VISA POS Check Service Now at Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo rolled-out its “VISA POS Check” service yesterday. Using “VISA POS Check”, a company is enabled to accept checks from customers, and have them authorized immediately, through real-time verification. The service significantly reduces the risks associated with check acceptance, by authorizing a customer while they are still at the counter. Wells Fargo is one of the first major financial institutions to implement “VISA POS Check”. Annually, merchants incur approximately $23 billion in check handling and fraud costs — averaging more than one dollar for every check written at the point of sale.

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China Union Pay Selects VeriFone

China Union Pay has selected VeriFone as an eligible payments terminal provider. VeriFone is the first payment solutions provider to be granted this designation. VeriFone will deploy its “Omni 3750” terminal under the pact. China Union Pay is the sole bank union in China established by more than 80 participating financial institutions to further develop bankcard development in China. To date, VeriFone has shipped nearly 200,000 “Omni 3750” terminals to 56 countries.

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Citibank’s U.S. Card Portfolio Shrinks in 2Q/03

Citigroup reported Monday that profits for its credit card business in North America increased 9% in the second quarter to $659 million. Credit card outstandings for North America increased 2% over 2Q/02, but declined 2% from the prior quarter. Charge volume for 2Q/03 also declined, 4% from the prior year quarter. At the end of June, Citigroup had $113.3 billion in credit card outstandings, compared to $115.5 billion in the first quarter, and $111.5 billion one year ago. Charge volume for 2Q/03 was $59.7 billion compared to $61.9 billion one year ago. Citi’s account base declined 7% over the past year, ending 2Q/03 at 85.2 million open credit card accounts compared to 86.7 million in the first quarter. Citi’s charge-offs increased from 6.04% in the first quarter to 6.23% for 2Q/03. However, delinquency (90+ days) declined from 1.91% for 1Q/03 to 1.86% for the second quarter 2003. For complete details on Citigroup’s 2Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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APTRA EDGE

Bank of Queensland (Australia) is deploying NCR “APTRA Edge” open multivendor software application to run its network of Diebold ATMs. This is the first deployment of “APTRA Edge” in Australia and New Zealand. “APTRA Edge” enables an organization to integrate its ATM network with other channels and systems within the enterprise. The software is already successful in Europe and the Americas. Bank of Queensland has $7.3 billion total assets

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U.S. Bancorp Wins Homeland Security P-Card

U.S. Bancorp yesterday was awarded the GSA “SmartPay Task Order” to provide purchasing card services to the newly-created Department of Homeland Security. The DHS consists of 22 agencies with an estimated annual charge volume in the hundreds of millions of dollars. This is the first major task order award since the GSA “SmartPay” program was started in 1998. The contract is for one year and includes four one-year options to renew contingent upon GSA exercising the four Master Contract option periods. In 1998, GSA awarded contracts to provide federal agencies with commercial card services, including travel, purchasing and fleet cards. The GSA “SmartPay” contracts were effective from November 30, 1998 through November 29, 2003, with five one-year options to renew, through November 2008. In addition to U.S. Bank, the initial GSA SmartPay contract awards were made to four other service providers.

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OMNI 3750

China Union Pay has selected VeriFone as an eligible payments terminal provider. VeriFone is the first payment solutions provider to be granted this designation. VeriFone will deploy its “Omni 3750” terminal under the pact. China Union Pay is the sole bank union in China established by more than 80 participating financial institutions to further develop bankcard development in China. To date, VeriFone has shipped nearly 200,000 “Omni 3750” terminals to 56 countries.

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Juniper Bank Goes with FLEXCUBE

Juniper Bank, which now manages 525,000 credit card accounts, has selected i-flex’s “FLEXCUBE” to replace its core processing system for CDs and loans. Juniper plans to deploy “FLEXCUBE” with the following modules: deposits, collections and payments, electronic messaging system, ACH interface, and standard reporting data dictionary. In addition, Juniper will use i-flex for a complete range of professional services to support the full life cycle of implementation of “FLEXCUBE.” Since its launch in 1997, more than 140 financial institutions across 65 countries have chosen “FLEXCUBE.”

