Fiserv Connect 3

Fiserv Inc. has developed Fiserv Connect3, a virtual banking delivery channel backed by the unique strategic position of Fiserv.

Fiserv Connect3 is middleware — literally an electronic portal — that delivers an integrated approach to electronic commerce. With Fiserv Connect3, a financial institution can provide home banking via telephone, the Internet and private networks — giving their customers numerous ways to access their accounts.

At the same time, customers can gain a comprehensive, consolidated view of their financial holdings. Customers will have full access to account information, can balance their accounts, transfer funds and pay bills. Eventually, as regulations permit, they will be able to buy stocks and mutual funds, manage credit cards, and buy insurance — all through their financial institution.

“Fiserv Connect3 is an innovative new product within the Fiserv family,” said Leslie M. Muma, Fiserv president and chief operating officer. “Fiserv Connect3 provides a marketing channel that will help deliver a broad array of financial products to financial institutions and their customers.”

By linking with Fiserv Connect3, insurance, credit card, mutual fund and other financial services companies potentially can reach more than 50 million customers of Fiserv clients through a single electronic connection. As these strategic partnerships grow, financial institutions will be able to offer these products to their customers.

Fiserv Connect3 also offers a cash management application for businesses that delivers the ability to review account balances and transaction activity, and manage funds on-line. Cash managers can initiate transfers between accounts, create automated clearinghouse transfers, pay federal taxes, and request wire transfers and stop payments through the Internet and private networks.

For the financial institution, a key benefit of Fiserv Connect3 is the ability to build relationships and retain customer dollars while acting as a conduit to a multitude of financial products. Financial institutions also can generate income by offering the convenience of transactions and bill payment via Fiserv Connect3.

“Fiserv Connect3 gives the financial institution a way to control the transaction point with products bearing the financial institution’s name,” Muma said. “That is a very powerful customer relationship builder.”

Fiserv Connect3 is built with strict attention to security. The Internet security measures actually surpass those set by the U.S. Defense Department.

Fiserv Connect3 is now being piloted and tested in multiple financial institutions. Fiserv Connect3 is available to any Fiserv core processing client, whether a bank, a savings institution or a credit union.

Fiserv Inc. is an independent provider of financial data processing systems and related information management services and products to more than 5,000 banks, credit unions, mortgage firms and savings institutions worldwide. A publicly held company headquartered in Brookfield, Fiserv is traded on the NASDAQ over-the-counter market under the symbol FISV.

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Healthy Credit Card

Westlake Village, CA-based HealthCare Credit Inc. has begun marketing a new VISA and MasterCard restricted to use by employees for health care products and services. The cards are being issued by Chicago-based Pullman Bank & Trust. HCC is marketing the cards as a company benefit with employers opting to cover the $39 annual fee or offer the card as an employee-paid benefit. Employers with more than 1,000 employees will have the option of adding the company’s name and logo to each card at no additional cost. Companies with less than 1,000 employees will only be offered a MasterCard, under HCC’s ‘Trilogy Family Benefits’ brand. The card will be issued to all full-time or part-time employees regardless of credit history.

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AmEx-VISA Mexican Settlement

American Express announced today that the Federal Competition Commission (FCC) in Mexico issued an order on September 8th terminating proceedings regarding an American Express complaint against Visa for anti-competitive activities in Mexico. The Commission’s action is the result of a settlement reached by American Express and Visa whereby Visa formally agreed to abstain from imposing such restrictions on its member banks in Mexico.

According to the ruling, the FCC agreed to accept American Express and Visa’s motion to settle the case, but it made clear that if Visa were to impose a restriction on its members banks, Visa would be subject to aggravated sanctions. In addition, the FCC ordered formal notification of the resolution to all Visa member banks in Mexico.

“We are extremely pleased to achieve our goal of preventing Visa from imposing an anti-competitive prohibition on Mexican banks. The FCC’s action is consistent with that of other regulatory authorities around the world and it is consistent with American Express’s support of free competition,” said Edmundo Prez-de Cobos, President and General Manager American Express Company Mexico. “The Mexican consumer will profit from free and open competition and Mexican banks will be able to provide their consumers with the products they desire.”

In September 1996, American Express filed complaint against Visa before the FCC to prevent Visa’s imminent adoption of a prohibitive bylaw. In October 1996, the FCC issued an injunction ordering Visa to abstain from imposing such a prohibition. As a consequence, Visa complied with the order and announced its decision not to impose a prohibitive bylaw.

