iMAX Business Solutions Offers a 1.29% Merchant Fee

Denver-based iMAX Business Solutions has introduced the “Split Rate Program” allowing businesses to process credit card transactions through any credit card terminal or credit card machine for 1.29%. Regular rates outside of the Split Rate Program range from 1.74% to as high as 3.49%. iMAX Business Solutions provides transaction processing services to large and small businesses.

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VisaNet Hits a New Record on December 23rd

VISA USA reports that its “VisaNet” system processed a record 179 million transactions on December 23rd. During the busiest hour on December 23, VISA processed an average of 6,363 transaction messages each second, a 14% increase over the average of 5,546 transaction messages per second VISA processed during the peak hour on December 24, 2004. VISA says “VisaNet” can process more transactions over the course of a coffee break than all the stock exchanges of the world in an entire day. VISA recently completed a five-year project to modernize “VisaNet” with the opening of a state-of-the-art, 70,000-square foot data center, the first new data center for VISA in 15 years.

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Minnesota Hospitality Opts for Heartland Processing

The Minnesota Restaurant Association, the Minnesota Hotel & Lodging Association and the Minnesota Resort & Campground Association, managed by Hospitality Minnesota, have selected Heartland Payment Systems to offer a complete suite of payment solutions. The expanded relationship includes a member benefit called Association Simplified Pricing (ASP), designed to eliminate or reduce most traditional processor fees, passes MasterCard and Visa interchange rates directly through to the merchant without adding extra costs and includes only a single monthly fee for processing based on processing volume. This program also makes it easier for merchants to read and understand their processing statements. Heartland provides credit/debit card and payroll processing services to association members, including Visa and MasterCard cards and offers gift and loyalty card programs to help merchants increase sales and generate repeat traffic. The Minnesota Restaurant, Hotel & Lodging, and Resort & Campground associations represent 2,000 hospitality businesses across Minnesota.

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CheckFree Completes $100MM PhoneCharge Acquisition

CheckFree has completed its acquisition of PhoneCharge for approximately $100 million cash. The acquisition will give billers the ability to provide a comprehensive suite of payment options to their customers from a single provider, including online, walk-in, telephone, and lockbox through accounts receivable conversion processing. CheckFree Corporation provides financial electronic commerce services and products.

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Asta Funding Lands Major Credit Card Debt

NJ-based Asta Funding has made portfolio purchases of $2.1 billion in face value for a purchase price of approximately $102 million. The portfolio acquisitions included credit card paper with judgments in excess of $150 million, telecom paper of approximately $265 million, and other typical credit card portfolios. The sales were driven by the fall bankruptcy surge. Asta Funding previously reported third calendar quarter net income of $9 million. Finance income for the quarter was $20 million, a 35% increase compared to one-year ago. For complete details on Asta’s latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Metavante and AdminiSource Complete Their Deal

Metavante Corporation has completed its acquisition of Texas-based AdminiSource Corp. AdminiSource is a leading provider of healthcare payment distribution services and is Metavante’s third acquisition to expand its solutions focused on the consumer-directed healthcare payments area. Metavante provides a comprehensive FSA/HSA services that include account processing, checks and debit cards, online and phone access to account information, investment options, and regulatory reporting.

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GE Releases New Manual Authorization Feature

GE’s Corporate Payment Services unit has added a new manual authorization feature to “NetService.” The new feature leverages GE’s patented pre-authorization technology and will significantly reduce phone calls that cardholders and PAs make when dealing with transaction declines at the point of sale. With the click of a mouse by the PA, the merchant obtains authorization by simply rerunning the charge. There is no need for a PA to call for an override request nor does the merchant have to call to input an authorization code.

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New VISA Logo and Card Design Hits the U.S.

VISA has launched its new logo and card design in the USA. Beginning this week, the updated brand mark will start appearing on all new materials, including VISA payment cards, merchant decals, marketing materials and stadium signage. The new VISA debuted in regions outside the U.S. in September. It features prominent use of the iconic VISA brand name, the blue, white and gold colors, and italicized type style while incorporating new graphic enhancements to make it stand out even more. The new cards will have the dove hologram moved to the back of the card and be integrated into the magnetic stripe. The “CVV2” code will be printed on a separate panel next to the signature panel. The new logo will also be featured in upcoming print and television advertising.

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RoboServer Systems Offers a New QSR Line Buster

RoboServer Systems has unveiled a new version of its “Line Buster” self-serve machine for QSRs. “Line Buster” allows fast-food customers to skip long lines and place their own orders by selecting a few buttons on a touch-screen kiosk and has been unveiled with a new software platform, a new user-interface, and a choice of three kiosk models. Industry estimates show that self-serve technologies can cut customer waiting time by as much as 33%. RoboServer Systems provides Point of Sale and Self-Serve software technology for the restaurant industry.

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Citigroup Settles Call Processing Patent Dispute

Citigroup has agreed to settle patent litigation with Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing over its call-processing systems. Citigroup has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum for a nonexclusive license under a comprehensive portfolio of patents that RAK owns relating to interactive voice applications. The license covers Citigroup’s services in the “Financial Services Call Processing” and the “Automated Securities Transactions” Fields of Use. Ronald A. Katz is a developer of interactive services.

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INTERAC Sets Holiday Transaction Record

INTERAC Direct Payment set a new record for transactions
on December 23rd with 15.5 million transactions processed on a
single day, an 18% increase over the previous record set in
2004. There are more than 35 million debit cards in circulation in Canada, accounting for more than four billion IDP transactions in 2005. Interac is a not-for-profit organization composed of 95 members which include: banks, trust companies, credit unions, caisses populaires, technology and payment related companies and is responsible for the development of the national network for two shared electronic financial services: INTERAC Direct Payment, Canada’s national debit card service and INTERAC Shared Cash Dispensing Service for cash withdrawals at ATMs.

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