Smart Labels

Shoplifting will be a thing of the past as retailers embrace advanced RFID labels and begin to integrate the new technology with their POS payment systems. Benetton announced this morning it is now undertaking the largest item level tagging implementation of RFID technology in the fashion industry to-date. Benetton says this new technology will be employed at the point of sale, automatically registering sales and returns and feeding information back into the company’s ordering system. Clothes produced under Benetton’s core brand “Sisley” have been fitted with RFID-enabled labels based on Philips’ I.CODE semiconductor technology. Philips teamed with LAB ID and Psion Teklogix to produce the smart labels system. Philips says it expects to ship 15 million “I.CODE ICs” to Benetton this year. Philips’ I.CODE ICs enable a highly automated scanning process that does not require line of sight and can scan multiple items at once. This means that a box containing a variety of garments in different styles, colors and sizes, which traditionally would have been unpacked and checked by hand, can be scanned in one go and the information uploaded directly into the company’s main computer system. In store, Benetton will use RFID technology in smart shelves and in dressing rooms to highlight where individual garments are located.



Hannover-based Fiducia AG is upgrading ATMs in the Kassel region with NCR’s “APTRA” top client
server software. The NCR software will replace proprietary applications. The project being carried out
by FIDUCIA and NCR encompasses a total value of around $4.4 million and is scheduled to be completed
in late 2003. In the project’s initial phase, some 600 ATMs at FIDUCIA partner banks in the Kassel
region will be switched over to the new software.



VISA Asia Pacific reported that thirty members are implementing EMV chip programs, more than
ten million VISA EMV smart cards have been issued in the region, and over 70,000 EMV point-of-sale
terminals have been deployed in eight markets. In the Australia/New Zealand market, ANZ Bank has
issued more than 400,000 EMV-compliant VISA cards and deployed 35,000 EMV terminals. In Japan more
than 10% of VISA cards now carry an EMV chip, with over 7 million cards in circulation. In South
Korea, five VISA members and SK Telecom have collectively issued 1.1 million “Moneta” EMV chip cards
and are now issuing “GlobalPlatform”
chips on mobile handsets known as “Moneta Plus” phones. Taiwan’s National Credit Card Center recently
achieved certification for processing VISA smart cards through VisaNet. NCCC will offer its 37 VISA
members in Taiwan the ability to migrate payments from traditional magnetic stripe cards to EMV smart
cards. In Asia Pacific, VISA has more than 365 million cards in-force.


Credit Card Volume

Charge volume on bank credit cards increased 8.5% last year, compared to 7.0% in 2001, according to CardData ([][1]). VISA maintains a 43% share of credit card volume in the USA, however it gave up 170 bps in share last year. American Express and Discover also lost share. MasterCard’s credit card charge volume was up 15.4%, raising its market share to 34.1% from 31.7% in 2001.

U.S. Annual Credit Card Charge Volume by Brand
($ Billions Charge Volume)
1998 475.1 276.2 165.6 58.0 974.9
1999 537.3 303.6 186.4 70.6 1,097.9
2000 571.2 360.3 221.6 90.1 1,243.2
2001 590.9 421.2 224.6 93.3 1,330.0
2002 609.3 485.9 234.1 97.2 1,426.5

* excludes debit card volume

Source: CardData ([][2])




Building on its processing contract with Mexico’s Scotiabank Inverlat, S.A., First Data has
signed a seven-year agreement with Scotiabank for credit card processing services in 19 countries
across the Caribbean and Central America. First Data and Scotiabank also provide merchant processing
services to merchant clients of the Bank throughout the Caribbean Region. Grupo Financiero Scotiabank
Inverlat S.A. de C.V. is one of the principal financial groups in Mexico, with more than 400 branches
and almost 1,000 ATMs throughout Mexico. Scotiabank has a 55% ownership stake in Inverlat.



VeriFone and EWI Prepaid have partnered to integrate EWI’s “PinXpress” technology into
VeriFone’s POS terminals throughout Latin America.
“PinXpress” enables consumers to purchase prepaid services, such as wireless, long distance, Internet,
coupons, ticketing, gasoline and utilities, at any retail store at anytime without using hard cards.
With “PinXpress,” stores provide prepaid services via a POS integration that’s tied directly to its
networked cash register system. VeriFone will market the POS terminals that are capable of being
programmed to use “PinXpress” to retailers in Mexico, as well as countries in the Caribbean and South
America, such as Argentina, Brazil and Chile. VeriFone has an approximate 75% market share in the
retail placement of POS terminals in Latin America.


MBNA Spain

MBNA’s division in Spain, MBNA Espana, has signed an agent deal with Banco Cooperativo. Initially, MBNA Espana will offer the “Grupo Caja Real” credit card to the more than two million customers of 18 of Banco Cooperativo’s member banks. Banco Cooperativo is a co-operative of 75 regional banks throughout Spain. MBNA Espana, which began operations last year, also markets its credit card products under its own brand and through affinity partners, according to The RAM Report ([][1]). Recent partnerships in Spain include Celta de Vigo CF, Elche CF, Federacion Espanola de Atletismo, Colegio Oficial de Pilotos de Aviacion Comercial, and Associacion Mundial de Educadores Infantiles.