Europay Attacks Cross-Border Fraud with IRIS

Europay France is tackling cross-border fraud with the deployment of the “IRIS” fraud prevention solution
delivered by IRS Intelligent Risk Management Solutions. “IRIS” is installed at EPF’s processing centers in Paris and alerts to all
suspicious cross-border transactions of the more than 14 million French
MasterCards in real time. Europay says during last months’ pilot phase, it detected more than 30% of the fraud volume, while staying at an exceptionally low false positive rate around 4:1. A similar “IRIS” implementation is protecting cross-border transactions of more than 90 million German debit cards with great success since the end of 2001.
Unlike other neural net solutions, “IRIS” does not use domestic transaction nor cardholder data, and is not dependent on complete cardholder profiles. IRS Intelligent Risk Management GmbH is an affiliate of GZS Gesellschaft
fur Zahlungssysteme mbH, Germany’s leading processing-services provider.
Europay France processes all cross-border transactions for the
MasterCards issued by the French MasterCard members.

Details

FICO Scoring Extends to the Credit-Underserved

Fair Isaac took a big leap yesterday as it announced it has extended its “FICO” scoring to consumers who have minimal or no credit history on file. Predictive information considered in the formulation of this score include payment performance data on financial activities such as deposit accounts, pay day loans, and product purchase payment plans. Fair Isaac estimates as many as 50 million Americans currently do not have “FICO” scores including recent immigrants, people with low incomes, recent widows and divorcees, and young adults. The company has established a fully regulatory-compliant subsidiary, Fair Isaac Credit Services, Inc., to operationally deliver this capability. The new extended “FICO” for credit-underserved U.S. consumers is available for immediate use.

Details

Egg Cracks a Profit, Ready to Flee France

After losing more than $182 million on its French VISA card over the past five quarters, Prudential’s UK-based Egg is withdrawing from the French market. For the second quarter, Egg produced an operating profit for its British “Egg VISA” card of $35.3 million versus an operating loss of $30.0 million for its French “la Carte Egg VISA.” Overall, the Egg plc Group made a profit of $1.8 million in the second quarter leading to an overall loss before tax for the first half of 2004 of $7.3 million, down from a loss of $41.9 million in the same period last year. The Group has been trying to sell-off both credit card portfolios but no deal has been announced to-date. During the quarter, Egg added 171,000 new credit cardholders to bring its total portfolio to 2,944,969 cardholders. Total Egg credit card outstandings were $5,630 million at the end of June. For complete details on Egg’s second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

EGG SNAPSHOT
UK VISA FRENCH VISA
2Q/03: +$35.3 million -$45.0 million
3Q/03: +$36.4 million -$37.8 million
4Q/04: +$29.3 million -$35.6 million
1Q/04: +$27.6 million -$28.7 million
2Q/04: +$35.3 million -$30.0 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

Details

Gemplus Smart Payment Card Revenues Up 37%

French global smart card specialist, Gemplus, reported that payment microprocessor card revenue for 2Q/04 rose 37% year-on-year, and 15% quarter-on-quarter. Gross profit for the Company’s financial services unit increased 29%, from $8.2 million one-year ago to $10.6 million. Financial services revenues increased from $46.7 million to $53.8 million during the same period, a 15% gain. Financial services revenue growth was primarily driven by EMV and, to a lesser extent, by Pay-TV cards. EMV shipments continued to improve with strong growth in Scandinavia, France and Mexico. Microprocessor card revenue growth was partly offset by lower sales in magnetic stripe cards, due to cannibalization by EMV cards. For complete details on Gemplus’ second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

GEMPLUS SNAPSHOT
Revenues Gross Profit
2Q/03: $46.7 million $ 8.2 million
3Q/03: $57.5 million $15.2 million
4Q/03: $54.4 million $ 8.7 million
1Q/04: $48.7 million $11.0 million
2Q/04: $53.8 million $10.6 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

Details

NRF Is Hopping Mad about PIN POS Fees

The National Retail Federation says that fees for PIN POS debit card transactions are causing confusion in the marketplace as consumers believe the fees are charged by the retailer instead of the bank issuer. The NRF last week asked the Federal Reserve Board to require more disclosure on such fees. In the July 23 comments, NRF asked the FRB to require any bank that charges a fee for PIN transactions to “fully disclose the fee it will charge and the name of the bank that will receive the fee.” The NRF says a bank should be required to reveal that it is already receiving an interchange fee, and to bear all costs of disclosure, including any hardware or software the merchant would be required to install. If banks are not required to make meaningful disclosure and pay for related costs, they should be barred from charging PIN fees, the NRF said. The NRF says the bank fees, which range from $0.50 to $1.50 per transaction, have prompted consumers to demand refunds from countless retailers.

