Competition in the UK’s consumer credit reporting market is heating up as ‘FICOÂ®’ scores will soon be offered. Callcredit, a new consumer credit reference agency in the UK is partnering with Fair Isaac to deliver consumer credit scores directly over the Web to lenders throughout the UK. Currently, the UK’s consumer credit reference agency market is dominated by two US-based giants, Equifax and Experian. Both Equifax and Experian offer their own proprietary credit scores to lenders in the UK The UK ‘FICOÂ®’ scores will be introduced in June. About 140 million credit applications are processed annually in the UK. Fair, Isaac has been involved in the UK market since the mid-80s.Details
BB&T Corp. introduced this week a new business banking package that includes a free business ‘VISA Check Card’ and ‘VISA Business’ credit card. The new ‘BB&T Elite Business Account’ also offers 250 free transactions per month; an online service that provides previous day reporting, two stop payments or revokes, and unlimited account transfers without charge; and a ‘Business Money Rate Savings’ program. Customers can eliminate the $19 monthly fee for ‘Elite Business’ by maintaining a daily checking balance of at least $5,000 or by meeting other balance qualifiers. The ‘Elite Business’ package also includes: free personal checking for employees for six months and free personal custom banking packages for business owners for six months. The BB&T ‘VISA Business’ credit card carries a prime +5.9% APR and offers a $500 minimum credit line.Details
Fleet Credit Card Services said Tuesday it tested its new ‘smart VISA Business Card’ late last year in select markets. Yesterday, Fleet officially rolled out, on a national basis, the first VISA smart card for small business. As first reported in yesterday’s CardFlash, VISA designed the new business card to extend the same smart card platform used for the consumer ‘smart VISA’ cards introduced six months ago by Fleet, Providian, and First USA. Fleet’s consumer smart card is marketed under the name: ‘Fusion’. Through its smart chip, the new business card offers quick sign on to its web site, as well as e-wallet form fill functionality at smart checkout merchant sites. The new Fleet ‘smart VISA Business Card’ also features the ability to: add or delete employee cardholders; set spending limits on employee accounts; produce itemized reports for tax purposes; print detailed reports by expense category; confidentially check employee spending; set e-mail alerts for notification of specific transactions; and download statement detail to accounting software packages. Fleet says it plans to add the ability to download loyalty programs with discounts, promotions and tickets in the future. VISA indicated yesterday that several other issuers are gearing up to launch ‘smart VISA’ business cards. Fleet’s Small Business Service group will target the new smart business card to companies with annual revenues of up to $10 million and credit needs up to $2 million.Details
Wells OneLook offers Wells Fargo’s customers quick, easy management of online accounts with a single user ID and password. Instead of visiting multiple sites with separate sign-on procedures, customers can now save time and view a consolidated financial picture all in one place. The new account aggregation service is the latest offering in Wells Fargo’s campaign to deliver comprehensive financial services to its online base, and furthers the reputation of wellsfargo.com as one of the premier financial destination sites online.
According to a recent Forrester Research study, 66 percent of online customers want to be able to consolidate their view of online services. Always ahead of the curve, Wells Fargo created Wells OneLook to help customers manage financial resources across various Internet sites. Wells Fargo continues its online leadership by developing services consumers desire most and which leverage its trusted brand to provide security and privacy online. “Wells OneLook meets higher privacy and security standards than many offerings in the industry,” said Avid Modjtabai, executive vice president of Wells Fargo’s Consumer Internet Group. “Consumers who value privacy and security can be confident that Wells Fargo is delivering online services that will safeguard their information.”
“We’re very pleased to have partnered with a leader like Wells Fargo to help develop and deliver truly personalized services for every individual customer,” said Anil Arora, president and CEO of Yodlee, a pioneer and leading provider of personal account aggregation services to businesses worldwide. Customers who make use of Wells OneLook can:
— Save Time: Instead of signing on to multiple Web sites, only a single ID and password is needed to view financial and other personal account information such as reward account balances and e-mail. Even link directly to a site to pay a bill or transfer funds.
