WU Cash Card

FDC’s Western Union and Metris have teamed to offer co-branded MasterCards. Under terms of yesterday’s five-year agreement, the two companies will promote and distribute the ‘Western Union MasterCard’ cards to 20 million consumers beginning in the second quarter. Card applications will also be available at participating Western Union agent locations throughout the USA and on the company’s Web site, later this year.

MobileWay

MasterCard has formed an alliance with MobileWay to develop and market an authentication scheme that will verify cardholders to merchants and confirm transactions using their wireless devices. MasterCard and MobileWay also intend to collaborate on development projects to ensure interoperability between MasterCard’s electronic payment systems and MobileWay’s global data network hub. Both firms also plan to develop next-generation m-commerce technologies. The alliance also includes cooperation on a number of key initiatives with the intent to leverage MasterCard’s global payment system and MobileWay’s global network by building upon the efforts of the Global Mobile Commerce Interoperability Group.

Travelocity Rewards

Despite the trend of reining in credit card rewards program, a new program has emerged that gives cardholders maximum redemption options, extra points for interest charges, and MasterCard’s top card product. Citibank USA and Travelocity.com have launched the ‘Travelocity.com World MasterCard’. The new card enables cardholders to earn ‘Travelocity Rewards’, points redeemable for any travel product available on Travelocity with no advanced purchase rules, for more than 400 airlines, more than 50,000 hotels and more than 50 car rental companies. Cardholders earn one point for every dollar spent and three additional points for every dollar accumulated in finance charges. Cardholders also receive 4,000 points with their first purchase or a balance transfer. For every 8,000 points earned, a $100 reward certificate is issued. Citibank is charging a prime +8.4% APR and no annual fee.

iE Execs

iE, a provider of integrated e-business applications to the financial services industry, has made three senior appointments that further strengthen its hand in the rapidly growing card solutions sector.

Caroline Vander Galien joins the company as VP Sales and Marketing for the US operation, bringing 13 years’ experience in e-commerce and transaction processing – most recently at Cybercash Inc, where she was VP sales. She will be responsible for the continuing success of the iE NetFinance application suite and iE ScreenSurfer web-to-host gateway in the North American market.

Also new to the US operation is Michael Danziger, Product Director, who comes to iE with 15 years’ e-business and credit-card industry experience behind him. His role is to refine iE’s market strategy and product direction for iE NetFinance in the US. Before joining iE, Michael was Vice President of Strategic Alliances for Computer Associates International and prior to this was Vice President of Electronic Commerce for MasterCard International. Michael managed MasterCard’s Digital Certificate program and was a member of the MasterCard team which earned the 1999 ComputerWorld Smithsonian Award for their work in Global Secure Electronic Commerce. Michael was also Director of Business Development for the MasterCard Automated Point-of-Sale Program (MAPP).

In Europe, Helen Clulow has joined iE from NatWest where she gained several years’ experience of e-business and corporate and commercial banking, and rose to become head of product strategy and marketing for commercial cards. Helen joins iE as E-Business Manager for Europe with responsibility for refining product strategy for iE NetFinance in the European cards and banking services marketplaces. She joins iE’s E-Business Group headed by Jerry Mulle, who also joined iE last year from NatWest to lead this group of finance industry specialists responsible for identifying and defining the e-business solutions which iE takes to banks, insurers and investment fund organisations.

Roger Willcocks, chief executive, iE, said: “It is fast becoming a cliche to say that knowledge of the business is at least as important as expertise in the technology. With these latest appointments, iE now has tremendous depth of knowledge of the cards sector in the US and Europe to complement their market-leading and award-winning iE NetFinance e-business solution. I’m delighted to welcome Caroline, Michael and Helen to the team.”

MC e-Business News

Northern Light Technology,Inc., an Internet search engine and supplier of information management solutions, has teamed up with MasterCard International to create MasterCard e-Business News (), a state-of-the-art global e-Business information Web site for MasterCard member financial institutions. The site uses the research, information and archival resources of Northern Light to keep MasterCard’s members abreast of industry developments by providing up-to-the-minute news and information on key e- business topics.

The site allows pre-constructed, real-time, in-depth searches on topics such as Smart Cards, Digital Wallets, Internet Security, Consumer Behavior Online, Mobile Commerce and more. The searches are conducted using Northern Light’s Live Query technology, which locates relevant articles and information, and then organizes the results into Custom Search Folders, for easier use. Northern Light also provides Editor’s Picks that list specific articles and Web sites of particular value on selected topics.

