The proof of identity conundrum which makes it almost impossible for the homeless to get a bank account has been solved thanks to a ground breaking partnership between The Co-operative Bank and The Big Issue in the North. Up till now, Big Issue vendors have not been able to bank their day’s takings – and have often been mugged for the cash they have earned.

From today , a pilot scheme will enable Big Issue vendors in Manchester to visit the Bank’s Balloon Street branch and open a ‘Cashminder’ bank account, without the need to produce the types of proof of identification which are often not available to those selling the Big Issue.

Anti-money laundering regulations dictate that financial institutions demand strict forms of identification from potential customers, e.g. passport, driving licence, utility bills, none of which vendors are likely to possess. What forms of ID they do have are often lost, stolen or destroyed through life on the street.

Now The Co-operative Bank working with The Big Issue in the North, and its vendors, have come up with some solutions. The Bank will accept a letter of recommendation from the Trust, or a Big Issue in the North badge as proof of ID. Members of staff at the Bank’s Balloon Street branch have been trained to meet the special banking needs of vendors.

The account will give vendors a card to draw out money at cash machines, and enable them to set up direct debit and standing order facilities. Vendors will also be able to deposit cash at the counter and, outside of banking hours, at the Bank’s night deposit facility. This will enable vendors to save their day’s earnings, and will also give them extra security as they will not have to carry around amounts of cash.

Val Chinn, Chief Executive of The Big Issue in the North, said “Our vendors are often the victims of violence because people see them on the streets all day earning money and know that they often have nowhere to keep it safely. The new Cashminder account offered by The Co-operative Bank is a great example of partnership working. The flexible approach adopted by The Co-operative Bank will make a real difference to our vendors and help them build up funds for their future.”

Paul Sirman, Branch Manager at The Co-operative Bank’s Balloon Street branch, said “The Co-operative Bank is delighted to be linking up with The Big Issue in the North for this pilot scheme.

“Financial institutions have had to abide by strict regulations concerning identification of customers and this has led to certain people being excluded from the banking system. We have worked hard with The Big Issue in the North to look for solutions to this problem. Hopefully this pilot scheme will prove to be successful and we can launch this scheme on a national level.”

The Big Issue in the North is a business solution to a social problem. It enables homeless people to earn an income by selling the magazine.

The Big Issue in the North is a registered charity (No. 1056041) with a business-like approach to ending homelessness. It works to help homeless people move on from homelessness and into good homes, good jobs, good health and a good life.

The Trust’s work covers the North of England – an area which includes more than 124 towns and cities.

The Cashminder basic bank account and this pilot are only two of many ways in which The Co-operative Bank is tackling the problem of financial exclusion. The Bank has also designed a basic bank account to meet the needs of refugees; provides cash machines and other financial services in local communities through Co-operative retailers and is a strong supporter of the Credit Union movement.


May Slowdown

While revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, crossed the $700 billion milestone during May, consumers have applied the brakes for the first time this year. The pause may be attributed to the consolidation of credit card debt into home equity lines of credit, driven by lower interest rates and aggressive competition in the home equity markets. During May, American consumers added $3.2 billion to total revolving debt representing an annual growth rate of 5.5%, according to preliminary figures released yesterday afternoon by the Federal Reserve. The May increase was sharply lower than the $9.2 billion increase in April, $6.8 billion in March, and the $11.1 billion increase in February. The May 2001 consumer debt figures were also significantly lower than May 2000’s 12.7% growth rate. Since the first of this year, American consumers have piled on more than $37 billion in revolving credit, mostly credit card debt. Total U.S. revolving consumer credit now stands at $700.5 billion which includes about $673 billion in credit card debt. Overall, consumer credit is growing at a 4.9% annual rate. At the end of May, American consumers were $1.591 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.


May01 Apr01 Mar01 Feb01 Jan01 Dec00 Nov00
%GRWTH: 5.5% 16.0 11.9 20.8 11.6 5.0 10.9
$OWED: $700.5 697.3 688.2 681.4 670.3 663.4 660.6

Oct00 Sep00 Aug00 Jul00 Jun00 May00 Apr00
%GRWTH: 4.7% 7.8 12.6 6.7 11.2 12.7 13.5
$OWED: $654.8 649.3 645.1 638.2 634.7 628.9 622.5

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 07/09/01;
For complete historical data visit www.carddata.com.



