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Company and tech news from the region.

Bank debuts safer e-commerce card

University Bank in St. Paul has become the first bank in Minnesota to introduce a Stored Value Card, a financial tool for Twin Cities consumers looking for safer E-commerce transactions at,, Ebay,, and other popular Web sites. The Stored Value Card functions much like a prepaid gift card; it can be used online one time and discarded, or money can be reloaded into the Stored Value Card account for continued use on the Web.

Eral to head local Relational Funding office

Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based Relational Funding Corp. (RFC) opened a Bloomington office that will be headed by National Account Manager Roger Eral. The office will provide technology hardware selection and financing solutions to enterprises in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. RFC is an independent technology supply and finance organization.

Internet insurance to be offered to community banks

The St. Paul Cos. has launched a new product to provide insurance for online banking systems at community banks. The St. Paul will offer different types of coverage, including compensation if a bank loses confidential client data as a result of a hacker attack, if a bank accidentally transmits a computer virus to its clients, or if customers lose money because they cannot access a bank’s Web site. The insurance is designed for community banks with assets of $1 billion or less.

Vicom units renamed Multiband

Two business units of New Hope-based Vicom Inc. have pooled their activities and have started doing business under the name Multiband Business Services. The new organization will provide local and long-distance telephone services, digital cable TV and high-speed Internet services in apartments, condominiums and other multi-unit buildings. The company also offers high-speed Internet access to homes and businesses.

Digital Angel buys OuterLink

Digital Angel Inc. has agreed to buy OuterLink Corp. in Concord, Mass., and will appoint OuterLink’s CEO, Van Chu, as its new CEO as soon as the deal closes. OuterLink makes satellite tracking systems and supplies tracking software systems for mapping and messaging. Digital Angel makes tiny chips that can be implanted in animals and humans to provide identification information.

Net Perceptions sued for not selling

A week after Net Perceptions Inc. announced it was dissolving, a law firm has filed a lawsuit that it wants to expand into a class action suit against the company. The firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach in San Diego, Calif., charged in its complaint that Net Perceptions’ directors violated their duties by rejecting offers to acquire the company. The suit was filed on behalf of Don Blakstad, an investor in the company.

Imation signs with VeriTest to operate lab

Imation Corp. signed a letter of intent with VeriTest, a division of Waltham, Mass.-based Lionbridge Technologies Inc., to jointly manage, operate and market Imation’s storage network laboratory. The laboratory is located at Imation’s headquarters in Oakdale and allows organizations and equipment manufacturers to develop, test, and evaluate data storage solutions. The lab checks for such factors as interoperability of systems, performance validation and disaster recovery.

Imation buys data backup distribution rights

Imation Corp. paid $20 million to acquire exclusive worldwide distribution rights of tape backup systems made by Exabyte Corp. Under the agreement, Boulder, Colo.-based Exabyte will sell all of its media products exclusively to Imation and Imation will provide worldwide sales, marketing and distribution services for these products. Exabyte makes high-capacity storage systems for computer data geared to users of small and mid-sized servers. Imation makes and sells magnetic and optical removable data storage media, such as tape and disks.

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