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Industry Update


NACHA Rates Top ACH Institutions

NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association recently released its Top 50 lists of both the largest originating and largest receiving financial institutions of automated clearing house (ACH) payments for 2004. The top 50 originating institutions accounted for 91.6% of all inter-bank ACH payments in 2004, while the top 50 receiving institutions accounted for 52.1% of all inter-bank ACH payments. View the lists at .

The organization also reported that inter-bank ACH payments grew by a record 23.7% in 2004. NACHA attributes the growth to financial institutions using ACH debits such as accounts receivable check conversion (ARC) and WEB (ACH debit payments via the Internet) to service their own portfolios of consumer credit card, mortgage and loan payments.

Consumers Less Resistant to Check 21, Report Finds

A new report from Research and Markets predicts that consumers will show less resistance to Check 21 than they did with POS truncation. The report, "Check Electronification Efforts Must Align With Consumer Preferences," found that age serves as the most significant factor in predicting interest or adoption in check-replacement technologies.

The report also found that back-office check truncation must be accompanied by consumers' ability to view check images online. For more information visit .

Mobile Phone Payments Study Released

A new report from the Smart Card Alliance examines the increased interest in using mobile phones for payment at the POS. The report, "Mobile Payments at the Physical Point-of-sale: Assessing U.S. Market Drivers and Industry Direction," discusses the business opportunities, market trends and alternative technologies for mobile payment implementation.

The report also covers the impact of contactless payment programs. Download a copy of the report at .


Global Payments to Provide Processing for Restaurants

Global Payments Inc. formed an agreement to provide payment card processing services for Ark Restaurants Corp. The agreement includes Global Access @dvantage reporting and transaction management services, as well as standard card processing for Visa, MasterCard International, Discover Financial Services, Diners Club International and JCB brands. Ark operates restaurants, bars, catering operations, and wholesale and retail bakeries in New York, Las Vegas and Washington D.C.

India Bank Purchases Hypercom Terminals

ICICI Bank, the second largest financial institution in India, purchased 5,000 Hypercom Corp. T7Plus Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV)-certified credit/debit card payment terminals. ICICI will roll out the terminals and associated software to retail merchants nationwide during the next two months.

MagTek's Excella Achieves WHQL Certification

MagTek Inc. received Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Hardware Quality Lab (WHQL) certification for Excella, a MICR check reader and dual-sided scanner.

WHQL testing determines whether a product will perform consistently in a Windows environment, particularly during installation and start-up operations.

MasterCard Honors Usable Web Sites

MasterCard is hosting its first annual Usability Excellence Awards, created to recognize the most usable Web sites. Companies can nominate their sites for either the e-commerce category, which includes online stores and payment processing organizations, or the financial category, which includes financial services sites offering tools or information.

Award criteria include navigation, accessibility, error prevention and recovery. To nominate a company, visit by May 31, 2005.

CheckFree, National City Receive NACHA Awards

NACHA presented its 2005 Kevin O'Brien ACH Quality Awards to CheckFree Corp. and National City Corp. The awards recognize best practices in maintaining the quality of ACH services and the reliability of the ACH network.

NACHA recognized CheckFree as a third-party service provider for achieving a 0.01% administrative return rate on ARC payments it processes; the industry average is 0.14%.

NACHA recognized National City as a financial institution receiver of ACH payments for the complete integration of the company's paper-based checking account and electronic payment systems.

RBS Lynk to Provide Processing for Oil Company

Southwest Georgia Oil Co. signed an exclusive, multiyear processing agreement with RBS Lynk. Southwest Georgia Oil is a large petroleum marketer, operating 42 sites under the trade name SunStops.

RBS Lynk will process Southwest Georgia Petroleum's credit, debit and check transactions as well as manage its fuel card program for commercial accounts.

Vital Certifies TPI SmartPayments Server

Vital Processing Services certified TPI Software LLC's new TPI SmartPayments Server. It will now support new 2005 industry compliance requirements including those for contactless payments and a new lease line communication interface.

