Gen Z Select Their Credit Cards Online

More than four out of ten young consumers between the ages of 18 and 21 who surf the Web now own a credit card, and 65% of this “Gen Z” online group used the Web to apply for a credit card. A new research report also found that Capital One was the most popular credit card among this generation. According to the Forrester Research “Meet Your Next Financial Consumer,” Capital One has a 20%+ share of credit cards held by online youth. BofA, Chase and Citi have about a 13% share of the same group. However, Forrester further found that 21% of “Gen Z” cardholders intend to switch from Chase and American Express cards in the next twelve months. Overall, 32% of online youth applied for a credit card over the Web during the past twelve months.

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Kyocera Wireless Integrates VISA Mobile

San Diego-based Kyocera Wireless and VISA International this week are showcasing the marriage of a mobile phone with a VISA payment solution using the VISA mobile platform. At the CTIA Wireless trade show in Orlando, attendees can use a prototype NFC VISA-enabled phone to purchase a beverage from a vending machine, by simply presenting the payment-enabled handset to the vending machine contactless payment spot. Kyocera will also be demonstrating a simulated purchase of movie tickets directly from a movie poster equipped with NFC technology. Eliminating the need for paper movie tickets, the movie poster transmits a code to the phone after wireless payment, which is then read by another NFC terminal at the entrance to the movie theater. Kyocera is this week also showing-off “MobiTV” streaming television over a WiMAX high-speed connection with Runcom; Wi-Fi-powered music downloads; and Voice-over-IP mobile phone calls over dual-mode CDMA/Wi-Fi connections.

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Mobile Banking Sees a Tipping Point

A critical tipping point in the emerging mobile banking and payments industry is at hand as several large banks have teamed to use AT&T wireless phones with Firethorn software to create a robust mobile banking marketplace. The news comes on the heels of Bank of America’s roll-out of mobile banking to markets across the country through mid-year. Wachovia, Regions Financial, and SunTrust Banks have selected Firethorn’s mobile banking and payments solution. Marketing strength and advertising power will be added by AT&T. Firethorn is the only mobile banking and payments solution authorized by AT&T. Through the Firethorn solution, consumers can view account balances, transfer funds, receive and pay bills and quickly clear contents if their mobile device is ever lost or stolen. Consumers can perform functions on any supported wireless handset, even when their device is offline. In partnership with Firethorn, financial institutions using CheckFree’s electronic billing and payment solution to receive and pay bills online can offer their consumer’s immediate integrated access to view and pay bills using their mobile devices. Firethorn’s previously announced customers, BancorpSouth and Synovus Financial will also offer mobile banking through Firethorn’s solution.

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AmEx Rewards Add Flight & Room Finders

American Express’ “Membership Rewards” program has added “Flight Finder” and “Room Finder” as online booking tools. The new tools enable members to search award inventory, transfer points directly into a frequent flyer or frequent guest account, and book flights or hotel stays in a single online transaction. Some of the featured partners currently include: InterContinental Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, and Hotel Indigo, AirTran Airways, Hilton, Conrad Hotels, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, and Waldorf Astoria. The Membership Rewards program from American Express has more than 140 redemption partners.

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Trump Casino to Pilot QuikCash Mobile

Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access has partnered with Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City to serve as the pilot site for GCA’s QuikCash Mobile service. QuikCash Mobile is an easy-to-use, handheld device that serves as a mini-ATM, which enables casinos to offer credit and debit card cash advance capabilities directly to patrons on the floor, at the point of sale. Global Cash Access is a leading provider of cash access products and related services to approximately 960 gaming properties and other clients.

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Benny Card Lands Another Benefits Patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted a patent to CT-based Evolution Benefits for “Methods and Systems for Processing Transactions Involving Accounts for Reimbursing Medical Expenses or Patient Responsible Balances with Multiple Transactions Substantiation Modes” Cardholders can use their “Benny Prepaid Benefits” to debit their FSA or HRA and achieve the highest level of substantiation available. In February, EB was awarded the “Most Innovative Consumer Directed Health Care (CDHC) Product or Solution” in the payment card arena at the CDHC Expo in Las Vegas. Evolution Benefits provides payment services for consumer-directed benefits.

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ASK PAPER PAYPASS

ASK and MasterCard have inked a development agreement to create paper-based contactless payment solutions utilizing “PayPass” for deployment in transit and other payment environments. More than 50 million ASK contactless paper tickets are already being used globally in mass transit automatic fare collection systems. MasterCard is currently participating in a contactless trial in the New York City subway system and on the Ohio Turnpike, while “PayPass” is now accepted in many Philadelphia and NYC taxi cabs and Utah buses. MasterCard is also leading the effort to develop new “PayPass”-enabled devices, such as key fobs, mobile phones, wristwatches and wristbands. There are nearly 13 million MasterCard “PayPass” cards in use at more than 46,000 merchant locations worldwide. ASK provides contactless cards, tickets, RFID tags, e-passport inlays and readers addressing the mass transit, access control, banking, e-identity and supply chain markets.

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26% of Teens Know How Credit Cards Work

A new survey has found that 41% of teens consider themselves knowledgeable about how to budget money, 34% know how to pay bills, 26% know how credit card interest and fees work, 24% know whether a check cashing service is good to use and 14% know how income taxes work or what a 401(k) plan. More than half believe that “it is easier to buy things with a credit card than cash” and, given the choice, 29% would actually prefer using a credit card, a 61% increase in this stated preference over last year. The research by Charles Schwab also found that American teens confidently predict a future in which, based on the career that interests them most, they will be earning an average annual salary of $145,500 (boys expect $173,000 vs. girls, $114,200). The reality: Only five percent of the U.S. population currently earns a six-figure income, and the average national wage stands at approximately $40,000.

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Akbank Implements Fair Isaac’s Falcon ID

To protect customers from identification fraud, Akbank of Turkey has
implemented Fair Isaac’s “Falcon ID Solution”, the first European lender
to do so. Using predictive analytics, “Falcon” uses an authentication
process and multiple sources of data for validating identities,
including the use of an ID Clearinghouse which accesses external data to
detect when an identity is compromised. Furthermore, the solution allows
the lender to apply predictive data in order to determine whether an
application for credit is genuine or fraudulent, resulting in faster and
more precise origination decisions.

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VeriFone Vx 670 Receives SAMA Certification

Upon the completion of Douglas G. Bergeron’s four-day tour of the Middle
East that consisted of meetings with VIPs of the region, the Saudi
Arabia Monetary Agency has announced that it has certified Verifone’s
GPRS and WiFi-enabled “Vx 670” for use in restaurants, hotels and
retailers. Companies in these industries have already begun
implementation of pay-at-table transactions using the compact
device. Verifone is expanding in the region because of growing demand
for payment and value-added services, such as electronic cellular
top-up and will address the regional demands and needs. This also
represents the company’s further commitment to this growing market and
reflects their focus on the needs of customers.

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ISO SmartCard Includes GlobalPlatform Technology

GlobalPlatform technology has been included in the ISO Smartcard, which
is intended to support implementations in a multi-application
environment. GlobalPlatform has already started work towards
incorporating the new “ISO/IEC 7816-13” international standard into the
“GlobalPlatform Card Specification v2.2” and will be the first standards
body to be fully compliant to “ISO/IEC 7816-13” by the end of 2007. With
the migration to the ISO standard, GlobalPlatform Specifications will be an
authority on smart card standardization specifications. Since 2004,
GlobalPlatform has been intrinsically involved in the creation of the
international standard for multi-application smart card infrastructures.

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