Equifax Spinoff

Equifax’s board yesterday approved the spin-off of Certegy Inc., formerly Equifax Payment Services. In October, Equifax approved a plan to create an ‘Information Services’ company and a ‘Payment Services’ company. Equifax’s Payment Services division provides credit and debit card transaction processing, card processing software, portfolio management and analysis, cardholder customer service, card enhancements, credit marketing, risk management, merchant processing, and collections to independent banks and credit unions in the U.S. and major card issuers globally. Certegy will be listed on the NYSE and is expected to begin regular way trading on July 9, under the symbol CEY. (CF Library 10/20/00; 5/23/01)


Cognis Goes ExpenseLink

Gelco Information Network, the largest and most experienced provider of e-business expense management and reimbursement programs, announced that Cognis Corporation has selected ExpenseLink/Direct for automation of its travel and entertainment expense management and employee payment request processes for Cognis employees across U.S. operations.

“Cognis is a worldwide leader in the chemicals industry. We are pleased to provide Cognis Corporation with a productive and efficient web-based tool for their employees to effortlessly manage their travel expenses. The system upgrade from Gelco’s ExpenseLink(R)/TD interactive voice response expense reporting service provides Cognis’ travelers with e-business technology to submit expense reports in a matter of minutes, yielding them more time to be productive,” said Jon Klem, president and chief executive officer of Gelco’s Expense Management Group. “Gelco effectively automates each step of the T & E expense management process which in turn will render Cognis with reduced operational costs, improved corporate efficiency, and increased productivity.”

ExpenseLink/Direct(R) allows automation of the entire expense management process from anywhere in the world, providing expense reporting, auditing and reimbursement, data analysis and paperless record keeping. Available anytime, anywhere, Gelco’s ExpenseLink/Direct(R) users simply create expense reports online, submitting them securely via the Internet. Users gain access through an Internet connection to enter travel expenses. Once completed, expenses are reimbursed within 72 hours via direct deposit to employee bank accounts. Corporate charge cards are paid directly according to their company’s payment schedule. Configurable client and server side business rules and automated workflow ensure maximum levels of control and accurate accounting.

About Cognis

Cognis is a worldwide leader in specialty chemicals with almost 9,100 employees in close to 50 countries on all continents. Oleochemicals, Care Chemicals, and Organic Specialties are the three pillars of the specialty chemicals portfolio. Our most important customers are in the detergents and cleaners industry, the cosmetics industry, and a number of other industrial markets such as nutrition & health, coatings and inks, textiles, mining, adhesives, plastics, and agrosolutions. Headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, Cognis Corporation employs nearly 1,700 people at 8 locations in the U.S. and is responsible for nearly one third of the $2.7 billion in sales for Cognis worldwide.

About Gelco

Minneapolis based Gelco Information Network is a wholly owned subsidiary of HG Holdings, a multinational interest specializing in e-business products and services for mobile employees. Gelco has been providing travel expense management software and services for more than 35 years.

As a whole, the company processed approximately $11 billion in reimbursements in 2000. The Expense Management Group serves over 1.9 million users in over 1,200 corporations and federal agencies, including Ericsson, The Toro Company, American Home Products, Reebok International, Ltd., and the United States Government (to include Department of Defense, State Department and NASA).

Leveraging an e-business infrastructure through technology from Sun Microsystems, Cisco, Oracle, EMC and Microsoft, Gelco is the only company that provides its customers with complete expense and trade fund management solutions. Additionally, through its partnerships and private-label relationships, Gelco provides this e-business technology and infrastructure to application service providers and other providers of travel management services. Visit the Gelco web site at [www.gelco.com][1].

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


IPG Upgrade

Salt Lake City-based Digital Courier Technologies announced an upgrade to its ‘Internet Payment Gateway. The upgrade includes three enhancements: a new transaction type called ‘AVS Only’, support for CVC2, CVV2, and cardholder data security routines. The new ‘AVS Only’ transaction allows a merchant to submit the address for validation before submitting the purchase amount for authorization; thereby, verifying cardholder data without causing an authorization or value infraction against the card number.


