Paying college tuition with credit cards may become a thing of the past as more colleges look closely at merchant fees. The University of Massachusetts at Amherst has ceased taking credit cards after shelling out $600,000 in merchant fees last year from card transactions submitted by 5,000 students. Tufts University in Medford, MA stopped taking credit cards after racking up $525,000 in merchant fees from about $29 million in tuition payments. Boston University also ceased taking credit cards and now claims it saves $1.5 million per year. However other schools are feeling pressure by parents to resume taking credit cards. The University of Washington in Seattle, the University of Florida, and the University of Kentucky are gearing up to take credit cards again this year. According to the Associated Press, about one third of tuition is charged to plastic at a typical college and most consumers charge tuition to earn free air miles.Details
Euronet Worldwide announced the implementation of outsourcing services for Bank Wspolpracy Regionalnej (BWR) in Krakow S.A., a member of the Deutsche Bank group in Poland.
Under the terms of the multiyear agreement, Euronet will manage the daily issuance of VISA Electron cards, authorize and process debit transactions, and provide the bank a gateway to the VISA network. The bank will monitor daily transactions on the network through a remote terminal access system developed by Euronet, enabling the bank to provide real-time information to cardholders whose inquiries come into the bank’s call center.
“Euronet helped us to achieve our objectives of capital investment cost reduction and quick implementation of a solution which was vital to our bank’s service strategy,” said Dr. Friedhelm Herb, Bank Wspolpracy Regionalnej S.A. CEO. “In addition to avoiding the expenditure for software application and hardware, we avoided the necessity of spending on internal infrastructure. Our product offering is focused on both individual and corporate clients. After implementation of these new card products, our offering will be among the most comprehensive on the banking market in Poland.”
“Euronet is very pleased to increase our outsourcing options with BWR/Deutsche Bank Poland,” said Michael Brown, Euronet Worldwide Chairman and CEO. “We have been providing comprehensive ATM outsourcing to BWR for quite some time. With the addition of the debit card program, BWR can now offer additional retail services to its clients, which in turn will drive more transactions across our network. We enjoy helping progressive financial institutions like BWR become leaders in their markets.”
About Euronet Worldwide
Euronet Worldwide is an industry leader in providing secure electronic financial transaction solutions. The company offers financial payment middleware, financial network gateways, outsourcing and consulting services to financial institutions and mobile operators. These solutions enable their customers to access personal financial information and perform secure financial transactions — any time, any place. The company has processing centers located in the United States, Europe and Asia, and owns and operates the largest independent ATM network in Europe. Euronet was recently ranked number two on the Deloitte & Touche Technical Fast 500, a ranking of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America. With corporate headquarters in Leawood, Kansas, USA, and European headquarters in Budapest, Hungary, Euronet serves more than 200 clients in 60 countries. Visit our web site at www.euronetworldwide.com.
About Bank Wspolpracy Regionalnej S.A.
Bank Wspolpracy Regionalnej S.A. is a bank specializing in services to small and medium-size companies and individual clients. Bank Wspolpracy Regionalnej S.A. has 32 branches located mostly in the Southern part of Poland and employs approximately 800 people. The bank is a part of the Deutsche Bank group, and in the near future will be incorporated into the pan European structures of Deutsche 24.Details
Equifax Inc. announced
it has acquired Clearing de Informes (CDI), Uruguay’s leading provider of
consumer credit information to businesses. CDI, a subsidiary of Argencard
S.A. in Argentina, is headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay, with annual
revenues of approximately US$5 million and 73 employees.
“This transaction reinforces our global strategy of geographic growth in
regions with good economies where strong financial and credit systems exist,”
said Bill Catucci, executive vice president and group executive for the
Americas. “Equifax brings state-of-the-art technology to the market to
provide quality products and services to our international and local
With the addition of Uruguay, Equifax now conducts business in six Latin
American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and El Salvador.
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 http//www.equifax.com .
The company ranked in the top five in return on equity among Business Week’s
Best Performers for 2001. Equifax employs 12,000 in 18 countries, has sales
in 50 countries and has $2 billion in revenue.
Starting next fall, members of the Desjardins caisses will be able to use wireless technology to check their account balances, make bill payments, funds transfers and line of credit payments from their cellular phones at any place and time. With this new
initiative, it will even be possible for members to view the most recent
transactions on their accounts and see other financial information, such as a
display of current interest rates.
