Unbanked & Uncarded

Though hard to believe in today’s technologically-advanced society, many consumers — approximately 15 percent of U.S. households — do not own a checking account. Why not? How do these consumers cash their checks or pay their bills?

These questions and more are addressed in the latest issue of Economic Quarterly, a publication produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. In their article entitled “Means of Payment, the Unbanked, and EFT ’99,” Fed economists Edward S. Prescott and Daniel D. Tatar, uncover the reasons that many low-income individuals forego checking account ownership. Cost is the primary factor. Rather than paying account fees, many cash their checks for free at banks and grocery stores and pay bills with cash or low-cost money orders. Surprisingly, few regularly use costly check-cashing outlets.

The Economic Quarterly is a free publication containing economic analysis pertinent to Federal Reserve monetary and banking policy. For copies or more information, contact the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Public Affairs office at 804-697-8108 or visit their Web site at [http://www.rich.frb.org][1].

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond news releases can be found at [http://www.rich.frb.org][2].

[1]: http://www.rich.frb.org/
[2]: http://www.rich.frb.org/

Details

eCredible

CA-based CrediView introduced the first online anti-fraud solution to provide e-merchants with a 100% guarantee against chargebacks. With CrediView’s ‘eCredible Guaranteed’ service, an e-merchant pays a negotiated per transaction fee depending on the merchant’s volume and history. On a monthly basis, CrediView reimburses e-merchants for any chargebacks arising from fraudulent transactions that were authorized using the ‘eCredible Guaranteed’ service. The ‘eCredible Guard’ service is provided on a per transaction or fixed monthly fee, providing the merchant with a calculated risk score but without a guarantee. The merchant then has to decide whether or not to accept or reject the transaction based on its own risk tolerance. CrediView says independent tests shows the ‘eCredible Guard’ service has a fraud detection accuracy rate of about 90%. CrediView’s ‘eCredible’ patterns transactions, not people, and does not rely on personal histories and account information to precisely pinpoint fraud. ‘eCredible’ utilizes CrediView’s proprietary transaction patterning technology to analyze online transaction patterns consistent with fraud, rather than a purchaser’s personal information from credit card databases, to accurately determine fraud risk without sacrificing customer privacy.

Details

3Q Portfolio Results

Bank credit card portfolio financials are beginning to stream into CardData and generally show an uptick in receivables during the third quarter. UT-based First Security reported 3Q/00 receivables of $232,570,024, up slightly from 2Q/00. However, First Security’s active accounts declined slightly to 125,400. Meanwhile, MS-based TrustMark National Bank reported $61,696,149 in receivables among 54,202 active accounts. LA-based Whitney National Bank reported $23,417,842 in receivables and 17,726 active accounts. The 3Q/00 CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]) portfolio survey will cover approximately 350 of the largest US issuers, representing 98% of the market.

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

Details

LiquidCredit Deal

Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc. announced that direct online automotive provider CarsDirect.com has signed a multi-year agreement to incorporate Fair, Isaac’s LiquidCredit broker engine into its technology platform. CarsDirect.com will leverage LiquidCredit’s decision technology to instantly evaluate customers’ applications for financing and match those scored applications with lending partner criteria — presenting the right financing options to on-line customers within just seconds.

“Using LiquidCredit will not only help us pre-qualify more auto shoppers for the appropriate financing package more quickly, it will also help us turn these shoppers into buyers by offering them real-time purchasing power,” said Gene Schutt, CEO of CarsDirect.com’s CD1 Financial.com unit. “Only LiquidCredit offered us the combination of technologies we need for real-time access to the best credit origination decisions.”

Forrester Research estimates that by 2005 the number of U.S. households that will buy cars online will reach 1.1 million households spending a total of $33 billion in car sales.

“CarsDirect.com is a great example of how Fair, Isaac’s decision technology can boost leading and emerging e-businesses,” said Raffi Kassarjian, General Manager of Fair, Isaac’s LiquidCredit business unit. “LiquidCredit delivers the infrastructure and intelligence that optimizes CarsDirect.com’s Web-based automotive financing application process.”

