Sears Credit Execs

Sears has named Paul Liska EVP/President, Credit and Financial Products to succeed Kevin Keleghan, who resigned, and Glenn Richter, to SVP/CFO succeeding Liska. Liska was executive vice president and chief financial officer for The St. Paul Companies, Inc. from 1997 – 2000. Richter was senior vice president and chief financial officer for Dade Behring International from 1998 – 1999, where he had earlier served as senior vice president and corporate controller.

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Smart Cards 2002

Smart card shipments to the U.S. and Canada from January through June were 31.2 million cards, more than double the same period last year. This represents a 111% increase from the same period in 2001, during which 14,770,000 cards were shipped. Of the total, microprocessor cards accounted for 24,950,000 in 2002, up 87% from 13,310,000 a year earlier. Memory card shipments in 2002 jumped to 6,240,000 compared to 1,460,000 in the same period last year, more than a threefold increase, according to new research announced this morning at the “Smart Card Alliance 10th Annual Conference.” The study, which is updated twice yearly, was conducted by KPMG LLP, the accounting and tax firm, for the Smart Card Alliance, a not-for-profit cross-sector association that includes government and private industry users, card issuers, manufacturers and systems providers.

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WMATA Contract

Competition for the Washington (DC) Metropolitan Area Transit Authority smart card project is heating up. ERG Transit Systems and Northrop Grumman Information Technology have teamed to pursue transit opportunities throughout the USA. The two companies are currently bidding together on the contract for the WMATA Regional Customer Service Center. The WMATA project calls for the establishment and operation of a smart card customer service center and the clearing and settling of smart card transactions across all transit agencies in the Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC areas. The WMATA project will start a new era of integrated transit in the greater Washington D.C. area, allowing passengers to use a single smart card to pay fares across every major transit system in the region. ERG built Hong Kong’s well-known “Octopus” system. “Octopus” is the largest smart card payment system for mass transit in the world, with some 8.6 million smart cards issued to date and over 7.2 million transactions processed each day. ERG is also engaged in the largest smart card contract in the United States to design, build, operate and maintain the “TransLink” fare payment system in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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I4 Commerce & CyberSource

I4 Commerce and CyberSource announced the integration of I4 Commerce’s new payment method, “Bill Me Later,” into CyberSource’s payment processing service. Bill Me Later simplifies the catalog and web purchase experience by eliminating the need for a credit card. Customers receive instant purchase approval during the checkout process without providing an account number or needing to complete a lengthy applications process.

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SAFLINK DoD Biometrics

WA-based SAFLINK Corporation has been selected to participate in the second component of the Department of Defense “Common Access Card” project to develop and evaluate biometric technical demonstration scenarios that will assist the DoD in developing applications using a biometric template stored on the “CAC”. The total expected value of the award to SAFLINK for the development and delivery of biometric security software is approximately $108,000.

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SureFire Merger

Montreal-based SureFire Commerce has signed a merger agreement with privately-held Munich, Germany-based Electronic Billing Systems AG. Initially, SureFire will acquire 51% of EBS in exchange for approximately 28 million newly issued shares of SureFire, representing approximately 21% of SureFire. It is contemplated that upon completion of the transaction, SureFire will acquire 100% of EBS in exchange for common shares of SureFire representing approximately 63% of the common shares of SureFire Commerce on a fully diluted basis. Based on current run rates, SureFire expects the combined entity will generate approximately $90 million dollars in revenue, with operating profit before minority interests of more than $15 million dollars in the first year. The deal is expected to close in early January.

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FICO & CCCS

Fair, Isaac has announced a new program whereby, for the first time, consumers engaged in credit counseling will benefit directly from the actionable power of FICO scores. FI has teamed with nonprofit Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Santa Clara & Ventura Counties. The nonprofit agency also will offer its Web visitors online access to FICO-powered products and services. CCCS’s Web site, www.gotdebt.org, offers consumers their current FICO score online along with the underlying Equifax credit report. An accompanying personalized explanation of their score includes suggestions for improving their score over time. Additional features help customers explore the possible score impact of various credit actions they might take, and tell visitors what interest rates lenders are offering based on FICO scores for 12 different types of mortgage and auto loans. Fair Isaac did not indicate if other deals are in the works.

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Link2Gov Signs KY

Link2Gov has inked a two-year deal to provide credit card, debit card and electronic check payment options for Kentucky state agencies by the end of this year. The agreement encompasses the following payment methods: credit cards, debit cards and electronic funds transfers (EFT) electronic checks. Citizens can make payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week over the Internet and telephone.

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Galileo & MasterCard

Galileo International, a value-added distributor of travel inventory, has partnered with MasterCard to offer travelers using their MasterCard card to book RCI Holiday Network vacation rentals through Galileo-connected agencies a $50 to $100 MasterCard “Gift Card”. The gift card is valid for six months and can be used to purchase goods and services anywhere MasterCard is accepted — more than 28 million locations worldwide. The exclusive offer is scheduled to run through the end of 2002, or while supplies last.

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Parking Payments

Off-street beachfront and marina parking in Los Angeles County has gone high tech with the deployment of SchlumbergerSema solar powered parking payment terminals. Under the SchlumbergerSema solution, the motorist will be able to pay for parking using coin, currency and credit cards. replacing lot attendants and the unsecured honor boxes. A motorist who wishes to park in a beach lot will be able to purchase a ticket from a SchlumbergerSema unit located in the lot and display the ticket behind their windshield. To access a marina lot, the motorist will pay at the gated unit, providing them access to marina parking. Since the parking terminals have wireless communication capabilities, they are able to transmit every payment event to the SchlumbergerSema centrally managed “Parkfolio IT” platform, which then processes the data and redirects the relevant information back to LA County, in real time. This data management feature offers the county the ability to monitor the status of their equipment via the Web on a twenty-four-by-seven basis. SchlumbergerSema has an installed base of more than 5,000 units controlling approximately 150,000 spaces in cities across the United States and Canada.

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M/Chip 4.0

MasterCard unveiled a new version of its “M/Chip” payment application which is based closely on the global EMV specifications for smart cards. “M/Chip 4” implements a new EMV defined session key algorithm, benefiting card issuers that want a single authorization process regardless of application provider, while providing additional protection from differential power analysis attacks. “M/Chip 4” also has the ability to store the last ten transactions, including information such as: transaction amount, transaction currency, transaction date, the card’s cumulative transaction counter and whether the transaction was approved, declined or went online for authorization. It can also be used to decline off line transactions at specific merchants. “M/Chip 4” is available in two programs, “MasterCard M/Chip Lite” and “MasterCard M/Chip Select.” The M/Chip payment application was first introduced in 1998, and to-date more than 200 MasterCard members have either issued or are implementing chip based credit or debit cards in Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.

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