YourTeller.com Acquired

Los Angeles-based American IDC Corp. has signed a LOI to acquire New York-based YourTeller.com, Inc. a debit MasterCard concern. With the merger, ACNI inherits the rights to all the “YourTeller” products. This is a fully developed, operational, and truly international payment processing platform for efficiently processing payments via the Internet in combination with both a virtual and physical universal acceptance card issued under the MasterCard brand name. The new management team of YourTeller.com will be spearheaded by Conrad Gunther and Robert Newson, who together headed up the development of the “YourTeller” products since inception.

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INNOVATION AWARDS

VeriFone this week announced the winners of the 2002 VeriFone Innovation Awards from Puerto Rico. The awards recognize innovative solutions implemented by VeriFone International Partners, customers, and members of VeriFone’s Developer Forum worldwide that add value to a merchant’s POS solution and generate new revenue opportunities for payment services providers. Among this year’s winners in Latin America and the Caribbean: APPI Tecnologia S.A.for electronic ordering and distribution via WAP technology; Hiper Peru for loan installment payments at the retail point of sale; IDEA C.O. Mexico for a pre-paid telecom solution; and Management Control Systems Ltd for a pre-paid cellular reload solution. In Europe, Computercentrum C. van de Velden B.V. wn an award for rapid certification for growth markets including Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland . In The Asia Pacific region winners were: Chia Hsin RMC Corporation for an EMV payment, smart card loyalty and couponing application; GHL Systems Sdn Bhd for a NetAccess network consolidation solution; China Sing Lee International Trading Ltd for security trading at the POS; and Remax International Inc for healthcare services authorization.

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Wurlitzer e-Port

Jukebox king Wurlitzer USA has inked a deal for USA Technologies’ e-Port unattended cashless payment systems. Wurlitzer will deploy the card-based payment system in its line of vending machines. e-Port will also give Wurlitzer vending machines networking capabilities. Most of the Wurlitzer vending machines are made to dispense products that are in the $2.00 to $10.00 price point. e-Port will enable Wurlitzer machines to conduct cashless transactions with the swipe of a credit or debit card and communicate daily sales activity, from all connected machines, over the Internet, back to the vending machine owner. USA also recently signed an agreement with MEI, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of M&M/Mars, for MEI to market USA Technologies’ credit card payment system and associated financial services to the vending industry.

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VBVSS IGNITED

BT Ignite has selected nCipher plc to provide its nForce Hardware Security Modules for BT’s Verified by Visa services in Europe. The HSMs, validated to the Federal Information Processing Standard, are a mandatory part of the Verified by Visa infrastructure. Visa chose BT Ignite to deliver the Verified by Visa Issuer Service service to European issuing banks, and the service went live on 8th May 2002. To-date the following companies have commited to VbV in Europe: Pago; Corner Banca; WorldPay; Oko Bank; Bibit; Luottokunta; Caisse d’Epargne; and Barclaycard Merchant Services.

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BA Lawsuit

American Express reportedly threatened to end its relationship with British Airways over a dispute in regard to discounted ticket payments. The beleaguered airline filed suit this week in New York to stop the AmEx action. British newspapers said two weeks ago BA stopped paying fees on corporate card transactions involving discounted fares in the UK to save cash. AmEx declared a breach of its merchant contract with BA and threatened to pull the plug on the entire BA account with thirty days. The newspapers suggested BA is looking to pay a flat minimum fee instead of a percentage for each airline ticket purchased. BA has been offering deeply discounted tickets to UK corporate travelers. Reportedly, more than 70% of major British companies use corporate AmEx cards for travel expenditures.

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CompuCredit Fraud Protection

CompuCredit has signed a deal to partner with Online Insight to offer fraud protection services to cardholders and has launched an interactive e-direct campaign this month, targeting over 100,000 of CompuCredit’s Aspire cardholders. The campaign will invite customers to select fraud protection products and services that match their unique preferences for features such as access to credit report and score, personal credit fraud alerts, protection from unsolicited marketing, credit education, and annual subscription fee.