EdgeWare Technologies Corporation, Canada’s leading developer of smart card
software, announced full
support for the MULTOS operating system with the upcoming version of its
application software suite. The EdgeSmart solutions include Loyalty,
e-gift, Transit, Hospitality, Leisure and Event Ticketing, Campuses and
Municipalities. The suite offers its own set of multiple private purses, but
can also be integrated with an international stored value purse such as
Mondex. The comprehensive end-to-end software set matches EdgeSmart with
SelectSmart, EdgeHost and AnalysEdge to provide a seamless web-
enabled architecture for transaction settlement, activity analysis and
reporting, and consumer card management features.

Technology migration planning, project management, server hosting and
software support are also available.

“EdgeWare is pleased to be adding the flexibility and security of MULTOS
as an underlying platform and card management structure to the inherent
strengths of our application solutions”, said Vice President Engineering,
Claude G. Beaudoin.

Offering support for all card types and a variety of device platforms
including wireless, EdgeWare delivers

“EdgeWare Technologies are renowned for high performance loyalty, transit
and campus products. The combination of EdgeSmart(TM) with the premier
performance and security of the MULTOS platform is a winning team”, said Steve
Everhard, Marketing & Commercial Director for the MULTOS Consortium.

MULTOS card issuers will find these robust offerings to be reliable and
of significant value to their clients; as experienced by EdgeWare’s
diversified clientbase.

About EdgeWare Technologies

EdgeWare Technologies is a Canadian software and services firm that
designs, develops, markets and supports multi-application, scalable, platform
independent smart card software solutions for business, institutions and
governments worldwide. For more information about EdgeWare, visit www.edgeware.ca.


MULTOS is a highly secure multi-application smart card operating system
specification and supports a wide range of applications including e-cash, PKI
and interactive loyalty. This open standard is managed and developed by a
consortium of 13 of the worlds leading smart card companies, and is the only
commercial operating system to attain the security requirements of ITSEC
E6-high. (ITSEC is an independent and rigorous security evaluation scheme
supported by more than 14 countries worldwide, whose results are openly
published.) Third party software developers provide a broad catalogue of
MULTOS applications and value-added services for card users and issuers that
can be deployed consistently across all implementations of MULTOS. Leading the
booming m-commerce market, the MULTOS hosted SecureSIM environment provides
the world’s most secure multi-application SIM card for mobile phones.


AirRewards MasterCard

In a effort to stem attrition, CT-based People’s Bank introduced yesterday a new MasterCard offering air mileage. The bank also announced it is launching an aggressive plan to market home equity loans. People’s first quarter credit card receivables declined to $2.8 billion from $3.5 billion for 1Q/00. Active accounts have also dropped by 400,000 over the past twelve months, according to CardData (www.cardata.com). The new ‘People’s AirRewards Plus Platinum MasterCard’ offers one point for each dollar spent on purchases. Points earned can be redeemed for free travel on all major U.S. airlines with no blackout dates, for a variety of hotel and car rental benefits, or as a credit toward any travel booked through the program. Rewards are available beginning at just 3,500 points. People’s ‘Advantage Plus’ and ‘Investor Plus’ checking customers in Connecticut will be offered the card without an annual fee. The home equity loan push has been made possible by the redesign of the bank’s underwriting process, enabling People’s to turn around nearly 80% of applications in just one day, compared with only 10% previously. According to CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com), People’s also offers the ‘U.S. Ski Team Platinum VISA’ and ‘Long Island Sound VISA’ in addition to its ‘Platinum MasterCard’.

1Q/01 4Q/00 3Q/00 2Q/00 1Q/00
RECV: $2.8b $3.1b $3.1b $3.3b $3.5b
VOL: $1.2b $1.6b $1.4 $1.5b $1.6b
ACTIVES: 1.3m 1.4m 1.4m 1.5m 1.7m
b-billion m-million SOURCE: CardData (www.carddata.com)



Euronet Worldwide announced that it has successfully completed certification to the LINK Interchange Network Limited, the national ATM network in the United Kingdom.

This certification enables the company to process transactions on 425 Euronet ATMs and potentially on any of the other 33,000 ATMs connected to LINK in the UK. Euronet is the first independent ATM operator and transaction processor to drive ATMs in the United Kingdom from a processing center located outside the UK.

