OTI’s MediSmart Solution Deployed in the USA

On Track Innovations has entered the U.S. healthcare market with its “MediSmart” solution. OTI has signed a VAR and licensing agreement with J4 Technologies to integrate OTI’s “MediSmart” contactless smart card-based medical card program into J4 offerings to the health care industry in the U.S. This follows the successful implementation of OTI’s “MediSmart” by CareCross Health, the leading primary healthcare provider in South Africa. “J4 MediSmart’s” pricing model is based on pay-per-use, negating the need for large capital expenditure by the user. OTI generates revenues on the “MediSmart” contactless smart cards, readers, support and maintenance as well as on-going transaction fees.

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American Express Launches Selects Program

American Express has added a new benefit for cardholders in eleven countries that offers nearly 1,000 special discounts worldwide. The new “American Express Selects” program is available to cardholders in the USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Malaysia, France, Italy, Singapore and Greece. In the coming months, AmEx expects to make the service available to a wider range of merchants in an increasing number of locations. The Company also noted that it has adopted a strict criteria for the new program to ensure that all offers on “Selects” meet its standards for value and duration of the offer. Samples of U.S. savings include 25% car rental discounts and up to 20% off rates from national hotel chains.

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Fifth Third Processing Solutions Hires Drucker

OH-based Fifth Third Bancorp has hired Charles Drucker, former EVP/COO of First Data’s STAR Debit Services, as president of Fifth Third Processing Solutions. Mr. Drucker will be responsible for strategy, sales, product development, relationship management and administration for Fifth Third Processing Solutions’ Merchant Services, Financial Institutions and Card Products businesses. Mr. Drucker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management. He formally served on the MasterCard Acquirer’s Committee and the Visa Acquirer’s Council. Fifth Third Processing Solutions processes over nine billion ATM and POS transactions per year for more than 1,650 financial institutions and over 201,000 retail locations worldwide.

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GlobalPlatform Smart Card Seminar Scheduled

GlobalPlatform is hosting a free one-day business seminar on 14
September at Børsen, the Royal Exchange, in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Cryptomathic is co-hosting the event. In addition to gaining a basic
grounding in the benefits of GlobalPlatform technology, seminar
participants will hear from industry experts who have developed
GlobalPlatform solutions for their EMV and PKI application programs and
gain a technical insight into the latest developments of
GlobalPlatform’s infrastructure and strategies. Presentations will be
delivered throughout the day by representatives
from GlobalPlatform Member organizations, including Axalto,
Cryptomathic, Datacard Group, Giesecke & Devrient, Setec,
STMicroelectronics, and Visa International. Guest presentations will be
delivered by speakers from Luottokunta, Rosan Finance, Skandiabanken and
the US Department of Defense.

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Diners Club Offers America West Discounts

America West is offering Diners Club cardholders a 20% discount on redemptions for First Class seats through September 30th. As the Card of choice for leading corporations, frequent travelers, and affluent individuals around the world, Diners Club is a premier provider of innovative solutions, powerful information and data, unmatched service, and award-winning rewards.

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The ICMA Adds 7 Card Manufacturers and 4 Suppliers

The International Card Manufacturers Association has added eleven new members, including seven principal members, or
card manufacturers, and four associate members, or suppliers.
New principal members include: Abaker Printing Co. (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia); Aristos Philis SA (Alexandroupolis, Greece); dz card Philippines Inc. (Paranaque City, Philippines); dz card/India Pvt. Ltd. (Gurgaon-Haryana, India); Interlock AG (Steinhaldenstrasse, Switzerland); Leigh Mardon (Victoria, Australia); and, SOKYMAT SA (Veveyse, Switzerland). New associate members include: Charoen Pokphand Petrochemical Co.,Ltd. (Bangkok, Thailand); Datum Automation Ltd (Hampshire, England); Goex Corporation (Janesville, WI, USA); and, Prime Factors, Inc. (Eugene, OR USA).

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Cap One Becomes a Bank Holding Company

The Federal Reserve Board announced its approval of the application filed by Capital One Financial Corporation, McLean, Virginia, to become a bank holding company after the amendment of the charter of its subsidiary, Capital One Bank, Glen Allen, Virginia, from a limited-purpose, credit-card bank charter to a full-service bank charter.

Attached is the Board’s Order relating to these actions.