The site, accessible only to registered subscribers, also allows users to create their own searches that query both Northern Light’s Web database and their Special Collection, an online business library of more than 7,100 full-text licensed sources. The site’s optional e-mail alert function, based on Northern Light’s Search Alerts, conveniently notifies subscribers when new information about their selected topics becomes available.

“MasterCard’s e-Business News is an advanced communications vehicle that provides convenient one stop shopping for our members’ wide range of e- business information needs,” said Art Kranzley, senior vice president, Global e-Business, MasterCard International. “We worked very closely with Northern Light’s editorial staff to identify topics that would most benefit our members and are thrilled that the site has already been used in more than 25 countries.”

“MasterCard is a world-renowned name in the payments industry and the MasterCard e-Business News site is an example of how a company that clearly understands its industry can provide real value to its members by offering easy-to-use and topical information resources,” said David Seuss, CEO of Northern Light.

About Northern Light

Northern Light Technology, Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, MA, is a leading Internet provider of information solutions for enterprises and individuals. Founded by a seasoned management team of librarians, software engineers, and information professionals, the company’s search engine [[www.NorthernLight.com][1]], is among the world’s most comprehensive, indexing more than 330 million Web pages as well as over 50 million pages of business information not generally available on the Web from over 7,100 licensed business and information sources. Northern Light combines the capabilities of Web search providers, licensed third-party business information suppliers, and text-retrieval database software vendors to provide customers and partners with a new generation of custom enterprise information applications. The company has received multiple Editors’ Choice awards for its search capabilities from PC Magazine and was named a 2000 Web business award winner for online excellence by CIO Magazine for its [http://www.NLResearch.com][2] Web site.

About MasterCard

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of more than 20,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. With more than 19 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. In 1999, gross dollar volume exceeded US$725 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at [http://www.mastercard.com][3].

[1]: http://www.northernlight.com
[2]: http://www.nlresearch.com/
[3]: http://www.mastercard.com/

Unbanked & Uncarded

Though hard to believe in today’s technologically-advanced society, many consumers — approximately 15 percent of U.S. households — do not own a checking account. Why not? How do these consumers cash their checks or pay their bills?

These questions and more are addressed in the latest issue of Economic Quarterly, a publication produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. In their article entitled “Means of Payment, the Unbanked, and EFT ’99,” Fed economists Edward S. Prescott and Daniel D. Tatar, uncover the reasons that many low-income individuals forego checking account ownership. Cost is the primary factor. Rather than paying account fees, many cash their checks for free at banks and grocery stores and pay bills with cash or low-cost money orders. Surprisingly, few regularly use costly check-cashing outlets.

The Economic Quarterly is a free publication containing economic analysis pertinent to Federal Reserve monetary and banking policy. For copies or more information, contact the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Public Affairs office at 804-697-8108 or visit their Web site at [http://www.rich.frb.org][1].

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond news releases can be found at [http://www.rich.frb.org][2].

[1]: http://www.rich.frb.org/
[2]: http://www.rich.frb.org/

Hanft MC GC

MasterCard International announced that Noah J. Hanft has been named General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, effective January 1, 2001.

He will succeed Robert Norton, 58, who has decided to retire at year-end, after a long and successful legal career including more than 15 years at MasterCard.

Robert W. Selander, President and CEO, said “Since joining MasterCard in 1985, Bob Norton developed a legal function that provides the highest levels of service to internal customers and members around the world. Simply put, he has created one of the finest Corporate Law departments in the industry.”

Noah Hanft, 47, who is now Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, joined MasterCard in 1993. He is responsible for providing legal support to MasterCard’s regional operations, leading MasterCard’s efforts on various litigation matters, and counseling senior management on issues ranging from advertising and marketing to antitrust and intellectual property. As General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, he will assume responsibility for the full range of MasterCard’s global legal issues.

“We are fortunate that Noah’s extensive experience at MasterCard, his grasp of the complex legal and regulatory issues confronting the industry, and his longstanding relationship with Bob Norton, will allow for a smooth transition. I know MasterCard’s tradition of excellence will be maintained,” Mr. Selander said.

Prior to joining MasterCard, Mr. Hanft was Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at AT&T Universal Card Services, where he managed the legal issues associated with AT&T’s start-up credit card program. This innovative program was the first no-fee-for-life card in America, and was credited with revolutionizing the marketing of credit cards.

He was previously associated with the intellectual property law firm of Ladas & Parry in New York, and began his career as a trial attorney in the criminal defense division of the Legal Aid Society.

