US Bank Settlement

A settlement filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Minnesota added 38 states and the District of Columbia to an earlier settlement signed by US Bank and Minnesota in 1999. In that lawsuit, Minnesota alleged the bank violated the FCRA by sharing consumers’ credit card numbers and other private financial information with marketing firms and by misrepresenting the bank’s privacy policy to consumers. In the wake of the Minnesota settlement, other states sought restitution for US Bank customers living in their states. The amended agreement calls upon the bank to pay $2 million in consumer restitution and monetary damages. According to the settlement, US Bank must make restitution to all consumers who purchased, but didn’t use, goods or services from third-party marketers who originally obtained a consumer’s information from the bank. The bank will notify consumers who may be eligible for restitution. Further, US Bank must give consumers the option of prohibiting the bank from sharing personal information with any third-party marketers or bank affiliates. (See CF Library 9/5/00)

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Interac US$

ING DIRECT announced Friday that customers using the automated bank machines located in participating Canadian Tire Stores across Canada will now be able to obtain $US cash when using an ‘Interac’ bank machine card. Any ‘Interac’ bank card customer can withdraw $US cash from their Canadian bank account. The conversion is done by the ABM with exchange rates updated daily. There are no convenience fees or extra service charges for withdrawing $US cash. However, regular financial institution fees for use of the ‘Interac’ network may apply. Canadians typically have to make a trip to their bank branch or pre-order $US cash when they travel. ING DIRECT has over 300,000 customers in Canada with over $3 billion in total assets.

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E-Fraud Squad

American Express unveiled this weekend a ‘Worldwide E-Commerce Fraud Prevention Network’ that includes major e-merchants and card processors. Yesterday AmEx hosted the ‘Network’s’ first event, a fraud prevention seminar at the National Retail Federation’s trade show in San Diego. Participating e-merchants include Starwood Hotels, Ventro Corp., Expedia.com and buy.com. Card processors, First Data and Paymentech, have joined the ‘Network’ as founding members. Transaction solutions provider ClearCommerce has also partnered with the AmEx fraud program. The ‘Network’ is building a web site, merchantfraudsquad.com, to serve as a clearinghouse for information about fraud prevention best practices, law enforcement organizations, and current fraud prevention trends. Gartner Group has also been hired to evaluate fraud prevention solutions and produce quarterly white papers on specific fraud prevention topics. American Express is funding the program for the first year. The ‘Network’ is offering free charter membership to any business or organization interested in fighting Internet fraud.

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Smart Card Forum

Several major smart card announcements are expected this week as the 8th Annual Meeting of The Smart Card Forum gets underway in San Francisco. Ahead of the event, the SCF announced Friday that fourteen ‘Principal, Auditing and Government’ members have joined the organization including Capital One, Cubic, Fargo Electronics, New England Bankcard Association, and the US Postal Service. The non-profit organization has nearly 200 members. The Forum’s ‘8th Annual Meeting’ will take place Wednesday through Friday of this week. The SCF Educational Institute gets underway today and concludes on Tuesday. The focus of this conference is centered on mobile eCommerce. The conference will provide open discussions on policy, business and technology issues surrounding mobile eCommerce with the focus on the role of card technology. Among keynote speakers will be Bond Isaacson, president of eVISA. MasterCard and VISA are major sponsors of this week’s SCF events.

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EBPP 2005

Electronic bill payment and presentment will finally reach significant online penetration, with more than 40 million online households expected in 2005, according to a new report from Jupiter Research. The report says banks are logical EBPP-enablers because of their trusted relationships with both consumers and businesses, however, these financial institutions must stop watching this market and start driving it. Jupiter warns that fast-moving technology companies that want to control the billing and payment process are poised to take over the online financial aspects of that customer relationship. The combined potential of EBPP and online banking provides Internet-savvy financial institutions not only with the opportunity to reduce servicing costs and expand existing relationships, but also the opportunity to generate incremental revenue. With its current low level of adoption, EBPP will grow more rapidly than either online banking or online shopping over the next five years. EBPP adoption will take off quickly in 2001 doubling in volume in the next two years. In 2003 the ability to view and pay bills online will, for the first time, become more popular than simply conducting online payment of bills that arrived via traditional methods of delivery.

Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment Households
(In Millions) 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
US EBPP Households 0.1 0.7 2.8 6.8 15.2 25.8 40.2

Source: Jupiter Internet Financial Services Model, 5/00 (US Only)

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@pos.com Cited

@pos.com, Inc. has been ranked 20th to Deloitte & Touche’s prestigious “Fast 50” Program for Silicon Valley, a ranking of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the area. Rankings are based on the percentage of growth in revenues from 1995-1999 (five-year period).

