VASCO Launches Digipass for Java Phone

VASCO Data Security has launched “Digipass for Java Phone.” The end-user will be able to easily install the Digipass software on
his/her mobile phone, by means of OTA provisioning or through
the GSM provider’s synchronization tool. In order to be able to use the
Digipass, one has to introduce an activation code into one’s mobile phone. The activation codes will be provided by VASCO through VASCO’s channel partners.

Details

VISA Europe Seeks Better Communication

VISA Europe has launched a new section on its Website to help increase understanding about what it is, who owns it and how it is governed. VISA says it wants to communicate how transactions are made using VisaNet; the range of security systems in place to ensure that every transaction is as safe and secure as possible; how the four-party payment system works between the issuers, acquirers, cardholders and merchants; the impact of new technologies including the migration to chip technology, mobile payments and proximity payments; VISA’s relationships with merchants and cardholders; how VISA is structured and the separately incorporated business of VISA Europe; and, VISA’s fee structure and how it manages its costs. There are 162 million debit cards or 107 million credit cards in Europe that carry the VISA brand.

Details

First Data Acquires Vigo Remittance

First Data has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire FL-based Vigo Remittance. Vigo was founded nearly 20 years ago to provide money transfer services to Brazilian consumers living in New York City and Newark, New Jersey and has successfully expanded to serve 47 countries. In 2003, Mario Trujillo, in partnership with Great Hill Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, acquired Vigo and proceeded to improve and grow Vigo’s profitability and business efficiencies. Vigo operates through approximately 3,700 Agent locations from across the U.S. and more than 47,000 payment locations throughout the world, primarily in the Latin American and Caribbean regions. In 2004, Vigo processed approximately 8 million transactions.

Details

Cap One May Move U.S. Processing to TSYS

TSYS announced it has reached an agreement in principle with Capital One to provide processing services for Cap One’s North American portfolio of consumer and small-business credit card accounts. The two companies are now negotiating. Capital One currently handles processing in-house. Capital One recently reported U.S. card outstandings of $46.6 billion, a 2.8% increase compared to one-year ago but down 4.1% from the previous quarter. U.S. card outstandings represent about 57% of Cap One’s total managed loans. The issuer has about $100 billion in annual global volume, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

Details

GECF Acquires a Major Stake in BAC

GE Consumer Finance has acquired 49.99% of Panama City-based BAC
International Bank, a privately held retail bank and credit card issuer
based in Panama City, Panama. BAC’s Credomatic subsidiary is a
significant debit and credit card issuer in Central America. BAC has 178
branches in countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. BAC has about $1.7 billion in consumer
credit card loans. GE Consumer Finance has more than $151 billion in
assets. Credit Suisse First Boston advised BAC in the deal.

Details

HSBC Retail Services Gets a New CFO

HSBC – North America has promoted Asim Majeed to CFO of HSBC’s Retail Services business, effective immediately. Majeed will lead the financial accounting and management team for the business, which provides private label financing. Majeed joined the company in 2000 in the corporate strategy and development group and most recently was vice president within the HSBC wholesale/correspondent mortgage business. A graduate of Elmhurst College, Majeed earned his master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. HSBC Retail Services, a subsidiary of HSBC – North America is a leading issuer of private label credit cards in the US. HSBC – North America has more than $300 billion in assets.

Details

ExpressPay Certifies a Gas Pump Manufacturer

North Carolina-based Gilbarco Veeder-Root’s contactless smart card reader has been certified for use with American Express’ “ExpressPay,” becoming the first gas pump manufacturer to attain this certification. ExpressPay is a key chain fob and can also be embedded in a traditional American Express card. Gilbarco Veeder-Root is a provider of retail and commercial products to petroleum marketers, private and commercial fleets, and high-volume fuel retailers.

Details

LG Card to Issue JCB Debit Cards in Japan

South Korea’s largest credit card issuer is planning to launch the first debit card branded with JCB in Japan. According to this week’s issue of CardFlash International, the “LG JCB Toresard Card” will be launched in June. LG Card expects to issue 100,000 of the new cards in the first year. Purchases made with the new card will be directly debited from the cardholder’s bank account in Japanese yen. JCB signed an issuing license agreement with LG Card in 1997. There are currently 1.6 million LG JCB cards.

Details

LG Card to Issue a JCB Debit Card

South Korea’s largest credit card issuer is planning to launch
the first debit card branded with JCB in Japan. The “LG JCB Toresard Card” will be launched in June. LG Card expects to issue 100,000 of the new cards in the first year. Purchases made with the new card will be directly debited from the cardholder’s bank account in Japanese yen. JCB signed an issuing license agreement with LG Card in 1997. There are currently 1.6 million LG JCB cards. LG Card has 9.65 million cardholders and 52 billion won in annual transaction volume. JCB cards are
now issued in 18 countries and territories, with 53.6 million cardholders.

Details

Allow Prepaid Card for Kids is Launched

Arizona-based Allow Card of America has launched the “Allow Card,” a stored value debit card created for kids. The Allow Card is targeted for children ages 10 to 19 to help them understand responsible money management. The Allow Card is a PIN-based debit card, offering a more secure payment method than cash. The Allow Card is accepted at more than 26 million locations. Parents can reload, monitor activity and set controls via Allow Card’s website. Allow Card of America, Inc. is a privately held financial services corporation that helps to empower young people through financial literacy.

Details

MasterCard Introduced a New Fraud Tool

MasterCard has introduced a new fraud protection tool. “Aristion” allows users to define a set of rules or criteria related to unacceptable card use. If a transaction or series of transactions meet these criteria, “Aristion” highlights transactions for further review. Subscribers to “Aristion” can feed any MasterCard transaction data into the system to determine whether cards are being used in accordance with agency guidelines. Importantly, “Aristion” can also accept non-monetary data, an extremely useful capability for spotting cases of potential account takeover or identity theft. MasterCard unveiled the new tool at the annual MasterCard International “Public Sector Forum.”

Details

Banks Must Expand Gift Card Disclosure

At least 12 U.S. states have enacted statutes governing gift cards, while over 70 legislative proposals in 31 states are still pending. A new research study shows the legislation will have little impact on gift cards issued by retailers, but may threaten the survivability of prepaid cards issued by banks. TowerGroup says store gift cards and bank card gift cards are very different animals. Gift cards offered by specific retail merchants are a loyalty product to increase sales with the costs absorbed by the sales. Gift cards issued by banks are universally accepted and offer extra benefits such as lost card replacement and therefore carry legitimate expenses that are offset by fees. However, TowerGroup says there is evidence that consumer disclosures – particularly to the ultimate gift card recipient – have been lacking. The research report suggest that the industry must recognize this deficiency and act quickly to correct it, even as it fights to avoid prohibition of fees.

Details