TransFirst Launches Gift & Loyalty Program

TransFirst and TenderCard formed an agreement to deliver a stored-value/gift and loyalty card program. TransFirst will use TenderCard's technology platforms and information systems to provide merchants service.

In October, the companies performed one of the first gift card conversions, transferring more than 800 merchants to a host-based system without disturbing terminal functionality.

VeriFone and Paymentech Certify New Edge Networks

VeriFone Inc. and Paymentech LP awarded New Edge Networks certification for an end-to-end solution that helps retail merchants migrate from dial-up to high-speed broadband networks.

The solution allows merchants to keep their existing POS systems that currently use dial-up telephone lines until they make the move to broadband networks.

Visa, Chex Systems Develop Fraud Program

Visa U.S.A. announced a new layer of technology to help its member financial institutions reduce application fraud and account takeover fraud. Visa is developing the technology and program with Chex Systems Inc. Using the program, issuers will screen their Visa debit and credit card applications and change-of-address requests against a database to verify a range of information variables including address, phone numbers, bankruptcy information and now related checking account fraud from eFunds Corp. The tool will be available in Q3 2005.


Benchmark Selected as Reseller

Paderborn, Germany-based Wincor Nixdorf selected Benchmark Technology Group to be the master reseller of document printers for the U.S. and Canadian markets. Benchmark Technology Group is now responsible for all certified warranty repairs, parts distribution and training for Wincor Nixdorf throughout the United States and Canada.

BMS Partners With RBS Lynk

RBS Lynk signed Business Machine Systems (BMS) as the newest member of OneLynk Alliance, RBS Lynk's value-added reseller program. BMS provides POS solutions to regional restaurant clients.

Certegy to Provide Check Services to Albertsons

Certegy Inc. will provide its Pathways POS check verification and collection services to more than 2,500 Albertsons Inc. stores nationwide. This expands Certegy's existing agreement to provide payroll and government check cashing services in more than 1,400 Albertsons supermarket locations.

CJK Partners With PaySpot to Distribute Electronic Prepaid Services

PaySpot Inc. signed a multiyear agreement with CJK Inc., the largest prepaid phone card distributor in southern California, to sell electronic prepaid services through POS terminals in its convenience stores. The distributor agreement enables CJK to offer electronic prepaid solutions through all of its sales channels.

Fifth Third Bancorp Selects TSYS

Fifth Third Bancorp has chosen TSYS to process its Visa and MasterCard consumer-credit portfolio. TSYS has processed the Fifth Third commercial-card portfolio since 1996. Fifth Third plans to convert its consumer credit-card portfolio in the second quarter.

In related news, Fifth Third Bank partnered with Deluxe Financial Services to provide check printing and related services. Under the new agreement, Fifth Third Bank will use the DeluxeSelect and Deluxe Business Advantage programs to maximize the efficiency of its check program.

Hong Kong Bank Selects First Data

First Data Corp. signed a license and services agreement with Bank of Communications' Hong Kong Branch. First Data will provide its VisionPLUS software card processing system, as well as user training, system integration and maintenance services to support the bank in launching its credit card portfolio in Hong Kong.

Juniper Extends MasterCard Alliance

Juniper Bank extended its multiyear alliance with MasterCard, through which MasterCard remains the bank's primary payment partner in the United States. Since initiating their relationship in 2002, Juniper and MasterCard have introduced more than 20 payment card programs.

MCU Introduces Real-time Money Transfers Through NYCE

Municipal Credit Union (MCU) will introduce NYCE's new real-time, account-to-account (A2A) money transfer service to MCU's 300,000 members. MCU is the first financial institution to support NYCE's A2A service across multiple customer delivery channels, including kiosks, online banking and ATMs.

Q Comm Signs Contract With Certified Oil

Q Comm International Inc. signed a contract with Certified Oil to install the VeriFone 3740 POS terminal in all 102 convenience stores and gas stations throughout Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. Using the VeriFone 3740 terminals, Certified Oil will sell all of the prepaid services offered by Q Comm, including prepaid wireless minutes, prepaid long distance, dial tone and Internet.

