Visa Business

CA- based software developer IMSI Thursday announced that a number of its top products are included on VISA International’s new Visa.com list of ten “World’s Best for Business” offers. VISA cardholders will receive a 20% discount when they use their ‘VISA Business Card’ to purchase ‘TurboCAD 2D’, ‘NetAccelerator 2.0’, ‘MasterClips 303,000’ or ‘FloorPlan 3D Design Suite’.

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NextCard’s Top Score

NextCard yesterday announced that its Affiliate Network has been named one of the top ten affiliate programs on the Web by Refer-it.com. With over 12,000 active affiliates, the NextCard Affiliate Network is the largest affiliate network for a financial institution. Refer-it.com, the leading search engine for affiliate programs, has awarded the NextCard Affiliate Network a perfect 3 star rating for excellence in every category, including efficient online reporting, customizeable content, superior customer service, easily navigated user interface and substantial revenue sharing. NextCard offers a minimum of $20 for each new account booked through an affiliate site, and provides a huge selection of banners and buttons to use in promoting the NextCard Internet Visa on Web sites.

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EDS – TNB – CU

TNB Card Services, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Town North National Bank, has contracted with EDS for image-based payment processing for its credit card receivable payments. The multiyear outsourcing agreement includes remittance processing through EDS’ ‘Remittance Network’ in addition to current services that include the ‘BMIS’ retail banking product, back-office operations and Internet banking, which EDS already provides for Town North. ‘Remittance Network’ is a client/server, Intel-based, Windows NT 4.0 system that processes 90 million remittance transactions on behalf of EDS clients each year. The processing services are enhanced by ‘EDS*PAY Concentration Services’. These services allow TNB Card Services to electronically receive payments originating from more than 6,000 home banking applications and credit counseling agencies.TNB Card Services was formed in 1975 by a group of credit unions and has more than 400 customer credit unions across the Southwest issuing VISA/MasterCards to three million members.

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MerchantOnline

MerchantOnline.com Thursday announced that it has signed an agreement with NY-based Fine Point Technologies to be the exclusive provider of e-commerce services. MerchantOnline.com will market its e-commerce services to Fine Point’s Total Internet clients, which combined have purchased more than 1 million Total Internet end-user licenses. Services provided by MerchantOnline.com under the agreement include real-time credit-card processing and MOL-e-check transactions online, utilizing the MerchantOnline.com front- and back-end processing network.

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Siemens Pilot

FL-based Siemens Information and Communication Networks unveiled yesterday its largest-ever smart card pilot program to manage health information and simplify administration of the state’s health and food benefits. The ‘Health Passport Project’ will be rolled out over the next four months across three Western communities in ND, WY and NV. The first application of the ‘Health Passport’ will be initially targeted at pregnant women, mothers and children in the pilot communities who are eligible for a number of public health programs, including Medicaid; Immunization; WIC; Head Start; and Maternal and Child Health Services. Open Domain of San Ramon, CA is programming the smart cards and and Louisville, KY-based Stored Value Systems is responsible for the WIC EBT application. Computer chips from Siemens’ Infineon Technologies are being used in the smart card devices.The program will be formally presented to the governors of 11 other states next week.

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Piling On

Providian was hit with another lawsuit yesterday in the wake of widespread consumer complaints over its credit card practices. The Seattle office of the law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll filed a lawsuit last week in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of San Francisco on behalf of Providian credit card holders. Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein of San Francisco is also representing Providian credit cardholders. The suit alleges, among other things, that Providian has extracted unlawful, excessive late charges and other penalties from its credit card holders for unwanted “credit protection” insurance and other hidden fees. Last week shareholder litigation specialist Wolf Popper filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Providian shareholders. All the suits are in reaction to an investigation by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office into Providian’s credit card practices. News of the suit broke May 20 in the San Francisco Chronicle and CardTrak/CardFlash. Providian’s stock slid more than 40% since the news broke however it has moderated this week, closing yesterday at 83 1/8.

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Credit Store

The Credit Store, Inc. announced that it completed its third securitization of performing credit card receivables. The transaction involved the sale of approximately $6.2 million in seasoned credit card receivables to a wholly-owned qualified special-purpose corporation, TSC Funding III, Inc., that was established for this transaction. The receivables were fully current and had been seasoned in excess of eight months.

