SHOPPERS OPTIMUM MC

Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation has rolled out the “Shoppers Optimum
MasterCard” credit card from MBNA Canada Bank, Customers can earn up to
25 Shoppers Optimum Points for every dollar they
spend at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix when using both their
Shoppers Optimum MasterCard credit card and their Shoppers Optimum Card.
For every dollar spent, 15 Shoppers Optimum Points will be awarded for
using the credit card and 10 points for using the Shoppers Optimum Card.
When using the credit card elsewhere, cardholders will earn five
Shoppers Optimum Points for every dollar they spend. To celebrate the
launch of the Shoppers Optimum MasterCard,
cardholders will also receive 15,000 Shoppers Optimum Bonus Points,
valued at $25, for the first retail purchase made with the credit card.
Shoppers Drug Mart has more than 1,119 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix
stores
operating in prime locations in each province and two territories.

Details

GLOBALPLATFORM

Smart card specification body GlobalPlatform has named
GlobalPlatform, the international specification body
for smart card infrastructure, has appointed Christophe Colas of Trusted
Logic as the new Chair of its Device Committee. Colas is currently
Professional Services Manager in the
Professional & Consumer Devices Business Unit at Trusted Logic. He is
responsible for technical marketing and leads customer integrations of
the company’s wireless security middleware. Christophe’s professional
experience has always been related to multi-application smart card
accepting devices such as payment terminals and wireless devices, and he
has been actively involved in several consortia concerned with
maintaining open standards for smart cards.

Details

Shared Responsibility Theme at Global Summit

Visa’s chief enterprise risk officer discussed the low rate of card
fraud and measures needed to keep the incidents low at Visa’s Global
Security Summit. Ellen Richey told security experts today that payment
card data fraud rates remain near historic lows despite economic woes
and high-profile compromises, and called for continued industry
investment, collaboration and innovation, three key
components in keeping the electronic payment system secure in the
future. Richey also addressed recent security compromises by reminding
the audience that compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data
Security Standard (PCI DSS) continues to be the industry’s best tool to
guard against theft of cardholder data
and the best protection for businesses against unwanted intrusions. She
also added that PCI DSS validation is an annual, minimum requirement for
organizations but that true compliance with PCI DSS is an ongoing effort
requiring vigilance.

Details

VANCITY VISA

Vancity Visa is piloting the use of “ecoEnvelopes”,two-way envelopes
that enable mailers to use one
reusable envelope instead of two traditional envelopes, eliminating the
need for business reply envelopes. To use, Vancity members open the
envelope by tearing along a tab on the
back flap. Addressees can then simply turn around the business reply
insert so that the reply address and postal permit appear in the
envelope window. A wider flap enables the envelope to be sealed once
again, eliminating the need to use a second envelope.
This new initiative supports Vancity Visa’s environmental commitment. In
2007 alone, 37 million business reply mail items were used in Canada.
The new ecoEnvelopes eliminate these business reply envelopes in
mailings, making a significant contribution to reducing the number of
envelopes that are discarded each year.

Details

ID DATA

The business and assets of ID Data Limited have been purchased by Card
Data Management Limited, subject to completion. CDML is a special
purpose investment company focusing on the card services industry and
backed by funds provided by Carl Pauwels an international banking
specialist; Peter Cox, the founder of ID Data and a Singapore based
investment fund. The three parties have together acquired the business.
During Administration ID Data reorganised and strengthened it’s
production management with the appointment of a new personalisation
Bureau Manager with nineteen years experience, and a Card Production
Manager with twenty years experience gained working for major
competitive global players.
Card Data Management Limited has committed substantial working capital
to the business, to ensure a continuation of its current leading edge
card technology business and rapid future development.

Details

HIRSCH & SCM

Access control and security management provider Hirsch Electronics
announced that its shareholders have adopted the Agreement and
Plan of Merger with SCM Microsystems and two subsidiaries pursuant to
which Hirsch will become a
U.S.-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of SCM. Hirsch and SCM currently
expect closing of the proposed merger to occur
following satisfaction of all of the conditions to closing contained in
the Agreement and Plan of Merger, including the receipt of approval of
SCM’s stockholders to issued shares of SCM common stock and warrants to
purchase shares of SCM common stock in connection with the proposed
merger. At the special meeting of Hirsch shareholders held on March 11,
2009,
4,454,394 shares were represented in person or by proxy, comprising 94%
of common stock outstanding and constituting a quorum. 4,369,994 shares,
or 93% of shares outstanding, were voted in favor of the merger at the
special meeting of Hirsch shareholders.