Until now, Euronet had outsourced the operation of its ATMs in the UK to a local organization. As a result of the certification, Euronet will drive its own ATMs and process transactions from those ATMs through the company’s EMEA operations center (EOC) in Budapest, Hungary. This result will reduce Euronet’s costs in the UK. In addition, Euronet’s EOC can provide transaction and software capabilities at Euronet ATMs that are not currently available through other UK ATM processors. By the end of July, Euronet hopes to gain Certified Service Bureau status within LINK, which would enable the company to drive ATMs for other organizations in the UK. Euronet already provides ATM outsourcing services to banks in many other European markets.

LINK’s rigorous certification program required Euronet to satisfy stringent LINK requirements encompassing all of the operation center’s functions, particularly in relation to the security of transaction data.

“The LINK certification is a significant achievement after an intensive, six-month process,” said Miro Bergman, Euronet Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the EMEA region. “The coordinated effort between Euronet’s UK office and our operations center required, among other things, two operation center audits, establishment of communication links and reconfiguration of our ATMs.”

“The LINK organization congratulates Euronet Worldwide on becoming the first to drive ATMs from outside the UK with the successful certification,” said John Hardy, LINK CEO. “Euronet has a long track record of ATM processing in many countries, and I think the new services that Euronet will offer in the UK can benefit all current and future LINK members.”

“We are excited by the opportunities that this certification has opened for Euronet,” said Michael Brown, Euronet Chairman and CEO. “The United Kingdom is an important market for us and promises to be very lucrative, both in terms of ATM operation and potentially ATM driving and transaction processing. I am proud of the dedicated effort made by Euronet staff to achieve this success.”

About Euronet Worldwide

Euronet Worldwide is an industry leader in providing secure electronic financial transaction solutions. The company offers financial payment middleware, financial network gateways, outsourcing and consulting services to financial institutions and mobile operators. These solutions enable their customers to access personal financial information and perform secure financial transactions — any time, any place. The company has processing centers located in the United States, Europe and Asia, and owns and operates the largest independent ATM network in Europe. Euronet was recently ranked number two on the Deloitte & Touche Technical Fast 500, a ranking of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America. With corporate headquarters in Leawood, Kansas, USA, and European headquarters in Budapest, Hungary, Euronet serves more than 200 clients in 60 countries. Visit our web site at www.euronetworldwide.com.

About LINK Interchange Network Limited

LINK is the UK’s cash machine network, based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and employs over 85 staff. Today, the LINK network, with connections to over 48 institutions, offers access to approximately 33,000 UK ATMs. LINK undertakes settlement of more than 120 million ATM transactions each month and over 4 million transactions per day for its 80 million cardholders. LINK is the only shared branded ATM network in the UK.



TX-based Alliance Data Systems has signed a six-year agreement to provide a full-service private label credit card program, along with transaction processing and bankcard settlement services, to branded gasoline supplier and convenience store retail operator Alon USA. Alliance Data will provide a comprehensive range of services to 1,600 FINA-branded stores located primarily in the Southwest. Services will include account acquisition and activation; card authorization and data capture; private label credit card issuance to nearly 190,000 customers; payment processing; statement generation; and customer service. Alon USA offers products and services under the ‘FINA’ brand.



A three month joint investigation, dubbed
“Project 7”, undertaken by the Peel Regional Police Fraud Bureau, the Ontario
Provincial Police Anti-Rackets Section and the Canadian Bankers Association,
in conjunction with Police Services in Durham Region, Windsor, Ottawa-Carleton
and Halton Region, along with the U.S. Secret Service, was concluded on July
6th, 2001.

The investigation is part of a continued commitment to the proactive
policing of criminal fraud groups operating across numerous policing
jurisdictions and a commitment amongst Police Services to work co-operatively.
The targeted groups were involved in common fraud schemes, including
credit/debit card “skimming” and counterfeiting, the theft of personal
identification data and, in one case, internet based fraud.