LiquidCredit offers a Web-based decision engine, credit reporting agency interface, associated transaction management tools and the ability for businesses to design their own decision criteria and strategies, all delivered through a Web-centric service. The result is the right credit offer to the right customer at the right time.

Using the speed and cost savings of the netsourced (ASP) model, LiquidCredit provides clients with Fair, Isaac’s “gold standard” analytics and decision technology. In addition to LiquidCredit broker engine, Fair, Isaac also offers two other versions of LiquidCredit: decision engine for e-tailers and financial service providers with a Web presence, and application engine for financial service providers.

About Fair, Isaac

Fair, Isaac is a global provider of customer analytics and decision technology. Widely recognized for its pioneering work in credit scoring, Fair, Isaac revolutionized the way lending decisions are made. Today the company helps clients in multiple industries increase the value of customer relationships. Fair, Isaac has made the Forbes list of the top 200 U.S. small companies seven times in the last eight years, and was named by InformationWeek as one of the top 50 application service providers. Headquartered in San Rafael, California, Fair, Isaac has 20 offices worldwide.

Details

NPC Signs Safeway

National Processing Company announced the signing of a multi-year agreement to provide authorization and settlement services for Safeway Inc., one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America.

“We are delighted that Safeway, a preeminent retailer and market leader, has entrusted its business to NPC and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship,” said Thomas A. Wimsett president and chief executive officer. “Safeway has established itself as an industry leader by staying focused on providing excellent customer service, superior quality and convenient locations.”

About Safeway

Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) is a Fortune 50 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America based on sales. The company operates 1,680 stores in the United States and Canada and has annualized sales exceeding $31 billion. Additional information regarding Safeway, Inc. can be obtained at [http://www.safeway.com][1] .

About NPC

NPC is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. An 87 percent owned subsidiary of National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ( [http://www.national-city.com][2] ), a Cleveland based $85 billion financial holding company, NPC supports approximately 500,000 merchant locations, representing one out of every six Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer superior levels of service and performance. NPC assists merchants to compete and provide high-quality service to their customers through our world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding NPC can be obtained at [http://www.npc.net][3] .

[1]: http://www.safeway.com/
[2]: http://www.national-city.com/
[3]: http://www.npc.net/

Details

Intuit PayPal

E-finance leader Intuit Inc. and X.com Corporation ([www.x.com][1]), the largest provider of Web-based payment services, today announced a five- year agreement which makes X.com the exclusive provider of Internet-based payment services for selected U.S. Intuit products. Under the agreement, customers using selected Intuit small business and personal finance products will be able to use X.com’s leading Internet-based payment service PayPal. In addition, Intuit’s products will be the exclusive small business and personal financial management products on the X.com Web site.

Intuit and X.com expect to inaugurate Internet-based payment capabilities in Intuit products within the next several months. X.com services will augment Intuit’s existing online banking and related bill payment functionality and services, which are not affected by this agreement. Additional terms of the agreement and details of how X.com Internet-based payment services will be used in Intuit’s products are not being disclosed.

“Teaming with Intuit will allow X.com to provide its Internet payment solution to potentially millions of new customers — people who have already come to rely on Intuit for the best financial features and services available,” said Reid Hoffman, X.com’s senior vice president for business development. “Given Intuit’s success in helping people and businesses apply the power of modern technology to everyday financial activities, we look forward to broad adoption of our Internet-based payment service for both Internet-based and non-Internet-based transactions.”

X.com’s Internet-based payment service uses the speed and efficiency of the Internet to enable instant and secure transmissions for online payments — person-to-person, consumer-to-business, and business-to-business. “As a pioneer in Internet-based payments, X.com shares Intuit’s vision of using the Internet to revolutionize how people and small businesses manage their financial lives,” said Raymond Stern, Intuit’s senior vice president of corporate strategy and marketing. “Combining the efforts of these two industry leaders offers exciting opportunities to deliver on this vision — making online financial transactions easier, faster and more ubiquitous.”

About Intuit

Intuit Inc. is the leader in e-finance, including financial software and Web-based financial services for consumers and small businesses. Intuit develops and markets QuickBooks(R), the most popular small business accounting software; Quicken(R), the leading personal finance software; and TurboTax(R), the best-selling tax preparation software.

