SHAZAM Beefs-Up with TriCipher’s TACS

CA-based TriCipher announced that “SHAZAM”, a provider of EFT products and services, has selected TriCipher’s “TACS” multifactor-authentication platform as the standard for authentication services for its 1,600 financial institution participants. The agreement equips “SHAZAM” with a solution to help protect against online security threats and phishing attacks. “SHAZAM” requires access and authorization capabilities that ensure that no single institution can access another institution’s data. Additionally, all users must have the appropriate level of authentication needed to access the applications and services to which they are entitled. TriCipher provides a unified authentication infrastructure to protect the B2B and B2C online channel against fraud and identity theft.

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Mexico City STC Goes Contactless

Mexico City metro operator, Sistema de Transporte Colectivo,
has decided to make contactless ticketing a standard feature.
Between now and November 2007, ACS will extend this technology across
the entire network, equip the 2,000 platform access gates with
contactless card readers and deploy manual and automatic ticket sales
points. ACS will also equip each metro station with a supervision system
and data concentrator, as well as an optical fiber intelligent
communication network linking all the equipment. This follows on from a
pilot experiment conducted from late 2005 to early 2006. ACS is the
first and only operator to use this dual technology on a single system.

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Consumers Demand Biometric Technology

Consumers now overwhelmingly favor the use of biometric technology to identify individuals through physical characteristics such as fingerprints, facial patterns and hand measurements and believe this will have the greatest impact to strengthen data and border security. A new survey from the “Unisys Trusted Enterprise Index” found that a large majority of consumers in the U.S. (63%) and United Kingdom (87%) believe that the rise in identity fraud and the insufficient protection of personal information will become a significant security threat in the future and feel that financial institutions and government are not doing enough to stop it. As a result, an even greater percent of U.S. consumers (69%) and U.K. consumers (92%) would prefer that banks, credit card companies, healthcare providers and government organizations adopt biometric technologies, as compared to other protection measures such as smart card readers, security tokens or passwords/PINs, to safely and quickly verify personal identities.

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Euronet Ranked a Super Growth Company

KS-based Euronet Worldwide was ranked number seven on Forbes’ annual list of the 25 fastest-growing technology companies, with a five-year annualized sales growth of 69 percent and a projected annual profit growth of 20 percent for the next three to five years. The 25 fastest-growing technology companies were selected out of 2,200 public U.S. technology stocks based on the following criteria: at least $25 million in sales, 10 percent annual sales growth for five consecutive years, profitability over the past 12 months and 10 percent estimated annual profit growth for the next three to five years. Euronet Worldwide processes secure electronic financial transactions.

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SKY PEARL MASTERCARD

China Southern Airlines has teamed with China Merchants
Bank to offer its second co-branded “Sky Pearl Club FFP MasterCard”
For more than four years, China Southern has also offered a co-branded
MasterCard and VISA credit card in conjunction with Guangdong
Development Bank. The new CMB card offers one mile for every 18 RMB or
$2 USD spent. Bonus points are also awarded for purchasing China
Southern air tickets or products and services from a China Southern
partner. The card also includes flight accident insurance – up to 2
billion RMB – insurance for delayed flights and lost luggage assistance.

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Cardholder Service Still Wanting

A recent survey has found that 48% of consumers think the customer service on their most frequently used credit card is outstanding, but 44% are less enthused, giving customer service only a neutral rating. Auriemma Consulting Group says its research discovered that 55% of consumers feel that the customer service representatives that they speak with are not well trained or able to help them with their question or issue. About 62% of consumers feel that they spend an unacceptable amount of time waiting on hold to speak with a customer service representative at their credit card company. ACG says approximately one-third of consumers say that they favor a particular credit card because they perceive the issuer’s customer service to be outstanding.

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Applied Card Settles with Texas AG

Cross Country Bank, now known as Applied Card Bank, and its affiliate Applied Card Systems, reached a settlement this week with the Texas Attorney General. Texas filed suit against the sub-prime issuer in June 2004. The bank agreed to make restitution to cardholders for the 2002-2004 period in regard to certain practices. Cross Country also agreed to contact credit reporting agencies to provide updated and corrected information for each eligible consumer. In addition to refunds and/or credits to eligible consumers, the companies agreed to pay $1.3 million in penalties and attorneys’ fees to the state. In June 2005, Cross Country Bank and Applied agreed to settle with West Virginia’s State’s Attorney General for $1.5 million. The lawsuits, filed by several state AGs charged that Cross Country engaged in deceptive marketing of credit cards, offering low credit limits and charging exorbitant hidden fees to consumers who already had bad credit. The suits also contended that Applied used a wide range of abusive collection practices to coerce consumers into making payments if they contested the fees or defaulted on the account. The lawsuits alleged that Applied called consumers during the night, used obscene language and threatened cardholders with arrest to collect on a credit card account. (CF Library 6/22/05)

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