Katz Licenses

Ronald A. Katz Technology announced yesterday that JPMorgan Chase Bank has obtained a license under the Katz patent portfolio for financial services call processing, including customer service delivered through automated systems as well as the combination of automated systems and live agents. Katz holds 48 U.S. patents covering a wide range of interactive technology including automated forms of customer service, securities trading, merchandising, prepaid services, telephone conferences, registration, home shopping, as well as functions involved in securing information from databases by telephone, interactive cable transactions, and various other uses of toll free and local numbers. In May, Synovus, TSYS, and WI-Associated Banc-Corp signed deals to license Katz patents for financial services call processing. (CF Library 5/7/02; 5/13/02)

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TowerGroup UK

MA-based TowerGroup has appointed John Stone to the role of managing partner, International Advisory Services. In his new London-based position, Mr. Stone will oversee all TowerGroup consulting and advisory operations outside of North America. He will also oversee the ongoing business development efforts of TowerGroup managing director, EMEA, Ole Skjodstrup. The company also announced that Greggory Kobelski, who currently serves as managing director, will assume Mr. Stone’s former role as partner-in-charge, Consulting Services, North America.

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Wright Express & S2

Wright Express has selected S2 System’s “OpeN/2” platform and EFT application to replace its enterprise fleet authorization system. Wright Express will deploy S2’s next generation solution on Sun Microsystems Solaris Operating Environment, with DB2 resident on an OS390 mainframe, reflecting a growing industry preference for OpeN/2 as the future-proof enterprise payment solution for open systems environments.

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Non-PIN Rewards

Incentives to drive signature-based debit card transactions continue to pick up speed as Atlanta-based Enhancement Services Corporation introduced a check card reward programs offered through a transaction processor. The “Bonus Check Card” enables client institutions to offer their cardholders points for non-PIN check card transactions which can be redeemed for gift certificates and air travel. ESC provides a standardized program structure and list of rewards but allows participating financial institutions to create their own point values, program fees, and marketing materials. The new program will be offered through Fiserv EFT, the unit of Fiserv, Inc. that processes EFT transactions. ESC currently serves more than 40 financial institutions with credit and debit card reward programs. Earlier this week, PULSE EFT Association and MasterCard announced they will roll-out the “Signature Points” program for MasterCard debit cards this fall. The PULSE program also offers points for non-PIN transactions. The “Signature Points” can be redeemed for airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, merchandise and gift certificates at popular retailers. (CF Library 8/20/02)

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AUTHENTICATED PAYMENT SYSTEM

Athens-based Delta Singular has teamed with CardinalCommerce, Safe3w, and Worldwide Trust to provide issuer and merchant authentication software to card issuers and merchant acquirers throughout Europe. The CardinalCommerce and Safe3w products support the roll-out by banks and payment processors of technologies that authenticate online credit and debit card transactions. Their payment authentication software complies with both “Verified by Visa” and MasterCard’s “Secure Payment Application”. Delta Singular provides payment processing for more than 20 banks and 80,000 merchants. Delta’s issuing bank clients have over 2.5 million VISA and MasterCard accounts.

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CHIP & PIN

London-based Mosaic Software launched a new retail solution which enables retailers to support chip and PIN at the point-of-sale. “Postilion for Chip and PIN’ enables retailers to authorize transactions at the till even when the in-store systems are down. Non-financial cards can be used in bankcard authorization requests, allowing retailers to offer modern payment services such as mobile prepay top-up, staff discount and loyalty programs at the POS. Settlement cycles can be accelerated to receive acquiring bank payments earlier. The “Postilion for Chip and PIN” solution also guarantees cost-effective migration to support EMV Level I or Level II compliant chip card readers as well as secure PIN processing at the POS. eSocket.POS, an open Java-based component of the solution, is designed to operate on tills or the store servers within a network of integrated EPOS terminals. It communicates with Mosaic Software’s Postilion payment processing platform for the purposes of obtaining approval from the cardholder’s bank.

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BANKSYS LOYALTY

US-based Catuity has signed an agreement with Toronto-based KESM Transaction Solutions to be the exclusive provider of the loyalty application for Belgium-based Banksys terminals. The Banksys “C-ZAM/Smash” terminal is distributed in North America by BNA Smart Payment Systems, for which KESM also provides certified credit/debit applications. The Catuity loyalty application is expected to be installed along with payments on the multi-application terminal. KESM will act as the ASP, loading the Catuity loyalty application for deployment. Transactions and end of day reconciliation are performed with access to the Catuity loyalty application running on the KESM secure server. It marks the first such agreement for the Catuity application to be hosted by an Application Service Provider.

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Household Suits

Household’s recent restatement of net income since 1994 has produced shareholder lawsuits. The complaints allege that Household caused its stock to trade at artificially inflated levels through the issuance of false and misleading financial statements by, among other things, failing to properly amortize the Company’s co-branding agreements, and failing to record its expenses associated with its marketing initiatives. In addition, the lawsuits charge that Household improperly “re-aged” accounts, thereby concealing the Company’s actual delinquency ratios. Little Rock, AR-based Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, Bala Cynwyd, PA-based Schiffrin & Barroway, and San Diego-based Milberg Weiss filed the suits this week. Household revised its net income, over the past eight years, downward by a total of $386 million Household said the restatement is due to changes in its accounting policies in conjunction with Mastercard/VISA co-branding and affinity credit card relationships, and a credit card marketing agreement with a third party. The revisions were made after a recent review by its new auditors, KPMG LLP. For complete details on Household’s 2Q/02 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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I-WEATHVIEW BANKING

Duncan-based Island Savings Credit Union has completed its conversion to Fincentric’s “i-Wealthview Banking.” The new software provides Island Savings with core banking capabilities, integrated delivery channels and real-time, online transaction processing. “i-Wealthview Banking” provides a complete front-to-back office banking solution that supports its many delivery channels such as branch, ATM, POS, IVR and Internet. Based in British Columbia, Island Savings is one of the ten largest credit unions in BC and is the largest Vancouver Island-based credit union, serving over 30,000 members and managing assets of over CN$550 million.

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