The FTC says it has reached an agreement with Integretel and eBillit, settling charges brought by the FTC for their role in an alleged illegal scheme misusing the international telephone billing system to charge consumers for videotext services that consumers never purchased or authorized. Through the scheme, thousands of consumers were billed an average of $127 apiece for services that they did not even know had been accessed through their phone lines. The charges for the videotext services were represented as international telephone calls to Madagascar, an island nation off the east coast of Africa. Under the terms of the settlement, the companies will waive any claim to $1.6 million in payments collected from consumers for these videotext services.Details
San Diego State University has slected U.S. Bank to expand its “SDSU Card.” The “SDSU Card,” in addition to serving as official campus identification, provides access to campus photocopy machines, student laundry facilities, health services, the pharmacy and computer labs, and is an alternative to cash at drink and snack machines. Under terms of the deal with U.S. Bank, the bank has agreed to sponsor the inaugural “SDSU” Month and deploy three U.S. Bank ATMs on campus in the spring of 2003. The new ATMs will also dispense phone minutes, stamps and other banking services in addition to traditional cash deposit and withdrawal functions. SDSU will also participate in U.S. Bank Workplace Banking, which extends special banking services and products to the approximately 7,000 SDSU employees.Details
Credit card advertising climbed slightly during the third quarter to $238.2 million compared to $238.1 million for the second quarter. Meanwhile, advertising spending for all media rose 2.2% for the first three quarters of this year, compared to the same time period for 2001. According to CMR/TNS Media Intelligence, ad spending for the first three quarters totaled $84.4 billion, compared to $82.6 billion for the same timeframe in 2001. General bank advertising was $303 million for the third quarter compared to $301 million in the previous quarter. Since the first of this year, credit card issuers have pumped a total of $680.1 million into advertising. For the latest marketing materials including direct mail and print ads visit CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com]).
The Chicago Transit Authority has launched the smart card-based fare collection technology developed by Cubic. The “Chicago Card” system was initially based on magnetic stripe ticketing and Cubic expanded it two years ago to include smart card technology. The smart cards used in Chicago incorporate Cubic’s “GO CARD” chip technology In 2001. Cubic received a $1.5 million contract from CTA to increase the purchase of smart cards from the original 3,500 to 300,000 over the next three years. The CTA operates the nation’s second largest public transportation system and covers the City of Chicago and 38 surrounding suburbs. On an average weekday, people take 1.5 million rides on the CTA.Details
Vancouver-based Fincentric announced that Envision Credit Union
is running live with the company’s “i-Wealthview Banking” system.
Envision is using “i-Wealthview Banking” to consolidate and transition
away from multiple legacy banking systems onto one single fully
integrated platform. The new banking system will help break down
information silos to provide Envision’s 750 employees with a consolidated
view of a customer s existing accounts and products.
Envision Credit Union, with over $2 billion in assets and 100,000 members,
operates 18 credit union branches and 16 insurance offices throughout
British Columbia s Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, as well as north in
Global Payments said this morning it has elected Gerald Wilkins to its Board of Directors. Wilkins is EVP/CFO of AFC Enterprises which owns, operates, and franchises nearly 4,000 restaurants, bakeries, and cafes in over 30 countries worldwide. AFC’s brands include Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, Church’s Chicken, Cinnabon, Seattle’s Best Coffee, and Torrefazione Italian Coffee.Details
Ismaning-based SCM Microsystems says Microsoft will use its smart card
readers to develop a class driver for the USB “Chip Card Interface Device”
specification. Microsoft will use SCM’s “USB SCR331 CCID” reader as a
reference model to develop drivers for Windows XP and Microsoft .NET
operating systems. This will simplify installation and lead to a generic
‘Plug and Play’ solution for smart card customers. SCM’s Security business
provides smart card reader technology for the PC platform and conditional
access modules for the digital TV platform to OEM customers in the
government, financial, enterprise and broadcasting markets worldwide.
Another survey projects a 5% increase in holiday spending this year. According to a survey for The Conference Board, Americans intend to spend an average of $483 on gifts this Christmas, up from last year’s $462. The research found about 34% of U.S. families will spend $500 or more on Christmas gifts, with another 38% spending between $200 and $500. About 27% of American households intend to buy holiday gifts online this year, an increase from last year’s 21%. The Conference Board survey also found that households headed by people 55-64 intend to spend the most this year, averaging $521 per family, while families earning more than $50,000 intend to spend $649 for Christmas gifts, or about one-and-a-third times the national average.Details
OTI Africa and British Petroleum have signed a five-year extension for
OTI’s smart card based gasoline management system. BP’s “FuelMaster” has
been installed in more than 500 BP service stations
throughout Southern Africa and additional sites have been earmarked for
installation in 2003. According to the agreement, BP will continue to pay
OTI Africa an agreed volume-based remuneration even after termination of
the agreement, for as long as customers continue to use the “FuelMaster”
system and OTI Africa will continue to provide services to such customers.
Furthermore, OTI Africa will receive a monthly management fee plus a per
unit tag generation fee in respect of the “FuelMaster Express” offer which
is aimed at private motorists.
National Processing has signed a multi-year processing agreement with Sport Chalet. NPC will provide authorization and settlement services for all online debit and MasterCard and VISA credit card transactions through NPC’s proprietary “MultiLink” platform. Sport Chalet operates 28 full service specialty sporting goods superstores in southern California and southern Nevada.Details
Euronet Worldwide it is entering the India market with a
multiyear ATM outsourcing agreement to operate 450 ATMs. Euronet will
deploy 200 new bank-owned ATMs in India’s largest cities, and Euronet also
will take over the driving of the bank’s existing 250 ATMs. When fully
implemented, this outsourcing project is anticipated to represent 4 to 5%
of India’s ATM market. The Indian market comprises more than 50 major
banks, 300 million bank accounts and approximately 7,500 ATMs. In addition
to the ATM outsourcing contract, Euronet has signed another contract for
ATM and mobile recharge services with Hutchison Max Telecom, which operates
under the Orange brand in Mumbai, India. Hutchison is a leading mobile
operator in India with approximately 1.5 million mobile customers with 60
percent using prepaid accounts. Through agreements Euronet has signed with
two banks to implement recharge services on their ATMs, Hutchison customers
will be able to use approximately 1,000 ATMs to purchase prepaid airtime
for their mobile phones.
Euronet Worldwide it is entering the India market with a multiyear ATM outsourcing agreement to operate 450 ATMs. Euronet will deploy 200 new bank-owned ATMs in India’s largest cities, and Euronet also will take over the driving of the bank’s existing 250 ATMs. When fully implemented, this outsourcing project is anticipated to represent 4 to 5% of India’s ATM market. The Indian market comprises more than 50 major banks, 300 million bank accounts and approximately 7,500 ATMs. In addition to the ATM outsourcing contract, Euronet has signed another contract for ATM and mobile recharge services with Hutchison Max Telecom, which operates under the Orange brand in Mumbai, India. Hutchison is a leading mobile operator in India with approximately 1.5 million mobile customers with 60 percent using prepaid accounts. Through agreements Euronet has signed with two banks to implement recharge services on their ATMs, Hutchison customers will be able to use approximately 1,000 ATMs to purchase prepaid airtime for their mobile phonesDetails