Card Information & Transaction Data Stolen

MA-based BJ’s Wholesale Club confirmed over the weekend a possible compromise of its computer system that may have resulted in credit card information theft. Meanwhile, eBay’s PayPal says it has learned that third parties may have obtained limited transaction information of selected customers through the PayPal site after obtaining the passwords of several PayPal merchants. However, there was no breach on the PayPal site or system. BJ’s says the number of members affected by the consumer credit card information theft is a tiny fraction of its 8 million members. BJs says it ruled out the likelihood of a centralized security compromise and implemented several measures at its club-level systems to eliminate possible avenues by which credit card information could be accessed. PayPal says the stolen transaction information from its Web site included first and last name, mailing address, email address, and transaction details. PayPal says no other personal financial information was disclosed. However, PayPal is warning its users to be on the lookout for fraudulent emails. Last week, the U.S. payment card networks issued bulletins about the possible data compromise.

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Coinstar Moves Beyond Coin Machines with an Acquisition

WA-based Coinstar has acquired Chicago-based CellCards, formerly a majority-owned subsidiary of American Payment Systems. CellCards, founded in 1998, offers a prepaid products including wireless, long distance and MasterCard cards and has multi-year agreements with national drug store retailers CVS, Eckerds, and Walgreen. Coinstar say the acquisition adds new drug store point-of-sale locations, and combined with Coinstar’s existing kiosk network, brings the Company’s total number of distribution points to approximately 25,000 in North America. As part of the acquisition, Coinstar has engaged the services of ATM industry veteran and founder of Cash Resources, Sam Jonas, to accelerate the integration and expansion of the CellCards’ business. The management team of CellCards has signed employment agreements with Coinstar and will continue to operate the business based in Chicago.

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Citigroup Names Banamex CEO to Lead Citigroup Latin America

Citigroup has promoted Manuel Medina-Mora to Chairman and CEO of Citigroup Latin America and Mexico. He will retain the position of CEO of Banamex that he has held since 2001. Jorge Bermudez, outgoing CEO of Citigroup Latin America, has become Senior International Advisor of Citigroup. Citigroup also announced that Guillermo Acedo has been named Head of the Global Consumer Group – Latin America, and Gustavo Marin has been named Head of the Global Corporate and Investment Banking Group – Latin America. Additionally, John Gerspach has been named Chief Administrative Officer of the Latin America region.
Grupo Financiero Banamex has become the number one corporate bank, the number one retail bank, the number one credit card issuer, and the number one pension fund manager in Mexico.

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Paymentech Tops 20,000 C- and P-Stores

Paymentech has won a multi-year contract to provide settlement processing for 1,663 Alimentation Couche-Tard’s Circle K convenience stores nationwide. Circle K is among Paymentech’s growing roster of petroleum merchants. In addition to Mac’s Convenience Stores, Paymentech provides electronic payment processing to numerous petroleum marketers at nearly 20,000 petroleum/convenience store locations across the country. Circle K is the leader in the Canadian convenience store industry and the fourth-largest convenience retailer in North America. Paymentech, L.P. processes more payment transactions than any other company in North America — and more than half of all Internet transactions — for retailers accepting U.S.

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SVC Financial Services Opens Headquarters

SVC Financial Services has opened its corporate headquarters in the Financial District of San Francisco. The San Francisco office joins SVC’s previously established Enterprise Business Development and technology R&D office in San Jose, CA serving Silicon Valley, and its Media and Entertainment Business Development office in El Segundo, CA serving Hollywood. SVC Financial Services is a provider of an integrated suite of secure electronic payment, web application development, digital rights management and multimedia authoring solutions with a focus on the online retailing and entertainment industries as well as the companies that serve them.

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Bentley Commerce Inks a Debit/STV Card Deal

Los Angeles-based Bentley Commerce has inked a deal for Morgan Beaumont to provide Bentley Commerce’s network of 180 trade exchanges and their 50,000 trading members with debit cards and stored value cards. Morgan Beaumont will develop and implement a multi-phase launch of real time transaction processing technology for Bentley, which will include voice authorizations, account balances, debit card trade purchasing branded with logos of participating exchanges, and stored value barter cards that exchanges will be able to use instead of printing restaurant scrip. Bentley Commerce Corp. is a business-to-business, Internet e-commerce company that seeks to establish a new marketplace and distribution channel for worldwide barter and trade. Morgan Beaumont, Inc., is a private global technology solutions company that is one of the premier providers of Stored Value Card Solutions and technology in the United States.

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Colwick Travel Joins Universal Air Travel Plan

Dallas-based Colwick Travel Corporation has joined the Universal Air Travel Plan global travel payment network and will settle its UATP transactions through UATP Settlement Services. The company’s decision to become a UATP Merchant was motivated by the appreciable reduction in merchant service fees it would pay for accepting UATP as opposed to the high cost of other credit cards and its ability to provide a comprehensive service to their UATP customer base. 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. Colwick Travel Corporation was established in 1977 as a full-service travel management company that provides businesses and individuals with unsurpassed service and exceptional cost savings.

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Fleet One to Issue WILCOHESS Fuel Card

Nashville-based Fleet One announced a deal to provide credit card issuing, authorization, and billing services for the commercial fleet customers of WILCOHESS, including a private label fleet card. The alliance between Fleet One and WILCOHESS also provides Fleet One cardholders with over 200 additional fueling sites in the Southeast. Fleet One provides transactional financial service solutions to companies with commercial vehicles, and the merchants that serve them. WILCOHESS, an A.T Williams Company, operates over 200 convenience stores and travel plazas in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.

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Q Comm Revenues Up 46% in 4Q/03

UT-based Q Comm International yesterday reported that it shipped more than 1,500 new “Qxpress 200” terminals during the fourth quarter. Transactions rose from 277,000 in third quarter to 318,624 in fourth quarter. The Company is a provider of prepaid transaction processing and electronic POS distribution solutions. For the fourth quarter, Q Comm booked revenues of $7.24 million, a 46% increase over one-year ago. Net losses for the quarter were $2.25 million, compared to net losses of $1.13 million posted for the same three-month period in the prior year. Terry Kramer was recently named CEO/president of the Company. For complete details on Q Comm’s 4Q/03 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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United’s Ameniti Card Gets New Benefits

United Airlines has beefed-up its new “Ameniti” loyalty card with new benefits including unlimited use of select “Arrivals Suites” and free passes to United’s Red Carpet Club. Ameniti members can now receive two complimentary passes to the Red Carpet Club, as well as access to select International Arrival Suites for a nominal fee. The Ameniti luxury travel program is owned and operated by UAL Loyalty Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of UAL Corp. United, its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products and services of other participating companies or partners.

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VISA Plans Summer Signature Debit Promotion

VISA USA will launch its third annual check card sweepstakes promotion this summer. The “Pick Up Your Pen Sweepstakes” will offer cardholders the chance to win back their purchase amount when they sign for their purchases between July 1st through August 31st. Check card purchases made on the Internet, by automatic-bill-payment, through mail order and by phone are also eligible. Recent consumer research conducted by VISA shows that these promotions can further drive check card usage. According to a December 2003 survey of VISA check cardholders, 82% of cardholders showed significant interest in the concept, 59% of cardholders were more likely to use their VISA check card more often because of this promotion; and 53% of cardholders claimed they were more likely to sign for their purchases after being exposed to the promotion. VISA is offering customizable marketing materials including: financial institution statement inserts, direct mail pieces, in-branch signage, web content, and marketing copy for newsletters and ATMs.

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