Alliance & Leicester to Launch Mobile Phone Banking

Alliance & Leicester is planning to launch mobile
phone banking in 2007. The new service, which complements its
award-winning Internet banking, will be run via the “MONILINK” network
allowing customers secure access to their current accounts on their
mobile phone. A&L intends to extend the range of services available using “MONILINK.” These could include the ability to access other accounts, the ability to transfer money or even to pay a bill directly from a handset. According to www.banksafeonline.com, about 15 million U.K. adults now bank online.

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MASTERCARD & FIFA

MasterCard Worldwide has won the rights to continue sponsorship of the “World Cup” soccer tournament for at least the next two “World Cups” despite a deal VISA signed with FIFA calling for it to receive the rights on Jan. 1st. About six months ago VISA was awarded the sponsorship by the Federation Internationale de Football Association for the next eight years. MasterCard, a long-time FIFA sponsor quickly filed a lawsuit claiming FIFA broke its contract giving MasterCard the right of first refusal on an extension of its 16-year sponsorship of the “World Cup.” The ruling was handed down this morning by U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in New York City. Preska ordered that FIFA proceed with the “2007-2014 MasterCard Agreement” that the parties agreed to. She also noted that FIFA’s negotiating team misled MasterCard about an extension period while FIFA was simultaneously and aggressively negotiating with VISA.

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KBC & SERVERSIDE

Enabling customers to personally customize their payment cards online
looks like a new hot button for consumers, especially in Europe. Belgian
Bank KBC reported that 120,000 of its customers have uploaded a favorite
picture onto their payment cards in the four months after it began
offering the service. KBC says 20% of this figure is made up of new
cards and 80% replacements of existing cards. The new KBC
personalization program is powered by London-based Serverside Graphics
which serves 33 major issuers worldwide including Advanta and First
National Bank of Omaha in the USA. KBC says it abandoned the traditional
direct mail channel altogether opting for online marketing for the new
program. KBC has not charged a fee for the new service but has recently
begun testing a fee of about $13.

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CITIBANK SHELL CARD

Hungarian drivers now have access to the new “Shell MasterCard” from Citibank. To encourage customer applications, Shell and Citibank are doubling the card’s regular 3% rebate on Shell fuel purchases in Hungary and 1% rebate on all other purchases as part of an introductory promotion. The introductory program applies for all cards issued before January 31st, it refers to transactions made within the first 60 days of the card’s issuing date. After the 60-day period, the rebate reverts back to the 3% on Shell fuel purchases in Hungary and 1% on all other retail purchases wherever the card is used in the country and abroad.
Supplementary cards are also included in the rebate program, however,
rebates may only be redeemed by the main cardholders.

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Citibank Introduces the South Indian Bank VISA

South Indian Bank and Citibank have launched the “South Indian Bank
Citibank VISA” credit card. The new co-branded card will be offered to
the loyal customer base of South Indian Bank in Kerala. The card offers,
besides regular features, zero percent fuel surcharge
at Indian Oil petrol stations, 24 hour Internet banking facility, zero
lost card liability and Visa Money transfer. The customer would also
have an option of paying card dues through ECS at zero cost.

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EVERTEC Signs an Agreement with NYCE Network

EVERTEC, the ATH Network’s processing firm for Latin America and the Caribbean, signed an agreement with NYCE Payments Network, that will
enable purchases throughout the U.S. for holders of ATH debit cards
issued by ATH Network-affiliated banks and cooperatives in Puerto Rico
and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The new service will allow customers to use their ATH debit card and PIN to pay for purchases at any U.S. merchant that accepts NYCE. With this service, the ATH Network is expected to generate more than 1 million annual transactions in the U.S. The NYCE Network provides consumers with secure, real-time access to their money, connecting the accounts of more than 74 million cards with 275,000 ATMs, and 1.3 million point-of-sale locations nationwide.

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Western Union Completes Acquisition of SEPSA

The Western Union Company has completed the acquisition of Servicio Electronico De Pago S.A.. Under the brand name Pago Facil, SEPSA is the largest collector and processor of public services cash payments in Argentina. Through a network of more than 3,300 payment locations, Pago Facil allows consumers to make cash payments for public services and taxes as well as pre-payment for services such as Internet access and mobile phone top-up. Western Union purchased Pago Facil from its parent company, Sideco Americana, which in turn was founded by Groupo Macri.

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Universal Bank Public Expands TSYS Card Tech Services

TSYS Card Tech has agreed to supply Universal Bank Public of Cyprus with upgrades to its “PRIME” card management system and online authorization and switching system. The additional functionalities will enable the bank to support EMV, automated collections, installment schemes and SEPA-compliance. Universal Bank offers a full range of
personal and business banking services and operates 18 branches across the island. With its adoption of PRIME’s “Collector” module the bank will benefit from automated collections with reporting for audit requirements. Universal Bank also intends to offer acquiring instalment plans, using “PRIME” installments, to provide online approval at merchant POS terminals.

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VeriFone Wireless Payment System Implemented by e-pay

VeriFone Holdings’ “Vx 610” wireless solution has been implemented in eight Progressive Enterprises supermarkets in New Zealand by e-pay New Zealand. VeriFone’s “Vx 610” is a portable, battery-powered payment device with a sleek, compact design. It can be configured with wireless connectivity modules for GPRS, Wi-Fi or CDMA. The Progressive Enterprises stores are using the systems for the electronic distribution of prepaid vouchers with e-pay.Progressive Enterprises, a subsidiary of the Australian company, Woolworths Limited, operates the Foodtown, Woolworths and Countdown supermarket chains in New Zealand.

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FDC Migrates 1MM Bayerische Sparkassen and DKB Cards

First Data International reports that 1.1 million bayerische
Sparkassen (Bavarian savings banks) and Deutsche Kreditbank Berlin (DKB)
credit cards have been converted to its processing platform. First Data,
the top processor to Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe handles approximately 3.8
million credit cards on behalf of more than 300 savings banks across the
country. First Data will now provide credit card processing services for
77 bayerische Sparkassen and for DKB, while BCS provides customer
services and sales support. In 2007, BCS will extend its non-technical
service support to all of First Data’s savings bank clients.

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Chase Paymentech Approved for MasterCard Chip TXs

Toronto-based Chase Paymentech Solutions has become the first acquirer in Canada to receive approval from MasterCard to process chip transactions. MasterCard chip cards are set to migrate in 2007. As a result, Chase is gearing-up to upgrade checkouts and point-of-sale devices to accept chip cards by then. Chase Paymentech processed approximately 15.5 billion transactions in 2005, with more than $560 billion in annual bankcard and debit volume in both Canada and the United States. Chase Paymentech’s customer base includes more than 600,000 merchants, with nearly 1 million locations across Canada and the United States.

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