The popularity of debt cancellation contracts and debt suspension agreements among national bank credit card issuers since 1990 has prompted the OCC to issue a new regulation adding consumer protections and establishing safety and soundness standards to the product. The new rule, which takes effect next June, prohibits national banks from retaining a unilateral right to modify a DCC or DSA, unless either the modification is favorable to the customer and is made without additional charge, or the customer is notified of the modification and had a reasonable opportunity to cancel the contract before it takes effect. The new OCC rules also prohibit national banks from conditioning the availability of credit upon a customer’s purchase of a DCC or DSA and from engaging in misleading practices or using misleading advertising. The OCC says current disclosures required under the Truth in Lending Act are inadequate when it comes to the features of a DCC or DSA. Therefore the OCC will require banks to tell customers of the prohibition on tying; explain that a debt suspension agreement, if activated, does not cancel the debt, but only suspends requirements to make payments; disclose the amount of the fees charged; make customers aware of the option to pay in a lump sum or periodic installments; disclose their refund policy if the fee is paid in a single payment and added to the amount borrowed; and tell customers whether they would be barred from using the credit line if the DCC or DSA was activated. The OCC concluded in 1963 that DCCs were lawful products for national banks to offer, and, in 1990, a Federal appeals court upheld the OCC’s view that such products are banking products and not the business of insurance.


PDA Terminal

South Korean Oneclick Co, a manufacturer of handheld PDAs, has certified its “OCM 8000” wireless credit card terminal and PDA on Atomic Software’s “ecomPort” wireless payment gateway. The new terminal enables mobile U.S. merchants to accept and authorize credit card payments using any CDMA network. The new terminal includes a card reader, high speed thermal printer, 20 key keyboard, and a paper cutter on the printer. The “OCM 8000” is also a complete “Pocket PC” PDA and includes a large touch-screen display and PDA functions such as address book, to-do List, and date book. The device is also a WAP compliant web browser for Internet access with phone capability for voice calls.



Beijing-based China Construction Bank has awarded SchlumbergerSema a multi-million dollar contract for its “CardLinK” licensed systems and integrated services. The project is expected to be completed within the next few months, enabling CCB to launch its international credit card services by the end of this year. SchlumbergerSema says China’s 1.2 billion population and growing Gross Domestic Products of more than US$1 trillion creates a huge card market potential as it currently has less than one million true credit cards in use. The company has over 200 payment systems clients around the world and more than 100 of them are in Asia Pacific. SchlumbergerSema estimates that over 70% of cards in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand are processed using its modular solutions, which enable card-issuing/acquiring institutions to begin with basic systems of core modules that grow with their business needs. CCB has more than 20,000 branches across China.


Infilink IDeA

Atlanta-based Infilink Corporation launched “IDeA” (Instant Decision e-Application), a web- and PDA-accessible electronic application system for merchant acquirers which incorporates the unique underwriting guidelines of each client/user and validates the merchant prior to initiating the review and decisioning process. IDeA(TM) technology replaces the numerous documents that merchant applicants now most often complete by hand and deliver b mail or fax.


Valuetec Owners

TN-based Valutec Card Solutions has gone under new ownership by a private investor group and has named Tony Holcombe as CEO. Holcombe is the former President of Ceridian Employer Services. During his tenure as President and CEO of National Processing, he was involved in the development of the industry’s first stored value card technology for government applications. While serving as President of Comdata, Holcombe expanded the e-Cash payroll card to non-trucking industries, and acquired Stored Value Systems to expand Comdata’s market presence with major retailers. At Ceridian Corporation, he applied the stored value card system to expense reimbursement for Ceridian’s employees, and as a replacement for bank deposits or paper checks. The company has resell market agreements with five top credit card processors and fifteen top bankcard processors. Valutec Card Solutions is a financial transaction processing company providing third party full-service electronic stored value, gift and loyalty card services to the small and middle market.


USWD Vital Deal

Vital Processing Services has signed a reseller agreement with U.S. Wireless Data, Inc., the leader in wireless transaction delivery and gateway services for the payment processing industry. With this new agreement, Vital now offers the broadest range of geographic wireless coverage available in the market today, with its wireless payment services now available across 90 percent of the wireless coverage areas in the United States.

