FDR Signs Dunlap

Global payments leader First Data Corp. announced that its card issuing services subsidiary, First Data Resources, has signed a five-year agreement to process retail private-label cards for The Dunlap Company, a Fort Worth-based department store chain. Under the agreement, First Data will provide a full range of transaction processing and portfolio management services, including call center support, for The Dunlap Company.

“As First Data continues to expand our retail presence, we look forward to working with The Dunlap Company,” said Eula L. Adams, senior executive vice president and head of worldwide card operations for First Data. “We’re pleased that The Dunlap Company recognizes the competitive edge that First Data provides to help retailers build customer loyalty and increase profits.” The Dunlap Company, which also receives merchant processing services through First Data Merchant Services, has more than 50 stores nationwide.

“We selected First Data because of their commitment to the retail industry and the strong retail-specific functionality they offer,” said Eddie Martin, executive vice president of The Dunlap Company. “First Data’s business solutions will help Dunlap’s centralize operations and deliver robust credit options for our customers.”

About The Dunlap Company

Headquartered in Ft. Worth, Texas, The Dunlap Company is a specialty department store chain with over 50 locations throughout Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. The Dunlap Company’s department stores operate under the name Dunlaps and 16 other names.

About First Data

First Data Resources, the card issuing services subsidiary of First Data Corp., processes for 312 million accounts on file around the world. First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), with global headquarters in Denver, powers the global economy. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data serves approximately 2.8 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. With 29,000 employees worldwide, the company provides credit, debit, smart card and stored-value card issuing and merchant transaction processing services; Internet commerce solutions; Western Union® money transfers and money orders; and check processing and verification services throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Germany. Its money transfer agent network includes approximately 120,000 locations in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [www.firstdata.com][1].

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

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Chilean Navy MasterCard

MasterCard International and Banco Edwards del Banco de Chile announced that the Chilean Naval training ship Buque Esquela Esmeralda successfully utilized MasterCard Corporate cards issued in Santiago, Chile to finance their seven-month voyage through the Asia/ Pacific region. The ship’s officers accessed funds in various ports in Peru, Mexico, Japan, Korea, People’s Republic of China, Australia, Hawaii and New Zealand. In the past, the Esmeralda had to operate as its own bank. The MasterCard Corporate cards issued to the naval ship’s top officers enabled them to access funds at various ports to pay wages and payroll for the crew as well as purchasing supplies, fuel and other requirements during the journey.

For details on this story visit The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com][1]).

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

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CreditCards.com

Boston-based marketing firm DealJam LLC announced this week it has acquired 1-800-CREDITCARDS and has launched the Creditcards.com Web site in conjunction with FL-based sub-prime MasterCard issuer Net First Bank. The Web site, which launched February 1st without editorial content, is a collection of banner ads representing 60 credit related products. Deal Jam specializes in acquiring/marketing domain names and has been pitching its creditcards.com domain name to industry players for the past year. The company, led by Andrew Miller and Peter Hubshman, also provides direct sales and marketing as well as product distribution to its affiliates and clients through partnerships and strategic alliances which utilize direct email, online marketing, direct mail, telemarketing, as well as direct response television. The firm launched Marketvision Direct in 1995. The company is also involved with Airline Promotions, Inc., and owns and operates moviegoods.com. DealJam is also a partner with shop.com and college.com. The firm said this week it is preparing to implement its proprietary search engine placement technology to achieve a higher placement among on Internet search engines for its new credit card site. Net First National Bank charges consumers a one-time reservation fee, up to $500, which fully utilizes the credit limit of its sub-prime MasterCard. Cardholders create available credit on their accounts by making payments on the balance. There is also a $99 processing fee to establish the account, a $96 annual membership fee billed monthly to the account, and a zero interest rate on the outstanding balance. The card is issued with no credit check on the applicant. (CF Library 11/8/01)

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VODAFONE I-PIN

Vodafone UK, part of the
world’s largest mobile community, announced that it has selected iPIN, the
premier provider of e-Payment technology, to provide a payment platform for
its
new Vodafone m-pay bill service. iPIN’s e-Payment platform will enable
Vodafone
UK subscribers to make online purchases safely and securely over the Internet
or WAP. Vodafone’s m-pay bill will be available next month.

Using the new service, Vodafone UK subscribers will be able to charge low
value
digital content to their mobile phone accounts from companies offering
Vodafone
m-pay bill as a payment mechanism.

