NPC Signs Motel 6

National Processing Company announced the signing of a multi-year credit card processing agreement with Motel 6, owned and operated by Accor Lodging North America, a division of Paris-based Accor, the world’s third-largest hospitality company and the European leader in travel, tourism and corporate services. Under the terms of the agreement, NPC will provide merchant card processing solutions for all Motel 6 properties’ Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions.

Accor Lodging North America, thru its multi-brand, economy-lodging division Accor Economy Lodging (AEL), operates the economy leaders Motel 6, Studio 6 and Red Roof Inns in the U.S. and Canada. AEL is the nation’s largest owner and operator of economy lodging properties in the U.S., with more than 1,150 properties representing more than 122,000 rooms throughout the contiguous U.S. and Canada. In aggregate, AEL comprises nearly 10% of the entire U.S. economy-lodging sector. NPC currently provides front-end authorization and settlement services for Red Roof Inns.

“NPC has always worked in partnership with us in delivering a cost- effective processing solution for Red Roof Inns, so it was natural to turn to them to also provide processing for Motel 6,” said Armand Sebban, executive vice president, chief financial officer for Accor Economy Lodging. “Credit cards play a very important role in our business, and NPC provides the expertise to keep our costs associated with card acceptance at a minimum.”

“Accor sets high standards for itself and its providers, so we are very proud the company has chosen to expand its relationship with us,” stated Drew Soinski, senior vice president of Travel and Entertainment for NPC. “We see Accor’s decision as a vote of confidence in NPC’s processing capacity, expertise, and service.”

“NPC has enjoyed a long-term relationship with AEL’s Red Roof Inn properties,” said Mark Pyke, executive vice president of Merchant Services for NPC. “We are honored to be selected as AEL’s merchant processing partner for Motel 6 as well. Like Red Roof Inns, Motel 6 will benefit from NPC’s proven leadership and expertise, as well as our economies of scale and processing efficiencies.”

About Accor Lodging North America

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Accor Lodging North America is a division of Paris-based Accor ([www.accor.com][1] ), the world’s third-largest hospitality company and the European leader in travel, tourism and corporate services. Accor Lodging North America operates more than 1,200 upscale and economy properties owned by Accor including the upscale Sofitel and Novotel hotel locations in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the nationwide economy leaders Red Roof Inns, Motel 6 and its new extended-stay product, Studio 6. Together, Red Roof Inns ( [www.redroof.com][2] ), Motel 6 ([www.motel6.com][3]), and Studio 6 ([www.staystudio6.com][4]), comprise nearly 10% of the entire U.S. budget-lodging segment.

About Accor

With 130,000 associates in 140 countries, Accor is the European leader and one of the world’s largest groups in travel, tourism and corporate services, with two major international activities:

* Hotels: 3,500 hotels (400,000 rooms) in 90 countries, travel agencies, restaurants and casinos

* Services to corporate clients and public institutions: each day, 12 million people in 31 countries use a broad range of services (Food Vouchers, People’s Care, Expenses Management, Social Services, Incentive/Events) engineered and managed by Accor.

About National Processing, Inc.

National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, National Processing Company (NPC(R)) is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. National Processing is 87 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ([www.nationalcity.com][5]), a Cleveland based $91 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 500,000 merchant locations, representing nearly one out of every five Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering their total cost of card acceptance through our world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be obtained at [www.npc.net][6] .

[1]: http://www.accor.com/
[2]: http://www.redroof.com/
[3]: http://www.motel6.com/
[4]: http://www.staystudio6.com/
[5]: http://www.nationalcity.com/
[6]: http://www.npc.net/

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Fraud Insurance

People’s Bank RC Knox & Company insurance subsidiary announced Tuesday the formation of the ‘eFraud Alliance’ and the ‘eTailer Fraud Solution Insurance Policy’ to protect online businesses from the risk of catastrophic credit card fraud losses. The alliance is a collaboration between RC Knox, Retail Decisions and Creative Risk Management Solutions. The ‘eFSIP’ requires the use of Retail Decisions’ fraud prevention and detection solutions to provide online merchants the ability to monitor online transactions, spot fraudulent transactions in real time, and take steps to minimize fraud losses. The ‘eFSIP’ also includes catastrophic fraud insurance coverag that protects the capital of online merchants while allowing them to sell products in a more secure environment.

