Affluent Consumers Want More Time Not Money

American Express yesterday released the results from its “American Express/RoperASW Global Affluent Study” of 11,000 consumers that showed half of high-income consumers around the world would choose to have more time in their lives, rather than more money. Affluents less sensitive to price than non-affluents. Despite the importance of price to many affluent shoppers, understandably perhaps they place less emphasis on it than do non-affluent shoppers. merican Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a world leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, business services, insurance and international banking.

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Encore Merchant Services Launches eMerchantView

Encore Merchant Services has introduced “eMerchantView,” a new product available to credit union member businesses that use EMS for their credit card processing. This product is an Internet-based solution, which includes six months of history for batch deposit information, transaction details, chargeback information, retrieval information, cardholder account inquiries, and three months of statement history. Encore Merchant Services is a division of Primax Payment Systems, which is headquartered in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Primax Payment Systems currently has over 5,000 merchants located in 48 states.

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MasterCard Makes McWilton Official CFO

MasterCard International last week announced it has named interim CFO and corporate controller Chris McWilton as permanent CFO. Prior to joining MasterCard, McWilton was a partner at KPMG LLP, the international accounting and tax firm, where he headed the Information, Communications, and Entertainment practice of the New York office. MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members’ credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs.

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Oasis Technology to be Acquired by eFunds for $28 Million

Toronto-based Oasis Technology is being acquired by Arizona-based eFunds. Oasis will receive $28 million in cash under a definitive agreement with eFunds to acquire Oasis’ assets. Oasis, founded in 1989, is a provider of software to enable u-payments through an open platform. The company has 150 clients in 75 countries. The combined organization will now serve more than 200 software customers in over 80 countries around the world. eFunds says the deal will enable it to make an immediate entry into new markets with an open solution platform, expanding its domestic and international customer base. Oasis clients include ABN AMRO, American Express, Citibank, Credicard/Redecard Brazil, Diners, Europay, Golden Card (China), Luottokunta, MasterCard, National Processing Company, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, and VISA International. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of this year.

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Security FCU Names NYCE Primary EFT Network for PIN Debit

MI-based Security FCU has signed a seven-year agreement to designate the NYCE Network as its primary provider of PIN debit transaction access to its customers’ deposit accounts. As part of this seven-year agreement, Security Federal will use NYCE for switching all of its POS debit transactions and priority routing all domestic ATM transactions. 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. SECURITY Federal Credit Union is a non-profit financial cooperative headquartered in Flint, Michigan, serving Genesee County and most of Saginaw County. With a membership of over 38,000, SECURITY pledges to assist members with sound management of their financial needs and provide competitive savings plans and economical sources of credit.

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Tennis Tournament Uses Legic Readers and U-TIC Platform

A major WTA indoor tennis tournament is using an electronic ticketing system. With the U-TIC system, credit-card-sized tickets were checked at the access points to the stadium via a contactless LEGIC based reader system. In the cards, shipped by LEGIC partner Interlock, seating data was saved. After ordering the tickets either online, by telephone or via an order form, the tickets were spot-glued onto an order acknowledgement and mailed to customers. The included information card served as a ticket for public transport on the booked tournament day.
LEGIC Identsystems is a leader in the design and manufacture of 13.56MHz contactless smart card technology. U-TIC is the first modular, Internet and chip card based ticketing and access solution for medium and large events for the whole of Switzerland. The system is used for the first time at the Swisscom Challenge tennis tournament in October 2003. Consortium partners are VisionOne, Kaba, Octagon and Interlock.

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WI-FI TERMINALS

The Mall of San Marino in Guayaquil is the site of the first deployment of VeriFone’s “Wi-Fi Omni 3750” terminal. VeriFone partnered with D-Link Latin America and Medianet for processing. VeriFone is the only POS payment systems manufacturer offering an entire line of IP-enabled terminals from ethernet to wi-fi to cellular data technology. The Mall of San Marino payment solution has been designed to accommodate mag-stripe debit and credit transactions, EMV smart card transactions and value-added applications. The solution incorporates D-Link access point “DWL-900AP+” in access point and access client modalities, generating two levels of wireless cells to which the merchants will be connected. Wired equivalent privacy encryption, the industry s most secure, will be used in this installation.

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BONUS+ CARDS

MasterCard International has launched a unique pre-paid electronic card to replace paper-based employee bonus vouchers issued in Poland. The new “MasterCard Electronic Bonus+ Card” is set to go live by mid-2004, with up to one million cards to be issued initially. Kredyt Bank and Bonus Systems Polska will issue 750,000 “Bonus+” cards by year end. The “MasterCard Electronic Bonus+ Card” is accepted in 70,000 outlets in Poland, over three times more shops and merchants than the 17,000 currently accepting the paper based vouchers. The former paper-based voucher system was prone to theft or loss. “Bonus+” cards also incorporate a recharge feature enabling employers to reload cards with unlimited cash amounts over a two-year period. “MasterCard Electronic” was first launched in Brazil. Since the Brazil launch, “MasterCard Electronic” has been introduced in more than 45 countries in four regions. There are only two similar existing programmes through which vouchers are substituted for a card-based payment. These are a “Maestro Restaurant” voucher program in Venezuela and a “MasterCard Meal” voucher programme in Spain, issued by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya with a co-brander meal voucher company.

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Starwood Hotels Pilot Credit Card Check-in Kiosks

Starwood Hotels & Resorts is testing a self-service kiosk in Boston and New York City that allows guests to check-in and out of the hotel by swiping their credit card using Galaxy’s “Lightspeed” property management system. Starwood plans to deploy these kiosks to a number of its downtown, convention and airport hotels next year following the conclusion of the current pilot test in two of its busiest hotels. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 740 properties in more than 80 countries and 105,000 employees at its owned and managed properties.

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Hip Hop Card Targets Unbanked Floridians

Hip hop music mogul Russell Simmons and his UniRush Financial Services have teamed faith-based organization to offer a prepaid VISA card to unbanked Floridians. The Trinity Financial Institution is now offering the “Rush Prepaid VISA Card” to its under-banked and the un-banked members. Simmons launched his card in March as a prepaid payroll card. Last month, he teamed with his wife, Kimora Lee to launch the “Baby Phat Prepaid Rush VISA” card. (CF Library 3/25/03; 9/17/03)

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Triton’s First Through-the-Wall ATM Now Available

Triton announced that its first through-the-wall ATM, the “FT5000, “is now available for delivery. Triton’s FT5000 advanced functionality ATM provides financial institutions and retailers with a high performance, affordable, through-the-wall ATM solution for drive-up or walk-up installations. Triton is committed to redefining and leading the market for cash delivery systems. Triton is the largest provider of off-premise ATMs and ATM management software in North America and has more than 83,000 installations in over 17 countries worldwide.

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Chase Consolidates E-Mail Message Centers

Chase has consolidated its email message centers to now enable customers to communicate two-way with Chase via secure e-mail regarding all accounts, including credit cards. Chase also offers other popular self-service features online, including the ability to view check images and statement images online, reorder checks, place stop payments, and initiate wire transfers of money to any U.S. bank account. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $803 billion and operations in more than 50 countries.

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