[2]: http://www.NOVAinfo.com

Details

Provell Extension

Minneapolis-based Provell said this morning it has received notice from Paymentech that VISA has extended its proposed date to disqualify the Company from participating as a merchant in the VISA program from April 4 to May 17. VISA is considering the appeal that Paymentech filed on the Company’s behalf in March. Provell is a membership program marketer and is formerly known as DAMARK International. The company has about 2.8 million consumers. The company posted a $34 million loss last year. In June, Provell rejected an offer from Metris Companies for $4 per share. (CF Library 3/8/02)

Details

Vital Certifies Hospitality Software

Vital Processing Services® (Vital®), a recognized leader in technology-based commerce enabling services, announced that Inter-American Data, Inc.’s Lodging Management System, hospitality software, has been Class B Certified on Vital’s POS network. With this certification, now acquirers that have merchant customers using LMS can route transactions directly through the Vital Sierra Authorization and Capture System.

LMS front office software is an integrated solution for comprehensive hotel data management. This software speeds up and simplifies hotel operations with features ranging from reservations and check-in to night audit and check out. With the Vital Class B certification, LMS System users will have the ability to process payment transactions with more scalability and cost effective service on Vital’s proven, reliable network.

“We are delighted with this certification. It offers our customers yet one more reason to do business with us,” said Mike Sunshine, IAD marketing director.

“Vital is pleased to Class B Certify LMS hotel property management software to our network,” says Henry Harp, executive vice president, market development, Vital Processing Services. “We are responding to the needs of our clients to provide a one-stop-shop for their transaction processing needs. Now, we can directly handle authorization and capture requests for existing LMS customers or for any new merchants utilizing this system.”

About Lodging Management System

Lodging Management System (LMS) front office hospitality software, a product of Inter-American Data, Inc., a privately -owned enterprise solution provider, offers complete hotel data management needs. LMS is designed to help hotels efficiently manage large amounts of information without the additional staff that decreases profit margins. It allows hotel staffs to spend less time waiting for information and more time giving guests excellent service. LMS unites in one integrated software solution, greater management control of hotel front office, accounting and housekeeping operations while improving guest services. It also is a versatile foundation expandable to incorporate additional programs for sales and catering, telecommunications management, back office, food and beverage, activities scheduling and other functions. From reservations and check-in to wake-up call to night audit and checkout, Additional information regarding LMS can be found at [www.iadusa.com][1].

About Vital Processing Services

A leader in technology-based commerce enabling services, Vital Processing Services® (Vital®) is the only pure acquirer processor in the industry. Vital s clients include acquirers and merchant service providers that offer electronic payment processing and related services to merchants. Vital provides leading point-of-sale (POS) products and services, electronic authorization and data capture; clearing, settlement and exception processing; accounting, billing and reporting; risk management; and merchant support services. Vital also provides POS equipment management services through its subsidiary Vital Merchant Services and a full suite of Information Services. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa U.S.A. and TSYS® (“NYSE: TSS”), a global leader in payments processing. Additional information regarding Vital can be found at .

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

Details

ProCash 2250

Wincor Nixdorf launched the ProCash 2250 ATM, which fits any standard drive-up installation in the USA. The ProCash 2250 features a sunlight-readable 12.1″ LCD. The display is considerably brighter than the CRTs found in most ATMs, allowing bank customers to easily see and operate all ATM functions. The ProCash 2250 is powered by a Pentium III processor and runs on the Windows NT operating system. The open system architecture (WOSA/XFS) combined with an accessible design, allows new functions to easily be added to the ProCash 2250; users simply slide out the computer chassis in the ATM to upgrade all major systems. The new ATM can be enhanced for other applications including deposits, printing documents such as statements, and Web-enabled initiatives.

Details

Golub Chairs Venture Firm

TH Lee Putnam Ventures, a leading venture capital fund with $1.1 billion in committed capital, announced that it has named Harvey Golub, former Chairman and CEO of American Express, as Chairman.

