MasterCard Complete Debit Processing Includes eFunds

MasterCard and eFunds this morning announced the formation of a debit processing alliance. MasterCard will now market eFunds’ EFT processing services under the MasterCard “Complete Debit Processing” brand and as an integrated component of the “MasterCard Debit” program. Traditionally, “MasterCard Debit” included the global point of sale and ATM brands, a worldwide merchant acceptance network, consumer, business and premium debit programs, deposit account consulting expertise, and offline/online debit transaction switching. With the introduction of “MasterCard CDP,” MasterCard will add a flexible, end-to-end debit transaction processing solution to the package of services and products already available under the “MasterCard Debit” umbrella. “MasterCard CDP” provides a single platform for processing both cardholder transactions and managing card issuance; facilitates card activation and plastic production; improves overall management of an ATM business; enables gateway routing for transaction authorization, settlement, multi-level reporting, as well as exception item processing and reconciliation tools; and, supports financial institutions, merchant acquirers, and merchants by providing direct connections to all regional, national and international networks for ATM, POS, EBT and other funds or debit transaction movement.

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CIBC Launches Verified by Visa via Cyota and TSYS to Entire Portfolio

CIBC has become the first major Canadian issuer to launch a “Verified by Visa” program. The deployment of the cardholder authentication service comes via TSYS’ “CardGuard” and Cyota’s “SecureSuite.”
Cyota has localized the service for Canadians to include bilingual support for CIBC’s English- and French-speaking customers. Cyota “SecureSuite” is a modular platform that seamlessly integrates multiple
payment security applications, including “Verified by Visa,” MasterCard’s “SecureCode” and more. TSYS implemented Cyota’s “SecureSuite” platform in 2001, and the companies have since delivered the services to multiple issuers worldwide. Cyota currently powers more than 80% of the cards eligible for the service in the USA. TSYS services more than half of all VISA accounts in Canada.

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First Data Agrees to Unload NYCE

As the government’s lawsuit against the First Data and Concord EFS merger was scheduled to get underway, a settlement was announced yesterday. First Data agreed to divest itself of its 64% ownership of the NYCE network. As a result, the date of the merger has been moved forward to April 30th, however it may be completed by the end of the first quarter. The U.S. Department of Justice agreed to give First Data eight months to complete the NYCE divestiture. First Data will hold NYCE as a separate unit until the sale. In connection with the DOJ settlement, the two companies yesterday also agreed to new financial terms, with a new value of approximately $6.9 billion, compared with a previous value of $7.2 billion. The revised merger agreement also extends the original January 31st end date to April 30th to allow sufficient time to obtain the necessary shareholder approvals of the revised terms. Yesterday’s settlement also included the District of Columbia and the states of Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

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Delta Launches Online Mall with AmEx Incentive

Delta Air Lines yesterday launched an online mall that offers American Express “Delta SkyMiles Credit Card” holders a 1,000 mile bonus for making a purchase on the site through February. SkyMiles program members may register at Skymilesshopping.com with their SkyMiles program number and begin shopping through the Web site immediately. Members may earn up to 10 miles per $1 spent. SkyMilesShopping.com is operated by Advantex Marketing International Inc., a leading provider of online and offline loyalty marketing programs throughout North America. Delta Air Lines, the world’s second largest airline in terms of passengers carried and the leading U.S. carrier across the Atlantic, offers 6,362 flights each day to 458 destinations in 82 countries on Delta, Song, Delta Shuttle, Delta Connection and Delta’s worldwide partners.

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Canadian Tire Petroleum Deploys Now Prepay Phone Card Terminals

Canadian Tire Petroleum has inked a deal to install “Now Prepay” POS terminals with “e-Fresh” software in their 221 petroleum bars across the country. The terminals dispense pre-paid electronic phone cards.
To date, Now Prepay has deployed 2,300 “e-Fresh” licensed POS terminal clients in Canada. Now Prepay is a wholly-owned subsidiary of VendTek Systems. Canadian Tire Corporation operates more than 1,000 stores, gas bars and car washes in the country.

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ATM Refurbisher Offers NCR and Diebold Training

Atlanta-based ACG ATM-Remarketers announced yesterday it is now offering customized first- and second-line maintenance training on NCR and Diebold machines. Technical training programs last five to seven days and involve classroom learning and hands-on training. In the classroom setting, technicians learn the history and theory behind ATM machines through professional instructors and system manuals. ACG ATM-Remarketers is a provider of custom refurbished ATMs and kiosks at a cost 30 to 60 percent lower than that of comparable new equipment, as well as parts, maintenance and training for community financial institutions and independent store operators.