“Vital’s end-to-end suite of wireless transaction processing services enables our clients to penetrate the emerging mobile merchant market, said Denise Lewis, executive vice president of products and marketing for Vital. Lewis explained that previously the high cost of wireless, lack of broad geographic coverage and cumbersome merchant set-up processes slowed merchant acceptance of wireless payment processing. “Our partnership with U.S. Wireless Data has addressed all of these issues, ” Lewis added.

Vital’s wireless offering supports credit and offline and online debit transactions over the Lipman Nurit 3010 and the Thales Artema POS wireless terminals. Both terminals are Class A Certified to Vital’s processing network and are fully supported on Vital’s world-class 24 x 7 Merchant Help Desk. Additionally, Vital now offers USWD’s Synapse Adaptor((TM)) that acts as a “plug-and-play” tool to instantly convert a merchant’s in-store dial-up terminal into a wireless workstation.

Vital selected USWD as its partner because USWD’s Synapse(SM) platform has the broadest range of geographic coverage and wireless products and services available in today’s market. Vital’s Wireless Service will be delivered via Synapse over two wireless networks – CDPD and Motient. CDPD services are available from network providers Verizon, Alltel and AT&T.

“We are proud that Vital Processing Services is using our service and technology to build this important new offering,” said Dean M. Leavitt, chairman and CEO of U.S. Wireless Data. “This agreement is a clear validation of our Synapse platform by one of the driving forces in delivering innovative payments solutions.”

About U.S. Wireless Data

U.S. Wireless Data (OTC Bulletin Board: USWE) makes credit card and ATM transactions faster and more cost effective. USWD connects credit card processing companies to their merchant clients. Using wireless technology, USWD provides improved transport, data translation, and value-added processing. In addition, by enabling wireless point of sale terminals, USWD adds speed and mobility that have been unachievable in the past. USWD now activates the majority of wireless POS terminals in the marketplace each year through its Synapse platform and nationwide network. Further information is available at .

About Vital Processing Services

A leader in technology-based commerce enabling services, Vital Processing Services(R) (Vital(R)) is the commerce connection between acquirers and merchants, processing one out of every four authorized payment transactions in North America. From authorizing and capturing electronic payments at the merchant point of sale, to clearing and settling transactions, Vital provides highly reliable, integrated end-to-end processing services to more than 300 acquirers and over one million merchants. Vital processes all payment types for merchants of all sizes from a wide array of industries and provides merchants and acquirers with the information and tools to efficiently manage their payment processing businesses. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa U.S.A. and TSYS(R) (NYSE: TSS). Additional information regarding Vital can be found at .


Heartland & Ingenico

NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems has signed an agreement to resell Ingenico’s “Elite 510 EFT” terminal as well as the “eN-Crypt 100” PIN pad and “eN-Scribe 612” thermal printer. The Elite 510 features an EMV level 1 and 2 approved smart card reader, IP-addressable communications, standard 1 MB of memory, and bi-directional magnetic stripe reader, all integrated into a small light-weight package that provides superior investment protection.


LinkPoint 3000 & PocketMerchant

First Data this week unveiled the “LinkPoint 3000” terminal and the “PocketMerchant” wireless solution for ISOs to meet the needs of small to medium retail, business-to-business, mail order/telephone order, restaurant merchants and mobile merchants. The “LinkPoint 3000” terminal is part of FDC’s “Low Cost Complete Sales Solution” which also includes the “PrintPoint 3000” printer and the “BankPoint” PIN Pad. The solution also includes Ingenico’s “eN-Check 2500” check reader as a peripheral to enable split dial ECA. The solution delivers a full range of payment options including credit, debit, EBT, gift card services, loyalty, purchase card, TeleCheck “Guarantee” and ECA services. The compact electronic transaction product is capable of holding up to 200 transactions. FDC also announced the development of “PocketMerchant,” a wireless solution that allows merchants to use a mobile phone or Palm OS handheld as a POS terminal. The low cost solution was developed in conjunction with Aether Systems and is awaiting certification.



Precidia Technologies and InComm have teamed to offer U.S. merchants an IP-based solution for point-of-sale activated prepaid wireless air time cards. Using Precidia’s Internet Protocol access devices, InComm is able to connect merchants’ terminals to a LAN/WAN using TCP/IP, improving transaction times by 50% and reducing costs by eliminating the need to use other networks. InComm recently introduced Precidia’s “Ether232s” into Valero/Ultramar Diamond Shamrock locations. They plan to promote and implement the solution into other convenience stores over the next several months.