Merchant e-Solutions Buys Transcom

Redwood City, CA-based Merchant e-Solutions has acquired Transcom Payment Services. The Company also announced it has secured $7 million in a financing round led by 3i US. Transcom has a merchant portfolio comprising more than 4,300 merchant accounts and over $1 billion in annualized credit card sales. Transcom was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Columbus, GA with operations in Minneapolis, MN. 3i US, an international venture capital company with more than $26 billion in investments, says Merchant e-Solution addresses a “real pain point” in the industry, and it is thrilled to back a senior management team with a proven technology and business model. Trident Capital is the first and major investor in Merchant e-Solutions. The company’s Board of Directors includes Sharif Bayyari, CEO and president of Merchant e-Solutions, Jim Aviles, senior manager at Merchant e-Solutions, Don Dixon, senior partner of Trident Capital, Woody Marshall, of Trident Capital, as well as Hatim Tyabji, ex-chairman, president and CEO of Verifone, Jim Jones, former senior executive of Bank of America, and Tom Dailey, formerly of Discover Business Services. Merchant e-Solutions now processes for over 45,000 merchants, and 100 banks and partners. In addition, Merchant e-Solutions provides web-based technology to over 200,000 merchants.

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Authorize.Net is VISA CISP Certified

InfoSpace’s Authorize.Net has been independently validated as compliant with the VISA “Cardholder Information Security Program.” CISP establishes a set of twelve industry-wide requirements designed to protect sensitive information from being compromised. These requirements, which also include numerous sub-requirements, are directed at all businesses that store, process, or transmit cardholder information. Authorize.Net provides secure, reliable, IP-based payment gateway solutions that enable merchants to authorize, settle and manage electronic transactions via Web sites, at brick-and-mortar stores, and on wireless devices. The Visa U.S.A. Cardholder Information Security Program defines a standard of due care and enforcement for protecting sensitive information.

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CIBC Launches Verified by Visa

CIBC has become the first major Canadian issuer to launch a “Verified by Visa” program. The deployment of the cardholder authentication service comes via TSYS’ “CardGuard” and Cyota’s “SecureSuite.” Cyota has localized the service for Canadians to include bilingual support for CIBC’s English- and French-speaking customers. Cyota “SecureSuite” is a modular platform that seamlessly integrates multiple payment security applications, including “Verified by Visa,” MasterCard’s “SecureCode” and more. TSYS implemented Cyota’s “SecureSuite” platform in 2001, and the companies have since delivered the services to multiple issuers worldwide. Cyota currently powers more than 80% of the cards eligible for the service in the USA. TSYS services more than half of all VISA accounts in Canada.

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BofA Online Banking Tops 7 Million Subscribers

Bank of America yesterday reported it has topped 7 million subscribers for its free online banking service, compared to 4.7 million at the beginning of the year. BofA also says the number of customers paying their bills online increased from 1.8 million to 3.0 million this year. BofA provides online bill payment services through CheckFree, which recently modified its contract due to the rapid growth of the service. For the second year in a row, Global Finance magazine recognized Bank of America as having the best consumer Internet bank site in the world. Jupiter Research ranked Bank of America No. 1 in its CORE rankings and Vividence ranked bankofamerica.com No. 1 in experience for customers and prospective customers. Meanwhile, U.S. Bank announced this week it is dropping its $4.95 monthly fee for its “Internet Bill Pay” for new or existing consumer checking accounts.

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BMO Corporate MasterCards Get ExpenseLink

Gelco Expense Management has inked a deal with BMO ePurchasing Solutions to integrate its “ExpenseLink” suite of services with BMO’s MasterCard corporate card program. By capturing essential expense data through BMO’s corporate card program and automatically merging it with Gelco’s ExpenseLink suite of services, clients will have total visibility and control of their company’s entire travel and entertainment spend. BMO ePurchasing Solutions (http://www.bmoeps.com) is a dedicated line of business within BMO Financial Group and is a leading North American MasterCard commercial card provider. Gelco Expense Management, a division of Gelco Information Network, is the largest and most experienced provider of expense management and reimbursement programs.

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Global Payments Profits Up 24%

Global Payments reported that revenues for the quarter ended November 30th were up 15% to $148.4 million and that net income grew 24% to $16.8 million for the quarter. GPN noted that $3.8 million in revenue was posted during the quarter from its DolEx money transfer acquisition that closed on November 12th. In August, GPN announced its purchase of TX-based Latin America Money Services and its operating subsidiary, DolEx Dollar Express. GPN paid $190 million, plus a potential earn-out of up to $10 million, for DolEx. Through a network of 550 retail branches in 15 states, DolEx serves predominately Latino customers who send money to beneficiaries primarily in Mexico, as well as other Latin American countries. Beneficiaries collect these funds in their local currency at approximately 8,500 bank, exchange house, and retail settlement locations in Latin America. Last year, DolEx processed 4.6 million electronic money transfer transactions, producing $69.9 million in revenue. GPN yesterday also reaffirmed its annual revenue guidance of $588 million to $608 million and diluted earnings per share guidance of $1.65 to $1.72 for fiscal 2004. The company says it continues to make progress consolidating certain locations to gain greater efficiencies and reduce costs. Including the restructuring charge related to this plan, GAAP net income for the quarter was $14.9 million, compared to $13.6 million in the prior year. The company has scheduled a conference call this morning to discuss the quarter’s results. For complete details on GPN’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 8/12/03)

