BofA Hires a Head of Payments and Receipts

Bank of America has hired Len Heckwolf, formerly with JPMorgan Chase, as head of its new Payments and Receipts Product Management Group within the Global Treasury Services division. While at JPMorgan Chase (JPMC), Heckwolf led Consumer Payments Solutions, a business unit within JPMC’s treasury services unit that delivered ACH, national retail lockbox and consumer payments across the JPMC franchise. He also built a product organization focused on the middle market and commercial bank segments. In his 23-year career with JPMC, Heckwolf managed numerous product and operations businesses, including controlled disbursement, funds transfer, ACH, online bill payment, distributed capture, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and retail lockbox.

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DISCOVER ACCEPTANCE

Credomatic International has signed a deal to expand acceptance of the “Discover Card” in Central America. Credomatic will begin targeting major merchants in tourist destinations to offer “Discover Network” acceptance and will extended the program to the company’s entire merchant portfolio throughout the region. Credomatic facilitates credit card services for more than 65,000 merchants in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The “Discover Card” is currently accepted at popular tourist destinations in the
Caribbean, Mexico and Canada and widely accepted in USA. Credomatic
is a subsidiary of BAC International Bank.

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Peppercoin Offers a Contactless Option

Massachusetts-based Toscanini’s Ice Cream has become the first Peppercoin customer to enable a contactless payment option via Chase Paymentech Solutions. Peppercoin’s Small Payment Suite Version 3.0 provides physical, digital and mobile merchants with pre-paid, post-paid, subscription and pay-as-you-go pricing options and makes it possible to create innovative customer loyalty programs.

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VeriSign Integrates Microsoft’s InfoCard

VeriSign is integrating technology from Microsoft, code-named “InfoCard,” the “Microsoft Internet Explorer 7” browser, as well as VeriSign SSL certificates and the newly launched “VeriSign Identity Protection” to help combat phishing, pharming and other forms of online identity theft. To help end-users clearly differentiate between a legitimate and spoofed Web site, Microsoft’s IE7 browser and “InfoCard” technology will use VeriSign’s “Enhanced Validation” SSL certificates to provide clear and un-spoofable visual feedback about the sites’ authenticity. Only organizations that pass VeriSign’s rigorous authentication process will be issued “Enhanced Validation” SSL Certificates for their Web sites. When a consumer visits such a site, the IE7 address bar turns green and shows the name of the organization owning the certificate and the identity of the Certificate Authority, such as VeriSign, in the browser’s interface.

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eTransaction Growth Outpaces Security

The first international “Internet Confidence Index” was released this week which showed that the willingness to transact online is outpacing trust in the medium. More than 60% of U.S. businesses reported that their online dealings accounted for higher dollar amounts than at the same point 12 months ago, compared with 49% in both the UK and in France. RSA Security says that in the business community, a moderate assumption of risk is reflected in a Security index score of 22 that is substantially lower than the Transaction index score of 55. Among consumers, a similar assumption of risk is demonstrated in the Security index score of 5 relative to a Transaction index score of 37. Slightly more than two-thirds of U.S. businesses reported degrees of concern about the vulnerability of their networks, much higher than the European average of 37%. And almost half of U.S. consumers stated that that they have little or no confidence that several groups are taking the necessary steps to secure personal data.

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BofA Links Keep the Change to the USOC

Bank of America is making a donation to the USOC equal to 5% of all consumer debit card savings transfers resulting from the “Keep the Change” savings program during the month of February up to a maximum contribution of $500,000. In addition to its charitable contribution to the USOC, Bank of America will continue to match 100 percent of the Keep the Change transfers for the first three months a consumer participates in the program. After that, the bank will match five percent of the transfers a year, every year. The maximum match is $250 per year.

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CEO’s Cancer Delays MasterCard IPO

MasterCard’s planned IPO is being delayed until the second quarter due to surgery on the President/CEO. Bob Selander underwent surgery this week for prostate cancer and is recovering at home. The prognosis is excellent and he expects to be back in the office in early March. Selander says he has been advised not to undertake a demanding travel schedule, such as a road show, over the next couple of months. In September, MasterCard announced it was planning to go public in early 2006 by selling 49% in an IPO, raising about $2.5 billion. The card association said it will use the IPO’s proceeds to redeem stock from its existing 1,400 financial institution shareholders and plans to retain $650 million for litigation and marketing expenses. (CF Library 9/1/05; 9/16/05; 11/26/05)

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Discover Card Acceptance Expands South

Costa Rica-based Credomatic International has signed a deal to expand acceptance of the “Discover Card” in Central America. Credomatic will begin targeting major merchants in tourist destinations to offer “Discover Network” acceptance and will extended the program to the company’s entire merchant portfolio throughout the region. Credomatic facilitates credit card services for more than 65,000 merchants in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The “Discover Card” is currently accepted at popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada and widely accepted in USA. Credomatic is a subsidiary of BAC International Bank.

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Profit Technologies Lands MBNA’s Terry

North Carolina-based Profit Technologies has hired Bill Terry, formerly with MBNA, as a consultant for large financial institutions and credit card companies. Terry joins the team responsible for credit card engagements, where he will analyze and assess credit card products, operations, fees, and related processing to identify improvement opportunities. Prior to Profit Technologies, Terry completed a 15-year career as an executive of MBNA. Profit Technologies is an international earnings enhancement firm.

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European Processors to Merge for SEPA

Netherlands-based processor Interpay Nederland and Germany’s Transaktionsinstitut have agreed to merge by mid-year. The new firm will become the first European full-service payment processor in a consolidating payments market according to CardFlash International. The combined volume of the partnership will account for the processing and clearing of around 6.6 billion transactions per year, leading to a combined market share of the new entity in the Euro zone of over 10 per cent. The formation of a “Single Euro Payments Area” will result in Euro-domestic market, with harmonized basic payment products throughout Europe.

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