VISA USA Hires Russell Reynolds to Find a CEO

VISA USA has retained Russell Reynolds Associates to assist in the search for candidates to replace its current president and CEO who retires in September 2005. President of Card Services for Bank of America and Chairman of the Visa USA Board of Directors, G. Patrick Phillips, will lead the search committee. Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest payment system. Cardholders in over 150 countries have over 1 billion Visa branded cards, which are accepted at millions of locations all over the world.

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Deluxe Rolls-Out the DeluxeCard VISA Gift Card

MN-based Deluxe Financial has launched the “DeluxeCard VISA Gift Card,” issued by First Federal Savings Bank of the Midwest. The DeluxeCard gift card can be used to buy anything wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. The card is an open-system prepaid card, enabling financial institutions to meet increasing demands for payment tools and a universal gift solution. Card designs are available for multiple occasions and consumers can choose a personal message that can be imprinted below the recipient’s name. The card can be sent directly to the recipient and funds up to $500 can be loaded on the card. Deluxe Financial Services offers checks and other related products to improve consumer satisfaction, strengthen check program security, increase revenue, and improve efficiency. Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest payment system. Cardholders in over 150 countries have over 1 billion Visa branded cards, which are accepted at millions of locations all over the world.

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Euronet Profits Quadruple as Transactions Double

Euronet Worldwide reported that third quarter revenues increased 88% and that net income more than quadrupled, compared to one-year ago. EFT transactions and prepaid transactions more than doubled. Consolidated revenues for 3Q/04 were $99.9 million, compared to $53.1 million for 3Q/03. Net income for the third quarter was $6.0 million, compared to a net income of $1.4 million for the third quarter 2003. The EFT processing segment posted third quarter revenues of $20.9 million, a 62% increase. The EFT processing unit processed 70.1 million transactions in the third quarter compared to 31.0 million transactions for the same period last year. The segment completed the quarter with 5,404 ATMs owned or operated, compared to 3,254 ATMs at the end of the 3Q/03. The prepaid processing segment reported third quarter revenues of $75.4 million, a 107% jump over 3Q/03. Total transactions processed by the prepaid processing unit in the third quarter were 59.8 million, compared to 26.3 million prepaid transactions processed in 3Q/03. The prepaid processing segment processes electronic point-of-sale prepaid transactions at more than 168,000 point-of-sale terminals across more than 79,000 retailers in Europe, Asia Pacific and the USA. For complete details on Euronet’s third quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Ascom Unveils a Miniaturized Contactless Mini Module

Ascom has introduced a miniaturized contactless mini module that turns a PDA or a PC into a ticketing machine. Integrated into a PC, a CMM behaves like a hermit crab, squatting its host’s micro-chip, therefore, it does not need to have one itself. This makes its price even more attractive, especially when produced in large quantities. It also makes it easier to create new ticket sales outlets, for example at news stands, where PCs will behave like real ticket office machines, with an external aerial option if necessary.

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Lightbridge Revenues Rise 16%; Beats Projections

MA-based Lightbridge reported third quarter revenues of $34.3 million, a 16% increase, higher than projected. Authorize.Net revenues increased 26% for the third quarter to a record $8.8 million. The Company added 5,500 net new merchant accounts to the Authorize.Net merchant base during the quarter bringing the total to 108,000. Lightbridge completed its acquisition of Authorize.Net Corporation for $82 million in April. The Company also signed an agreement to sell its “Fraud Centurion” software and assets to Subex Systems in August for $2.2 million in cash. Additionally, Lightbridge cut its workforce by 12% in 3Q/04. For complete details on Lightbridge’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 4/5/04)

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

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MASCOT Fights Cards-in-Transit Fraud

CardBASE Technologies has released its smart-card
management solution, “MASCOT” to fight cards-in-transit fraud.
Using “MASCOT,” “Chip and PIN” cards are rendered inactivate prior to posting. Only when in the hands of authorized recipients can they be reactivated, in their bank branch or another location, via a secure, web-based, using “MASCOT’s” post-issuance update technology. CardBASE says fraud using stolen credit cards has soared by more than 50% to £61.2 million in the year to end June 2004.

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Metromedia Launches a Multi-Branded Gift Card

Metromedia Restaurant Group has introduced a multi-branded gift card that can be used at any of its 700 restaurants including: Bennigan’s, Bonanza/Ponderosa, Steak and Ale, and The Plano Tavern. Guests can choose any denomination for the gift card. The card has re-loadable balances as well as easy access to a broad range of dining choices. The cards can be purchased at a variety of fine retailers across the U.S. or by calling 1-800-727-8355. They can be used at any of the five restaurant brands under MRG. Metromedia Restaurant Group is a world leader in multi-concept service restaurant groups with over 800 Bennigan’s(R), Steak and Ale(R), Ponderosa Steakhouse(R), Bonanza(TM) Steakhouse, and The Plano Tavern(R) restaurants in the U.S. and overseas. The restaurants serve over 160 million guests a year.

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Oberthur Card Systems and NovaCard Team

NovaCard and Oberthur Card Systems have formed a partnership to meet the rapidly growing demands of the Russian market. The deal combines NovaCard’s production facilities in Nizhniy Novgorod with Oberthur Card Systems’ expertise in EMV card development and chip card personalization solutions. The two companies will also collaborate in the mobile sector. Combining Oberthur Card Systems’ status of market innovator in the SIM card industry with NovaCards’ position as a key supplier to the local market will provide wireless carriers in the region with targeted solutions for increasing “Average Revenue Per User.”

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Smart Cards Drive Card Manufacturing Revenues

Last year, approximately 11.7 billion cards were manufactured worldwide, a 9.3% increase over 2002, but when measured in U.S. dollars, the global card market soared by 27% to $6.1 billion during the same period. North America led the world with 6.2 billion cards manufactured followed by Europe with 2.6 billion. However, Europe continues to be the most lucrative market. The International Card Manufacturers Association “Sixth Annual Global Market Survey” found that traditional cards represented 84% of the total units, smart cards 16%, non-secure cards 43%, and financial hologram cards 12%. However, smart cards, due to their higher cost, represented 79% of the dollars on a global basis.

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[1]: /images/g/graphs/globalms_cardsman03.gif

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SSB Group Licenses ACI Proactive Risk Manager

SSB Group, the largest card processor in Europe, has licensed ACI’s “Proactive Risk Manager” software to address the increasing levels of card fraud in Europe and offer additional fraud detection and prevention services to its core customer base of 200 European banks.
SSB will deploy ACI “Proactive Risk Manager for Debit and Credit Card
Fraud Detection” at its headquarters in Milan to track domestic and
international card transactions for potential fraud activity. SSB handled over 30 million payment cards and 5 billion transactions in 2003.

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Citi Launches the Dividend Merchant Network

Citibank took cash-back rewards to a new level with the introduction of a new merchant network that enables cardholders to earn an extra 5% to 7% at hundreds of the e-tailers, retailers, and cataloguers. The “Citi Dividend Merchant Network,” created for cardholders of the “Citi Dividend Platinum Select MasterCard,” carries no annual cap on the cash-back earned through the special merchant network. Cardholders must activate the merchant program to earn the bonus rewards. Under the current “Citi Dividend Platinum Select MasterCard” program, cardholders receive 5% cash-back on all gas, supermarket, and drug store purchases as well as 1% cash-back on all other purchases; $5 “Dividend Dollars” for each balance transfer of $1,500 or more, and 1% cash-back on all cash advances taken at the standard cash rate. Cardholders are limited to $300 in cash-back rewards earned per calendar year.

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