Experian Skip Locator

Experian has launched an enhanced “Skip Locator” service for in-house collection departments, collection agencies and credit grantors. The new activation and exclusion capabilities include giving users the option to monitor skipped consumers for pre-defined periods of 60, 90 or 180 days, and then to have them taken out of the pool of debtors monitored by the service.

Genpass Exec

TX-based Genpass Technologies has hired Curtis Fish, former EVP of Star Systems and project consultant for Citicorp, as SVP/Client Relations. Prior to his arrival at Genpass, Fish developed the Cash Access Plan for the State of California EBT (electronic benefits transfer) program on behalf of Citicorp. Fish had worked on a similar project while at the PULSE EFT Association earlier in his career, developing an EBT pilot plan for Houston.

Charity Rewards

CT-based Trilegiant Loyalty Solutions (formerly a Cendant division) and CA-based National Scrip Center have teamed to launch a new program that will enable consumers to convert points they earn from participating companies, such as credit card issuers, into donations to charities. The new “Charity Rewards” program will offer set redemption levels in exchange for donations to any one of a list of client-selected charities. Trilegiant plans to offer a database of charities to which members may donate points. NSC has helped more than 9,000 nonprofit organizations nationwide raise over $170 million net. Trilegiant is the successor to Cendant Membership Services, Inc. and Cendant Incentives.

E-Tailer Fraud

A new study says online retailers in the USA will lose nearly $500 million to fraud this holiday shopping season. The Gartner report estimates $160 million will be lost to fraud and approximately $315 million will be lost in sales due to suspect transactions. The research also showed that major online merchants are highly skeptical that new initiatives by VISA and MasterCard to address fraud through the “Verified by VISA” and “MasterCard SecureCode” programs will markedly reduce their fraud losses. The study is based on a survey of more than 50 other leading online merchants in June.

CrossCheck & NPC

CA-based CrossCheck has signed an agreement with National Processing Company for check authorization services, including electronic check conversion via an imager, to NPC’s regional merchants and prospects nationwide. NPC, the second largest processor in the world, supports over 645,000 merchant locations, representing nearly one out of every five MasterCard(R) and VISA(R) transactions processed nationally.

SCHLUMBERGERSEMA REALIGNMENT

Schlumberger Limited confirmed it will reduce its SchlumbergerSema unit
workforce in Continental Europe and the USA by 1,600 employees at a cost of
US$77 million. SchlumbergerSema will also recognize charges of US$2.9
billion after-tax in its fiscal fourth quarter. These charges include
US$2.6 billion, related to impairment of goodwill and a further $267
million impairment associated with intangibles and other costs, including a
provision against a deferred tax asset in Europe. Schlumberger says the
SchlumbergerSema unit will focus on IT consulting, systems integration
together with network and infrastructure solutions, primarily in global
energy while continuing to develop specific regional market sectors in
areas where it enjoys a successful competitive position based on scale and
domain knowledge.

Travelers Express & Ingenico

Viad’s Travelers Express Company has selected the Ingenico “e(N)-Touch 3000” as its next-generation POS terminal. e(N)-Touch 3000 is a versatile touch screen terminal with applications in retail payment, e-commerce, internet messaging and more. Its large touch screen provides an open user interface that relieves the restriction of fixed keys and small displays.

EMERGING MARKETS

Emerging payment card markets include Brazil, Chile, China, India,
Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea and Thailand, according to a
new research report. In terms of size and growth potential the South Korean
market is in many ways an attractive market to enter. However, the country
is also afflicted by spiraling levels of consumer debt, an issue that is
typically attributed to rapid increases in credit card spending. Potential
entrants to this market must therefore be wary of overexposing themselves
to bad debt. According to the report by Datamonitor, issuers seeking to
enter new markets should aim to form partnerships with well-known local
players. This will enable them to build market share and win the trust of
consumers by dint of association with an established brand name.
Partnerships between card issuers and other parties has proven especially
popular in South Africa, where there are a number of successful affinity
and co-branded cards.

SETEC & CARDBASE

Setec has inked a deal with Ireland-based CardBASE Technologies to jointly
integrate their smart card products and technologies for EMV migration, PKI
security cards, electronic ID cards, GSM SIM cards, payment cards and
visual ID products. Under terms of the deal, both firms will co-operate
with the implementation of Setec’s smart card platforms and solutions in
conjunction with “MASCOT,” CardBASE’s
multi-application smart card management solution. Setec’s card solution
consists of smart cards with “SetCOS” card operating system, smart card
applications, personalization solutions and services,
card interfaces, middleware components and consultation. CardBASE has
to-date established over 45 smart card solutions around the world.

Workplace Cards

MasterCard International rolled out seven new cards yesterday including the “MasterCard Incentive Card,” “Flex Benefit Card,” “Supply Chain Incentive Card,” “Meeting Card,” “Project Card,” “Relocation Card” and “Travel Per Diem Card.” The new cards are part of MasterCard’s “Workplace Solutions” program, which was launched July 2002 with the introduction of the “MasterCard Payroll Card.” MasterCard also offers optional “Stored Value Insurance” to protect its members from potential losses due to fraud and/or under the floor limit transactions. Workplace Solutions is supported by several MasterCard members including ABN AMRO, BANKFIRST, Citibank, Comerica, First Banks, J.P. Morgan Chase, LaSalle Bank and others. (CF Library 7/12/02)

Cyota SecureCode

Cyota yesterday announced their strategic global hosted services for issuers that deploy MasterCard’s “SecureCode.” The “SecureMPA” system is currently being deployed by three major issuers. The hosted service comes from three separate global hosting facilities: in the U.S. – TSYS e-Business, in the U.K. – NTT/Verio hosting solutions and in Japan – Intelligent Wave Inc. MasterCard’s “SecureCode” uses MasterCard’s “UCAF” to provide an enhanced payment guarantee to online merchants by presenting, collecting and passing cardholder authentication information. Using hidden fields and a merchant plug-in application that is integrated with merchant Web pages, along with authentication information generated by issuing financial institutions, the new service provides explicit evidence of the cardholder’s involvement in a transaction. Online merchants that support MasterCard “SecureCode” will benefit from a MasterCard rules change that shifts liability away from the merchant for charge-backs due to cardholder non-authorization when “SecureCode” has been utilized. Cyota currently has systems available to over 300 million cardholders North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. (CF Library 9/23/02)