BidPay & WU

Western Union, one of the world’s leading money transfer companies and an innovator in the field of electronic person- to-person money transfer transactions 130 years ago, announced that, Inc.([][1]) is now the newest member of the Western Union family of products and services. is a top Internet person- to-person (P2P) payment service option for online auction users.

The patent-pending technology facilitates online auction payments quickly and conveniently by allowing an online auction buyer to pay for winning bids with a Western Union branded money order* purchased via the Internet. As a part of the service package, the company processes the buyer’s order and then notifies the seller and buyer, via e-mail, that the money order payment has been processed and mailed directly to the seller. is one of the few auction payment methods to incorporate the use of a money order as the payment instrument, and differs from many other Internet P2P players by using a buyer pays business model. Buyers pay a fee to purchase BidPay’s services including the money order, and merchants and auction sellers pay no transaction fees.

“BidPay’s package of services has extended the application of the traditional money order into a viable online auction payment solution. As a new economy business, BidPay has demonstrated strong performance with a buyer pays model that is working well for both buyers and sellers,” said Mike Yerington, president for Western Union North America. “The integration of BidPay into Western Union’s service family provides opportunities to leverage the trusted reputation of the Western Union brand and the support of other First Data companies to grow the business through an already established presence in the Internet auction payment market.”

In existence since April 1999, the service is listed as a payment option on more than 600,000 auction seller’s sites and continues to grow monthly. Western Union, a subsidiary of First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC), acquired earlier this year and will relaunch the site this week with the company’s branding. The new service, branded Western Union(R) BidPay(, will offer enhanced customer service.

“BidPay complements Western Union’s other person-to-person payment services and is consistent with our vision of providing a broad range of Internet payment and processing choices to our ever-growing consumer base,” Yerington added.

Western Union BidPay is the latest in a series of new Internet services offered to consumers by Western Union, which include:

* Western Union Money Transfer(R): offers consumers an online money transfer service with immediate cash payout at more than 100,000 agent locations in more than 170 countries and territories. (
* Western Union(R) MoneyZap(SM): enables individuals and businesses to send, request and receive money online. (
* Western Union(R) Gift Gram(SM): provides consumers a personalized way to send the gift of money with a specially designed Western Union(R) Gift Check(SM) that is purchased online and sent directly to the recipient with a customized message via a variety of ground delivery options. (
* Western Union(R) Quick Collect(R): offers consumers the ability to make a wide variety of bill payments to more than 4,000 billers online quickly and hassle free. (

About Western Union

Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corporation (NYSE:FDC), is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer services. The company provides rapid money transfer service through a global Agent network. Consumers can quickly, safely and reliably transfer money at more than 100,000 Agent locations in more than 185 countries and territories using the Western Union money transfer network. Famous for its pioneering telegraph service, the original Western Union dates back to 1851 and introduced electronic money transfer service in 1871. Western Union is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2001. For more information please visit the company’s web site at [][2]

About First Data

First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC), with global headquarters in Denver, powers the global economy. Serving approximately 2.6 million merchant locations, more than 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data makes it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services, using virtually any form of payment: credit, debit, smart card, stored-value card or check at the point-of-sale, over the Internet or by money transfer. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [][3].



VISA SupplierLocator

Businesses and government agencies were given a compass, as Visa U.S.A. announced the launch of the Visa SupplierLocator.

This new Internet tool will assist Visa commercial customers in identifying suppliers that accept Visa commercial payment products, along with providing the ability to search for suppliers identified by distinct criteria such as minority ownership information, merchant location, and business classification.

An easy-to-use Web resource, the Visa SupplierLocator enables Visa commercial cardholders to conveniently identify new suppliers that accept Visa. Additionally, it is equipped with functionality to provide an onscreen map of each selected U.S. merchant location. The Visa SupplierLocator can also benefit suppliers by giving them an opportunity to gain visibility and potentially grow their customer base.