The Mouvement des caisses Desjardins and its partner, Wysdom Inc., a
leader in wireless technologies, made this announcement today during a seminar
entitled “Tendances, impacts et defis de l’Internet sans fil” (Mobile
Internet’s Trends, Impacts and Challenges) presented in Montreal by the
Institut international des telecommunications (the International
Earlier this year Bell Canada, one of Desjardins’ long-time partners,
signed a strategic alliance in the area of telecommunications through which
Bell Mobility subscribers will become the first ones to use the new
“The wireless technology to be implemented by Desjardins is one of the
best to handle financial transactions,” said Mr. Eric Lemieux, Vice-President
Electronic Access and Payments at Desjardins. “Wysdom’s technology, along
with its vast experience in the field of wireless financial services, will
enable us to provide optimal service to our members,” he added.
“Through this ground-breaking innovation, Desjardins will occupy the
leading position in the field of wireless financial transactions in Quebec,”
said Mr. Kashif Hassan, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Wysdom Inc.
“With Wysdom’s technology, Desjardins is offering its members higher
efficiency and a more competitive advantages for their financial
transactions,” he added.
Wysdom is a wireless software and infrastructure company that enables its
customers to offer comprehensive, user-centric mobile products and services.
Wysdom licenses its Mobyle Application Platform(TM) (MAP) to enterprises,
e-businesses and carriers allowing them to deploy applications that empower
users to manage information, commerce and communications on any device.
Wysdom has operations in Montreal, Toronto, Boston, San Jose, and Belgium,
employing more than 200 people worldwide. For more information, please visit
With total assets of $80 billion and more than 36,000 employees, the
Mouvement des caisses Desjardins is the top financial institution and the
largest private employer in Quebec. It is the only one to offer, through its
network of caisses located throughout Quebec, a complete range of financial
products and services. Desjardins is a Quebec leader in terms of e-commerce.
With more than 1,500,000 visits per month, http//www.desjardins.com is the
most highly frequented financial site in Quebec and second in Canada. The
Mouvement Desjardins’ mission is to contribute to the economic and social well
being of individuals and communities.
Oberthur Card Systems and Litton PRC have been awarded a contract to supply an additional 600,000 ‘Common Access’ ID smart cards to the Department of Defense. The chips on the new cards store digital certificates and digital signatures for authorized personnel who may do paperless contracting and require secure access to buildings and networks. Because the smart cards use a Java-technology based open platform, additional programs and applications can be added in the future to meet the stringent requirements of the DoD.Details
GE Capital Global Consumer Finance is launching a pilot to provide ATM cash access to retail cardholders in the UK. The pilot is powered by Mosaic Software’s ‘EFT Platform Postilion’. The transactions are routed from the ATM to the ‘LINK’ switch and from there to GE Capital. ‘Postilion’ performs full verification and authorization of those transactions. Worldwide, ‘Postilion’ is used for ATM processing/monitoring, EFT switching and routing, POS, credit/debit card processing, Internet/call center payment authorizations, prepayment, Internet/home banking and mobile commerce applications. Operating as the first fully-fledged EFT switch running on Windows NT/Windows 2000, ‘Postilion’ is live in more than 500 installations worldwide. GE is one of the largest private label store card operators in the UK with clients such as Debenhams and House of Fraser.Details
USA Technologies, Inc. announced that through its expanded distribution of e-Port to vending operators, the Company has sold its initial production quantities of e-Port terminals and has accelerated production of product to meet industry demand for the upcoming third and fourth quarters. This news comes on the heels of several key announcements that have quickly followed USA Technologies’ successful introduction of e-Port to the vending industry. These include multi-year supply agreements, major strategic distribution partnerships, OEM agreements and an order from a single partner for 10,000 e-Ports.
“This is tremendous news for USA Technologies,” said Michael Lawlor, Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing for USA Technologies. “The enhanced distribution system that we are building, coupled with the intense efforts of our sales force and partners, form the foundation for the Company attaining its goal of selling 200,000 e-Ports and associated network services over the next three years.” New distribution of e-Port includes premier vending operators such as Sanese Vending, who is utilizing e-Port technology to vend Michelina’s branded prepared foods, and ASI vending, with beverage and snack locations in the Jacob Javitz Convention Center in New York. Examples of other e-Port installations with vending operators include select locations of Six Flags and Wal-Mart. “The response to our e-Port technology in the vending industry has been excellent. We have our e-Port technology being used in various beverage, snack, prepared food and merchandise vending machines across the country,” said Mr. Lawlor. “Our e-Port technology meets the consumers’ growing demand to vend products with credit cards and other cashless payment means, while meeting the business needs of our customers. We continue to receive daily inquiries domestically and internationally for our e-Port technology,” added Mr. Lawlor.
