Bank of America announced in July, a definitive agreement to purchase all of the outstanding shares of National Processing, Inc. for $1.4 billion in cash, or $26.60 per share. The combination with Bank of America Merchant Services would create the nation's second largest bankcard merchant acquirer with nearly $250 billion in annual processing volume.
   National Processing, a public company, is 83 percent owned by National City Corporation. The newly combined Bank of America Merchant Services will be headquartered in Louisville, KY, where National Processing is currently based.
   "Bank of America is the number one check processor in the U.S.," said G. Patrick Phillips, President, Card Services & e-Commerce, Bank of America. Phillips noted that Bank of America is the number one debit card issuer and number four credit card issuer in the United States, uniquely positioning the company to innovate and create efficiencies in electronic payments.
   Through its Merchant Card Services unit, National Processing provides services to approximately 700,000 merchant locations across North America, representing nearly one out of every six VISA� and MasterCard� transactions processed nationally. National Processing also provides financial settlement and reporting solutions to large and mid-size corporate customers in the travel and healthcare industries.
   Bank of America also announced that Mark Pyke, currently the Chief Operating Officer of National Processing, Inc., will lead the combined merchant services business once the transaction is complete. Pyke will report directly to Pat Phillips.
   The merger is subject to the approval of National Processing, Inc. shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2004.
   TNS Inc., Reston, Va., recently acquired the Synapse wireless platform from bankrupt U.S. Wireless Data Inc. for an undisclosed sum.
   Synapse offers wireless payment solutions for a variety of merchants including taxi and limousine companies, towing services, arts and crafts shows, mobile concession, souvenir stands and outdoor markets.
   Jack McDonnell, Chairman and CEO of TNS, expects the acquisition to help jump start TNS' entrance into new markets such as quick serve restaurants.
   In Atlanta, The Merchant Services Advocate ( ) recently announced a new insurance plan for all Merchant Level Sales representatives, small sales offices and small Visa / MasterCard registered independent sales organizations.
   This is in answer to the numerous requests by management and sales people in the merchant services industry for the need of good, affordable insurance for self employed individuals and companies. This service is for all registered members of The MSA.
   In May, Atlanta-based Ingenico, announced a partnership with Southern DataComm (SDC) to develop a simple solution for merchants using high-speed dial terminals.
   Multi-Point Terminal Service (MPTS), leverages SDC's Payment Delivery software and services with Ingenico's Elite 710 and 712 terminals to provide a low-cost, processor-independent, multi-tender package. TermNet Merchant Services is the first merchant Acquirer signed to distribute this new high-speed solution.
   The partnership will result in the development of a payment acceptance solution that will provide significant benefits for retailers and restaurants that need high speed "real-time" transaction acceptance but do not want to invest in DSL or ISDN.
   Global Payments Inc., an Atlanta, Ga.-based electronic transaction processor, was recently recognized by Business Week and The Atlanta Jounral-Constitution for its business growth.
   Business Week cited Global Payments as one of the magazine's "hot growth companies." The rankings are based sales and earnings growth and return on capital over a three-year period. Any company on the list must have a market cap of at least $25 million and a share price of at least $5.
   The Atlanta Journal-Constitution named Global Payments one of Georgia's 100 best-performing public companies.� The newspaper placed Global Payments as number 19 in its annual "Best of Business" rankings, moving Global up from number 30 in the listing published in 2003.
   The National Association of Credit Management's monthly index of economic indicators shows a continued strong economy, though the indicators slipped a little in May compared to April.
   The manufacturing and service sectors are continuing to perform much stronger than they did in the months prior to March 2004.
   The index, published since January 2003, is based on a survey of about 500 trade credit managers during the last 10 days of the month, with about equal representation between manufacturing and service sectors.
   The main reason for a decline in the service sector reading was an increase in the aging of receivables.
   Recently, some PayPal members have reported suspicious-looking emails and fake Web sites. As a result, PayPal recently urged users to follow some precautions to ensure the security of their accounts.
   Access a PayPal account by opening up a new web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Netscape) and type in the following:; never give out information in an email; PayPal will not ask users to provide personal information such password, social security number, bank account and credit card numbers; users shouldn't download attachments, software updates, or any application to the computer via a link received in an e-mail -- PayPal will not ask users to download anything for an account to work; choose a unique password and change it every 30 to 60 days.
   Hypercom Corporation announced in May that its high-speed card payment terminals and technology - HyperWare� software and ICE� 5500Plus terminal - is being made available to Wendy's(R) franchisee restaurant locations in the United States.
   Wendy's International operates and franchises more than 6,300 Wendy's restaurants worldwide. Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions, the electronic processing services division of Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati, Ohio), has been selected as the preferred credit card transaction provider for more than 4,200 Wendy's restaurants in the United States.
   VeriFone, Inc., Santa Clara, Calif., recently unveiled the SC5000 PINpad, a palm-sized programmable card reader designed for multi-lane retailers.
   The SC500 offers tamper-detection circuitry, VeriShield file authentication, advanced encryption including 3DES and AES, and the flexibility to develop virtually any key-management scheme through the use of VeriShield security scripts.
   VeriFone also offers its EverestPlus POS terminals to retailers throughout the country. VeriFone recently completed installing 6,500 of these terminals in Barnes & Noble and B. Dalton Booksellers (owned by Barnes & Noble) nationwide.
   Heartland Payment Systems, Inc., Princeton, N.J, recently certified Digital Dining POS System from Menusoft Systems Corp., Springville, Va., enabling Digital Dining clients to process online payments using an integrated interface direct to Heartland's data processing center, HPS Exchange.

   Humboldt Merchant Services, Eureka, Calif., recently started offering its business partners retail ePay from USA ePay, Los Angeles. The program allows retail merchants to process their wireless transactions at qualified retail rates over the newly developed and certified retail environment on the USA ePay gateway.
   Retail ePay works through the already built USA ePay gateway. Retail merchants can use their existing high-speed Internet connections with Retail ePay and can run multiple transactions all at the same time through one location.
   Ingenico Atlanta, Ga., will jointly market Precept products on the Elite 710 and 712 "multi-app ready" terminals as part of Ingenico's Value-added Services Program.
   The Elite 710 is a low-cost multi-app terminal. The Elite 712 provides an integrated "hand-over" Visa PED approved PIN pad for debit and EBT transaction acceptance.
   Precept delivers prepaid wireless and other prepaid products and services to its own network of merchants through its POSA system and also develops and implements custom back-office solutions for other companies.