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Pay-By-Touch System

VeriStar Corporation and DigitalPersona, Inc. announced they are working jointly to provide merchants and their customers with integrated solutions for conducting electronic payment transactions with the convenience and added security of biometric authentication.

VeriStar is an Oakland, Calif.-based provider of a payment service in which consumers voluntarily enroll in order to access their checking, credit and loyalty accounts without having to use cumbersome, costly plastic cards, paper checks, key fobs and other tokens. Instead, consumers who enroll in VeriStar’s voluntary, free service will be able to pay for goods simply by placing their finger on a DigitalPersona sensor integrated with a countertop credit card device from leading companies like Hypercom and Verifone.

“VeriStar is very pleased to be working with DigitalPersona to integrate our leading technologies in a new payment authentication service that will provide merchants and customers with greater control over their credit, debit and check transactions,” said Phil Gioia, CEO of VeriStar.

“VeriStar’s voluntary `pay by touch’ authentication service is an ideal application to bring shoppers and retailers the compelling security and convenience advantages of our proven U.are.U technology,” said Fabio Righi, President and CEO of DigitalPersona. “As consumers and merchants realize that added security can be utilized in a manner that is more convenient and less costly than carrying yet another piece of plastic in their purse or wallet they will embrace this new service.”

VeriStar’s service allows consumers to access their bank and debit accounts electronically without having to use the plastic cards, paper checks, key fobs and passwords that can easily be lost, stolen or damaged. At the same time, it provides merchants with reduced risk and lower costs in handling cash and checks. Consumers who enroll in the voluntary system no longer have to carry their cards and checks, but can easily access their accounts online using the ultra security of fingerprint authentication. Utilizing DigitalPersona’s U.are.U(R) technology, the VeriStar service will authenticate shoppers by comparing their previously enrolled information with information at the time of purchase.

About VeriStar

VeriStar’s patented service enables a payment environment for completing transactions without the use of cash, checks and cards. The VeriStar service provides greater convenience and security to consumers who voluntarily enroll a finger scan and enables merchants to substantially reduce transaction-processing costs and significantly mitigate the risk of fraud. VeriStar’s Internet address is [www.veristarcorp.com][1]. VeriStar has 15 issued patents enabling the service.

About DigitalPersona

DigitalPersona, developer of the innovative U.are.U(R) biometric security solutions, brings both heightened security and convenience to users. With a user-friendly interface and the highest level of security users can now safeguard their digital accounts and information. Based in Redwood City, Calif., the company distributes its products through an extensive network of OEM, VAR, reseller and retail channels and has attracted strategic partnerships with major computer and peripheral manufacturers. DigitalPersona’s U.are.U solutions have received numerous awards, including the “Editor’s Choice” awards from PC Magazine and Network Computing and the “Best of Comdex” award from PC Week.

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

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EMOSYN CARD

ATMI, Inc. announced that its Emosyn fabless
smart card venture is expanding its marketing and sales efforts beyond
Europe into Asia, by establishing a Singapore office. Pang Sze Yong is
joining Emosyn as Business Development Manager for Asia.

Grahame Lucas, Emosyn’s Director of Sales, said, “Growing customer
demand throughout Asia for Emosyn’s products helped us decide to
expand with our new Singapore customer support center. The superior
designs of Emosyn’s Theseus(R) microprocessor-based smart card
integrated circuit and Rania(R) software development tools will help
us to penetrate further into all the key high growth smart card
markets. With offices in Europe, North America, and Asia, Emosyn is
now prepared to offer new generations of smart card microprocessors
aimed at the high growth areas in the market.”

Pang Sze Yong, Asia Business Development Manager for Emosyn, said,
“Emosyn’s smart card microprocessor architecture and development
toolkit allow our customers to get new applications and products to
market faster, at lower cost.” Before joining Emosyn, Sze Yong has
previously worked for German smart card manufacturer Giesecke &
Devrient Asia Pte Ltd. and more recently with Swedish Mobile Internet
Consultancy AU System in Singapore.