@pos.com’s Chairman of the Board and Acting CEO, Mike Dorsey, credits the company’s innovative digital signature capture and web-enabling point-of-sale technology products with the 4,003 percent revenue growth over the past five years. Mr. Dorsey remarked, “@pos.com’s large increase in revenues was due to the demand for our innovative point-of-sale solutions. We were able to address the retail market need for secure credit and debit payment transactions and electronic signature capture. As we move forward to further expand our business in the point-of-sale and now, the point-of-presence environments, @pos.com has become a provider of intellectual capital by licensing our technology to major industry players.”

“In today’s fast-paced world of technology, where multi-million dollar technology companies seem to appear overnight, it’s an honor to be named one of the fastest growing technology companies. We commend @pos.com for making the commitment to technology and delivering on the promise of market longevity,” said Paul Higo, Partner — High Technology Services, San Jose, CA. @pos.com’s increase in revenues of 4,003 percent over the five-year period of 1995 to 1999 resulted in a 20th ranking overall in the Fast 50 for Silicon Valley Technology Fast 50 region. The average increase in revenues among companies who made the Fast 50 for this region was 7,142 percent. National average for all 21 regions was 3,554 percent.

To qualify for the Fast 50, companies must have had operating revenues of at least $50,000 in 1995 and $1,000,000 in 1999, must be public or private companies headquartered in Silicon Valley and be “technology companies” defined as companies that produce technology, manufacture a technology product or devote a high percentage of effort to research and development of technology. Winners of the 21 regional Fast 50 programs in the United States are automatically entered in the Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 500 program, which ranks the nation’s top 500 fastest growing technology companies. For more information on the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 or Fast 500 programs, visit www.fast500.com.

About @pos.com

@pos.com, Inc. (OTCBB:EPOS) is the pioneer in Web-enabling the point-of-sale and point-of-presence environments. @pos.com’s technology allows its licensing partners and customers to utilize secure interactive transaction products for electronic signature capture, debit and credit payments, display advertisements, promotions, and surveys. The company was previously named PenWare and MobiNetix Systems, Inc., known for its PW 3100 and PenWare 1100 and 1500 signature capture terminals. For more information, see www.atpos.com.

About Deloitte & Touche

Deloitte & Touche, one of the nation’s leading professional services firms, provides assurance and advisory, tax and management consulting services through 30,000 people in more than 100 U.S. cities. Deloitte & Touche is part of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a global leader in professional services with more than 90,000 people in over 130 countries. Deloitte & Touche refers to Deloitte & Touche LLP, Deloitte Consulting LLC and related entities. For additional information, please visit Deloitte & Touche’s web site at www.us.deloitte.com.

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BITS Board Members

BITS Board Chairman James H. Blanchard announced that the BITS Board of Directors has added six new members in response to increasing interest in e-commerce and technology concerns by representatives from diversified financial services institutions. Blanchard is Chairman and CEO of Synovus Financial Corp.

“The BITS Board approved in April an expansion of board seats to reflect the growing diversified membership of the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR),” Blanchard said. “Our new Board members are bringing new energy and perspective to our considerations. We are delighted with the participation of these six new members, and we expect to announce more new Board members in the coming weeks.

“The financial services industry is increasingly alert and savvy about the role of technology and the Internet in the global marketplace — and BITS has led the way to that understanding,” Blanchard continued. “As more of my colleagues have become acquainted with BITS and its results, the more interest they have shown in getting involved in its leadership.” The new members of the BITS Board of Directors are:

Jerry A. Grundhofer, President and CEO, Firstar Corporation, who has more than 30 years of banking experience, with an extensive background in the full range of financial services businesses. Grundhofer has played key roles in several significant bank mergers.

Denis J. O’Leary, Executive Vice President, The Chase Manhattan Corporation and CEO of Chase.com, the company’s focal point for Internet business expansion. He was named “Banker of the Year” in 1995 by Bank Systems & Technology magazine, and “Chief Information Officer of the Year” in 1996 by Information Week.

Thomas A. Renyi, Chairman and CEO, The Bank of New York Company, whose comprehensive banking knowledge and experience brought him to his present position in 1998 after working his way up from an entry-level management position at The Bank of New York.

Edward B. Rust, Jr., Chairman and CEO of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, who has an extensive background in insurance, management and law. He joined State Farm in 1975 and is now the chief executive of many of its companies.

