Cap One Ranks as the Best Internet Experience

A new survey shows that Bank of America provides the best online banking experience for customers while Capital One did best among credit card suppliers. The Customer Respect Group says its survey also found that American Express topped the “Diversified Financials” list. The research found that Providian provided the worst online experience among credit card suppliers. The Customer Respect Group also says that 43% of surveyed firms share personal data with business partners or third parties, one of the highest industry percentages measured compared to 59% six months ago. The “Customer Respect Index” is a qualitative and quantitative in-depth analysis and independent measure of a customer’s online experience when interacting with companies via the Internet.

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Chase Sweetens Home Loans with Delta Miles

Chase has teamed with Delta Air Lines to offer up to 25,000 miles to Delta SkyMiles(R) members by opening and using a home equity loan or line of credit. SkyMiles program members can earn 3,500 miles for each $10,000 borrowed, to be deposited in the member’s account six to eight weeks after the account is funded. Chase is part of JPMorgan Chase & Co. a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.1 trillion and operations in more than 50 countries. Delta Air Lines’ marketing alliances allow customers to earn and redeem frequent flier miles on more than 14,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners.

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Hana Bank May Acquire LG Card in South Korea

Hana Bank is reportedly considering the purchase of South Korea’s LG Card, which has a current market value of $3.6 billion. However, the new chief executive of Hana Bank, Kim Jong-yeol, says a deal can be struck if the price is lowered. Kim Jong-yeol worked at Hana for 27 years and will replace Kim Seung-yu. A consortium of creditor banks led by state-run Korea Development Bank are seeking to sell LG Card. LG lost about $81 million last year, compared to the 2003 loss of $5.6 billion. Hana Bank’s new CEO also said his bank is considering forming a consortium to purchase Korea Exchange Bank, 51% owned by U.S.-based investment fund Lone Star.

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Target Card-Funded School Program Tops $138MM

Minneapolis-based retailer Target has awarded $14.9 million to schools nationwide through its Take Charge of Education fund raising program. Since the program began in 1997, Target has donated more than $138 million. Families, teachers and members of the community can designate a K-12 school of their choice to receive an amount equal to 1 percent of their Target(R) Visa(R) and Target Card(R) purchases made at Target and Target.com. Target also donates 0.5 percent of all Target Visa purchases made everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Currently, more than 110,000 schools and 9 million Target guests are enrolled in the program. Target serves guests at 1,330 stores in 47 states nationwide and gives back more than $2 million a week to its local communities through grants and special programs.

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ADS to Offer the VeriFone Omni 3750 Terminal

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems Corp.,has introduced the VeriFone Omni 3750 point-of-sale (POS) Internet-enabled terminal. ADS has developed a full suite of applications for the Omni 3750 including acceptance of all major card types, check processing and value-added applications such as gift cards, fleet and electronic bill transfer (EBT) as well as provide instant age verification. The terminal will allow for faster processing and can reduce the number of devices needed to process multiple types of transactions. Alliance Data Systems is a provider of transaction, credit and marketing services, managing approximately 95 million consumer relationships.

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NOVA Offers a DCC Solution in the USA

Atlanta-based NOVA Information Systems has introduced Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) to enable international cardholders in the U.S. to instantly convert purchases into their local currency. DCC works with foreign-issued Visa and MasterCard credit cards and currently supports the Australian dollar, British pound, Canadian dollar, euro, and Japanese yen. NOVA Information Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, offers credit and debit card processing services to more than 750,000 merchant locations.

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VISA and MC Agree on a Contactless Protocol

MasterCard and VISA confirmed they have forged an agreement to share a common communications protocol and associated testing requirements for RFID-based contactless payments at the POS. The protocol is based on the MasterCard’s “PayPass” “ISO/IEC 14443 Implementation Specification.” The use of a common protocol for conducting “MasterCard PayPass” and “VISA Contactless” RFID payments will enable vendors to streamline product development and testing, leading to reduced implementation costs and faster time to market for issuers. Merchants will also have the assurance that a single point of sale terminal may support multiple payment brands and will require less time for terminal programming and testing.

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UK’s HMV Passes 1MM Gift Card Milestone

HMV, the largest retailer of music, DVD and games in the U.K. has topped one million gift cards. The card was launched in October via TSYS and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The non-denominated, re-loadable cards are now available in HMV’s 200 stores throughout the UK, and can be activated in amounts ranging from GBP1 to GBP500. The parent company, HMV Group plc, also owns 189 Waterstone’s specialist book stores in the UK and Ireland, and plans to offer a Waterstone’s gift card in 2005.

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TowerGroup Beefs-Up its European Team

TowerGroup has expanded its global research and advisory team for Europe. Simon Levin has been hired as the general manager of EMEA. He joins TowerGroup following a 10 year career at Gartner, where he was a member of the EMEA senior leadership team and played an instrumental role in the growth and development of the research business in these regions. Theodore Iacobuzio (who has been an analyst and research leader at TowerGroup since 1997) will be head of European research. Ralph Silva will be a senior analyst based out of Paris. Emil Peterson joins TowerGroup as the new director of sales for EMEA. Sam Radwan (who joined TowerGroup in late 2004) will be head of global consulting.

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Marc Beauchamp Joins Acies Corporation

Acies Corporation has appointed Marc Beauchamp as Director of Business Development. Beauchamp has more than 17 years experience in sales, training and marketing and is a nationally known author, columnist and consultant to the merchant services and transaction processing industry. Acies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Acies Corporation, specializes in payment processing services and online banking services.

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ACS Lands a $27MM Debit Card Deal with NJ

Affiliated Computer Services has been selected by the State of New Jersey to provide a child support payment and processing system. The contract is valued at $27 million, commencing in June 2005. In addition to processing over 4.5 million child support payments annually, ACS will be instituting a full-service debit card system. More than 120,000 custodial parents will be able to receive secure and quick child support payments. ACS is the country’s leading provider of child support services with payment processing/disbursement operations in 13 state disbursement units (SDU).

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Hypercom Introduces a New IP Gateway Device

Hypercom has unveiled a compact, high speed, low cost IP gateway device that converts virtually any manufacturer’s dial card payment terminal or dial ATM into a IP-enabled card device. The new “IN-tact 1201” is designed for small and multi-lane retailers who want the faster transaction speeds and lower communications costs inherent in Internet connectivity. The device uses “3DES” and “SSL” session security to encrypt and transmit transactions through the Internet with even greater security than through the existing phone line. The “IN-tact 1201” is also a fully transaction aware switching device that can intelligently route transactions to multiple hosts, including backup hosts, and can seamlessly integrate with the routing schemes of an existing NAC network, such as “HBNet.” Additionally, “IN-tact” continually monitors and alerts a help desk to any interruption in services.

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