The Mexico filing in 1996 was part of a series of legal actions which American Express took against Visa in several Latin American countries. Its complaints asserted that Visa was attempting to limit card industry competition by restricting Visa member banks’ options in product offerings. Following American Express’ filings, Visa announced publicly that it did not and would not introduce a prohibitive bylaw.

American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the American Express Company — a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850. It provides card, Travelers Cheque, travel and financial services in over 160 countries.

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QuickPay on Web

Today Western Union Financial Services International announces the launch of its new commercial services web site, www.wuquickpay.com.

Now, Internet users worldwide can easily access information about Quick Pay(SM) and Quick Cash(SM), two Western Union services for the instant international transfer of money directly to and from businesses.

“The Internet has emerged as a valuable research tool, with a vast number of people exploring the medium each day for products and services that will benefit their business,” said Frank Angrisani, senior vice president, Western Union Financial Services International. “We want to alert the international business community that the Quick Pay and Quick Cash services are available to provide instant and easy money transfers to and from customers around the world.”

Both Quick Pay and Quick Cash allow companies to send and receive money instantly and directly through an on-line connection to the world’s largest international money transfer network. Quick Pay, an ideal alternative for routine payments made to businesses, provides a fast, easy, no-cost solution to receiving full payment from any customer virtually anywhere in the world. Quick Cash lets companies send money to customers and employees in 140 countries instantly through Western Union-supplied software installed on a PC. Both services eliminate the uncertainties, time delays, multiple fees and foreign exchange headaches associated with conventional forms of payment including foreign checks, bank transfers, and mailed remittances.

The new web site gives browsers a complete overview of both Quick Pay and Quick Cash, an opportunity to enroll in either service by electronic mail, or link to First Data Corp., parent company of Western Union.

The web site also includes a challenging game, Test Your World Currency Knowledge. Using Shockwave technology, the five-level game puts the player in charge of matching the currency to the country to which it belongs. With colorful graphics, the game simulates the transfer of Quick Pay transactions to locations around the world. While the web site is designed for a business audience, Western Union expects the game to be a popular stopping point for anyone who wants to hone their world currency skills.

For more information, on the commercial services web site or on Quick Pay or Quick Cash, contact Frank Angrisani at Western Union, 201/986-5771.

Western Union Financial Services International provides rapid money transfer services throughout the world. Famous for its pioneer telegraph services, the original Western Union company dates back to 1851 and introduced the first money transfer service in 1871. In 1995, the company became part of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), which is headquartered in the United States.

First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC), which reported more than $5.0 billion in revenues in 1996, provides information processing services to financial institutions, merchants, insurance companies, health care providers, government agencies, public utilities and consumers throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and through its agent network in more than 140 countries.

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ORGA VISA Approved

ORGA, the global smart card specialist, is also proving its reputation as a technological field leader for smart card applications in the banking and retail sector. VISA has now approved the company’s production site for the embedding of chip modules.

This means that, as of now, ORGA is in a position to supply smart cards for banking applications. ORGA plans to increase its production of bank cards in the future. The next step in this direction will be the approval of the entire smart card production process, including personalization and embossing. ORGA will be putting more than 10 years of experience into this new development, dating back to 1985 when the Paderborn-based company pioneered in the area of banking applications with the introduction of the first ROM mask for home-banking applications.

According to Gerald Smith, ORGA’s U.S. Business Unit Manager for Banking and Retail, ORGA has made a strong commitment to the banking and retail markets. “Receiving VISA certification is an important achievement for our company as we develop and roll out new smart card applications to meet the needs of this growing customer base.”

ORGA USA is the North American subsidiary of ORGA Kartensysteme GmbH Germany, one of the world’s leading developers and suppliers of microprocessor-based smart card technology, with more than 550 employees worldwide. ORGA has delivered more than 25 million SIM cards to customers worldwide, with commitments for millions more. In addition to telecommunications services, ORGA offers turnkey solutions for banking, health care, access control and other emerging markets. The company’s capabilities include quality card manufacturing, full system integration and project management. Visit our Web site at http://www.orga.com .

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VISA-Host Marriott Sweepstakes

Host Marriott Services Corporation the leading food, beverage and retail concessionaire in travel and entertainment venues, announced today that it is teaming up with Visa U.S.A. to promote an “Around the World Family Sweepstakes” for customers at it’s more than 70 airport locations worldwide. The program, which began today, runs through Nov. 6.

