Microsoft & Chase to Offer Merchant Services

Microsoft plans to collaborate with acquirers, including Chase Merchant Services, to offer credit card processing for its “Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006” users. Microsoft plans to offer multiple bank options to ensure that customers have a choice of banks and is working with VeriSign Inc. to enable customers to transact in a security-enhanced online environment to help prevent disruption to their business. Chase Merchant Services processes over 4.6 billion transactions a year totaling over $335 billion in annual credit and debit card volume via card-not-present transactions, over the Internet and at the point of sale for more than 240,000 clients worldwide.

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U.S. Bank Now Issues Cards in 37 Countries

U.S. Bank, the first to offer a corporate bankcard, reports that it now issues and services cards in 37 countries, with statements in the local language and currency. The week, the issuer inked deals with Banco Uno in Nicaragua and National Bank of New Zealand. The U.S. Bank expansion comes via London-based Global Commercial Payments Solutions, a global joint venture between VISA and seven key VISA commercial card issuers. GCPS also includes 16 partner banks that can issue commercial cards in an additional 28 countries. More than a dozen U.S. Bank clients have gone global in the last 12 months, and more than 30 companies worldwide have implemented programs through GCPS, representing an overall charge volume in excess of $1.75 billion.

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SAS and HSBC Sign a Fraud-Detection Partnership

HSBC, with more than 100 million cards worldwide, and SAS announced a ten-year partnership to transform the payment card fraud-detection market. The new SAS solution will be implemented in all of HSBC’s major card businesses worldwide. In addition to reducing potential losses, the project will lower the operational costs of fighting fraud and will create a more flexible fraud platform so that HSBC can respond faster to new threats as they arise. SAS and HSBC are also cooperating on developing a strategy to extend the technology into other transaction monitoring applications. SAS is already working with a number of other institutions to build a broader consortium in conjunction with HSBC.

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DRFS to Acquire a Hispanic Marketer for $12MM

Los Angeles-based prepaid card specialist, Direct Response Financial Services, has signed a LOI to acquire del Rey Marketing, a Hispanic marketing specialist also based in Los Angeles, for $12 million. In a strategic alliance, del Rey Marketing will support the roll out of Direct Response’s proprietary DirectLoad Network debit card loading network. Chris del Rey will continue to act as the CEO and President of del Rey Marketing and continue in his role as an advisory board member to the Company. Del Rey Marketing manages marketing programs for grocer retailers targeting Hispanic consumers across the country. Direct Response Financial Services, Inc. provides financial, technology and marketing solutions in the emerging stored value marketplace, focusing on the financially underserved and unbanked population segment.

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Court Upholds Diebold’s ATM Biz Practices

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has denied a motion filed by the Financial and Security Products Association seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent Diebold from implementing its policies on ATM software, parts and documentation. In April, the FSPA ask for the injunction to prohibit Diebold from changing its previous ATM parts and service policies. The FPSA charged that Diebold changed its service and parts policies in its installed base for ATMs by preventing its customers from having those ATMs serviced by third-party maintenance companies on terms previously allowed. The FSPA says the change in policy is reducing competition, raising prices and restricting the availability of parts and services. However, in rendering its decision, the court recognized Diebold’s right to protect its intellectual property, particularly with respect to its diagnostic software and service manuals. The court emphasized that allowing Diebold to enforce its patents and copyrights is in the public interest. The court also found that the FSPA had failed to demonstrate irreparable injury and raised serious questions about whether the organization had legal standing to even bring the claim. (CF Library 4/20/05)

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PayPass Scores a Home Run with All Star Fans

MasterCard’s “PayPass” got a real workout this week at the “All-Star Game FanFest” in Detroit, as 80,000 people in five days tapped promotional contactless MasterCards for prizes. The “FanFest Prize MasterCard” was read by Hypercom’s “Optimum T4100” terminals with “VIVOpay 3000” contactless readers attached. The “FanFest Scorecard” promotion awarded thousands of prizes via “PayPass” cards. MasterCard is an official sponsor of Major League Baseball. “PayPass” acceptance is spreading. Last month, 7-Eleven agreed to accept “PayPass” in its 5,300 U.S. locations by early next year. In April, Ritz Camera Centers expanded MasterCard “PayPass” acceptance to each of the more than 1,100 Ritz Camera Centers. PA-based c-store operator, Sheetz, deployed “PayPass” system-wide in March of this year. In February, MasterCard teamed with MBNA, the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens Football Clubs to integrate its “PayPass” contactless payment technology into the Seahawks and Ravens “Extra Points” credit card programs. In August 2004, McDonald’s inked a deal to accept MasterCard “PayPass.” (CF Library 1/4/05; 2/22/05; 4/26/05; 5/19/05; 6/6/05)

