VISA Smart Cards Dip Below $2 Each

A new smart card product costing $1.98 each has been launched under the “VISA Smart Breakthrough Card” program. This morning, Philips Semiconductors and VISA announced the “GP-Entry” card which conforms to the “GlobalPlatform” specifications and has 8K of EEPROM memory and a VISA payment application that supports major authentication technologies, such as “Static Data Authentication” and “Dynamic Data Authentication.” There are currently nine card products in the “VISA Smart Breakthrough Card” program, supporting DES and PK security with a variety of ROM and EEPROM memory sizes. Prices range from $1.98 for a “GP-Entry” card to $3.47 for a dual interface card also supporting DDA with 16K of EEPROM. Additionally, the program includes a static/native card priced at less than a dollar. All prices are based on white plastic cost and include the “VISA Smart Debit/Credit” application in ROM. The program also provides a “Custom Mask” process whereby the required applets for a market specific requirement are stored in ROM. VISA says that of the 60 million VISA EMV cards issued to-date, 22 million cards have been issued under the “VISA Smart Breakthrough Card program.”


Widener University Joins CampusMate Program

PA-based Widener University has joined Bank Rhode Island’s “CampusMate” program to offer its 6,700 students a full range of campus payment processing services, from tuition budgeting to the “Campus1Card.” Its custom-built technology enables parents and students to pay college expenses by telephone, the Web, or through the mail using a credit card, debit card, or electronic or paper check. Because it is custom-tailored for each client, CampusMate can “plug in” to different computer systems within a university. The Bank now has four major colleges and universities enrolled in its CampusMate program, Rhode Island School of Design, Johnson & Wales University, and the University of Rhode Island.


People’s Bank Card Credit Quality Improves

People’s Bank reported Friday that its average managed credit card portfolio grew $123 million, or 6% during the second quarter. Managed credit card net charge-offs declined $15.4 million, or 34%, since the second quarter of 2002, while the net charge-off rate improved 297 basis points to 5.75%. Managed credit card delinquencies declined $22.2 million, or 24%, with the delinquency percentage improving 151 basis points to 3.16%. For complete details on People’s second quarter performance visit CardData ([][1]).




The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board and American Express have inked an agreement designating American Express the “Official Card of the British Virgin Islands.” The British Virgin Islands is comprised of over 60 islands, including Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke. “The Official Card Program” combines the company’s commitment to providing customers with lifestyle choices by promoting its relationships with hotels, restaurants, retailers and other merchants operating in the British Virgin Islands.


Card Surcharges Impact Card Volume

Card volume in Australia has slowed since the adoption of credit card reforms this year, which permits merchants to surcharge customers for credit card transactions. According to data released by the Reserve Bank of Australia, Australians charged $11.7 billion during May, a weak 4.5% increase over the previous year. By comparison, credit card volume between May 2001 and May 2002 increased 41.3%, nearly ten times the current growth rate. Other data released today shows that Australians now owe a record $24 billion in credit card debt, a 12.7% increase over May 2002. Of the $11.7 billion in May card transactions, $10.8 billion were purchase transactions.


NETePay Certified by FDMS

Datacap Systems announced the certification of First Data Merchant Services’ “North Platform with NETePay.” NETePay uses the Internet to obtain 2 second authorizations through FDMS processing hosts. The IP protocol transactions are sent encrypted from the client control to NETePay via a standard Internet connection, allowing large chains to consolidate all enterprise transaction activity through a single server. Datacap’s payment interfaces allow virtually any system, regardless of operating system or hardware platform, to get easy access to payment processing networks for credit, debit, check, EBT, house charge, gift card and loyalty program processing.


Texaco-to-Shell Card Migration Nears Completion

Shell Oil and Motiva Enterprises reported last week they have, to-date, converted 4.8 million Texaco card accounts, representing 8.8 million cardholders, to Shell cards, with approximately 1.2 million Texaco accounts to be converted. Most of the remaining Texaco cardholders will receive new Shell gasoline cards by September 2003. Shell and Motiva initiated the conversion of Texaco stations following Chevron’s merger with Texaco. Shell and Motiva are also upgrading existing Shell sites to the brand’s new global image called RVI. This new look better reflects consumers’ desire to be in a warm, modern, and welcoming environment.



VISA’s cardholder authentication service for Internet payments is now available in China. VISA Asia/Pacific says there are already 59 million Internet users in China, ranking second in the world. Among these Internet users, 33.8% or close to 20 million users have used the Internet in the past year to make a transaction or purchase. China Construction Bank is the first acquiring bank in China to offer the new VISA authentication service to online merchants. CCB expects that within the next six months, there will be more than 300 online merchants participating in this secure online payment service. Bank of China and China Merchant Bank are the first card issuers to offer “VbV” to its cardholders.


Wells Fargo Volume Up 15%, Outstandings Up 11%

Wells Fargo Card Services and Wells Fargo Financial Bank reported second quarter outstandings of $6,998,168,460, an 11.4% increase over the same period one year ago. Second quarter card volume rose nearly 20% for Wells Fargo Financial Bank, and more than 14% for Wells Fargo Card Services. Combined, Wells Fargo Card Services and Wells Fargo Financial Bank reported 2Q/03 volume of $3,887,016,310, a 14.7% increase over 2Q/02, according to CardData ([][1]). At the end of the second quarter, Wells had 3,649,171 active accounts, an 8% increase over the prior year. In its earnings reports, Wells noted a 12.16% average interest yield on credit cards compared to 12.29% one year ago. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo confirmed Friday that Dan Porter, chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo Financial has resigned to pursue other opportunities. Mark Oman, group EVP of Wells Fargo & Company and head of the company’s Home and Consumer Finance Group, will assume Porter’s role for an interim period. For complete details on Wells Fargo Card Services and Wells Fargo Financial Bank visit CardData ([][2]).

Issuer 2Q/03 Outstandings 2Q/03 Volume 2Q/03 Actives
Wells Fargo Card
Services (IA) $5.8b(+9.8%) $3.6b(+14.2%) 3.2m(+5.6%)
Wells Fargo Financial
Bank (SD) $1.2b(+19.2%) $277.2m(+19.7%) 451.5k(+29.3%)
Total $7.0b(+11.4%) $3.9b(+14.7%) 3.6m(+8.0%)

Source: CardData ([][3])




HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad has selected Welcome Real-time’s “XLS” smart transaction platform for the the launch of their EMV cards. All of HSBC Malaysia’s VISA and MasterCard EMV cards will be pre-loaded with “XLS” from this month onward. This is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to embark on a full scale national migration to smart cards based on the EMV standard. “XLS” is designed to boost revenue with services such as instantly awarded loyalty points, coupons, punch cards, special events and cash back features.

Details to Use payENKRYPT

Internet Payment Solutions and its Web site have contracted with InstaPay’s Kryptosima to utilize its “payENKRYPT” service. payENKRYPT is the first service to go into production offering Internet merchants the ability to accept ATM card payments. Customers will swipe their ATM card and then enter their PIN on a device about the size of a computer mouse that conveniently connects to their computer. InstaPay’s focus is on the implementation of services such as Internet payments via an ATM/Debit card from home or office, for funding client’s securities brokerage accounts.