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Intelli-Check Settles with Shortsellers

Intelli-Check has settled a lawsuit brought by shortsellers that it says will have no effect on its financial condition. the company has agreed to a settlement of a securities civil action complaint filed by plaintiffs Jones, Borislow and D&K Charitable Foundation against Intelli-Check and an officer of the company in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Civil Action No. 01cv04860. Intelli-Check, Inc. (www.intellicheck.com) is a developer and marketer of proprietary document verification technology, which is contained in its ID-CHECK(R) units. The multi-purpose ID-CHECK system authenticates the validity of driver licenses, state issued non-driver and military identification cards used as proof of identity.

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E-Commerce Spending Peaks Last Week

VISA USA reported that e-commerce spending on VISA cards reached its highest point last week since the beginning of this year. Online sales grew 44.4% to nearly $2.1 billion. Historically, the second week in December each year is the peak period for e-commerce shopping, as shoppers rush to place online orders for delivery before Christmas without incurring additional shipping costs. VISA also reported that total U.S. volume was up nearly 12% to about $23 billion. However, daily growth once again fluctuated due to the snowstorm that hit the East Coast on Sunday, December 14th. On Saturday, December 13th, total volume increased 11.1% from the same day last year, while on Sunday, December 14th, growth was a more modest 5.2%. Overall retail spending volume on VISA cards was $10.1 billion for the week, compared to $9.0 billion for the previous week. Debit card retail spending was $3.5 billion for the week, an 11% jump over the same year-ago period. Credit card retail spending was up 5% to $6.6 billion.

VISA VOLUME
(Week Ending 12/14/03)

Home & Garden $1.4 billion +11%
Speciality Stores $1.8 billion +10%
Personal Entertainment $1.4 billion + 8%
Discount Stores $1.5 billion + 7%
Department Stores $4.0 billion + 4%
Source: VISA SpendTrak

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DELINQUENCY & WOORI

The Financial Supervisory Service reported that overall credit card delinquency increased during October to 11.74%, compared to 6.6% at the end of 2002. Woori Card reported the highest delinquency, at nearly 31%, and announced it will merge its banking business with its credit card subsidiary in March. The Financial Supervisory Service says the delinquency figures may be somewhat skewed because the overall credit card loans for the country declined from US$12.0 billion to US$11.5 billion during October. The latest delinquency figures were also driven by Woori Card’s extremely high default rate, which jumped from 26.42% in September to 30.76% for October. By comparison, LG Card had a 11.40% delinquency rate, Lotte Card had a 9.75% rate, and Hyundai reported 9.19% for October. Besides merging Woori Finance Holdings with Woori Bank, the company also plans to sell US$250 million in bonds this week to help its credit card unit.

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SkyMiles and AAdvantage Support the Returning Troops

Delta Air Lines announced Friday that its “SkyMiles” members have donated more than 100 million miles to support the U.S. military’s “Operation Iraqi Freedom Rest and Relaxation” program since the launch in late October. Delta, which partnered with American Express to issue the “American Express Delta SkyMiles Card,” says the miles are enough to provide transportation for 4,000 American military personnel returning home. American Airlines also announced this weekend it is inviting U.S. military men and women to spend time between flights at its “Admirals Club” facilities worldwide. American says there are many airports with no USO facilities. American, which partnered with Citibank to issue the “Citibank/American AAdvantage MasterCard,” has donated well over 10 million miles for troops to use for connecting flights to their homes.

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Hellenic Bank Deploys Card Tech’s SENTRY Proxy Card

Hellenic Bank has deployed Card Tech Limited’s “SENTRY Proxy Card” product for e-commerce. The “Proxy Card” powers the bank’s new “Net Secure” product, which protects cardholder data
and secures Internet transactions by generating single use Internet cards with a user-defined line of credit. It is the first “Proxy Card” installation in the country. UK-based Card Tech Limited and Hellenic bank have worked together since 1991. The bank currently uses CTL’s “PRIME” card management system to issue and administer its VISA and MasterCard cards. CTL says “SENTRY” can easily plug in to “PRIME.”
More than 150 banks from 60 countries use CTL software.

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