In that role, he will work closely with TH Lee Putnam Ventures’ managers and with Thomas H. Lee Partners and Putnam Investments, the fund’s sponsors, to offer strategic counsel to the fund, its executives and its partner companies. Mr. Golub will also become a Senior Advisor to Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Thomas H. Lee said, “Based on his record as CEO of American Express and, earlier, as head of one of its most important operating groups, Harvey is widely acknowledged as one of the best managers in the country. He understands the impact of new and evolving technologies across many sectors of the economy. Further, his many relationships in the business and financial communities can provide important business contacts and deal flow for TH Lee Putnam Ventures as well as for our portfolio companies.”

Mr. Golub said, “TH Lee Putnam Ventures’ investment focus is a good one – investing in mid-to-late-stage technology-oriented companies that have true potential to change the way that business is done. The real challenge in venture capital comes in creating value for limited partners by selecting the best companies in which to invest and then helping those companies increase market share, develop new products and carry out strategic acquisitions and alliances. It’s in that task that I see my primary role.”

In addition to his aforementioned accomplishments, Mr. Golub serves as a board member for many major corporations, including Campbell Soup Company, Dow Jones and Warnaco, as well as board member and chairman for tech-related firms, including AirClic and ClientLogic. He also commits time to serving on the boards of a number of philanthropic foundations.

About TH Lee Putnam Ventures

TH Lee Putnam Ventures ([www.thlpv.com][1]) is a $1.1 billion venture capital fund affiliated with Thomas H. Lee Partners and Putnam Investments. Based in New York, TH Lee Putnam Ventures provides development capital to companies that commercialize digital information technologies. Its major focus is on Financial Services, Retail Applications Software, Consumer Supply Chain and Outsourcing Solutions.

To date, TH Lee Putnam Ventures has invested over $500 million in 37 companies. Among the more significant investments in the portfolio are:

— Liquidnet ([www.liquidnet.com][2]) is an alternative trading system (ATS) that allows large institutional investors to trade large blocks of listed and Nasdaq stocks with minimal market impact.

— Currenex ([www.currenex.com][3]) is the leading online business-to-business foreign currency exchange service for corporations, financial institutions and government organizations.

— Marketmax ([www.marketmax.com][4]) is a leading provider of advanced retail planning and analytics software that allow retailers and their suppliers to analyze large amounts of historical data and create meaningful predictive information.

— Parago ([www.parago.com][5]) provides companies with an outsourced technology solution for promotional management, including the execution and monitoring of rebate programs or cash discount programs on a real-time basis.

— Velocity Express ([www.velocityexp.com][6]) is the largest provider of same-day delivery and logistics services in North America, including scheduled delivery, on-demand delivery, critical parts management, distribution services and air courier services.

[1]: http://www.thlpv.com
[2]: http://www.liquidnet.com
[3]: http://www.currenex.com
[4]: http://www.marketmax.com
[5]: http://www.parago.com
[6]: http://www.velocityexp.com

Details

Welcome & Catuity

Catuity this morning announced a settlement agreement with Welcome Real-Time which ends a patent dispute over smart card loyalty software. Last year, Welcome claimed in an Australian Court case that Catuity and its Australian subsidiaries had infringed its patent by operating the CiT Transcard system in Western Sydney from July 1997, and by offering to supply upgrades of the system since that time. Under terms of the settlement announced this morning, both parties have agreed to stop all legal action over current patent issues and seek compulsory mediation and binding arbitration for all future patent disputes. Catuity offers an integrated suite of applications that provide loyalty, ticketing, access control and membership. Welcome Real-Time, based in France, offers a smart card transaction platform that provides instantly awarded loyalty points, coupons, punch cards, vouchers, tickets, and cash back. (CF Library 5/18/01; 7/27/01)

