Privacy Invasion Will Worsen

With the Commerce Department’s Internet Privacy report due at the White House next month, leading privacy advocates and consumer groups are warning Americans that their privacy remains dangerously unprotected by industry and government. In a joint statement released yesterday, advocates told the U.S. Department of Commerce meeting on Internet Privacy that industry proposals for self-regulation have failed. They have called for privacy laws and urge consumers to take steps to protect their personal data online and off.

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LEO Smart Cards

ORGA’s new ‘LEO’ smart card toolbox is being used for the first time to create personalized smart cards for refugee benefits in Berlin. ‘LEO’ enables local systems integrators to develop their own systems for closed applications in retail.  The smart card-based system is aimed primarily at smaller to mid-sized companies that want to individually design and implement a corresponding system.  Low investment and operating costs even make systems with 1,000 customer cards and five terminals profitable. Infra Card Abrechnungssysteme GmbH is issuing two thousand refugees personalized smart cards on which the benefits are stored.  Using these cards, refugees can purchase everyday items at approximately 70 retail outlets in Berlin which are connected to the ‘Infra Card’ system.

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Fitch Rates Chevy Chase Card Bonds

Chevy Chase Credit Card Master Trust II’s class A certificates have been rated ‘AAA’ by Fitch IBCA.  In addition, the  class B certificates are rated ‘A’.  Furthermore, Fitch IBCA affirms its master trust ratings indicating that the issuance of series 1998-A will not result in a reduction or withdrawal of current ratings assigned to outstanding trust certificates. Class A investors will receive monthly interest payments of one-month LIBOR + 0.15%, and B investors will receive one-month LIBOR + 0.40% throughout the revolving and accumulation periods and on the scheduled final payment date.

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Owens Corning Card

Green Tree Retail Services and Owens Corning signed agreements yesterday to create a new private-label credit card program called the: ‘Home Improvement Passport’. Approved contractors may offer the ‘Home Improvement Passport’ card to their consumer customers for the purchase of siding, roofing, windows, and insulation products manufactured by Owens Corning. Initially, the ‘Home Improvement Passport’ card will be offered by Owens Corning and its Norandex, Reynolds Building Products and Vytec operations.

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Bioprint Cards

Keyware Technologies and STMicroelectronics announced Thursday the signing of an agreement concerning the development by ST of integrated circuits implementing Keyware Technologies’ Layered Biometric Verification technology. User friendly and non-intrusive, layered biometrics can be used to restrict physical access, to verify identity for financial transactions and to control access to information over computer and telephony networks. ST will implement Keyware’s software on a proprietary digital signal processor (DSP) integrated circuit, creating one processor chip for video and one for audio.

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AMP Credit Card

The banking subsidiary of Australia’s largest life insurer and American Express teamed up yesterday to launch the ‘AMP Credit Card’. The card is the first bank-issued card in Australia that will be accepted on the American Express global network. Under terms of the agreement, AmEx will also provide card servicing for its bank partner. AMP Bank Limited is a subsidiary of AMP Limited, which has seven million customers worldwide. AMP Banking is also Australia’s newest retail bank. AmEx said Thursday the relationship with AMP along with previous agreements with Japan’s Credit Saison and Korea’s Tong Yang has boosted its Asia-Pacific market share.

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LaSalle ATMs

Chicago’s LaSalle Banks will install 675 ATMs at Clark gasoline and convenience stores throughout the Midwest. The deal will more than triple the number of fee-free ATM locations for LaSalle customers throughout the Midwest.   The ATMs are being installed in stages, at a pace of 30 to 40 per week, with completion slated for September.  Currently, 100 ATMs have already been installed in the Chicago area. The ATMs at Clark gasoline and convenience stores in Illinois will operate under the LaSalle Banks name, while the ATMs at Clark stores in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana will be under Standard Federal Bank name. LaSalle and Standard Federal are both subsidiaries of ABN AMRO North America.

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ZAP  APP

FINA is zapping the need for credit card applications with a new automated credit card conversion process that begins at the store level.  ‘ZAP APP’ uses a POS terminal to transmit cardholder/applicant information to FINA’s card processing center automatically.  The new, paperless system enables the company to have FINA cards in customers’ hands in as little as seven business days. The system also reduces distributor charge-backs due to incomplete forms, as well as multiple-card-use fraud. FINA began the pilot program ‘ZAP APP’  last November in Wichita Falls, Texas, Lawton, Okla. and surrounding markets. Six weeks into the testing period, seven distributors who had 50 FINA branded locations participating, including 13 recently converted stations, had processed over 3,100 applications with an approval rate of nearly 70 percent.

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Cap One in S&P 500

Standard & Poor’s announced Capital One Financial Corporation was named to its S&P 500 Index.

“We’re pleased that S&P recognized Capital One’s outstanding record of achievement by including us in the S&P 500,” said Richard D. Fairbank, Capital One’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “S&P’s action acknowledges Capital One’s leading position in the consumer finance industry.”

Standard & Poor’s Financial Information Services, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, provides financial, economic, and investment information, as well as analytical services, to the global financial community and commodity trading markets. Standard & Poor’s calculates and maintains the S&P 500, which is widely considered a key barometer of stock market activity and performance benchmarks for professional money managers.

“Since Capital One became an independent company in 1995, we’ve experienced exponential growth. Our strategy of mass customizing products has proven successful for nearly 13 million customers and we are planning to continue on this growth track with innovative products and expansion into overseas markets,” said Nigel Morris, President and Chief Operating Officer.

Headquartered in Falls Church, Va., Capital One Financial Corporation () is a financial services company with more than 7,000 associates worldwide, whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One subsidiaries collectively near 12.7 million customers and $14.0 billion in managed loans outstanding as of March 31, 1998, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world.

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