The iPIN solution is used for end-to-end electronic payments, managing the
transaction from the consumer payment to the clearing and settlement and
customer care. The application will incorporate several iPIN e-Payment
business
rules and security features, including delegation of authentication and single
sign-on guidelines as well as content-based authorization rules. iPIN’s
technology is also device agnostic, so that the service can be accessed via
Web
or WAP channels as well as other interfaces such as SMS and IVR. The
benefit to
consumers is that the XML based user interface (UI) gives consumers a
consistent look and feel when making purchases in different environments.
“With additional market segments coming online, and a growing consumer base
accessing the Internet and the wireless Internet and paying with their mobile
phones, Vodafone m-pay bill will enable those new consumers and the already
m-commerce savvy groups to pay for digital content safely and securely, in a
user-friendly environment,” said Alexandre Gonthier, CTO of iPIN.

About iPIN

iPIN (www.ipin.com) is a leading provider of e-Payment
software. iPIN’s
e-Payment software offers convenience and security to consumers as they make
Web and wireless purchases. Capitalizing upon the established infrastructure
that processes credit and debit card payments, iPIN complements existing
payment card channels by providing a wider selection of e-Payment options.
With
iPIN, payments can be made through bank accounts, stored value accounts, and
wireless bills using devices such as cellular phones, computers, smart cards,
and automotive transponders. iPIN’s products have been implemented
worldwide by
financial institutions, telecommunications operators, automotive OEMs, and
ISPs
who want to drive additional revenues and become more involved with their
consumers as they make purchases beyond the existing customer or billing
relationship. iPIN customers include British Telecom, Hong Kong and Shanghai
Banking Corporation Limited, and France Telecom among others.

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Volume Cranks Down

It’s no surprise that credit card charge volume dropped sharply last year, especially following the 9/11 attacks. Among the top ten U.S. issuers, volume was up a mere 7.9%, compared to 13.2% for 2000. American Express posted its worst year for volume growth in a decade. During 1991, AmEx volume declined 1.2% in the face of a full blown recession. Last year, AmEx volume inched up by only 1.4%, compared to an 18.8% gain in 2000, and a 12.6% gain in 1999, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). The AmEx gain is remarkable given the collapse of corporate spending in the first half of 2001, and the collapse of travel spending in the second half of last year. Bank One/First USA was also impacted last year, posting a 1.4% decline in charge volume. Above average attrition and weak travel sales were to blame. Meanwhile, Capital One lead the top ten with a 35% jump in charge volume. However, if international volume is discounted, Cap One’s volume was up an estimated 20%. Chase was the surprising runner-up, with an 18.5% volume growth rate. For the first time in the industry’s history, charge volume topped $1 trillion among the top ten issuers.

ISSUER 2001 VOL 2000 VOL CHANGE
1. American Express $ 224.6b $221.6b + 1.4%
2. Citibank $ 218.5b* $195.5b* + 11.8%
3. MBNA $ 142.3b* $125.7b* +13.21%
4. First USA $ 140.4b $142.4b – 1.4%
5. Discover $ 93.3b* $ 90.1b* + 3.6%
6. Chase $ 71.9b $ 60.7b + 18.5%
7. Capital One $ 50.6b* $ 37.5b* + 34.9%
8. Bank of America $ 48.9b $ 45.4b + 7.7%
9. Household $ 34.9b $ 33.0b + 5.8%
10. Providian $ 30.5b $ 26.3b + 16.0%
TOTAL $ 1055.9b $978.2b
+ 7.9%
* Citibank includes data from Canada and Mexico; Capital One may include some
international data; MBNA includes international; Discover data as of 11/30/01;
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com) RAM Research Group’s Bankcard Barometer

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Block Terminals

The single largest rollout of check conversion technology ever is underway as H&R Block deploys VeriFone ‘Omni 3200’ terminals and ‘CR 600 MICR’ check readers to most of their 10,400 offices, using NPC as the acquirer. Currently, over 5,000 terminals have been installed in the corporate offices, with additional terminals to be installed on an ongoing basis. The installation will enable H&R Block to offer the credit card option to all their customers, including services such as tax preparation fees, mortgage origination, debt consolidation, and financial planning. H&R Block also recently doubled its number of check cashing machines. ACE Cash Express installed 100 automated self-service machines in select Block offices in 21 states. The machines enable Block clients to cash their tax refund checks in most instances in less than one minute. (CF Library 1/18/02)

