SMART CARD REPORT

A new research report released this week projects that the world market for smart card products and services will grow 11% per annum to US$8 billion by 2006. The report says the number of smart cards in use by 2006 will hit 3.9 billion. The Freedonia Group report also breaks down the the growth by region. By 2006, 42% of the world’s smart cards in use will be in Asia/Pacific. Western Europe will account for 36% and the USA for 12%. Freedonia says the US market will increase at a nominally rapid rate but remain highly underdeveloped given its massive potential.

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HP Pseudo Numbers

HP and Orbiscom have inked an agreement to create technical, marketing and sales initiatives for Orbiscom’s controlled payment technology. HP says it will offer a full range of security applications based on the technology to its clients. The Orbiscom platform also supports “Verified by Visa,” and “MasterCard SecureCode.” The company’s “Controlled Payment Number” technology prevents the unauthorized access to and theft of a cardholder’s real credit card number by generating a substitute account number each time a purchase is made. More than 190 million cardholders worldwide have access to Orbiscom controlled payment technology. Clients include Citibank, MBNA, Discover Card, Allied Irish Bank, Carte Bleue, Swedbank, Abbey National, Societe Generale, Credit Lyonnais, and Nippon Shinpan.

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EASYCASH LEADER

easycash GmbH announced that Ulrich Keppler will take over as chief executive on June 1st. easycash is a subsidiary of GZS Gesellschaft für Zahlungssysteme mbH. Keppler is currently the head of GZS’s Product and Project Management division. Dieter Wotzlaw will be retiring from the company as chief executive on April 30th. GZS purchased easycash GmbH from Deutsche Bank in November 2002. The firm supports over 200,000 payment points and processes more than 500 million payment transactions per year.

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Maestro Fees

MasterCard is planning to make a big push for “Maestro” PIN debit cards in the USA. The “Maestro” brand is now carried on 505.2 million cards worldwide, including 226.1 million in Europe. MasterCards U.S. Board last month approved an increase to the “Maestro” interchange rate structure which will go into effect July 1st. The rate will apply to domestic transactions. The move is an effort to put “Maestro” on a competitive level with other online debit programs. MasterCard has added four new rate categories within the “Maestro” structure: a supermarket/warehouse rate; a convenience rate category (for small ticket transactions such as those in convenience stores, gas stations, fast food restaurants and movie theaters), a category for all other merchants, and a cash back rate. Globally, “Maestro” is accepted for purchases at more than 7.3 million merchant terminals in 93 countries and territories, and at 821,766 MasterCard/Maestro/Cirrus ATMs around the world.

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OTI & PAYPASS

OTI has developed a POS solution for Loews Cineplex to use in MasterCard’s “PayPass” pilot in Florida. The new OTI reader enables customers to pay for admission tickets, as well as their snacks at the concession stands, by simply placing their MasterCard “PayPass” enabled payment cards in front of a glass window. OTI also provided a turnkey “PayPass” drive-thru solution for one local Orlando retailer. MasterCard “PayPass” is currently being tested with three of MasterCard’s key member financial institutions, more than 15,000 cardholders, and approximately 40 merchant locations in Orlando, Florida.

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Blue Cash

The success last year of the American Express “Cash Rebate Card” has now been extended to its “Blue” smart card product. The new “Blue Cash Card” will offer a cash rebate of up to 5%. The annual cash reward for purchases is up to 3%. There is an additional rebate of up to 2% for purchases in months in which the account carries a balance. An account is eligible for a rebate applied to a maximum of $50,000 of eligible annual spending. The card carries no annual fee, 0% intro APR on purchases for the first six months; thereafter a variable APR of either 9.24%, 11.24%, or 14.24%. The regular “Blue Card,” launched in September 1999, was the first general purpose smart payment card introduced in the USA. The original “Blue Card” enables cardholders to earn “Membership Rewards Options.” AmEx has also launched “Blue from American Express” in 18 countries, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com][1]). Last year it launched the “Blue” card product in Mexico and Indonesia. (CF Library 9/9/99)

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

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I-Pad Options

Fujitsu Transaction Solutions has now added phone and video capability to its “iPAD” wireless, handheld payment card terminal. The revolutionary “iPAD” was introduced in January 2002 and combines devices used throughout the retail environment including scanner, magnetic-card reader, smart-card reader, and keypad with encryption capabilities. The new phone and video option is the result of TABLETmedia Inc.’s “iFon” software. Mobile video over IP enables retailers to monitor security cameras over sensitive areas such as check-out lanes. The “iPAD” is used for inventory management, debit transactions, price verifications, phone calls, line busting, mobile POS, and gift registry. It uses an Intel processor and can support any 802.11b wireless LAN infrastructure. With ‘Windows CE .NET’, the ‘iPAD’ will support both XML and VoIP. (CF Library 1/9/02).

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Tax Card Payment Kiosk

Okaloosa County Tax Collector Chris Hughes announced that the county is deploying a self-service kiosk for the citizens of Okaloosa County to conduct a wide range of business transactions with his office, including: property tax, vehicle registration renewals, occupational licenses and hunting and fishing licenses. Citizens will be able to make payments using their credit cards with the kiosk.

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