Treasury’s FMS Incorporates Datakey Smart Card in SPS

The US Department of Treasury’s Financial Management Service has incorporated Datakey’s “CIP” client software and “Model 330” smart card into its recently developed “Secure Payment System, which replaces the existing “Electronic Certification System.” The ECS previously utilized one-time password tokens for user authentication, but with the new SPS architecture, smart cards provide strong user authentication to the system as well as support the use of PKI to digitally sign the electronic payment schedules. Datakey Inc. focuses on delivering complete smart card-based solutions that simplify access throughout the enterprise.

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Poor Budgeting Contributes to Holiday Stress

VISA released a survey this week that shows 40% of consumers have no specific budgeting process for the holidays, and only 21% budget for other non-gift-giving-related holiday expenses such as travel. Savvy consumers and experts agree that the one smart choice to avoid holiday tension is the Visa Gift card. Prepaid gift cards are one of this season’s hottest trends — a welcome alternative to the traditional non-returnable, ill fitting, or otherwise undesirable holiday gift. Retail experts Bain and Co. estimate that the gift card market will balloon to $42-45 billion this year — a 15 to 20 percent increase over 2002. 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.

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Banknorth Extends and Expands NYCE Contract

Banknorth, New England’s third largest banking company, has signed a deal to use NYCE for switching all its POS transactions, and to use NYCE in conjunction with an international network to provide its customers with global access to their accounts at ATMs. Banknorth is New England’s third largest banking company and one of the 35 largest commercial banking companies in the United States. Banknorth operates approximately 300 branches and more than 400 ATMs in New England and New York. NYCE Corporation is at the forefront of electronic payments in the U.S., providing consumers with secure, real-time account access 100 million times each month.

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Paymentech Rakes in the Dough with Domino’s

Domino’s Pizza has, for the second time, awarded Dallas-based Paymentech a multi-year payment processing contract for its 570 company-owned locations which produce about $50 million in annual volume; the contract also covers 2,700 franchise locations. Paymentech won the multi-year contract after a rigorous review of many leaders in the credit card processing industry. Domino’s Pizza operates a network of 7,332 Company-owned and franchised stores in the United States and more than 50 countries, and is the recognized world leader in pizza delivery. Paymentech, L.P. processes more payment transactions than any other company in North America — and more than half of all Internet transactions — for retailers accepting U.S. and international payments via traditional point of sale, Internet, catalog and recurring payments.

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Switch Re-Brands 10 Million of its 24 Million Cards

UK-based Switch reported this week it has issued 10 million dual-branded debit cards to-date. Britain’s leading debit card provider is in the process of migrating its 24 million “Switch” cards to the “Maestro” global debit brand by 2007. The dual-branded “Switch” cards carry both the “Switch” and “Maestro” logos on the front of the card, according to tomorrow’s edition of CardFlash International (cardflashinternational.com). The “Maestro” logo previously appeared on the back of “Switch” cards. Switch also reports that more than 19 million debit card transactions were made abroad in the first nine months of this year, up 22% on 2002. For the whole of last year some 20 million “Switch/Maestro” transactions were undertaken outside the UK, compared to 6 million five years ago. The “Maestro” brand mark now appears on 466 million cards worldwide and is accepted for purchases at over seven million merchant terminals in 93 countries and territories.

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MASTERCARD EMV

MasterCard reports a 50% jump in MasterCard-branded smart cards in the first half of this year, led by growth in the Asia/Pacific region. Europe is also strong with more than 200 chip migration programs now underway. Asia/Pacific has 40 MasterCard EMV migration programs currently in progress and 14.5 million smart cards in-force. This week MasterCard unveiled a subset of “OneSMART
MasterCard,” called the “M/Chip Deployment Program,” which provides a complete solution for MasterCardÕs customers who are migrating their payment cards from the magnetic stripe platform to chip. The “M/Chip Deployment Program” focuses specifically on addressing all aspects of chip migration and consists of three components: the “M/Chip” application and its enabling infrastructure; “M/Chip” implementation support services provided by MasterCard; and, industry products and services based on the “M/Chip” specification.