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MedUnite & Eldorado

MedUnite Inc. and Phoenix-based Eldorado Computing, Inc. have signed a deal to assist Eldorado’s customers in reaching HIPAA compliance through real-time and batch electronic transactions such as payer claims processing, eligibility verification, claim status inquiry, and referrals and authorizations. The two companies will securely link and integrate their ASP data centers to provide Eldorado’s customers with a HIPAA-ready solution for processing healthcare transactions electronically. MedUnite’s EDI technology will be available to all existing and new Eldorado customers in a tightly integrated environment.

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Oasis CEO

Toronto-based Oasis Technology has named David Pasieka as president and CEO to replace CEO and co-founder Ashraf Dimitri, who has led Oasis since its inception in 1989. Pasieka brings more than 23 years of global operations, senior management and business development experience at several of Canada’s technology companies, including World Gaming PLC, AT&T Canada, MetroNet Communications Corporation, 724 Solutions Inc., and Bell Canada. Since January 2002, Pasieka has held the position of president for Cedarvue Partners, a consulting company focused on supporting early-stage technology companies.

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Card Cops

A tiny southern California firm has taken it upon itself to catch online credit card fraudsters. Two weeks ago, Cardcops.com launched a bogus Web site selling laptop computers. Within the first 12 hours the company received 16 orders using stolen credit cards totaling over $27,000. Cardcops.com says the orders came from foreign IP’s and had United States drops as shipping addresses. The firm has since shipped bogus orders to the shipping addresses to ID the culprits. The Secret Service is now investigating. The firm has conducted other sting operations and has found most of the fraudulent card activity coming from Indonesia, Romania, Turkey, and Bulgaria. Cardcops.com says merchants need to make the U.S citizens who are picking up the stolen merchandise so paranoid to go to the shipping address that “the foreign carders can’t find anyone foolish enough to be their mule.”

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Online Profits

Online sales to consumers has reached critical mass, and more e-retailers are now posting profits according to a new study released this morning. The report projects a 41% growth in online sales this year, hitting $72.1 billion. “The State of Retailing Online 5.0” annual study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group with market-sizing data supplied by Forrester Research, says shoppers spent $51.3 billion online in 2001, up 21% from the year before. Operating margins rose from a net loss of 15% in 2000 to a loss of 6% in 2001, with break-even expected this year. Catalog-based retailers continued to have the most success, with positive margins of 6%. Significant drivers of improved profitability in 2001 were increased consumer spending online and continued operational performance improvements in a variety of areas such as increased marketing efficiency, an increase in the number of repeat online buyers, and tighter expense control. Repeat buyers accounted for 53% of revenue in 2001, up from 40% in 2000. The study was sponsored by Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation.

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FUSA Signature

First USA has upgraded the co-branded Marriott Rewards VISA program to the VISA Signature level. The move follows last year’s decision to upgrade the United Airlines Mileage Plus VISA program to the elite VISA card. The new Marriott Rewards VISA Signature card offers unlimited point-earning capabilities and the ability to exceed to the pre-assigned credit limit based on payment capacity. Other benefits include: 24-hour concierge service; Up to $1 million in travel accident insurance; and up to $300 in trip delay insurance. New cardholders will also earn 10,000 bonus Marriott Rewards points when making their first purchase with the new card. FUSA notes that it is not changing the annual fee or interest rates on existing accounts. (CF Library 11/29/01)

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Retail Pro & Paymentech

Paymentech will provide payment processing for Retail Technologies International and its flagship product Retail Pro, which is used in more than 22,000 stores and 60 countries. Retail Pro will enable transaction data to be automatically written into the Retail Pro database. There is no need to enter data twice and everything is done automatically. Paymentech processed approximately 3.7 billion total transactions and $114 billion in bankcard sales volume in 2001.

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