Innovative convenience store chain, Sheetz, announced it will drop the extra surcharge fee charged for using the M&T ATMs deployed in many of its stores, effective March 1st. While Sheetz customers will not have to pay a surcharge fee from M&T, they may still be charged a fee by their own bank for using M&T Bank’s ATM. Sheetz and M&T are also in the process of replacing ATM machines with new advanced feature NCR ATMs. The new touch-screen machines will dispense $10 and $20 bills, along with U.S. Postage Stamps and offer transactions in English and Spanish. The ATMs also will be voice-enabled for the visually impaired. M&T expects to have new machines installed in all Sheetz stores by Fall 2006.
Virginia-based Cybertrust has been recognized by VISA USA as a PCI “Qualified Data Security Company”. Cybertrust is authorized to provide Payment Card Industry (PCI) on-site security audits, ensuring merchants and service providers who store, process or transmit payment card data consistently apply PCI measures and controls to defend against data exposure and compromise. As a QDSC, Cybertrust has met stringent requirements of financial stability, technical capability and industry experience, resulting in the qualification of Quality Data Security Professionals (QDSPs) authorized to perform PCI Data Security Assessments. Cybertrust is the global information security specialist.
Official Payments Corp. has won a renewal contract with the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue to continue providing electronic tax payment processing services to residents of the District. Official Payments has processed electronic individual income tax payments made by credit and debit card for DC since 1999. OTR has also expanded the agreement, authorizing Official Payments to begin accepting payments made by electronic check. Official Payments provides electronic payment services on behalf of government entities.
Mid-Atlantic based financial institutions Provident Bank and WSFS Bank have become members of Metavante’s NYCE Network, adding a combined 350,000 cardholders and more than 240 ATMs to the network. The Provident Bank agreement adds 260,000 cardholders and over 240 ATMs to the NYCE Network. In addition, Provident Bank signed a long-term financial account processing contract with Metavante, which will continue as its financial technology service provider. Provident Bank is the second largest independent commercial bank headquartered in Maryland WSFS Bank is the $2.7 billion asset subsidiary of WSFS Financial Corporation. The NYCE Network provides 2,200 financial institutions, retailers and independent ATM deployers with shared network services for ATMs, point-of-sale (POS), account-to-account transfers and direct bill payment services.
This is “National Consumer Protection Week” and this year Hollywood has joined in. This weekend the action thriller “Firewall” will show the personal impact of identity theft. Security specialist Jack Stanfield (Harrison Ford) works for the Seattle-based Landrock Pacific Bank. A trusted top-ranking executive, he has built his career and reputation on designing the most effective anti-theft computer systems in the industry, protecting the bank’s financial holdings from the constant threat of increasingly sophisticated Internet hackers with his complex network of tracers, access codes and firewalls. Jack’s position affords a comfortable life for him, his architect wife Beth (Virginia Madsen) and their two young children – a standard of living that includes a beautiful home in a residential community just outside the city. But there’s a vulnerability in Jack’s system that he has not accounted for: himself. It’s a vulnerability that very ruthless and resourceful thief is poised to exploit. Jack discovers that a thief has stolen his identity while reviewing his Equifax credit report.
Virginia-based Tier Technologies has hired Armen Khachadourian, formerly with JPMorgan Chase and VISA USA, as VP/Strategic Programs to drive the prepaid debit card market for its Official Payments Corp. subsidiary. At JPMorgan Chase, he served as global prepaid product manager for JPMorgan Chase Treasury Services. In this role, he expanded cash digitization products worldwide and developed new acquisition channels. He also developed the legal and functional infrastructure in the U.K. to issue and market euro denominated prepaid and debit cards. Additionally, he issued prepaid cards for over 10 U.S. Treasury agencies and a multi-purpose payroll card to the U.S. Navy, thus streamlining payroll functions and eliminating cash on board ships.
The IRS has determined that the convenience fee paid or incurred by a business making a tax payment with a credit card can be deducted as a business expense. The decision will help expand business tax payments via credit card. This year, the IRS has also expanded the tax types eligible for electronic payment. Businesses may now make federal tax payments with American Express, Discover, MasterCard and VISA cards for Form 940 and Form 941 payments via Official Payments Corp. OPC says the IRS now joins 20 states and the District of Columbia in accepting payments for business taxes and other related business payments.
Jacksonville, FL-based Fidelity National Information Services, f/k/a/ Certegy, has signed a three-year exclusive agreement with Official Payments Corp. to issue VISA prepaid debit cards. Under the terms of the agreement, Certegy will provide Official Payments with Visa-branded prepaid debit products as part of an initiative to convert government disbursements to electronic prepaid card solutions. The relationship will initially focus on the conversion of child support disbursements, expanding to include additional prepaid debit programs in the future. This payment program will allow recipients to receive their child support payments faster, with no-cost access to their funds. Fidelity National Information Services is a provider of core processing for financial institutions. Official Payments provides financial transaction processing services.
Fifth Third Processing Solutions reports that 19 merchants nationwide have recently signed contracts for merchant processing services. New merchant processing clients include: Cross Town Traders (d/b/a Figi’s, Old Pueblo Traders, Bedford Fair, Willow Ridge, Lew Magram, Regalia, Intimate Apparel, Brownstone Studio and Coward Shoe), Harmon’s Grocery, Ryan’s Restaurants, Johnny Rockets, Penske Automotive, Medline Industries, Spartan Stores, Caribou Coffee, Parasole Restaurant Holdings (d/b/a Manny’s Steakhouse, Chino Latino, Figlio, Good Earth, Muffuletta and Salut), The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Wilson Farms Convenience Stores, Sugar Creek Convenience Stores, Proquest, Luby’s, Lear Corp., Carrow’s, Coco’s Bakery Restaurants, Talbots, and CDW. In addition, Fifth Third Processing Solutions has extended relationships with: Meijer, The Kroger Company, AutoZone, and Claire’s. Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions processes over 12 billion ATM and POS transactions per year for more than 1,350 financial institutions and over 135,000 retail locations worldwide and processes $110 billion in credit card sales.
Atlanta-based NOVA Information Systems has agreed to acquire the merchant processing business of First Horizon Merchant Services for about $433 million. The credit and debit card processing volume from this agreement is expected to add approximately $25 billion annually to NOVA’s processing business. The deal involves approximately 53,000 merchant locations in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, 400 employees, and FHMS systems, sales and operations centers based in Englewood, CO, and Orlando, FL. First Horizon has also entered into an agreement that will offer NOVA’s merchant processing services to First Horizon’s current and prospective customers. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter. NOVA is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. FHMS is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Tennessee Bank and a part of First Horizon National Corp.
Pennsylvania-based Fulton Financial Corporation has joined the PULSE EFT Association. The new relationship between PULSE and Fulton Financial not only expands Fulton’s ATM and POS terminal reach, but also enables the company to offer its merchant base access to the PULSE PAY PIN debit service and enhance its already strong merchant services portfolio, as well as give the company access to PULSE’s wide range of value-added services. Fulton Financial Corporation is a $12.3 billion financial holding company.
Colorado-based Dynamic Card Solutions, developer of CardWizard, reports 50% revenue growth last year, driven by orders from large regional banks. In addition to new contracts, numerous existing customers expanded their deployments of DCS’ instant issue solutions as well. Current customers include banks and credit unions such as Wachovia, Virginia Commerce Bank, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union and Dallas Telco Credit Union. Dynamic Card Solutions is a developer of instant issuance and PIN selection solutions for banks, credit unions and retailers.