AmEx Taps Gilligan to Lead International Consumer Cards

American Express announced yesterday that Ed Gilligan, group president of Global Corporate Services, will take on the additional responsibility for leading the international consumer card business and International Operations. AmEx also announced that Jim Cracchiolo, group president of Global Financial Services will focus on growing the Company’s financial services business. The shakeup will take effect on July 14th. The changes come in advance of the Company’s acquisition of Threadneedle Asset Management Holding Ltd. from Zurich Financial Services Group AG. Threadneedle, a major UK fund manager, manages about $75 billion. Threadneedle will report directly to Cracchiolo when the transaction closes.

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ARBY

Arby’s restaurants will be accepting credit and debit cards following a deal between Triarc Restaurant Group and Moneris Solutions. Arby’s says that each of the 129 Canadian Arby’s locations are franchised and independently owned and operated, and therefore, needed a payment processor who could service each location on a one-on-one basis, while at the same time offer the benefits and cost savings appropriate to a single, nation-wide merchant. Moneris is Canada’s largest processor of debit and credit card payments.

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Coinstar Links Up with the Truth MasterCard

Coinstar, Synovus, and Next Estate Communications have launched a pilot that enables consumers to convert their loose change to a prepaid MasterCard. Coinstar operates nearly 11,000-networked self-service coin counting machines in supermarkets nationwide. The prepaid MasterCard pilot is being offered in Houston and Las Vegas. Under the program, consumers deposit coins or cash to a Coinstar machine, receive a printed receipt for the transaction, which includes an account activation number, and then contacts Next Estate by phone to set-up and activate their “Truth MasterCard.” Within five to ten business days, customers receive their personalized embossed prepaid MasterCard, at a denomination ranging from $20 to $500. The card can also be reloaded with additional funds at any participating Coinstar machine. Columbus Bank & Trust Company, an affiliate of Synovous, will issue the card.

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CyberSource Enables Cross-Border Sales

CyberSource has launched “Global Payment Suite” for cross-border credit card sales which offers eight services including locally-preferred electronic payment types, dynamic currency conversion, fraud prevention, export and tax compliance tools. The Global Payment Suite eliminates the need for merchants to establish multiple international banking relationships and provides consolidated reporting and reconciliation of multiple country and multiple currency sales. Among the top seven European countries, 63% of eCommerce customers prefer to pay for their online purchases with local payment methods other than bank cards. The Global Payment Suite also provies some of the world’s most advanced fraud prevention tools including fraud screen and payer authentication technology.

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GE’s Card Business Adds $2.2 Billion in Outstandings

GE Consumer Finance-Americas confirmed yesterday that it has finalized the acquisition of Conseco Finance Corp.’s U.S. sales finance, consumer finance and private label credit card businesses. The acquisition, previously announced on March 5, adds $2.4 billion of receivables and about 1.7 million new consumers to the GE Retail Sales Finance business in Kettering, Ohio. Approximately 900 employees in St. Paul, MN: Tempe, AZ; and Rapid City, SD, also join GE as part of the acquisition. Conseco’s private label credit card portfolio declined last year from $2.7 billion in receivables to $2.2 billion. In 2001, the portfolio grew more than 51%. Conseco private label credit cards include merchants such as Menard’s, Roomstore, and Bryant Heating. GE’s card portfolio currently holds about $26 billion in receivables. Last year, GE Card Services revenues declined 4%, from $3.94 billion to $3.77 billion, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 3/6/03)

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

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ISBANK SECURE-SUITE

Turkiye Is Bankasi has selected Cyota to provide MasterCard “SecureCode” and “Verified by VISA” to its card base of approximately 7 million cardholders. The bank will be the first in Turkey to launch the VISA and MasterCard authentication service. Isbank will use the Turkish version of Cyota’s “SecureSuite” that is fully localized to meet the specific language and configuration requirements of the Turkish market. The service will be supported locally by Innova IT Solutions, Cyota’s partner in the Turkish market.

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GCS Teams with Sybase for Analytical Capabilities

Global Card Services has selected the “Sybase Industry Warehouse Studio for Finance” to serve as the blueprint for the creation of new value-added services for GCS merchant customers. Global Card Services provides payment gateways to facilitate credit card processing, systems to automate retrieval and charge backs, and management services. Sybase Industry Warehouse Studio joins an existing installed base of Sybase technology that supports GCS both in real- time credit card transaction processing as well as in data warehouse applications to access historical transaction data for charge dispute resolution and enhanced customer service. Global Card Services is also in the process of developing a hosted turn-key system, conforming to Visa’s EasyPay criteria, to facilitate credit card payments to healthcare organizations.

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Paymentech Wins Award for Lowest Duplicate Transaction Rate

Paymentech has won a “2003 Service Quality Performance Award” from Visa USA for the “Lowest Duplicate Transaction Rate”. The Visa Service Performance Awards Program emphasizes continued focus on service quality improvement. Award winners are required to have sustained operating excellence over the calendar year in key areas that directly affect customers. Paymentech’s duplicate detection standards are unique in the industry, while most processors compare duplicate files in total, Paymentech identifies duplicates at the transaction level across its entire database.

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Canada’s Ultramar Opts for Keycorp Terminals

Montreal-based Ultramar has decided to migrate to Keycorp payments terminals. Ultramar operates about 1,100 etail outlets in Eastern Canada, is migrating from its existing point of sale payment technology and has selected Keycorp to provide new terminals as well as to undertake software development. The K26 terminals will provide the same look and feel as Ultramar’s existing terminals but with an intuitive interface provided by ATM-style keys. The new K26 terminals will be more flexible and easier to use than the legacy POS systems.

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Arby’s in Canada Signs Card Acceptance Deal

Arby’s restaurants in Canada will be accepting credit and debit cards following a deal between Triarc Restaurant Group and Moneris Solutions. Arby’s says that each of the 129 Canadian Arby’s locations are franchised and independently owned and operated, and therefore, needed a payment processor who could service each location on a one-on-one basis, while at the same time offer the benefits and cost savings appropriate to a single, nation-wide merchant. Moneris is Canada’s largest processor of debit and credit card payments.

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ING EMV CARDS

Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals has launched a new “Prismera EMV” card for Belgium. ING has already purchased 600,000 of the new cards in a deal worth 3 million euros. The cards are due for national deployment in 2004. The “Prismera” card is recommended by BankSys, the Belgian inter-banking organization for electronic payments authorization and security standards. The “Prismera” range incorporates a scalable set of applications that enables banks to provide maximum flexibility and choice for customers. The “Prismera EMV” solution is aimed at banks issuing cards with simple debit and credit facilities. The “Prismera Lite” product integrates the electronic purse “Proton R3,” as well as EMV compliant payment applications using “Static Data Authentication” for debit or credit cards. At the other end of the spectrum, the “Prismera Protect” product offers top-end security features, incorporating in particular “Dynamic Data Authentication” for debit, credit and PKI cards, plus a sophisticated electronic purse facility.

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