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Ingenicard to Distribute eSafe Prepaid Cards

Swiss-based Ingenicard US has signed a deal to distribute eSafe prepaid debit, gift cards, and phone cards in Latin America. Ingenicard is already entrenched and growing with 900 service branch locations in Argentina, Brazil and Peru with plans for further expansion into neighboring countries. Ingenicard operates a “Cash Exchange Platform.”
Ingenicard anticipates selling tens of thousands and up to one hundred thousand initial eSafe loyalty and cash cards in the first year of operations in both domestic U.S. markets and the presently targeted Latin American markets.

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Acacia Inks 6 Retailers for its Fraud Patent

Acacia Research’s Financial Systems Innovation issued a patent license for its credit card fraud protection technology with LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Pearle Vision, Cole Vision, Watch World, and Things Remembered. The patented technology protects retailers and consumers engaged in credit card, check card and debit transactions. The system includes an electronic card reader and the generation and use of a transaction number which specifically identifies each transaction, eliminating the need to print detailed information such as cardholder identity or account number on the customer’s receipt. The Acacia Technologies group develops, acquires, and licenses patented technologies. Acacia controls 30 patent portfolios, which include 128 U.S. patents.

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SCA Hires an Executive for Southwest USA

Gerald (Jerry) W. Arnold has joined Shoppers Charge Accounts Co., a division of Hudson United Bank of Mahwah,N.J., as vice president/account executive for the southwestern United States. Arnold has over 30 years of experience in sales, client relations and operations in the private label credit card industry. Prior to joining SCA, he was with Alliance Data Systems as director of operation support and implementation. Arnold graduated in 1970 from Eastern Kentucky University with a B.B.A. degree in marketing. SCA is a private label credit card company and a division of Hudson United Bank, a $9 billion asset company with over 200 branch offices.

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NCR to Beat the Street in Q2 by 4 Cents

NCR says it anticipates its second-quarter earnings to exceed its prior guidance by $0.04 per share and has raised its earnings expectation for 2005 to be in the $1.68 to $1.73 range. NCR expects to report second-quarter revenue of approximately $1.47 billion, an increase of 1 percent from the second quarter of 2004. Stronger-than-anticipated profitability in the company’s Teradata Data Warehousing and Customer Services businesses more than offset lower-than-expected revenue and profitability in Financial Self Service. NCR Corporation provides ATMs, retail systems, data warehouses and IT services globally.

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EFFCU Inks Certegy for its Issuer Reentry

Eastern Financial Florida CU, the third largest credit union in Florida, has reentered the credit card business after selling its portfolio in 2001 and has signed a three-year contract with Certegy for processing, cardholder support and rewards programs for its new MasterCard program. EFFCU is the third largest credit union in Florida, with over $2.0 billion in total assets and over 200,000 members nationwide. Certegy provides credit and debit processing, check risk management and cash access services, merchant processing and e-banking services to over 6,500 financial institutions, 100,000 retailers and 100 million consumers worldwide and generated over $1.0 billion in revenue in 2004.

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AmEx Launches Two No-Fee Travel Reward Cards

American Express launched two new credit cards that carry a travel rewards program, a full package of benefits and no annual fee. The new “Blue Sky Credit Card” for consumers earns points that can be redeemed on any travel related charge. Cardholders make their travel purchases through any source and then request a statement credit. Cardholders earn one point for every eligible dollar spent. Point redemptions start at 7,500 points ($100 off) and are redeemable in 7,500 point increments. AmEx also launched a business version of the “Blue Sky” card, called “Platinum Business FreedomPass Credit Card.” Small business owners also receive 5,000 bonus points with their first purchase.

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