This new distribution of e-Port into the vending industry fits into the USA Technologies distribution strategy of marketing the e-Port technology to vending operators and soft drink bottlers, while working in partnership with vending distributors, OEM’s and strategic business partners to distribute product into the marketplace.
With its ever-expanding family of e-Port products and services, USA Technologies is rapidly emerging as the leader in cashless microtransaction products and services for the vending industry. The Company is in negotiations with numerous potential customers, partners and distributors in the Vending, Information Technology and Communications Industries, and expects to announce major new developments in the coming months.
Earlier this year USA Technologies formed a strategic alliance with Marconi Online Systems, a division of Marconi PLC, to bring together Marconi Online’s Intelligent Vending service with USA Technologies’ cashless payment and interactive multimedia capabilities delivered through e-Port. Last year, Marconi Online became the exclusive provider of intelligent vending technology to the Coca-Cola Company. The e-Port product line can be embedded into vending machines, gas pumps, office equipment and almost any kind of point-of-sale terminal. This scaleable technology and associated network and financial services enables the conversion of unattended points of sale into intelligent, networked “store fronts,” which could be connected via the Internet or other means. It is capable of communicating operational data to operators, conducting cashless microtransactions and could deliver advertising and information such as news, sports and weather to consumers while making routine purchases everywhere.
About USA Technologies
USA Technologies is recognized as a leader in cashless microtransactions and interactive media technology and associated financial services. USA Technologies provides credit card activated and other cashless systems, allowing end users, ranging from consumers to business professionals, to communicate, conduct business or make ordinary commerce transactions, outside of the home or workplace. USA Technologies is an IBM (NYSE: IBM) Business Partner and an inaugural member of the Sprint (NYSE: FON) Enabling Application Service Provider Program for e-commerce. It has also established relationships with a number of global IT, multimedia, and telecommunications companies including Marconi Online Systems, RadiSys Corporation, DoubleClick Inc., and Xerox Corporation. Visit the USA Technologies home page at [www.usatech.com].
Euronet Worldwide announced late Thursday the implementation of outsourcing services for Bank Wspolpracy Regionalnej in Krakow, Poland. Under the terms of the multiyear agreement, Euronet will manage the daily issuance of ‘VISA Electron’ cards, authorize and process debit transactions, and provide the bank a gateway to the VISA network. The bank will monitor daily transactions on the network through a remote terminal access system developed by Euronet, enabling the bank to provide real-time information to cardholders whose inquiries come into the bank’s call center. Bank Wspolpracy Regionalnej has 32 branches located mostly in the Southern part of Poland and is part of the Deutsche Bank group.Details
First Data’s new network, First Data Net, is taking shape. Yesterday FDC announced it will take a 60-65% equity interest in NYCE. The transaction will expand First Data’s current debit business to more than one billion online debit POS annually. In the U.S., FDC is the leading offline debit processor. Four of the current NYCE shareholders: Citibank, FleetBoston, HSBC Bank, and J.P. Morgan Chase will continue as equity partners, along with First Data. First Data, NYCE and other owners say they will collaborate to develop products that will attract new card issuers and expand ATM deployment beyond current NYCE service areas. Since 1992, First Data has operated one of the largest debit switches in Australia.Details
National Processing Company announced the signing of a multi-year processing agreement with Shoney’s, Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, NPC will provide all Shoney’s, Inc. Restaurants front-end authorization and settlement services for all Visa and MasterCard transactions.
Shoney’s, Inc. has a rich heritage in the restaurant industry, and was a pioneer in the family dining segment over 50 years ago. At Shoney’s Restaurants, customers enjoy a great meal served by friendly servers in warm, welcoming surroundings.
“We are always looking at ways to maximize shareholder value,” said Jim Beltrame, chief financial officer for Shoney’s Inc. “NPC provides processing scale and efficiencies that minimizes our costs associated with credit card acceptance. We are looking forward to a long-term relationship with NPC.”
“NPC is pleased to be processing for a true pioneer in the family restaurant segment,” said Drew Soinski, senior vice president of Travel & Entertainment for NPC Merchant Services. “Like Shoney’s, NPC enjoys a long tradition of ground-breaking innovation. Shoney’s will benefit from our recent investment in products and services specifically developed for the restaurant industry.”
“We are very excited to be processing for Shoney’s,” said Mark Pyke, executive vice president of Merchant Services for NPC. “Shoney’s success is due to satisfying its customers by offering tremendous value with quality products and service. NPC also strives to provide the most cost effective solutions for its customers.”
