Equifax announced that its Payment Services division, which will be spun off, has selected Certegy as its new name. 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.Details
National Processing Company announced the signing of a multi-year processing agreement with K*B Toys. Under the agreement, NPC will provide an end-to-end processing solution for all K*B Toys’ Visa and MasterCard transactions.
K*B Toys is the nation’s largest combined mall-based and online specialty toy retailer operating more than 1,300 stores across the United States, Guam and Puerto Rico. Under the agreement NPC will provide front-end authorization and settlement services for all card-based transactions accepted at K*B Toys locations and outlets. NPC will also process all Visa and MasterCard transactions from online sales on their website, http://www.kbkids.com.
“We were impressed with the level of quality and service that NPC has continued to deliver retailers,” said David MacPhee, vice president of Finance and controller for K*B Toys. “Partnering with NPC allows us to take advantage of processing scale and efficiencies as well as minimize costs associated with the acceptance of card-based transactions. NPC strives to understand and deliver merchant processing solutions that allows us to concentrate on issues critical to our business.”
“NPC is delighted to continue its relationship with K*B Toys,” said Mark Pyke, executive vice president of Merchant Services for NPC. “A key advantage of being a single-source processor is that we are able to partner with our clients. Since we are involved on an end-to-end basis, we are able to work more effectively with our clients to help expand their payment alternatives and reduce their cost.”
About K*B Toys
K*B Toys is the nation’s largest combined mall-based and online specialty toy retailer, operating more than 1,300 stores in all 50 states, the American Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, doing business as K*B Toys, K*B Toy Works, K*B Toy Outlet, K*B Toy Liquidators, K*B Toy Express and with Online Shopping at KBkids.com ( http://www.kbkids.com ).
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) ( http://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. Additional information regarding National Processing can be obtained at http://www.npc.net .Details
Juniper Bank has extended its wireless banking capabilities to owners of Palm OS-based PDAs. Customers can download Juniper’s wireless banking application for their ‘Palm V’, ‘Palm VII’ or ‘Handspring Visor’ for free. Customers can view account balances, pay bills, receive alerts about important account activity and transfer funds between their Juniper and external bank accounts. Juniper Bank’s wireless platform was developed by Aether Systems.Details
VISA has joined with First Hawaiian Bank and American Savings Bank to launch a multi-million dollar financial literacy program for high school students in Hawaii. The announcement comes on the eve of the conversion of more than 200,000 Bank of Hawaii VISAs to American Express cards. In December, Bank of Hawaii agreed to sell its $226 million, 148,000 account, VISA credit card portfolio to American Express. It was the first purchase of a significant U.S. VISA card portfolio by American Express. The VISA program, announced yesterday, involves ten high schools throughout the Islands that will receive computer labs, a comprehensive financial literacy curriculum ‘Practical Money Skills For Life’ and teacher training. The computer labs segment of the program involves giving away five computers of each school’s choice. Teachers from all of the schools will attend a 2-day training seminar in August. Two months ago, American Express announced a series of philanthropic and marketing activities in support of the Hawaii Nature Center. AmEx gave a $100,000 grant to support a new coastal curriculum and field program for fifth graders that will serve approximately 3,500 additional students each year. AmEx also agreed to make a donation to the Hawaii Nature Center for every American Express transaction that a cardholders makes at any merchant location in Hawaii, up to $100,000. (CF Library 12/21/00; 2/9/01; 3/30/01)Details
Today Wachovia’s board is expected to debate First Union’s friendly offer to acquire the bank and SunTrust Banks’ hostile counteroffer. The outcome may have an impact on the sale of Wachovia’s $7.7 billion bank credit card portfolio to Bank One/First USA. There are indications that Wachovia’s board favors the First Union bid while institutional investors favor the SunTrust Banks offer. There are also indications that no matter which way the deal goes, MBNA will most likely emerge as the issuer of future credit cards for Wachovia. On April 9, Wachovia agreed to sell its credit card portfolio to Bank One/First USA and enter into an agent bank relationship. One week later Wachovia announced plans to merge with First Union. Last August, First Union agreed to sell its remaining credit card portfolio