VeriFone & TNS

Transaction Network Services and VeriFone have joined to optimize terminal performance in a wide range of communications environments. The partnership ensures that processors and merchants that rely on VeriFone’s terminals and TNS’ networks to transport electronic payments receive the best possible transaction services, during this time of increasingly diverse demands on electronic payment technology including the use of Internet Protocol, ISDN and wireless payment connectivity. In the US, the TNS network transported approximately 6.7 billion POS and ATM transactions in 2001. VeriFone has shipped over 10 million payment terminals worldwide, with more than five million installed in the US.

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CUBIC E2 GATE

Rotterdam’s Electrische Tram has begun using a new gate to improve
passenger security. The “Cubic E2” gate is part of an integrated security
system, which includes closed-circuit television and guards.
The “E2 gates” can be opened by any valid ticket and are compatible with
new smart card-based ticketing systems. The “E2” gate is an updated and
enhanced version of Cubic’s “Passenger Gate,” which was originally designed
for London Transport. This gate incorporates safety recommendations of the
Health and Safety Commission, which investigated the Kings Cross Station
Fire in 1987. The gate went into service with London Underground in the
early 1990s and has set new standards in safety, reliability and general
performance. Today, nearly 2,000 are in daily use with London Underground
and a similar number on the U.K. National Railways. The new “E2” gates
preserve all the safety features of the original gate while incorporating
various enhancements such as small size, lower power consumption, higher
reliability, smart-card capability and lower cost. In addition to magnetic
tickets, the E2 gate accepts all ISO standard contactless smart cards and
the Cubic GO CARD.

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GameCreds VISA

CNET’s GameSpot unit is set to launch the first prepaid debit-card based rewards and rebates program for gamers. The new “GameCreds VISA” debit card will be powered by Clarity Payment Solutions. Clarity will provide GameSpot with a unique way to distribute the rewards into individual accounts using its advanced promotion code technology. “Clarity Promotion” Codes are alphanumeric codes that deliver a pre-determined reward amount upon redemption. “GameCreds” members simply enter their codes at the GameCreds Web site and rewards are instantly deposited into their account for immediate use.

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Micropayments & EBPP Study

Atlanta-based Collective Dynamics has released a consumer research study on micropayments and announced an initiative to develop a comprehensive consumer study of EBPP with CheckFree Corporation, US Bank, and VISA. One of the major findings in the study is that consumers want to use debit and credit cards in more and more places, especially places that have an average ticket under $20.

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Card Usage

A new study of 2,000 consumers has found that 36% of credit card owners are using their cards more frequently than last year driven by security concerns with handling cash, and by the need to use credit cards for making online or telephone purchases. The survey by New York-based RoperASW also found that today’s consumers are more financially savvy and no longer have 4-6 cards running at high balances at the same time. Rather, the focus today is on selectively using one or two major credit cards as “all-purpose” cards. The survey also revealed that most consumers are confident that they will be able to pay off their bills before large balances accrue. More than eight in ten Americans believe that credit cards are good for emergencies, up 7 points since 2000 and one in three say credit cards allow them to buy things they don’t have the money for right now.

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BIOMETRIC WELFARE CARDS

Parklands-based Net1 Applied Technology Holdings Limited has contracted
California-based SecuGen to provide fingerprint biometric technology to the
South African Department of Social Welfare’s smart card initiative. Aplitec
recently won a three-year contract from the South African Department of
Social Welfare to provide payment services using smart cards and
fingerprint biometric technology to an additional 400,000 people in the
Eastern Cape Province beginning in November. Approximately 300 Aplitec
vehicles equipped with a total of 2,000 fingerprint biometric readers
travel to 5,184 rural locations throughout South
Africa to dispense payments to over 1.8M qualified recipients each month.
Because these recipients are among the 80% of the South African population
who do not have bank accounts, payments are made in cash. To use the
biometric smart card system, recipients only need to present their
government-issued ID document once to authorize the enrollment of their
fingerprints into the Aplitec system. To receive payment, the recipients
present their smart card and provide identification by matching their
fingerprint against the encrypted template stored in the card.