An innovator in delivering Web-based financial tools, Intuit is the leading provider of online tax preparation and filing and online mortgages. Intuit is also breaking new ground as a leader in online bill presentment and payment, and in the delivery of its QuickBooks Internet Gateway platform of connected e-services for small businesses.

Intuit’s Quicken.com(TM) Web site ([http://www.quicken.com][2]) is a leading financial site, offering a comprehensive set of financial news, information and tools, including insurance, mortgage, investment and tax preparation services. Intuit’s products and services enable individuals, small businesses and financial professionals to better manage their financial lives and businesses.

About X.com

X.com provides PayPal, which provides instant and secure online payment transmissions, integrated with consumer and business financial services. With a customer base of nearly 4 million, X.com is the world’s first and largest Web-based payment network, and the #1 financial site on the Internet, according to PC Data Online (Sept. 30, 2000). X.com’s PayPal is the preferred payment service for online auctions and online community and group Web sites. X.com’s PayPal service, free to consumers, can be used from PCs or Web-enabled mobile phones. Founded in March 1999 by Elon Musk, X.com is a privately held company headquartered in Palo Alto, California. X.com was recently named one of the 50 Most Important Private Companies in the World by Red Herring, one of the Top 25 New Companies by Fortune Small Business, and a Forbes Favorite Website in the magazine’s latest “Best of the Web” issue.

[1]: http://www.x.com/
[2]: http://www.quicken.com/

Details

Gold ChexCard

Dallas-based iDial Networks announced this morning it plans to launch the ‘iDial Gold ChexCard’ on November 1st. The rechargeable, secured POS/ATM debit/credit card will be targeted at unbanked Americans. It will also offer a full range of financial services as well as prepaid telecommunications services through iDial Networks and membership into a wide range of prepaid consumer discount buying programs including pharmacy, vision, dental, legal and travel. The ‘iDial Gold ChexCard’ will be sold through conventional retailers such as check cashing stores, online businesses, and niche markets and will be available immediately, over-the-counter, to the consumer with no pre-approval process, no application form or fee and no waiting period.

Details

Wireless Marketing

SkyGo, Inc. said yesterday that VISA U.S.A. will join the SkyGo wireless marketing and mobile commerce study. During the test, SkyGo will monitor qualified consumer participants in Boulder, CO, who will be using Internet-enabled phones issued by the company. For four months, SkyGo will deliver various types of ad campaigns, including rewards, discounts and purchasing opportunities from VISA and other SkyGo partners. VISA cardholders will be offered special coupons and discounts, redeemable via a one-click purchase or at a participating store or restaurant. SkyGo will provide performance feedback to VISA and other participating partners during the course of the trial. VISA says it will use the feedback to work with member financial institutions to develop future mobile commerce solutions.

Details

Hanft MC GC

MasterCard International announced that Noah J. Hanft has been named General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, effective January 1, 2001.

He will succeed Robert Norton, 58, who has decided to retire at year-end, after a long and successful legal career including more than 15 years at MasterCard.

Robert W. Selander, President and CEO, said “Since joining MasterCard in 1985, Bob Norton developed a legal function that provides the highest levels of service to internal customers and members around the world. Simply put, he has created one of the finest Corporate Law departments in the industry.”

Noah Hanft, 47, who is now Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, joined MasterCard in 1993. He is responsible for providing legal support to MasterCard’s regional operations, leading MasterCard’s efforts on various litigation matters, and counseling senior management on issues ranging from advertising and marketing to antitrust and intellectual property. As General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, he will assume responsibility for the full range of MasterCard’s global legal issues.

“We are fortunate that Noah’s extensive experience at MasterCard, his grasp of the complex legal and regulatory issues confronting the industry, and his longstanding relationship with Bob Norton, will allow for a smooth transition. I know MasterCard’s tradition of excellence will be maintained,” Mr. Selander said.

Prior to joining MasterCard, Mr. Hanft was Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at AT&T Universal Card Services, where he managed the legal issues associated with AT&T’s start-up credit card program. This innovative program was the first no-fee-for-life card in America, and was credited with revolutionizing the marketing of credit cards.

