CARNIVAL & VIRTUOSO

Carnival “SeaMiles” cruise loyalty solutions has partnered with Dania
Beach Florida Cruise Division to offer new member benefits. Available as
a “Carnival Sea Miles” MasterCard or “SeaMiles” Chase Visa Rewards Card,
both cards offer rewards applicable to “Any Cruise Line… Any Time”
with no restrictions, blackouts or fees. The “SeaMiles” cruise loyalty
credit card program has awarded more than two billion unit credits to
its members with operations in Fort Lauderdale, Boston and Toronto.
The Cruise Division, made available through the Virtuoso Travel Network,
provides its members amenities, complimentary room upgrades, airport
transfers, special dining experiences, exclusive shore excursions and
custom itineraries while Virtuoso is composed of 300 agencies, employing
over 6,000 agents in 22 countries.

Details

Credit Card Issuers Have Lost the PII Battle

A new research report suggests that the financial services industry has lost the
battle to protect consumers’ personally identifiable information (PII) data. Over
100 data breach incidents containing millions of data records were reported in
just the first four months of this year. Recent instances include hackers accessing
a FAA system and the theft of laptops from the Dezonia Group. The TowerGroup report
says financial institutions must now assume that all of their clients’ and
prospects’ personal information has been compromised or will be. To combat the
problem, TowerGroup recommends that financial services institutions assume that
traditional account information such as a client or prospect’s name, social
security number, address, telephone number, date of birth and account balance are
useless as authentication factors. Instead, consider using knowledge-based
authentication and one-time passwords delivered via SMS; implement an integrated,
cross-channel fraud prevention strategy that detects and diagnoses possible use of
fraudulently obtained PII in real time and across all business practices; and
continually evaluate and evolve fraud prevention approaches because smart
fraudsters constantly change their means and tactics for breaking security systems
and stealing data.

Details

VISA MIF

The EuroCommerce retail association is filing its complaint against Visa
Europe in reaction to the set “Multilateral Interchange Fees” (MIF) imposed by member banks on retailers. Asserting fees of this nature led the
European Commission to rule against MasterCard in December 2007.
EuroCommerce is arguing these fees constitute an infringement on the
European competition law and the new rates, published on March 11, 2009,
are unfair. The MIF, or non-negotiable fees the merchant pays the bank
with every payment card transaction, is partially paid to others, thus
distorting bank competition. Additionally, the EuroCommerce assertion is
backing its claim with research showing pan-European debit cards, profit
included, is no more than 1 eurocent per transaction.

Details

First Bankcard Renewals ABA CC Deal

Nebraska-based First Bankcard has renewed its relationship with ABA
Total Business Solutions.
The credit card program is designed to provide a broad array of
competitive credit card products to banks and their customers. First
Bankcard provides more
than 650 partner banks with proven delivery strategies while maintaining
focus on the
partner brand and expanding customer relationships. First Bankcard is a
division of
First National Bank, a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska with $20
billion in managed
assets and more than 6,000 employee associates located in 35 states.

Details

NCR PLANT

NCR has announced plans to build its R$73 million innovation hub and
manufacturing plant in Brazil to provide a broader range of its
self-service solutions. Responding to the market requirements of Brazil,
the Caribbean and Latin America, the new facility will focus on
“SelfServ” ATM design and create nearly 250 new jobs with operations
slated to commence in December 2009. These announcements are in
conjunction with NCR’s plans to establish ATM manufacturing in Columbus,
Ga., where all North American NCR ATM manufacturing will take place,
creating 870 new jobs. Brazil is the third largest ATM market in the
world and is projected to grow 16% by 2012 while the OH-based NCR
Corporation provides its self-service solutions in more than 100 countries.

Details

DCS Releases CardWizard easyPIN

Instant issuer Dynamic Card Solutions announced the availability of
“easyPIN” change solution that allows portable and remote changing of PINs.
“easyPIN” makes use of an Internet or phone connection and a small
unconnected handheld smart card reader that is issued by their financial institution.
Cardholders can simply insert their EMV card into the smart card reader
and follow the instructions that prompt them to change their PIN. This can be done
through the online banking website, interactive voice response (IVR) support, or an
optical interface. The flexible design of DCS’ easyPIN means
it can be integrated into issuers’ existing customer delivery channels such as
home banking, and the solution is also compatible with standard Two Factor
Authentication (2FA) functionality, such as MasterCard CAP & Visa DPA, ensuring that the
deployed readers provide a wide range of features to cardholders.