to MBNA and sign a long-term agent bank relationship. Shortly after the announced Wachovia-First Union merger, SunTrust unleashed its hostile bid. However SunTrust Banks sold its $1.5 billion bank credit card portfolio to MBNA in October 1999. SunTrust also entered into an agent relationship with MBNA for personal credit card products. There is a possibility that Bank One/First USA could still acquire the Wachovia portfolio but relinquish its right to issue future cards under the agent relationship. However the Bank One/First USA deal could totally collapse, shifting existing Wachovia credit cards to MBNA’s portfolio. At the end of the first quarter, Wachovia had 2,483,924 active accounts, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com]). (CF Library 10/15/99; 8/15/00; 4/19/01)
Citigroup continues building the backbone of its international credit card and foreign exchange businesses with the globalization of the ‘c2it’ service. Citigroup announced this morning it has expanded its person-to-person payments system to enable U.S.-based customers to send money from their desktops to recipients in 30 countries. Recipients in the destination countries, who may be either individuals or merchants, will receive their funds via an international direct deposit into their bank accounts, or via a paper check that will be sent to them through the postal service. They do not need to have access to the Internet or have e-mail to receive the funds. Money can be sent using a debit or credit card. In most cases, money can be sent in the currency of the country in which it is received, and the exchange rate is automatically guaranteed at the time of the transfer. Fees are based on flat rates of US$10 if the sender requests that a paper check be sent to the recipient, and US$15 if the sender requests a direct deposit into the recipient’s account. All costs are paid by the sender, and no fees are charged to the recipient by Citibank. Beginning today, money can be sent via ‘c2it’ from the U.S. to: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. (CF Library 5/1/01)Details
IL-based CommWorks has added enhanced routing, accounting and reporting features on its transaction gateway. The ‘Total Control 1000’ transaction gateway is designed to handle hundreds of millions of quick, secure transactions involving the transfer of small amounts of data in a single dial access session. These transactions include credit card authorizations, debit card fund transfers, health benefit authorizations, electronic fund transfers, and other transactions. Recent enhancements include the addition of ‘Transport Protocol Data Unit’ routing for synchronous transactions. Other upgrades to the gateway include enhanced support for the industry standard ‘VISA I/II’ specifications and ‘Synchronous Protocol’; the ability to collect up to 4 megabytes of call statistics; and advanced transaction accounting and reporting features. The Company also announced Monday that ‘Visanet’ has deployed the ‘Total Control 1000’ transaction gateway in its POS terminals in Brazil. ‘Visanet’ operates payment systems for the more than 600,000 affiliates of the VISA system in Brazil. About 80% of ‘Visanet’s’ 170,000 terminals in Brazil will be equipped with the CommWorks solution by the end of this year.Details
Catuity Inc. said Monday it believes there are multiple grounds for appeal of last week’s ruling by an Australian judge in regard to Welcome Real-time’s smart card loyalty program lawsuit. Catuity says the ruling opines that the printed “receipt” for a transaction using a smart card constitutes a printed “coupon”. The ruling also concludes that the “index file” commonly used in a smart card is a consumer “behavior file”. Catuity says it can therefore avoid infringement of the WRT patent, for example, by simply ceasing to print anything or by printing only messages that are not a “receipt” or “evidence a transaction”, or by making small changes to file and other design features. The Federal Court of Australia ruled that Catuity and its Australian subsidiaries, Chip Application Technologies and CIT Cards (Australia) had infringed on Welcome Real-time’s patent for a smart card loyalty program. (CF Library 7/24/00; 8/17/00; 5/18/01)Details
Digital Insight Corp. announced that it has augmented its senior management team with three key positions: Melvin M. Takata as senior vice president and chief technology officer (CTO), William A. Kontgis as vice president of Internet Banking Services, and Michael Dunn as vice president of Finance.
“Bolstering our senior management is in line with our focused initiative that was announced in February of this year,” said John Dorman, chairman and CEO of Digital Insight. “By streamlining resources created by the recent acquisitions and increasing expertise in more strategic areas, we are better able to manage key corporate objectives. The appointments of these proven individuals affirm our commitment to outstanding service and our drive towards profitability.”
