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Industry News


   TASQ, a unit of First Data Merchant Services, a subsidiary of First Data Corp., has extended its agreement with Lipman Transaction Solutions.
   "In response to the growing demand for Lipman products, we are pleased to renew and extend our relationship with Lipman," says TASQ President Ron Chaisson.
   According to Chaisson, TASQ's strategic initiatives include providing product solutions that offer customers quality and customization, which are major factors in TASQ's clients' purchasing decisions and ultimately to TASQ's continued success.
   "TASQ has been an integral part of our success as we continue to increase market share," says Lipman President and CEO Mony Zenou. "Over the next year, we look forward to rolling out a number of systems designed to bring the relationship between the manufacturer and distributor to even greater levels of partnership and support."
   VeriFone recently introduced the Verifone CDT 8810 customer display terminals for credit, PIN-based debit, signature capture and the delivery of on-screen advertising at the point of sale.
   A leading national retail drug store chain has contracted to take delivery of 6,000 units and has named VeriFone as its premier solutions provider, replacing a previous vendor. VeriFone partnered with HHP, a Skaneateles Falls, N.Y.-based manufacturer of image-based data collection systems to provide the VeriFone CDT 8810 total solution integrating terminals from HHP, VeriFone application software, and VeriFone installation and support services.
   The VeriFone CDT 8810 includes 32-bit processing, a full-color touch-panel display, an integrated hybrid card reader and 16 MB of memory.
   The terminal integrates debit, credit and EBT payment; electronic signature capture; purchase item detail and on-screen advertising
   Hannaford Bros. Co., a major Northeast supermarket retailer, recently agreed to acquire more than 2,000 Hypercom ICE terminals for supermarkets throughout Maine, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. 
   ICE devices are touch screen-based, Web-enabled card payment terminals that incorporate physical security features and Hypercom's HyperSafe operating system. In addition to the embedded applications, Hypercom's ICE terminals support a range of applications and services including electronic signature and receipt capture, on-screen advertising, customer-pole display, interactive electronic coupons -- as well as secure credit, debit, EBT and EMV smart card functions. All Hypercom ICE terminals meet the latest security requirements for PIN-based transactions, including DUKPT and 3DES.
   BioPay LLC, Herdon, Va., is implementing its biometric check payment service, bCheck, at Baltimore-based Santoni's Supermarket.
   bCheck is based on BioPay's Paycheck Secure payroll check cashing system. During the enrollment process, the customer gives the clerk his or her driver's license or other ID for inputting into BioPay's database. At the same time, the customer's index fingers are scanned. The customer's preferred checking account is also recorded. The entire process takes less than two minutes and all the information is securely stored in the BioPay system. Repeat customers can quickly and conveniently pay for purchases with the touch of a finger; cash, checks, credit and debit cards, and ID are not required.
   According to a recent survey by the Opinion Research Corporation for the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, 85 percent of respondents consider it acceptable to use biometrics to make transactions more secure.
   Crown Taxi of Toronto has experienced a 10-fold increase in credit card transactions since installing wireless terminals in its fleet in October 2002, announced Vancouver-based eXcape Business Transactions Inc., which created the wireless POS solution.
   "Customers have really appreciated the added convenience of paying by credit or debit," says Bob Donaldson, President of Fareport Capital Inc., which owns Crown Taxi. "It actually is faster than paying by cash, and eliminates the need for drivers and customers to have to fumble for the right change. We think it has given us a real competitive advantage in the market."
   eXcape's fleetX® POS terminals accept all payment card types including MasterCard, debit, Visa, American Express, and Diners Club cards.
   Certified Merchant Services, Ltd., Plano, Tex., recently received restitution from Cliff Torrence, who formerly sold CMS processing services. CMS learned that Torrence had been attempting to convert some of CMS' customers to another transaction processor. CMS pursued legal action against Torrence in U.S. District Court
   As part of the settlement, Torrence admitted that his actions constituted a violation of the injunction rendered by the court, and he agreed to pay restitution to CMS for his violation.
   "A significant part of my responsibility is to make sure that the company is protected from people trying to take unfair advantage of CMS," said Mary Dees, CMS General Manager. We are very serious about pursuing legal recourse when we learn of individuals trying to steal CMS customers."
   Infilink, Atlanta, Ga., recently unveiled a new Web service for credit reporting and decisioning for the transaction processing industry.
   The new ICAT decision engine uses XML data structures and http protocol to offer credit bureau access and/or full decisioning capability for credit reports, validation and
   Infilink customers can use a variety of security options from customer authentication, SSL, VPN and custom encryption/decryption services. Standard and client defined element packets are also available.
   Integration with existing applications is simple and can usually be implemented within a day, according to the company. Additional customer relationship management applications are available for management reporting, research and credit queues.
   Mid-March, MasterCard International asked U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson to sever the plaintiffs' claims against MasterCard in the Wal-Mart antitrust suit against MasterCard and Visa that was scheduled to go to trial in late April in Brooklyn, N.Y., and order separate trials. In papers filed in mid-March, MasterCard told Judge Gleeson that a joint trial would be prejudicial to MasterCard and could cause substantial jury confusion.
   MasterCard also has a motion pending before Judge Gleeson to dismiss the case on summary judgment. If the case is not dismissed on summary judgment, and it goes before a jury, jurors would hear evidence plaintiffs contend demonstrates anticompetitive conduct on the part of Visa.
   MasterCard said that "despite MasterCard's long history of support for on-line debit, its position would be undermined by testimony relating to alleged conduct of Visa directed against the regional on-line debit networks."
   Lloyd Constantine, counsel for the plaintiffs, said MasterCard wouldn't get a separate trial.
   "Motions like this are usually filed at the beginning of the case or during discovery. Discovery closed more than three years ago," Constantine said. "They were recently tried jointly by the U.S. government and they've offered a joint defense in our case."
   Constantine added that he expects the trial to last three months, during which time the court could do little else, so Judge Gleeson wouldn't want to add another three-month trial.
   Data just released by investment bankers R.K. Hammer show that smaller card portfolio sales can often have transaction premiums as high as large deals. Sales tracked by the firm for 2002 through 2/28/03 indicate that the smaller deals are commanding better prices now, too. The following are the card portfolio sale prices as reported 3.17.03:

 Sale Portfolio Size Ave. Premiums Paid
    
 $7.5MM 15.1%
 $7.5-15MM 19.9%
 $15-30MM 21.8%
 $30-40MM 19.5%
 $40-50MM 18.3%
 $50-60MM 19.0%
 $60-70MM 19.5%
 $70-80MM 19.7%
 $80-90MM 18.9%
 $90-100MM 18.2%
   A new sales rep organization - the National Association of Payment Professionals (NAPP) was created in Tampa FL on Feb. 24th.
   The organization was created for all those selling in the Payment Processing industry, to provide Education, Benefits, Liaison/Representation and Certification. Interim administrators were appointed and specific goals identified to achieve over the upcoming months. For membership information call Elbert Enrique at 813-376-3060.