Rudy E. Schupp, Chairman and CEO, Republic Security Bank, West Palm Beach, Florida, which he co-founded in 1984, after a banking career encompassing electronic banking and merger and acquisition. He is the American Bankers Association’s (ABA) representative to the BITS Board.

G. Kennedy Thompson, President and CEO, First Union Corporation, who succeeds former BITS Chair Ed Crutchfield to the BITS Board as First Union’s representative. He assumed his present position in 1999, after holding a series of executive positions at First Union over the past 23 years with the company.

About BITS

BITS, the Technology Group for The Financial Services Roundtable, was created in 1996 to foster the growth and development of secure electronic commerce in an open environment for the benefit of financial institutions and their customers. BITS is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of the Chairmen and CEOs of many of the largest integrated U.S. financial services companies, as well as representatives of the American Bankers Association (ABA) and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). For more information, visit the BITS Web site at www.bitsinfo.org. Among BITS’ accomplishments since its founding:

Established the BITS Financial Services Security Laboratory, the first private-sector lab focused on security criteria development and product testing for the financial services industry;

Developed a successful check fraud reduction program;

Coordinated the cross-industry process to develop IFX, a converged, open, interoperable standard to support online financial services;

Conducted significant research on consumers’ attitudes related to information privacy; and

Focused attention on new business opportunities in e-commerce, leading the efforts to develop a legal framework for account aggregation services and business-to-business authentication.

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Argentinean AmEx Card

Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires (“Banco Galicia”) and American Express today announced the launch of the Banco Galicia American Express Card and Banco Galicia American Express Gold Card in Argentina. Under the agreement (announced in July), Banco Galicia will issue dual-currency denominated credit cards on the American Express global merchant network, for local use in Argentinean pesos and international use in U.S. dollars.

The Banco Galicia American Express Cards carry a broad range of distinctively value-added benefits, including core American Express Card features such as 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week customer service and travel assistance at more than 1,700 American Express Travel Service Offices in 130 countries worldwide.

“We at Banco Galicia are very excited to be launching these new products in association with American Express, a true global player in the card industry,” said Guillermo Laje, vice president of Personal Banking and Insurance, Banco Galicia. “This relationship brings us the great strengths of American Express’ brand and service network, and significantly reinforces our commitment to bringing a wide array of innovative and superior products to our customers.”

“Banco Galicia is an ideal choice to help us extend our network presence in Argentina, a market that has historically been, and will continue to be important for American Express,” said Gonzalo G. Ruiz Jr., vice president and general manager, American Express Global Network Services, Latin America and the Caribbean. “The launch of Banco Galicia American Express Cards adds significant momentum to our Global Network strategy in this country. It will provide the opportunity for more Argentinean consumers to experience and benefit from the global prestige and superior value inherent in the American Express brand.”

American Express is aggressively pursuing a strategy of opening its merchant network and card product portfolio to other card issuers around the world, as a major growth initiative for the company. By leveraging its global infrastructure and the powerful appeal of the American Express brand, the company aims to become the premier global network and gain wider reach to customers worldwide. In the last several years it has developed 64 card-issuing relationships in more than 70 countries. In Latin America alone, American Express has established 19 such alliances in 15 markets, allowing the company successfully to build its business in the region.

The Banco Galicia American Express Cards, which carry the American Express Blue Box logo at the bottom right corner, are designed, issued and serviced by Banco Galicia. Additional features of the Cards include:

Travel Accident Insurance (Banco Galicia American Express Card for up to $50,000 and Banco Galicia American Express Gold Card for up to $100,000); Cash access at more than 300,000 ATMs in American Express’ global network; 24-hour Emergency Card Replacement service; Emergency Assistance; Expressphone, a calling card service; Mailbox service in the United States for receiving merchandise purchased through catalogue; and Retail Protection for Banco Galicia American Express Gold Cardmembers, offering up to $10,000 refund annually for damaged merchandise purchased on the Banco Galicia American Express Gold Card.

Banco Galicia is a leading provider of financial services in Argentina and the largest private bank in the country in terms of assets, deposits and loans. It offers a full range of financial products and services through broad distribution channels to more than two million customers. Founded in 1905, the Bank has diverse and long-standing banking expertise in Argentina as well as significant banking presence in overseas markets, such as New York, Cayman Islands, London and Sao Paulo.

American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a world leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, business services, insurance and international banking.

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USTT Patents

USA Technologies, Inc. announced last week it has been granted U.S. Patent 6,119,934 from the US Patent and Trademark Office for “Credit Card, Smart Card and Bank Issued Debit Card Operated System and Method for Processing Electronic Transactions” which further protects its unique e-Port pervasive computing and Internet appliance device.