This new program is designed to thank customers for frequenting Host Marriott Services airport food and beverage facilities worldwide. Entry in the contest is simple. Each time a customer uses their Visa credit card for a purchase at one of the Host Marriott Services identified sweepstakes locations, they will automatically be entered into a drawing to win the around the world vacation. Customers not using a credit card can enter the contest by sending in their name and address to the sweepstakes’ administration. Entry rules and details will be available at all participating locations.

The “Around the World Family Sweepstakes” is being co-sponsored by a select group of premier travel partners including Visa U.S.A., Northwest Airlines, Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites and Avis Rental Car.

One lucky winner and three guests will be awarded the “Around the World Family Sweepstakes” grand prize. The global adventure will include stops in Maui, Hawaii; Tokyo, Japan; Amsterdam, Holland and New York City, New York. Air travel will be provided by Northwest Airlines, and hotel accommodations will be provided by Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites. In addition, Avis Rental Car will provide a full size car for the prize winner in each city.

Nearly all of Host Marriott Services more than 1,000 locations will be participating in the event, including many of the company’s popular airport brands such as Burger King, California Pizza Kitchen, Taco Bell, Cinnabon and P.S. Airpubs.

Host Marriott Services, with its worldwide headquarters in Bethesda, Md., is the leading food, beverage and retail concessionaire at nearly 200 travel and entertainment venues, with approximately 23,000 employees in five countries around the globe. Host Marriott Services, with revenues of $1.3 billion, is best known for its custom solutions business approach that combines internationally known brands with regional favorites in airports, travel plazas, shopping malls and entertainment attractions. The company, which spun-off from Host Marriott Corporation in December 1995, has concentrated its recent growth initiatives on international airports and domestic shopping malls.

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Metris Acquisition

Metris’ Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank agreed to purchase 280,000 accounts representing $330 million in receivables from KeyCorp Friday. The sale is expected to close by the end of this month. KeyCorp says the deal involved accounts located outside the bank’s core banking franchise along with some affinity and agent accounts. At mid-year KeyCorp had 1,564,795 gross accounts and $1,795,385,400 in receivables, according to CardData. Direct Merchants, among the nation’s fastest growing issuers, had $2,124,821,000 in receivables and 2,053,000 gross accounts as of June 30, also according to CardData.

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Citibank Polish VISA

Citibank announced that it has begun offering consumer banking services in Poland with the introduction today of its new Citibank Visa credit card. The Citibank Visa card is the first internationally accepted credit card product to be made available to Polish residents.

“This is the same credit card Citibank issues to millions of customers from New York to Tokyo,” noted Tim Kelley, Citibank’s Division Executive for consumer banking in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “By choosing to carry the Citibank Visa card, our Polish customers can enjoy a payment option with flexibility, comfort and security.”

In addition to being the first credit card for Poles that is accepted internationally, the Citibank Visa credit card is also the only such card in Poland that fully protects cardholders from having to pay for any unauthorized charges stemming from the loss or theft of a card. Citibank (Poland) S.A., as the card issuer, will assume complete financial responsibility for any unauthorized charges, provided the cardmember has reported his or her card to be lost or stolen.

Additionally, the Citibank Visa card for Poland will feature the same benefits and services that Citibank customers enjoy elsewhere in the world, including 24 Hour Customer Service, the Photocard security feature, and issuance of up to six additional cards. The Citibank Visa card for Poland will be available in both Silver and Gold versions.

“In planning the launch of our retail business in Poland, we carefully examined consumers’ specific needs and wants in the area of financial services and products,” explained Harit Talwar, Managing Director, Retail Banking of Citibank (Poland) S.A. “Primarily, they expressed a desire for a simple and convenient method for making payments that would also feature some type of credit availability. It became clear that our Citibank Visa card was the logical first step for introducing Citibank’s retail banking to the Polish marketplace.”

In addition to offering the Citibank Visa card product, Citibank’s consumer retail business in Poland, known as Citibanking, will begin shortly and will include 24 hour banking-by-phone.

Citibank, headquartered in New York City, is the world’s most global bank, with offices in 98 countries and territories, and the world’s largest issuer of MasterCard and Visa credit cards, with over 62 million cards in circulation. In Poland since 1991, the Bank has 433 employees working in branches in Warsaw, Gdynia, Wrochaw and Katowice, and currently serves more than 800 of Poland’s largest domestic and foreign companies. Citibank was named Poland’s “Best Bank” in 1995 by Gazeta Bankowa, and “Best Bank” in 1996 by the Home & Market Monthly.