— Access the Latest Information: Most account aggregation services present information as of the last time it was gathered. Wells Fargo refreshes the information with each sign on.
— View Everything At-A-Glance: Get a quick, comprehensive display of balances across various account providers on a single screen.
— Set Up and Use with Ease: Selecting a single ID and passcode and doing a one-time setup of each account is all that is needed to get started. Wells OneLook automatically updates all account balances and their most recent transactions with every sign-on.
Wells Fargo was the first major financial services company in the U.S. to launch Internet banking services ([www.wellsfargo.com]). Since that 1995 launch, Wells Fargo has blazed the trail for interactive tools and features for customers. Wells Fargo launched online services in 1989 and has introduced a wide range of easy-to-use online customer services. With more than 2.6 million Internet banking customers and 100,000 new customers joining Internet banking each month, Wells Fargo was named by Gomez Advisors and Nielsen/Net Ratings as the top Internet bank with a 14.4 percent market share and 1.6 million unique visitors.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo and Company (NYSE:WFC) is a $272 billion diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance services through 6,000 stores, its Internet site ([www.wellsfargo.com]) and other distribution channels across North America as well as internationally.
The Electronic Funds Transfer Association announced yesterday the development of a set of guidelines that will facilitate real-time online debit as a consumer payment option for Internet purchases instead of credit cards. The guidelines are aimed at helping financial institutions, terminal manufacturers, merchants, payment processors, and software developers to bring to market debit products for Internet purchases. The EFTA says the use of ATM cards at the point-of-sale for purchases grew 28% nationwide last year. The guidelines were developed by the Advanced Payments Group, a task force that includes Cash Station, CO-OP Network, Exchange/ACCEL, MAC Network, NYCE, PULSE EFT, Star Systems and TYME. The guidelines assist networks in developing rules, and address security standards and business practices for companies and individuals to follow in developing products and technologies.Details
To help eliminate online identification fraud and unwarranted chargebacks, iShopSecure, Inc. announced the launch of their revolutionary, patent pending real-time payer authentication solution – Transact-Secure. Designed to protect both merchants and consumers alike, this authentication solution will immediately assure merchants that persons making purchases are who they say they are and that they are the owners of the payment cards they’re using rather than simply scoring a transaction based on the previous purchasing history of consumers. The end result will be the immediate slashing of current fraud losses.
“Transact-Secure is an ideal turn-key solution for all e-merchants,” said Joseph A. McDonnell, CEO for iShopSecure. “This application is of tremendous value to merchants and assures them that their bottom line will no longer be affected by those who try to commit fraud on their Web site.” Last year, e-merchants lost more than $300 million to consumer related online fraud and will reach more than $1 billion by 2002. This type of fraud, known as “identification” fraud, occurs when criminals use a consumer’s credit card to make online purchases or consumers make an online purchase then later denying the transaction. Due to the nature of online transactions where credit cards are not present, merchants have little to no recourse and are the ones held liable when transactions conducted at their sites are later declared to be fraudulent and subsequently charged back to them. Because of this, online merchants end up paying higher discount rates and fees and are subjected to higher penalties based on their chargeback percentages.
Transact-Secure uses a real-time, two-tiered approach for authentication that provides merchants with greater flexibility and control over the authentication and transaction acceptance process. With Transact-Secure, merchants are able to determine the risk levels they are willing to accept and to make changes in a matter of minutes as the need arises.
The first tier, or “in-wallet” authentication, for lower dollar purchases, determines the purchasers’ true identity based on information that would be held in their possession, which may include their billing addresses, telephone numbers or social security numbers.
The second tier, or “out-of-wallet” authentication, offers a 100 percent guarantee of the purchaser’s true identity and is commonly used for higher dollar transactions. This authentication process provides a more comprehensive identification process based upon information only the consumers could know and is not in their immediate possession. Questions may include:
– What is the amount of your mortgage payment?
– Who do you bank with?
– How much is your car payment each month?
Anyone interested in learning more about Transact-Secure is encouraged to contact iShopSecure at 888-533-5600, or visit [www.ishopsecure.com].