“Similar to a favorite search engine, the Visa SupplierLocator will become an invaluable resource,” said Michael L. Dreyer, Senior Vice President, Commercial Solutions, Visa U.S.A. “This tool is another example of Visa’s continued efforts to add tremendous value at every stage of the procurement and payment cycle.”

The information available on the Visa SupplierLocator comes from the Visa Merchant Profile Database (VMPD), a repository of high-integrity supplier information gathered from sources including transaction detail and public information. This data enables Visa commercial cardholders to make more informed purchasing decisions and to meet federal and state regulatory requirements.

The Visa SupplierLocator is the best place to start when looking for a supplier, greatly simplifying a once daunting task. Although inclusion in the SupplierLocator carries no endorsement by Visa of a supplier’s products or services, this data is an invaluable resource to business. This tool is another example of Visa’s commitment to remain the best way to pay and be paid in the commercial marketplace.

In addition to the Visa SupplierLocator, Visa commercial cardholders benefit from a wide variety of products and services that help organizations build flexible solutions that promote cost efficiency and financial control. Visa’s enhanced reporting and supplier data helps make businesses financially smarter.

The Visa SupplierLocator is available on the Internet, and can be accessed at [][1] under “Business Highlights.”

About Visa

Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with the best way to pay and be paid. More than 14,000 U.S. financial institutions rely on Visa’s processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate over $810 billion in annual transaction volume – including more than half of all Internet payments – with virtually 100 percent reliability. U.S. consumers carry more than 353 million Visa-branded smart, credit, commercial, stored value and check cards, accepted at approximately 22 million locations worldwide. Visa has long led the industry in developing payment security standards, and has been named the most trusted payment brand online. Visa’s people, partnerships, brand and payment technology are helping to create universal commerce – the ability to safely conduct transactions anytime, anywhere and by any device. Please visit [][2] for additional information.



Fleet 2Q/01

Joining the chorus of other major issuers, Fleet blamed higher charge-offs on the recent rise in consumer bankruptcies which have soared ahead of upcoming legislation. Fleet reported second quarter charge-offs of 6.31% compared to 5.55% for 1Q/01 and 5.78% for 2Q/00. As a result of the bankruptcy factor, Fleet, like other issuers have experienced lower delinquency rates. Fleet reported 2Q/01 delinquency of 4.40%, compared to 4.75% for 1Q/01, and 4.38% for second quarter 2000. At the end of June, Fleet had $14,565,000,000 in domestic credit card receivables, a 5% increase over 2Q/00’s $13,819,000,000. However charge volume dropped 5% compared to 2Q/00, from $5.8 billion to $5.5 billion. For complete current and historical data on Fleet’s credit card portfolio visit CardData ([][1]).

2Q/01 1Q/01 4Q/00 3Q/00 2Q/00
EOP RECV: $14.6b 14.3 14.9 14.4 13.8
Q-VOL $ 5.5b 4.3 5.3 6.2 5.8
ACCTS: 6.7m 6.6 6.8 6.7 6.6
ACTIVES: 5.3m 5.2 5.3 5.2 5.2
CARDS: 10.3m 10.3 10.1 10.0 9.8

Source: CardData ([][2])



Community Bank Proc

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. recently announced the opening of a new bank center located in Butler, Pa.

The bank center will support community banks operating on the Heartland Community Bank Program, which allows independent banks to offer merchant credit card processing and other value-added services to their business customers without financial risk or liability.

“Heartland is dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service to our bank partners through our bank center as well as a complete menu of value-added services for their merchant customers.

“We are very pleased to offer our local, independent banks access to a specialized group of individuals specifically trained to handle the needs of the banking community,” said Mike Hammer, executive vice president of sales and marketing, HPS.

Heartland’s bank center is an innovative solution which allows them to serve their community bank partners more effectively and efficiently. The bank center is staffed by specifically trained personnel who provide daily support on any bank issue.

Additionally, bank partners will receive weekly lead generation reports on merchant conversions to the bank program and monthly updates on their bank program income as well as year-to-date merchant card sales volumes.

