TrueLink

TransUnion has taken a significant equity position in TrueLink, an online developer and marketer of credit-based products. The agreement enables TransUnion to offer a full suite of credit management products to more consumers, including credit monitoring and 3-in-1 credit reports. TransUnion will continue to market “TrueLink” products and services through TrueLink’s Web site.

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Pearle Vision Card

GE Consumer Finance and Pearle Vision have launched a private label credit card program for Pearle’s 373 corporate locations and 410 franchise locations that offers instant credit to Pearle Vision customers. Approved cardholders can receive a 25-day grace period, no payments for 90 days, or no payments for six months, depending on the purchase amount. The new program is being launched to 373 Pearle Vision corporate locations, and offered to the company’s 410 franchise locations in December. Pearle Vision, a division of Cole National Corporation, expects the program launch to be completed by March 2003.

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CrossCheck & NPC

CA-based CrossCheck has signed an agreement with National Processing Company for check authorization services, including electronic check conversion via an imager, to NPC’s regional merchants and prospects nationwide. NPC, the second largest processor in the world, supports over 645,000 merchant locations, representing nearly one out of every five MasterCard(R) and VISA(R) transactions processed nationally.

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SCHLUMBERGERSEMA REALIGNMENT

Schlumberger Limited confirmed it will reduce its SchlumbergerSema unit
workforce in Continental Europe and the USA by 1,600 employees at a cost of
US$77 million. SchlumbergerSema will also recognize charges of US$2.9
billion after-tax in its fiscal fourth quarter. These charges include
US$2.6 billion, related to impairment of goodwill and a further $267
million impairment associated with intangibles and other costs, including a
provision against a deferred tax asset in Europe. Schlumberger says the
SchlumbergerSema unit will focus on IT consulting, systems integration
together with network and infrastructure solutions, primarily in global
energy while continuing to develop specific regional market sectors in
areas where it enjoys a successful competitive position based on scale and
domain knowledge.

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EMERGING MARKETS

Emerging payment card markets include Brazil, Chile, China, India,
Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea and Thailand, according to a
new research report. In terms of size and growth potential the South Korean
market is in many ways an attractive market to enter. However, the country
is also afflicted by spiraling levels of consumer debt, an issue that is
typically attributed to rapid increases in credit card spending. Potential
entrants to this market must therefore be wary of overexposing themselves
to bad debt. According to the report by Datamonitor, issuers seeking to
enter new markets should aim to form partnerships with well-known local
players. This will enable them to build market share and win the trust of
consumers by dint of association with an established brand name.
Partnerships between card issuers and other parties has proven especially
popular in South Africa, where there are a number of successful affinity
and co-branded cards.

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SETEC & CARDBASE

Setec has inked a deal with Ireland-based CardBASE Technologies to jointly
integrate their smart card products and technologies for EMV migration, PKI
security cards, electronic ID cards, GSM SIM cards, payment cards and
visual ID products. Under terms of the deal, both firms will co-operate
with the implementation of Setec’s smart card platforms and solutions in
conjunction with “MASCOT,” CardBASE’s
multi-application smart card management solution. Setec’s card solution
consists of smart cards with “SetCOS” card operating system, smart card
applications, personalization solutions and services,
card interfaces, middleware components and consultation. CardBASE has
to-date established over 45 smart card solutions around the world.

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Workplace Cards

MasterCard International rolled out seven new cards yesterday including the “MasterCard Incentive Card,” “Flex Benefit Card,” “Supply Chain Incentive Card,” “Meeting Card,” “Project Card,” “Relocation Card” and “Travel Per Diem Card.” The new cards are part of MasterCard’s “Workplace Solutions” program, which was launched July 2002 with the introduction of the “MasterCard Payroll Card.” MasterCard also offers optional “Stored Value Insurance” to protect its members from potential losses due to fraud and/or under the floor limit transactions. Workplace Solutions is supported by several MasterCard members including ABN AMRO, BANKFIRST, Citibank, Comerica, First Banks, J.P. Morgan Chase, LaSalle Bank and others. (CF Library 7/12/02)

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Cyota SecureCode

Cyota yesterday announced their strategic global hosted services for issuers that deploy MasterCard’s “SecureCode.” The “SecureMPA” system is currently being deployed by three major issuers. The hosted service comes from three separate global hosting facilities: in the U.S. – TSYS e-Business, in the U.K. – NTT/Verio hosting solutions and in Japan – Intelligent Wave Inc. MasterCard’s “SecureCode” uses MasterCard’s “UCAF” to provide an enhanced payment guarantee to online merchants by presenting, collecting and passing cardholder authentication information. Using hidden fields and a merchant plug-in application that is integrated with merchant Web pages, along with authentication information generated by issuing financial institutions, the new service provides explicit evidence of the cardholder’s involvement in a transaction. Online merchants that support MasterCard “SecureCode” will benefit from a MasterCard rules change that shifts liability away from the merchant for charge-backs due to cardholder non-authorization when “SecureCode” has been utilized. Cyota currently has systems available to over 300 million cardholders North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. (CF Library 9/23/02)

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AN POST PINPAD

Dublin-based Trintech Group Plc says An Post, Ireland’s Post
Office Authority, has deployed Trintech’s secure, chip-enabled PINPad
infrastructure
nationally. The new technology enables An Post to offer AIB Bank customers
the facility to carry out banking transactions throughout its network of over
1,000 automated post offices, compared with 280 AIB branches nationally.
The smart card enabled PINPad will also allow the future acceptance of
smart card transactions compatible with the global EMV standard. In
addition to the PINPads, An Post licensed Trintech’s secure key management
software, “PayWare PINPad Manager,” and “PayWare SDK,” a software
development toolkit, to enable An Post to add additional applications for
the PINPads.

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Cynergy & Lipman

Cynergy Data has signed an agreement with Lipman valued at $1.5 million for the purchase and deployment of NURIT POS terminals, peripherals and services. Under the terms of the agreement, Lipman will supply Cynergy with a customized version of the “NURIT 3020” terminal, a portion of which will be sold as a component of Lipman’s “ImagePak” transaction imaging solution. Cynergy Data provides an array of electronic processing options to retail, restaurant, mail order, telephone order, and Internet businesses.

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