MasterCard Hires a Top Australian Federal Policeman to Combat Fraud in Asia/Pacific

MasterCard International has hired a former Director of National Investigations for the Australian Federal Police to spearhead its development of solutions to manage risks and enhance fraud control in Asia/Pacific. Tim Morris, who served with Australian Federal Police for 18 years, will become MasterCard vice president & regional head for Security & Risk Management for Asia/Pacific. He will be based in Singapore, working closely with law enforcement agencies to combat payment card crime, as well as work with government institutions to provide support in aid of legislation for card fraud. During his tenure with AFP, Morris created a new counter terrorism division and led the Australian contribution to the successful investigation into the bombings in Bali. He was also a member of the Australian Prime Minister’s business task force on critical infrastructure protection and a member of the inter-governmental committee on identity fraud.

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Solicitations Drop 12% as 50% of Issuers Pull Back

Direct mail credit card offers declined 12% last year to 4.3 billion after peaking at 5.0 billion two years ago. Over the past five years, Americans have received 20.5 billion solicitations, responding to about 125 million of the offers. Synovate’s “Mail Monitor” reports that during 2003, U.S. issuers sent 1.27 billion reward offers and 900 million cash rebates offers to consumers. In 2002, 810 million rewards offers and 680 million cash rebate card offers were sent. Response rates remained at 0.6% compared 0.7% in 2000. Synovate says that, on average, each month 69% of U.S. households received 4.8 offers during 2003 compared to 75% of households receiving 5.1 offers during 2002. The researcher says that 90% of credit card direct mail comes from the 10 largest card issuers. Half of those issuers cut back last year causing the overall decline in mail volume.

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ING Selects Axalto Smart Cards for the New Sony PlayStation Co-Branded MasterCard

ING has selected Axalto to provide smart cards for its MasterCard co-branded program. The “ING/Sony PlayStation MasterCard” is targeted at students -and professionally active customers in the 20-30 age bracket. The smart card features discount prices on “PlayStation 2” consoles and games as well as a differentiated card body. The bank is using SMS to promote the card. Axalto, formerly known as Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals, as delivered 3 billion smart cards to date.

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Bank Card Company to Test MasterCard Europe’s P2P Money Transfer System

Bank Card Company announced its has signed up to test MasterCard Europe’s new person-to-person money transfer system. BCC is joined by SPRON in Iceland which is also launching a pilot of “MasterCard MoneySend.” They join the Royal Bank of Scotland group in the UK and CartaSi in Italy, both of whom have been testing the service. The first cross-border transaction was successfully authorized and cleared on MasterCard’s transaction processing network in January 2004. The transactions between MasterCard NatWest cards and BPM (Banca Popolare Di Milano) cards were processed through the MasterCard “MoneySend” service and customized for the card processing service of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, and through the CartaSi’s “MasterCard MoneySend” service. Under the “MoneySend” program the receiver of the money is identified as an e-mail address, a mobile phone or the MasterCard card number or Maestro personal account number. The MasterCard “MoneySend” platform translates the recipient’s email or mobile phone number into an associated PAN and then routes the transaction over the MasterCard network. The recipient then receives an email or SMS message notifying them that the money has arrived. The process takes less than a minute.

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Circuit City Posts Decent Finance Profit Post Sale

Richmond, VA-based Circuit City Stores yesterday reported that its finance operation produced pretax income of $10.3 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $1.8 million one-year ago. The retailer says a significant factor in the increase was the conversion to a co-branded credit card, which began in the second quarter and led to a higher yield from an increased level of interest-bearing receivables. However, the increase was partially offset by increased charge-offs. Circuit City is currently in the process of closing the sale of its private-label credit card operation to Bank One. The deal should close this quarter. In the third quarter, Circuit City sold its bankcard operation to FleetBoston. Circuit City and Bank One agreed to an ongoing arrangement under which Bank One will offer private-label and co-branded credit cards to both new and existing customers. For complete details on Circuit City’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 10/22/03 and 1/21/04)

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

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Allpoint Provides Access to Bank One’s Direct Card

The Washington, DC-based Allpoint ATM network is now providing surcharge-free access to Bank One’s prepaid “Direct Card” via its 25,000 ATMs located in all 50 states. Direct Card customers already have access to Bank One’s network of 4,300 ATMs. The Direct Card is a re-loadable, prepaid Visa card. Allpoint is America’s Largest Surcharge-Free ATM Network, with more than 25,000 ATMs in leading national and regional merchant locations across the country such as Costco, Winn-Dixie, Circle K, ExxonMobil, Duane Reade, Sunoco, Giant, and A&P. Bank One Corporation (www.bankone.com) is the nation’s sixth-largest bank holding company, with assets of more than $325 billion.