As senior vice president and CTO, Mel Takata will act as chief architect of the systems and technology plan for Digital Insight, managing all aspects of the Company’s Product Development, including Quality Assurance, Configuration Management, Production Support and Interface departments. Takata will report directly to Dale Walker, Digital Insight’s president and COO.
Takata comes to Digital Insight after holding the position of vice president of Operations and Technology at Yodlee, Inc. In this position, he took executive level responsibility for Operations, Information Technology, Quality Assurance, Customer Service, and Security. Before Yodlee, Takata held a lengthy tenure at Citibank/Citigroup. For six years he was director of Access Technologies and Infrastructure, where he applied research in several areas of technology, including web-delivered bill payment and presentment, secure electronic payments, electronic wallets, and cell phone and TV/cable delivery of financial services.
Bill Kontgis joins Digital Insight as vice president of Internet Banking Services with the responsibility of managing the Company’s Data Center Operations, Security and Internal Management Information Systems. Kontgis will report directly to Joe McDoniel, Digital Insight’s senior vice president of Operations.
Prior to this position, Kontgis was director of Data Center Services at Oxford Health Plans. While in this position, Kontgis restructured Oxford’s data center to achieve substantial improvements in uptime while reducing costs. Prior to Oxford Health Plans, Kontgis was senior vice president for First Nationwide Bank. In this role he was responsible for the bank’s application systems development and maintenance for the retail, financial, loan origination, secondary marketing and loan servicing systems.
Michael Dunn brings more than 20 years of financial and operational experience to his new position as vice president of Finance. Dunn will be responsible for all of Digital Insight’s financial functions including financial planning and analysis, accounting and billing. Dunn will report directly to Kevin McDonnell, the Company’s CFO and senior vice president of Finance and Administration.
Dunn began with the Company in a consulting role earlier this year. Before joining Digital Insight, Dunn was COO and CFO at Feeling Fine Company LLC, an equity venture company founded to develop and distribute nutritional supplements. At Feeling Fine, Dunn was responsible for marketing, product development, purchasing, accounting, finance, investor relations, information services and administrative functions. Prior to Feeling Fine, Dunn spent six years as the CFO of three other companies.
“The appointments of Mel, Bill and Michael will further strengthen our senior management team,” said Dale Walker, Digital Insight’s president and COO. “These additions reflect the Company’s desire to enhance its entrepreneurial and innovative organization with world class executives and professional management.”
About Digital Insight
Digital Insight(TM) Corporation (Nasdaq: DGIN) (http://www.digitalinsight.com) is the preferred eFinance enabler for visionary financial institutions. Through its comprehensive portfolio of outsourced, Internet-based financial products and services built upon the company’s unique architecture, Digital Insight moves banks and credit unions Beyond Internet Banking(TM) to become the trusted transaction hub for their retail and commercial customers. Exclusively endorsed by the American Bankers Association(R) (ABA), and currently serving more than 1,300 financial institution clients nationwide, Digital Insight provides retail and commercial Internet banking, electronic bill payment and presentment, eCommerce portal technology, wireless channel delivery, advanced targeted marketing, website development and maintenance, as well as online and call center lending services. Each Digital Insight product and service reinforces the brands of its client financial institutions.Details
Official Payments Corporation announced it has launched a new service that will allow New York State taxpayers to file and pay their estimated taxes (NY form IT 2105-MN) by credit card over the Internet and by telephone. Estimated tax payments are due in New York on June 15, 2001; September 17, 2001; and January 15, 2002. New York citizens who use the service will not be required to file the traditional estimated tax paper form. Official Payments is authorized by the Internal Revenue Service to provide a similar service for federal individual estimated tax payments (IRS Form 1040-ES).
The new service expands Official Payments’ working agreement with the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance. Prior to the expansion of the agreement, Official Payments collected tax-year 2000 balance due and extension tax payments for the state.
“We are very pleased to be expanding our services in New York State,” said Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments. “The New York State estimated tax payment category represents a potential $5.2 billion market opportunity for Official Payments. We have thousands of customers in New York who have used our payment platforms to make their federal estimated payments, and now if they owe state estimated payments they can do it through Official Payments as well,” added Mr. Evans.
