A husband and wife team operating out of Connecticut have agreed to settle FTC charges in regard to advanced fee credit card scam. Operating as Credit Services of America and First Credit Alliance, the team promised consumers who responded to their ads that they were likely, for refundable advance fees typically ranging from $45 to $105, to receive a MasterCard or VISA regardless of past credit history. The FTC alleged, consumers received neither credit cards nor refunds as promised.Details
Cardservicer, a leading provider of credit card processing solutions, announced the launch of its revolutionary new technology platform with a promotional âcost-basedâ offer for qualifying U.S.-based MasterCard and Visa Card issuers. The promotion will run through March 2002.
Cardservicerâs credit card processing platform, called Horizon, is a web-based architecture that will provide credit card issuers increased scalability and flexibility and will reduce cost of operations over current mainframe based systems. It is operational in 17 credit card issuer banks outside the United States.
The Horizon platform evolves in part from Credit origination and Collections software developed by Cardservicerâs associate company Instant-Bank. Instant-Bankâs enterprise loan/leasing software is currently operational in 17 installations, and its clients includeGE Capital, National Westminster Bank, Bank One, The Associates, and Affiliated Computer Services, among other clients.
The Horizon technology platform is built on a series of modern technology components that have been highly integrated. The system has been developed over the past three years at an investment of more than $10 million and is delivered as a complete end-to-end enterprise-wide hosted solution.
âCredit card issuing banks across the United States can now more efficiently and cost effectively manage their credit card portfolios, with the benefits of easy to use functions, and work management features enhancing productivityâ said Chris Sullivan, President of Cardservicer. âThey will no longer be limited to mainframe inflexibility.â
The introductory promotional offer for the Horizon platform applies to credit card issuing institutions with a minimum of 25,000 accounts. The cost-based offer applies for the first five years, one-third of cost for periods thereafter, plus cost-based enhancements and implementation/conversion.
Cardservicer and its sister company Instant-Bank, is a privately held, New York-based company, that develops enterprise wide technology infrastructure platforms for loan and lease processing management. Cardservicerâs flagship product is the Horizon credit card processing software that helps credit card issuers more cost-effectively service their credit card portfolios. Horizon is a hosted Web-based solution that wholly replaces legacy mainframe systems. Horizon originates, services, collects, and accounts for credit cards using technology 30 years ahead of other systems. For more information, visit [www.Cardservicer.com].
NCR and Star Systems announced this morning an arrangement to bring advanced deposit technology to STAR participants throughout the US. This new deposit solution enables a customer to deposit cash or checks directly into an ATM without an envelope. The advanced deposit technology utilizes NCR’s ‘APTRA’ software suite and will be marketed jointly by NCR and STAR. The architecture enables the core application to run on ATMs, providing the capability of accepting and counting cash and checks. The deposit amount is verified on screen, displaying the check or cash amount visually. NCR’s patented ability to print check images on receipts will also be utilized.Details
American Express Company announced this morning its is eliminating approximately 5,500 to 6,500 jobs and taking a fourth quarter pre-tax restructuring charge of approximately $240 to $280 million. The staff reductions announced today are in addition to the reductions of 7,700 positions announced earlier this year. The total number of jobs eliminated — 13,200 to 14,200 — represents approximately 15% of the workforce as of the beginning of 2001. The staff reductions are taking place primarily in the travel businesses and reflect the sharp slowdown in that sector since September 11. Approximately half of the staff affected by these reductions have already been notified. The remaining notifications will take place during 2002. At Travel Related Services, billed business volumes were down 14% in September, 10% in October and approximately six percent in November. The declines reflect continued weakness within the corporate travel and entertainment category. Travel sales for October declined approximately 46% from year-ago levels. In November, travel sales were down approximately 38%. The company also said it expects earnings to come in on low side of analyst projections. Approximately half of the staff reductions announced today are taking place in the travel businesses. American Express’ shares were down to $32.75 in pre-market trading from Tuesday’s close of $34.26.Details
Mosaic Software has announced the general availability of Postilion Integrated Payments for eCommerce, a fast track solution to address the requirements of merchants and commerce service providers in the card-not-present market. Designed specifically to handle all the processing requirements for Internet eCommerce and Mail Order Telephone Order transactions, PIPE provides for real time authorization and secure transaction processing when the card and card holder are not physically present. Payments initiated by credit cards, debit cards or checks are supported.
Due to the greater opportunity for fraud, the card-not-present market has more stringent requirements for transaction processing than card present transactions. Because of these requirements, intended to protect all parties from fraud, Postilion PIPE implements security at the network level by providing secure channels for data transfer using Secure Socket Layers. In addition, at the EFT level, card authentication through the use of card verification values and address verification services is also provided.
