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MasterCard launches unified global vendor program; Pekao Financial Services, a subsidiary of Bank Pekao SA Poland, to install MSHARE, a recordkeeping package developed by Global Investment Systems; The Euro Banking Association taps Societa Interbancaria per l'Automazione to build and operate a new pan-European Automated Clearing House for mass payments in Euro.

MasterCard International has introduced the industry's first global vendor program.

The MasterCard Vendor Program (MVP) gives vendors a single point of access to the comprehensive business and technical information needed to most effectively and efficiently serve financial institutions using MasterCard's payments platform.

Vendors in the MVP have access to up-to-the-minute technical information and support, as well as business and product briefings from a variety of sources within the organization, including operations, chip, mobile commerce, e-commerce and debit.

Participating vendors also are able to access electronic information via MasterCard's global information portal, MasterCard OnLine. These resources, supported by a dedicated Vendor Relations team and periodic vendor forums, provide MVP participants worldwide with a comprehensive toolkit for projects involving MasterCard payments services.

"MasterCard's goal with MVP was to make it easier for our members to build partnerships with vendors in a rapidly-changing payments environment," said Jerry McElhatton, senior executive vice president, MasterCard International. "We are reaching the industry's leading vendors and giving them the information they need to ensure that they are able to support our product requirements, thus providing a way for our members to streamline delivery of new products and services to their customers."

More than 75 vendors currently participate in the program. Participants in the program are readily identifiable by their use of an MVP identifier on Web sites and marketing collateral.


Pekao Financial Services, a subsidiary of Bank Pekao SA Poland, which in turn is a subsidiary of Unicredito Italiano, has chosen MSHARE, a recordkeeping package developed by Hackensack, N.J.-based Global Investment Systems (GIS), to help manage shareholder accounting and administration.

Pekao Financial Services is the leading third party provider of transfer agency services in Poland, currently handling about one-third of the domestic mutual fund market, including funds managed by Pioneer Pekao Investment Management.

MSHARE is a state-of-the-art transfer agency and shareholder recordkeeping system for both retail and institutional investment funds. GIS will customize the system to Pekao's requirements over the next six months taking into account the special needs of Poland.

"GIS has a great reputation for service in the Poland," said Waldemar Kasinow, CIO in Pekao Financial Services. "Beyond GIS' experience and track record, we chose MSHARE because it is a modern, flexible system, based upon a proven technology platform. MSHARE will be critical in helping us grow our business."

MSHARE is completely scalable, employs the most recent advances in client/server technology and can support a wide range of transfer agency operations. With its open architecture, it can interface with a variety of third party reporting and data analysis tools.


The Euro Banking Association (EBA) has appointed Societa Interbancaria per l'Automazione (SIA) as its technology partner to build and operate a new pan-European Automated Clearing House for mass payments in Euro.

When completed, the STEP2 payment system will automate bulk low value, high volume inter-bank payments within the European Union. Thanks to STEP2, cross-border and domestic retail payments will be sent as files to the EBA/SIA operation center and will be then processed, cleared and sent for settlement. Settlement Services will be provided either directly by banks, through settlement agent banks or through Central banks.

STEP2 will be accessible through SWIFTNet as well as other secure communication networks.

"The EBA's decision to appoint SIA is an important signal to the banks in Europe that by mid-2003 the EBA's pan-European ACH will be available to process cross-border and domestic bulk payments at cost levels which will be comparable to those of existing domestic ACHs," said Olivier Mas, chairman, EBA. "Using STEP2 will help the banks to meet their customers' needs in the single Euro payments area."

The Euro Banking Association includes over 150 member banks from all EU countries, the United States, Switzerland, Norway, Australia and Japan. EBA was founded in 1985 by 18 commercial banks and the European Investment Bank, with the support of the European Commission. Today, the EBA acts as a forum for the European payments industry and fosters the development of pan-European payment system initiatives.

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