Smart Leadership

Providian has moved forward in establishing itself as the leader in the issuance of smart VISA cards. Yesterday, the issuer announced it was upgrading its chip cards from 8K to 32K. Providian released a small number of the new 32K cards to a small select group a month ago but will now officially offer the higher memory cards which will run four applications. Among the new smart card applications to run is a loyalty program, slated to be up and running during the fourth quarter. Providian indicated yesterday it will migrate about 95% of its portfolio to smart cards. Providian also indicates it is still debating the possibility of issuing a smart business card by the end of this year. Providian announced yesterday it is now offering its colored, clear plastic cards in an array of colors including: Ruby Red, Forest Green, Sapphire Blue, Topaz Yellow and Moonstone Gray. Providian offers smart VISA cards under both the Providian name and the GetSmart brand. GetSmart is Providian’s on-line financial services portal.


FTC Contempt Action

The Federal Trade Commission announced that a federal district court has ordered Richard Murkey and Keith Gill to show cause why they should not be held in civil contempt for violating the court’s November 1999 final order, in which a federal district court found that the defendants had illegally sold credit repair services. In addition to the order to show cause, the court issued an asset freeze against Murkey, as well as his company, Credit Restoration Corporation of America, Inc. (CRCA), and appointed a temporary receiver over CRCA. Richard Murkey is an ex-attorney who resigned his bar membership in 1990. Keith Gill is currently a practicing attorney.

In March 1998, the FTC charged Keith H. Gill, doing business as the Law Offices of Keith Gill, and Richard Murkey of Woodland Hills, California, with misrepresenting their credit repair services in violation of the FTC Act, and with collecting payment up-front for credit repair services before such services were fully performed, in violation of the Credit Repair Organization Act–the first federal law specifically targeting credit repair scams.

In November 1999, the court issued an order granting the FTC’s motion for summary judgment against Murkey and Gill, finding Murkey individually liable as a participant and the primary violator and Gill liable as the owner of the business. The order permanently bans Murkey and Gill from the credit repair business; prohibits Murkey and Gill and persons under their control from making any misrepresentations of any material fact concerning credit repair and their ability to improve consumers’ credit profiles; and prohibits the defendants from demanding payment from consumers who purchased credit repair services from them prior to March 4, 1998. In addition, the order requires the defendants affirmatively to notify these consumers that payments are no longer due and that their contracts are rescinded.

In its motion for civil contempt sanctions, the FTC alleges that Richard Murkey continues to sell purported credit repair service to consumers through CRCA, which he had begun operating prior to the November 1999 final order. According to the FTC, Murkey advertises his services through infomercials on a cable television audio channel, in newspaper advertisements, and until earlier this year, on a website. Through CRCA, Murkey continues to represent that he can substantially improve consumers’ credit reports by legally and permanently removing accurate negative information; continues to demand payments from pre-March 1998 clients; and has failed to notify those clients that their contracts are rescinded.

In addition, the motion for sanctions asks the court to hold Keith Gill liable for violating the November 1999 order by failing to provide any notice of recission to defrauded customers with balances still owing to the defendants. The FTC also has asked the court to hold CRCA liable for violating the terms of the 1999 order since CRCA is owned and controlled by Murkey and is the vehicle through which he conducts his purported credit repair business.

The court has scheduled a hearing for June 18 on the order to show cause. As ultimate relief, the FTC seeks restitution for all consumers who paid money to Murkey or CRCA for credit repair service after Murkey was served with the November 1999 final order. The FTC also seeks an order that would require the defendants to pay substantial fines in the event of future violations and require the receiver to wind down and terminate CRCA.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to seek an order to show cause as to civil contempt was 5-0. The motion was filed in Los Angeles in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on May 14, 2001, and the court issued the order on June 5.


Global Signs Ace

Global Payments Inc. announced a multi-year agreement to provide credit and debit card- processing services to independent Ace Hardware retailers located throughout the United States, with an anticipated annual volume of 26 million transactions. Ace Hardware retailers join the nearly one million merchant locations that Global Payments serves throughout North America.