He was previously associated with the intellectual property law firm of Ladas & Parry in New York, and began his career as a trial attorney in the criminal defense division of the Legal Aid Society.

Mr. Hanft earned a J.D. degree from Brooklyn Law School, an L.L.M. degree from New York University School of Law in Trade Regulations, and a B.A. degree from the American University School of Government and Public Administration.

About MasterCard International

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of 22,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. With more than 18 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. In 1999, gross dollar volume exceeded US$727 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at [http://www.mastercard.com][1].

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

Details

Giants Get Triton

Triton announced that one of its top distributors, Access To Money, has deployed four Triton 9600 Series automated teller machines at Giants Stadium on behalf of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. Giants Stadium (capacity 79,464) is part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, where each year over 6.5 million patrons enjoy more than 600 sports and entertainment events. Installed this week, the Triton ATMs will provide patrons with immediate, convenient access to cash.

“Giants Stadium is widely recognized as one of the most successful sports and entertainment complexes in the world,” said James DiEleuterio, president and CEO of NJSEA. “Part of that success is driven by our efforts to continually expand and enhance the services we offer to patrons. The Triton ATMs, installed and serviced by Access To Money deliver yet another convenience that we are pleased to provide.”

Access To Money, the company that brought Triton ATMs to Woodstock 1999, was one of the first companies to successfully market off-premise ATMs. In addition to installing the Triton ATMs, Access To Money will provide services to NJSEA such as ATM management and transaction processing and reporting.

Giants Stadium is the only facility in the nation to host three professional football teams; the Giants and Jets of the NFL, along with the newly created “Hitmen” of the XFL all call Giants Stadium home.

Since 1976, the Giants have sold out every home game held at the Stadium. Additionally, the Stadium held 15 sold-out concerts, attracting 836,631 fans and $37,513,931 in gross ticket sales-all industry records. On October 5, 1995, Pope John Paul II celebrated mass at Giants Stadium before a record crowd of 82,948. Giants Stadium also served as the site for closing ceremonies of the Statue of Liberty centennial celebration in 1986.

“The Triton ATM is exceptionally reliable, making it ideally suited for high-traffic venues like Giants Stadium,” said Doug Falcone, owner and president of Access To Money. “By offering ATMs from Triton, an innovator in dial-up ATM technology and the U.S. market leader in off-premise ATM deployment, we’re delivering best-in-class technology that will serve NJSEA and Giants Stadium for many years to come.”

About Access To Money

Access To Money is a full-service provider of transaction processing and ATM systems management. Founded and incorporated in New Jersey in 1996, Access is one of the largest privately owned ATM dealers on the East Coast. Access To Money services a growing base of merchant-owned and operated ATMs nationwide. With 20 years of combined banking and business expertise, the principals of Access To Money possess a strong understanding of banking and financial service products. They provide complete ATM programs including: hardware and software; transaction processing; machine maintenance; customer service; and accounting and reporting management. For more information, please visit [http://www.accesstomoney.com][1] or call Charlie Samons, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at 888-701-1004.

About Triton

As the leading provider of cash-dispensing ATMs for off-premise locations, Triton is committed to redefining and leading the retail market for cash delivery systems. Triton is the second largest manufacturer of ATMs and ATM management software in the U.S. and has more than 35,000 installations in over 15 countries worldwide. The company is an operating company of Dover Industries, Inc., a subsidiary of Dover Corporation, is headquartered in Long Beach, Mississippi. For more information, please visit [http://www.tritonatm.com][2] or call 800-367-7191.