Emosyn’s Rania(R) development tools enable software and hardware
developers to write and port applications onto the Theseus family of
flash-based integrated circuits. After achieving an extensive security
qualification, the Theseus Gold 48 and Theseus Gold 96 microprocessors
are being used in GSM applications worldwide.

Emosyn, a fabless semiconductor company, is a division of ATMI,
Inc. Emosyn has a design center in San Jose, California; corporate
headquarters in Danbury, Connecticut; and sales and marketing
headquarters in Europe.

ATMI provides specialty materials and services to the worldwide
semiconductor industry.

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NBC & Retriever

National Commerce Financial has reached an agreement through its subsidiary, National Bank of Commerce, to sponsor Retriever Payment Systems for its merchant bankcard transactions processed through Visa and MasterCard for all new accounts, effective immediately.

“What’s exciting about this agreement is that Retriever is one of the nation’s leading bankcard sales organization with an extremely strong cash flow,” said Lewis E. Holland, president of Financial Enterprises. “We’re pleased to be able to add value to their industry-leading merchant services program, while enhancing the revenue generated through our Financial Enterprises businesses. It’s a valuable proposition for us both. Corporately, we have continued our aggressive plan to diversify and strengthen our revenue and income streams by increasing high-growing, high-return lines of business.”

Founded in 1986, Houston-based Retriever Payment Systems is an Independent Sales Organization (ISO) providing merchants nationwide a valuable turnkey solution for credit card services. In order to process transactions through the Visa and MasterCard systems, the company must contract with a third party with a banking charter.

National Commerce Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: NCBC) is a leading seller and marketer of diversified financial and consulting services delivered through its national network of banking and non-banking affiliates. With $16.6 billion in assets and approximately 400 locations throughout the Southeast, National Commerce Financial is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., and maintains operational headquarters in Durham, N.C.

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MasterCard MLB

MasterCard is going all out for the 2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Seattle. A majority of MasterCard’s promotional activity will focus on the John Hancock All-Star FanFest, July 6-10 in Seattle. MasterCard will be awarding a total of three grand prize VIP trips to SAFECO Field this Fall — two for retail promotions winners and one for the “MasterCard ScoreCard Promotion,” a product-specific, fan-activated promotion highlighting the company’s chip technology. As part of its retail promotion MasterCard cardholders using their cards at the FanFest store, six satellite All-Star stores in Seattle-area hotels, Seattle’s four local Mariner’s Clubhouse stores or anywhere in SAFECO Field — including ticketing, concessions and merchandise — will be eligible to win one of two VIP Trips to SAFECO. During FOX Sports’ telecast of the All-Star Game, MasterCard will debut a new ad in its “Priceless” campaign. MasterCard will unveil the third spot in its ongoing “Trip” series, which follows two twenty-something fans around the country for a summer on their way to visiting every Major League ballpark. The latest ad will find the duo at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

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Kagi E4X

E4X, Inc., a provider of a risk free online multi currency solution that enables businesses to sell in local currencies, announced that Kagi, a leading payment processing platform for independent software developers, will be the first company in its category to use the E4X multi currency offering. By incorporating E4X’s REX, Kagi will enable its global consumers to view final prices and purchase in their currency of choice, while it settles in US dollars. E4X’s multi currency functionality will be available on Kagi’s Web store by mid-summer.

Kagi will provide its customers a new and unique service with the use of the E4X REX; enabling them to display final prices–other than US dollars–in up to 26 local currencies for its digitally downloaded software on its online catalogue. International customers that shop on Kagi’s Web store will be able to select the currency in which they want to pay and then purchase in that local price and currency, knowing the exact and final charge on their credit and/or debit cards. At the same time, Kagi will continue to conduct business as usual and receive final payment in US dollars, based on a guaranteed rate of exchange provided by E4X. E4X guarantees the final transaction price and manages the foreign currency risk, ensuring that Kagi and its customers will not be exposed to any foreign exchange risks. The E4X REX is the first multi currency solution that brings advanced financial tools to the point of sale thereby eliminating the foreign exchange risks related to selling in multiple currencies. Compatible with all major payment systems and eCommerce platforms, companies can easily integrate the E4X REX to their Web sites. The offering provides businesses with a cost-effective method to sell online in multiple currencies and eliminate costs and hassles typically associated with selling in foreign currencies. With the E4X REX, Kagi will also have the flexibility to fix prices across currencies for any interval of time (days, weeks, months, year) and price differentiate by currency, according to seasonal promotions and specials.

