SMART CARD DRIVER

London-based Logica and Teleconomy released a report that says the UK public are more prepared to supply personal details for use in public sector smart card schemes than for corporate initiatives. And when it comes to an “all-in-one” card, half the UK population find it appealing, especially if the Government is involved. According to the survey, 55% of Brits would be happy to use a card that performed a number of functions. Most popular combinations were the merging of debit and credit cards, where 40% would be likely to use a combined card. More than one in three people would be willing to carry a combined ID card and driving license. Respondents expressed most interest in adding additional functions such as transport ticketing, ID and membership to bank cards. Healthcare details on a card would be welcomed by 68% of people, and an ID card and library card were both accepted by 66% of the UK population. Cards that would enable travel on public transport were close behind at 64%.

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CashPay VISA

Bank of America announced this morning it is adding the VISA brand to its existing CashPay payroll card. BofA has offered the prepaid card since 1998. Other new enhancements to the standard features of the card include the ability to transfer funds to a checking or savings account. Trammell Crow Residential, with 2,300 employees in 20 states, is a current CashPay client. VISA USA introduced the VISA Payroll card last July. Besides Bank of America, VISA Payroll cards are offered by Bank One, First Tennessee, FleetBoston and U.S. Bancorp. (CF Library 7/25/01)

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GEM RELOAD

Gemplus and iPIN are teaming to launch a SIM-enabled mobile payment platform for pre-pay market. GeM-Reload powered by iPIN fuses Gemplus’ SIM card technology and OTA platforms with iPIN’s Enterprise Payment Platform. Gemplus will provide a user-friendly interface on the handset through the implementation of STK technology. The iPIN EPP will offer the comprehensive payment functionality that manages the complete payment lifecycle, including transaction capture, authentication, authorization, accounting, settlement, reconciliation and customer care. When Telco operators decide to expand m-commerce initiatives beyond pre-paid top-up, they can leverage iPIN’s scalable, plug-in architecture and add functionality in areas such as content charging and cash replacement for payments at the POS.

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JAYD Smart Card

Nashville-based Central Parking Corporation and OH-based JAYD have signed a deal to deploy JAYD’s smart card technology in the greater Boston area. Electronic payment cards aim to enhance convenience for Central Parking’s customers by replacing cash with a plastic card encoded with a credit balance or charge account information. As it deploys the technology, Central Parking Corporation will acquire a minority ownership interest in JAYD. Central Parking Corporation operates approximately 4,000 parking facilities containing approximately 1.5 million spaces at locations in 38 states, Europe, and other areas of the world.

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ONLINE BANK CARD

Ghana-based Transaction Management Services is using technology from S2 Systems to provide the first domestic online debit card POS services in West Africa. TMS, which is using S2 Systems’ open, flexible transaction solution OpeN/2, will provide the central processing services, EFT switch, POS management and interfaces necessary to support online bank cards. The first product to utilise the new system will be the domestic debit card “E-Card,” launched by three of Ghana’s 14 banks – Ecobank, CAL Merchant Bank and The Trust Bank. The TMS system, which is the most technically-advanced transaction processing environment in West Africa, will initially use a closed private radio network to connect point of sale devices with OpeN/2. This will soon be extended to support fixed line connections within the next year.

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Fraud Ring

A ring of small merchants in the Jackson Heights and Sunnyside sections of Queens, New York were charged last week with processing more than $5 million in phony credit card transactions. Under the scheme, cardholders would open credit card accounts and then have merchants charge large, non-existent purchases. The merchant would keep 25% to 35% of the transaction and then hand over the rest to the cardholder in cash. More than 50 consumers and eight merchants were allegedly involved in the fraud. Card issuers, victimized by the fraud, uncovered the scheme after noticing that a number of charged-off accounts had large transactions from a small number of merchants.

