Consumer Payment Card News

CardMail Fears

The fear of anthrax infested mail may affect the response time by credit card issuers to customer correspondence and could potentially slow down the timely processing of credit card payments. Last week, Providian received two Seattle-postmarked envelopes with a yellowish, powdery substance that had leaked from one of the envelopes and partially coated the other. Ten Providian employees were treated with antibiotics at Oakland’s Highland Hospital and released. Local authorities have ruled out anthrax as the unknown substance sent to Providian but they have not ruled out other biological agents. Last month, Providian’s mail facility in New Hampshire was evacuated after employees became suspicious over a medium-sized box weighing about 20 pounds. An estimated 350 people were evacuated from surrounding buildings while the state police bomb disposal unit examined and removed the package. Ironically there was an anthrax scare at the same Providian site about two years ago according to local Red Cross officials.

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