“Software developers depend on us to provide the most flexible transaction platform so that they can sell worldwide,” said Kee Nethery, president of Kagi. “We’ve always accepted the widest range of payment methods and currencies in our industry. Now with E4X technology, our customers who use credit cards will always be able to buy in their local currency.”

“Every online retailer wants to increase international sales by enabling its global customers to shop in their local currency. Until now this has been a real barrier. Selling in multiple currencies is a highly complex process that exposes businesses to accounting and taxing overhead, currency risks and complicated banking procedures,” said Yuval Tal, CEO of E4X, Inc. “With the E4X REX, these intricate processes are eliminated and simplified, which will enable companies like Kagi to sell in local currencies without changing the manner in which they do business and give them a competitive edge over their domestic and international peers.”

About Kagi

Founded in 1994 by Kee Nethery, Kagi has been an early pioneer in the creation of the digitally delivered software market. Through its secure payment-processing platform, Kagi has made it possible for independent developers around the world to go into business and for millions of consumers to buy innovative technology products unavailable in the mass market. Kagi now processes transactions for over 7,000 vendors in 184 countries.

About E4X, Inc.

E4X, Inc. enables eBusinesses that are expanding globally to sell in foreign currencies easily and without currency risks. By employing E4X’s cost-effective solution, online businesses can display final prices in local currencies, while receiving exact payment in their currency of choice. This multi-currency solution is easy to integrate, minimizes costs and hassles and is designed to support local marketing strategies. Compatible with all major payment systems and eCommerce environments, E4X eliminates all foreign currency exchange risks by bringing advanced financial tools to the point of sale. Founded in 1999, E4X is based in New York and is privately held. The company also operates a research and development facility in Tel Aviv, Israel. For further information, visit [www.e4x.com][1].

[1]: http://www.e4x.com/

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TOUCH

Malaysia’s RangkaianSegar Sdn Bhd and Network for Electronics Transfers Singapore are teaming up to launch a smart payment card in July that contains two chips, one for Malaysian transactions and the other for Singaporean transactions. The new ‘Touch`n’Go CashCard’ enables commuters to pay toll charges, parking fees, and other transportation costs in both Singapore and Malaysia. The card is especially aimed at commuters who use the the Causeway and the Second Link. The dual interface smart card is the result of an integration between RSSB’s ‘Touch`n’Go Electronic Payment System’ in Malaysia, and Nets ‘NetsCashcard’ in Singapore. Card users will be billed for transactions in Singapore through the ‘CashCard e-purse’, while the ‘Touch`n’Go’ e-purse would support transactions conducted in Malaysia. Both firms have initially ordered 5,000 cards each. C0ardholders will be able to re-load the ‘Touch`n’Go’ e-purse at any of its 70 counters, selected Petronas petroleum stations and retail outlets in Malaysia. While ‘CashCard’ e-purse users can replenish their cards at ATMs and major petroleum kiosks in Singapore. RSSB has about 1.2 million ‘Touch`n’Go’ cardholders.

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VISA Korea

VISA International signed an exclusive marketing partnership with the Korea National Tourism Organization this week. Under the three year partnership agreement, VISA will be granted exclusive advertising, promotional and marketing rights in connection with consumer payment services, title sponsorship of KNTO events, and preferred brand status for online sales and reservations on KNTO websites. In return, VISA will run print and other media advertising campaigns, to achieve a target of over 30,000 tour package sales and other travel incentive packages through tie-ups with airlines and travel agencies, and promote specific marketing campaigns through its global network of member financial institutions. The value of this marketing activity is an estimated US$26 million. As part of a long-term commitment to Korea, VISA has worked in close partnership with the KNTO to promote Korea as a tourist destination since the launch of the successful destination marketing program “Korea Welcomes VISA” in 1998. In 2000 alone, this marketing program contributed to over US$740 million in tourists’ VISA Card spending in Korea. In May, with the cooperation of the KNTO, VISA launched the ‘VISA Customer Center Seoul’, a full-service information and travel booking center for tourists and business travelers.

