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Pay By Touch On Shopping Binge

SAN FRANCISCO-Biometric solutions provider Pay By Touch, developer of the fingerprint payment terminal, said it has continued its recent acquisitions streak and agreed to buy two providers of loyalty technology.

They are 7th Street Software, Inc., developer of LoyaltySuite, which helps retailers automatically give shoppers personalized offers on the products they offer; and Convena LLC, which also provides loyalty technology to retailers.

The two companies will be paired with Capture Resource Inc., a supplier of integrated reward programs Pay By Touch agreed to acquire two weeks ago.

Since the first of the month, Pay By Touch has also completed its acquisition of CardSystems Solutions, the troubled cards processor for 120,000 merchants, and BioPay LLC, a provider of fingerprint authentication systems for check cashing.

Pay By Touch also acquired ATM Direct, an online payment provider, three months ago.

Counter-Attack Thwarts Phishers

OLYMPIA, Wash.-Rather than play defense, officials at Washington State Employees CU decided to take the offensive against a series of phishing attacks.

After the credit union was alerted to a phishing email that linked members to a phony website, the credit union began inundating the fake website with bad debit card numbers, hoping that the criminals would be confused and unable to distinguish between the fake numbers and any real ones members may have been fooled into sending them.

They also contacted the Internet service provider in Lithuania that was hosting the fake web site. It took about a day and half to shut down the phony site.

Firm To Test Web-Based PIN Debit

IRVING, Texas-Pay By Touch said its ATM Direct unit plans to test-pilot technology early next year that will allow consumers to use their debit cards and PINs to make purchases online.

The technology, which uses a screen-based 'floating PIN pad' to allow cardholders to enter PINs with the click of a mouse, instead of key entry, will be tested by ACCEL/Exchange, a unit of Fiserv.

The system works by downloading digitally unique code to the consumer's desktop, then creating a process of multi-factor authentication. Company officials said they are negotiating with other networks to introduce the technology.

ATM Direct was purchased out of bankruptcy earlier this year by Pay By Touch.

First Data Trims Workforce

DENVER-Financial processing giant First Data Corp. has laid off 3% of its workforce, or about 1,000 people, as it seeks to cut costs.

Most of the layoffs will be in the company's Card Issuing Services unit, which First Data is trying to sell.

The company expects to take additional actions aimed at further reducing overall operating costs prior to the end of 2005 that would result in additional charges during the quarter.

Cookies Enable Marketing Tool

WILLISTON, Vt.-New England Federal Credit Union said it has deployed the latest technology in behavior-based marketing that allows the credit union to track a member's behavior using Internet "cookies," then target market specific products and services to that member.

The credit union has implemented L9.com's Behavior-Based Promotion Manager, in combination with its eBranch Content Management System, that allows it to deliver a focused marketing pitch to individual members based on information gleaned from the cookies.

The cookies, which are placed on an individual's computer after they surf a website, tracks what the member is doing, then provides information and tools that help the member find what they are looking for.

The method can, for example, automatically deliver information on car buying or loan rates to someone who has surfed the credit union's site for information on car financing.

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