PSCU

FL-based Payment Systems for Credit Unions announced this morning it is changing its name to PSCU Financial Services, Inc. The name change is part of a strategic realignment that the company launched in May 2001 to meet significant expected growth, particularly in its western United States operations and in its e-commerce business. As part of that realignment, the company is opening a new service center in Phoenix, Arizona, after consolidating four smaller regional offices. Many of the employees in the affected offices have stayed with the company. PSCU was founded in 1977 by five Tampa Bay-area credit unions. Over time, the cooperative grew to 500 member-owner U.S. credit unions, and today is the nation’s largest Credit Union Service Organization. PSCU processes transactions for more than 6.5 million credit and debit cardholder accounts. Since last year, the company has begun offering Portfolio Solutions to credit unions that choose to sell their credit card portfolios and has re-engineered its Collection Solutions to increase collections on behalf of member-owners. The company also began a proactive credit line increase program offered through the company’s Contact Center, and introduced PSCU University, which offers training to CEOs and other financial service professionals on a variety of topics.

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Providian CIO

Providian has hired James Saber to serve as Providian’s Chief Information Officer beginning July 15th. Saber comes to Providian from American Express Company in New York, where he was most recently responsible for Consumer and Small Business Service Technologies. Prior to that, Saber spent seven years at Bankers Trust Company in a variety of technology roles, including overseeing the development of several software systems. Before that, he held several managerial positions at American Express Bank, Ltd.

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Fleet Tackles Financial Literacy

Fleet Education Financing, a division of FleetBoston, has launched its “Bet the Bank – The Mastering Money Management Game” which teaches college-bound high school students the basic money management including establishing and protecting credit, and managing charge card debt. Because the game is aimed at high school students considering college, information regarding the sources and types of financial aid available to college students and their parents is presented, including valuable information about grants, scholarships, educational loans and college work-study. Fleet staff, many of whom were directly involved in developing “Bet the Bank,” personally conducted the initial public airings of the game. The first camp was held July 6-7 at the University of Indiana. The second will be held July 13-16, at Purdue University in Indianapolis. More than 500 kids are expected to attend. Additional camps are being scheduled.

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ISCAN

Seven smart card association have joined together to create the International Smart Card Associations Network. The ISCAN founding Charter will be formally signed by all during CARTES, on November 4th in Paris. Eurosmart, the Brussels-based smart card association, initiated in CARTES 2001 the first informal joint meeting with other smart card associations where it was decided to set up new methods of cooperation between them. The representatives of the associations emphasized the necessity for a close and permanent exchange of views and results between national and regional associations. Hosted by CTST, the second meeting held on April 22nd in New Orleans, gathered seven main smart card associations: Eurosmart, Smart Card Alliance, ACT Canada, Smart Card Society of Southern Africa, Smart Card Forum of India, AFPC & Global Platform. Their representatives decided to strengthen this cooperation by launching a network: International Smart Card Associations Network. ISCAN will be a non-profit international group open to all smart card associations.

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NTRU Neo for Java

MA-based NTRU has released “NTRU Neo for Java,” the first security system designed for all wireless Java devices and applications. NTRU Neo for Java allows developers to: Build secure applications that run on all wireless devices, even low cost mass-market phones; Substantially increase the speed and responsiveness of Java applications, making them more compelling to users; Increase speed and reduce bandwidth consumption for code downloads. The major handset manufacturers have announced plans to include Java in every wireless phone; NTRU’s security enables development and deployment of secured wireless applications and services for the hundreds of millions of Java- equipped handsets that will ship in the next two years.

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Fleet COO

Fleet Credit Card Services has named Richard Campbell, formerly of Bank of America and Federated Stores, as chief operations officer. Previously, Campbell spent ten years at Citibank’s credit card division and eleven years at American Express in a variety of positions of increasing responsibility in credit, customer service and operations. Campbell will report directly to Patrick J. Coll, chairman and chief executive officer, and is responsible for back-office operations, customer service and collections.

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BLOOD CARD

SmartSensor telemed Ltd has developed a smart card that will allow patients to perform blood tests at home. In the future, the smart card technology could even be used to test for prostate cancer or osteoporosis. Under the Smartsensor system, the patient carries out a test at home with the credit card-sized device. A microchip records the result and can then be removed and sent off for testing, removing the need to send blood in the post. The test results could then be entered directly to a patient’s electronic record.

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Over-limit Fees

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has issued an amended ruling that over-limit fees must be considered finance charges. In a 2-1 ruling, the court found that over-limit fees fall squarely within the statutory definition of a finance charge, “without ambiguity.” The decision came in a lawsuit filed by Sharon Pfennig against MBNA and Household. The court ruled in April that over-limit fees were finance charges, but re-issued a slightly different opinion this week that reaffirmed its position, which contradicts Federal Reserve Board regulations. The appeals court reconsidered the issue after requests for a rehearing were made by MBNA, Household, the Federal Reserve Board, and other credit card industry groups. The Pfennig lawsuit has also been cleared for class-action status. The lawsuit involved a Household credit card account which was later sold to MBNA.

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NECTAR

London-based Loyalty Management UK announced it has received a major investment for the upcoming launch of a new consumer loyalty program. Warburg Pincus has agreed to put up US$40 million in equity financing for LMUK’s “Nectar” program. Sainsbury’s, Barclaycard, BP, and Debenhams have joined with LMUK to create Nectar, which will launch in the fourth quarter. The program will offer consumers the ability to collect points from more than 1,800 Sainsbury’s, Debenhams and BP outlets and with all Barclaycard purchases. Points collected in the Nectar programme will be exchangeable for a wide range of rewards like grocery discounts, consumer goods, flights, holidays, restaurant meals, family days out and cinema tickets. Nectar will target the more than 12 million consumers who are members of points and rewards programmes currently operated by the four partners.

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Qxpress 200 Patents

UT-based Q Comm International announced it has several patents pending before the United States Patent and Trademark Office covering its Qxpress 200 POS technology. Features of their terminals include a Media Display which reads like an electronic billboard that consumers view at the checkout counter during purchases. The company has also built in the capability to handle unique account numbers. In concert with the real-time, host-to-host communications, this feature enables the system to perform real-time account crediting or recharge. The system also offers the capability to accept unique payment amounts–it can handle any amount up to two digits right of the decimal place.

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ISCAN

Seven smart card associations have joined together to create the International Smart Card Associations Network. The ISCAN founding Charter will be formally signed by all during CARTES, on November 4th in Paris. Eurosmart, the Brussel-based smart card association, initiated in CARTES 2001 the first informal joint meeting with other smart card associations where it was decided to set up new methods of cooperation between them. The representatives of the associations emphasized the necessity for a close and permanent exchange of views and results between national and regional associations. Hosted by CTST, the second meeting held on April 22nd in New Orleans, gathered seven main smart card associations: Eurosmart, Smart Card Alliance, ACT Canada, Smart Card Society of Southern Africa, Smart Card Forum of India, AFPC & Global Platform. Their representatives decided to strengthen this cooperation by launching a network: International Smart Card Associations Network. ISCAN will be a non-profit international group open to all smart card associations.

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