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GCS IQ

Global Card Services has implemented several credit card management services for the T&E industry using Web-based systems powered by the ‘Sybase Adaptive Server IQ Multiplex’. ‘IQ Multiplex’ is a high-performance, relational database that provides scalable e-business intelligence for Web-enabled data warehousing. Global Card Services provides payment gateways to facilitate credit card processing; systems to automate retrieval and chargebacks; and management services to major hospitality companies across the world such as car rental companies, cruise lines, timeshares and ski resorts. GCS uses ‘IQ Multiplex’ technology to process information for all of its online credit card applications.

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Hypercom Funding

Hypercom said yesterday it has secured a commitment for $45 million in new financing. The refinancing package is being led by Wells Fargo’s Foothill Capital Corp. The company says the cash infusion, coupled with the recently completed securitization of the Golden Eagle Leasing portfolio, puts the firm on strong financial footing. The proposed $45 million facility will completely replace the existing principal lending facility. The funds will be used to refinance outstanding debt as well as for general corporate purposes, including working capital and capital expenditures. Hypercom says overall conditions for the payment terminals business are becoming favorable as the industry is starting to move into a “re-terminalization” cycle occurring partly because of the anticipated global adoption of smart cards. Last month, Hypercom said it expects to return to profitability during the latter part of the year. The company reported first quarter net revenues of $71.1 million compared to $77.3 million in the year-ago period. However demand for the advance technology Internet-enabled ‘ePic’ terminals has produced a backlog of $163 million, up from $158 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2000. (CF Library 5/3/01)

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Wireless VIPdesk

VIPdesk, the leading Internet concierge service, announced the launch of their online personal assistant platform into the wireless market, offering enterprises the ability to provide their customers with wireless access to local city information and a live, personal assistant.

With this expanded service, customers can now review local city content and access live concierges through Web-enabled phones and PDAs using PALM operating systems.

With VIPdesk’s wireless application, an end-user can contact a live concierge anytime, anywhere who can help them conduct countless personal and business tasks. VIPdesk’s highly-trained network of concierges can do everything from simple tasks including making last-minute reservations at a five-star restaurant and ordering theater tickets to more complex endeavors such as planning the perfect weekend “get-away.”

In addition, during the initial roll-out, a customer can access pre-screened information that provides customized content on fourteen major cities. This pre-screened content will be expanded to fifty-two cities during phase-two to be completed the end of July.

“In an increasingly mobile society comprised of growing numbers of overwhelmed consumers, we anticipate the wireless coordination of personal and convenience services to be a leading customer retention and loyalty tool for today’s companies,” says VIPdesk CEO, Mary Naylor. “VIPdesk’s foray into wireless confirms our dedication to providing our corporate partners with the most high-quality, easily accessible, expedient service to help their customers to more effectively and effortlessly manage their everyday tasks.”

VIPdesk currently provides its concierge services through co-branded Web sites with blue chip partners including Freddie Mac, MasterCard, Citibank, e-Tenants.com and Diners Club. Through e-mail, live chat and telephony, VIPdesk’s professional, trained concierges serve more than 10 million users.

“Several large companies have turned to VIPdesk as an incentive tool because of its ability to go beyond high-quality content and bring a live, interactive service to the Internet,” says Naylor. “We anticipate that expanding this personal, customized service into the wireless arena will continue to increase usage and attract consumers. Moreover, we are finding that the wireless carriers are intrigued by our high tech, high touch offering which provides a value-add service for their customers while providing revenue opportunities for the company.”

About VIPdesk ([www.vipdesk.com][1])

VIPdesk helps busy people get things done through real-time web-based coordination of personal and convenience services. The VIPdesk concierge program combines state-of-the-art technology, a broad range of valuable products and services, exceptional personalized convenience services, deep technical expertise and industry experience to create a truly unique value-added service for customers and/or employees.

Users can access the service via phone, e-mail, web site, live chat, and wireless devices 24 hours a day, seven days per week. This innovative technology and centralized infrastructure of local concierges acts as a powerful retention and productivity tool that currently serves more than 10 million users. Founded in 1997 by Mary Naylor, a 14-year veteran of the concierge industry, this personal assistant infrastructure platform serves clients including, Freddie Mac, MasterCard, Citibank, e-Tenants.com and Diners Club.

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

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