Shift4 Selected by Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels International Inc. signed an exclusive three-year agreement with Shift4 Corp. to provide Shift4's $$$ ON THE NET software to Choice Hotels franchisees. The $$$ ON THE NET application allows associates at Choice's hotels to process credit card transactions from their property management systems through any processor they select. Choice Hotels will complete the initial installation of the first 2,650 properties in the fall.

StoreFront Integrates Payer Authentication Services

LaGarde, makers of the StoreFront e-commerce platform, integrated CardinalCommerce Corp.'s payer authentication services, Cardinal Centinel, into the StoreFront 6 product. The integration will allow StoreFront online merchants to minimize credit card fraud exposure and costs.


Viking Capital Acquires Debit Card Cash Transfer Solutions

Viking Capital Group Inc. recently purchased 1st Financial Solutions' Secure Cash stored value ATM debit card program. The agreement includes all rights to the Secure Cash program, existing inventory of cards and marketing material, trademarks and Web sites. Viking Insurance Services Inc. will market the Secure Cash service through its relationships with medical benefit program providers and insurance agencies.


Pay By Touch Appoints Two Officers

Davies B. Beller joined Pay By Touch as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Beller, who has served as a member of the Pay By Touch Board of Directors since early 2004, will remain active on the Board as he moves into this new role.

Beller worked as an investment banker for 17 years and is a member of the Napa Valley Reserve and the President's Leadership Council at Dartmouth College.

Pay By Touch also named Larry Hollowood Chief Security Officer. Hollowood will manage information security and business continuity services and oversee IT operations. Hollowood has more than 25 years of experience in the technology and security industries. Prior to joining Pay By Touch, he worked with Bank of America Corp.

Bishop Joins Korn/Ferry

Kim Bishop joined Korn/Ferry International's Financial Services Market as a Senior Client Partner. Bishop will focus on recruitment and leadership development for senior-level executives in payments, banking and technology financial services.

Prior to joining Korn/Ferry, Bishop spent 16 years at First Data where she served as Executive Vice President of Strategic Financial Services.

COCARD Promotes Carnahan

Malcolm Carnahan will serve as COCARD's Chief Operating Officer, directing all operational activity and acting as the liaison between COCARD's Board of Managers and its member owners.

E4X Hires Chief Product Officer

John G. Donovan joined E4X Inc. as Chief Product Officer, focusing on the company's product strategy and development. Prior to joining E4X, Donovan was Vice President of credit products at MasterCard. Donovan has more than 17 years of payments industry experience.

HIMC Appoints Durand VP of Sales

HIMC Corp. appointed Michael Durand Vice President of Sales. Prior to joining HIMC, Durand held numerous sales management positions with Brach's Confections, Inc. and Kraft Foods Corp.

Joiner Named LINK2GOV Senior VP

LINK2GOV Corp. appointed Mary Beth Joiner, previously Vice President of Payer Products for WebMD Corp.'s Business Services Division, to the position of Senior Vice President, Emerging Markets.

Prior to joining WebMD, Joiner spent five years in training, sales and product management with HealthCare Computer Corp.'s Synercom Division.

Q Comm Appoints Robinson CFO

Q Comm International appointed Mark Robinson as its new CFO. Robinson has more than 20 years of experience in the software, hardware, manufacturing and service industries. He is the former CFO and COO of Clickguard Corp. and the former CFO and Co-President of Bluecurve Inc.

Bottom Lines

  • Gap CEO Paul Pressler said that the retailer will "explore entering China" next year. The chain plans to open another 50 international stores by 2007 in addition to its network of 250 stores already in the United Kingdom, France and Japan.
  • Al Yeganeh, of Soup Kitchen International Inc., said the company is planning a retail line of "heat and serve" soups for grocery stores. The company also plans to open 1,000 "The Original SoupMan" restaurants in the United States and Canada. Yeganeh is the inspiration for the Seinfeld episode, "The Soup Nazi."
  • Target announced plans to partner with Yahoo!'s Photos Web site to merge digital and print services for consumers.
Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.
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