AUTOMATED CARD APPLICATIONS

UBICS UK Ltd. has completed a custom software application for Graphic
Data Online. GDO approached UBICS to automate the credit card application
process for one of their blue-chip customers.
In the past GDO utilized a diverse range of specialized software products
to support the process of converting paper forms (with hand written
content) into data streams for mainframe-based operations. GDO was
developing individual software for individual products, resulting in
separate software programs to process credit card, pension, insurance and
loan submissions. In order to solve the costly problem of making changes
to each processing system, the UBICS Project Team decided to simplify the
entire process by creating a program that allowed GDO to make changes
quickly and easily. Ultimately, the result was a customized solution
designed specifically to work with GDO’s existing system and no longer
required the use of expensive technical resources to solve the needs of
changing customer requirements. The system has also been `web-enabled’
permitting GDO’s customers secure access to their data processes in
real-time. This has had a significant improvement in the process on
exceptions, previously handled by postal mail. The new system
allows customers to instantly handle exceptions and update the system
directly from their desks, leaving GDO to get on with the next order process.

Details

AmEx Rewards

American Express this morning rolled out the “Rewards Green,” “Rewards Gold,” “Preferred Rewards Green,” and “Preferred Rewards Gold” cards which have the “Membership Rewards” program as a core feature. The four new “Rewards Cards” enable cardholders to earn two points for every dollar charged to the card for purchases at stand-alone supermarkets, gas stations, drugstores, home improvement stores, the U.S. Postal Service and wireless phone bills. Cardholders will earn one point for every eligible dollar charged for all other purchases.The “Rewards Green” and “Gold Cards” will include traditional AmEx services such as: Purchase Protection; Buyer’s Assurance; Return Protection; Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance Global Assist Hotline; Travel Accident Insurance; and Year End Summary. “Gold Cards” will also offer free shipping and handling on select Internet and catalog merchants and the “Best Value Guarantee” program. In addition to these reward options, the upgraded “Preferred Rewards Green” and “Preferred Rewards Gold Cards” are designed for the frequent travelers interested in more air, hotel and vacation rewards. The annual fee for the new cards ranges from $65 to $130. AmEx will launch a new marketing campaign that includes three new television spots featuring spokesperson Jerry Seinfeld.

Details

GCA UK Casinos

Global Cash Access has signed UK-based Gala Group Ltd. to use GCA’s “QuikCash” cash access terminals in 26 Gala casinos. QuikCash cash access terminals employ the latest technology to provide casino customers with every access option available for cash advances on major credit cards and local bank debit. The touch screen, smart card-ready transaction terminals feature multilingual capabilities and can be installed virtually anywhere in a casino property.

Details

GEN 325

ASK S.A. has rolled out a new universal contactless smart card
reader that makes it possible for transit operators to include a broad
range of smart card standards from different suppliers in automatic fare
collection systems. The “GEN 325” is the latest in the “GEN 300” family of
electronic interfaces designed to read and write contactless smart cards
and tickets. ASK has shipped more than 10,000 “GEN 300” series contactless
smart card readers for use in transit AFC systems, highway toll collection
and other applications. The “GEN 325” couplers are compliant with the
leading standards and contactless smart card products for AFC applications:
“ISO 14443/1-2-3-4 Type A & B cards,” “Calypso,” “Venus,” and “Mifare”
cards. In addition, the full range of contactless and dual interface ASK
cards is supported including GTML, GTML2, CD97, CT2000 and the paper-based
C.tickets. The “GEN 325,” which is available immediately, targets OEMs and
transit system integrators.

Details

Clear Card

Western Union Financial Services is offering its employees the “E-Duction Clear MasterCard.” The voluntary employee benefit enables employees to purchase products and services from MasterCard merchants and pay for them over two months, interest-free through payroll deduction. In July, E-Duction introduced its first payroll deduction card. Last month, E-Duction introduced “Clear Alliance”, a channel reseller program designed to provide insurance brokerages, employee benefit brokers, consultants and payroll processors with an array of strategic tools for marketing and implementing “Clear.” (CF Library 8/16/02)

Details

HIGH-SPEED BANKWORKS

Frankfurt-based RS2 Software Group has added a high-speed engine to their
“BankWORKS” card payment software. The new engine increases “BankWORKS”
processing capability to over 3 million
transactions per hour. The processing engine operates concurrently in two
modes, “Continuous Transaction Processing” mode CTP, where dual message
incoming transaction files are processed in the background, or in “Straight
Throughput Processing” mode STP, where single message transactions are
processed in real time. The scalability tests, conducted at the IBM
Solution Partnership Center in the UK, confirmed a processing capacity of
3.6 million transactions per hour in CTP background batch mode and 1,000
transactions per second in real time straight throughput mode. RS2 says it
expects to complete the first
installations of the new engine by end of the year for one of its largest
clients in Europe.

Details

Student Crew

SCM Microsystems announced a deal with FL-based Student Marketing to provide smart card terminals for the first nationwide retail loyalty program for students. The Student Marketing Crew Card program allows college and high school students to receive 5-15% discounts from participating U.S. retailers as well as earn reward points redeemable for thousands of products available on the company’s Web site. The smart cards will calculate reward points and provide crew points from purchases made on merchandise. SCM’s terminal technology will be supplied to retailers and independent franchise partners, such as Dominos, Subway and U-Haul, to award, track and redeem the loyalty points. Student Crew anticipates 500,000 student members and over 27,000 retail merchants to participate by the end of the 2002-2003 school year. Launched in mid-August, the “Crew Card” program will roll out through December in five phases, beginning in southeastern US and moving west. The SCM deal is worth $500,000.

Details

SecureCode

MasterCard International unveiled a new global e-commerce security solution to tackle Internet transactions. MasterCard’s “SecureCode” uses MasterCard’s “UCAF” to provide an enhanced payment guarantee to online merchants by presenting, collecting and passing cardholder authentication information. Using hidden fields and a merchant plug-in application that is integrated with merchant Web pages, along with authentication information generated by issuing financial institutions, the new service provides explicit evidence of the cardholder’s involvement in a transaction. Online merchants that support MasterCard “SecureCode” will benefit from a MasterCard rules change that shifts liability away from the merchant for chargebacks due to cardholder non-authorization when SecureCode has been utilized. Chargebacks of this nature currently represent as much as 84% of all electronic commerce chargebacks. Merchants may also benefit from an increase in legitimate transactions for existing and new markets, including cross-border transactions. MasterCard is working with VeriSign, WorldPay and others, to bring MasterCard “SecureCode” to online merchants around the world. VeriSign has begun enabling its 75,000 merchants, which process approximately 25% of all online transactions in the U.S., with support for “SecureCode.” WorldPay has also begun automatically enabling its more than 17,000 multi-currency merchants in 115 countries. “SecureCode” also provides issuers with a new way of supporting Maestro PIN-based debit transactions over the Internet, and opens the door to more cross-border transactions with merchants in countries where debit is more established than credit.

Details