Thales P3CM

Thales e-Security has introduced the first cryptographic module designed specifically to address the requirements of application data preparation for smart card issuance. Thales says the new “P3CM” will reduce the cost for issuers looking to migrate to EMV smart cards and with the accompanying “P3” software it also gives issuing banks or independent bureaus an easy route from magnetic stripe to smart cards by providing them with the extra data required. “P3CM” generates and prepares the data required for the issuance of EMV smart cards without compromising performance but with the additional benefit of a significant reduction in unit size and cost. Thales also announced it has published free, on its web site, the industry’s first guide to EMV migration.

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Employee Fingerprints

Sub-prime credit card issuer, Cross Country Bank/Applied Card Systems said this week it is using a biometric fingerprinting system from to process background checks on employees. The “Live Scan” “ID 1000” system from Cross Match Technologies digitally formats the prints for rapid transmission via analog telephone lines to the ABA, which then transmits the fingerprints to the FBI for screening through the agency’s national database. Cross Country, one of the first institutions to submit fingerprints electronically to the ABA, said its has cut the process from up to 45 days to as little as eight days. Cross Country, which has approximately three million customers operates processing centers in Boca Raton, FL., Huntington, WV, Ashland, KY, Beckley, WV, and Glen Mills PA.

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Priceless Muppets

MasterCard International has unleashed a new round of “Priceless” television ads that include the “Muppets”. The “Muppet” spots began running this past weekend and will continue airing through the holiday season. The new ads support MasterCard’s “Priceless Memories Sweepstakes” which is offering U.S. cardholders a shot at more than 1,000 “get together” prizes between now and the end of the year. The commercial plot features Kermit the Frog as the contest winner, who then invites pals Miss Piggy, The Great Gonzo, Animal, Pepe the King Prawn, Fozzie Bear, Sam the Eagle and Rizzo to join him in a trip to New York City where they create their own “priceless” memories. (CF Library 11/4/02)

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Diners LeCard

Diners Club is discontinuing its “Restaurant Savings Program” this month after terminating its relationship with Chicago-based Clever Ideas, Inc. Diners has been notifying cardholders it will announce a new cardholder benefit program, presumably a dining discount program, in the near future. Clever Ideas launched a charge-card-based dining savings program in 1990 under the “LeCard” name. The “LeCard” program replaced Clever’s paper-based “Dining Dollars” program launched in 1977. The “LeCard” program offers cardmembers of a major charge card 20% savings off their meals at participating establishments. Clever Ideas offers restaurant owners a cash advance based upon estimated annual card sales. The advance is repaid with each transaction from cardholders who are linked to the program through their charge card.

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3Q/02 Cards-in-Force

The top ten U.S. issuers of credit cards now have more than a 75% share of the market based on the number of cards-in-force. The fastest growing cardbase, among major issuers, is Sears National Bank which has issued nearly 30 million Gold MasterCards in-force, a 50% increase over the past twelve months. However, Target’s Retailers National Bank cardbase of “smart VISA” cards has grown more than seven fold since 3Q/01. Target’s most recent data show over 7.0 million cards-in-force. While the Discover and American Express cardbases have been flat since 3Q/01, so has Bank of America. Bank One and Citigroup have also lost some ground. Chase posted a strong 22% gain driven by its acquisition of Providian accounts. Providian has shed 6.2 million accounts since last year. Data for Citigroup and MBNA may include some Canadian cardholders. For complete details on the third quarter cardbase of hundreds of U.S. issuers visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

TOP TEN VISA/MC ISSUER CARDS-IN-FORCE
3Q/02 3Q/01 CHNG 2Q/02 SHARE
1. Citigroup: 92.6m 98.1m -5.6% 96.1m 16.05%
2. MBNA: 70.8m 66.5m +6.5% 69.4m 11.59%
3. Bank One: 53.5m 58.4m -8.4% 53.3m 8.90%
4. Cap One: 50.3m 43.4m +15.9% 50.9m 8.50%
5. Discover 50.0m 50.0m NC 50.0m 8.35%
6. Chase: 39.3m 32.1m +22.4% 38.6m 6.45%
7. AmeEx: 34.8m 34.7m +0.2% 34.8m 5.81%
8. Household: 27.7m 24.5m +13.1% 26.6m 4.44%
9. Sears NB 29.9m 19.8m +51.0% 26.6m 4.44%
10. BofA: 22.3m 22.4m -0.4% 22.4m 3.74%
TOTALS: 471.2m 449.9m +4.7% 446.3m 74.56%

Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Scotiabank Sale

Paymentech has purchased Scotiabank’s merchant acquirer and smart card POS business according to this week’s The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com][1]). Scotiabank indicated it will report a net gain of C$80 million, after tax, in the fourth quarter as a result of the sale. The deal involves debit and credit card payment services and smart card programs offered to merchants in 95,000 locations across Canada. Under terms of the agreement, Paymentech will provide merchants a range of solutions from point-of-sale transaction services, to payment processing and reporting. Paymentech will also administer and provide all processing and reporting for Scotiabank’s merchant smart card programs. Scotiabank will maintain its banking relationships with these merchants and continue to provide the clearing and settlement services associated with debit and credit card transactions. Scotiabank will also continue to market merchant products to its customers through a referral arrangement with Paymentech.

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

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ProCash 2350

Wincor Nixdorf unveiled the “ProCash 2350″ ATM which is designed for drive-up ATM banking. Standard equipment includes the 12.1″ sunlight-readable LCD screen and is available in a touch version or with softkeys. The new terminal is powered by a 2.0 GHz Pentium IV processor and runs on the Windows NT operating system. It is a freestanding frontload system that fits standard 42” islands. Wincor Nixdorf’s ATM solutions are sold exclusively in the USA by IBM Global Services, which markets, sells and services Wincor Nixdorf ATMs in the USA market.

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OBERTHUR SESAMES

Oberthur Card Systems has recieved two nominations for the
Sesames, the prestigious smart card awards presented each year during
Cartes in Paris, France. Oberthur’s new banking and mobile communications
solutions have been short-listed for the awards. The “IDOne” is a nominee
for “Best Banking/Finance Application Award.” “IDOne” is a
multi-application and dual interface (contact/contactless) card, which
combines both payment and identity applications. “My Personal SIM” is a
nominee for “Best GSM Application Award.” “My Personal SIM” has been
developed for the Italian mobile operator WIND. It allows WIND’s
subscribers to manage their SIM content over-the-air on their own.

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