A comprehensive analysis of spam messages sent last month shows that financial fraud now accounts for 9% to 11% of global spam, up from 3% to 5% a year ago. According to the research, South Korea is the largest source of spam and the vast majority of spammers continue to host their Web sites in China. The study by CA-based Commtouch Lab shows phishing continues to be the single most dangerous type of email fraud, accounting for larger financial losses than any other scheme. However, stock manipulation schemes are most prevalent. According to a report released two weeks ago by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, there were more than 13,000 unique phishing attacks during February. The APWG says it is witnessing a disturbing uptick in field reports of malicious code being employed to either filter consumers’ logins and passwords from their keystrokes or to redirect them to convincing counterfeit sites even when observing the “best practice” of directly keying a bank’s URL into the browser’s address bar (so-called “Pharming”). The AWPG also has been watching so-called “technical subterfuge” attacks. (CF Library 3/29/05).Details
HSBC has launched its “Take 3 Months Off” promotion to both new and existing cardholders who transfer their credit card balance
from other banks to a credit card from HSBC. HSBC is charging a 0% interest on balance transfers for three months. In addition, the card will be fee free for the first year, with cardholders receiving “Air Miles” on the transferred balance. HSBC Bank Middle East Limited has 29 branches throughout the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian Autonomous Area, including an offshore banking unit in Bahrain.
TRM Corporation will install its ATMs in over 150 Wal-Mart locations and provide a complete turn-key service and maintenance solutions. The spring roll out expands on TRM’s established relationship with Wal-Mart Canada where TRM currently provides exclusive photocopier services to all 256 Wal-Mart locations. TRM Corporation is a consumer services company that provides convenience ATM and photocopying services in high-traffic retail environments in over 45,000 locations worldwide.Details
The Shanghai International Conference Management Organization has teamed with American Express to produce the “China Business Travel Forum.” It is the first large-scale business travel event in China to
receive full support from the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative
Commission. The two-day Forum will focus on creating a business-to-business environment for exhibitors and delegates to learn
about and understand new products, share experiences in business travel
and entertainment management, both in China and around the world,
as well as to explore and engage in partnership opportunities.
The Forum is expected to draw more than 700 participants
representing companies from around the world who have an interest in
corporate travel management in China.
Viking Capital Group, Inc. recently completed an asset purchase transaction with Secure Financial Solutions, Inc. to acquire all rights to the 1st Financial Solutions Secure Cash card program. The Secure Cash is a stored value ATM debit card. Viking Capital subsidiary, Viking Insurance Services will market the Secure Cash service.Details
ACI Canada announced an aggressive plan to offer shared services using chip cards with a target of early 2007 for the first chip transaction. They have worked closely with Interac on developing EMV debit specifications and achieving full support of the specifications within ACI’s core “BASE24” solutions. Interac recently decided to
have a Canadian chip card infrastructure in place within two years.
ACI provides application software and technical consultancy based on its
extensive experience with EMV solutions around the world. The range of
ACI’s EMV-enabled software supports transactions initiated at multiple
delivery channels, from ATMs and point-of-sale devices to wireless
telephones and PCs connected to the Internet.
UT-based America First Credit Union posted a staggering 51% gain in gross volume as outstandings grew nearly 17% during the first quarter. Other credit unions with portfolios ranging from $30 million to $98 million reported a 10.8% gain in 1Q/05 outstandings and a 6.6% gain in first quarter volume. America First CU reported $151.4 million in outstandings and $133.8 million in volume, as its account base expanded by 8.2%, compared to one-year ago. TX-based Randolph Brooks CU posted an 11% gain in outstandings and a 9% gain in volume. San Diego-based Mission FCU reported a 6% increase in outstandings and a 4% increase in volume. St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch Employees CU posted an 18% gain in outstandings and a 7% gain in volume. AL-based Max FCU reported an 18% increase in outstandings and a 13% increase in volume. CT-based Sikorsky Financial CU posted a 4% gain in outstandings and a slight gain in volume. For complete details on the first quarter performance by the nation’s top portfolios, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Credit Unions 1Q/05 ($ millions)
ISSUER RECV Y/Y VOL Y/Y
Randolph Brooks CU $98.4 +11.1% $79.2 + 8.6%
Mission FCU $80.0 + 6.1% $45.3 + 3.7%
Anheuser-Busch Emp CU $44.9 +17.8% $27.9 + 6.9%
Max FCU $42.2 +18.2% $16.4 +13.1%
Sikorsky Fin CU $30.4 + 4.1% $18.0 NC
TOTAL: $295.9 +10.8% $186.8 + 6.6%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Axalto launched a new service to help card issuers, associations, acquirers and merchants to successfully implement the EMV
standard in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and other countries in the Americas.
This initiative from Axalto provides support through every phase of the
migration to EMV. The company’s full line-up of hardware
and software products as well as personalization and training services
allows customers converting to EMV to concentrate on their core
business. Axalto is also leveraging some reference projects with VISA and MasterCard members around the world. Axalto has produced 3 billion smart cards to date.
Chicago-based BOWE Bell + Howell has rolled-out a new system that dynamically creates one-to-one personalized carriers directly from raw demographic data. The “Plastic Card System” uses PrintSoft’s “PReS” software, selectively prints on up to eight form types using Oce’s “5160” cut-sheet printer, and securely matches and attaches cards in variable positions at a rate of up to 8,000 cards per hour. The “PCS” systems also offers the flexibility to decode any type of card and print full-color graphics and barcodes on both sides of the carrier. Additionally, the BOWE Bell + Howell’s “PCS” processes a wide array of document formats and has the ability to read a wide array of codes, including barcodes, 2D Datamatrix, contact or contactless smart card chips, magnetic stripes and OCR.Details
A new study shows that a mere 11% of consumers are considering taking out a 0% in the next six months whilst six out 10 cardholders have never been tempted by an opening offer. The finding flies in the face of the fact that card issuers spent GBP 53 million on advertising their 0% cards last year. The total spent on all advertising by all credit card companies during 2004 was GBP 83.6 million. The Co-operative Bank’s poll also shows that credit card customers are not fooled by low introductory rates. Three out of four said no annual fee and 64% stated a competitive standard rate were the most important aspects they took into consideration when choosing a new card.Details
The new Wynn Las Vegas resort has signed a multi-year agreement to use the products and services of Global Cash Access. The new casino is set to open April 28th. GCA says it will use the property to showcase its “QuickJack Plus,” a multi-function patron kiosk that incorporates GCA’s “Casino Cash Plus 3-in-1” ATM. “QuickJack Plus” offers an interface to redeem slot tickets, vouchers and coupons, perform ATM, debit and credit card cash advance transactions, redeem club points for complimentary services and cash and break bills to exchange currency. GCA provides cash access and related marketing services to approximately 960 gaming properties and other clients in the U.S., U.K., Canada and the Caribbean.Details
The “Fifth Annual Future of Banking in China Conference” will be held at Pudong Shangri-la in Shanghai, October 26th and 27th. The event is sponsored by the Asian Banker and the Shanghai Banking Association. The conference will seek to address issues that are emerging from a “whole new world” of retail banking in China. Some of the issues to be covered include implementing a credit risk management systems, growing the credit card business and building sustainable growth in retail banking.Details