PRESTIGE Wins More Major Awards

Transport for London’s “PRESTIGE” has won two more major awards.
The integrated smart card ticketing system was delivered by the TranSys
consortium, whose principal partners are Cubic and EDS. A panel of
judges including the National Audit Office, Department of Transport,
PricewaterhouseCoopers and Barclays Bank selected “PRESTIGE” as
the best Private Finance Initiative in two categories: “Best
Operational Transport Project” and the “Grand Prix as the Best
Operational Project.” The system consists of over 4,000
ticket selling facilities, 16,000 ticket validators, a network of over
300 sub-computers tied into a Central Computer System and various other
supporting elements.

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FDIC Wants an Extra Security Layer

The FDIC this week said that the risk assessment financial institutions are required to perform regarding information security should address customer authentication. The FDIC is recommending multifactor authentication in addition to the traditional passwords. These new security features may include “tokens” issued to customers that generate new passwords every 60 seconds, software that can identify the computer that a customer uses to access online accounts or contacting a customer by phone to make sure that he or she is the one attempting to access the account. The FDIC and other federal banking agencies are expected to issue guidance this fall to insured financial institutions about improving the security of customer authentication methods.

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AirPlus Volume Rises 14% and Cards Top 850K in 2004

AirPlus International reports a 14% volume increase in 2004, a $12.9 billion record high for the company. AirPlus also saw a
4% increase in total cards in the global market, bringing the
number of cards processed to 850,000. Operating in 26 countries, AirPlus
reports a total of 29,000 corporate clients for 2004. AirPlus is the
preferred payment partner of Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines,
British Airways, Lufthansa German Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Swiss
International Air Lines and TAP Portugal.

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Ecount Launches a Prepaid Teen VISA

PA-based Ecount, a specialist in customized prepaid card programs, has launched a VISA card for teens. The new “FIRM Prepaid VISA” features a two-tiered curriculum (10 interactive chapters) designed to teach smart money management skills, enabling teens to practice the skills they learn in a safe, secure manner. The new card also offers parents options to set spending restrictions and functionality. Additionally, it offers online monitoring for both parents and teens. The card carries a $69.95 annual fee. However, there is no fee for the first four ATM withdrawals, reloads or ATM balance inquiries each month. Ecount also does not charge a fee for the first six POS transactions each month.

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HSBC Completes a VISA Information Source Trial

HSBC Bank has just completed a successful UK trial of “Visa
Information Source” with one of its major corporate customers. “VIS” is
a comprehensive web-based reporting and expense management solution that
helps companies monitor expenditure and streamline administration.
Currently, about 12 million U.S. transactions each year go through “VIS.” “VIS” provides online reporting with 25 months of historical data, standard reporting and a user customizable file extract, cardholder statement reports, a supplier analysis solution, a cost allocation solution and an expense reporting solution.

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AVENTA Data Systems Joins OneLynk Alliance

Atlanta-based RBS Lynk has signed AVENTA Data Systems to its “OneLynk Alliance” program. AVENTA Data Systems provides Point-of-Sale (POS) solutions to over 500 restaurants. RBS Lynk’s electronic payment processing integrates with Aloha POS software, providing fast transaction processing, while eliminating the expense of separate restaurant management equipment and payment terminals. AVENTA develops, markets and supports PC network-based systems for the hospitality industry. RBS Lynk is a single-source provider of electronic payment processing services and is a member of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS Group), one of the world’s leading financial services companies.

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Triversity Releases FraudWatch 3.0

Toronto-based Triversity has released “FraudWatch 3.0,” a loss
prevention software solution that meets the requirements of the PCI
standards for protecting cardholder data. “FraudWatch 3.0” includes full
encryption of credit/debit card information, audit trails when data is
accessed, advanced password management, masking of sensitive data when
displayed and restriction of information. “FraudWatch” is a Web-based
system that can be accessed from any location via a Web browser.
Triversity is an international provider of retail business solutions.

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Consumer Confidence Drives GDV Higher

The “Consumer Confidence Index” reached a three-year high in June as second quarter U.S. payment card gross dollar volume is expected to top $650 billion for the highest year-over-year growth rate since the third quarter of 2002. Credit and debit card GDV is expected to rise 13.5% in Q2, compared to 11.5% in the first quarter and 11.8% one-year ago. The Conference Board, which produces the “Consumer Confidence Index,” says that consumers are in better spirits and job concerns appear to remain relatively steady. Therefore, there is little reason to expect a dramatic shift in consumer spending. Despite the rebound in payment card volume, CardData expects growth in revolving credit card balances to remain sluggish for the near term.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX DEBIT+CREDIT GDV GROWTH
Jun 01: 118.9 2Q/01: $430b +18%
Jun 02: 106.4 2Q/02: $481b +13%
Jun 03: 83.5 2Q/03: $516b + 7%
Jun 04: 102.8 2Q/04: $584b +13%
Jun 05: 105.8 2Q/05: $651b +13.5%
INDEX=100 in 1985 GDV=gross dollar volume
Source: The Conference Board Source: CardData

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Acxiom’s RITAA Boosts Mail Response

AR-based Acxiom announced the general commercial availability of “Ranking Invitation to Apply Approvals,” which helps credit card issuers find and target consumers who are most likely to respond to invitation-to-apply offers and meet the issuer’s credit approval standards. “RITAA” is a model built on Acxiom’s “InfoBase” data. Acxiom’s post-campaign testing shows approval-to-response rates can be increased by 25-50%. If the goal is to increase approval-to-mailed rates, a 17-50% improvement has been observed, with the average well over 20%. The “RITAA” results were validated in 20 campaigns by nine companies.

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Monthly Payment Rates Retreat in May

After hitting the stratosphere in April, monthly payment rates on asset-backed credit card bonds came back to earth in May. Payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay toward outstandings each month, climbed to a record 18.52% in April before dropping 134 basis points last month. However, the trend is still upward as the MPR is tracking 42 basis points above year ago levels. According to FitchRatings, the monthly payment rate among prime issuers was 17.18% in May and 16.76% one-year ago. The increase in MPR over the past year has been attributed to cardholder behavioral changes and debit consolidation via home equity loans.

MONTHLY PAYMENT RATES
(Prime Credit Card-Backed ABS)
Apr 04: 16.76%
Dec 04: 17.09%
Jan 05: 17.70%
Feb 05: 17.64%
Mar 05: 16.32%
Apr 05: 18.52%
May 05: 17.18%
Source: FitchRatings

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Shere Integrates Hypercom chip & PIN Solution

Self-serve ticket machine specialist Shere has inked a $1 million deal to use Hypercom’s “chip & PIN”-based credit and debit card payment solution. The Hypercom solution includes its “K1100” keypad and display device and “Optimum H2200 Motorized Magtek” card reader. It is also
EMVCo, VISA PED, and ISO1332-3 approved. Additionally, it complies with
the UK’s “Disability Discrimination Act.” More than 65% of the UK Train
Operating Companies, including Virgin Trains, First Group, Go-Ahead and
GNER use Shere’s “FAST and SMART” ticketing system. Hypercom’s
unattended products can fit into most self-service environments
including kiosks, ticketing, transportation self-checkout systems,
entertainment, fast food, pay-at-pump and more.

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