Oberthur to Start the China EMV Migration

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China will lead the migration to EMV cards in China, according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International. The bank has signed a one year contract with Oberthur Card Systems for EMV global platform products as well as technical and consulting services. ICBC is China’s largest commercial bank with 27,000 branches. Oberthur Card Systems is the number one provider of VISA and MasterCard payment cards worldwide. Last year, Oberthur Card Systems delivered 148.3 million micro-processor cards, a 16% increase compared with 2003.

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Indala Launches FlexSmart Smart Card Readers

San Jose-based Indala has introduced the FlexSmart Series 13.56 MHz Contactless Smart Card. Features include full sector/file programmability, encryption key management, and outputs such as Wiegand and ABA Track 2. Indala Corporation is a leading security technology company that develops and manufactures 125 kHz proximity, 13.56 MHz contactless and contact smart cards and associated readers for physical and network access-control applications.

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Shanghai and Hebei Get Smartpay Services

Smartpay Jieyin has launched its real-time system in
Shanghai and Hebei. Partner banks for the roll-out of services in Shanghai include China Construction Bank and China Merchants Bank. In Hebei, partners include Huaxia Bank and Agricultural Bank. Merchant partners include China Unicom Hebei and China Unicom Shanghai. Other merchants include Hebei Welfare Lottery Agency, Shanghai South and Pudong Gas, online gaming time for many of China’s largest gaming providers, and other merchant offerings. SmartPay works with banks at the regional level to enable real-time payments, a unique and powerful solution that provides true real-time payment processing.

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Cyota Launches Next Gen Authentication

Cyota has launched a new product based on the company’s “Adaptive Strong Authentication” technology for online banking. “Cyota eSphinx” authenticates all online banking activities beyond the standard user name and password based on a device profile, assesses the risk level associated with each activity or transaction in real time and requests additional authentication measures for any transactions identified as high risk. The new product is a low-cost alternative to hardware-based strong authentication solutions and is completely invisible to 95% of account holders. At the first sign of a high-risk transaction, such as major deviations from a customer’s established banking patterns, device or communication profile, eSphinx immediately invokes stronger authentication measures via telephone or other communication channel. If the transaction is deemed authentic, eSphinx will adapt and “learn” this new user behavior, and will not trigger similar alerts in the future. “Cyota eSphinx” is a low-cost alternative to hardware-based strong authentication solutions, and is completely invisible to 95% of account holders.

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Quest Terminals are Popular in US Stadiums

U.S.-based venue hospitality specialist Centerplate is installing 240
Quest POS terminals and 50 wireless hand-held units at Yankee Stadium,
250 POS terminals and 26 wireless hand held units at SBC Park in San
Francisco, as well as a number of terminals at two minor league
ballparks. Centerplate first introduced the Quest POS system with the
installation of about 500 Quest POS terminals at Invesco Field Mile High
Stadium in 2001 and installed an additional 590 Quest POS terminals and
60 wireless hand held units at FedEx Field in Washington, D.C. in 2004.
All Quest POS terminals are configured to accept credit cards with
approval times of less than two seconds using Web based authorization.
Quest has also configured its products to work with Exadigm wireless
terminals. Quest Retail Technology is the largest developer and
manufacturer of POS systems in Australia and has over 30,000 POS
terminals installed in 17 countries worldwide.

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ATM Japan to use AT&T Network Security Solution

Kanagawa Prefecture-based ATM Japan has sealed a deal for AT&T to develop a corporate network security solution. The consulting services being provided by AT&T include analysis of ATMJ’s current security posture, a proposal for measures necessary to ensure corporate-wide information protection, a plan for implementation of a security system based on those measures and future developments.
ATM Japan provides comprehensive and multi-vendor supports for ATMs and cash dispensers from planning, development, and installation. Additionally, it provides outsourcing services for monitoring and operations. The Company has about 540 employees and is capitalized at $4.6 million.

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Consumers Slowly Warm to Taxes via Cards

A new report shows that the number of consumers who plan to pay Federal income taxes with a credit card will increase to 5% this year, compared to 1% in 2004. The study revealed that 62% of adult Americans are aware they can pay taxes by credit card. The research by Ipsos-Insight says the convenience charge levied for using a credit card is clearly the barrier to broader use of this service. According to the study, Americans are extremely resistant to paying the convenience fees. Three out of four say they “definitely will not” use a credit card the next time they owe incremental Federal income taxes, down slightly from last year. Instead, they will resort to the usual personal check (70%), money order (3%) or direct debit from a bank account (15%). The study reveals that if the service were free, 21% of those open to the concept would use it, down from 34% last year. The “Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997” authorized the Treasury to accept credit card payments for federal taxes but prohibits the IRS from paying a merchant fee.

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ECHO Inks a VISA POS Check Deal with CTW

Electronic Clearing House (ECHO) will provide Visa Point-of-Sale Check services to CTW Prepaid. CTW specializes in customized prepaid telecom solutions for the convenience store industry and through its sister company, EZ Rewards provides a point-based loyalty program. CTW currently has over 1,000 terminals installed. ECHO provides a complete solution to the payment processing needs of merchants, banks and collection agencies.

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HFC LTD Changes to HSBC Financial Corporation LTD

Household Financial Corporation Limited has changed its
name to HSBC Financial Corporation Limited. HSBC Financial Corporation Limited, with over 1,000 employees and 114 branches in ten provinces across Canada, provides secured and unsecured lines of credit, closed-end loans, real estate loans and insurance products. Through HSBC Retail Services, it also offers private label credit cards and services.
HSBC Holdings plc acquired Household International, Inc. (now named HSBC Finance Corporation), parent company of Household Financial Corporation Limited, in March 2003.

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Postbank Acquires Euroline Credit Card Business

Postbank has acquired the credit card business of Bulgarian Retail Services, the issuer and acquirer of the Euroline credit card.
The Euroline credit card was launched by BRS in January 2003. The Postbank acquisition was closed on March 26th. Euroline is the leader in the Bulgarian market with over 180,000 cards which are accepted at over 3,500 merchant locations all over the country. Postbank and BRS are both part of EFG Eurobank Ergasias (Greece).

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