Intl I-Processing

Hong Kong-based First Ecom.com, Inc. announced Thursday it has commenced operations as an international Internet credit card processing services provider for merchants located outside North America. FEC’s primary business is approving merchants and processing credit card transactions in multiple currencies, made possible, in part, through an arrangement to use the First Data international gateway. FEC is one of the first companies to offer international credit card transaction processing for Internet merchants.Matt Mecke has been named SVP of systems and product development. Prior to joining FEC, Mecke was a management executive with First Data Asia in Hong Kong.

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Wireless Upheaval

CA-based U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. has lost its CEO and is looking for capital. The company announced Thursday its efforts continue toward satisfying its critical near term capital requirements. The company says it is in discussions with a U.S. based institution to be a lead investor in a best efforts financing. USWD also announced yesterday that Roger Peirce, CEO and Chairman, has resigned for personal reasons. The firm says its Board of Directors is actively seeking a replacement.

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Tejas

Hypercom Corp. introduced a new transaction software featuring a POS application and C software development kit. ‘Tejas’ will provide VARs and third-party developers with an easy-to-use, C-based gateway to create custom applications to run on the Hypercom terminal platform.The company says by opening up its proprietary platform to third-party development they hope to increase the overall breadth and depth of features and applications running on Hypercom’s T7 and ICE terminals.

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Diebold Columbia

Diebold announced it has acquired 55% of Richardson & Cia. Ltda., a financial technology company in Bogota which previously was a business associate of IBM. The company, renamed Diebold Colombia S.A., is based in Bogota and will handle sales and service for all Diebold product offerings in Colombia. In addition, Diebold agreed to purchase the ATM service business of Comware S.A., also based in Bogota. Comware has been a Diebold distributor since 1985.

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Cash Back

American Express and Discover came to terms yesterday over the use of ‘Cash Back Card’. Discover uses ‘Cashback Bonus’ and filed for trademark infringement against American Express. AmEx says it has agreed to rename its program ‘Cash Rebate’. For displays of the disputed products visit CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]).

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

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VF Goes Wireless

A major wireless POS deal was struck Thursday between BellSouth and VeriFone. BellSouth Wireless Data and VeriFone, Inc. confirmed they will enter into a strategic alliance to develop state-of-the-art, wireless, point-of-sale solutions. By the end of this year VeriFone will introduce wireless terminals that will process over the BellSouth Intelligent Wireless Networks. BellSouth says merchants will be able to process wireless credit card purchases in less than 10 seconds.

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First VA Sells Out

First Virginia Banks agreed to sell its credit card portfolio to MBNA yesterday. Under terms of the agreement MBNA will acquire First Virginia’s $103 million portfolio with an expected closing date of Mar. 31. First Virginia expects to recognize a net after-tax gain of approximately $11 million. As part of the agreement, First Virginia will enter into an agent relationship with MBNA to continue offering credit cards under First Virginia’s existing brand names. According to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]) First Virginia has approximately 200,000 gross accounts, 105,000 active accounts and 231,000 cards-in-force at the end of 1998.

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

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