HID Global Deploys SmartCard Readers for China Unicom

China Unicom has installed HID Global’s “OMNIKEY 1021” desktop smart card readers at its stores in more than 20 provinces and cities across the country to simplify the SIM card issuance process and improved the efficiency of frontline customer service staff. The readers allow customer service staff to personalize a blank SIM card with a mobile number and other optional services on the spot. The readers have also eliminated mobile number configuration and hence reduced SIM card inventory levels. With this, HID Global has delivered 80,000 “OMNIKEY 1021” desktop smart card reader units to China Unicom.

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Kemba FCU Extends STAR Network Membership

The STAR network is now the preferred provider of PIN-secured debit POS and ATM access for OH-based Kemba Credit Union while First Data is to supply its debit processing. STAR offers electronic funds transfer (EFT) networks nationwide with more than 2 million retail and ATM locations and is a First Data company. Kemba serves more than 60,000 members in the Greater Cincinnati area, has more than $468 million in assets, issues 37,000 debit cards and operates 10 ATMs. The STAR Network focuses on real-time debit payment processing for driving increased reliability, security, cardholder convenience, and choice wherever and whenever consumers demand access to their money.

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Open Solutions Platform Implemented On First National Bank of Elmer

Open Solutions’ “DNA” relational core processing will now serve the First National Bank of Elmer with integrated enabling technologies. Using .NET technology, the “DNA” processing enhances workflow, flexibility and productivity with the flexibility necessary for running a service-oriented financial institution. Available as an in-house or outsourced solution, it helps financial institutions streamline both front- and back-office processes and creates a centralized view of customers, employees and business partners. First National Bank of Elmer will implement DNA in an outsourced environment through Open Solutions’ data center.

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Paybefore Awards Six i2c Clients

Presented annually by Prepaid Media, Paybefore has chosen i2c clients Convenient Cards; Outlier, Inc.; Plastic Cash International; and Western Union as Paybefore Award winners in six different categories, all of which implement the i2c “My Card Place” (MCP) processing platform. The Paybefore Awards is in its fifth year and has become a recognition of excellence in the worldwide prepaid and stored value card industry. Namely, Plastic Cash International’s “MyPlash Teen Card” was awarded as BEST CONSUMER-FUNDED PREPAID CARD; Western Union’s “MoneyWise” Prepaid Card as BEST GENERAL PURPOSE RELOADABLE PROGRAM: IN-PERSON SALES CHANNEL; Plastic Cash International’s “MyPlash Teen Card” as BEST PREPAID CARD DESIGN; Outlier’s “SWAGG” as BEST VIRTUAL OR MOBILE PREPAID APPLICATION;
Convenient Cards’ “Tour Operator Program” as MOST EFFECTIVE PREPAID SOLUTION; and Outlier’s “SWAGG” as MOST INNOVATIVE PREPAID PROGRAM.

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Cardtronics Bank Machine Expands ATM Operations

Cardtronics’ Bank Machine has forged a multi-year deal with Yorkshire Building Society to take over the management of Yorkshire’s 20 ATMs. The turn-key ATM managed services agreement includes maintenance and cash delivery through Bank Machine’s in-house cash-in-transit company, Green Team. Bank Machine operates over 3,000 ATMs throughout the U.K. with locations ranging from convenience stores to the world-famous Selfridges department stores. Retail customers include Asda, Costcutter, Martin McColl, Punch Taverns, Spar, Tates, and Welcome Break. Bank Machine provides clients with a full-service ATM solution, with capabilities covering everything from site selection to cash delivery.

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OKI Data Cleared by U.S. ITC of Infringement

OKI Data Americas has been cleared by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) with no violation occurred in the patent infringement investigation filed by the Ricoh Company. The ITC found that OKI Data Corporation and OKI Data Americas had not violated section 337 with respect to any of the 5 patents asserted by Ricoh, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,209,048; 6,212,343; 5,863,690; 6,388,771; and 5,764,866. This is the final decision in the investigation; therefore, Ricoh’s allegations have no impact to the company or its ability to sell its products.

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BofA Named Most Valuable Banking Brand

Bank of America has been recognized as the most valuable banking brand in the world, according to the fifth edition of BrandFinance Global Banking 500. The report details how proactive marketing strategies and an improving domestic consumer banking market have seen the U.S. regain its place as the world’s financial capital, and with it, Bank of America increased in overall brand value by 15% to $30.6 billion. Founded in 1996, Brand Finance has performed thousands of branded business, brand and intangible asset valuations worth trillions of dollars.

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Banking Sector Central to EUR2.9T Carbon Transition

The banking sector will be pivotal to Europe’s low carbon transition, and will finance and intermediate the vast majority of the EUR2.9 trillion capital required to implement low carbon infrastructure from 2011 – 2020. This is meant to help the Continent bring its emissions to 83% of 1990 levels by 2020 for a carbon abatement of 2.2 Gt CO2e. This, according to the “Carbon Capital” report published by Accenture and Barclays, also shows capital markets are to unlock EUR1.4 trillion for low carbon technology while 73% (EUR1.65 trillion) is to come externally from unprecedented demand for private capital and associated bank products and services. The largest share will be debt to finance the development of low carbon technology assets. The report calculates that securitization of the debt into “green bonds” – low carbon technology asset-backed securities – could provide access to secondary markets for €1.4 trillion of capital required, providing new products for pension funds, individual and other institutional investors.

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SafetyPay and JetPay Launch Secure Online Payment

SafetyPay secure payment facilitator and clearinghouse for online shoppers, online merchants and banks partnered with Texas-based JetPay payment services provider. Processing more than 20 billion in transactions domestically with a rapidly growing international group of merchants, to which they offer payment services and features, including batch processing, high-speed authorization, check guarantee and check conversion, split automated clearinghouse transactions, fraud protection and 24-hour customer service, Jetpay services can be developed and executed according to the specific needs of each individual merchant. SafetyPay has partnered and integrated with 23 financial institutions and 2,000 merchants worldwide.

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NetSpend Launches iPhone Application

NetSpend general purpose reloadable prepaid debit cards and underbanked services launched its second-generation iPhone application as a free download. This lets NetSpend cardholders send mobile person-to-person payments to other NetSpend cardholders through their iPhones for access to account and savings transaction histories; account and bank routing information; and a geo-locator for ATM and reload locations. This is part of Company efforts to develop industry-leading technology that provides cardholders unparalleled access to their account through Web, IVR, Mobile, SMS, and now smart-phone applications.

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Small Business Owner Confidence on the Mend

After falling in December, confidence among small business owners rebounded in January to 91.0 in January on the Discover “Small Business Watch” index, up 9.4 points from December 2010 and 5.5 points higher than one year ago, the highest the index has been since December 2007 at 92.7. With this, 31% of small business owners say the economy is getting better this month, up from 25% in December; 41% say it is getting worse, down from 51% last month; 24% say it’s the same, up from 22%; and 3% were unsure. Meanwhile, 31% of small business owners say economic conditions for their businesses are getting better, up from 25% the month prior; 38% see conditions getting worse, down from 43% in December; 26% say they are the same, even with December; 5% were unsure. Additional indicators show 30% will increase spending on business development , up 9 points to its highest point since March 2008; 40% will decrease business development spending, down from 42% last month; 27% do not plan any changes, down from 32%. Moreover, 57% reported the economy as poor, down 5 points from last month while 34% report it as fair, up 5 points.

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