New Holding Company to Expand MULTOS

Keycorp, MasterCard Hitachi and Oak Hill Venture Partners
have formed a holding company to expand the “MULTOS” smart card
platform. Under the agreement, the new holding company will acquire
from MasterCard the intellectual property underlying “MULTOS” and the
“Global MULTOS Key Management Authority” operation. The four companies
will play a key role in helping “MULTOS” to expand its presence beyond the financial smart card sector, where its technology is the leading open standard platform. “MULTOS” also enjoys a robust position among
e-passport, enterprise security, mass transit and national identity
smart card issuers and will enable “MULTOS” to fulfill the
market’s need for the authentication of consumer data.

Details

Vice Chairman Linen Retires from AmEx

American Express yesterday announced that Jonathan Linen, the company’s vice chairman and a nearly 40-year company veteran, has decided to retire at the end of this year. Since becoming vice chairman in 1993, Linen has represented American Express in relationships with key corporate clients, current and prospective business partners, governmental entities and industry associations. As a member of the company’s Global Leadership Team for the past five years, he has played a key role in helping to develop the company’s overall strategic direction. Linen will continue to serve as an adviser to American Express and will represent the company on industry and government advisory committees.

Details

Friesland to Use Digipass 815 with a Debit Card

VASCO Data Security International announced that Friesland Bank will use a “Digipass 815” unconnected secure smart card reader in combination with a chip and PIN enabled debit card to bolster user authentication to the bank’s Internet banking applications. “Digipass 815” is a light, ultra-portable and easy to use secure smart card
reader. Friesland Bank is an independent bank operating in the north and east of the Netherlands. VASCO designs, develops, markets and supports patented “Identity Authentication” products for e-business and e-commerce.

Details

Findomestic Outsourcing Payment Data to TNS

Findomestic has outsourced the transport of its payments data to Transaction Network Services. Under the two-year deal, TNS will migrate Findomestic’s credit card transactions from a dedicated in-house “Itapac” system to TNS’IP Dial solution. Using an IP connection, TNS may annually transport up to 15 million payment transactions made using Findomestic’s credit card, “Carte Aura”. TNS’ international network allows data to be relayed between 96 points-of-presence in 25 countries across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. The move will enable Findomestic to expand its business. To safeguard Findomestic’s customers against the risk of disruption to business, TNS has installed a secondary disaster recovery route to the company’s back-up site in Milan.

Details

National Bank of Canada to Issue Vaughan MuniCard

Toronto-based Civic Strategies has selected National Bank of Canada to issue the
“MuniCard”, North America’s first municipal credit card. The City of
Vaughan will roll out the card in spring 2006. The “MuniCard” was
created to reduce the burden of property taxes for residential owners
and business and to stimulate local economies. The card channels credit
card reward cash points to the property owner’s taxes. Wherever the card
is used, nationally or internationally, reward cash points will be
applied to the cardholder’s municipal taxes. The co-branded credit
cards will be linked to the municipality’s property identification
numbers and, when used, will automatically direct reward cash points to
offset property taxes. Civic Strategies is the first
Canadian company to introduce municipalities and other governments to a
co-branded credit card aimed at reducing residential and commercial
property tax payments as well as other municipal services.

Details

MoneyGram in Full Roll-Out at U.S. Bank

Minnesota-based MoneyGram says its money transfer services are now available in all of U.S. Bank’s 2,396 branches in 24 states and is offering money transfers for a $5 flat fee until the end of the year. MoneyGram has approximately 84,000 money transfer agent locations in more than 170 countries. MoneyGram International, Inc. is a global payment services company.