[1]: http://www.accesstomoney.com/
[2]: http://www.tritonatm.com/

Details

Virgin Rewards

Virgin Atlantic Airways’ frequent flyer cardholders will get a lift this month with the addition of seven new partners and a number of improved member benefits. The Virgin card is available in three levels: ‘Red’, ‘Silver’ or ‘Gold’. The most significant upgrade to the program has been extending the life of mileage expiration. Members who have any type of activity in their account in a three-year period automatically have their expiring miles extended for another three years. Premium Economy flyers now earn 50% more miles on all flights. In addition, the number of miles a member needs for reward travel has decreased on selected routes in Upper Class, Premium Economy and Economy. ‘Silver’ level members’ benefits have been expanded to include complimentary first class space available upgrades on Heathrow Express and Gatwick Express trains. ‘Gold’ level members can also take advantage of complimentary first class space available upgrades on the Heathrow and Gatwick Express trains, and a 30% discount on long-term parking with at Heathrow and Gatwick. New partner airlines include: Air Jamaica, Hawaiian Airlines, National Airlines and Nationwide Airlines (in South Africa). New hotel partners include: Le Petit Blanc and Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces.

Details

VF & One Network

VeriFone, a division of Hewlett-Packard Company, announced that One Network is successfully using a VeriFone Integrated Payment Solution to offer paperless transaction processing solutions via the Internet. One Network, a VeriFone strategic e-Payment vendor, is now a one-stop-shop for financial services, providing corporations, their customers, and merchants with instant access to billing information over the Web.

One Network’s innovative Internet payment solution combines One Network’s exclusive patented technology with VeriFone software to offer a powerful, Web-based Automated Settlement Processing System. “One Network, a strategic e-Payment vendor, with VeriFone’s e-Payment Server (ePS) software, has created a premiere transaction-oriented paperless processing solution. It reduces bill processing costs while increasing a corporation’s and a merchant’s ability to obtain payments from their customers faster,” said Ross Bardwell, general manager of HP’s VeriFone E-Commerce Software Division.

One Network uses its EBASS(TM) system (Electronic Billing and Automated Settlement System) with VeriFone’s software to provide corporate billing applications to corporations and their customers with real-time bill presentment and automated settlement for faster funds flow. Through One Network’s comprehensive portal for financial services, corporate billing customers can pay bills on-line, access their bank accounts, and schedule bills to be paid on a regular basis. A corporation’s customers can also track their bill history and get reports on current account activity, from use of One Network’s Billspan(TM).

Merchants can streamline their billing on the Web, eliminating the need for stamps, envelopes and paper invoices. One Network’s solution can also be customized to fit a corporation’s or a single merchant’s individual needs for particular vertical markets.

“Internet bill presentment is an integral part of realizing the potential of true e-commerce,” said Thomas M. Cannon, president and CEO of One Network. “Paperless Electronic Bills combined with Automated Settlement (EBASS(TM)), means you can eliminate certain processing costs while reducing the time it takes to send, receive and settle the invoice. With our Electronic Lock Box, One Network moves money faster. We offer a unique and patented solution with VeriFone’s e-Payment Server software at the heart of the One Network engine driving settlement. Our solutions benefit billers, billees, and banks for true winning performance.”

One Network also uses VeriFone’s ePS to allow merchants to replace paper-based gift certificates with e-Gift cards, saving time and money. E-Gift cards can be automatically processed at the time of sale, reducing the risk of fraud and increasing brand awareness. With e-Gift cards, merchants can record and track customer purchasing information and shopping demographics using ePS technology.

About One Network

One Network, located in California’s Silicon Valley, was founded in 1998 to provide back-office, transaction-processing services to emerging eCommerce companies as well as established brick and mortar businesses. By connecting virtual and physical storefronts to secure Internet information services, One Network provides solutions for electronic gift certificates, loyalty programs, digital authentication and billing services. One Network’s paperless, scalable and rules-based solutions lower the cost of doing business while providing a seamless exchange service with real-time information for both merchants and their customers.

About VeriFone

VeriFone ([http://www.verifone.hp.com][1]), a division of Hewlett-Packard Company, is the leading global provider of secure electronic-payment solutions for financial institutions, merchants and consumers. The division has shipped more than seven million electronic-payment systems, which are used in more than 100 countries.

About HP

Hewlett-Packard Company — a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services — is focused on making technology and its benefits accessible to individuals and businesses through simple appliances, useful e-services and an Internet infrastructure that’s always on.

HP has 86,000 employees worldwide and had total revenue from continuing operations of $42.4 billion in its 1999 fiscal year. Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at [http://www.hp.com][2].

[1]: http://www.verifone.hp.com/
[2]: http://www.hp.com/

Details