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USWD 4Q/01

U.S. Wireless Data reported revenue of $2.3 million for the quarter ending 12/31/01, compared to $300,000 for the same period one year ago. The company also reported a net loss of $3.3 million for the quarter compared to a net loss of $3.5 million for the prior-year’s quarter. During the quarter, Pepsi-Cola North America selected USWD’s ‘Synapse’ technology to enable its vending machines to accept credit cards as well as to transmit real-time telemetric information about the operational status of the machines to bottlers and third party operators. The system is currently being operated on a test basis with approximately 200 machines in Memphis. For complete details on USWD’s latest earnings report visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Canadian Sub-Prime

While U.S. sub-prime issuers are struggling with sharp losses, Canada’s Home Capital Group is predicting its first profitable year for its new ‘Home Trust VISA’ card. During 2001, the Canadian sub-prime credit card program grew ten fold. However the company is abandoning its unsecured sub-prime VISA card in favor of its secured VISA program. Home Trust Company’s original strategy was to provide a credit card to the under served credit challenged market in Canada, which would include both secured and unsecured products. Through ongoing testing and behavior analysis in the marketplace, Home Trust says it has identified the consumer need for the secured product and is now focusing on this product. At year-end 2001, Home Trust had 21,935 cardholder accounts compared to 2,060 at the end of 2000. Receivables have grown from $339,210 in 2000 to $11,404,992 last year, according to RAM Research Group ([www.ramresearch.com][1]).

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

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TSAI Sells Regency

Transaction Systems Architects, Inc., a leading global provider of enterprise e-payments and e-commerce software, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell Regency Systems, Inc. to S1 Corporation.

Regency specializes in telephone and internet banking applications for community banks and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. “While we like the prospects for Regency over the coming years, we did not see much synergy with TSA’s mainline business, which is concentrated in the largest financial institutions, retailers and processors around the world,” said Jeffrey S. Hale, TSA Senior Vice President. “Regency’s footprint in the community banking market will fit nicely with the position already enjoyed by S1 in that market. We would like to thank the Regency team for their contributions over the past few years, and feel confident that they will become a vibrant part of S1’s community banking line of business.”

The transaction is expected to close during TSA’s second fiscal quarter. The company will update its revenue and earnings guidance once the transaction closes.

About TSA

Transaction Systems Architects’ software facilitates electronic payments by providing consumers and companies access to their money. Its products are used to process transactions involving credit cards, debit cards, secure electronic commerce, mobile commerce, smart cards, secure electronic document delivery and payment, checks, high-value money transfers, bulk payment clearing and settlement, and enterprise e-infrastructure. Transaction Systems Architects’ solutions are used on more than 3,700 product systems in 81 countries on six continents.

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Spam Attack

They arrive unexpectedly by e-mail: chances to earn easy money in a short period of time by following a simple program. They’re intriguing. They’re inviting. They’re illegal. Now, the Federal Trade Commission is launching a three-point program to crack down on deceptive spam.”Almost everyone with an e-mail account gets spam,” said Timothy J. Muris, Chairman of the FTC. “It’s intrusive, unwelcome, and annoying. Deceptive junk e-mail is also illegal. We want to send a message today: we’re going after deceptive spam and the people who send it. We want it off the Net.”Seven defendants caught in an FTC sting operation have agreed to settle charges that they were spamming consumers with deceptive chain letters. The letters were slightly changed variations on the same message. They promised “$46,000 or more in the next 90 days,” or similar extravagant amounts to recipients who were to send $5.00 in cash to each of four or five participants at the top of the list.