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US Airways MasterCard Incentive

US Airways Vacations is offering a free three-piece set of Samsonite Streamlite II luggage worth $239 to travelers booking their vacations to Bermuda, the Caribbean or Mexico, by July 16, and paying in full with their MasterCard. Valid destinations are Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Cancun, Cozumel, Dominican Republic, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Martin/St. Maarten, The Islands of The Bahamas (Grand Bahama Island, Nassau and Paradise Island) and the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas/ St. John and St. Croix). US Airways Vacations’ Caribbean packages include round trip air; hotel accommodations; round trip airport/hotel transfers; hotel taxes and service charges; and international travel taxes of up to $97.50.

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1Q/02 Delinquency

While charge-offs soared by more than 22% over the past twelve months, delinquency rates among the top U.S. issuers increased only half as much. Sub-prime issuers Providian, Direct Merchants, and Household led the top ten issuers with the highest delinquency rates and the largest increases during the first three months of 2002, compared to 1Q/01. Fleet and Bank One/First USA reported lower delinquency than year ago levels, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). Over the past twelve months, delinquency (30+ day) among the nation’s top issuers, has increased 60 basis points, from 5.74% to 6.34%. Meanwhile, Discover reported a 30+ day delinquency rate of 6.75% for the quarter ending 2/28/02, compared to 6.34% for the year-ago quarter. American Express delinquency rate stood at 3.4% for 1Q/02, compared to 2.9% for 1Q/01.

TOP TEN VISA/MASTERCARD ISSUERS –
QUARTERLY DELINQUENCY
DAYS 1Q/02 4Q/01 3Q/01 2Q/01 1Q/01 4Q/00 Y/Y
CHG
1.
Citigroup: 90+ 2.17% 1.98% 1.82% 1.72% 2.00% 1.46% +8.5%
2. MBNA: 30+ 4.97% 5.09% 4.90% 4.57% 4.60% 4.94% +8.0%
3. First USA: 30+ 4.27% 4.46% 4.25% 4.10% 4.33% 4.51% -1.4%
4. Chase: 90+ 2.29% 2.22% 1.95% 1.90% 1.99% 2.07% +15.1%
5. Cap One: 30+ 4.80% 4.95% 5.29% 4.92% 4.72% 5.23% +1.7%
6. Providian: 30+ 10.22% 8.81% 8.66% 8.04% 7.64% 7.54% +33.8%
7. BofA: NR NR NR NR NR NR NA
8.
Household: 60+ 4.39% 4.10% 3.91% 3.60% 3.68% 3.49% +19.3%
9. Fleet: 30+ 3.97% 4.05% 4.13% 4.40% 4.75% 5.00% -16.4%
10. Dir Merch: 30+ 9.80% 9.70% 8.90% 8.30% 8.40% 8.30% +16.7%
30+ DAY AVG*: 6.34% 6.18% 6.02% 5.72% 5.74% 5.92% +10.4%
NR- not reported
* 60+ day and 90+ day are not meaningful

SOURCE: CardData ([www.carddata.com][2])

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

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Online Gambling

The New York Attorney General said Friday that Citibank has agreed to block online gambling transactions with its credit cards. Under the agreement, Citibank will block transactions that are identified by transaction code as casinos and Web sites as online gambling. Bank of America, Fleet, Direct Merchants Bank, MBNA, and Chase Manhattan Bank have already begun blocking such transactions. While there have been several law enforcement actions combating online casinos in New York, the Attorney General’s agreement with Citibank is the first case to address financial entities that process gambling transactions. In 1999, the Attorney General won a lawsuit charging that an Antigua-based casino that accepted bets from New York residents had violated New York’s gambling laws.

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AmEx & Fidelity

American Express has lost the Fidelity Investments corporate card account presumably out of retaliation for hiring away four key Fidelity mutual fund managers earlier this year. The corporate card account which involves cards issued to nearly half of Fidelity’s 30,000 employees, has been moved to Bank One’s commercial banking division. The switchover took place early this month. Fidelity also moved its travel agency account from American Express to WorldTravel BTI. In February, AmEx opened a branch office in Boston for its money management unit and hired Fidelity fund managers, Doug Chase, Telis Bertsekas, Nick Thakore, and Robert Ewing.

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