Details

VISA ELECTRON

The Moscow city government’s Social Card issued by Bank Moskvy will become a VISA Electron smart card this month. The Social Card program distributes state money to pensioners. Bank Moskvy has already signed up 26,000 new accounts for the new program. About 2.5 million pensioners are eligible to participate. The cards will be used to pay for utilities, metro, railway trips and food. The cards will also serve as an ID and an insurance policy according to The Russia Journal. Since last September, officials have been running the smart-card experiment on pensioners of three areas of Moscow: Chertanovo Tsentralynoe, Chertanovo Yuzh-noye and Biryuluovo Zapad-noye. The smart card EBT project might save as much as $7.5-8 million of the state-budget money, the Izvestia Daily reported on March 21.

Details

CompuCredit 4Q/01

Atlanta-based CompuCredit, the issuer of the sub-prime Aspire VISA card series, yesterday released a final fourth quarter report showing a net loss of $33.2 million. Included in the final results is a loss of approximately $39 million related to CompuCredit’s sale during the fourth quarter of two interests in its securitizations and a corresponding revaluation of its retained interests in its securitizations as a result of the discount rate implicit in the sales. In January, CompuCredit released a preliminary earnings report that showed 4Q/01 net income of $5.6 million but with a note that it may have to decrease net income for the fourth quarter by $5.8 million, due to a loss on the sale of two securitizations. The company said it was in discussions with auditors over the treatment of the loss on sale. However, two weeks ago, CompuCredit reported that its independent auditors, Ernst & Young, quit after completing an audit for 2001. At year-end 2001, CompuCredit had $1.8 billion in average card loans and net charge-offs of 15.3%. For 4Q/00, net charge-offs were 13.3% and net income was $11.3 million. CompuCredit issues cards through Columbus Bank and Trust Company and has 2.1 million accounts. For complete details on CompuCredit’s final fourth quarter report visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]) (CF Library 1/30/02; 3/20/02)

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

Details

SKYPASS VISA

U.S. Bank, a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, and Korean Air have teamed up to offer the SKYPASS Visa card, which rewards customers with SKYPASS miles toward free travel for purchases made with the card. The companies introduced the new program Tuesday at an inaugural event in Los Angeles.

Members of SKYPASS, Korean Air’s frequent flyer program, earn one mile for every dollar spent and they will receive SKYPASS bonus miles with their first purchase. The card functions like any other Visa card with worldwide acceptance at more than 23 million locations, and purchases are covered by Visa’s “Zero Liability” policy. The card may also be used for ATM transactions, however miles do not accrue on ATM balances.

“We are thrilled to partner with Korean Air, a vibrant company that offers great value to its customers who in turn convey tremendous loyalty to the company and its partners,” said Darla O’Donnell, senior vice president of Card Services at U.S. Bank. “The SKYPASS Visa card is an important addition to our cobrand portfolio, and we look forward to building a successful program.”

SKYPASS miles can be redeemed for travel on Korean Air, KAL airline partner Malaysia Airlines and SkyTeam partners including AeroMexico, AirFrance, Delta, Czech Airlines, and Alitalia. The miles are earned by flying SkyTeam partners, as well as by using other SKYPASS partners including hotels, car rental, telecommunications, and duty free shops.

“As the first Asian carrier to introduce a Visa credit card into the United States market, we are very proud and honored to partner with a reputable bank such as U.S. Bank, one of the largest credit card providers in the United states,” said K.S. Kim, general manager of passenger marketing at Korean Air. “This program is a very convenient way for our SKYPASS members to earn miles from everyday purchases.”

U.S. Bank will issue four versions of the SKYPASS Visa card: Secured, Classic, Platinum, and Business Platinum. The SKYPASS Visa Secured card helps customers build credit in the United States. A credit limit is established by the amount designated for a security savings account from $300 to $5,000. The SKYPASS Classic card offers a credit limit up to $5,000 and $250,000 in travel accident insurance. The SKYPASS Platinum card offers a credit limit up to $25,000 and $500,000 in travel accident insurance. The SKYPASS Visa Business Platinum card offers a credit limit designed for business needs up to $25,000, with $500,000 in Travel Accident Insurance, Visa Partner Advantage discounts, medical and legal assistance, and emergency translation services. Bilingual customer service is also available through U.S. Bank.