“Many card processors do not understand that in a bank program there are two customers — the bank and the bank’s merchant customers,” said Barry Welsch, senior vice president of Heartland’s Community Bank Program.

Welsch continued, “At Heartland, we think it is important to keep the bank informed of what is happening with their business portfolio. By establishing a separate bank center staffed by specialized personnel with over 150 years of direct banking experience combined, we are able to handle bank inquiries in a fast, knowledgeable, and efficient manner at the bank’s convenience.”

Currently, Heartland services over 200 independent banks and more than 5,000 merchant customers on their Community Bank Program. Heartland has developed successful, long-term relationships with their bank partners by providing a quality merchant processing program including local, face-to-face representation by dedicated sales professionals and a 24/7 customer service center.

Banks interested in learning more details about Heartland’s Community Bank Program should contact Barry Welsch directly at 724/482-1135 or email

About Heartland

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. (HPS) is a full service merchant card processor (for credit, debit, ATM, check cards, and payroll) handling services that include fraud monitoring, reconciliation, compensation, ACHing of merchant funds, draft retrieval processing, and chargeback processing. HPS conducts business with all types and sizes of merchants ranging from small to high volume accounts.

Heartland began in May 1997 as Heartland Card Services, LLC and has rapidly grown to become one of the largest merchant acquirers in the United States, as well as the largest privately held merchant acquirer. For more information about HPS, please visit them online at [][1] or [][2].



AmEx Jet Enhancement

American Express added a new perk for ‘Platinum Card’ and ‘Centurion Card’ which enables cardholders to book private air charters. The ‘Private Jet Charter Program’ is available through a relationship with the air charter service provider Le Bas International. Cardholders enrolled in the ‘Membership Rewards Program’, who book air travel through the Private Jet Charter Program receive double bonus points, up to 30,000 points, for each booking. The ‘Private Jet Charter Program’ includes a variety of aircraft types that can accommodate as few as two passengers or as many as 400. Booking air travel through the Program starts at $5,000.


CompuCredit 2Q/01

Sub-prime specialist CompuCredit reported second quarter earnings of $14.7 million, a 130% increase over the first quarter. The ‘Aspire VISA’ issuer also reported a drop in charge-offs as a result of strong collection performance. The net charge-off rate was 14.6% in the second quarter of 2001 as compared to 14.8% for the first quarter. At June 30, the 60+ day managed delinquency rate was 10.6% compared to 9.4% as of March 31. Total credit card loans stood at $1,671,762,000 compared to $1,171,932 for 2Q/00, a 42.6% increase. CompuCredit added 167,000 new cardholders or 44,000 net new accounts for 2Q/01. For complete current and historical data on CompuCredit’s credit card portfolio visit CardData ([][1]).




Trintech Group Plc, a global provider of
secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions for real world, Internet
and wireless environments, announced the release of PayWare Resolve
Version 5 with improved processing efficiency and greater customer care
capabilities. PayWare Resolve is a powerful dispute management system that
enables acquirers and processors to process disputed transactions
(chargebacks) more efficiently and cost-effectively.

The latest version of PayWare Resolve is designed to minimize total cost
of ownership for acquirers and processors by allowing flexible integration and
configuration, while reducing processing disputed transaction costs. PayWare
Resolve now provides increased chargeback auto processing capabilities,
enabling acquirers to improve cash management by rapidly passing chargebacks
back to the merchant responsible. A new browser interface allows acquirers and
processors to reduce their internal deployment costs and extend back-office
exception management capabilities to their partners and customers. Processing
customers and merchants can now control and manage their own disputes with
minimal investment in infrastructure.

“The new version of PayWare Resolve highlights our R&D commitment to
providing acquirers and processors with solutions to address the growing
volume of chargebacks emanating from eCommerce transactions,” said John Harte,
executive vice president of sales and marketing at Trintech. “Disputed
transaction rates can be up to 100 times greater on the Internet than in the
physical world. In managing the increasing number of disputed transactions,
acquirers can rely on PayWare Resolve Version 5 to streamline chargeback
processing and reduce costs.”