Details

Comdata’s SVS Buys into ProfitPoint

Comdata’s Stored Value Systems has acquired a minority interest in TN-based ProfitPoint, which provides integrated gift card and loyalty programs for small and medium-sized retailers and restaurants. The investment reflects SVS’ continuing commitment to the development of innovative stored value solutions, particularly in this high-growth market segment. Stored Value Systems, Inc. (SVS) is one of the world’s leading providers of electronic gift cards and other card-based transaction programs. ProfitPoint is a payment services company that markets value added, card based loyalty programs to businesses which enables them to attract new customers, encourage repeat visits, track, monitor and report customer purchasing patterns and reduce the risk of shrinkage and exposure to fraud.

Details

Forrester Launches the Ultimate Consumer Panel

Forrester Research has launched a single-source, opt-in, highly secure panel that electronically captures online and offline behavior from a representative group of more than 10,000 U.S. households. The “Ultimate Consumer Panel” captures three types of data from its panelists including 24,000 electronic monthly statements, online behavior/activities, and survey data. The monthly statements include more than 8,000 credit card statements, 2,800 bank account statements, and 2,500 wireless and 3,700 residential phone bills. The “Panel” monitors daily Web behavior, including the URL for every site online panelists visit and what they do on those sites. The “Panel” is also surveyed bimonthly. Current “Ultimate Panel” clients include MasterCard, Wells Fargo, and Household.

Details

Girl Scouts Targeted for Financial Literacy

VISA USA and the Girl Scouts of the USA have teamed to promote financial literacy among tween and teen girls. These resources are being launched at a time when a new survey shows that teen girls lack an understanding of financial basics. In a recent Visa USA survey, only 33 percent of girls aged 13-17 were able to correctly identify six or more common terms such as interest, APR and IRA. Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent organization for girls, and has more than 3.8 million girl and adult members. Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives.

Details

Barter Gift Cards Set to Launch

FL-based Bentley Commerce has launched gift and stored value scrip cards that can be purchased by members of participating barter exchanges with trade dollars. The Gift Card follows the introduction of Bentley Commerce’s Platinum Business Trade card, introduced last week , which is used for debit card purchasing using barter at the point of sale, and works off the same proprietary swipe card software technology on new terminals provided to merchants, or uploaded to merchants’ existing supported terminals. Bentley Commerce Corp. is a business-to-business, Internet e-commerce company that is establishing a new marketplace and distribution channel for worldwide barter and trade. Through the development of a seamlessly integrated family of online barter services, it envisions that most barter transactions can be handled over the Internet in real time, with its proprietary VirtualBarter software.

Details

Zebra Unveils a New Loyalty Card Printer

Zebra Technologies has unveiled the low-cost “P205” card printer, a single-sided monochrome plastic card printer designed for organizations looking to create personalized identification, membership, and guest or loyalty cards. The printer easily adds information such as a customer’s name, black & white photo, account number, and length of affiliation to the front or back of a card. Additional information can also be printed on the card in the form of a bar code. Zebra Card Printer Solutions is a division of Zebra Technologies Corporation, which delivers innovative and reliable on-demand printing solutions to businesses and governments in more than 90 countries around the world.

Details

AmEx TRS Profits Up 16%; Adds 400K US Cardholders

American Express Travel Related Services reported second quarter net income of $732 million, compared to $665 million in the previous quarter, and $634 million one-year ago. Charge volume in the U.S. increased 17% year-over-year, compared to a 19% annual increase posted for the first quarter of this year, and a 10% annual growth rate for 2Q/03. AmEx says U.S. and global discount revenue grew 18% driven by a 19% increase in billed business. The issuer added 400,000 net new cardholders in the second quarter for the USA, compared to 600,000 in 1Q/04, and 200,000 in 2Q/03. AmEx no longer breaks-out its U.S. lending component. Worldwide, AmEx had $45.1 billion in card loans, a 7.2% increase over 2Q/03. Worldwide delinquency was 2.5% for 2Q/04, compared to 2.8% one-year ago. Worldwide net charge-offs were 4.5% for the second quarter, compared to 5.4% for 2Q/03. For complete details on AmEx’s second quarter performance as well as prior quarters visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

American Express U.S. Card Portfolio Snapshot
2Q/04 1Q/04 4Q/03 3Q/03 2Q/03 Ann Chng
Volume $75.7 70.1 72.3b 66.3b 64.6b +17.2%
Cards 37.4m 37.0m 36.4m 35.9m 35.4m +5.6%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

Details

VisaNet Certified to Handle 6K/Sec Transactions

VISA USA this month successfully tested its global payment system, “VisaNet,” in advance of the upcoming holiday season. The stress test assumed a 20% increase in transaction volume, certifying that its system can sustain a peak of more than 6,000 transaction messages per second. VISA engineers conducted the annual test on a full model of “VisaNet” that assumes the model must handle all of VISA?s expected traffic, without the help of the redundant data centers VISA employs around the world. The test bed was built at an IBM technology lab outside Washington, D.C. The test system included five high-performance computer systems, 65 Terabytes of disk storage, and 2 Gigabyte router capacity, making it the most complex, high volume payment system tested in a lab environment. VISA engineers fed the system one week?s worth of actual transactions, captured at an earlier time and fed at various rates to the test system.

Details