10 Min Check Card

U.S. Bank has announced a new service that allows customers to open checking accounts instantly at usbank.com. The new service makes it possible to apply, get a decision and fund a checking account in about 10 minutes.

Once approved, customers can fund the new account by mailing a check, transferring funds from an existing U.S. Bank account or by requesting an automatic transfer from an account at another financial institution. They can start using the account within two days.

Visitors to usbank.com will have the ability to open any of eight types of checking accounts, a U.S. Bank Check Card and Reserve Lines of Credit up to $2,000.

“The fact that we can approve checking account applications within minutes of the request places U.S. Bancorp at the forefront of our competitors in both speed and convenience,” says Steve SaLoutos, head of product management at U.S. Bank. “As anyone who shops or surfs online knows, speed is everything — and we’re positioning ourselves as the Best Bank in America for safe, convenient online banking solutions.”

Since 1999, the number of consumers banking online in the United States has risen by 96 percent. In 1999, 11.4 million Americans banked online. Today, the number has reached 22.3 million, according to industry-watcher Gomez, Inc. “Online banking is one of the fastest growing segments of our business, and is a big reason why many people make us their bank of choice,” SaLoutos said.

U.S. Bank plans to expand this service to enable customers to open savings accounts, affinity checking accounts, the WorldPerks Check Card and certificates of deposit (CDs), and will continually enhance the efficiency of site.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with assets in excess of $165 billion, is the 8th largest financial services holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,262 banking offices and 5,208 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp is the parent company of Firstar Bank and U.S. Bank. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at and Firstar Bank at .


Beetle Deal

Wincor Nixdorf and Triversity Inc. announced that they are expanding their existing relationship into a broader alliance to deliver complete store solutions to North American retailers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Triversity will sell Wincor Nixdorf’s BEETLE POS systems and become an Authorized Service Provider for Wincor Nixdorf technology and support services. Wincor Nixdorf will recommend Triversity’s Transactionware and Cypress software solutions to its North American customers.

“This expanded relationship leverages both companies’ strengths in order to offer turnkey solutions to retail customers,” said Jeff Soisson, vice president of Wincor Nixdorf’s Retail Solutions Group. “The synergy between Wincor Nixdorf and Triversity has been very positive, and we look forward to taking the relationship to the next level. Through this alliance, Wincor Nixdorf gains a strategic new channel for our POS systems in the North American marketplace.”

“We are delighted to expand our alliance with Wincor Nixdorf,” said Greg Bandler, vice president of corporate marketing for Triversity. “The retail market continues to demand open POS platforms that offer both flexibility and value. By combining our strengths, Triversity and Wincor Nixdorf will allow retailers to better serve their customers at all interaction points.”

About Triversity Inc.

Triversity is a leading software provider delivering integrated multi-channel, customer-centric solutions for the retail industry. By integrating market-leading Point-of-Sale/Point-of-Interaction (POS/POI) applications with intelligent retail customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, Triversity allows retailers the capability to offer a consistent shopping experience across all channels, all the time, and enables them to easily and effectively manage the customer lifecycle on a one-to-one basis. Triversity is a single source for retailers to extend existing traditional transaction processing to multiple points of interaction, including the Internet, kiosks and wireless devices. The company’s TAP model enables retailers to Transact with their customers; Analyze their market baskets and customer data; and, deliver Personalized marketing programs and incentives across all channels of distribution.

Triversity’s retail solutions are installed in over 350 retailers in 32 countries. Retail clients include the U.S. Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), Discovery Channel, Hallmark, Pep Boys, Rite Aid, The Shoe Company, The Sports Authority, Wawa and Williams-Sonoma. Triversity is headquartered in Toronto, with regional offices in Philadelphia, Dallas, Mexico City and Sydney. For more information, please visit .

The BEETLE Family of POS Systems

Wincor Nixdorf’s BEETLE family of POS systems addresses the complete spectrum of customer touch points in the retail store environment. With solutions that encompass thin-client POS terminals, lean- and thick-client POS systems, kiosks, lottery terminals, and mobile POS devices, the BEETLE family is the industry’s most comprehensive POS product line. An open design supporting commonality of components across the entire BEETLE family substantially simplifies software deployment and hardware maintenance, keeping costs down and productivity high.