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Credit Card Donations for Princess Di

Fleet Bank, the official U.S. point of collections for the “Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund,” announced today that it has established a toll-free number for those who wish to make contributions to the fund via MasterCard(R) or VISA(R).

The toll-free number for credit card donations to the fund — the only official memorial fund endorsed by the Office of Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace — is 800-995-3446.

Donations to the memorial fund may also be made by mailing a check or money order to:

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund
c/o Fleet Bank
P.O. Box 30596
Hartford, CT 06150

For those wishing to make a contribution via wire transfer, please send donations to:

Fleet Bank N.A.
New York
Account #9405748245
Account Name: The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund
ABA#: 021200339

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BAIGlobal Acquired By Market Facts

BAIGlobal Inc., a rapidly growing market research firm in Tarrytown, N.Y., has been acquired by Market Facts, Inc., Arlington Heights, Ill., the nation’s 11th largest market research and information company, according to Kathy Knight, President of BAIGlobal, and Tom Payne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Market Facts.

Mail Monitor®, the widely used and often quoted proprietary study that tracks credit card direct mail trends, is a well known service managed by BAIGlobal and a joint venture of BAIGlobal and Market Facts for the past 10 years.

“We’ve had great success in our research joint ventures over the past years and have gotten to know each other very well,” said Ms. Knight who noted that BAIGlobal will operate in Tarrytown as an independent subsidiary with the same management and personnel.

“BAIGlobal will now have the additional resources, technology and statistical expertise to take on even larger projects for our clients,” she said. “We’re committed to maintaining our steady growth and high quality of service for years to come.”

Market Facts’ Tom Payne said, “BAIGlobal is an outstanding company and a natural partner for Market Facts. BAIGlobal’s expertise in the financial services industry, along with its capabilities in international and qualitative research and new product development, wil allow Market Facts to offer additional specialized niche services and is an important step in our plan to increase our share of the global market research industry.”

Two Firms Long Established, Serving Major Corporations

Founded in 1969, BAIGlobal emerged as one of the nation’s premier market research firms, serving major corporations in financial services, packaged goods, direct marketing, telecommunications and medical/healthcare.

In addition to Mail Monitor®, BAIGlobal produces Inside Track® for credit card portfolio managers and On Target for direct marketers. The firm is recognized for its custom research expertise, specialized services for the direct marketing industry and a unique mystery shopping service for telemarketers.

Overall, BAIGlobal achieved revenues of $12 million in 1996, more than double its revenues since 1990. The firm is among the top 10 fastest growing companies in the market research industry.

Market Facts, which employs 540 full-time and 650 part-time employees, grossed $83.8 million last year, an increase of nearly 30 percent over 1995.

The firm, founded in 1946, specializes in the collection and processing of information through a network of offices and global affiliations. Clients include a majority of the largest 100 multinational consumer products and services companies and many government agencies.

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Platinum

[Click Here to Review the NationsBank Platinum Priority Solicitation][1]

The platinum VISA/MasterCard market picked up yet another competitor with the national introduction last week of NationsBank’s ‘Platinum Priority VISA’ card. The no-annual-fee platinum program offers credit lines up to $100,000 and a 5.9% fixed, six-month, intro APR. Like most Citibank programs, NationsBank requires applicants to transfer a balance to activate the 5.9% promo rate. The new ‘Platinum Priority VISA’ also incorporates risk-based, variable-rate pricing, offering three tiers of interest rates: Prime +7.9%; Prime +9.9% or Prime +12.9%. Cardholders who default face a punitive rate of four additional percentage points above their full rate or a current maximum APR of 25.4%. NationsBank is also featuring a Year-End Account Summary and $1 million of automatic travel accident insurance. More than four million platinum VISA or MasterCards have been issued over the past eighteen months primarily by MBNA and First USA.

[1]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/1997/september/n1.html

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Internet Card Fraud

The National Consumer League’s ‘Internet Fraud Watch’ ranked fraudulent credit card offers as #8 among its top 10 list of Internet scams. The NCL says overall fraud reports have tripled during the past year with multilevel marketing, auctions and sweepstakes also falling among the top 10. Only 19% of fraud victims pay by credit card with 60% paying by check, cash or money orders. NCL’s IFW says the most common Internet credit card scams involve offers of “guaranteed credit regardless of bad credit history”. In the September issue, CardTrak cautioned consumers against applying for VISA or MasterCards online if there is no phone number, physical address or if the company does not have a familiar name.

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