Payday Loans

The OCC announced Tuesday that ACE Cash Express and Goleta National Bank have agreed to end their partnership of offering consumer “payday loans” by the end of this year. The OCC also fined ACE $250,000 and Goleta $75,000. The OCC said the penalties levied against ACE were mainly due to its failure to safeguard customer loan files and its pattern of excessive exceptions to Goleta policies and procedures. The OCC said Goleta failed to manage its relationship with ACE in a safe and sound manner, to violating the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Truth in Lending Act, as well as the privacy protections of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Earlier this month, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted the motion to dismiss filed by ACE and Goleta National Bank in a lawsuit where the plaintiff alleged that GNB’s loans were made by ACE rather than GNB, and were therefore made in violation of Indiana law. The judge said that after reviewing the plaintiff’s complaint he found that GNB was the lender and that Section 85 of the National Bank Act, not Indiana law, regulated the permitted interest on GNB’s loan to the plaintiff. ACE has a total network of 1,191 check-cashing stores, consisting of 1,003 company-owned stores and 188 franchised stores in 35 states. (CF Library 10/3/02)


ACI Worldwide says it will promote JCB International’s “J/Smart” smart
card application for JCB’s credit card payment system with its e-payment
processing software. ACI’s latest version of its “BASE24” software includes
the ability to acquire, route and switch transactions generated by JCB’s
“J/Smart” credit cards. National Credit Card Center, a “BASE24” user and
one of JCB’s partners in Taiwan, recently incorporated “J/Smart” and
“BASE24” to successfully launch an EMV smart card program. JCB announced it
intends to promote its “J/Smart” cards within the USA. More than 330
financial institutions, retailers and processors worldwide use ACI’S
“BASE24” to acquire, route and authorize online e-payment transactions
through physical and virtual channels such as mobile phones, PCs, ATMs,
merchant Web sites and traditional retail outlets.

Cingular & Nextel Join OPEN

American Express has signed Cingular Wireless and Nextel Communications as participating merchants in its “OPEN: The Small Business Network”. Cingular Wireless offers American Express Business Cardmembers up to 5 percent off select Cingular calling plans(1), and Nextel offers American Express Business Cardmembers 5 percent off Nextel calling plans. Discounts are available on monthly access fees and plans purchased through dedicated channels with an American Express Business Card.


Geneva-based STMicroelectronics and Fujitsu have teamed to develop the
first contactless smart card with FRAM and ROM, but no standard RAM. The
“ST19ZR01” chip combines the ST’s smart card platform with the high speed
and lower power consumption benefits of Fujitsu’s FRAM technology, making
it particularly attractive in applications such as transport ticketing and
personal ID cards. FRAM technology offers very fast read and write times
(less than 200ns) and extremely low standby current. The “ST19ZR01”
incorporates 1.5KBytes of FRAM memory, which also provides very high data
retention reliability in excess of 10 years. A test version of the new
chip will be available by the end of this year.

NPC & Vital

Vital Processing Services, a recognized leader in technology-based commerce enabling services, announced the renewal of a multi-year Point-of-Sale merchant processing agreement with National Processing Company, LLC, a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and a wholly owned subsidiary of National Processing, Inc.. Under the terms of the agreement, Vital will continue to serve as NPC’s primary provider of dial POS authorization and capture processing services.

“As a long-term, full-service business partner of NPC, Vital is honored that NPC has elected to renew our contract with them, and has reaffirmed Vital as NPC’s primary provider of point-of-sale merchant processing services,” said Jonathan Palmer, president and CEO of Vital. “We are pleased that the second largest acquirer in the industry recognizes the contribution Vital makes to NPC’s success, and we are committed to continuing to help NPC grow profitably by providing low-cost, high quality POS processing services.”

“Vital has provided a broad service offering to NPC throughout the years,” said Mark D. Pyke, chief operating officer of NPC. “We look to our strategic partners to help add value to our customers, and are confident in continuing our relationship with Vital.”

About National Processing, Inc.

National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, National Processing Company (NPC(R)) is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. National Processing is 85 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) (), one of the nation’s largest financial holding companies. NPC supports over 645,000 merchant locations, representing nearly one out of every five MasterCard(R) and VISA(R) transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering their total cost of card acceptance through world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be obtained at .

About Vital Processing Services

A leader in technology-based commerce enabling services, Vital Processing Services(R) (Vital(R)) is the commerce connection between acquirers and merchants, processing one out of every four authorized payment transactions in North America. From authorizing and capturing electronic payments at the merchant point of sale, to clearing and settling transactions, Vital provides highly reliable, integrated end-to-end processing services to more than 300 acquirers and over one million merchants. Vital processes all payment types for merchants of all sizes from a wide array of industries and provides merchants and acquirers with the information and tools to efficiently manage their payment processing businesses. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa U.S.A. and TSYS(R) (NYSE: TSS). Additional information regarding Vital can be found at .