Headquartered in Davie, Fla., iShopSecure Inc. specializes in providing comprehensive, fraud preventive, real-time transaction technology solutions to safeguard credit cards issuers, consumers and e-tailers from online credit card fraud and privacy issues – the biggest barriers to the growth of e-commerce. Its technology prevents the fraudulent and unauthorized use of consumers’ credit cards and personal information, thus promoting consumer confidence and online spending. With its patent-pending technology, iShopSecure is dedicated to providing a safe, fraud-free, and secure shopping environment on the Internet.
Vital Processing Services, a leader in technology-based commerce enabling services, announced the appointment of Ron Carter, a seasoned senior leader in the merchant services industry, to serve as executive vice president of operations and technology. Carter will report to Jonathan Palmer, Vital’s president and CEO, and serve on Vital’s senior management committee.
As executive vice president of operations and technology, Carter will be responsible for Vital’s operations, client services and information technology functions. Carter will be based in Columbus, Ga., from where Vital’s merchant accounting and clearing and settlement services are delivered.
“For Vital to be the world’s recognized leader in technology-based commerce enabling services, we must attract recognized leaders in this industry to come work with us. Ron Carter is just such an individual. With more than two decades of experience in the merchant services industry, he brings valuable leadership to our company. I look forward to his contribution to Vital’s success,” said Jonathan Palmer.
Prior to joining Vital, Carter held senior positions at leading companies in the acquiring industry. Most recently, Carter served as president of Network Services for Alliance Data Systems and prior to that served as president of BUYPASS Corporation.
“I am proud to join Vital, a company uniquely positioned to be of service to its clients, who are the industry’s leading merchant acquirers. I look forward to helping our clients win,” said Carter.
About Vital Processing Services ([http://www.vitalps.com])
Arizona-based Vital Processing Services(R) (Vital(R)) is a leader in technology-based commerce enabling services. Vital’s clients include acquirers and merchant service providers that offer electronic payment processing services to merchants. Vital provides leading point-of-sale (POS) products and services, electronic authorization and data capture; VirtualNet(TM) Internet-commerce services; clearing, settlement and exception processing; accounting, billing and reporting; risk management; and customer service. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa(R) U.S.A. and Total System Services, Inc.(R) (TSYS) (NYSE: TSS).
The leading provider of P2P email payments has snagged its fourth round of financing. PayPal confirmed Tuesday it has completed of a $90 million ‘Series D’ investment placement that includes the participation of key European and Asian partners that will work with the company to expand its service internationally. The new investors include the Spanish bank Bankinter and the Japanese Internet bank eBANK. Other participants in ‘Series D’ round include ING Group, Providian Financial, and French retail bank Credit Agricole. So far PayPal has raised approximately $225 million in total equity financing, including a $100 million in ‘Series C’ last April. PayPal allows people and businesses to send and receive money via the Internet and currently has 6.5 million customers. With the closing of ‘Series D’, PayPal will expand its international service beyond the 26 countries it now serves. PayPal members send over $7 million in more than 150,000 payments each day.Details
Bolstering its leading commitment to financial literacy among young adults, Citibank teams with EdVenture Partners to take its “Credit-ED” program into college classrooms across the nation. This spring semester, Citibank announces it will sponsor a unique hands-on industry-education course in which marketing students from five schools around the country will participate and, therefore, promote responsible money management to their fellow students on campus. The five schools participating in the Citibank/EdVenture Credit-ED pilot program are: Northeastern University; Boston University; Arizona State University; University of California, Berkeley; and the State University of New York, Binghamton.
Credit Education: A Pre-requisite to Life After College
The college campus is the ideal environment to teach young adults about the need for responsible money management. And who better to talk to students about credit card basics and creating a budget than…other students? The Citibank/EdVenture Credit-ED program provides students with the rare opportunity to apply classroom teachings to real-world business practices. Students at each of the five participating schools will form a “marketing agency.” The goal of the course is to design and implement an on-campus marketing campaign aimed at educating college students about the importance of fiscal responsibility.