This transaction was funded, in part, by a $4.0 million term loan from Miller & Schroeder Investments Corporation of Minneapolis, MN. The excess of the purchase price for the receivables over the cash proceeds will be retained by The Credit Store as a capital contribution to TCS Funding III. The Credit Store will continue to service the credit-card receivables sold to TSC Funding III on a fee basis. The Credit Store completed similar securitizations in Sept. and Dec. 1998, for approximately $6.5 million and $7.8 million in credit card receivables respectively.

Martin J. Burke III, chairman and chief executive officer commented: “We are pleased with this, our third transaction, which demonstrates a growing market for our performing credit card assets. Our first two securitized transactions continue to perform well within modeling parameters. We believe we are demonstrating the continued saliency of our business plan and are well on our way defining a new niche in the consumer credit marketplace.” The Credit Store, Inc. is a nationwide financial services company engaged in the acquisition and collection of non-performing consumer receivables and the origination and servicing of credit cards. The Company acquires portfolios of non-performing consumer debt at substantial discounts, and then uses its direct marketing expertise to contact and negotiate settlements with consumers, most of the time placing settlement on new unsecured credit cards offered through The Credit Store.

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EFT – Next Generation

Twenty-three workshops, keynote addresses and breakout sessions highlight this year’s EBT–The Next Generation, a three-day national conference on the future of Electronic Benefits Transfer Systems. The EBT Industry Council of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association hosts the annual conference.

In announcing this year’s agenda, EFTA Executive Director H. Kurt Helwig said, “EBT–The next generation may be the most thorough compendium of information on EBT ever presented at one time.”

The conference scheduled for November 7-9 in Washington, DC, will include two tracks of workshops for both beginning and advanced EBT practitioners, said Helwig. These include sessions on retail technology and the art of marketing high-technology projects.

Breakout session topics include government electronic commerce, non-US EBT applications, a debate on online v. offline EBT applications, and separate biometrics sessions covering both technology and applications for EBT. Helwig noted that this year’s conference will include a number of sessions on EBT and retailing, such as Retailers and Technology, Retailers’ Views on the Next Generation of EBT, Point-of-Service Integration, Advanced Transaction Technology, and Advanced Card Technology.

About EBT–The Next Generation

EBT-The Next Generation is an annual conference devoted to the business, technology and policy issues of using advanced electronic technology for the delivery of government funds and services. This year’s conference, to beheld at Washington’s Madison Hotel, is expected to attract several hundred people.

About the EBT Industry Council

The EBT Industry Council is the nation’s longest standing trade group dedicated to the business and policy issues of Electronic Benefits Transfer systems and technology. Its members include Citicorp Services, Inc., Deluxe Electronic Payment Systems, Concord EFS, and Network Decisions, Inc.

About the Electronic Funds Transfer Association

Now in its third decade, the Electronic Funds Transfer Association provides inter-industry leadership for the advancement of electronic payments systems and commerce. Its members include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and virtually all shared ATM systems in the country. Its Web site, efta.org, contains a full list of members and more information.

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80% Smart Card Growth

The market for chips for contactless smart cards is expected to grow at an average 80% per year, leading to a 15% share of the total smart card chip market after 2000, according to a survey of the smart card chip market published today by SJB Research. And, after last year’s growth slowdown and overcapacity problems in the smart card chip market, manufacturers are looking forward to an upturn that will see chip prices stabilising and even increasing.

The survey, in the June edition of SJB’s card industry newsletter, Card Technology Today, includes leading smart card chip manufacturers’ views on emerging trends in the industry, as well as providing detailed tabulated information on the product offerings and status of 15 major smart card chip manufacturers around the world. A demand for phone cards will spur the market for security memories (both contact and contactless), resulting in an average annual growth rate of 10% through to 2003 reports the Ctt survey. Card Technology Today is an industry newsletter, published ten times each year, and available by paid subscription only from SJB Research.