PayWare Resolve Product Overview

Trintech’s Chargeback System (PayWare Resolve) automates the exception
management process from end-to-end, increasing processing efficiency and
creating more opportunities for greater customer care.
PayWare Resolve combines a powerful decision-support environment with
compliant dispute regulations to enable optimum management of the entire
chargeback process using an easily understood graphical user interface, for
swift and informed decision-making.

The essential difference between PayWare Resolve and other exception
management systems is its built-in knowledge of national and international
chargeback regulations. The chargeback regulations for VISA and
MasterCard/Europay have been encoded into the application so that the system
can recommend the appropriate action and chargeback reason codes for each
case, replacing the need to navigate a series of intricate paper trails and
complex and changing regulations. Combined with the solutions ease of use,
this dramatically reduces the average training time for new staff to be fully

About Trintech

Founded in 1987, Trintech is a leading provider of secure electronic
payment infrastructure solutions for card-based transactions for physical
world commerce, eCommerce and mobile commerce. The company offers a complete
range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and
procurement card applications, as well as being a world leader in the
deployment of payment solutions for Internet commerce that are fully SSL and
SET(TM) compliant. Trintech’s range of scalable open systems architecture
solutions for UNIX(R) and Windows NT(TM) platforms covers consumer, merchant
and financial institution requirements for physical payments and the emerging
world of electronic commerce. Trintech can be contacted in the U.S. at
2755 Campus Drive, San Mateo, CA 94403 (Tel +1-650-227-7000) and in Ireland
at Trintech Building, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18
(Tel +353-1-207-4000). Trintech can be reached on the Web at
http// .


AvantGo + Bpass

AvantGo, Inc., the leading provider of mobile infrastructure software and services, and Bpass, Inc., a privately held efinance solutions provider that leverages the shared ATM networks, announced that they have teamed up to offer banking services to mobile device users. By offering the BankPass balance inquiry service on the AvantGo mobile Internet service, Bpass is extending its technology to provide on the go consumers with secure, real-time access to their consolidated account balances.

Once consumers have registered with BankPass, they immediately have secure access to their ATM-enabled banking and credit card accounts, accessible via their mobile devices using the AvantGo service. BankPass is the first Internet gateway to the global ATM network that enables consumers to access their balances without requiring them or their bank to use any special software or hardware. Consumers can use the BankPass service even if their financial institution does not offer online banking or they are not registered for online banking services. BankPass is simple to use and provides consumers with a secure, convenient, quick way to stay on top of their finances and spend with confidence. BankPass does not charge consumers for the use of its service. “Consumers want access to their financial information in a variety of settings — at home, in the office and on the road. By extending the BankPass balance inquiry service to the AvantGo mobile Internet service, consumers now have unprecedented real-time account balance availability, with greater choice for how, when and where they access this information,” said Jimmy Hallac, CEO, Bpass Inc. “We’re excited to bring the BankPass technology to the AvantGo platform, and together offer consumers a great new way to have their financial information at their fingertips.”

“In a recent AvantGo survey, we found that almost two thirds of our users would like mobile access to their online bank account,” said Mike Aufricht, general manager of AvantGo’s Mobile Marketing and Commerce division. “Our audience demographic is ideal for Bpass and we are pleased to be working with them to extend their technology to the mobile arena and provide a valuable financial service to our customers.”

About Bpass

Founded in January 2000, Bpass Inc. is a financial services solutions provider that leverages the existing shared ATM infrastructure to develop e-finance solutions. Its flagship service, BankPass, provides consumers with simple, convenient and fast access to their financial information by safely and securely delivering real-time account balances across multiple channels, including the Internet, e-mail, PDAs, instant messenger services and mobile devices. The BankPass technology is able to access ATM-enabled accounts, independent of whether or not a consumer’s financial institution offers online banking or the consumer has activated their accounts for online banking. The technology can be seamlessly integrated into new or existing online and mobile service offerings or operate on a stand alone basis. Bpass is partnering with financial service enablers, financial institutions, ATM networks and processors, and online destinations to leverage its robust, proprietary technology to better serve consumers through increased access to their financial information and additional online payment choices. Bpass Inc. is headquartered in New York City. [][1].

