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Online Biometric ID Introduced

MARINA DEL REY, Calif.-TouchCredit Financial Services Inc., has signed a licensing agreement with Electracash Inc., enabling Electracash to offer TouchCredit's online biometric verification technology.

Electracash will offer the system, known as BioApp, to more than 500 of its merchant customers as part of Electracash's payment-processing system.

BioApp verifies that the online customer is making the purchase by his keystroke or his voice; therefore, the merchant can consider it a card-present transaction, which qualifies the merchant for a lower interchange rate, sometimes up to 100 basis points.

To use BioApp, a person must fill out an online application that requires the applicant to type in his date of birth, social security number and other data.

The person also must take an identification quiz to assure that he is actually the person filling out the application, not someone who stole the identification.

When the verification occurs, BioApp sends software to the applicant's computer. It gives the person a choice of voice verification, VeriVoice, or keystroke identification, Biopassword.

ISO Still Building ATM Fleet

HOUSTON-Cardtronics, the largest independent service organization for ATMs, has acquired 1,100 additional ATM locations and related merchant contracts from National Bank Equipment (NBEC), based in Buffalo.

The deal swells the Cardtronics fleet to more than 11,000 locations. Cardtronics is one of two companies that provide ATMs for the fledgling surcharge-free ATM network called Allpoint, owned by ATM National.

First Data Probe To Be Extended

WASHINGTON-The U.S. Justice Department is expected to extend its antitrust investigation of First Data Corp.'s offer to buy rival electronic funds transfer giant Concord EFS when the preliminary review period expired last week.

The extention is expected because of the complexity of the deal, which will marry First Data's NYCE EFT network with Concord's Star Systems, MAC and Cash Station to control about 70% of the PIN-based U.S. debit card market.

The deal is also being scrutinized by attorneys general in 10 states where each of the company's has a major presence. Justice officials are stuyding the deal to determine whether it will have a negative impact on competition in the market for electronic transactions.

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