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Robust Carte Bleue

Toronto-based Oasis Technology has installed a high-performance payment gateway to handle millions of bank and credit card authorization transactions for France’s Carte Bleue. The gateway is enabled by Oasis Technology’s ‘IST/Switch’ E-commerce payment system and was installed in less than four months. Carte Bleue holds the VISA licenses for France and operates a gateway between France and the 200 other countries in which ‘VISA’ cards are used for payments. Last year 74 million authorization transactions were processed through the Carte Bleue VISA gateway. VISA authorization transactions passing through the Carte Bleue gateway have been increasing at a compounded annual growth rate of 36%.

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UK Deployment

Diebold has been awarded a $6.5 million contract by the Co-Operative Bank to supply ATMs in the Co-Operative Retail Societies’ convenience stores throughout the UK. The contract marks the first committed roll out of ATMs into retail locations in the UK. Diebold is providing a combination of models, which will include the small counter top ‘1060i’ cash dispenser, the ‘1071ix’ through-the-wall unit and the ‘CashSource Plus 400’. The Co-Operative has 2,500 retail sites in the UK and the order for 350 ATMs represents the initial part of the program.

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Omni 3200 Certified

VeriFone, a division of Hewlett-Packard Company, yesterday announced that Vital Processing Services, a leading full-service merchant processing company, has certified and fully supports VeriFone’s new Omni 3200 point-of-sale (POS) terminal running SoftPay 2.1, the latest version of VeriFone’s retail and restaurant payment-authorization software.

The announcement was made here at the Vital Client Symposium. “Our goal is to provide our clients with the most current and cost-effective payment systems available in today’s marketplace,” said Donna Embry, senior vice president of Product Development and Marketing at Vital. “We are pleased to offer the VeriFone Omni 3200 terminal and SoftPay software as a state-of-the-art solution for accepting a variety of electronic payments at the point of sale.”

“By certifying the Omni 3200 and SoftPay solution, Vital will help bring merchants into the next century, with an innovative point-of-sale solution that can accept virtually any type of electronic payment,” said Bud Waller, vice president and general manager of North America for VeriFone. “With VeriFone’s SoftPay software, merchants can accept new forms of payment with minimal impact to the way they do business today.”

The Omni 3200 contains a fully integrated thermal printer, which helps to reduce costs through simplified installation and improved reliability, thanks to fewer moving parts and cables. In addition, the covered paper path greatly reduces paper jams. The large graphical display and familiar ATM-style, screen-addressable keys provide a simple, familiar interface to improve clerk operation and reduce merchant training and help-desk costs. Through its modular design and Flash memory, upgrades can be deployed and terminals can be managed remotely, eliminating the need for additional on-site maintenance. The compact design of the terminal takes up less counterspace than comparable solutions. Compatibility with VeriFone’s SoftPay software ensures that the Omni 3200 can support existing SoftPay applications, with minor changes to the user interface, and enables rapid development of new applications.

SoftPay software provides merchants with the flexibility to process credit, debit, check and EBT transactions on one device at the point of sale. The software package, which includes SoftPay Assist, a PC-based configuration software tool, and a flexible terminal application, allows for a wide range of options that can be tailored to meet specific merchant requirements.

About Vital Processing Services

Vital Processing Services(R) (Vital(TM)) is a leading full-service merchant processing company. Its clients include financial institutions and their agents that provide payment card processing to merchants. Headquartered in Tempe, Vital offers financial institutions and their agents portfolio management services and merchant POS products without competing with their merchant business.

Its services include merchant POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; Internet commerce; clearing, settlement and exception processing; merchant accounting, billing, and reporting; operational fulfillment services (including chargeback and retrieval processing); 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(R)) (NYSE:TSS)(www.totalsystem.com). Vital’s Internet address is [www.vitalps.com][1].

About VeriFone

VeriFone (), a division of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP) is the leading global provider of secure electronic payment solutions for financial institutions, merchants and consumers. VeriFone has shipped more than 7 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 for business and home — is focused on capitalizing on the opportunities of the Internet and the proliferation of electronic services.

HP had computer-related revenue of $39.5 billion in its 1998 fiscal year. HP plans to launch a new company consisting of its industry-leading test-and-measurement, semiconductor products, chemical-analysis and medical businesses. These businesses represented $7.6 billion of HP’s total revenue in fiscal 1998. With leading positions in multiple market segments, this technology-based company will focus on opportunities such as communications and life sciences. HP has 123,000 employees worldwide and had total revenue of $47.1 billion in its 1998 fiscal year.

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

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