New Equifax Services Will Reduce E-Commerce Fraud

Equifax (NYSE: EFX) has introduced a number of new e-commerce services to help companies reduce the risk of doing business over the Internet. Such services will be essential to the continued growth of electronic commerce, since fraud and security concerns still plague merchants, as well as consumers.

According to estimates from the Computer Security Institute, more than $130 million was lost in 1998, through unauthorized access, theft of proprietary information, other security breaches and related fraud. Alan Westin, one of the leading privacy experts in the U.S. warns that, “Without secure identification, promises of privacy by companies on the Net simply lack credibility.”

By using Equifax Secure services, Internet merchants will have a more reliable privacy channel for conducting e-commerce. As an outsourced solution, these services will enable companies to easily and cost-effectively authenticate consumer identity.

Equifax Secure is supported by public key encryption technology, Equifax’s patent-pending remote authentication engine, and IBM’s Vault Registry(TM) technology. The service is available for companies across a range of industries, including banking/financial services, healthcare, insurance, telecommunications, utilities, consulting and information technology.

Stock News & Financials

In late December, Equifax announced that the company has been aggressively repurchasing shares of its stock, after assessing that the stock is undervalued. President and CEO Thomas F. Chapman explained that the company has maintained a philosophy of stock repurchase for many years, and has repurchased 40 million shares at a cost of $725 million, since 1992.

The stock closed on January 6th at 34-13/16, with a 52-week range from 29-3/4 to 45.

Revenues for the 12 months ended September 30, 1998, were more than $1.5 billion. Founded in 1899, Equifax is based in Atlanta, Georgia, with 14,000 employees in 18 countries.

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