Unauthorized, telephone-initiated e-check payments over the Automated Clearing House Network have declined for the fourth consecutive quarter, according to new figures from NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association.
   The association credits a sustained campaign by NACHA and its members for the decline.
   On Sept. 14, 2001 NACHA operating rules went into effect permitting consumers to make e-check payments over the telephone. NACHA estimates that consumers will make 175 million such e-check payments in 2003, mostly to pay bills such as credit cards, mortgages and utilities. In its rules, NACHA expressly prohibits use of e-checks by telephone in outbound telemarketing to consumers with whom there is no existing relationship.
   NACHA will be implementing additional measures to further improve risk management. These measures include requiring financial institutions that originate telephone e-checks to register with NACHA and identify the companies and payment processors that use their services, and adopting new rules to explicitly bind third-party payment processors to the NACHA rules.
   NACHA also will develop a proposal to establish a cap on the dollar amount of a financial institution's originations as a percentage of its capital.
   With financial services providers under mounting pressure worldwide to institute customer identification programs combating terrorist- and drug-related money laundering, KYCOS Holdings Ltd. recently unveiled the International Registry of Due Diligence. The center of a suite of services, the International Registry of Due Diligence, helps companies meet the growing roster of anti-money-laundering regulations � from the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act in the United Kingdom to the Patriot Act in the U.S.
   A high-volume, high-resolution computer-based encrypted image bank, the registry scans and stores account-holder ID documents. It enables financial services institutions to comply with the many due diligence regulations now requiring storage and maintenance of customer identification papers.
   Eracom Technologies and S2 Systems, Inc. have integrated Eracom's ProtectHost White HSM (host security module) and S2 Systems' OpeN/2 payment processing application.
   S2 Systems' OpeN/2 is a scalable authorization and transaction-switching engine that leverages leading edge operating systems, relational databases and hardware technologies. OpeN/2 supports transactions that originate from payment POS terminals, ATMs, other electronic fund transfer networks, host systems and additional payment infrastructures.
   Quova, Inc., Mountain View, Calif., recently launched its GeoPoint service to help support VeriSign's fraud protection services. According to analyst estimates, merchants are projected to lose more than $1 billion to online fraud this year � and Quova's geolocation technology is designed to help merchants protect their transactions against these ever-increasing fraud rates.
   GO Software, a subsidiary of Return On Investment Corporation and a provider of POS payment processing software to more than 85,000 businesses, recently released version 2.1 of its RiTA (Rapid Transaction Authority) Server, a transaction switch that supports high volume, multi-threaded transaction processing.
   RiTA can be integrated into any POS, e-commerce or MOTO (mail order/telephone order) application, regardless of the operating system or development platform. RiTA 2.1 offers additional features designed to enhance transaction processing speed, reliability, security and cost savings for the merchant.