First Data has expanded its UK and European acquiring presence with the signing of a new agreement this morning. HBOS PLC confirmed the signing of a long-term “Revenue Sharing Alliance” agreement with FDC. Under the terms of the contract, FDC will provide full merchant processing for HBOS’ 14,000 merchant outlets. The transactions will be processed via First Data’s “MerchantStar International” platform in the UK and will include VISA, MasterCard and Switch payment cards. In 2001, the Bank of Scotland merged with Halifax to create HBOS PLC.
Baltimore Technologies has been selected by MasterCard International to
provide the PKI for the MasterCard “SecureCode.” “UniCERT,” Baltimore’s
flagship PKI product, will allow MasterCard to issue and manage digital
certificates for its member financial institutions, providing enhanced
payment guarantees for online transactions. The MasterCard “SecureCode”
solution helps overcome two of the most pressing issues in e-commerce
today: cardholder concerns about the safety of online shopping and Internet
merchants’ need for an enhanced payment guarantee. The program provides
card issuers a way to authenticate the identity of the person completing
Internet payment transactions, significantly reducing online fraud and the
number of related chargebacks.
Experian has acquired the consumer credit assets of Credit Bureau of Southern Utah, located in St. George, Utah, as well as the consumer credit assets of Centroplex Credit Reporting and Collections, Inc. located in Kileen, Texas. The collections portion of Centroplex will continue to operate as a separate entity.
American Express and Six Continents Hotels Latin America have launched a promotion through May 31st to offer a free weekend night at any participating hotel in Central and South America to “Priority Club” members who spend any five nights at any participating hotel in Central and South America and pay with their American Express card. Priority Club Rewards is Six Continents Hotels’ loyalty program, where members can redeem points for hundreds of rewards including more free hotel nights, free flights, vacation packages, retail and dining certificates and brand-name merchandise.
Dublin-based Trintech Group has released “PayWare Acquirer 5.0.”
The new version enables any transaction processor to extend their payment
solutions by fully integrating payment processing and acquiring services
with a hosted merchant payment function for businesses that process online,
offline, virtual and physical transactions. “PayWare Acquirer” incorporates
the merchant payment processing function within the payment gateway
application to provide straight through transaction processing, providing
the essential technology infrastructure to take advantage of both B2C and
B2B opportunities in global and electronic commerce.
Electronic transactions company, Alphyra Group, valued at 91m euros, is
still up for grabs, unless a management buyout is successful. The Sunday
Times reported the latest suitor is Euronet Worldwide, however, the company
says it is not in takeover discussions with Alphyra. Euronet says it did
have discussions with Alphyra in the summer of 2002 regarding a possible
business combination, but that these discussions had terminated months ago.
Last week, Rendina, an entity formed by management as a buyout vehicle for
Alphyra raised its offer to 2.70 euro per share, after originally offering
2.45 euro per share. First Data initially offered 2.80 euro per share, however the
offer was withdrawn shortly thereafter.
Irish electronic transactions company, Alphyra Group, which is valued at $97 million, is in play, unless a management buyout is successful. The London Sunday Times reported that Euronet Worldwide is now looking at a possible deal. However, the company says it is not in takeover discussions with Alphyra. Euronet says it did have discussions with Alphyra in the summer of 2002 regarding a possible business combination, but that these discussions had terminated months ago. Last week, Rendina, an entity formed by management as a buyout vehicle for Alphyra raised its offer to $2.88 per share, after originally offering $2.62 per share. First Data initially offered $3.00 per share, however the offer was withdrawn shortly thereafter, according to The RAM Report. Alphyra has 80,000 merchants in its network spanning ten European countries.
NDS Group plc, a digital pay TV specialist, reported that it continues to
supply smart cards to DIRECTV, as part of a card replacement program, and
to other customers to support an underlying growth in subscribers of 1.4
million in the quarter. As of December 31st, there were 31.8 million
authorized cards in use. There has been growth in the UK, US Asia and
Europe, offsetting a small decline in Latin America.
During the quarter, NDS entered into a number of new contracts. NDS won two
contracts in China, one for Guizhou Province and another for Chongqing
Broadcast. For both customers, NDS will provide its full end-to-end
solutions capability, as well as “VideoGuard” conditional access,
“Streamserver” broadcast control software, “NDS Core” middleware,
electronic program guide and interactive applications. Revenues for the
fourth quarter were (pounds)57.0 million, a 2.5% increase over the same
quarter of the previous financial year.
Experian has acquired Credit Data Services of Springfield, Mass. which operates in the territories of western Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut. CDS will continue to serve current and prospective clients as a Sales Agent of Experian. This relationship will provide clients with a seamless interaction with Experian including access to additional products and services designed to optimize customer relationships.
Dublin-based Trintech Group said that London’s newest luxury hotel has implemented its “PayWare Merchant.” The new London Marriott Hotel Park, which opened in November, is the new flagship hotel of the global hospitality company. The Trintech solution has been specifically designed to offer a fast customer payment experience that can handle multiple payment types from multiple locations, including the Internet and call centers. “PayWare Merchant” provides London Marriott with a fully automated solution that can handle multiple payment types, including a seamless migration to smart cards and PIN-based cards.
Experian Consumer Direct has rolled out a new “Stickman” TV commercial, created by The Response Shop and produced by Auster Productions, to promote its FreeCreditReport.com service. This winter, viewers will see Stickman get married, be surprised by a visit from the family stork, and learn how good credit can help protect his new, rather large family. The spot will begin airing on network and cable television stations in January.
Dublin-based Trintech Group announced the EMV “Level 2” certification of
its smart card-enabled POS terminal and PINPad solutions. The EMV “Level 2”
certification covers the software aspects of processing a smart card
transaction. Trintech’s EMV software library is certified to EMV standard
and covers both “Static Data Authentication”, and “Dynamic Data
Authentication.” Trintech says a number of customers, such as Wilkinson,
are in the process of integrating its “PayWare SmartPIN” solution in order
to be ready when the Northampton EMV town trial starts in March.