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Biometric Welfare Cards

South Africa’s Net1 Applied Technology Holdings Limited has contracted California-based SecuGen to provide fingerprint biometric technology to the South African Department of Social Welfare’s smart card initiative. Aplitec recently won a three-year contract from the South African Department of Social Welfare to provide payment services using smart cards and fingerprint biometric technology to an additional 400,000 people in the Eastern Cape Province beginning in November. Approximately 300 Aplitec vehicles equipped with a total of 2,000 fingerprint biometric readers travel to 5,184 rural locations throughout South Africa to dispense payments to over 1.8 million qualified recipients each month. Because these recipients are among the 80% of the South African population who do not have bank accounts, payments are made in cash. To use the biometric smart card system, recipients only need to present their government-issued ID document once to authorize the enrollment of their fingerprints into the Aplitec system.

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Gap Check

Gap Inc. has set plans to pilot VISA’s new “POS Check Service” in January at 50 U.S. Gap stores, in partnership with First National Merchant Solutions. Next year, Gap plans to roll out the service to all of its more than 3,500 U.S. store concepts, including Gap, GapBody, GapKids, babyGap, Banana Republic and Old Navy. Utilizing the power of VisaNet, VISA’s new “POS Check Service” provides direct online access to consumer demand deposit accounts for real-time authorization, significantly reducing the inherent risks of accepting paper checks. Some check acceptance systems typically rely on a variety of historical databases or negative files to electronically verify check transactions. VISA says its new check service can reach 90% of the country’s demand deposit accounts and offers VisaNet’s 100% availability and reliability. VISA announced the availability of “POS Check Service” in February, and, to-date, nearly 200 merchants in more than 33 states have processed more than $24.9 million in transactions through the service. Checks are used as payment for approximately 85% of all non-cash personal spending. Annually, merchants incur approximately $23 billion in check handling and fraud costs, averaging more than one dollar for every check written at the point-of-sale.

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E-Checks

The use of e-checks is soaring, up 300% over last year, according to statistics compiled by NACHA. During the first six months of this year, more then 200 million e-check payments were made by consumers. In 2001 there were 88.7 million e-checks originated at the point-of-sale, 74.6 million originated on the Internet, and 8.7 million originated via the telephone. NACHA says an advantage for consumers is the fact that e-checks are covered by the Federal Reserve’s Regulation E, which defines specific consumer rights and protections from error and fraud. There is no comparable federal regulation covering paper check and demand draft payments. The ACH Network has been in use for 30 years for Direct Deposit and other electronic payments. In 2001 there were 7.99 billion ACH payments made valued at $22.2 trillion.

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PAYWARE FUSION

Trintech Group has launched “PayWare Fusion,” a complete framework and
components platform for online payments.The new solution layers together
Trintech’s “Fraud Management,” “Secure Infrastructure,” and “Multi-Channel”
payment technologies. “PayWare Fusion” is targeted at financial
institutions and service providers that want to provide Web-based
statements, bill payment, micropayments, person-to-person payments, and
account management services to their customers by utilizing the highest
security standards and payment technologies. The solution is also targeted
at government institutions that want to provide access to personal
information under the UK’s Data Protection Act and access to government
services, such as driving license applications, benefits entitlements and
applications, and public access to
legislation documents. The bill payment module of “PayWare Fusion” is of
particular interest to operators that want to allow their customers to pay
or top-up their mobile phone charges via credit card or ACH without the
regular re-entry of credit card or bank account details. The EBPP solution
provides ease of use for consumers combined with the back-end data security
and flexibility of integration required by service providers.

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Weatherized ATMs

Dallas-based Fujitsu Transaction Solutions rolled out of new, weatherized island ATM drive-up unit that defies “Mother Nature.” The self-contained “Model 8031” offers banks, credit unions and other financial institutions next-generation features, including a high-contrast color display and a small footprint. FiSource Inc., a Fujitsu business partner and ATM value-added reseller headquartered in Albuquerque, installed the first “Model 8031” unit at the First National Bank of Artesia. The Web-enabled “Model 8031” also offers full ADA compliance, including the industry’s first text-to-speech synthesis for the visually impaired; and the dispensing of cash as well as stamps, coupons, event tickets, and credit card-sized gift cards.

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