“We are excited about offering this opportunity to the students,” explains Gina Doynow, Citibank’s Vice President of College Marketing. “Research tells us that students want to be responsible and learn the ABC’s of credit, yet many of them may not know where to turn. We are pleased to have the students themselves help us accomplish this. We’re looking forward to seeing their campaigns as well as the impact made in the student community.” The students will spend the first half of the semester formulating their marketing strategy recommendations and campaign idea. After presenting their concept to Citibank, they will execute their campaign on campus as well as track and analyze its results.
Beyond Students: Educating College Administrators and Parents Too
Many college students arrive on campus lacking the fundamentals for managing their own finances wisely. Surprisingly, it’s a subject often overlooked by parents and high schools. Citibank believes that young adults should not have to learn the vital lesson of financial responsibility the hard way — through trial and error. A pioneer in Credit Education, Citibank is changing this “learning” process. “We are dedicated to helping students acquire crucial money management skills early so they can spend wisely, minimize debt and build a good credit history for life after college,” says Doynow. Citibank’s Credit-ED program provides the utmost financial tools and resources not only to college students, but also campus administrators and parents. The program offers easy, convenient access to a wide range of free resources that include:
– The “Credit Matters” page at [http://credit-ed.citibank.com]. This resource allows students – and parents – to learn and understand the fundamentals of money management. The site features a range of free credit-related tools, information and additional financial education materials, such as:
– “Start Right” — a 30-minute video of students talking to students about money
– Credit Minder – a credit card register that helps track spending
– “The Adventures of Anita Future and Les Foresight” comic book
– a humorous comic strip series that sheds light on credit card matters and money management
– Credit-ED bulletins – a series of guides on managing and understanding credit
– Information covering a variety of personal financial management issues
– Links to other useful Web sites.
– An innovative Web site Citibank created specifically for college and university administrators across the country: [www.credit-edadministrator.com]. Here, administrators can help guide their students to financial “smarts” by accessing all the free Credit-ED financial education materials and resources, many of which can be downloaded and customized with a college or university logo.
– Monthly statements and on-line account management provided to cardholders to help students track spending and manage their budgets.
Citibank is part of Citigroup (NYSE:C), the preeminent global financial services company, providing some 120 million consumers, corporations, governments and institutions in more than 100 countries with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark umbrella are Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Salomon Smith Barney, and Travelers. Additional information may be found at: [www.citigroup.com].
EdVenture Partners, an education marketing company based in Berkeley, California, has designed unique industry-education partnerships at over 300 campuses across the United States. EdVenture Partners provides each student agency with ongoing resources, guidance, and a $2,500 project budget to implement their marketing campaign.
PSINet Transaction Solutions has selected the Paymentplus payment processing software engine, ‘LiveProcessor’, to power the PSINet ‘Payment Exchange’. ‘Payment Exchange’ is a fast, multi-feature eCommerce payment-processing gateway that organizations can private-label and resell to their small- and medium-sized merchants and business customers. PSINet ‘Payment Exchange’ is also an integral part of PSINet ‘Web Storefront’, an end-to-end eCommerce solution that merchants and other businesses can use to create or enhance an online store that is immediately enabled with fast, secure credit card processing. PTS will license both solutions to financial institutions for resale to their merchant customers.Details
Schlumberger Test & Transactions, a business segment of Schlumberger Limited announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with AT&T Wireless to provide SIM smart cards and related OTA (over the air) technology to support AT&T Wireless’ new GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) network platform.
AT&T Wireless recently announced that it will introduce wireless data services by overlaying a GSM/GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) platform to its existing nationwide TDMA (time division multiple access) digital network beginning in this year. GSM handsets require SIM cards, which allows customers to access seamless call delivery across GSM networks in North America, Europe and Asia.
“The move of AT&T Wireless to add GSM-based services heralds a new era for wireless communication in North America,” said Dave Karpenske, vice president field operations, Schlumberger Network and e-Transactions Solutions North America. “We are pleased to help support AT&T Wireless’ efforts to bring advanced digital technology to consumers across the country.”