âThe Postilion Integrated Payments for eCommerce solution is the most scalable solution today in the MOTO credit card market, and can handle up to 720,000 transactions per hour. Merchants and CSPâs, both small and large, will be pleased with the competitive nature of our investment structure. In addition, our new solution is based on the highly reliable Microsoft Windows 2000 based Postilion platform so it is much easier to support and more flexible when adding additional payment processing capabilities, than existing products available on the market todayâ stated Kevin Pannebecker, Senior Vice President, e-Commerce Business Development, Mosaic Software.
An added benefit of the Postilion Integrated Payments for eCommerce solution is that it integrates fully with emerging technologies (including WAP-enabled mobile phones, the Internet and digital TV), providing a true multi-channel payment solution.
About Mosaic Software
Mosaic Software is a leading edge provider of electronic funds transfer (EFT) software for consumer-generated electronic transactions, and is the market leader for web-enabled ATM and prepay software solutions. The company is held by strategic partners GE Equity and Comparex Holdings, and Mosaic management. With offices in the USA, a European office in the UK, South Africa and Australia, Mosaic has a strong global presence. The company is firmly established in the financial services industry and its EFT solutions drive operations in a large number of multinational companies and industry leaders around the globe. Clients include financial institutions, retailers, Internet service providers, card issuers, telcos, data processing service providers and some of the foremost players in the emerging online industry, in the USA, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.
Mosaic’s family of products, named Postilion, is a comprehensive software solution designed to effectively handle the transaction delivery and authorization requirements of every aspect of the EFT arena. Worldwide, Postilion is used for ATM Processing/Monitoring, EFT Switching and Routing, Point-of-Sale (POS), Credit/Debit Card Processing, Internet/Call Center Payment Authorizations, Prepayment, Internet/Home Banking and Mobile Commerce applications. Operating as the first fully-fledged EFT switch running on Windows NT/Windows 2000, Postilion is live in more than 500 installations worldwide.
Mosaic Software clients include 7-Eleven (US), American Express (US), E*Trade Access (US), Retail Decisions (UK), Calypso (Canada), Columbus Data Systems (US), Transaction Network Services (UK), Woodforest National Bank (US), Sky Financial Group (US) Echo (US), Pick ân Pay (SA), ABSA Bank (SA), Saambou Bank (SA), NBS (SA), Vodacom (SA) and MTN (SA).
An overview of the company and product may be found at: [www.mosaicsoftware.com]
Gift Check Solutions announced it has been selected by Spring Creek Barbeque, to provide the Texas-based restaurant chain known for its “down-home cook’n” with electronic gift card services.
Spring Creek Barbeque has 14 restaurants in the Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas area.
As part of the agreement, Gift Check Solutions’ Gift Card Solutions will manage the gift card fulfillment, processing, and security of the gift cards for Spring Creek Barbeque. The electronic gift cards are customized to meet the look and feel of the restaurant. The electronic gift cards may be purchased at any of the Spring Creek Barbeque restaurants.
“We decided to move to the electronic gift cards because they were more convenient, durable and easy to market to our customers,” said Greg Lozier, controller for Spring Creek Barbeque. “Gift Check Solutions provided a better price and rate on the transactions than any of their competitors, and it has a positive reputation in the restaurant industry.”
Gift Check Solutions’ Gift Card Solutions electronic gift card program utilizes magnetic swipe card technology, allowing all gift card transactions to be processed in real-time through a highly secure network. Gift Card Solutions are designed to utilize compatible location-established point-of-sale (POS) equipment or a Gift Check Solutions dedicated gift card terminal. “We are pleased to have Spring Creek Barbeque as a new client and hope to help them grow their business through our Gift Card Solutions,” said John Bechard, president of Gift Check Solutions.
About Spring Creek Barbeque
Spring Creek Barbeque has been serving “down-home cook’n” in Dallas and Fort Worth since 1980. The company now has 14 restaurants located throughout Texas.
About Gift Check Solutions
Based in Salt Lake City, Gift Check Solutions provides paper- and electronic-based gift products and services. The company manages the creation, processing, printing and fulfillment of gift certificates and gift cards. Electronic gift cards utilize magnetic swipe card technology, allowing gift card transactions to be processed real-time via a secure network. Gift Check Solutions also offers hosted e-commerce services for online gift certificate and ordering and customized point-of-purchase materials to drive gift certificate and gift card sales throughout the year. For more information, visit [http://www.giftchecksolutions.com] or call 888/739-9971.
Official Payments Corporation announced that 65 local government entities within the state of Texas have signed service agreements with the company.
