Online Banking Europe

Online banks reached more than 30% of the active Internet audience in five major markets in November. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, between October 2001 and October 2002, the number of European surfers visiting financial services sites grew from 15 to 25 million, while the percentage of European Internet users who regularly visit a financial services site steadily rose to 37%. On a country-by-country basis, online bank domains in Sweden attracted the highest percentage of active users in November, with more than half that country’s surfers visiting a bank or credit union site and spending an average of more than an hour on those sites during the month.

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TransXpress Secure

VA-based Transaction Network Services has introduced the “TransXpress Secure” service enabling merchants and ATM terminal operators the ability to access TNS’ private transaction data network via the Internet using SSL encryption methodologies. TransXpress® Secure overcomes security concerns associated with Internet connectivity by providing a secure path between the client and the TransXpress® Secure gateway SSL server. With TransXpress® Secure, processors can enable retail merchants and ATM terminal operators to use their existing Internet connection provided by the local Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

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New England Smart Card Pilot

Hitachi America has been awarded a contract by the New England Partners to implement a comprehensive pilot program employing smart card solutions for eight automated government programs in six New England states. The New England Partners Project is financed under an Agreement with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community and Public Health, with funds provided in part or in whole by the State of New Hampshire and/or the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.

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SP35 Sales Leap

Datacard Group says that sales of its new “SP35 Card Printer,” which delivers up to 120 full-color and 500 one-color cards per hour, has exceeded the company’s forecast for the first three months by nearly 100%. In addition to a low purchase price and a compact footprint, the Datacard SP35 card printer offers superb image quality, intuitive operation and a sleek design that poses a stark visual contrast to other printers on the market today.

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VISA Canada Releases Updated Owner’s Manual and Holiday Survey Results

Canada Safeway has signed a multi-year agreement to renew as a “Sponsor”
in the “AIR MILES Reward Program.” The program is operated by Alliance Data
Systems Corp’s subsidiary, The Loyalty Group.
Canada Safeway has been part of the program since its inception in 1992.
More than 60% of Canadian households, or 12.5 million Canadians, actively
collect “AIR MILES” reward miles. “AIR MILES” reward miles can be redeemed
for more than 500 different rewards, such as travel, movie passes,
entertainment attractions, and electronic merchandise.

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Biometric Acceptance

A new study shows that the majority of the U.S. public believes it is acceptable for the private sector to use biometric technologies. Although consumer experience with biometrics is generally low, 56% to 91% say it is acceptable for the private sector to request a biometric scan when checking the identity of an individual buying a gun against a database of convicted felons (91%); verifying the identity of those making credit card purchases (85%); withdrawing funds from an ATM (78%); accessing sensitive files, such as medical or financial (77%); conducting background checks (76%); and, screening out those banned from gambling or professional card counters in casinos (56%). The recently released two-wave survey was commissioned by SEARCH, funded by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, and developed by Dr. Alan Westin, President & Publisher of Privacy & American Business.

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Paychex VISA

Paychex is now offering its clients the new “VISA Payroll” card issued through Bank One. Employers are able to electronically deposit an employee’s pay onto the card each payday. The card is issued in the name of the employee. This payroll option is designed for employees who don’t have a checking or savings account. VISA estimates that 12 million U.S. households do not have a banking relationship. Cardholders can withdraw cash as needed from ATMs or use their card to make purchases. Individuals who use the “Paychex Access VISA Card” can access account information via the telephone. The account holder also receives a monthly statement showing all transactions for the period. Paychex has more than 100 offices and serves more than 440,000 payroll clients nationwide.

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Accesspoint 2002

Los Angeles-based Accesspoint Corporation reported this morning that its revenue increased 190% last year and have risen nearly five-fold in two years. The Company also said this morning that it expects to report its first quarterly profit ever for 4Q/02. The Company reported its highest monthly revenue ever in December with total processing activity of more than $44.8 million; this compares to the prior year’s December processing activity of $32.2 million, an increase of more than $12.6 million (40%). Monthly card processing activity, which represents more than 90% of the Company’s total revenue, has shown month-to-month increases for every period, except November, since current management assumed control. Accesspoint is a software, e-commerce and credit card processing company for small to midsize businesses. For complete details on Accesspoint’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Scotiabank’s Personal and Card Loans Up 13%, as ABM Network Grows by 20%

Citigroup has acquired a 5% interest in Shanghai Pudong Development Bank
and a seat on its board. Citi says the action will enable it to enter the
Chinesse credit card market, with plans to issue a co-branded local
currency card later this year. In March, Citigroup received permission to
carry out foreign currency transactions, enabling it to expand its consumer
operations. Citigroup first launched consumer banking operations in China
in 2001. SPDB is China’s ninth largest commercial bank with 270 branches
and US$30 billion in assets. Reportedly Citigroup paid US$73 million for
its stake in SPDB. Only 20 million consumers carry credit cards in China.

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Mission Voyager

San Diego-based Mission Federal Credit Union has signed an agreement to upgrade to Corillian “Voyager 3.0” for its 125,000 members. The upgrade to Corillian Voyager 3.0 allows Mission Federal Credit Union to leverage the technological capabilities of the Microsoft Windows 2000 platform, which will provide enhanced performance, manageability and scalability. Corillian Voyager 3.0 will also provide Mission Federal Credit Union members with a new customized user interface, which will give members the opportunity to consolidate all of their financial account information at the credit union into one view.

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Vehicle Telematics

USA Technologies has been awarded a US Patent for wireless vehicle telematics. Motorists with Telematics services installed in their cars may have information routed directly to a secure Web page — containing the vehicle’s performance characteristics, including operating conditions, mileage and diagnostic trouble codes. Yet another Internet link could allow automotive retailers to inform the vehicle owner via e-mail, communicating in areas such as engine performance, service opportunities, appointment scheduling and emission testing. Telematics also enables vehicle tracking and positioning, helping motorists navigate and provide security.

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JADEBreakthrough

CyberNet has unveiled its lost-cost smart card terminal for VISA members as part of VISA’s new “Smart Breakthrough Acceptance Device” program. The new “JADEBreakthrough” terminal will cost slightly over $200. “JADEBreakthrough” is powered by a 32 bit processor, the CyberSoft operating system, and supported by a JAVA development toolkit. Globally provided with a thermal printer, for some Asian markets “JADEBreakthrough” is offered with a multiple ply impact sprocket printer. VISA initially announced the new low-cost terminals last month. VISA’s says Intellect will also release a $200 EMV terminal in the first quarter. VISA also led the effort to cut the actual cost a multi-application smart card from more than $5.00 two years ago to $2.60. Five years ago, the price of a smart card hovered at $8 a piece. There are more than 21 million smart cards now in-use in the USA and VISA accounts for nearly 60% of the total. (CF Library 6/25/02; 10/28/02; 12/13/02)

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