The letters instructed new recruits to place their own name and address at the top of the list and remove the name on the bottom. In return for the $5.00 payment, recruits received “reports” providing instructions about how to start their own chain letter schemes and recruit tens of thousands of others via spam.”This chain letter deceptively claims the program is legal and urges recruits who question its legitimacy to contact the FTC’s Associate Director for Marketing Practices. Well, I am the Associate Director for Marketing Practices,” said Eileen Harrington, “and these chain letters are illegal.”In September 2000, the FTC sent letters to 1,000 spammers, warning them that their chain letter spam scheme was illegal and instructing them to stop promoting their chain letters, to return any money they had received by participating in the program, and to forward a copy of the FTC’s warning letter to everyone they had spammed. In October 2001, the FTC searched online newsgroups and the agency’s junk e-mail database looking for the chain letter scam. They found more than 2,000 participants in the chain letter from almost 60 countries around the world. Using undercover post office boxes and e-mail accounts, FTC investigators and paralegals sent the requisite $5.00 fee to individuals who had previously been warned, but who appeared to be continuing in the scheme. Those who responded by sending the undercover FTC employees the “report” demonstrated that despite the FTC warning letter, they continued to participate in the illegal chain letter spam.The stipulated final judgments and orders for permanent injunction bar all the defendants from promoting, marketing, advertising, offering for sale, selling, or assisting others in any Ponzi scheme, chain marketing scheme, or other prohibited marketing schemes. They bar misrepresentations about the potential earnings, income, benefits, amount of sales, incentives, profits, or rewards derived from any marketing scheme. They also bar misrepresentations about the legality of any program. The settlements bar the defendants from providing others with the means and instrumentalities to make false or misleading statements and bar them from selling or sharing lists of their recruits. In addition, the defendants must return any money they receive in the future from this scheme. The settlements all contain record-keeping requirements to allow the Commission to monitor compliance.In addition to the settlements, the FTC announced that today it will mail warning letters to more than 2,000 individuals who are still running this chain letter scheme. The addresses were culled from the FTC’s unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE) database. Consumers currently send spam to the agency at a rate of approximately 15,000 e-mails a day using the agency’s database address, uce@ftc.gov. The FTC has collected more than eight million spam messages since 1998.Finally, the agency will launch a public/private education effort in conjunction with various Internet Service Provider (ISP) associations, including the Washington Association of ISPs, ( [www.waisp.org][1]) and the Texas ISP Association, ( [www.tispa.org][2]). The Texas Association’s 250 members and Washington Association’s 30 members will publicize and disseminate consumer education materials developed by the FTC to warn consumers about illegal chain mail schemes. Two brochures, “What You Need to Know About Chain E-Mails and Letters,” and “The Lowdown on Chain Letters,” are located on a special FTC Web site at . The FTC materials tell consumers ·Chain letters that involve money or valuable items and promise big returns are illegal. If you start a chain e-mail or letter or send one on, you are breaking the law. ·Chances are you will receive little or no money back on your “investment.” Despite the claims, a chain letter will never make you rich. ·Some chain letters try to win your confidence by claiming that they’re legal, or even that they’re endorsed by the government. Nothing is further from the truth. ·If you’ve been a target of a chain e-mail scam, contact your ISP and forward the e-mail to the FTC at: ·uce@ftc.gov Defendants in the FTC cases are:Paul K. Boivin, also known as Paul Bowen, Paul Boevien, Paul Bowvien, and Paul Brown; doing business as (DBA) Destiny 1999, Destiny 2000, and Destiny 2001. The defendant is based in Clearwater, Florida and the case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.Chad Estenson and Megan Estenson, DBA CMJ Enterprises and Rockin’ E Marketing. The defendants are based in Warwick, North Dakota, and the case was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota.Fernando Pacheco, also known as Frank Pacheco, DBA E-Solutions and E-Solutions 101. The defendant is based in North Providence, Rhode Island and the case was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island.Arnold W. Larsen, also known as Arnold Larson.

The defendant is based in Sarasota, Florida, and the case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.John Lutheran. The defendant is based in San Diego, California. The case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.Dario Va. The defendant is based in Weston, Florida. The case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.The FTC vote to approve the complaints and stipulated final judgments and orders was 5-0.

[1]: http://www.waisp.org/
[2]: http://www.tispa.org/

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SCHLUMBERGER-SEMA AWARD

SchlumbergerSema, a business segment of
Schlumberger Limited, was commended in the IT category at the Management
Consultancies Association Best Management Practice annual award
ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 6, for its IT consulting project at Diageo.
SchlumbergerSema was also runner-up in the e-business category for its work
with BT Group to develop BT’s e-presence.

“Winning these two awards is proof of the expertise and experience that
SchlumbergerSema Consulting has in delivering measurable benefits and
improvements in performance to its clients,” said Alan Russell, head of
Consulting at SchlumbergerSema.

MCA represents the leading United Kingdom-based consulting firms, which
currently employ over 20,000 consultants. This year the judging panel for
the MCA awards consisted of Tony Smith, MCA president and MD of Kurt Salmon
Associates; Lord Warner of Brockley, Chair of the Youth Justice Board; Lynne
Peacock, CEO of Woolwich plc; Leo Murray, Director of Cranfield School of
Management; and Simon Caulkin, Management Editor of The Observer.

Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company, appointed
SchlumbergerSema to provide consulting expertise to create an integrated
Information Systems (IS) capability following the merger of Guinness and
United Distillers and Vintners. Completed in a very tight timeframe, the
joint integration program was a clear success with one result being that
employees of Guinness UDV can now connect to local and global resources from
any Guinness UDV location, regardless of which company they worked for
previously. They can also utilize local technical support when away from
base location. Pilot phases for single messaging services are currently
being conducted in Holland and North America.

“Our integration program consisted of several large and challenging
projects,” said Geoff Thirlwall, director of IS global services at Diageo.
“SchlumbergerSema provided senior project management resources to head each
project and the overall program. The project management skills and focus
has contributed significantly to the seamless integration of the two Diageo
businesses.”

To ensure successful project delivery and overcome the integration
challenges, such as widely different working styles across the global
company, SchlumbergerSema and Diageo worked together to develop an IS
strategy. This included innovative use of change and program management and
the development of an integrated communication strategy in support of single
messaging project.

For BT Group’s Web site, SchlumbergerSema provided consulting services to
rapidly develop BT’s e-presence. The Web site has now been transformed into
a customer-led e-channel focused on sales, service and personalized customer
interaction, operating in an environment of accelerating delivery and
continuous improvement. Since the launch in September 1999, the site has
amassed in excess of two million registered users, receives over 10 million
hits per day and is the United Kingdom’s third largest ‘clicks-and-mortar’
site. (Nielsen Netratings).

“SchlumbergerSema has set the theme for continuous improvement and
innovation throughout the program, working with BT.com at all levels from
the management team to the project delivery groups,” said Kevin Clarke,
BT.com program director. “SchlumbergerSema proposed a number of initiatives
that were both innovative and forward thinking, and are currently being
evaluated as value-add propositions. The capability of SchlumbergerSema to
appreciate our business, share our goals and respond proactively has been a
major factor in our success to date.”

Leading and working in a wide range of key roles within the program,
SchlumbergerSema consultants shaped and influenced strategic thinking in a
number of areas, including use of new technologies, approaches and business
models, personalization and accessibility. Furthermore, through working with
the different businesses on requirements and suggesting new propositions,
SchlumbergerSema challenged existing business models and helped to add
commercial robustness to the overall approach.

About SchlumbergerSema

SchlumbergerSema is a leading information technology services company
providing consulting, systems integration, managed services and products to
the telecommunications, energy and utilities, finance, transport and public
sector markets. With more than 30,000 employees serving customers in 65
countries, SchlumbergerSema is one of two business segments of Schlumberger
Limited, a global technology services company.
For more information about SchlumbergerSema, visit
http://www.slb.com.

About Diageo

Diageo is the world´s leading premium drinks business. Formed in December
1997 by the merger of GrandMet and Guinness, Diageo has an unrivalled
portfolio of brands including Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray, Guinness,
J&B, Baileys, and Cuervo. The Diageo Foundation is the result of the
company’s commitment to contribute 1% of its worldwide trading profit less
interest, to the community. The Foundation’s purpose is to act as funding
and support vehicle for corporate social investment program and charitable
giving and matching.
For more information about Diageo and the work of its Foundation, please go
to www.diageo.com

About BT Group
BT Group plc is one of the world’s leading providers of telecommunications
services and one of the largest private sector companies in Europe. Its
principal activities include local, long distance and international
telecommunications services, Internet services and IT solutions. In the UK,
BT serves more than 28 million exchange lines as well as providing network
services to other licensed operators. BT.com is BT Group’s main web presence
for its 21 million UK customers, helping them to make new connections in
their relationships, communities, businesses and lives.

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CampusMate MasterCard

Bank Rhode Island has introduced a program to link all of a student’s banking and school-based accounts. ‘CampusMate’ includes an online bank account that gives students the use of a ‘MasterCard Debit Card’, free ATM access and check writing ability. Students or parents also have the ability to fund the account over the Internet or through a credit card. Through ‘CampusMate’, a college or university can choose which accounts it would like to include in the program, giving parents the ability to fund meal plans and bookstore accounts, and even pay tuition through automatic bank transfers or by credit card. These payments can be made either by phone or online. The program also offers a university automatic deposits, electronic tracking and automated reports that can be sorted by account, parent, student or transaction for any account it wishes to add to the program. Bank Rhode Island introduced its first ‘CampusMate Program’ at Rhode Island School of Design last summer.

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