![][1] Under the terms of the agreement, Global Payments will provide authorization, data capture, settlement and Web-based reporting services, allowing Ace Hardware Corporation to extend these comprehensive payment services to their retailer-owners located across the country.

“We were impressed with Global Payments’ commitment to quality customer service and Help Desk responsiveness, as well as their ability to provide integrated support for all of our payment needs. This agreement supports our goal of providing Ace retailers with cost-effective services from industry leading companies,” said Ace Hardware Corporation Spokesperson, David O’Donnell.

“We are excited to have this exclusive opportunity to offer Ace Hardware’s network of retailers a comprehensive, cost-effective payment and reporting solution,” said Global Payments President and CEO, Paul R. Garcia.

Founded in 1924, Ace Hardware Corporation, headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, is a cooperative that is wholly owned by its 5,100 independent hardware, home center, lumber and building materials retailers. Annual retail sales exceed $13 billion. Ace currently operates 14 distribution centers in the U.S. and two in Canada and has stores located in all 50 states and 68 countries.

Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.

[1]: /graphic/ace/ace.gif


Paymentech’s StoreSense

Kurant Corporation, the leading provider of e-business software and services, and Paymentech, the nation’s leading processor and acquirer of credit card transactions, announced a strategic partnership and the launch of a tightly integrated electronic commerce and payment solution. StoreSense, Kurant’s award-winning e-commerce platform, has been integrated with Paymentech’s Web-based merchant application and payment gateway. The integrated solution provides full-scale functionality for establishing automated merchant account, payment processing and e-commerce services. The joint offering is available immediately to each company’s new and existing customer base, including Paymentech’s more than 400,000 merchant customers. Kurant and Paymentech will also jointly market the integrated solution to large corporations looking to offer branded e-business solutions to their small and medium-size business customers.

“By teaming with Kurant, a leader in their space, we’re doing much more than adding value to our suite of electronic payment solutions — we’re making a strategic investment in the future of our core business,” said Dan Charron, president of Paymentech’s eBusiness Group. “The joint offering presents a clear, compelling solution for companies that want to deliver a complete package of branded e-business services to their SMB customer base. Together, Paymentech and Kurant can do more to drive the adoption of e-business in the broad market than either company could alone.” “We’re excited at the depth of this partnership with Paymentech. Their philosophy and approach, particularly around delivering cutting-edge automation tools for the e-business space, are closely aligned with ours,” said Curtis Pierce, CEO of Kurant. “But most importantly, by joining forces, Kurant and Paymentech have a tremendous opportunity to corner an emerging high-growth market — Fortune 500 corporations looking to increase revenues, strengthen competitive advantage and extend relationships with their SMB customers through e-business services.”

StoreSense is an award-winning e-business platform that enables corporations to deliver branded e-business services, including e-commerce, supplier communication and inventory, sales and customer management, to the SMB market. The product’s groundbreaking architecture — including an XML transaction engine and Java-based framework — provides unprecedented scalability and seamless integration with other applications. With its template-based interface, StoreSense can be fully customized for delivery under a vendor’s existing brand name.

Paymentech’s Web-based merchant application allows merchants to apply for a merchant account in an online process that takes approximately ten minutes. Once approved, merchant information is automatically integrated into Paymentech’s payment gateway. The online merchant application can also be re-branded for e-commerce service providers that want to extend their identity to the merchant account service.

Paymentech’s payment gateway integrates into the merchant’s checkout process. The gateway features back office functionality that allows merchants to send their daily batch for processing, search for transactions or batch files, administer password authority and provide reporting on all the payment transactions and orders processed.

About Paymentech

Dallas-based Paymentech, the payment solutions company, delivers secure and reliable electronic payment services in merchant acquiring and point-of-sale transaction processing with a wide array of product functionality and support. Paymentech (www.paymentech.com) processed approximately 3.4 billion total transactions and $109 billion in bankcard sales volume in 2000. Founded in 1985, the nation’s largest processor and acquirer of credit card transactions is also the leader in non-face-to-face payment processing for Internet and direct marketing.