These agreements will enable citizens to pay real estate tax obligations by credit card over the Internet by visiting [www.officialpayments.com], or via telephone by calling 1-800-2PAY-TAX. With these additions, Official Payments now serves nearly 200 government clients within Texas. Concurrent signing of these 65 taxing districts throughout the state was made possible through an alliance between Official Payments and Assessments of the Southwest, an entity authorized to collect taxes on the districts’ behalf. The districts, which cover territories throughout the state including Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, and Harris Counties, annually collect more than $500 million in real estate taxes. All 65 payment systems are scheduled to go live this month, preceding the districts’ tax due dates in January 2002. American Express(R), Discover Card(R), MasterCard(R) and VISA(R) are the cards to be accepted by the programs.
“We are pleased to partner with Official Payments to offer these new services,” said Tommy Lee, Tax Collector, Assessments of the Southwest. “Our goals are to streamline the tax collection process for our districts, and make paying taxes as convenient as possible for our citizens. These Internet and telephone systems do just that,” Lee stated.
“Signing up local clients is critical to our success in Texas, as income taxes are not collected on the state level. Our partnerships with these 65 new clients give us enormous traction,” said Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments. “We hope that residents of these districts will use our credit card payment services in January to make a real estate tax payment, and come back in April to pay their federal taxes,” Evans added.
Official Payments has similar agreements with the Internal Revenue Service, 20 state governments, the District of Columbia, and more than 1,000 local government entities in all 50 states to collect a variety of taxes, fees, and fines by credit card over the Internet and telephone.
Official Payments charges taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at [http://www.officialpayments.com]. For example, a taxpayer who owed a Texas district $3,000 in real estate taxes and charged their taxes would find a total of $3,087 on their credit card statement: $3,000 for the tax bill and $87 for the convenience fee. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash-back or airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.
About Official Payments Corporation
Founded in 1996, Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to more than 1,000 government entities in all 50 states. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. Official Payments has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 20 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 1,000 county and municipal governments across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments. Thomas R. Evans, the former President & CEO of the Internet company GeoCities, became Chairman & CEO of Official Payments in the summer of 1999. Mr. Evans brought Official Payments public in November of 1999, raising $80 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ national market.
GSB Financial Services, Inc. announced the introduction of a private-label “pre-paid cash card” known as the “I-Card.”
The I-Card has been introduced to GSB by Digital World Financial, Inc. as Digital World’s first step in providing GSB with specialty financial services. The I-Card functions much like a prepaid phone card, except that it has the same utility as a charge or debit card, including full ATM capability. The target market for this card is segmented into consumers and merchants.
Targeted consumers would be:
— travelers not wanting to risk their debit cards in foreign/domestic transactions,
— consumers concerned about online shopping charge fraud or the recent security breaches of online retail sites,
— parents wanting to provide their children with a safe and controlled source of funds. Targeted Merchants would be:
— merchants seeking to issue a prepaid cash card (private-label) to consumers so as to lower credit card fraud and chargebacks, which have become rampant in some industries,
— merchants desiring to create increased brand awareness and consumer loyalty through comprehensive customer loyalty and incentive programs,
— merchants desiring to provide their customers with increased privacy and discretion with charges now appearing on their charge statements.
Steve Browning, CEO of GSB said, “I am especially excited about the I-Card product because it will enable many of our customers to increase their revenues without increased cost because of its ability to lower and virtually eliminate credit card fraud and chargebacks. This innovative solution to a very real market need will eliminate a significant roadblock to enhanced sales growth by our customers. The I-Card represents a very significant step forward in our plan to provide quality financial services to our customers, and strengthens our technology stream focused on risk mitigation and loss reduction.”
GSB Financial Services, Inc. develops proprietary technology solutions to exploit opportunities in the Financial Services Industry. Focusing on the continuing technology revolution in the newly developing e-Finance environment, GSB Financial is leading the way in the Financial Services Industry with innovative technologies.