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FEE DAMPER

Citibank has released a survey that shows 80% of consumers would go to another retailer if a store imposed a surcharge. The research bolsters an earlier study released by AC Nielsen for VISA, which found that 39% of credit card holders would prefer to pay by cash if a fee for credit cards is assessed. The “Citibank Credit Monitor” research, released today, also found that more than 30% credit card holders would stop using their cards if the surcharge practice becomes common. The Citibank study, which involved 300 non-Citibank customers in Melbourne and Sydney, also found that 75% of Australians would switch to cash instead of a credit card, and that 45% would confine their credit cards to major purchases. The VISA/AC Nielsen study for VISA, released in February, found retailers in Australia will lose nearly 30% of the business if they charge a fee for credit or debit card payments. Effective January 1st of this year, merchants in Australia have the right to charge a fee to customers for using a credit and debit card under new rules adopted by Reserve Bank of Australia.

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ICMA Upgrades Card Industry Training Program

The ICMA has expanded its online “Basics of the Card Industry Training Program” to include a tutorial on personalization and a Spanish translation of the original program. The new “Personalization Tutorial” provides an overview of the concepts and processes involved in card personalization. It includes an introduction to personalization, data recording technologies and the personalization process. ICMA is a non-profit association of plastic card manufacturers, personalizers and related industry participants with more than 220 members globally.

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Providian Launches a Sweeping Rewards Program

After testing reward cards for the past year, Providian has finally launched a credit card program which rewards cardholders for carrying a balance, paying on-time, and enables customers to use points to lower their interest rate. Solicitations for Providian’s new “Real Rewards VISA” also includes an endorsement and pledge by Providian’s CEO, Joe Saunders. According to CardWatch ([ www.cardwatch.com][1]), the new Providian card additionally offers a free personal online spending profile that shows the cardholder’s “FICO” score. Under the “Real Rewards” program, cardholders earn one point for each $1 in purchase volume, 10 points for every $100 in revolving balances per billing cycle, and 500 points for paying on timer for six consecutive billing cycles. To kick-off the program, Providian is offering double reward points until August 2004. The points have an estimated redemption value of one cent each. The card carries no annual fee and a prime +9.74% APR with a 13.99% floor rate. Providian began testing three new rewards cards in August 2002 including “Providian Airpoints,” “Providian Smart Rewards,” and “Providian Real Cash Rewards.” In December, Providian launched the “School Rewards VISA Platinum” offering a 1% cash reward to schools (K-12) based on charge volume. (CF Library 11/1/02; 12/5/02)

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

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Corillian Hires Drake for Global Marketing

Portland, OR-based Corillian has hired Chuck Drake, formerly VP/Consumer Banking Division at Bank of America, as VP/Worldwide Marketing. Most recently, he served as senior director of product marketing for the Sales Enterprise Division at Siebel Systems. Drake also held senior product and corporate marketing positions of at More.com, GlaxoWellcome plc and the Clorox Company. Corillian is a provider of enterprise software and services for the financial services industry.

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ID CARD PRINTERS

Kanematsu Corporation of Japan and its U.S. subsidiary TEAMNisca have introduced a new small footprint ID card printing system that offers alternating patch lamination. The modular system is comprised of a “PR5300 ID” card printer and a “PR5302” modular lamination unit that requires no tools to attach to the printer. The “PR5300” printer features dual sided printing, color dye-sub, optional magstripe, contact or contactless encoding, and high-speed printing. The “PR5302” laminator features dual sided lamination, optional alternating patch lamination, high-speed lamination, and the Nisca guaranteed no-curl card output. The system which weighs 50 pounds is available for a list price of $6348.

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