Customers will see and hear more about the SKYPASS Visa Card in newspaper advertisements, direct mail and e-mail announcements and on the Web site. There will also be brochures at major airports in cities including Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Dallas and Atlanta as well as U.S. Bank branch locations including those in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.

Anyone interested in applying for a SKYPASS Visa should call 1-866-SKYPASS or visit www.skypassvisa.com. Bi-lingual Customer Service Representatives can be reached at 1-866-286-VISA (for consumer cards) or 1-866-249-3790 (for business cards).

Korean Air, with a fleet of 119 aircraft, is one of the world’s top 20 airlines and operates almost 400 passenger flights per day to 82 cities in 30 countries. Korean Air is a founding member of SkyTeam, the global airlines alliance — partnering AeroMexico, Air France, CSA Czech Airlines, Alitalia and Delta Air Lines — that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. More on Korean Air’s programs, routes, frequency and partners is available at www.koreanair.com.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, with assets in excess of $171 billion, is the 8th largest financial services holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,147 banking offices and 4,904 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp is home of the Five Star Service Guarantee which assures customers of certain key banking benefits and services or customers will be paid for their inconvenience. U.S. Bancorp is the parent company of Firstar Bank and U.S. Bank. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com and Firstar Bank at www.firstar.com.

Details

WELCOME & CATUITY

Catuity, Inc.announced a settlement agreement with Welcome Real-Time, of France, ending a patent dispute between the two loyalty software providers.

The agreement results in the following:

– The immediate settlement and cessation of all legal action in Australia with no material future financial consequences for either party;

– A prohibition on both Welcome Real-Time and Catuity from initiating any patent legal action between them anywhere in the world; and

– A commitment by both Welcome Real-Time and Catuity to compulsory mediation and compulsory binding arbitration for all future patent disputes wherever and whenever they occur.

Appropriate documents will be filed with the Federal Court of Australia as soon as possible.

Catuity also announced that it has filed its Form 10K for the year ending December 31, 2001. As expected, the company reported total operating revenue of $2.02 million, an increase of 169 percent over the year 2000. Catuity also reported a net loss of $3.88 million, compared to a net loss of $3.81 million in 2000. Increasing revenues resulted in a substantially reduced loss in the second half of 2001 ($1.24 million) compared to the first half of 2001 ($2.63 million).

Catuity, Inc. (www.catuity.com) is a leading provider of loyalty software systems. The Catuity software includes an integrated suite of applications that provide loyalty, ticketing, access control and membership. The Catuity Loyalty System is ubiquitous in that it can operate on any device, any card program, and with any payment process, including stored value, smart cards and wireless applications. Catuity unites the brick-and-mortar retailer with the Internet to enable cross-sell capabilities with consistent brand imaging across all channels.

Details

SMART CARD TIX

Deutsche Telecom and Cubic’s T-Systems have teamed up to test an electronic ticketing system for Germany’s Rhein Main Verkehrsverbund and Hanau Strassenbahn. The pilot is the prototype for a ticketing system for the entire RMV region according to Smart Card News Ltd. The new system includes a contact-contactless smart card and check-in/check-out bus validators. The system also uses Cubic’s Tri-Reader which supports a variety of card technologies and applications.

Details

FRAUD LOSSES

The Japan Consumer Credit Industry Association reported this week that credit card fraud losses declined 10.7% last year. Total credit card fraud losses were 27.57 billion yen for 2001. However, losses due to forgery rose 4.4% last year to 14.6 billion yen. The Japan Consumer Credit Industry Association studied 49 domestic card-issuing firms.

Details