Details

Blenz Coffee Offers Reloadable Card

British Columbia-based Blenz Coffee have launched the reloadable
“Blenz Card”, developed using technology from Ernex, a division of
Moneris Solutions. By registering their gift card on the
Blenz website, customers can enroll in a service that automatically
reloads the card with funds. As soon as the Blenz Card reaches a
specified limit set by the customer, the Blenz Card is automatically
reloaded with additional funds from a credit card of the customer’s
choice. The automatic reloading capability differs from other
reloadable stored value cards that typically update card balances at the
end of the day. Blenz Cards can also be reloaded for any amount from $5
to $100 anytime at all participating Blenz locations. Blenz Card holders
are eligible to receive benefits on future beverage promotions,
merchandise and other Blenz products through swipe-and-win contests and
receipt coupons and messages. Ernex is a provider of innovative
real-time marketing solutions including privately branded and
multi-merchant loyalty programs, stored-value gift cards, reward
fulfillment services and loyalty database hosting services.

Details

Avantel Signs POS Agreement with TNS

Avantel has signed an alliance with Transaction Network
Services to provide cohesive network transaction
solutions to Mexican debit, credit and ATM processors. The alliance
marks the first POS agreement for TNS’ Latin American operations.
Avantel TNS will merge Avantel’s telecommunications infrastructure with
TNS’ POS technology and expertise in secure network transactions.
Avantel is Mexico’s leading IP-based telecommunications services
provider.

Details

Former MBNA Exec Hired by a Gambling Firm

MBNA’s former EVP/Director of Financial Reporting and Control, Desiree Burke, has been hired by Penn National Gaming as VP/Corporate Controller. Burke’s responsibilities at Penn National will include financial accounting and reporting such as Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, certifications and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and documentation. Burke brings eighteen years of accounting experience to her new position at Penn National. She joined MBNA in 1994 and held positions of ascending responsibilities in the finance department including Executive Vice President/Assistant Controller and Executive Vice President/Director of Control. During her tenure with MBNA she was also responsible for merger and acquisition accounting and reporting. Burke earned a Masters in Accounting from Widener University. Penn National Gaming owns and operates casino and horse racing facilities in thirteen jurisdictions including Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ontario.

Details

Burger King Opts for ValueLink Gift Cards

First Data Prepaid Services’ ValueLink has inked a deal with Burger King to add prepaid gift card services to its “PAY IT YOUR WAY” card acceptance program. Under terms of the deal, Burger King is ordering gift cards exclusively from ValueLink for stores in the USA and Canada. BK will also process prepaid transactions via FDC. The agreement expands FDC’s relationship with Burger King. In 2004, BK selected Chase Paymentech Solutions, a joint venture between First Data and Chase, as their payments processor in the USA. FDC also processes credit card transactions for BK restaurants in Canada. The “PAY IT YOUR WAY” program includes credit cards, signature-based debit cards, and prepaid cards.

Details

IKEA Pioneers In-Store Credit Card Kiosks

The largest home furnishings retailer and a pioneer of self-service has launched a credit card for U.S. customers that is available via in-store kiosks. The new IKEA private label credit card is issued by GE Consumer Finance. The self-service bilingual kiosks process credit applications in less than five minutes and without the assistance of an IKEA employee. Applicants receive a receipt they can use immediately through the following business day. The IKEA card is sent within seven to ten business days. Four to five kiosks are placed throughout each store. The card program also offers optional fixed payment plans for big-ticket purchases and special financing offers and payment promotions. IKEA has more than 225 stores in 33 countries, including 26 stores in the USA.

Details

GE Money to Issue the Ben Moss Jewellers Card

GE Money Canada landed a credit card program for Ben Moss Jewellers. Under this program, GE Money Canada will provide
Ben Moss Jewellers with card services to including marketing, risk
management, customer service, collections and payment processing. The
accounts will be serviced at GE Money Canada’s offices in Edmonton and
Toronto. The Ben Moss credit card has no annual or administration fees
and is currently offering all cardholders a six-month no payments
deferred interest promotion on purchases over $200. Ben Moss Jewellers has 52 stores located in 37 cities across Canada. GE Money Canada is
part of GE Consumer Finance-Americas and provides private label credit
card and MasterCard programs to consumers.

Details