Details

MasterCard PayPass Surpasses 50MM Milestone

MasterCard has topped 50 million “PayPass” cards or devices, as of the
end of 2008. Currently, the top merchants that have received a visit
from a new customer because of their “PayPass” acceptance include
quick-service restaurants (20%), pharmacies (17%), and supermarkets
(13%). However, consumers who are aware that their card has contactless
functionality are interested in using that feature at a wider range of
merchants including department stores (61%), home improvement outlets
(46%), movie theaters (42%), bookstores (41%), and sports venues (37%).
Consumers also expressed interest in using alternative “PayPass” form
factors including tags (42%), key fobs (41%), and mobile phones (33%).
A recent survey found that 77% of consumers that have a “PayPass”
–enabled card or device use it as their primary form of payment, which
demonstrates its ability to bolster relationships for financial
institutions with cardholders.

Details

PAYMENTS CANADA SUMMIT

The leading players in Canadian payments will convene in
Toronto for the inaugural Payments Canada Summit. A hot topic expected
to be discussed is the subject of several major Canadian banks to offer
debit cards that would carry its logo alongside that of the Interac
Association. Marc O’Connell,
President of Interac Association will open the event with his Keynote
Address: “The Future of Debit in Canada and the New Competitive
Landscape”.

Details

KPAY

E-payment provider Vesta announced that its Kuaipay Ltd. (KPay) division
has begun processing consumer purchases in
Beijing Wal-Mart stores. The service leverages stored value payment
cards produced by the Beijing Communication Transit Card Company and
allows cardholders to swipe their Transit Card to pay for goods at any
of Beijing’s seven Wal-Mart stores. Each store has 40 to 50 cash
registers and transactions are settled in seconds. The contract with
Wal-Mart stores furthers the commercial expansion of
the KPay network and Beijing Transit Card alliance. KPay’s
business is a pre-paid scheme for retail in Beijing, where funds can be
added to an IC stored value card for use in the transportation system
and a variety of retail outlets throughout the city.

Details

Discover Card Profits Plunge 55% in 1Q/09

Discover reported that sales volume in the first quarter declined 8%
from the prior year to $21 billion. The company also added $504 million
to reserves in excess of charge-offs as the managed over 30 days
delinquency rate rose to 5.25% and $3 billion of loans related to
maturing securitizations were refinanced on-balance sheet. Pretax income
was $167 million in the first quarter as compared to $375 million for
the first quarter of 2008. Managed loans ended the quarter at $51
billion, essentially unchanged from the prior quarter and up 7% from the
prior year, reflecting lower cardholder payments and growth in both
personal and student loans, partially offset by decreased consumer
spending and a 17% reduction in balance transfer activity. Third-Party
Payments segment volume grew 33% from the prior year to $35 billion,
including $6 billion of Diners Club International volume. The over 30
days delinquency rate on managed loans was 5.25%, up 69 basis points
from the fourth quarter of 2008 and 135 basis points from the prior
year. The managed net charge-off rate increased to 6.48% for the first
quarter of 2009, up 100 basis points and 215 basis points from the prior
quarter and the prior year, respectively. For complete details on
Discover’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

U.S. CARD PRE-TAX PROFITS
4Q/07: $320.8 million
1Q/08: $375.4 million
2Q/08: $309.1 million
3Q/08: $245.2 million
4Q/08: $646.4 million
1Q/09: $167.0 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Details

Plastyc and Green Dot Team for UPside Visa

Payment enabler Plastyc and CA-based Green Dot have partnered to enable
“UPside Visa Prepaid cardholders to load cash into their cards by
purchasing a MoneyPak from Green Dot retailers. “UPside cards” can
already receive money from friends and family via bank
transfers, salaries through direct deposits, and contributions from
online marketplaces via direct-to-card mass-pay distribution. Teenagers
can receive funds from a parent’s credit card or checking account.
Buying a MoneyPak with cash from retailers such as Wal-Mart, Walgreens,
CVS/pharmacy, Rite Aid, Kmart, Kroger or Radio Shack, now gives holders
of UPside Visa prepaid cards the largest choice of funding sources
available today.

Details

TransCard Wins a Major Paybefore Award

Prepaid card provider TransCard has won “Best-in-Category” designation
at the third-annual Paybefore Awards. TransCard earned the top
overall award for the “Best Corporate-Funded Prepaid Card” in the
development of a dual-purpose fuel and pay card for U.S. Xpress
Enterprises. The Discover Network-branded, dual-purpose card solves
multiple logistical issues that occur in the transportation industry.
TransCard worked with multiple partners to create a unique technology
platform that maintained the integrity of the program while encompassing
core requirements — such as seamless back-end integration with U.S.
Xpress legacy systems, GPS fraud alerts, BIN-based routing inside vendor
locations, level III data collection and real-time employment
verification. Our IT department built the technology platform for these
cards from the ground up, allowing these cards to function in a
dual-purpose, multi-pocket method.

Details