USA Technologies, a recognized leader in unattended point-of-sale payment systems that give consumers credit card-activated access to goods, services and information, also has received a notice of allowance on a related patent “Credit and Bank Issued Debit Card Operated System and Method for Controlling a Vending Machine.”

Patent 6,119,934 should further strengthen USA Technologies’ position in vending and other rapidly growing mass market industries. It also is expected to give USA Technologies and its expanding membership of licensees the unique ability to affordably process micro credit card transactions as low as $1 via a patented method of batch electronic transaction processing.

“This puts USA Technologies in the forefront of micro transactions activated by a credit card,” said George R. Jensen Jr., Chairman and CEO of USA Technologies. “Micro transactions with a credit card for amounts of less than $10 is a market virtually untouched, especially in the vending machine industry. According to Visa, it represents a $400 billion opportunity. Our e-Port technology allows for transactions as low as $1, giving us a huge edge over all of our competitors,” he said.

Brock Kolls, Senior Vice President, research and technology, USA Technologies, said his company had launched an aggressive campaign to protect its leading-edge technology breakthroughs in office equipment, vending machine, point-of-sale, pervasive computing and Internet appliance solutions. “Everyone is mobilizing to leverage the power and promise of the Internet and e-commerce with small, feature-rich, application specific wireless computing devices. These devices are changing the way we buy, sell, market and promote goods and services. This is the future, and USA Technologies was among the first to recognize and respond to this evolution with e-Port. Our growing list of ten patents issued and fifty pending, is aimed at protecting e-Port and every aspect of our intellectual property, and we will be filing many more to cover an ever wider variety of uses of our technology,” he said.

e-Port is an e-commerce solution that allows consumers to conduct simple, secure and direct transactions at vending machines, supermarkets and convenience stores, gas pumps and numerous other retail point-of-sale terminals with the swipe of a credit card. Developed by USA Technologies (http://www.usatech.com) and supported by IBM (NYSE: IBM), e-Port also comes with a color flat panel touch screen that allows advertisers to promote their products and services, and operate electronic storefronts. It also gives advertisers and merchants the opportunity to promote their products and services on the small color screen, while a consumer may be pumping gas, buying a soda or a booklet of postage stamps,” he said. Free, access to information such as news, sports, weather and the stock market will also be offered through e-Port.

“Our technology has been an on-going evolution and as a result we believe we were first in our industry with pervasive computing and Internet appliance technologies,” said Mr. Jensen. “Our vision for USA Technologies is to be a leader among all in the Internet anywhere pervasive computing space,” he said.

About USA Technologies

With patented technology and an expanding customer base and product line, USA Technologies is a leader in providing consumers with convenient, unattended credit card-activated access to goods, services and information while on-the-go. Visit the USA Technologies web site at http://www.usatech.com.

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P-Card Survey

Credit Card Solutions, Inc., the developer of The P-Card Solution software, released the results of a recent survey about purchasing cards, e-commerce and enterprise resource planning systems.

The survey shows that not one of the companies and organizations responding to the survey currently has one system that will adequately handle ERP processes and all p-card transactions. However, 60% of those polled would like to have such a system, while only 17% do not want to integrate the two systems.

“This survey clearly illustrates what we already see coming in the marketplace,” said Lori Nowlen C.P.M., CCSi vice president of sales and marketing. “Whether it’s a government agency or a private corporation, the main goal is to have a single, easy-to-use system that makes it possible to efficiently manage and reconcile all types of purchases electronically.”

32% of those questioned in the survey either have an e-commerce system in place or plan on implementing one in the next 12 months, but 53% have no plans to use an e-commerce system in the next year. Of those who are interested in or already have an e-commerce system, 45% want one system for tracking e-commerce and offline purchases made with a p-card. 49% say they haven’t decided yet how they want to handle the relationship between traditional p-card purchases and e-commerce transactions.

“P-cards make the purchasing process much easier and more efficient, but as this survey shows, p-cards can also become a monster when it comes to tracking different types of purchases,” said Roy Wiprud C.P.M., president and chief executive officer of CCSi. “P-card transactions today incorporate orders made in person, phone orders, fax orders, Internet purchases, and orders from online catalog systems. CCSi’s goal is to make it possible to use one software program to facilitate all of these types of transactions and to seamlessly integrate them with existing ERP (and other) systems.”

Another section of the survey shows most of the companies and organizations polled plan on increasing their p-card programs in the next 12 months. 19% expect their programs to grow by less than 10%, 52% expect to see growth between 11% and 50%, and 13% of those polled expect their programs will grow by more than 50%.