Over the course of the three months, six search warrants were executed
and eleven persons charged in three judicial jurisdictions with a total of
sixty-seven offences. Five of the persons charged were on bail awaiting trial
for similar offences when arrested. The investigation, coupled with the
seizure of five computers containing pirated data, served to identify retail
outlets across the Province, as the source location for the theft of personal
credit and debit card data. The retailers were in Mississauga, Toronto,
Burlington, Hamilton, Windsor, Ajax and Barrie. The total fraud loss, which
remains to be finalized, is expected to be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This investigation has however, saved an equal amount of money by recovering
pirated data before it could be encoded onto counterfeited debit/credit cards.

One of the persons charged, had been suspected of being involved in
internet based fraud. At the time of his arrest he was carrying $8,000 USD.
The money was traced to an American citizen in Pennsylvania who had responded
to a pitch he had received via the “net”. The fraud scheme commonly referred
to as the “Nigerian letter” entices persons to assist in secreting money out
of an African nation, most commonly Nigeria.

The public can assist Police and Financial Institutions in curbing
organized fraud by protecting their personal data, especially their debit card
PIN number and by being cautious in responding to any unsolicited messages
received through the “net”. If it sounds too good to be true it usually is.

For further information contact Detective Sergeant Rodrigues, Peel
Regional Police Fraud Bureau 905-453-2121 ext 7330 or Detective Inspector
Chivers, OPP Anti-Rackets 705-329-6400


Oberthur Nabs Grenoble

Oberthur Card Systems of America named Creighton Grenoble senior vice-president of development and systems to manage the development of the company’s next generation e-business infrastructure, smart card software engineering and data-processing services such as internet-based card management & e-fulfillment.

“Creighton is a valuable addition to the management team in the U.S. and will work closely with the product engineering and information technology teams worldwide to continue to grow our card business in the U.S.,” noted Philippe Tartavull, CEO for Oberthur Card Systems for the Americas. “His experience in implementing technology products and enterprise-wide infrastructure will generate new services for our customers and a solid return on investment for our advanced card products.”

A 16-year veteran, Grenoble’s career in technology systems development includes serving as E-Insurance Systems’ CTO where he led the development and rollout of a web based, application service provider (ASP) for the insurance industry.

Grenoble served as a senior manager at Deloitte & Touche, focusing on major e-business, systems integration and organizational transformation projects for a number of industries including financial services, insurance, high-tech manufacturing and medical services. He also led the systems and programming team at O’Melveny & Myers, a leading international law firm, with responsibility for delivering highly secure and reliable applications and network services.

Grenoble received his MBA from the University of Southern California and a B.S. degree in math and computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

About Oberthur Card Systems

Oberthur Card Systems (Paris Stock Exchange – Code SICOVAM 12413), a global leader and the innovator in the smart card industry, is shaping the future by offering the ultimate in SIM, WAP, 3G (IMT-2000/UMTS), e-wallet technologies & Internet-based card management services coupled with a firm commitment to open standards.

Championing EMV migration, Oberthur is the world’s #1 supplier of MasterCard and Visa cards, #1 in banking, e-commerce, m-commerce and pay-TV, Oberthur is also the #1 in JavaTM and GSM technologies.

Oberthur Card Systems has an international reach ensured by 30 sales offices and 20 manufacturing sites across the five continents. Oberthur Card Systems had sales of 451.1 million Euros in 2000.



Visa Canada announced Monday its first Canadian pilot of a hotel enhanced data service. The three-month
pilot will involve the Delta Centre-Ville in Montreal.

Electronic enhanced data helps corporations reduce expenses, increase
productivity and improve travel and entertainment expense management
processes. The Visa hotel folio service uses Extensible Markup Language (XML)
to capture, transmit and deliver detailed information beyond the basic data
usually contained in a standard payment transaction. With this service,
corporate travel managers can receive an electronic breakdown of virtually all
expenses charged to a room including telephone calls, in room service, mini-
bar, laundry, restaurant bills and taxes. Hotel folio data is a key component
of successful vendor management for corporate travel managers.

“Enhanced data really simplifies the travel management process which
inevitably, helps increase profitability for an organization,” said Joanne
Modugno, Senior Product Manager, Corporate Cards, Visa Canada. “This service
complements existing Visa best practices for organizations that use Commercial

The demand for electronic hotel folio data has grown exponentially.
Despite an increased focus on automation, most companies handle thousands of
paper documents as part of the expense management process with the majority of
business travelers collecting and submitting paper receipts and invoices. For
Visa Commercial Card users, electronic hotel folio data simplifies expense
reporting and improves internal processes. For hoteliers, electronic folio
data delivers a competitive advantage, increased profitability and value-added
services for corporate customers.

