China Construction Bank has signed a US$12 million ATM deal with Diebold. Under terms of the agreement, Diebold will provide both cash dispensers and ATMs to CCB branches in more than
20 provinces. This order is the second this year to be granted by CCB to Diebold. The first was valued at approximately US$15 million and was announced in July. CCB operates more than 13,000 branches throughout Greater China.


Bankruptcy & Charge-offs

The percentage of credit card charge-offs involved in personal bankruptcy filings has begun to float downward after filings hit a peak in the second quarter. In July, the percentage of charge-off dollars connected to bankruptcies dipped to 48.9% compared to a peak of 49.7% in May. One year ago the percentage stood at 46.20% and in July, 1995 the average was 31.3%, according to CardData ([][1]). MasterCard reported $1.1 billion of the $4.6 billion in second quarter U.S. charge-offs were bankruptcy related. The dramatic rise in filings over the past year has been linked to recession and impending federal legislation to overhaul the bankruptcy code. Bankruptcy filings for the twelve months ending June 30th hit an all-time record of 1.5 million. One year ago, annual filings totaled 1,386,606. Bankruptcy filings first broke one million during the 12-month period ending June 30, 1996. According to Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts there were 1,466,105 personal bankruptcy filings over the past twelve months, an 8.5% increase over the previous year. On a quarterly basis, total bankruptcy filings were only up slightly, from 400,394 for 2Q/01 to 400,686 for the second quarter of 2002. (CF Library 8/15/02)



Facial Recognition Patent

MA-based Viisage Technology has received a patent for systems and methods that employ facial recognition to create, maintain and use databases that store data records of individuals. In particular, systems and methods are disclosed that employ facial recognition to control the production of identification cards that include an image of a person’s face and demographic data in order to prevent the issuance of fraudulent identification cards.



London-based Card Tech Limited has been selected by VISA International to provide a processing solution for VISA prepaid cards. Under an exclusive agreement, VISA will promote CTL’s processing solution for the prepaid card program to its members in the CEMEA region. Members can configure the system to issue all types of prepaid cards aimed at different market segments. VISA and CTL have predefined five popular types or prepaid cards: “Teen,” “Gift,” “Travel,” “Payroll,” and “Money Transfer.” The agreement does not cover the licensing of CTL’s software. Members who are interested in licensing CTL software must negotiate directly with CTL. Card Tech Limited provides card management solutions to more than 150 banks in 60 countries.


Gay Card Habits

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender consumers carry a slightly higher balance on their credit cards and use their cards more on the Internet than non-gay consumers. According to a survey released this morning, the typical gay and lesbian consumer carries a median credit card balance per card of $556 as compared to $374 for non-gay consumers. The study by Witeck-Combs Communications and Harris Interactive also found that GLBT consumers use their credit cards most frequently for these five activities: Internet purchases (30%), general shopping (27%), gas/fuel (21%), entertainment expenses (15%), and travel expenses (13%). Other findings: gay consumers were more likely than non-gay cardholders to have two or more of the following types of credit cards: VISA, MasterCard and American Express. On average, VISA is the most commonly held credit card brand among gay and non-gay consumers alike. The study was conducted online within the USA in late July and involved a nationwide cross section of 2,091 adults.

Average Credit Card Balances
GLBT Heterosexual
Less than $500 25% 28%
$500 – $999 10% 6%
$1,000 – $4,999 12% 14%
$5,000 – $9,999 2% 3%
$10,000 or more 7% 2%
Mean $3,448 $3,319
Median $556 $374

Source:Witeck-Combs Communications/Harris Interactive



American Express announced this morning that Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways have joined its “International Airline Program.” Under the program, “Centurion” and “Platinum” U.S. cardholders can purchase free companion tickets on 20 international airlines with the purchase of first or business class tickets, subject to availability. AmEx says the program is the most popular perk offered on its top end card products. U.S. cardholders can use the program as often as they like but there is a maximum of one complimentary companion ticket per trip, per cardholder traveling. The program was first launched in 1993 for “Platinum” cardholders and then extended to the “Centurion” card as it launched in 1999. Other participating airlines in the AmEx IAP include Aero Mexico, Aer Lingus, Air New Zealand, Air France, Alitalia, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, Continental Airlines, Japan Airlines, LanChile, Lan Peru, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, SAS, South African Airways and Swiss International.


APTRA Momentum

NCR said its “APTRA” multivendor software platform for ATMs has been certified in the U.S. via Concord EFS, ACI Worldwide and Mosaic and is now used by FleetBoston, Fidelity Investments and 7-Eleven. ased on XFS standards, applications developed using APTRA(TM) are vendor-independent. That means the necessary software applications only need to be developed once to work for all machines within the bank’s ATM channel, versus the usual separate initiatives for each manufacturer’s ATMs.


Gemplus & In-Q-Tel

Facing concern among board members, the new Gemplus CEO announced he has severed ties with a venture capital technology firm created by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Alex Mandl said he has resigned from the board of CIA-funded In-Q-Tel. Gemplus International named Mandl as its new CEO, effective September 9th. Mandl was the former Chairman/CEO of Teligent between 1996 and 2001. He was also the former President/COO of AT&T. There was some controversy between Gemplus board members over the selection of Mandl, specifically his connections with the CIA. Some board members were concerned that Mandl’s CIA ties could affect its ability to sell its product and services to some countries. In December, Gemplus CEO Antonio Perez decided to resign his posts as Chief Executive Officer and director to pursue other interests. Marc Lassus, founder and one of the largest shareholders of Gemplus, also agreed in December to cease his office as chairman. Earlier this month, Gemplus announced that its interim CEO, Ron Mackintosh, has decided to step down as of August 15th. (CF Library 8/30/02)


Suds Cards

PA-based USA Technologies and American Sales have inked an agreement to use USA Technologies’ “” services to network 9,000 university washers and dryers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. The “e-Suds” technology makes it possible for college students to go online to check if washers and dryers are available in their laundry room, charge the cost of doing laundry to their university accounts, have detergent and fabric softener automatically added to their wash and receive an email when their wash is complete. IBM has also agreed to market the e-Suds service. USA Technologies provides networked credit card and other non-cash/mobile commerce systems in the vending, commercial laundry, hospitality and digital imaging industries.