About AvantGo

AvantGo, Inc. is the leading provider of infrastructure software and services that power the mobile economy. AvantGo M-Business software enables businesses to increase the value of their corporate information systems by extending existing enterprise applications and critical information to employees, customers and business partners. The company also provides the AvantGo mobile Internet service, a hosted network that enables hundreds of businesses to deliver their content and applications to more than 2.5 million mobile consumers. AvantGo is a pioneer in delivering real-world solutions for both wireless and off-line use. For more information, please visit [][2].




Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a
subsidiary of First Data Corp., announced the addition of
Algeria to the growing list of countries served by its international money
transfer system. Alliances with Societe Generale Algeria, El Khalifa Bank,
and the Algerian Post Office will create an estimated 200 Western Union agent
locations throughout Algeria by year-end and will allow Western Union to offer
money transfer services to the nearly three million Algerians living abroad.

Western Union’s agreements with the Societe Generale Algeria and El
Khalifa Bank have been operational for several months, providing services in
more than 30 locations in major cities nationwide. Both organizations are
expected to vigorously pursue expansion opportunities. In addition, the
recent agreement with the Algerian Post Office will significantly amplify the
presence of Western Union throughout Algeria and will help extend its reach to
Algerian populations in rural areas as well as urban communities. The Post
Office is projected to offer service through 100 locations by the end of the

“The addition of the Algerian Post Office, Societe Generale Algeria and El
Khalifa Bank illustrates Western Union’s policy of aggressive international
expansion,” said Charles T. Fote, president and chief operating office, First
Data Corp. “These agreements represent a significant extension of the Western
Union global agent network and enhance our presence throughout Africa. They
also demonstrate our commitment to ally ourselves with the most trusted and
service-oriented local businesses.”

Both postal organizations and local banks provide Western Union an
important link to communities around the world and have become valued agent
partners. With the addition of Societe Generale Algeria, the Algerian Post
Office and El Khalifa Bank, Western Union Money Transfer services are now
available through more than 100,000 locations that span the globe, providing
an unparalleled international presence in the field of money remittance.

About Western Union and First Data Corp.

Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp.
(NYSE FDC), is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer services.
Consumers can quickly, safely and reliably transfer money at over
100,000 agent locations in more than 185 countries and territories using the
Western Union money transfer network. Famous for its pioneering telegraph
service, the original Western Union dates back to 1851 and introduced
electronic money transfer service in 1871. Western Union is celebrating its
150th anniversary in 2001. For more information, please visit the company’s
Web site at http//

First Data Corp. (NYSE FDC), with global headquarters in Denver, powers
the global economy. Serving approximately 2.6 million merchant locations,
more than 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data makes it
easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and
services, using virtually any form of payment credit, debit, smart card,
stored-value card or check at the point-of-sale, over the Internet or by money
transfer. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at


Equifax 2Q/01

Equifax Inc. reported solid second quarter net income of $57.9 million and earnings of $0.42 per share. The results include operations of Certegy Inc., formerly the Equifax Payment Services Division, which contributed net income of $19.6 million, or $0.14 per share, and exclude one-time separation costs related to the Certegy spin-off, which totaled $36.5 million pre-tax or $0.21 per share. Results for Certegy, which was established as a separate public company through a tax-free distribution to shareholders on July 7, 2001, will be reported as discontinued operations.

SECOND QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS (excluding divested and discontinued operations)

* Second quarter consolidated revenues of $289.5 million and operating income of $76.2 million represent growth of 10 percent (13 percent excluding currency impact) and 14 percent, respectively.

