Card Protection Services Litigation Ends

A federal district court has approved a stipulated order including a permanent injunction against telemarketing boiler rooms allegedly selling bogus credit card protection services and advance-fee credit cards exclusively to U.S. consumers from Canada. In April 2002, the FTC filed a complaint in federal district court against Consumer Alliance, Inc., a Delaware corporation; Consumer Alliance, Inc., (also known as 1421914 Ontario Inc.), a Canadian corporation; and BioSource Financial, Inc. The FTC also named Steven Winter, Gordon Levoy, Jason C. Williams, and Danny Longo. The three companies operated as a single enterprise out of Toronto and other locations in central Ontario, Canada. According to the FTC, the defendants used a variety of devices, including misrepresenting their identity, scare tactics, and blatant lies, to convince consumers that they faced unlimited liability for unauthorized charges on their credit cards if the cards were stolen or lost. The defendants appeared to target senior citizens, charging their victims $299 to $349. The FTC charged that the defendants’ telemarketers typically told consumers that they were affiliated with VISA, MasterCard, or the consumer’s credit card issuer. In June 2003, the Canadian officials obtained a criminal plea agreement, including a total fine of CDN$550,000, from Biosource Financial, Gordon Levoy, Jason C. Williams, and Danny Longo. Shortly thereafter, the FTC obtained a summary judgment as to liability against all the defendants. In October 2003, the court issued a permanent injunction.

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Cambridge Credit Introduces New Fee Plan

MA-based Cambridge Credit yesterday announced that it has implemented a new fee structure. Called the “75/50” plan, Cambridge Credit’s new fee structure consists of an initial fee of $75, followed by a maximum monthly maintenance fee of $50, for each customer. To accommodate consumers who may have difficulty paying the monthly maintenance fee, Cambridge Credit will adjust its fees based on that individual’s ability to pay. Cambridge Credit will also institute a 90-day refund policy for clients who cancel their service for any reason within the first 90 days of enrollment. Last month, Cambridge, which is currently facing lawsuits over its business practices, announced it will add four additional outside directors and will establish a Compensation Committee to set and review compensation levels of all officers and senior executives at Cambridge Credit and its affiliates. (CF Library 5/12/04)

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Food Lion Bloom Stores to Test NCR Copient

Food Lion is installing NCR’s “Copient” interactive marketing devices in its five new Bloom pilot stores. Beyond providing product information, the multifunctional Copient devices will enable Bloom to deliver targeted promotional content, relevant offers and customer service applications, making shopping more convenient and productive. Food Lion LLC is a subsidiary of Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group. NCR Corporation is a leading global technology company helping businesses build stronger relationships with their customers.

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ACG Offers Service Manual for 5600 and Personas

Atlanta-based ACG ATM-Remarketers is now offering an alternative NCR field service technician manual for the “5600” and “Personas” ATM families that is 1/10 the size of NCR’s 10-12 volume series and saves users $200-300 per book. A condensed version of NCR’s books, the manual eliminates redundant language and incorporates real photographs of ATM components as opposed to line drawings and lengthy explanations. Its reduced size makes transporting it from one location to the next easier on service technicians and operators. ACG ATM-Remarketers is a provider of affordable ATMs and kiosks at a cost 30 to 60 percent lower than that of comparable new equipment, as well as parts, maintenance and training for community financial institutions and independent store operators.

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Advantex Marketing on the Sales Block

Toronto-based Advantex Marketing International yesterday confirmed it is exploring alternatives to maximize shareholder value, including a strategic partnership, merger and/or a sale of the firm. The Company had revenues in 2003 of more than CDN$90 million. Advantex has long-term loyalty marketing contracts with major brand-rich organizations including CIBC and The New York Times. Recently acquired loyalty marketing agreements include United Airlines, Bank of America, U.S. Airways, Delta Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines. Totally, the agreements provide the gateway to more than 75 million consumers and the currencies they collect. Advantex offers a wide range of loyalty program platforms including, branded transaction cards, embedded benefits in auto-enrolled credit cards, and online shopping malls.

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ICE Raises $2MM in Capital

CA-based International Card Establishment, Inc. has completed a private placement, raising approximately $2.8 million with additional provisions that would raise approximately an additional $6 million in equity capital. These actions are expected to enable the company to exceed its minimum revenue projections of $22 million for 2004. I.C.E. is a rapidly growing provider of diversified products and services to the electronic transaction processing industry.

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1,000 TRM ATMS Join the CO-OP Network

The CO-OP Network and TRM Corporation signed a branding agreement for deployment of 1,000 ATMs in The Pantry and Cumberland Farms convenience stores nationwide. The ATMs, supplied by Portland, Ore.-based TRM, will begin wearing the CO-OP Network logo within the next 60 days. At that time, the machines will become part of the largest credit union ATM network in the country and will be surcharge-free to the 18.5 million cardholders from CO-OP Network’s nationwide credit union membership. TRM Corporation is a consumer services company that has provided convenience banking (ATM) and photocopying solutions to retailers for more than 20 years. CO-OP Networkg is wholly-owned by its credit union shareholders and provides volume discounts on products and services that include risk management as well as debit and deposit access.

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Federal Court Affirms Pay By Touch Patents

The federal district court in San Francisco has granted summary judgment to Pay By Touch in a lawsuit filed by San Jose-based Excel Innovations. At issue were claims that Excel, and not Pay By Touch, owned the Company’s core patents. Excel was seeking between $20 million and $60 million in damages. Pay By Touch’s patent portfolio of 23 issued and 13 pending U.S. patents, with corresponding patents in foreign jurisdictions, covers the application of biometrics to tokenless transactions. Pay By Touch offers patented biometric payment processing services, including a free consumer payment service that allows shoppers to pay for purchases using a finger scan to access their financial accounts and loyalty programs. Solidus Networks, Inc. d/b/a Pay By Touch also owns a wholly-owned subsidiary called Indivos Corporation. (CF Library 3/30/04)

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Fazoli’s Takes Card Processing to the Sky

Fazoli’s Management has chosen Spacenet to provide a “Connexstar” broadband satellite network to Fazoli’s restaurants in 33 states nationwide for IP credit card processing. Under the terms of the three-year agreement, Spacenet will deploy its Connexstar service at 150 Fazoli’s corporate restaurant sites. The network will support a range of retail networking applications, including point-of-sale polling, fast credit authorization, Xcellenet remote systems management tools and corporate intranet applications. Fazoli’s Management, Inc. operates more than 400 Fazoli’s company owned and franchised restaurants in 33 states and the Philippines, employing more than 8,000 persons. Spacenet Inc. provides two-way satellite-based broadband networking solutions throughout North America under the Connexstar brand, and has more than 15 years’ experience in providing connectivity, provisioning, operations and maintenance to enterprise and government customers, including some of the largest satellite-based networks in the world.

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TravelCorp and Denim Airways Join UATP

Universal Air Travel Plan has expanded its Merchant base by adding TravelCorp and Denim Airways. UATP is achieving steady growth in recruiting travel agencies into the USS program because it delivers a low-cost settlement solution and adds value to the agency s relationship with corporate customers, Ralph Kaiser, UATP s president and chairman, said. TravelCorp, is a medium-sized agency based in New Orleans that specializes in personalized customer service. UATP is the global corporate travel payment network. UATP accounts are actively issued by 15 member airlines and accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel by more than 200 airlines worldwide.

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