EPS Drives TRM ATMs

Electronic Payment Services, Inc. confirmed Monday they have been selected by Portland, OR-based TRM Corp. as the exclusive provider of ATM processing services for TRM’s ATM division. TRM owns and operates over 31,000 self-service photocopy centers in retail locations in North America and Europe, and recently formed an ATM division to expand the services they provide through their retail channels. Last month, TRM announced an exclusive agreement with The Pantry and Lil’ Champ convenience store chain to install ATMs at up to 1,100 locations. EPS currently drives 33,500 ATMs nationwide, over half of which are dial-up ATMs located primarily in retail and other remote locations.

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Threesome

DataCard Corp. is transforming its three core business units into autonomous companies named Datacard Worldwide, Credentia and MedAssure. The three new enterprises will comprise Datacard Group. Datacard Worldwide provides financial institutions, retailers, loyalty marketers and service bureaus with the premier card personalization systems. Credentia offers identity systems based on digital imaging, biometrics, smart cards and other emerging technologies. MedAssure provides hospitals with patient ID systems and is developing an entirely new portfolio of technology-driven products for the broader healthcare market.

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Chase Settles

St. Louis-based Meridian Enterprises announced Monday a settlement resolving a suit it had filed against Chase Manhattan Bank and Shell Oil Co. related to Meridian’s U.S. patent for its ‘MeridiCard’ system. The ‘MeridiCard’ system, introduced in 1988, provides cardholders with the opportunity to earn points based on performance that can be electronically redeemed through the MasterCard and VISA merchant networks. Meridian Enterprises previously reached settlements were reached with BankAmerica Corp., GE Capital, Associates National Bank, Bank One, Fleet Financial, VISA USA, MasterCard and their co-branding partners Sun Co., Exxon, Unocal, Amoco, Phillips Petroleum, Total Petroleum, Gulf Oil and British Petroleum.

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Airmiles for Shopping

Ft. Lauderdale, FL-based SHC Venture LLC, marketer of ‘Momentum Mileage Programs’, has introduced an airline mileage shopping program with United Airlines ‘Mileage Plus’ Marketing and the First Card ‘Mileage Plus VISA/MasterCard’. It is the first mileage program to feature a broad nationwide base of retailers. Participating retailers include: Spiegel, The Sharper Image, Lillian Vernon, Jos. A. Bank, Hammacher Schlemmer and seven others. The United Airlines ‘Mileage Plus Shopping’ program offers cardholders up to 10 miles per dollar spent.

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US West Phones

U S West has signed a 3-year sales agency agreement with Nortel Networks for Nortel Networks’ ‘Millennium’ payphone products. U S West will offer Nortel Networks’ Millennium public access solutions, which range from basic coin only phones to advanced multicard, multipay graphical payphones, and desk terminals. Nortel Networks’ ‘Millennium MultiPay’, ‘MultiCard’ terminal provides increased choices and convenience by accepting advanced payment methods, cash cards and smart cards, as well as coin, credit cards, or calling cards. There are currently more than 160,000 ‘Millennium’ payphones throughout North America.

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Online Fraud

An investigative report published this week by Wired News reveals that credit card fraud may have Web merchants and credit card companies tightening their belts on Web transaction standards. The new report finds that while many Web merchants are ill-equipped to deal with the risk of fraudulent credit card customers, it’s the Web sites selling digital goods, including downloadable software, music and subscriptions, that should be particularly cautious. Wired says for sites that sell digital goods like software, online credit card fraud accounts for nearly 30 percent of total sales and that five to six percent of a typical Net retailer’s transactions are fraudulent. Wired notes that VISA indicates online transactions account for two percent of its international business, yet those transactions account for almost 50 percent of the total number of disputed charges and frauds.

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Shazam I-Banking

Midwest ATM services provider SHAZAM signed a five-year contract with the FundsXpress Financial Network to provide its financial institutions secure, affordable and easy access to Internet banking services. The exclusive agreement will offer SHAZAM’s 1,350 financial institutions and 3.6 million debit cardholders access to convenient Internet banking services through their product, ‘BillPayer’. In addition to the banking services available through SHAZAM’s ‘BillPayer’, the FundsXpress Financial Network also provides financial institutions commercial account functions, cash management solutions, custom Web site development, and effective marketing and advertising campaigns.

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Name Change

CA-based Asset Retrieval Services Inc. announced this morning it has changed its name to that of creditgroup.com Inc. creditgroup.com Inc. provides services to lending institutions, investors and debtors by purchasing charged-off and delinquent accounts at discounted rates and then working out debtor balances. The company also offers a ‘Credit Card Issuance Program’ to credit impaired consumers.

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ATM/Debit Card Usage

ATM/debit card usage has doubled with most of the growth coming from point of sale transactions according to a consumer survey conducted by Star System Inc. and released this morning. The survey of more than 4,000 households in nine Western states revealed consumers used their ATM/debit cards, on average, 16.3 times per month in 1998 compared to 15.4 times per month in 1997. While ATM use increased just slightly, growth was more rapid in POS use which jumped from an average of 6.6 times per month in 1997 to 7.4 times per month in 1998. Interestingly, when it comes to PIN-based POS transactions compared to signature-based transactions, 61 percent of survey respondents reported preferring PIN-based transactions with the majority of these respondents reporting their preference was based on the fact that PIN-based transactions provided more security. Respondents also said convenience and faster service were two other reasons they preferred PIN-based POS transactions.

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NYC Cable Pay

New York City Time Warner Cable customers now have the option to have bills for their cable television service deducted from checking savings or credit card accounts. Time Warner Cable has contracted with Crescent Systems, L.L.C., of Oakland, Iowa, to provide the technology for the service Crescent Systems provides automatic, pay-by-phone and credit card bill payment and EDI services to utility and cable television companies.

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Credit Repair

Florida attorney Jack Schrold and the FTC reached a settlement Friday over his role in an illegal credit repair business. The case against Schrold was one of 31 filed in Mar. 1998 as part of “Operation Eraser”. Schrold agreed to pay an $11,000 fine. Schrold, who advertised nationally in various newspapers and on the Internet, charged a retainer of $99 for his services, along with $25 for each item successfully removed from personal credit files.

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