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. TransXpressÂ® Secure overcomes security concerns associated with Internet connectivity by providing a secure path between the client and the TransXpressÂ® Secure gateway SSL server. With TransXpressÂ® Secure, processors can enable retail merchants and ATM terminal operators to use their existing Internet connection provided by the local Internet Service Providers (ISPs).Details
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.Details
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.Details
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.
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.Details
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.Details
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]).
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.
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.Details
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.Details
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)Details
While scores of small merchants have begun charging customers for using
credit cards for purchases, major Australian companies have yet to impose
the new surcharges. However, there are several published reports indicating
that Qantas airline and Caltex petroleum have already decided to begin
levying the fees by the end of January. Last year, the Reserve Bank of
Australia issued new reforms on the credit card business permitting
merchants to recover from cardholders the costs of accepting credit cards.
The new standard went into effect January 1st. Also under the new RBA
rules, interchange fees will decrease from around 95 basis points to
approximately 55-60 basis points by July 1st. Australian newspapers are
reporting that Qantas has decided to charge customers a flat fee for each
credit card transaction and that Caltex will pass along its actual costs
for each transaction at its company-owned service stations. Most smaller
merchants are charging customers between 2.5% and 4.5% for VISA,
MasterCard, American Express, and Diners Club credit card transactions.
There are also indications that a significant percentage of smaller
merchants began charging the new fees before the new reforms took effect.
VISA and MasterCard filed a lawsuit in October with The Federal Court of
Australia over the new RBA credit card laws. The Court has set a trial date
of May 5th. The card associations argue that the Reserve Bank of Australia
hasn’t complied with its obligations under the Payment Systems Act, and
that the proposed changes don’t meet the public-interest test required
under the act.