This Visa initiative is part of a global strategy to deliver hotel folio
data to companies in key markets around the world. Hotel related expenses
represent a significant portion of corporate travel budgets, and electronic
folio data will help companies manage this cost component efficiently. Visa
plans to expand the enhanced data program and is working on a broader rollout
of data-enabled properties by the end of this year.

As the “World’s Best Way To Pay”, Visa is the leading credit card payment
brand in Canada and around the world. There are more than 23.6 million Visa
cards accepted at more than 574,000 merchant locations across Canada. Visa
Canada plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies
to benefit its 26 Member financial institutions and their cardholders. In
Canada, Visa cards generated more than $93 billion in annual volume in 2000.
Visa-branded cards are accepted at over 650,000 ATM’s around the world.



The California Reinvestment Committee Monday called on Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to
respond to scores of letters criticizing Citigroup’s planned purchase of
Banamex and California Commerce Bank by holding public hearings in
Los Angeles. Monday was the last day for public comment and the Federal Reserve
has as yet been unresponsive to public comment. Citigroup has stated that it
will use the Banamex name to market to Latinos in the U.S. Community
organizations, public officials, and members of the public have written to the
Federal Reserve expressing concern that Citigroup will seek to extract high
profits from Latinos while reinvesting little back in Latino communities and
asked for an opportunity to be heard.

Citigroup and its subsidiaries have a pattern of targeting low income
communities with expensive, “sub-prime” products that offer little access to
less-expensive, conventional banking. For example

“This merger will allow Citigroup to continue its pattern of selling
products at high rates to Latinos and low income people while investing little
or nothing in their communities,” said Alan Fisher, Executive Director of the
California Reinvestment Committee. “CRC calls on the Federal Reserve Bank to
listen to the public and hold hearings in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Albuquerque
to review the purchase and the lack of commitment to reinvest in the needs of
Latinos, low income people and Mexicans.”

CRC is a statewide organization of more than 200 nonprofit organizations
and public agencies working for equal access to financial institutions for low
income people and people of color. CRC has comprehensive community
reinvestment agreements with major California banks and savings & loans.



HNC Software Inc. announced Monday a further agreement with HSBC Holdings plc, one of the largest financial service organizations in the world. As part of the new agreement, HSBC will further use HNC’s Falcon, the leading bank card fraud detection system, to bolster its already strong fraud detection systems to protect its credit and debit card account customers worldwide.

“We’re pleased to be amplifying our partnership with HSBC, a global banking powerhouse,” said John Mutch, chief executive officer of HNC Software.

“We chose to expand our relationship with HNC due to the considerable success Falcon has brought us in reducing fraud losses,” said Brendan Cook, who heads HSBC’s Group Cards businesses. “We now have Falcon deployed across four continents to protect our global cards business and we now wish to go even further to strengthen our defenses against fraud.”

Falcon, a neural network-based predictive software system that examines transaction, cardholder, and merchant data to detect a wide range of payment card fraud, currently protects more than 400 million payment card accounts worldwide. The system employs the world’s largest consortium of payment card transactions to accurately predict the likelihood of fraud. Eighty-five percent of all US credit card transactions, and 65 percent of all international credit card transactions flow through HNC’s predictive neural networks every day.

About HSBC

Headquartered in London and possessing assets of $674 billion (US) as of December 31, 2000, HSBC serves more than 25 million customers through its international network of 6,500 offices in 79 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa. With listings on the London, Hong Kong, and New York stock exchanges, shares in HSBC Holdings are held by some 190,000 shareholders in more than 100 countries and territories. Through a global network linked by advanced technology, HSBC provides a comprehensive range of financial services; personal, commercial, investment, and private banking; trade services; cash management; treasury and capital markets services; insurance; consumer and business finance; pension and investment fund management; trustee services; and securities and custody services.

About HNC Software Inc.

HNC Software is a leading provider of Customer Insight solutions including intelligent response, decision management, and customer analytics software that enables companies in the financial, telecommunications, e-commerce and insurance industries to acquire, manage and retain customers.