About Shoney’s, Inc.
Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Shoney’s Inc. owns, operates and franchises approximately 1,000 restaurants in 27 states, including 590 company-owned and 408 franchised restaurants. Shoney’s, Inc. is traded on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol “SHOY.”
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] ), 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] .
Schlumberger Limited provided an update on the integration of Sema plc into Schlumberger Limited. As previously reported, the acquisition of Sema plc was completed on April 6, 2001 less than two months after the transaction was first announced. The new business segment, SchlumbergerSema, was created as a result of the merger of Sema plc with the businesses of Schlumberger Test & Transactions and Resource Management Services.
SchlumbergerSema will focus on six global market segments: telecommunications, utility, finance, transport, oil and gas and the public sector. The new SchlumbergerSema management structure is in place and will be presented at an analyst meeting to be held in Paris on June 27 along with an update on the business strategy.
Corporate cultural similarities, and synergies between the two companies, are contributing to the rapid and smooth integration of the combined businesses. Moreover, the attrition rate of Sema employees post acquisition has improved, and of the 2700 key Sema employees who received Schlumberger stock options in April, only a very small percentage have chosen to leave the company. Due mainly to the global slowdown in the telecommunications industry and a further weakening of the European currency against the US dollar, revenue for the businesses acquired with Sema plc is lower than previously estimated. Pretax operating income, before amortization of intangibles, is expected to be breakeven for the first six months following the acquisition.
The acquisition of Sema is being financed through existing cash resources of Schlumberger and from borrowings under the $3 billion floating rate credit facility. The after tax cost of funding is currently estimated to be 4.7%, which is lower than the previous estimate of 5.5%. Intangibles related to the acquisition are expected to be in the order of $5 billion and will be amortized over a composite life of 28 years. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has proposed to eliminate goodwill amortization beginning January 2002. Starting in the second quarter, all acquisition related costs, including goodwill, will be reflected at the corporate level and not included in the business segments. Schlumberger Limited is a global technology services company consisting of two business segments. Schlumberger Oilfield Services is the leading provider of technology services and solutions to the international petroleum industry. SchlumbergerSema is a major IT services company providing information technology solutions to the telecommunications, utility, finance, transport and public sectors, and is the leading supplier of smart card technology. Schlumberger Limited acquired Sema plc in April, 2001. In 2000, Schlumberger revenue was $9.6 billion and Sema plc revenue was $2.4 billion. Additional information is available at [www.slb.com].
NCR Corporation has reached an agreement with Credit Agricole Centre Est
to provide 200 NCR Personas 73 automated teller machines for deployment at
its branches in the Lyon area.
The regional bank, which is part of the Credit Agricole Group, sees the
introduction of a cash deposit facility at its ATMs as an important element
of its drive to improve customer services. The Personas 73 is NCR’s first
dedicated bunch-cash-accepting ATM, providing an around-the-clock automated
cash deposit facility that — with an optimal transaction time of under 60
seconds — is fast, secure and simple to use. The solution it offers
provides validation of currency, allowing the bank to offer credit for cash
deposit or bill payment at the NCR Self-Service TouchPointÂ and providing
the customer with immediate proof of deposit.
The introduction of the new machines will shift time-consuming transactions
away from the counter. The bank is therefore able to reduce customer lines
and free up staff to deal with customer queries and to concentrate on
revenue generating opportunities. Ultimately, consumers are benefiting from
a better service.
In addition to accepting deposits the Personas 73 can provide on-line
balance inquiry, mini-statements and receipt printing.
Eliane Guillot, infrastructure general manager at Credit Agricole Centre
Est, said, “We are very pleased by the Personas 73’s capabilities and by
its easy-to-use customer interface. We were also impressed by NCR’s high
levels of professionalism in providing the application and related services.”
Patrick Goasguen, NCR France country manager, welcomed the announcement. He
stressed, “Credit Agricole Centre Est understands the importance of the
self-service channel as a strategic weapon that can provide competitive
advantage while bringing added value to customers.”
About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship
TechnologyÂ solutions to customers worldwide in the retail, financial,
communications, travel and transportation, and insurance markets. NCR’s
Relationship Technology solutions include privacy-enabled TeradataÂ®
warehouses and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, store
automation and automated teller machines (ATMs). The company’s business
solutions are built on the foundation of its long-established industry
knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer
support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and
leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 33,200 in more than 100
countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
More information about NCR and its solutions may be found at www.ncr.com .