HNC Software Inc. has introduced its first Internet-based credit card fraud detection software for merchants, eFalcon.

"Fraudulent transactions may exceed 10% of e-commerce merchant revenues in some cases," said Robert North, the president and chief executive officer of HNC. "With consumers expected to spend approximately $16 billion on-line next year, that's a huge problem for Internet merchants."

EC Direct, a Seattle-based company that provides the back-end functions involved in on-line credit card transactions as well as merchandise shipping, is the first eFalcon customer.

Separately, HNC announced a business alliance with Qpass Inc., a fast- growing network for digital delivery of articles from The Wall Street Journal, images from the Corbis library, information from the Morningstar mutual fund data base, and other participating programs.

"It is ironic, but in terms of tools like fraud management, real-time marketing, and customer life-cycle management, most Internet merchants are several generations behind large-scale, brick-and-mortar merchants," said Chase Franklin, the chief executive officer of Qpass. "Qpass and HNC will deploy state of-the-art, real-time technologies that help Internet merchants step up to a higher level of customer interaction management."

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