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

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Fairbank Gets 2004 Pay Package

Capital One’s CEO Richard Fairbank will receive more than 700,000 shares, with a current market value of $42 million, as part of his 2004 compensation package. The issuer’s “Compensation Committee” of its Board of Directors this week approved granting CEO Richard Fairbank 360,000 stock options and up to 355,410 performance-based shares of Capital One’s stock. Fairbank, along with former Capital One senior executive Nigel Morris, previously waived salary and benefits in exchange for stock options and stock performance bonuses. The COF Committee says the compensation program “reflects the issuer’s continued commitment to aligning the interests of its Chairman/CEO with those of its stockholders through a balanced compensation program designed to encourage management decisions that increase stockholder value over the long term.” The stock options granted Fairbank this week have an exercise price of $56.275, and will vest annually in three equal installments beginning on December 15, 2004 and will expire ten years from the date of grant. The actual number of performance-based shares to be issued will depend on Capital One’s fully diluted compound earnings per share growth rate compared with that of a peer group of 33 companies over the three-year period beginning January 1, 2004 and ending December 31, 2006. Nigel Morris is in the process of leaving Capital One by April. He is currently dumping up to 3 million shares of COF common stock within the next year. After completion of the stock sales, he will own approximately 3.3 million options to purchase shares of COF common stock. One year ago, Fairbank’s exercisable options declined in value from $262 million to $104 million. Morris’ options decreased in value from $150 million to $57 million. (CF Library 4/22/03; 8/7/03)

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Fair Isaac’s InterACT Set for April in Prague

Fair Isaac has set April 27-30 as the date for its “InterACT” conference in Prague, Czech Republic. The Prague InterACT conference will feature a content-rich agenda of presentations and discussions focused on the latest advances in analytics and decision technology, and fresh ideas on how they can be applied to improve business performance, build a more profitable customer base, fight fraud and achieve optimal regulatory compliance. InterACT is Fair Isaac’s annual educational forum that provides industry leaders with the latest ideas, insights and strategies for achieving smarter, more consistent and more profitable business decisions. Fair Isaac Corporation is the preeminent provider of creative analytics that unlock value for people, businesses and industries.

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Bank of Montreal Launches a Card with the Red Cross

BMO Bank of Montreal and the Canadian Red Cross introduced a new affinity credit card this week. The “Canadian Red Cross Mosaik MasterCard” directs a percentage of card purchases to the Canadian Red Cross while providing cardholders with a fully customized card program. Cardholders can customize their card at any time by choosing the reward program (AIR MILES or CashBack), interest rate plan and special features that best meet their needs. BMO Bank of Montreal launched the first “Mosaik MasterCard” in September 2002. The new card offered consumers 900 potential combinations of features and pricing. BMO Bank of Montreal is the largest MasterCard issuer in Canada.

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VISA and the China National Tourism Association Form an Alliance

The China National Tourism Association announced a five-year global alliance with VISA International. The alliance will showcase VISA’s Olympic sponsorship which runs through 2012, the “Beijing 2008 Olympic Games,” as well as jointly promote China tourism worldwide. The agreement also makes VISA the “Preferred Partner of the CNTA.” VISA says special advertising and marketing programs will be developed
jointly to stimulate both inbound and outbound travel and to promote China as a key travel destination. Additionally, VISA’s member and merchant Olympic marketing programs using advertising, direct mail, cardholder communications and Olympic promotions will promote China around the world. VISA will also make special China offers in its “The World’s Best Offers” to VISA’s “Signature” and “Infinite” card clients all over the world. VISA notes that China offers enormous potential for card usage by international travelers whose spending on international VISA cards grew some 145% in that market over the past year.

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FTC Settles Another Ditch the Pitch Complaint

The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday it reached a settlement of a complaint against a San Diego-based company in regard to the marketing of credit card loss protection and other credit-related goods or services. The complaint against Membership Services, Inc. was filed as part of the FTC’s “Operation Ditch the Pitch.” In pitching advance-fee credit cards, the FTC says the defendants allegedly misled consumers by representing that by purchasing their service, they would receive a low-interest VISA or MasterCard credit card. They also allegedly represented to these consumers that they were affiliated with their credit card issuers when this was not the case. The complaint also charged the defendants with misrepresenting that consumers would be held fully liable for all unauthorized charges made to their credit card accounts if they did not buy the “protection” services offered. The individual defendant is to pay restitution in the amount of $30,000, and the corporate defendant is to pay approximately $50,000.

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Providian Deploys Genalytics Software to Target Offers

Providian has selected the Genalytics “Predictive Suite” for advanced marketing decision support and risk management software to improve the accuracy of promoting products, selecting prospects, and targeting offers. The Genalytics Predictive Suite helps firms like Providian build predictive models designed to improve the accuracy of promoting products, selecting prospects, and targeting offers. Genalytics is a supplier of predictive intelligence software that helps marketers and data analysts increase customer profitability and better manage risk. Providian Financial ([www.providian.com][1]) is a leading provider of credit cards to Middle American customers throughout the U.S. By combining experience, analysis, and technology, Providian seeks to build long-lasting relationships with its customers by providing products and services that meet their evolving financial needs.

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

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