More than just PCs, BEETLE systems are rugged, designed to withstand the rigors of retail environments. All systems include standard retail interfaces, accept a wide range of peripherals, and are compliant with established retail software standards. Standard operating systems include Red Hat(R) Linux(R), the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) family, and Microsoft DOS.

The BEETLE family of POS systems is the industry’s first and only complete line of customer-proven, Linux-ready POS systems in production. The systems also offer the most expansive and complete set of JavaPOS(tm) drivers for POS peripherals.

About Wincor Nixdorf

Worldwide, Wincor Nixdorf Inc. is one of the fastest growing providers of IT products and solutions for the retail and banking industries. Wincor Nixdorf’s offerings include hardware, application software, professional services and a complete range of service programs including on-site support, depot service and Advanced Exchange. Wincor Nixdorf is the world’s third largest provider of POS systems and automated teller machines. Employing more than 4,600 people, Wincor Nixdorf operates in 40 countries with manufacturing plants in Germany and Singapore. North American headquarters are in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit [www.wincor-nixdorf.com/usa][1].

[1]: http://www.wincor-nixdorf.com/usa


Card Ads Pulled

Bank of America has pulled the plug on all online credit card advertising during the most critical marketing period of the year. BofA notified its Internet ad agency last week to pull all credit card ads for the rest of this year, indicating there were problems with fulfillment numbers. There are no indications that BofA plans to discontinue the acceptance of online credit card applications at their site. San Francisco-based Lot21, the online ad agency for BofA, says the issuer is planning to return to the Web, January 1. The BofA withdrawal is a boon for the top three online credit marketers NextCard, Capital One, and Providian. Capital One and Providian rank among the 25 most active on-line advertisers to the at-work Internet audience while NextCard ranks among the top 25 advertisers targeting at-home surfers. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, Web usage at-work is up 23% and at-home usage is up 25% this year. Providian averages more than one billion ad impressions per month while Capital One logs about 700 million ad impressions and NextCard about 500 million.


VBV Merchants

1-800-FLOWERS.COM has become the first merchant in the ‘Flowers and Gifts’ category to go live with ‘Verified by VISA’. Beginning this fall, VISA cardholders will be able to register for ‘Verified by VISA’ through participating card-issuing banks by selecting personalized passwords that become their online “signature” for Web purchases. So far, 50 online merchants and other e-commerce service providers have agreed to integrate the special software into their payment servers, including 800.com, Ashford, CDNOW, Dell, McAfee.com, OfficeMax, Outpost.com, and target.com. In addition, Beyond.com will offer ‘Verified by VISA’ to their eStore clients. Some online retailers, including buy.com, eCongo and Tickets.com, have already implemented the program. Bank of America, First USA, Fleet, Providian, SouthTrust and SunTrust have also agreed to participate in the new program.


Certegy Patents

It was announced that Certegy Inc. of Alpharetta, GA has taken a license under the patent portfolio held by Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. The license covers Certegy services including customer service provided on behalf of Certegy’s approximately six thousand U.S. bank and credit union customers in connection with their credit and debit card programs, when they are delivered through automated systems as well as the combination of automated systems and live agents, but does not extend to the sale of equipment or software. Other terms of the license were not disclosed.

The 43 United States patents held by Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P., and numerous foreign equivalents, cover 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 800, 900 and local numbers. More than 20 additional patents are currently pending in this portfolio.

“This is a pioneering portfolio of patents which have great relevance to computer telephone based customer service,” said Larry Towe, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Certegy. “We are very pleased to have obtained this important coverage.”

Ronald A. Katz, chief executive of Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. added, “We are very pleased to welcome Certegy to the increasing list of companies who have purchased license rights under this portfolio.”

A large number of companies are licensed under the Katz portfolio, they include American Century, American Express, AT&T Corporation, Bank of America Corporation, Equifax Inc., Excel Communications Inc., First Data Corporation, First Union Corporation, Home Shopping Network Inc., International Business Machines (IBM), Microsoft, MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc., QVC, Inc., Sprint Corporation, Tele-Communications Inc. (now known as AT&T Broadband), The Gallup Organization, Universal Card Services Corporation, West Interactive Corporation, and WorldCom, Inc.