The survey also reveals that automating p-card processes, such as reconciliation and administration, has a significant impact on the success of p-card programs. Organizations using CCSi’s software reported the highest benefit through increased dollar volume and increased numbers of transactions. The Survey Summary contains more details about this and other aspects of the survey. It is available for download from CCSi’s web site, http://www.p-card.com.

The survey was commissioned by CCSi and executed by Politis Communications. 602 organizations were polled and 109 took part in the survey, representing an 18% response rate. Numerous types of companies and organizations responded, including private corporations, various levels of government agencies, universities, manufacturers, government contractors and utilities. Those who participated in the survey did not know CCSi sponsored it until after the survey was closed. The names of all respondents were kept confidential by Politis Communications.

Founded in 1990, Politis Communications specializes in providing public relations, investor relations and marketing communications services to organizations in the high-tech and life sciences industries by demystifying technology for real people working in the real world.

Headquartered in Richland, Washington, CCSi was founded in 1995 to provide its customers with solutions to their purchasing card challenges. CCSi’s flagship product, The P-Card Solution, significantly reduces the cost of purchasing card administration while substantially increasing the amount of information available about p-card transactions, and eliminates the redundancies inherent in typical reconciliation processes. The P-Card Solution has been licensed to clients nationwide. CCSi’s customers include Arthur Andersen, ARCO, Bechtel, The California Institute of Technology, Honeywell, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed Martin, the State of Alaska, and Warner Bros. For more information about The P-Card Solution, contact CCSi at http://www.p-card.com.

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Discover 3Q/00

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter reported yesterday that its Discover credit card division opened 1.3 million new accounts during the fiscal third quarter ending Aug 31. More than 10% of the new accounts were opened via Discover’s web site. So far this year Discover has opened 2.2 million net new accounts. Discover’s third quarter card receivables posted a modest gain compared to the second quarter, however compared to 3Q/99 card receivables have increased $10.4 billion or a solid 30%. Card volume for 3Q/00 was flat compared to 2Q/00, but remains 20% above volume in the year ago quarter. Meanwhile net charge-offs continued to decline, hitting 4.18%, the lowest level in almost five years and 111 basis points below last year’s third quarter 5.29%. However 30+ day delinquency rate edged up during the third quarter by 36 bps. The interest yield continues to recover but remains under 3Q/99’s 14.30%. The recovery in yield is related to a pricing increase implemented during the second quarter of this year. For complete current details on Discover’s 3Q/00 results as well as historical data, please visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

DISCOVER PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
1Q/00* 2Q/00* 3Q/00
Receivables: $42.0b $43.7b $44.8b
Volume: $23.5b $21.9b $21.9b
Accounts: 39.2m 40.4m 41.4m
Actives: 22.8m 23.1m 23.1m
Chargeoffs: 4.66% 4.21% 4.18%
Delinquency: 5.57% 5.11% 5.47%
Yield: 13.35% 13.69% 14.05%

*1Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 2/29/00; 2Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 5/31/00; 3Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 8/31/00 Source: CardData ([http://www.carddata.com][2])

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

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Deluxe CFO & Gen Counsel

Deluxe Corporation announced Thursday it has hired Douglas Treff, 43, to become its senior vice president and chief financial officer, and Anthony C. Scarfone, 39, to become senior vice president and general counsel. Both Treff and Scarfone will join Deluxe early next month and assume their official duties after the split-off of eFunds Corporation later this year. Deluxe’s current CFO, Lois M. Martin, and its current general counsel, John H. LeFevre, will be leaving Deluxe as planned after the split.

Treff spent over ten years with Wilsons The Leather Experts, Inc., where he held a number of positions, the most recent of which was chief financial officer. Wilsons, a leather specialty apparel retailer, has 530 stores throughout the US, Canada and the UK, and revenues that exceed $600 million. During his 21-year career, Treff also held positions with QVC Network, Inc., Apogee Enterprises, and Champion International Corporation.

Scarfone spent six years as vice president, general counsel and secretary with Dahlberg, Inc., a leading worldwide manufacturer, marketer, and distributor of state-of-the-art electronic hearing devices, located in Minneapolis. Previously, he held senior legal positions with Bausch & Lomb Incorporated and practiced with the law firm Harris Beach & Wilcox, both in Rochester, N.Y.

“Doug and Tony will be great additions to the leadership team of the new Deluxe,” said Lawrence J. Mosner, who will become the company’s chief executive officer after the split. “We’re happy to have both of them on board.”

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