Mr. Hanft earned a J.D. degree from Brooklyn Law School, an L.L.M. degree from New York University School of Law in Trade Regulations, and a B.A. degree from the American University School of Government and Public Administration.

About MasterCard International

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of 22,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. With more than 18 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. In 1999, gross dollar volume exceeded US$727 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at [http://www.mastercard.com][1].

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

Discover vs. VISA

It’s deja vu all over again as the owners of the Discover Card filed suit against VISA International over VISA’s exclusionary membership rules. The issue between the direct competitors was settled in 1993 after winding its way through U.S. courts. However this time, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter has filed a lawsuit in the UK. MSDW alleges that VISA prevented it from acquiring the VISA card portfolio of Bank One’s UK and Canada credit card operations. MSDW issues MasterCards in the UK. MSDW says the dispute in the 1991-1993 litigation was different since it owns the Discover credit card network which covers the US. However Discover is a US domestic card only and MSDW does not own a competing network in the UK. In May of this year, Royal Bank of Canada purchased the Canadian retail credit card business of Bank One which included 30 affinity card programs. (See CF Library 5/19/00) FULL STORY:

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HR One on MarketAccess

HR One, a leading provider of human resource solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, announced that it will be a featured supplier in MasterCard International’s MarketAccess program (), a secure, one-stop purchasing resource for MasterCard’s small business cardholders. HR One joins a select group of suppliers in the MasterCard MarketAccess program, including Barnes & Noble.com Business Solution, Egghead.com and OfficeMax.

“With MasterCard MarketAccess, MasterCard and participating member financial institutions are paving the way for small businesses to enhance their use of the Internet for secure and efficient purchasing,” said Steve Abrams, senior vice president of MasterCard’s Corporate Payment Solutions. “The quality of HR One’s product offerings and its commitment to customer service makes HR One a natural fit for the program.”

MasterCard MarketAccess assists customers by linking purchases with most major accounting software packages, allowing them to keep track of all of their expenses in one place. MasterCard is the first global payments company to offer free web hosting and e-commerce access to its cardholder base, highlighting the company’s commitment to developing industry-leading solutions for small businesses. In addition, the MarketAccess Small Business Community provides a listing opportunity for each participating small business supplier’s website, including its site by name and category, the URL and a description of the companies’ products and services.

“Participation in MasterCard MarketAccess illustrates HR One’s ability to deliver the broadest range of HR solutions available,” added John Vangel, HR One’s Executive Vice President-Corporate and Business Development. “We are excited to be featured with other top quality suppliers in a program being promoted by some of the leading financial institutions in the country.”

Unique Accounting Feature

A distinct feature of MasterCard MarketAccess is that it assists small businesses in reconciling their purchasing records. Specifically, it provides a formatted file of all purchases, which cardholders can import into major accounting software packages, such as Quicken(R) and Microsoft(R) Money. This system facilitates line item capture to the accounting function, integrating it into an accounting package for future reconciliation against MasterCard BusinessCard charges.

Building a Small Business Website and Storefront

Through a proprietary technology supplied by ClickThings, MasterCard MarketAccess enables small businesses to quickly and easily set up and manage a comprehensive new website complete with an “online storefront.” A simple registration form prompts users to answer general and industry-specific questions about their business needs, and in a step-by-step process enables them to custom-build a site.

Internet Security

MasterCard understands that security is a major concern when buying over the Internet. As a company that processes more than 20 million credit and debit transactions each day, MasterCard provides leading edge solutions in securing financial transactions. Some of the security features built into MasterCard MarketAccess include single entry of user enrollment and payment information — rather than at each purchase, the participation of suppliers that are established firms and SSL data encryption.

About MasterCard

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. With 23,000 member financial institutions, serving consumers in 220 countries and territories, MasterCard is the industry leader in quality and innovation. Nearly 700 million MasterCard(R), Maestro(R), Cirrus(R) and Mondex(TM) cards are in circulation today. With more than 18 million locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than a MasterCard Card. In 1998, gross dollar volume exceeded $650 billion. For more on MasterCard, go to [http://www.mastercard.com][1].

About HR One, Inc.

HR One, the web’s one-stop human resources tool, is the most comprehensive solution for small to midsized companies. HR One offers small business owners, office managers and human resource professionals one source for all their human resources needs — including topnotch information, products and online services. The site features free, original content and a gathering place for exchanging opinions and ideas on pressing workplace issues.

The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York and Florida. HR One is primarily funded by Heritage Partners of Boston, a leading private equity firm with $1.4 billion under management. For more information, go to [http://www.HROne.com][2].

