Equifax and Bankrate Team to Assist Consumers

Equifax and Bankrate have partnered to offer a new online resource to consumers shopping for a mortgage, home equity or auto loan via the Equifax Credit Center on Bankrate.com. Together, Bankrate.com and the Equifax Credit Center feature credit management information as well as tips and personal finance stories to guide consumers looking to purchase their first home, buy a new car or save for retirement. Equifax Inc. is a global leader in turning information into intelligence. Bankrate, Inc. (Nasdaq: RATE) owns and operates Bankrate.com, the Internet’s leading consumer banking marketplace.

Details

OTI Receives the Company of the Year Award

Frost & Sullivan presented On Track Innovations with the “2005 Company of the Year” award. OTI’s exceptional sales and marketing strategies for its microprocessor-based smart cards have given it the scale and growth required to succeed in the global contactless card solutions market. Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company’s industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities.

Details

Hackers Target Desktops for Card Information

During the first half of this year, malicious code that exposed confidential information represented 74% of the top 50 malicious code samples reported to Symantec, up from 54% in the previous six months. The semiannual report also found that attackers are moving away from large, multipurpose attacks on network perimeters and toward smaller, more targeted attacks directed at Web and client-side applications. Additionally, bot networks and custom bot code were available for purchase or rent; Symantec observed an average of 10,352 active bot network computers per day, an increase of more than 140 percent from the previous reporting period’s 4,348 bot computers. The report also found that phishing attacks continue to proliferate. The volume of phishing messages grew from an average of 2.99 million messages a day to 5.70 million.

Details

QNB Licenses ACI Smart Chip Manager

Qatar National Bank has licensed ACI Worldwide’s “Smart Chip
Manager.” The software will enable Qatar’s largest bank to introduce new smart cards and comply with forthcoming EMV international standards in advance of the January 2006 compliance deadline for the Middle East and Africa. An ACI customer for over six years, QNB currently employs ACI’s flagship BASE24 payments software to handle over 70 million ATM and POS transactions each year. The software will help QNB issue, manage and handle the data preparation for smart cards as the migration continues from magnetic stripe to chip-based cards that enable single and multiple applications to be hosted on one card. It will also provide QNB with the ability to fully manage the lifecycle of each EMV smart card, from issuance to application parameter setting and adjustment.

Details

GreenZap and Commission Junction Partner

San Diego-based GreenZap has named Commission Junction as its premier affiliate program and merchant resource. Commission Junction provides performance-based marketing solutions to drive traffic to thousands of online merchants worldwide. The affiliation will enable GreenZap account holders to search Commission Junction’s merchant database and shop at deep discounts and will be linked and searchable through GreenZap Storez, GreenZap’s online shopping venue where account holders can shop for items and pay for a portion of the sale price in WebCash, GreenZap’s loyalty-program, rewards dollar. GreenZap rewards its account holders with up to $50 in WebCash for opening an account. GreenZap enables any business or consumer with an email address to send and receive monetary payments securely and cost-effectively online.

Details

TOM Online and UMPAY to Develop Card-Based M-Payments

TOM Online and UMPAY have agreed to jointly develop and market bank card, debit card and credit card-based mobile payment products and services in China. UMPAY’s key shareholders include China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier with more than 230 million subscribers, and China Union Pay, a national payment network set up by a consortium of more than 100 banks and with a total of more than 800 million bank card users in China. To-date, UMPAY has attracted 3 million registered users and signed up with 8 Chinese banks including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China and Bank of Communications to offer mobile wallet services. Under the agreement, TOM Online will be the wireless and online payment portal company partner of UMPAY and will work with UMPAY to offer more comprehensive mobile payment products. China’s online payment market is expected to grow to more than RMB60.5 billion by the end of 2007 from an estimated RMB16 billion this year, according to iResearch.

Details

iBill Hires a New Chief Financial Officer

FL-based Interactive Brand Development and its Internet Billing Company has hired Jeffrey Yesner as Chief Financial Officer. Yesner most recently served as director of Financial Reporting for Medical Staffing Network Holdings, Inc. He was also manager of the Controller’s External Financial Reporting Group for AOL Time Warner and a Senior Supervising Accountant for Arthur Andersen LLP. He brings invaluable knowledge in business planning, profitability enhancement, merger and acquisitions, and SEC compliance and reporting. Interactive Brand Development is a media company that owns interests in online and offline media properties. Its subsidiary, Internet Billing Company processes online credit card payments for more than 31 million users and manages consumer databases of individuals purchasing services and/or goods over the internet.

Details

Sears Canada to Net C$2.2B from Card Sale

Sears Canada says it expects to net approximately $2.2 billion in after-tax proceeds on the completion of the sale of the Credit and Financial Services business and it is proposed that approximately $2.0 billion will be distributed to shareholders as an extraordinary cash dividend. JPMorgan Chase agreed last month to buy the C$2.5 billion portfolio from Sears Canada’s credit card portfolio. The deal includes both its private-label Sears credit card accounts (C$2.3 billion) and its co-branded “Sears MasterCard” (C$200 million) Totally, the Sears Canada portfolio has about 10 million gross accounts and four million active accounts. It is the third largest credit card portfolio in Canada.

Details

MasterCard Names 4 Best European Cobrands

MasterCard Europe this morning announced the results of the “2005 European Co-Brand Partners of the Year Award.” The “Best Launch in 2004/5” was the “Citibank – Megafon MasterCard.” The “Most Innovative Use of Technology” was “Barclaycard – SkyCard.” The “Best Usage/Expansion Program” was the “Marks and Spencer – &More Card from M&S Money.” The “Long Term Achievement Award” went to the “AKBank – Axess MasterCard.” The four “Co-Brand Partners of the Year” award winners were selected by a panel of independent judges that includes Bob Hand, Managing Director of Affinity Solutions Ltd – a specialist partnership marketing consultancy, Alan Leach, Director and Co-Founder of Finaccord – a research based consultancy company focused on affinity and partnership in European financial services and Peter Trembling, Managing Director of The Affinity Company – independent affinity and co-brand consultants.

Details

China UnionPay and Citibank Ink an ATM Pact

China UnionPay formally inked a deal with Citibank, becoming the first global alliance between China’s national bankcard association and an international bank. The alliance will expand the ATM acceptance for cardholders of China UnionPay and Citibank. Chinese holders of CUP cards will now have the convenience of being able to withdraw foreign currency from Citibank ATMs located in more than 50 countries, without needing a dual currency card. Citibank’s international cardholders will in turn have the convenience of access to approximately 8,000 foreign-enabled CUP ATMs when traveling in China. Citibank was the first bank to deploy foreign-card enabled ATMs in China, which it has been doing for more than a decade. Citibank was also the first foreign bank to enter the retail banking business in China in the post-WTO era. In May, China UnionPay sealed a deal with Discover Financial Services to facilitate acceptance of CUP cards in the USA via its “PULSE” network. In return, Discover cards will be accepted in China. There are more than 800 million CUP cards issued in China.

Details