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Two Wisconsin shared-branch networks merge

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GREENFIELD, Wis. (3/24/09)--Two shared service center networks in Wisconsin have merged, effective March 1, to expand service locations for their participating credit unions at a time when many other financial institutions are cutting back. The combination of Wisconsin Credit Union Shared Service Centers Inc. (WCUSSC), serving members in Southeast Wisconsin and the greater La Crosse areas, and Badger Shared Service Centers Cooperative (BSSCC), serving members in the Madison area, will be the fourth largest branch network among financial institutions in the U.S. WCUSSC will manage BSSCC, operating a combined total of 26 branches under the trade name Credit Union Service Centers. Because the branches are part of a national network, members of participating credit unions can access 3,608 shared locations across the country. The entire system serves 1,547 credit unions with about 37 million members. The merger eliminates inner-network fees between the organizations and reduces transaction prices for BSSCC credit unions while offering improved technologies, said WCUSSC.

PULSE to pilot Internet PIN debit technology

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HOUSTON (3/24/09)--PULSE, an ATM/debit networks, has signed an agreement with Acculynk under which PULSE will test Acculynk’s PaySecure Internet personal identification number (PIN) debit technology in a pilot program. Acculynk is a technology provider with suite of software-only services that secure online transactions. The pilot will involve selected PULSE merchant and financial institution participants and is slated to begin in second quarter (BusinessWire March 23). The goal of the pilot is to assess consumer acceptance of Internet-based PIN debit transactions. Acculynk’s technology enables consumers to use their debit cards with a PIN to pay for online purchases. Acculynk’s PIN-pad technology integrates directly into the merchant checkout process. Consumers will be aware of the PIN entry option only if their card is enabled for PIN debit. Consumers will choose either entering their PIN or completing the purchase as a signature debit transaction. Acculynk’s Internet PIN debit service uses security features such as a graphical, scrambling PIN pad for the secure entry of PIN data. The PIN itself is not captured on the consumer’s PC nor is it transmitted over the Internet. Instead, Acculynk captures and encrypts data associated with the PIN entry process, then transmits that encrypted data in a separate message from the message used for the card number. This makes it difficult for fraudsters to capture information that could compromise a consumer’s debit card or account. Also, producing a counterfeit card would be nearly impossible because the magnetic stripe data is not captured during the online transaction, the companies said.