Mr. Katz is the named inventor on over 50 patents primarily in the fields of telecommunications and computing. He formed Telecredit Inc., the nation’s first on-line real time credit and check cashing authorization system, and was awarded a patent as co-inventor of that technology.


Conoco Cards

Holders of the Conoco gasoline card will soon be able to make payments online. YourAccounts.Com has been selected by Conoco to develop and implement ‘e.bill.anywhere’, a B2C EBPP solution. Houston-based Conoco has more than 500,000 customers. OTS processes more than 160 million bills and statements every month, presenting customer communications to more than 50 percent of all U.S. households.



Freestar Technologies and ePayLatina, S.A.
announced today that they have completed the testing process and quality
assurance requirements for the implementation of the Pay Safe Now System,
consisting of hardware and software developed to facilitate secure online
transactions via the Internet utilizing credit, debit and ATM cards (with
PIN). The tests were concluded on July 24, 2001, with the Pay Safe Now System
receiving certification by Banco Nacional de Credito, a part of the National
Financial Group (GFN), one of the major financial institutions in the
Caribbean and Latin American region.

“We are set to become the first company to enable credit, debit and ATM
card transactions over the Internet utilizing card swipe devices as a means of
payment. Our software, ETSS (Enhanced Transactional Secure Software), has been
tested and proven within the banking networks and is ready for deployment.
ETSS enables hardware devices to accept card presentment transactions and its
powerful encryption allows for credit, debit and ATM (with PIN) transactions.
It offers the ultimate security for the customer and merchant by eliminating
fraud and charge-back to the merchant and giving the customer the knowledge
that his or her information is never seen or stored by the merchant,” stated
Paul Egan, President and CEO of Freestar Technologies, Inc.

About Freestar Technologies, Inc.

Freestar Technologies, Inc.’s Enhanced Transactional Secure Software
(“ETSS”), a proprietary software package that enables consumers to consummate
secure e-commerce transactions over the Internet using credit, debit, ATM
(with PIN) or smart cards. The ETSS system integrates a consumer-side card-
swipe terminal with a back-end host-processing center. It encrypts sensitive
financial data at the consumer’s personal computer, using powerful DES
encryption and algorithms. It sends an authorization number to the e-commerce
merchant, rather than the consumer’s credit card information, to provide a
maximum level of security. The Company plans to link several large,
established smart card systems together on an ETSS-based standard to achieve
economies of scale and further market penetration for this secure e-commerce
payment system.


NPC Completes BPO sale

National Processing Company a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and a wholly owned subsidiary of National Processing, Inc., announced it has completed the sale of its Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services unit to Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. for $43 million cash. This transaction completes the transition that NPC began over two years ago to re-focus on its merchant processing business.

NPC’s BPO services unit generated approximately $60 million in annual revenue from processing healthcare claims, credit card applications and airline lift tickets. As part of the transaction, ACS will acquire all of NPC’s offshore operations in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Barbados and approximately 75 percent of NPC’s Mexican operations.

About National Processing, Inc.

National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, National Processing Company (NPC(R)) is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. National Processing is 86 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) (), a Cleveland based $94 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 600,000 merchant locations, representing nearly one out of every five Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering their total cost of card acceptance through our world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be obtained at .


Citibank Fees

Citibank has joined the ranks of issuers pushing up late payment fees above the $29 level. In solicitations for its 0% intro APR ‘Platinum MasterCards’, Citibank is now charging a $35 late fee on balances of $1,000 or more. According to CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com), Citibank formerly assessed a $29 late fee across-the-board. The new policy charges a $15 late fee on past due balances under $100, a $25 late fee for balances between $100 and $1,000, and a $35 fee for past due balances over $1,000. Citibank also recently boosted its punitive rates to a maximum of 24.99%. Fleet, CompuCredit, and Direct Merchants have also crossed the $29 late fee level. CompuCredit now charges a $35 late fee and a $35 over-limit fee on its lineup of ‘Aspire VISA’ cards. Direct Merchants Bank charges a $34 late fee on its new ‘Titanium MasterCard’. Last November, Fleet Credit Card Services began charging a $35 late fee on all its card products including the new ‘Fusion smart VISA’. Advanta was the first card issuer to institute $35 fees for holders of its business card products.