First Data Corp. acquired majority equity interest in TASQ Technology Inc., while Fifth Third Bank's Midwest Payment Systems acquired 49 percent outstanding stock in integrated payment and e-commerce processor Universal Companies. Meanwhile, U.S. Bancorp merged with Firstar Corp. to become the eighth largest U.S. financial services holding company.
World Products Inc. and Atomic Software Inc. launched the Liberty cell phone system, reportedly the first U.S.-based Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) credit card processing application. Using the Internet-capable, WAP cell phone system enabled merchants to process transactions at a much faster speed.
PreNet Corp. introduced the PreCash Express Terminal, a POS system for processing the company's PreCash electronic payment card transactions. To add value, cell phone customers could use PreCash to make cash, check or credit card deposits directly to their wireless accounts.
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