About StoreSense

StoreSense is an award-winning e-business software platform that allows large corporations with respected brands to deliver tightly integrated, web-based services to their small and medium-size business customers. With StoreSense, corporations can provide their customers with the core software tools and services needed to conduct business online, including electronic commerce and mobile commerce, supply chain communication and inventory, sales and customer management. Available through an extensive global network of partners, StoreSense is offered on a cost-effective subscription basis and runs on Windows 2000, Windows NT, Linux and Solaris platforms. For more information, contact Kurant at www.kurant.com or 888/463-2696

About Kurant

Kurant Corporation (http://www.kurant.com/) specializes in software solutions that allow business aggregators to build and host e-business services. Kurant’s flagship product, StoreSense, has garnered numerous industry awards, including Web Hosting magazine’s 2000 Editors’ Choice Award for “Hottest New E-Commerce Software Contender,” Smart Business magazine’s 2001 MVP Award for “Best E-Commerce Storefront Hosting,” Yahoo! Internet Life magazine’s Gold Star Site distinction for “Best Fee-Based Services,” and Computer Reseller News’ 2000 Editor’s Choice for “Best Storefront E-Commerce Software.” Founded in 1996, San Francisco-based Kurant is privately held and has received investments from Deep River Ventures, Cobalt Networks, Garage.com, Group One, and TransAtlantic Partners.



Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a
subsidiary of First Data Corp., announced it has begun
offering Western Union Money Transfer services to South Korea. The service
is made possible through an agreement with one of the country’s top banks,
Kookmin Bank.

Western Union’s expansion into South Korea furthers the company’s
aggressive global expansion strategy and complements the company’s recent
expansion efforts in Thailand, India, Indonesia and China to create an
unprecedented availability of money transfer services throughout the Asia-
Pacific region.

Kookmin Bank has more than 500 branches covering practically all areas of
the country, and has recently put into operation 144 Western Union agent
locations. By mid-2002, Western Union and Kookmin Bank expect to offer
Western Union Money Transfer(R) services at approximately 400 locations.
“With more than five million Koreans living abroad, the money transfer
market in South Korea offers tremendous growth potential for Western Union,”
said Charles T. Fote, president and chief operating officer, First Data Corp.
“Our alliance with Kookmin Bank provides Korean communities around the world a
safe and reliable money transfer option, whether they are in other parts of
Asia, North or South America, or Europe.”

“Western Union is a leader in global money transfer service with more than
130 years of service history,” said Mr. Tai Gon Kim, executive vice president
of Corporate Banking Group, Kookmin Bank. “Kookmin Bank is renowned for its
transparent and efficient management as well as reliable services. With the
strategic alliance of two leading companies, Koreans and foreign workers alike
will have an excellent, safe and fast way of transferring money to and from
South Korea.”

About Western Union and First Data

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//www.westernunion.com.


Wireless Payments

Financial institutions have an opportunity to participate in developing new wireless payment technologies or sit on the sidelines as others take the lead, according to a new report from Meridien Research. Wireless telephone usage is increasing exponentially worldwide and telecommunications providers are scrambling to increase profits. Facilitating wireless payments is one way to add revenues and increase profitability. Financial institutions must move aggressively into this space or risk losing the business to telecommunications providers and others.

“Financial institutions have always enjoyed an exclusive franchise in the payments business,” said Jeanne Capachin, senior analyst at Meridien and author of the report. “Wireless payments represent both a threat and an opportunity for institutions to retain this important ‘privilege’ and can also provide a platform from which to offer new services to customers.”

Wireless Payments at the Point of Sale: Expanding POSsibilities provides an in-depth look at the marketplace, solution elements, and vendors of wireless payments as well as several case studies. More information on purchasing this report can be obtained from sales@meridien-research.com or by calling 617-796-2800.

