SMART CARD TESTER

Lille-based MICROPROSS has created terminal emulator to test electrical and protocol parameters for smart cards. The new “MICROPROSS 3290” is part of the company’s “STAR” range, launched in 1997. Compliant with the standards (ISO 7816, EMV, 3GPP TS11.11), it may be adapted to non-standard smart cards. Perturbations can be added to check the card against unaccustomed conditions (forced parity errors, change of any signal at any moment, allowing glitches on clock for example, all timings from the standard can be modified, ETU width adjustable, protocol level perturbations). For smart card validation, test scenarios require reproducibility, which is one of the main features of this tester, included 1.8v smart cards. The test functions include open / short test, dynamic ICC measurement, current and voltage measurement on any contact and many more.

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PayPals

eBay officially completed its acquisition of PayPal yesterday in a deal valued at $1.5 billion. The transaction was approved Thursday by the holders of approximately 65% of the outstanding shares of PayPal common stock. PayPal will continue to operate as an independent brand. eBay’s current payment service, eBay Payments by Billpoint, will complete the phase-out of its operations in the first half of 2003. PayPal’s gaming business will be phased out by the end of 2002. Following the completion of the merger, PayPal’s CEO Peter Thiel resigned and Matt Bannick was named eBay’s SVP of global online payments, assuming all of Thiel’s responsibilities. For the full year 2003, eBay currently expects that net revenues for the new Payments segment, which includes PayPal, will be approximately $300 to $310 million. As of October 1, PayPal had 20 million member accounts, including 3.7 million business accounts. For complete details on PayPal’s prior performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Sunoco & TeleCheck

Sunoco has deployed TeleCheck Services’ “Electronic Check Acceptance” service and “Eclipse” payment terminals in 110 Sunoco APlus convenience stores with the plan to expand to more of its nearly 1,000 convenience stores. The ECA service converts a customer’s paper check into an electronic item at the point of sale and delivers funds directly to the merchant’s account in about two business days.

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Web ACTION Payments

NACHA announced yesterday it is moving into its next phase of a project to build and test a bank-centric Internet payment system developed by participating members of “Project ACTION.” A key feature of “ACTION” is that a consumer or a business would initiate a payment on the Internet via its own financial institution, instead of providing financial information to a merchant or biller and authorizing a debit to its account. This is also known as a “credit-push” payment model. Account numbers would not be provided to Internet merchants or billers, but instead would remain with their financial institutions. Internet merchants and billers would benefit by receiving real-time payment guarantees and receiving payment by an irrevocable ACH credit. The group estimates the Web payment system could produce new banking industry revenue of $1 billion in its 5th year of operation from Internet payment and authentication products and services. In the new phase underway, NACHA plans to form a limited liability corporation, recruit financial institution owners of the corporation, issue a request for proposals, build the “ACTION” infrastructure, and conduct live transactions.

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Hyatt & MasterCard

Hyatt Corporation has re-launched its “Faster Free Nights” promotion in partnership with MasterCard offering “Hyatt Gold Passport” unlimited free nights between now and February 28, whenever guests pay for their stay with a MasterCard. There is no limit to the number of free nights that members can earn. Free nights can be redeemed easily at any participating Hyatt worldwide. Awards are available electronically (on-line) and are paperless.

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Home Depot & GSA

Home Depot has rescinded its policy not to process purchases connected with the U.S. Government, including those made with GSA payment cards. In June, Home Depot issued a notice to its store managers telling them to turn away federal government purchases as it could make Home Depot responsible for compliance with federal laws involving discrimination and affirmative action. This week, Home Depot announced it is revoking its long-standing policy to accept all purchases from the U.S. Federal Government, and from federal contractors and sub-contractors, effective immediately. The June memo created a wave of negative publicity for the specialty retailer. Founded in 1978, The Home Depot operates more than 1,400 stores in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. (CF Library 6/20/02)

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Concord Offers CHARGE ANYwhere

Concord EFS has certified Comstar Interactive Corp.’s “CHARGE ANYwhere” wireless credit card solution and will distribute the solution through its direct and ISO channels. CHARGE ANYwhere combines a compact card swipe device with an innovative, customizable Web-based transaction database and reporting system with other wireless features such as check authorization, two-way messaging and e-mail access capabilities for hundreds of dollars less than other companies charge just for mobile terminals.

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Eufora Card

A group of Arizona entrepreneurs are launching this week one of the most innovative credit card programs to come down the pike in at least a decade. The new “Eufora MasterCard” creates an incremental income opportunity for cardholders through an agent referral fee program. The new card offers three levels of membership: “Associate” ($29.95), “Preferred” ($59.95), and “Elite” ($99.95), each with its own distinct set of member benefits. Eufora cardholders can earn $200, $500, or $900 per year respectively, for every 10 approved new cardholders they refer. Cardholders continue to earn annual income for as long as they and their referrals remain in good standing. Start-up referral kits are provided free to approved new cardholders and additional marketing materials can be purchased online. For cardholders who own or operate Web sites, the Eufora Card offers a variety of free banner ads to help with marketing efforts. The card is available as a credit card or, to sub-prime consumers, as a prepaid card. Unsecured credit lines are issued up to $20,000, with an intro APR of 1.9% for five billing cycles, and a rate of 9.99% thereafter. Eufora is also offering a “Monthly New Car Sweepstakes” for its cardholders.

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Sears Charge

After receiving guidance from the SEC, Sears moved its after-tax charge of $191 million to the second quarter while raising its first quarter net income by the same amount. Sears previously announced it changed its method of determining its allowance for uncollectible accounts. The company initially recorded the charge as a cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle as of the beginning of 2002. After further interpretive guidance from the SEC, Sears has amended its filings to report the effect of the refinement in the allowance methodology as a change in estimate instead of a change in accounting principle. The effect of the above on the company’s results is to increase reported first quarter 2002 net income by $191 million and to reduce second quarter 2002 reported net income by the same amount. Sears Card outstandings at the end of the second quarter were $20.1 billion while Sears MasterCard receivables were $7.5 billion, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 7/19/02)

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

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Lender Identity Suit

A judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted the motion to dismiss filed by ACE and Goleta National Bank in a lawsuit where the plaintiff alleged that GNB’s loans were made by ACE rather than GNB, and were therefore made in violation of Indiana law. TX-based ACE, a check cashing concern, specializes in short-term loans such as pay-day loans. The firm has an agent relationship with GNB. The judge said that after reviewing the plaintiff’s complaint and her loan documents, that GNB was the lender and that Section 85 of the National Bank Act, not Indiana law, regulated the permitted interest on GNB’s loan to the plaintiff. The decision is the first one to specifically address the issue of the lender of the GNB loans and the federal preemption of state law regarding those loans. ACE has a total network of 1,191 stores, consisting of 1,003 company-owned stores and 188 franchised stores in 35 states.

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