[Click here to view the full PDF][1]

[1]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/2004/july/capitalone.pdf

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GZS Posts a Slight Profit While Making an Extensive Investment

GZS Gesellschaft für Zahlungssysteme mbH reports it was able to close its 2003 accounts slightly in the black at EUR 0.2 million. Last year, GZS successfully completed the most extensive investment
program in its history, with the resultant processing platforms
providing its customers with much greater flexibility for designing
their card businesses. GZS’s card-processing offering now covers a
broadened spectrum of services ranging from traditional card business
support with extensive integration into banks’ and saving banks’ retail
businesses to the design of sophisticated, non-standard product portfolios. Transaction counts rose in all business areas, resulting in a net increase of 4.3% compared with 2003. The smallest gain was in
issuing processing, with a rise of 2.8 million from 134 million to 136.8
million. At the other end of the scale was cross-border debit
processing, chalking up a gain of 18.3% (51.7 million transactions). Acquiring-processing transactions rose 7.6% (115.5 million) and terminal/network operations, 5.1%. Network operations, however, recorded an absolute growth of 30 million transactions. The total volume of 616 million transactions is unmistakable evidence of the importance which debit business has come to enjoy in Germany.

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Alacris Joins the Smart Card Alliance

Alacris has joined the Smart Card Alliance. The Alacris “idNexus 2.0” for Microsoft “Windows Server 2003” simplifies digital certificate and smart card deployment in the enterprise environment. It delivers enterprise class management functionality that maximizes customers’ investment in Microsoft Technologies including Windows 2003 Certificate Services, Active Directory, Internet Information Services and smart card life-cycle support. “idNexus” for Microsoft provides full interoperability and digital life-cycle management support for a growing
number of leading smart card technology providers including Axalto and
Gemplus.

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NOVA Engages VISION to Assist in Europe

NOVA Information Systems has signed VISION Consulting to assist in the integration of its recently acquired merchant services businesses in Europe. This program of work follows VISION’s earlier engagements with NOVA both in Ireland and the U.S. The first occurred when euroConex engaged VISION in 2000 to programme manage the development of a comprehensive payments processing system for the European market. VISION Consulting, with 300 employees worldwide, provides Technology and Systems Integration, Strategic Change and Business Performance Enhancement services to leading financial services, manufacturing and media organizations. NOVA Information Systems, a leader in the payment processing industry, is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp.

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Fees Claim Bigger Slice of the Revenue Pie

Issuer revenues derived from cardholder fees and merchant/interchange fees now comprise more than one-third of the total revenue stream, excluding fees from securitizations. The significant rise in late payment fees, over-limit fees, and cash advance fees, coupled with new fees such as balance transfer fees, foreign currency exchange surcharges, and expedited payment fees have driven the overall increase. Total revenues last year topped $120 billion with more than $40 billion flowing from cardholder and merchant fees. In 1994, fee income represented slightly more than 17% of total revenue even though many consumers were still paying annual fees. Since 1996, fee income, as a component of total revenue has doubled on a percentage basis. During this period average late payment fees increased from $13.30 to $32.01. Average over-limit fees increased from $13.21 to $29.94 between 1996 and 2004. CA-based R.K. Hammer investment bankers estimated penalty fee income of $11.7 billion, cash advance fee income of $5.6 billion, annual fees income of $3.4 billion, and fee income from enhancements of $860 million for 2003.

FEE INCOME AS A PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL REVENUE
1994: 17.3%
1995: 16.4%
1996: 16.1%
1997: 21.8%
1998: 24.5%
1999: 26.2%
2000: 27.9%
2001: 29.3%
2002: 32.8%
2003: 33.4%

Fee income includes merchant and cardholders fees but does not include fees from securitization. Ratio is calculated by dividing credit card fee income for the industry by the sum of the credit card interest income for the industry and the total credit card fee income.

Source: CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

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The Clearing House Merges it Businesses

The Clearing House Payments Company has merged its affiliated payments businesses into a single payments company. The Clearing House, Small Value Payments Company , Clearing House Interbank Payments System, Electronic Payments Network, Electronic Clearing Services, and National Check Exchange will now make up The Clearing House Payments Company. The Clearing House Payments Company is owned by ABN AMRO Bank, Bank of America, The Bank of New York, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi/Union Bank of California, BB&T, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Comerica Bank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, KeyBank, M&T Bank, National City Bank, PNC Bank, SunTrust Bank, U.S. Bank, Wachovia Bank, Wells Fargo Bank. The Clearing House is a private-sector, global payment systems infrastructure that clears and settles more than $1.5 trillion per day. It serves more than 1,600 U.S. financial institutions and hundreds of international participants.

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