About Meridien Research

Meridien Research of Newton, MA, provides analytical research services to users and providers of financial industry technology. Meridien Research targets three technology areas of strategic importance to financial services firms: eFinancial Services, Trading & Risk Management and Customer Relationship Management. Each practice delivers quarterly reports and monthly briefs, detailing new issues and challenges. Visit [www.meridien-research.com/press][1] to register for announcements as new research becomes available. For media relations, contact Parallax LLC at 1.781.235.7025 or parallax@meridien-research.com.

[1]: http://www.meridien-research.com/press



Gasper Corporation, a leading
provider of self-service management software, announced that Bital Bank
of Mexico has increased its ATM availability to 96% with Gasper Manager
software. This near-perfect availability rating has improved Bital’s customer
satisfaction level and is helping the bank expand its ATM network.

“We were able to customize the Gasper system to do exactly what we needed
done,” said Alvaro Meir, Sub-Director of the User Help Desk at Bital. “The
system produces specific reports that tell us just what is happening with
every machine in the network helping us to pinpoint small problems before they
become large ones. It also helps us determine the best locations for new
machines as we expand the network.”

With a network of 3,600 ATMs and plans to grow to 4,500 in the next twelve
months, Bital Bank of Mexico needed to ensure that its network would be
available whenever customers needed it. The company faced the added challenge
that the network infrastructure consisted of three different brands of
machines (Fujitsu, Diebold and NCR) and three different types of switches
(IBM-Action 2000, TandemK-Connex and TandemS-Connex). Bital wanted to install
a system for reporting, troubleshooting, monitoring and dispatching service
that would be cost-effective and efficient.

After considerable research, Bital determined that the best system to meet
their complex and demanding criteria was Gasper Corporation’s Gasper Manager.
Using Gasper Core Manager, Automated Service Manager and Automated Command
Manager, Bital has created a customized reporting and troubleshooting system
that has raised ATM availability from 76% to 96% over the past two years.

Bital selected those components of the Gasper Manager system that would
best meet its requirements for overall system management including monitoring,
troubleshooting, service dispatch and reporting. The company carefully
customized each component to achieve its goals of better reporting and
enhanced availability.

Gasper Manager is a Windows-based self-service management solution that
features sophisticated online monitoring, integrated trouble ticketing and
notification systems, and the most comprehensive reporting capabilities in the

Gasper Manager’s components work together to optimize ATM availability and
cost-effectiveness. The Core Manager interprets ATM status codes, takes
action based on customer-defined rules, opens and manages trouble tickets,
notifies appropriate personnel and reports on network and service team
activity. The Automated Service Manager executes and manages service team
notification, tracks performance, and escalates based on customer-defined
parameters. The Automated Command Manager enables and manages host commands
to ATMs and other elements.

Users of the Gasper Manager solution, like Bital, enjoy improvements in
availability and associated revenues arising from increased customer
satisfaction, decreased service costs through the reduction of first- and
second-line service calls, and lower operational costs due to improved help
desk productivity.

About Gasper Corp.

Gasper Corp., a leading provider of ATM management software, offers
comprehensive solutions that are specifically tailored to solve ATM management
problems. The company’s solutions monitor ATMs and manage the entire ATM
support process to maximize ATM availability, profitability and customer
satisfaction for ATM networks worldwide. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, the
company’s solutions are used to manage more than 170,000 ATMs worldwide. Visit
the Gasper Corp. web site at http//www.gasper-corp.com .


ACH E-Sign

This week The Electronic Payments Association approved an ‘E-Sign’ provision for the NACHA ACH Operating Rules. Under the new rule, any electronic signature that complies with the ‘Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act’ will be deemed to comply with NACHA’s requirements for “similarly authenticating” a consumer ACH debit authorization. NACHA currently requires a consumer debit to be authorized in writing, and signed or similarly authenticated. NACHA’s ‘E-Sign’ rule modifies the similarly authenticated standard to allow an electronic authorization to be authenticated by the consumer using a process that evidences both the consumer’s identity and his or her assent to the authorization. This requirement matches the requirement of the Federal Reserve’s ‘Regulation E’, which was recently amended to implement provisions of the ‘E-Sign’ legislation. NACHA’s rule will become effective on January 1, 2002.