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SECUWA to Use HandySoft’s BizFlow

The School Employees Credit Union of Washington has selected HandySoft Global Corporation’s “BizFlow” BPM platform, to streamline its VISA credit card application process. The 45 Financial Management Representatives at SECUWA are cross-trained to provide members with “once and done” service, which means they all handle the processing of VISA credit card applications. the School Employees Credit Union of Washington (SECUWA), is a not-for-profit financial cooperative serving over 76,000 school employees and their families throughout the state. HandySoft Global Corporation is the premier provider of configurable software solutions that simplify and automate business processes; capture and enforce best practices; improve productivity and quality while reducing costs; integrate information technology; and foster collaboration among employees, customers, and partners.

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Infineon Executive to Head the MultiMediaCard Association

The vice president for Business Development at Infineon Technologies Flash has been elected the president of the MultiMediaCard Association. Juergen Hammerschmitt will preside over MMCA thrice-annual Business Meetings, as well as other Association meetings, and will assume strategic assignments as requested by the board. In 1998, he became responsible for the MultiMediaCard products at Infineon, and was a founding board member of the MMCA. He subsequently founded Ingentix, a joint venture between Infineon and Saifun of Israel, which in 2003 became Infineon Technologies Flash. The MMCA is the open standard memory card organization, promoting worldwide adoption of a postage-stamp size, removable storage card designed especially for mobile phones and digital imaging. Founded in 1998 with 14 companies, the MMCA has grown to more than 100 members worldwide.

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FELICA NETWORKS

Sony has decided to transfer the operation of the Network Application & Contents Service Sector F Project to the newly established company, FeliCa Networks. Sony and NTT DoCoMo will jointly launch the FeliCa Networks joint venture next month. The new company will develop the technology for a new IC chip that will integrate mobile phones with the FeliCa technology. FeliCa is now used in JR East’s Suica system, as well as in a number of transport systems around the world. Other applications include the “Edy” electronic money service, the “eLIO” online credit service and various company/organizational ID security systems. Currently, 38 million cards using FeliCa chips have been issued worldwide.

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Terra Payments Receives Canadian Information Productivity Award

Terra Payments has been awarded a “Canadian Information Productivity Award” for the development of its proprietary, automated risk management system, utilized in the screening and processing of credit card and electronic cheque payments on behalf of its customers worldwide. Terra Payments, formerly SureFire Commerce, offers highly specialized credit card and cheque processing services for businesses around the world, via Internet and mail order-telephone order. The company has processed more than 50 million transactions since introducing proprietary, platform technology three years ago. Terra Payments is one of only 13 Canadian companies to receive a “2003 CIPA Award,” chosen from a field of 140 entrants.

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Edgar Dunn Acquires CoBrandDynamics

San Francisco-based Edgar, Dunn & Company has acquired CoBrandDynamics. Under terms of the deal, the owners and developers of CBD, Alan Schultheis and Ronald Mazursky, have joined EDC as directors. CoBrandDynamics, created in 1999, completed its first research study in early 2000, establishing competitive benchmarks among a national probability sample of over 3,200 credit card decision-makers. “CoBrandDynamics 2000” includes data on demographics, psychographics, recent acquisitions and activation, card ownership details, behavioral information, preferred benefits and enhancements, and communication preferences. Market segments studied include cobrand cards as well as loyalty, affinity, and traditional or standard credit and charge cards. The current “CoBrandDynamics 2003” was fielded in late 2003 with over 6,000 payment card customers and incorporates additional segments such as debit card, smart card and other co-brand segments as well as an extensive look at loyalty and branding impact on consumers. EDC will release the 2003 study in January.

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Four Large Banks and China UnionPay Endorse Hypercom

The four largest banks in China and the nation’s largest unified domestic payment network have all officially selected Hypercom as preferred card payment technology provider. Hypercom says the designation marks the first time in electronic payment industry history that the top four banks in the world’s largest nation have officially named the same payment technology company
as the preferred card payment provider for software, hardware and related technology. The designation was made jointly by the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China, China Construction Bank, the Agricultural Bank of China and domestic payment network China UnionPay.

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