Gartner Dataquest’s report on “Worldwide Chip Card Market Share, 2001: Card Vendors and Semiconductor Vendors” says SchlumbergerSema shipped 198 million smart cards last year, accounting for 29% of the world’s total shipments. The Gartner report found that worldwide smart card shipments reached 685.4 million units in 2001, up 10.4% over 2000. The study defines smart cards as microprocessor chip cards, as opposed to memory chip cards and magnetic stripe cards.Details
Sears Canada has launched a new electronic Sears Gift Card which replaces the traditional gift certificates that Sears offered for almost 50 years.
The credit card size Sears Gift Card can be purchased at any of Sears 125 department stores, 37 Sears Furniture and Appliances stores, 134 Sears Dealer
stores, 17 Sears Outlet stores, or online. Sears Gift Cards can be purchased for any value between $10 and $500. The Card is valid for two years from time of purchase.
U.S. Bank has launched a VISA Check Card promotion offering the chance to win $100 every day for an entire year. The “Everyday Extras” promotion is for signature-only or off-line debit purchases. The promotion will run through June 30th. The more times U.S. Bank cardholders use their Check Card, the more times they will be automatically entered. Winners will be randomly selected at the end of the promotion. No purchase or obligation necessary to enter or win. For more information, official rules and details on non-purchase entries visit [visa.com/everydayextras].
PayPal, Inc announced that Max Levchin, Chief Technology Officer, has been chosen as one of the world’s 100 Top Young Innovators by Technology Review. The TR100, chosen by Technology Review, consists of 100 individuals under age 35 whose innovative work in business and technology has a profound impact on today’s world. Nominees are recognized for their contribution in transforming the nature of technology in industries such as biotechnology, computing, energy, medicine, manufacturing, nanotechnology, telecommunications and transportation. Levchin is a co-founder of the popular Internet payment service PayPal, where as CTO he is responsible for the company’s software development, information management and security, and anti-fraud efforts. In less than three years, PayPal has grown to 16 million member accounts.Details
Alliance HealthCard has signed a renewable three-year contract with State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company to offer a health savings card to be called the Good Neighbor Advantage Card. State Farm will purchase the savings cards directly from Alliance. The State Farm Good Neighbor Advantage Card will be distributed by Alliance to State Farm’s Medicare supplement policyholders at no cost to them. Alliance and State Farm anticipate that almost 200,000 policyholders will receive the card by year’s end. The Good Neighbor Advantage Card will give these policyholders discounts on their drug purchases within Alliance’s drug store network that exceeds 45,000 stores nationwide.Details
Spiegel’s OR-based First Consumers National Bank has signed a consent order with the OCC to end the issuance of sub-prime credit cards. FCNB has agreed to stop issuing any new secured credit cards unless it is fully secured; increasing the credit line of any existing secured credit card; issuing any new unsecured or partially-secured credit cards to any existing customer with a FICO score below 680; and providing any new credit line increases on any bankcard to any customer having a FICO score less than 680. FCNB also agreed to immediately close all accounts with a FICO score of less than 680 and all Preferred card accounts with a FICO score of less than 640 that have been inactive for a period of twelve months or more and have a zero balance as of May 15th. For accounts that have been inactive for at least six months but less than twelve months and have a zero balance as of May 15th, FCNB has agreed to immediately reduce the customer’s credit limit by 50%. In February the Spiegel Group announced it was looking to unload its credit card business following rapid deterioration and a significant earnings shortfall. The company expected to take a $310.5 million loss on the sale of the portfolio. First Consumers National Bank, which offers secured and unsecured bank credit card products, currently has approximately $1.3 billion in credit card receivables and 1.6 million accounts, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com]). (CF Library 2/22/02; 4/23/02)
U.S. Bank’s Voyager Fleet Systems has inked a deal with Verizon Communications to provide a fleet fuel credit card purchasing system by the end of this year. Voyager Fleet Systems will capture all of the pertinent details at each transaction including: date, time, location, product type, grade, quantity and costs. The detail is compiled and provided so that the transaction reports can be used to aid in Verizon’s fleet management, and to negotiate discounts where appropriate. The Voyager card is accepted at more than 165,000 retail locations in all 50 states.Details
Worldwide volume for VISA and MasterCard grew 15% last year while the number of transactions rose 18%, and the number of cards-in-force increased by 14%. While volume growth between VISA and MasterCard varied by region, the overall figures showed the same increase. VISA had a 2001 global volume of US$2,141 billion compared to US$1,855 billion for the year 2000. MasterCard racked up US$986 billion in volume last year compared to US$857 the previous year. The number of transactions rose from 35.5 billion to 42.0 billion for VISA and MasterCard combined. The number of MasterCard-branded cards-in-force grew at a faster pace than VISA. MasterCard’s cardbase grew 19% while VISA was up 12%. MasterCard ended 2001 with 519.9 million cards while VISA end the year with 900.5 million. VISA figures do not include Electron or Interlink.Details
Omaha-based CSG Systems’ plaNet Consulting this morning launched icAcquirer which combines the Web-based reporting tools and plaNet’s recently-acquired credit card merchant settlement system. The icAcquirer Merchant Accounting solution is designed to enable Web-based transaction processing for the financial payments industry and provide service and fee capabilities that satisfy third-party processing and billing for all merchants. Merchant customers now have the capability to view or download their billing statements and other information through a secured Web environment. The new solution also provides support for all major credit card types and is a processing platform for acquiring organizations in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Other components of the icAquirer application suite include File Exchange for settlement and conveyance of credit card transactions with major card associations and Internet Merchant Reporting System, to view and produce customer account reports.Details
London-based ID Data plc announced plans this week to raise 4.1 million pounds through a new stock offering. Proceeds of the placing will be used to fund growth in new business sectors including the
development of the Systems Division and ChipPort, as well as the payment of existing obligations and to permit certain strategic capital expenditure. The company said that despite difficult market conditions it has made progress since the end of March, and in recent weeks the firm has signed new contracts. ID Data says it believes that the impact of new sales, the move to higher margin business and the reduction of the fixed cost base will assist its move to profitability.
VISA International and Korea’s SK Telecom signed an agreement this week to launch the first wireless payment system that incorporates smart cards, infrared technology, and mobile phones. In January, VISA announced it had developed specifications to enable payments to be beamed securely from a handheld device to a merchant terminal using infrared technology. The “VISA Financial Messaging Profile for Proximity Payment” specifications will enable application developers and card issuers to develop new payment services for consumers who use portable devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. The SK Telecom solution, which integrates the EMV global smart card standard and the Infrared Financial Messaging standard, allows VISA cardholders and SKT subscribers to pay for goods and services by beaming an infrared signal securely from the mobile phone to a small infrared receiver located at retail POS, vending machines, subway stalls, tollgates, buses, and other payment locations. Since early April, SKT has been piloting a chip-based payment service using an infrared-enabled mobile phone. The pilot program is being held at SKT’s Seoul headquarters and by 20 merchants at the Seoul Finance Center. Later this year, the program will be rolled out to more than 30,000 merchants in Korea. Two million infrared-port enabled handsets will also be distributed by the end of this year. VISA estimates there are 150 million devices capable of infrared messaging in use worldwide. (CF Library 1/15/02)Details
Paderborn-based Wincor Nixdorf GmbH & Co and NCR have sealed a bar code scanner sales agreement. The deal provides Wincor Nixdorf with access to bar code scanning technology and provides NCR with access to markets outside the USA for its scanner products. The agreement covers Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Wincor Nixdorf operates across the world in over 40 countries, including 28 where it has its own subsidiaries. NCR employs 30,300 in more than 100 countries.Details