Verifone Offers Electronic-Payments Consulting

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - Verifone Inc. has formed a consulting unit to help its customers put "end-to-end electronic payment solutions" in place.

The professional services division will be able to draw on products and expertise throughout the Verifone organization. Best known for its five million point of sale systems installed around the world, the company is also a growing force in Internet commerce.

The consulting unit will be able to "quickly answer a customer's need for a complete payment solution, providing a seamless connection between Verifone's products and services," said Hatim A. Tyabji, chairman, president, and chief executive.

For instance, an evaluation "might reveal opportunities to replace a current system by integrating multiple payment systems, adding a loyalty program to identify and reward your best customers, developing an Internet payment solution, or adding smart card capabilities," said Thomas G. Ream, a Verifone vice president and head of the new division.

It will also help with system implementation, training, and ongoing support, said Mr. Ream, previously general manager of the international division.

Alton E. Sturdivant, director of professional services, who was previously a vice president at S2 Systems Inc., will report to Mr. Ream. NYCE Opens New England Office Near Boston

BURLINGTON, Mass. - NYCE Corp., the regional ATM network, opened an office in the Boston suburb of Burlington to gain "a local presence in a key marketplace," a press release said.

The new office, headed by account manager Estelle Abood, will serve as a sales and customer service outlet for the New England area.

Ms. Abood, who came to NYCE via Electronic Payment Services Inc.'s MAC network, has 12 years of experience in the electronic funds transfer business. Mobil to Test Drive-Through Payment System

ST. LOUIS - Mobil Corp. said service stations will soon have the same payment technology that allows vehicles to pass through highway tollgates without stopping.

Mobil said 50 stations in the St. Louis area will adopt Mobil Pegasus Speedpass, a transponder technology Mobil developed with Texas Instruments and the Wayne division of Dresser Industries.

The customer's transponder - it comes in key, card, or window-mounted versions - communicates with the pump, authorizing a charge against the credit card the customer designated when applying for the service.

The initial 50 test locations are part of an 80-station Mobil network in eastern Missouri owned by Arch Energy/Wallis Oil, which is trying to encourage customer usage through a joint promotion with General Motors MasterCard.

Wallis Oil president Bill Wallis said he "jumped at the chance" to be the first in the world to implement the system.

David McGettigan, Mobil's Speedpass product manager, said security was paramount in the system design.

"The customer's credit card number remains outside the Speedpass signal system, maintaining the confidentiality of that information," Mr. McGettigan said. "We believe we've developed a technology that helps to protect our customers' accounts from unauthorized use while speeding them on their way." Pa. Credit Union Group Opposes ATM Fees

HARRISBURG, Penn. - Pennsylvania Credit Union League's board of directors said it is against surcharge fees for using ATMs.

The board of credit union officials from across the state voted this month that ATM surcharges are "not in the best interests of consumers and do not fit into the credit union philosophy of providing affordable, consumer-friendly services to members."

The board is one of the few industry groups to support legislation in Congress and the Pennsylvania General Assembly prohibiting ATM surcharges.

The League is coordinating an educational campaign to inform consumers about which ATM locations do not charge the extra fee. Potential participants include financial institutions from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and New York.

"Our board recognizes that ATM surcharges are just another way for some financial institutions to earn excess profits," said Credit Union League president James J. McCormack.

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