[1]: http://www.mastercard.com/
[2]: http://www.hrone.com/

Freedom RPPS

Freedom Systems, a leading provider of e-payment hardware and software solutions, announced an agreement that will provide access to MasterCard’s Remote Payment and Presentment Service for its customers who access bills via unattended terminals in public locations.

Currently, customers access the terminals to pay their bills with a debit card. Now, customers will have increased access to billing information, including their account balances and history.

MasterCard’s RPPS program provides participating financial institutions flexible connectivity to process transactions without capturing or storing consumer or biller relationship information. Through the agreement, MasterCard will act as a bill presentment and payment “hub,” offering Freedom Systems’ customers the ability to view their bills electronically through MasterCard’s network.

“By leveraging MasterCard’s existing payment relationships through its Remote Payment and Presentment Service (RPPS), this collaborative effort allows Freedom Systems’ customers to receive greater access to bills than ever before,” said Cathleen Conforti, vice president, Remote Payment and Presentment Service for MasterCard. “MasterCard’s 14 years of experience, along with its proven payments network, risk management and customer service infrastructure, enable Freedom Systems to leverage MasterCard’s expertise, customer base and market knowledge.”

“Both Freedom Systems and MasterCard look for innovative ways to offer customers unique and flexible access to their bills. MasterCard’s expertise and payments network have allowed for the natural expansion of our payment services, which will offer the customers we serve even greater flexibility than before,” said Brian Spagat, CEO, Freedom Systems. “We’re pleased to be a part of the MasterCard RPPS offering.”

MasterCard started electronic payment processing in 1987 with the launch of its Remittance Processing Service (RPS). In March of 2000 MasterCard expanded its services adding bill presentment functionality. To reflect the enhancement, the program was renamed Remote Payment and Presentment Service (RPPS). By leveraging MasterCard’s proven infrastructure, RPPS currently leads the industry in electronically processing remote consumer payments.

About Freedom Systems

Freedom Systems is the worldwide leading provider of unattended, online e-payment terminals and control systems for a variety of markets. Freedom Systems’ terminals are designed to accept credit and debit cards, and/or cash and also offer detailed reporting and interfacing to accounting systems. Some of the markets Freedom Systems has developed and placed systems for include the petroleum industry and car washes, laundromats and apartment laundries, as well as apartment complexes and self-storage facilities for rent payment. Freedom Systems, Inc. is based in Chicago, IL can be reached at 1-888/537-8844 or through its website at www.freedomsystems.com.

About MasterCard International

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of 22,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. With more than 18 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. In 1999, gross dollar volume exceeded US$727 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at www.mastercard.com.

K-Mart Card

Following a breaking news item that first appeared in CardFlash last Tuesday, Capital One and Kmart formally announced their new cobranded MasterCard yesterday. The new ‘Kmart MasterCard’ combines the private label card benefits along with MasterCard’s global acceptance. ‘Kmart MasterCard’ cardholders will receive benefits such as special promotions that are traditionally tied to private label retail cards. All ‘Kmart MasterCard’ purchases, made within the first six months, will carry no interest. And, marrying online and offline retailing, all purchases made with the ‘Kmart MasterCard’ at [BlueLight.com][1] can be returned or exchanged at any local Kmart store. The APR for non-Kmart purchases and for Kmart purchases after the intro period is prime +10.3%. There is no annual fee for the new MasterCard. However accounts 30+ days past due will incur a $4 monthly membership fee. The Cap One/Kmart direct mail solicitation for the new card is available via CardWatch ([http://www.cardwatch.com][2]). (See CF Library 9/19/00)

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

WebAuthorize 1.3

CyberCash released a new upgrade to its marquee electronic payment software product. ‘WebAuthorize 1.3’ now supports two new security standards for Internet commerce. It features VISA’s ‘CVV2’ and MasterCard’s ‘CVC2’, providing additional fraud prevention for Internet and mail orders when a card is not physically present. It also supports ‘Electronic Commerce Indicators’, meeting the latest VISA regulations for transactions that occur when a credit card number is keyed into an Internet browser. The new version also enables B2B payment processing through VISA/Mastercard ‘Level 2’ purchasing card support, and is certified with AmEx ‘Corporate Purchasing Card’. A Sun ‘Solaris’ version of ‘WebAuthorize 1.3’ is the first CyberCash product designed specifically for the Solaris platform. ‘WebAuthorize 1.3’ is available with dialup, leased line and secure Internet connectors to the major credit card processing networks. It supports an expanded list of payments processors and e-commerce servers such as Microsoft ‘Commerce Server’ and applications such as ‘SAP R/3’.