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More Chex Services – iGames Lawsuits Filed

CO-based Equitex has filed lawsuits in Minnesota and Delaware against iGames Entertainment over the failed purchase of Chex Services by iGames. The Company stated that it is fully confident that its claims in litigation will be upheld and that it believes that the various claims made by iGames Entertainment, Inc. lack merit, and intends to vigorously prosecute its claims and defend against iGames’ claims. Equitex, Inc. is a holding company operating through its wholly owned subsidiary Chex Services of Minnetonka, Minnesota, as well as its majority owned subsidiary Denaris Corporation.

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JCB Launches a Dual Interface Smart Card Pilot with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

JCB this week launched a six-month pilot for its dual interface smart card, marking the first time contactless technology has been added to a regular international credit card in Japan. Introduced with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the new “e-METI JCB Business Card” allows employees to pay at canteens throughout the government agency’s facilities, but can also be used as a regular credit card at any store or merchant currently accepting JCB. The issuer has been offering a similar product with its Offica corporate smart card, which also incorporates contactless smart card technology, as well as a wide menu of functions on a single card including office access control, network authentication, employee attendance tracking and cashless purchasing at the office. The “e-METI JCB Business Card” incorporates JCB’s “DualPlus” dual interface technology, which complies with “ISO/IEC 14443 Type B” standards for contactless applications and also equipped with the contact interface EMV-standard credit application “J/Smart.” The
contactless technology was developed in cooperation with Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.

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Big Apple Yellow Taxis to Take Cards by 2006

The Taxi & Limousine Commission of New York City this week announced it plans to have credit card terminals installed in all 12,187 yellow cabs by November 2005. Fleet owners, or owner-operators, will have to pony up for the projected $1500 cost per cab to upgrade with credit card terminals. However, there has been no decision on how the merchant fees will be absorbed. A recent pilot program in New York City with credit card equipped-taxis has found that the majority of transactions are not successfully processed and those that do, take too long. The New York Times reported yesterday that a similar program in Chicago has not taken off. Chicago mandated taxicabs to have credit card equipment by 2002, but technological obstacles delayed the start-up. Chicago now expects all cabs to be equipped by June. Meanwhile, the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission approved a 26% fare increase effective May 1st. The flat rate fare from Kennedy Airport to Manhattan will also increase from $35 to $45.

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JCB Launches an Internet Authentication Service

Japan’s JCB has rolled-out its new Internet authentication program that is compliant with the “3-D Secure” protocol. More than 15 partners have already committed to implement the “J/Secure” program. LG Card in South Korea will launch the “J/Secure” service this month. AEON Credit Service in Japan will launch the JCB authentication service in May. Currently more than 15 access control server or merchant server plug-in products have passed “J/Secure” compliance testing. JCB cards are now issued in 18 countries and territories, with 49.6 million cardholders, according to CardFlash International ([www.cardflashinternational.com][1]). JCB’s merchant network includes 11.4 million merchants and spans 189 countries and territories.

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

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New Phishing Attack Takes Over Browser Address Bar

The Anti-Phishing Working Group issued a “Threat Advisory Alert” yesterday concerning a new type of phishing attack that replaces the “Address” bar at the top of a Web browser with a working fake, allowing the phisher to display a completely fraudulent Web address URL, while taking the consumer to the phisher’s spoofed site. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is focused on eliminating the problem of phishing and email spoofing attacks, by developing and sharing information about the problem, and promoting the visibility and adoption of industry solutions. Membership in the group is open to qualified financial institutions, corporations, law enforcement agencies, public policy groups and solution vendors. Tumbleweed is a leading provider of secure Internet messaging software products for enterprises.

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Moneris Solutions Signs 6-year Deal with Signature Vacations

Canada’s leading package holiday company has entered into a six-year agreement with Moneris Solutions for MasterCard and VISA online credit card payment processing. Signature Vacations chose “eSELECTplus” because it provides travel agents access to a web-based tool on their desktop, enabling real-time processing of credit card orders and quick end-of-day batch processing. More than 350,000
merchant locations rely on Moneris to process and streamline their card payment processing..

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