First Offers Web Payment Service

HONG KONG - First has announced the general availability of its multicurrency Internet gateway service in conjunction with the Bank of Bermuda.With transaction processing support from First Data Corp., the service is designed to overcome national and regulatory barriers to acceptance of credit card payments.

"The successful completion of the gateway, being the first of its kind, has firmly established First Ecom's leadership position in Internet payment processing," said president and chief executive officer Gregory Pek. "We believe that First Ecom is now months ahead of any other company planning to offer multicurrency Internet transaction processing."

Separately, First Ecom said it signed a memorandum of understanding with Hana Bank, the sixth-largest in Korea. Hana expects to become the first in that country to offer multicurrency Internet payment processing in real time.

Amex Signs as Partners Three Overseas Issuers

NEW YORK - American Express Co. has signed up three foreign banks to issue its cards.HSBC Bank Brasil agreed to issue three Amex credit cards - OpenCard, GlobalCard, and GoldCard - denominated in the Brazilian real.

Den Danske Bank of Denmark and Banco del Progreso of the Dominican Republic signed similar agreements to issue Amex cards in their markets.

American Express has made 54 partnerships with banks in 60 countries in recent years.

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