Digital World Financial, Inc. provides 21st century electronic financial transaction software solutions to the forward thinking company and the financial services industry globally. Utilizing a best of breed approach Digital World Financial provides only state of the art software solutions to international banks and e-commerce companies. [www.digitalworldfinancial.com]
Humboldt Bancorp confirmed this morning that the principal of one of its ISOs, that contractually operates 138 ATMs in the New York and New Jersey area, is missing, along with $5 million in cash belonging to Humboldt. The bank says it noticed irregularities last week with this particular ISO. After numerous attempts to communicate with the principal, they contacted law enforcement authorities, and learned that he had been reported missing. Humboldt believes the circumstances that permitted the perpetration of this fraud are isolated to this single ISO. However they are currently reviewing all their loss prevention and detection policies. ATM funding represents about 4% of Humboldt’s total third quarter revenues. As a result, the bank will take an after-tax charge against earnings of approximately $3.1 million at the end of the current quarter. Humboldt established its ATM funding operation in 1997 and currently provides funding for 1,350 ATMs operated by 22 ISOs throughout the country.Details
Chase and Stockback Capital have teamed up to offer a new co-branded MasterCard that offers cash rebates, up to 11%, which are automatically swept into an investment account. Stockback was launched in June 2000 with $33 million and has since signed up more than 100 merchant-partners. The ‘Stockback MasterCard from Chase’ offers up to 10% back with participating merchants and at least 1% back on every purchase. Once a month, Stockback rewards are automatically placed in a mutual fund account managed by Merrill Lynch. After earning $10 in credits, a cardholder is eligible to invest that in the fund. Cardholders can also invest directly in the fund without earning store credits. Merchants pay Stockback a flat rate or percentage fee. Some of the major participating merchants include US Airways, Sunoco, Barnes & Noble, CVS Pharmacy, Galyan’s, Radio Shack, Linens & Things, and Jos A Bank. Stockback’s investors include RRE Ventures, TH Lee Putnam Internet Partners, NeoCarta Ventures, and Ernst & Young. The new card carries no annual fee and an introductory rate of 2.99% on purchases and cash advances. Afterwards, interest rates for ‘Platinum’ cardholders range from 9.99% to 12.99% depending on the balance and current relationship with Chase. APRs for ‘Standard’ cardholders is 13.99% for ‘Chase Banking’ customers and 14.99% for non-customers.Details
Diebold has revamped its freestanding ‘1074’ drive-up ATM island to improve usability and operational efficiency along with an attractive contour fascia. The 12.1-inch sunlight viewable display and improved lighting offer enhanced visibility, while lead-through indicators assist users in completing their transactions more efficiently. The enhanced design also offers the latest ‘ix Series’ features and functions, like thermal receipt and statement printing, an ANSI keypad and a dual scan deposit module for check imaging.Details
TSYS is poised to
capture a greater share of the rapidly growing debit payments market with its
licensing of software from ACI Worldwide. Through this
offering, TSYS will provide its clients with the ability to switch and route
transactions through any PIN-based (on-line) debit network as well as a third-
party gateway into international ATM networks. It also allows TSYS to provide
its clients with brand-neutral support for any card product.
TSYS will begin implementing ACI’s software into its newly designed
Integrated Payments Platform, providing the ability to conduct domestic and
international PIN-based debit transactions, including on-line transaction
processing, switching, routing and ATM terminal driving. TSYS has processed
domestic, signature-based (off-line) debit transactions since the 1970s.
“ACI is the industry-leading software provider for debit networks
incorporating their software with our Integrated Payments Platform, we will be
able to provide direct access to all major ATM networks,” said Debra Wohlrab,
group executive of TSYS Integrated Payments division. “TSYS will be the only
processor to offer the product with the proven architecture and flexible
option-driven structure of our Integrated Payments Platform.”
“TSYS has a tradition of leadership and innovation, and this new offering
reflects their commitment,” said Mark Vipond, president of ACI Worldwide. “As
debit card use grows, TSYS can count on ACI’s proven software to quickly and
reliably route on-line and off-line transactions-and meet the ‘always
available’ processing needs of their clients.”
ACI provides TSYS with an integrated processing infrastructure that
securely and reliably processes debit card transactions. The system can
address a wide range of needs for debit card processing, including multi-
currency and emerging security schemes, all on a platform that sets the
standard for reliable and scalable transaction processing.
About ACI Worldwide
Every second of every day, consumers are initiating electronic payment
transactions — getting cash at ATMs, using debit and credit cards to make
purchases in stores and on the Internet, banking by phone and PC, paying bills
online. Twenty billion times a year, ACI software is used to process these
transactions, powering the world’s online payment systems. ACI was founded in
1975 and pioneered the development of applications and networking software for
online transaction processing. Today more than 530 customers in 79 countries
use ACI-supplied software. Visit ACI Worldwide on the Internet at
brings integrity and innovation to the world of
electronic payments. TSYS serves as the integral link between buyers and
sellers in the rapidly evolving universe of electronic payments. With more
than 200 million accounts on file, TSYS makes it possible for millions of
consumers to use their credit, debit, stored value, commercial, smart and
retail cards anytime, anywhere through any medium or portal. TSYS and its
family of companies offer a full range of acquiring and issuing services from
accepting and settling electronic payments for goods and services, to credit
applications, bankruptcy and collections. Based in Columbus, Ga., TSYS
processes for 23 countries, in 14 currencies, in four languages and maintains
operations in Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the United Kingdom.