* Excluding acquisitions and currency, revenues increased nine percent over second quarter 2000, despite the sluggish U.S. economy.

* Diluted earnings per share of $.28 were up 17 percent over second quarter 2000 and exceeded analyst expectations by $.01.

* North American Information Services revenues were $192.9 million versus $170.5 million in 2000, an increase of 13 percent led by growth in Credit Services, Mortgage Services, and Consumer Direct. Consumer Direct revenue increased more than five times over second quarter 2000.

* Operating income in North American Information Services increased 13 percent to $79.6 million.

* Revenues in Latin America were $27.1 million and operating income was $6.6 million in the quarter. Revenues in local currency were up six percent.

* Revenues in Europe were $35.4 million and operating income was $.5 million. Revenues in local currency were up six percent.


* Revenue increased 16 percent to $574.8 million.

* Operating income increased 18 percent to $146.5 million.

* Diluted earnings per share increased 16 percent to 52 cents.

“Equifax is delivering profitable growth despite a sluggish global economy,” said Tom Chapman, Equifax chairman and chief executive officer. “Our performance is attributable to the strong revenue and profit growth in the core U.S. reporting businesses, demand for direct-to-consumer products and improved operating efficiency.

We continue to experience growth in our Consumer Direct business,” Chapman continued. “We were the first to offer consumers their credit profile securely over the Internet and we continue to expand our direct to consumer services, including the acclaimed ScorePower(TM) product and CreditWatch(TM), the leading consumer weapon against ID fraud.

Our Small Business Exchange is gaining momentum as we populate the database with customers’ data and build membership. In addition, we continue to partner with world-class companies to leverage technology while minimizing our capital requirements. We recently announced an agreement with Seisint that dramatically reduces the turn-around time needed for marketing services fulfillment.”


Equifax reconfirmed its previous guidance for revenue and earnings growth of seven to nine percent for calendar 2001. For 2002, Equifax expects revenue growth of 10 to 12 percent and earnings per share growth of 11 to 13 percent.

Equifax enables and secures global commerce through its information management, consumer credit, marketing services, business information, authentication and e-commerce businesses. As the leader in information services, Equifax adds value wherever customers do business, including the financial services, retail, telecommunications/utilities, information technology, brokerage, insurance and business lending industries and government. Equifax also enlightens, enables and empowers consumers to manage and protect their financial health with services offered at The company ranked in the top five in return on equity among Business Week’s Best Performers for 2001. Equifax employs 6,600 in 13 countries and has $1.1 billion in revenue.

For more information on Equifax’s 2Q/01 results visit CardData ([][1])




Cadmus and TrustPower have teamed up to provide consumers with the option of paying their electricity bills with debit or credit cards using a personal telephone terminal. TrustPower says it plans to deploy 1,000 of the telephone devices in two South Island regions for a pilot by year-end. The company also noted that its ‘POS Power’ phone system can be extended to enable consumers to pay for other utility services such as telephone, gas, cable television and Internet service.


Household 2Q/01

Led by higher receivable volume and a wider net interest margin, Household’s managed net revenues grew $395 million, or 19%, from a year ago. The managed net interest margin percent widened to 8.34% from 8.17% a year ago and 8.22% in the first quarter. Managed fee income also increased $43 million, or 12%, compared to 2Q/00, reflecting higher levels of credit card fees. However credit quality declined as charge-offs in the VISA/MasterCard portfolio increased 22%, while delinquencies increased by 15%, since 2Q/00. Household notes that virtually all of the increase in the quarter was due to higher bankruptcy filings. For complete details on Household’s 2Q/01 current and past performance visit CardData ([][1])

2Q/01 1Q/01 4Q/00 3Q/00 2Q/00
EOP RECV: $17.0b 16.6 17.6 16.4 15.9
CHG-OFFS 6.82% 6.27 5.83 5.23 5.57
DEL (60+dy) 3.60% 3.68 3.49 3.48 3.14
Source: CardData (