Brussels-based VASCO will introduce a new smart card based “Digipass”
model next week. The new “Digipass Go 2” offers smart card issuers cost
effective, real time strong authentication and TAN-list issuers a safer and
cost effective alternative for the PIN-TAN system. It can be used in
conjunction with desktop computers, laptops, telephones, and mobile phones.
“Digipass Go 2” further extends VASCO’s offerings by opening the huge
market of end users who less frequently need strong authentication in
conjunction with a smart card, and this in an e-banking, e-commerce or
e-business environment.

Eventful Week

Next week will generate a boat-load of industry news as the two most highly attended conferences get underway on November 5th. BAI’s “Retail Delivery Conference & Expo 2002” in Atlanta and the “Cartes 2002” in Paris will draw more than 20,000 attendees and 700 exhibitors combined. The BAI agenda features more than 45 sessions and workshops. Keynote speakers include Kenneth Lewis, CEO, Bank of America, Jack Welch, former Chairman & CEO, General Electric Corp., former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and Sir George Mathewson, Chairman, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. More than 300 solutions providers will be exhibiting. BAI’s premier sponsors include Fincentric Corporation, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, and Willey Brothers. This is the seventeenth year for the “Cartes” Exposition which draws more than 5,000 international visitors and 8,000 attendees from France. More than 200 speakers will make presentations with more than 400 companies offering exhibits. The “Cartes” event is best known for its “SESAME” awards for the “Best Technological Innovation,” “Best Software,” and by application in the IT security, transportation, banking / finance, health, GSM, electronic commerce, and customer loyalty industry segments. will have representatives available at both events next week.

Concord NYSE

Concord EFS will begin trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “CE” on Thursday, November 7. Concord is a leading vertically integrated electronic transaction processor, providing transaction authorization, data capture, settlement and funds transfer services to financial institutions, supermarkets, petroleum retailers, convenience stores, restaurants, and other independent retailers.


CIBC has introduced an audio access automated banking machine service.
CIBC’s roll out of “Audio Access ABMs” begins with installation of 27 units
at selected branches in cities across the country by the end of October. A
total of 600 “Audio Access ABMs” will be in place at more than half of
CIBC’s branches by September 2003. CIBC “Audio Access ABMs” allow customers
with visual impairments and the elderly to plug personal headphones into an
audio jack and follow natural sounding voice instructions in English or
French for completing any ABM transaction using the number keypad. Audio
access customers can protect their privacy by choosing to blank out the
bank machine screen so they can feel confident that no one is observing
their transactions. CIBC’s “Audio Access ABMs” feature SpeechWorks’
“Speechify Solo” embedded speech synthesis technology.

Gift Cards 2002

A new survey shows that 37% of U.S. consumers have purchased or received a gift card in the past 12 months. Americans purchased an average of 4.6 cards per person over the past year, compared with 4.1 cards in 2001. According to data collected by TNS Intersearch for First Data’s ValueLink division, the average value of purchased cards rose to $50 per card versus $44 the previous year, while the average value of gift cards received increased from $51 in 2001 to $60 in 2002. Twelve percent of those surveyed indicated that they have purchased electronic cards for their own use in the past year. Other key research findings include: 79% are aware of gift cards; 61% said they usually spend more than the initial value of their gift card; 63% said they use up the value of their gift cards within one month; 28% make two or more visits to a store to use up the card value; and 21% of consumers said they are likely to purchase a gift card from a merchants’ Web site vs. 11% in 2001.

Arterium 3.0

Sydney-based Cards etc has launched the third release of its smart card management software for card issuers and service bureaus. “Arterium 3.0” is four times faster than the previous version and offers “Key Manager,” which provides all the key management capabilities necessary to support Arterium data preparation and personalization processes, making it easy to create, generate, import and migrate keys securely. The software also features an “Application Programming Interface” and “Software Development Kit,” enabling third parties to develop Arterium support for their own applications. The software development kit provides a rapid development environment for developers to build and test code using the “API.” Arterium manages the entire lifetime of the card from launch through to expiry and enables partners who share space on the chip to retrieve and update cardholders, cards and products. Arterium is currently in use by First Data, Acer Corporation in Taiwan, and ECard in Australia.

Incurrent CEO & Chairman

NJ-based Incurrent has promoted David Hickey to CEO and has named Ross Longfield as Chairman of the Board to succeed Loren Hulber. He has been a Board Member of Incurrent for nearly two years. Mr. Longfield managed the successful integration of the card operations resulting from the merger of Beneficial Corporation with Household International forming the second largest private label credit card operation in the US.