Schlumberger, the world’s leading provider of smart card-based solutions, pioneered Java(TM)-based SIM cards and OTA technology to enable wireless operators to quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively provide secure, value-added services to subscribers without modifications to handsets. Worldwide, Schlumberger SIM cards and related technology are used by 165 wireless operators in 90 countries.
The solution that Schlumberger is providing to AT&T Wireless includes Simera Classic(TM), a part of the Schlumberger line of leading-edge Cyberflex(TM) Simera SIM cards, which supports fastest time-to-market for new applications. Strict conformance to standards makes Simera Classic the new industry benchmark for interoperability. Schlumberger is also providing AT&T with its Aremis(TM) service administration platform, which provides the most efficient and versatile environment for activating/deactivating, configuring, tracking and billing of mobile value-added services on existing SIM cards. Aremis offers the capability of loading complete Java-based SIM toolkit applications over the air directly onto the SIM card.
Schlumberger Test & Transactions provides consulting, integration and products for smart card-based transactions; IP (Internet Protocol) network, security and wireless services; and testing and measurement of semiconductor devices. With 2000 revenue of $1.4 billion and over 8,000 employees in more than 40 countries, it is a business segment of Schlumberger Limited (NYSE: SLB), a global technology services company with 2000 revenue of $9.6 billion. More information is available at [www.slb.com].
S2 Systems, a global provider of integrated e-business solutions for the banking and financial services market, announced that Adirondack Trust Company will deploy and leverage S2’s OpeN/2:ATM-IN-A-BOX to expand its ATM network.
S2’s powerful transaction system replaces Adirondack’s switch for driving and monitoring ATMs, and will also provide a migration path into Internet banking, wireless and other emerging online technologies.
OpeN/2:ATM-IN-A-BOX is a flexible and reliable transaction engine capable of handling high volumes and supporting diverse applications. A robust, full-featured EFT engine, ATM-IN-A-BOX supports all current ATM transactions and easily adapts to support evolving services such as online bill payment, smart card transactions and other Web-based services.
“OpeN/2:ATM-IN-A-BOX enables banking and financial services organizations to capitalize on the growing use of ATMs as versatile, multi-service revenue generators,” said Jeff Chick, S2 Systems vice president and general manager, the Americas. “Our innovative ATM transaction processing solution enables companies such as Adirondack Trust to leverage technology while staying ahead of the innovation curve in today’s wired marketplace. We look forward to helping Adirondack Trust with its present and future e-business initiatives.”
“We are very pleased with S2’s proven transaction processing technology and their other capabilities as well,” stated Ned Wait, Adirondack Trust VP of IT. “As we move forward by expanding our ATM network to engage new markets, it is critical that our solution partner possess the domain knowledge and experience to meet our evolving needs.”
Financial institutions benefit from the growing popularity of ATMs by improving customer satisfaction, prospering from the fee income ATMs generate and reducing branch operating costs. The continuing growth of ATMs is also fueled by the machine’s capability of providing consumers with a broad array of value-added services.
About Adirondack Trust Company
The Adirondack Trust Company is a New York-state chartered commercial bank and a member of the Federal Reserve System. Founded in 1901, the employee-owned institution is the largest independent community bank and the highest rated bank in Saratoga County. The company operates seven branch offices in Saratoga Springs and nearby communities, has assets of approximately $400 million and 147 employees.
About S2 Systems
S2 Systems, Inc. is a leading global provider of e-business solutions for the banking, financial services, retail and travel and hospitality industries. For more than 15 years, some of the world’s largest organizations have relied on S2 products to drive their high-volume e-commerce transactions. Today, our leading technology enables business worldwide to implement Web-based initiatives that improve operational efficiency, enhance customer service and generate new revenue streams. S2 Systems has over 350 banking customers worldwide including six of the world’s top banks. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, S2 Systems has offices in Atlanta, London, Paris, Maarssen, Stockholm, Dubai, Riyadh, Hong Kong, Beijing and Melbourne. For more information about S2 Systems, visit its Web site at [www.s2systems.com].