Details

MATCH-ON-CARD

Slated for delivery by 2Q09, Precise Biometrics has signed agreements to
provide the latest hardware follow-up order, worth USD 268,000, in a
“Match-on-Card” project to government employees. In addition to
furnishing the Middle Eastern government with hardware, Precise is
granting “Match-on-Card” licenses and Precise “200 MC readers”, which
combine fingerprint and smart card detection for the government ID card
project. Storing and matching fingerprint information on a smart card to
establish the physical presence of an individual, Precise Biometrics
shipped the same client orders valued at SEK 5 million in 2008, has
deployed 20 million card licenses and close to 100 million contracted
licenses for its bio-ID solution across Qatar, Bahrain and other
regional countries.

Details

Credit Card Statements Fail Usability Globally

A global study of credit card statements conducted by an Australian non-profit group has found that majority of these documents
fail to meet the minimum acceptable usability level. Melbourne-based Communication Research Institute tested credit statements from Australia, Argentina, Austria, Chile, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, UK and the USA and found that the statements could not be used to find out how much credit was run up on the credit card, how long it would take to pay it back, the ‘pay by’ date for each month, how much extra it’s going to cost in interest payments, and what happens if people miss a payment. The overall performance of statements from each country, where the minimum acceptable usability target level is 81%, was 33% for Australia, 55% for the U.K. and between 32% and 60% for the USA.

Details

365 AIRCASH

Celcom, the mobile communications of Axiata Group has decided “Sybase 365”
mobile messaging services will power its “AirCash Unstructured
Supplementary Service Data” (USSD) mobile financial service, targeting 9
million Malaysian customers. Run on the Sybase 365 mCommerce “Mobiliser
Platform” payment processing and service delivery, “AirCash” allows
Celcom 2G and 3G customers to use their mobile phones for money transfer
to fellow “AirCash” users, remit money to foreign countries, top-up
mobile airtime and to add or withdraw money from their account at Celcom
branches. Offering end-to-end solutions for mBanking, mPayments and
mRemittance “AirCash” offers live deployment to more than 15 million end user
consumers and 20,000 merchants around the world while USSD transactions
occur only during the transaction, harboring no store-and-forward
capability, and is an instant messaging type phone service. The
service will be rolled out to other Axiata-owned operator entities
within major remittance corridors in the region over the next few months.

Details

RegaloCard Introduces Gift Card Linked to M-Phones

A Miami-based startup has introduced a new prepaid card for the
Hispanic community that can be purchased in the U.S. and deliver instant
purchasing power for Latin American recipients. The new card is linked
to a mobile phone and eliminates the need for the recipient to go the bank
or only receive gifts from their family members during banking hours.
With the new “RegaloCard”, consumers choose the gift card they wish to send
to their families in their home country and provide the name and
cellular number of the recipient. The Latin American recipient instantly
receives a “RegaloCard” PIN which they can use to make purchases at any
of the retailers locations. The card is free and can be purchased for as
little as $25. “RegaloCard” was founded by Gregory Keough, a serial
entrepreneur who has built and sold several technology companies focused
on financial services and the US Hispanic and Latin American markets.
Keough founded Virtual Loan Corp as well as Zona Financiera, an Internet
financial services technology provider in Latin America which was
acquired by Citigroup.

Details

COMMUNICATION RESEARCH

International research studies by the Communication Research Institute
is demonstrating credit card statements design flaws mask genuine debt
accrual around the world. Having tested card statements from around the
globe, based on the clarity of who the statement is from/for; credit
limit/available credit; interest on purchases throughout the billing
cycle; and payment due dates, the Communication Research Institute
established a minimum acceptable statement usability target level of
81%. That being said, in alphabetical order, Australian statements
scored a 33%; Argentina scored 75%; Austria scored 62%; Chile scored
31%/44%; Netherlands scored 63%; Portugal scored 41%; South Africa
scored 40%; UK scored 55%; and USA scored 32%/60%.

Details

TransFirst Inks Flushing Savings Bank

Tranasction processor TransFirst will provide merchant credit card
processing and payment technology services to NY-based Flushing Savings Bank.
Flushing Savings Bank, FSB,serves consumers and businesses by
offering a full complement of deposit, loan, and cash management
services through its fifteen banking offices located in Queens,
Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Nassau County and operates an
online banking division, iGObanking.com, which enables the Bank to
expand outside of its current geographic footprint.

Details