Intersections Introduces IDENTITY GUARD

VA-based Intersections has introduced a new consumer service that includes a full suite of tools to combat escalating identity theft and fraud. “IDENTITY GUARD Fraud Protection” includes four key components. A personalized “ID Risk Assessment” is an indicator of the likelihood one may currently be a victim of identity theft. A comprehensive “Public Record Profile” enables consumers to see what information is publicly available about them. “Internet Surveillance” enables consumers to tap into sophisticated Web crawling technology designed to reduce the risk of credit card fraud by continuously searching the Internet for evidence that registered cards are being sold or traded online. “Daily Monitoring” of an individual’s credit report is the fourth component. “IDENTITY GUARD Fraud Protection” retails for $24.95 for the first 3 months, and $12.99 for each additional month.

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UBS Launches a Dual-Card Rewards Program

UBS Wealth Management has launched a new program that consolidates points earned from the “UBS American Express Card” and the “UBS VISA Signature” credit card. UBS “Resource Card Program” offers rewards for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The “UBS American Express Card” provides “Resource Management Account” clients with direct access to available funds in the RMA for purchases and ATM cash withdrawals. Clients can also apply for the “UBS VISA Signature” credit card. Both cards are issued by Barclays. UBS Wealth Management also augments its rewards portfolio for the highest card level, “UBS Charter,” which is offered by invitation only. On a quarterly basis, “UBS Charter” cardholders receive a choice of extraordinary limited time only opportunities. (CF Library 4/18/06)

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Gemplus Revenues Up 19% in 1Q/06

Smart card specialist Gemplus International reports a 19% jump in net sales for the first quarter driven by robust revenue growth in the Financial Services and ID & Security units. First quarter revenues climbed to 230.3 million euros, compared to 262.0 million euros in the prior quarter and 193.1 million euros for 1Q/05. Payment microprocessor card shipments soared 75%, to 22.3 million units as EMV roll-outs gained further momentum in Latin America, Southern Europe and Japan. Payment microprocessor card revenue rose 55% year-on-year. During the quarter, Gemplus launched “Plastic Fantastic,” which is designed to help banks and financial institutions set themselves apart from the competition. The cards range from unusual shapes, perfumed, tactile and even glow in the dark, and will support customers in their branding and customer segmentation. The “GemSense Instant Issuance,” also won an award from the ECPA/ ECR (European Payments Consulting Association / European Card Review) “Payment Innovation Awards” in the category for the most innovative and advanced payment software/hardware product. This is a personalization and card issuance solution which allows banks and retailers to deploy or replace cards on the spot. For complete details on Gemplus’ first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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Stratus Expands CDS ATM/EFT Contract

Stratus Technologies has signed Columbus Data Services to a new contract to expand CDS’ ATM/EFT network. CDS provides small- to mid-size financial institutions and ATM deployers a single source for complete ATM programs that include transaction processing services. Stratus is a solutions provider to customers in manufacturing, life sciences, telecommunications, financial services, public safety, transportation & logistics, and other industries.

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AmEx Launches Going Once Auction Today

American Express launches “Going Once” today, an exclusive online auction offering cardholders access to one-of-a-kind experiences and unique take-home gifts. A new auction will start each day and Cardmembers will have 24 hours to submit a sealed bid, with the package going to the highest bidder. In addition to the dream auction trips, each day Going Once will feature eight exclusive “Buy Now” packages, featuring luxury accommodations and activities available in limited quantities at Cardmember-only prices representing savings of up to 40%.

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Self-Service Transaction Volume to Explode

A new study projects that self-service banking will undergo an explosion in both quantity and quality. The research from TowerGroup estimates that by 2010, retail banking customers in the U.S. will conduct nearly 60 billion self-service transactions every year – an increase of nearly 50% over self-service transaction volumes forecasted for 2006. Until recently, financial institutions’ migration to self-service channels was driven by consumer demands for more banking options – not by the banks themselves. TowerGroup says that broader adoption of self-service outside traditional banking channels will drive further acceptance of greater self-service functionality via channels like the ATM, IVR, and online banking functionality.

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Oberthur Sets a Smart Card First

Oberthur Card Systems has become the first provider of a “FIPS 201” certified smart card. With this certification, Government Agencies and other organizations now have a commercial source of dual interface smart cards to meet requirements as part of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12. Oberthur Card Systems of America offers an identification solution that couples smart card manufacturing with card personalization, carrier attachment and activation services as well as the exclusive rights to the card software applets.

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BofA Offers Museums on Us for May

Bank of America launched the ninth year of “Museums on Us” wherein customers showing a Bank of America ATM, check or credit card or MBNA credit card can visit any of the 56 participating cultural institutions in May for free. This year, Bank of America is introducing several key enhancements to the program such as the inclusion of MBNA cardholders and bringing a guest for free.

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Diebold ATM Revenues Up 4% in 1Q/06

Diebold reported first quarter revenue of $623.7 million, up 16.5% from the first quarter of 2005. Net income for the first quarter was $12.7 million, compared to net income of $27.9 million in the first quarter of 2005. Financial self-service revenue was up 3.9% in the quarter with EMEA showing an increase of 50% and Asia Pacific up 9.6%, partially offset by a decline of 6.8% in the Americas. The Company recently initiated its multi-year profit improvement plan that encompasses a $100 million reduction in the company’s cost structure by 2008. A major component of this initiative is to establish a new manufacturing operation for financial self-service terminals and related components in the Eastern European region. For complete details on Diebold’s first quarter, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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iPay Targets Community Banks

Kentucky-based iPay Technologies has launched expedited bill payment services for community financial institutions. Expedited payment is an added feature that enables next day payment for a consumer’s most urgent bills such as mortgage payments, insurance premiums or credit cards that carry significant late penalties and the service is priced significantly lower than late payment fees or next-day air package delivery services, which are often the only option for ensuring that an urgent payment will arrive on time. iPay Technologies provides full-service Internet bill payment software.

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FDC & Wal-Mart Offer No Fee Paycard Option

Wal-Mart Stores and First Data’s Money Network have introduced a no-fee paycard check cashing option at more than 3,000 stores in the USA. Using FDC’s self-issued check system, “TRANSCHECK,” employees get immediate and free access to their payroll funds via Money Network’s “Paycard” clients. Once authorized using an IVR system, the “TRANSCHECK” product can be electronically verified and cashed “in-lane” free of charge at participating Wal-Mart locations. Check cashing services are not available in Wal-Mart stores located in Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut as well as 20 other store locations in the United States.

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Debit Cards Overtake Cash in the UK

For the first time, debit cards have overtaken cash as the most popular way to pay for retail purchases in the UK. Based on figures for 2005, debit cards captured 37% of the GBP 240 billion in total retail spending. Cash usage for retail purchases dropped 4% from 2004 to GBP 81 billion, according to APACS, the UK payments association. Credit card retail spending remained flat last year at GBP 61 billion. Overall, plastic card retail spending rose 5% over the past year capturing 71% of the total pie. The use of checks dropped 14% last year. Retail spending includes all transactions on the high street and online.

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