EFTA EBT Conference

The Electronic Funds Transfer Association announced the selection of the Marriott Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas as the site of its third annual conference on the future of Electronic Benefits Transfer systems.

EBT replaces the issuance of public welfare or social service benefits, such as checks or vouchers, with more cost-effective electronic payments or service delivery.

The conference, dubbed “EBT–The Next Generation” and scheduled for Nov. 12-14, will be hosted by EFTA’s EBT Industry Council, the nation’s oldest EBT trade association.

The San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk is a 500-room facility located on the Riverwalk, one of San Antonio’s top tourist destinations, and close to major attractions, such as the Alamo.

“We are pleased to be able to offer such a beautiful setting for EBT–The Next Generation,” said Arthur W. Burger, chairman of the EBT Industry Council, and a member of the Board of Directors of EFTA. “Millions of Americans now rely on EBT to receive a host of services from government, which makes this conference the most important event of the year for government industry leaders interested in using that technology.”

About EBT–The Next Generation

EBT–The Next Generation is a three-day conference featuring workshops, addresses and presentations on the technology and applications of EBT systems. Some 50 million Americans participate in EBT programs across the country, according to industry estimates. These programs, which will be featured at the conference, include Food Stamps, Transitional Assistance to Needy Families, Child Care, and the Women, Infants and Children nutritional program.

About the EBT Industry Council

Founded in the early 1990s, the EBT Industry Council is the longest-standing trade group comprised of companies that provide EBT technology. The Council’s mission is to foster business practices and public policy that encourages the adoption of EBT systems and applications.

Members of the EBT Industry Council include payment technology companies Citicorp Services, Inc., Lockheed Martin, and Deluxe EPS; technology management companies Burger, Carroll & Associates and Booz, Allen & Hamilton; and equipment manufacturers Hypercom Corp. NCR, and Hewlett-Packard’s VeriFone unit.

About the Electronic Funds Transfer Association

Now approaching a quarter-century of service, the Electronic Funds Transfer Association is the nation’s leading inter-industry trade association advocating the advancement of electronic payments and commerce.

Since the early 1980s EFTA has been active in promoting the use of electronic payment technology for EBT. This record include assisting the federal government in writing the first set of national operating rules for EBT, and working with Congress to develop fair and equitable liability coverage for EBT benefits.

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Delinquency Moderates

Based on figures released last week by the American Bankers Association, credit card delinquency continues to moderate. According to the ABA quarterly ‘Delinquency Bulletin’ the number of credit card bills paid late during 4Q/99 dropped to 3.22% of all accounts, compared to 3.35% in the previous quarter and 3.45% for 4Q/98. Fourth quarter credit card delinquencies, based on total dollars outstanding, rose slightly to 4.28%, compared to 4.25% for 3Q/99. The delinquency trend shown by the ABA tracks with the delinquency trends among card-backed securities and the ‘TrendLine’ calculated by CardData. Based on dollars outstanding among the top 350 card issuers, bank credit card delinquency, on a monthly basis, has fluctuated between 4.70% and 4.86%% over the past six months according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

4Q CREDIT CARD DELINQUENCY HISTORY
(based on total dollars outstanding)
1999: 4.28% 1995: 4.45% 1991: 4.61% 1987: 3.65% 1983: 2.74%
1998: 4.62% 1994: 3.20% 1990: 4.46% 1986: 4.80% 1982: 3.57%
1997: 5.38% 1993: 3.64% 1989: 3.22% 1985: 3.88% 1981: 2.26%
1996: 5.45% 1992: 4.11% 1988: 3.40% 1984: 2.85% 1980: 3.48%

Source: American Bankers Association Delinquency Bulletin

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

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Online Check Imaging

Digital Insight Corporation unveiled new product functionality that allows online customers to request and view images of their checks when accessing ‘ AXIS Internet Banking’ and ‘AXIS Cash Management’. A check image server hosted either by the financial institution or a third-party check image vendor delivers the check image to the end user within either ‘AXIS Internet Banking’ or ‘AXIS Cash Management’. Digital Insight already has developed partnerships and interfaces with several check image companies, including BISYS Document Solutions and Wausau Financial Systems.

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edocs Clarify

edocs and Clarify Inc. announced plans to deliver the first integrated end-to-end offering for Internet billing and customer relationship management from industry leading solution providers. Clarify will integrate edocs ‘BillDirect’ Internet billing software into Clarify eFrontOffice. This will allow companies to web-enable their customer bill and statement data to present dynamic, interactive customer bills and statements online. This solution gives the eBusiness capabilities of Clarify eFrontOffice while also giving customers a single view of all their interactions with the company. By adding Internet billing capabilities, companies can quickly and easily provide both business customers and consumers with the ability to query, sort, analyze and pay bills online.

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Fighting Bad I-Merchants

CitX Corporation announces the launch of ‘CyberlSOX’ online credit card merchant account fraud prevention. The new system would enable businesses to verify the authenticity of credit card merchant account programs marketed by ISO. The ‘CyberlSOX’ service will be offered free to businesses through CitX Corporation’s IntraPayX e-commerce division and will feature a registry of participation merchant account ISA agents and credit card merchant account issuing banks. ISOs and issuing banks will be able to subscribe to the service and participate to have their merchant account program and services authenticated.

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Golden Cointstar

Coinstar Inc. announced a unique promotion aimed at encouraging Americans to return their idle coins to circulation. The promotion, which began this week will enable Americans who process at least $20 worth of change through a Coinstar machine to receive two of the United States Mint’s new Golden Dollar coins. Americans who recycle at least $20 worth of change through Coinstar will find a form at the end of their regular Coinstar transaction voucher, which works like a mail-in rebate.

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MC Fairy Tale

Beginning in May, every time debit MasterCard cardholders use their debit cards to make a purchase they will be automatically entered for a chance to win the Grand Prize of $10,000. MasterCard will provide a fairy godmother to help the winner spend the money. Participating member banks are guaranteed to have at least one First Prize winner from their debit cardholder base, estimated value of at least $100. Print and radio spots have been created to support this promotion along with member statement inserts, postcards, tent cards, posters and customizable web pages for member Internet sites. Several weeks ago during the telecast of the Grammy awards on February 23, MasterCard launched a Priceless execution called Fairy Tale, which follows the same theme and supports debit MasterCard.

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Old Kent Gets Hi-Tech

InteliData Technologies Corp. and Old Kent Bank announced the customer launch of Old Kent’s new Internet banking and bill payment system using InteliData’s ‘Interpose’ software suite. Using the ‘Interpose’ software suite Old Kent provides its customers with secure access to real-time account information and the ability to transfer funds and pay bills electronically using standard HTML browsers. Bill payment is handled through the ‘Interpose’ Bill Payment Warehouse, which allows Old Kent to process customer debits and payments to commercial accounts internally and to outsource external payments to third-party processors.

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Paycheck Accept

Equifax announced that Price Chopper has selected Equifax Check Solutions ‘PayCheck Accept’ fraud prevention system to combat payroll check cashing fraud. ‘PayCheck Accept’ reduces fraud by performing basic consumer identification authentication while validating Social Security numbers and comparing the check payee to identification information in the Equifax credit database. In January, Equifax launched ‘PayNet Secure’, giving merchants the exclusive ability to authenticate the identity of consumers and authorize credit card or check payment on their web sites.

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