New York taxpayers can use the American Express(R) Card, Discover(R) Card, and MasterCard(R) to make their tax year 2000 balance due, tax year 2000 extension, and tax year 2001 estimated payments by calling 1-800-2PAY-TAX or by visiting www.officialpayments.com on the Internet.
Official Payments will charge taxpayers a convenience fee of 2.5% of their tax payment for the service. For example, a taxpayer who makes a $500 tax payment would be charged a total of $512.50; $500 for the tax payment, and a 2.5% fee, or $12.50, to cover the cost of the service. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs may, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash-back or airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.
About Official Payments Corporation
Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. Official Payments has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 800 county and municipal governments in 45 states across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments.Details
InteliData announced an agreement with Spectrum EBP to become a certified provider of solutions to connect banks to the Spectrum electronic bill presentment and payment network. The agreement with Spectrum, a bank-owned payment system utility that routes electronic bills and payments between billers and consumers, will allow InteliData to certify its InteliWorks CSP (Consumer Services Provider) Server for payment and presentment with Spectrum.
The InteliWorks CSP Server, which helps banks collect and warehouse bills from multiple billers and biller service providers (BSPs) and warehouse and route the associated payments, will give banks the ability to deploy a turnkey solution. Spectrum, in turn, will provide connectivity to multiple billers and BSPs through its open network and directory system.
“In the last 6 months Spectrum has developed a critical mass of biller and consumer reach along with some very compelling economics,” said Al Dominick, president and CEO of InteliData, “This has created a rising tide of demand for an open, EBPP solution that gives banks greater control of their customer relationships.”
Commenting on the agreement, Ron Braco, COO and president of Spectrum said, “We are pleased InteliData has chosen to certify their solution with Spectrum. InteliData has a solid track record of providing well-designed payment systems and OFX solutions and has been an important participant in the development of the Spectrum switch. InteliData has made a significant investment in the creation of -a well-rounded CSP solution that will enable Spectrum members to leverage the power of the Spectrum payment and presentment network.” The CSP Server will be available either as an in-house solution or as an ASP (Application Service Provider) solution and will support both OFX and IFX messages. The InteliWorks CSP Server is built on a J2EE-based transaction processing platform to provide unsurpassed deployment flexibility while ensuring reliable, scalable, and secure operations.
InteliData provides Internet banking and Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment (EBPP) technology and services to banks, credit unions, and financial institution processors. InteliData’s EBPP products offer banks and other financial institutions an end-to-end solution for creating e-bills for billers, distributing e-bills and e-payments through multiple delivery channels, delivering e-bills to consumers, and enabling payment of bills through multiple payment processors utilizing OFX and IFX messaging standards. InteliData’s Internet banking products provide large financial institutions throughout the U.S. with unsurpassed scalability, flexibility and security in supplying real-time, Internet based banking services to their customers. For more information about InteliData, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.InteliData.com
Spectrum is an independent company fully owned by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM,), First Union Corporation (NYSE: FTU – news) and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC – news). Formed to facilitate the exchange of electronic bills and payments, Spectrum’s mission is to provide a secure, open and interoperable infrastructure to electronically link consumer and biller service providers. Additionally, Spectrum seeks to provide value to its participants by providing superior service and reducing overall bill presentment and payment costs. More information on Spectrum can be found at www.spectrumebp.com.Details
Equifax announced this morning a major initiative to provide fully automated check-cashing services through 7-Eleven’s ‘Vcom’ kiosks. The service will be available this summer in 94 store locations in Texas and Florida. With an eventual national roll-out, the service will provide payroll, personal and other check-cashing services to nearly 40 million consumers who visit 7-Eleven’s stores each week. Equifax Payment Services adapted its ‘Paycheck Accept’ product, used in the grocery and gaming industries, to provide this fully automated program. By providing check cashing in 5,300 7-Eleven outlets, Equifax Payment Services will be one of the largest check cashers in the U.S. The agreement aligns Equifax with other ‘Vcom’ partners, including American Express and Western Union, with the creation of interactive kiosks in 7-Eleven locations. (CF Library 2/28/01; 3/9/01)Details