3-in-1 Installs

The Las Vegas Hilton and ten other properties have installed 3-in-1 Casino Cash Plus, a technologically advanced financial transaction innovation from Global Cash Access (GCA), the leading provider of cash access services to the gaming industry, and its partner, Bank of America. The 3-in-1 Casino Cash Plus product offers integrated ATM, credit and debit card transaction capability at a single location, providing added speed and convenience for patrons and diminished labor costs for the gaming property. Historically offered only in Las Vegas, GCA’s 3-in-1 Casino Cash Plus has recently been made available to gaming properties nationwide.

Gaming properties that have recently added 3-in-1 Casino Cash Plus include:

— Golden Nugget Laughlin – Laughlin, Nev.

— Hyatt Tahoe – Incline Village, Nev.

— Las Vegas Hilton – Las Vegas, Nev.

— Magic Star Casino – Henderson, Nev.

— Palace Station – Las Vegas, Nev.

— Players Island Casino – St. Louis, Mo.

— Pueblo Greyhound Park – Pueblo, Col.

— Rio Casino – Las Vegas, Nev.

— Riverside Laughlin – Laughlin, Nev.

— Sahara Casino – Las Vegas, Nev.

— Sky City Casino – Acoma, N.M.

“The convenience and speed of 3-in-1 Casino Cash Plus(R) have made a significant impact on our customers’ transaction numbers, with a 20 percent increase in debit card volumes, as well as increases in credit card cash advances,” said Kirk E. Sanford, GCA’s chief executive officer. “It also frees casino personnel to spend more time meeting other customer needs. “Our technology lets patrons quickly perform any one or more of these transactions and provides them with options to continue their gaming entertainment,” he said.

Global Cash Access was formed in 1998 through a joint venture of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), First Data Corporation (NYSE:FDC) and USA Processing, Inc. The company provides a full range of electronic funds transfer and other services to more than 1,200 gaming properties nationwide.

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Top 25 – 1Q/99

Citibank bumps Bank One, Capital One nudges past Household, and Wachovia blows past US Bancorp during the first quarter. According to CardData, the top 25 bank credit card issuers accounted for $396.7 billion of the nation’s total 1Q/99 bank card receivables of $447.5 billion. 1Q/99 financial data for more than 350 top issuers is available via CardData (www.carddata.com)

TOP 25 1Q/99 (ranked by receivables)

1. Citibank $69.4b 14. US Bancorp $6.0b
2. Bank One $68.2b 15. Associates $5.8b
3. MBNA $56.2b 16. First Union $5.2b
4. Discover $32.1b 17. Direct Merchants $5.1b
5. Chase $31.4b 18. USAA $3.7b
6. BofA $20.7b 19. People’s $3.6b
7. Fleet $14.1b 20. Frst Natl NE $3.2b
8. Cap One $13.9b 21. Natl City $2.0b
9. Household $13.0b 22. Partners Frst $1.9b
10. Providian $12.7b 23. KeyCorp $1.3b
11. AmEx Optima $10.2b 24. Firstar $1.3b
12. Wells Fargo $7.9b 25. HSBC $1.2b
13. Wachovia $6.6b

chart excludes GE Capital and First North American National-both firms do
not release data

Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Pilot Payment

Yesterday in London, Visa International, Nokia and MeritaNordbanken Group announced the start of a pilot whereby wireless application technology and mobile phone will be used to make payments over the internet or at the merchant point of sale. Using a Nokia 7110 dual-band GSM phone, users will be able to pay securely over the Internet and at merchant point of sale as well as securely download applications to an EMV compliant bankcard. The phones are equipped with an additional “plug in” small size card providing Visa payment services to MeritaNordbanken Group customers. The pilot involves mobile payment functions using the WAP and Bluetooth technology. End-to-end security will be provided by WAP and a SET enabled bankcard.

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Student Cards

While most card issuers charge an annual interest rate of 17.00% for student credit cards there are a number of lower priced offers by major issuers. CardTrak (cardtrak.com) expanded its consumer service this month with a student card listing. The chart is available in the hardcopy edition as well as the online edition of CardTrak. An expanded consumer report on student cards will be available next week for $10 per copy. The executive version of the student card report will be released June 15 and is available for $499. For more information: 301-631-9100.

BEST STUDENT CARDS
(nationally available cards)
STUDENT ISSUER APR FEE
USAA College Start 11.65% None
Commerce bank Advantage Card 13.35% None
BankAmericard 13.74% None
American Express 15.65% None
First Tennessee 15.90% None

SOURCE: CardTrak (www.cardtrak.com or 800-344-7714)

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Datastrip Barcode

Datastrip has released a new version of its 2D barcode which is capable of storing over 2kbytes of machine-readable text, image, or binary data, on a compact strip that can be printed on plastic cards or documents. This capacity is more than enough to store multiple biometric records – plus high quality photo images and text – allowing organisations to implement highly secure identification (ID) systems at a fraction of the cost of other technologies.

Called 2D Superscript, Datastrip’s unique new implementation of this technology provides 10-30 times more capacity than the typical magnetic stripe card, and comparable capacity to many chip-based cards – at virtually zero cost.

The storage capacity of the new Datastrip portable database is enough to accommodate all common biometric techniques including fingerprint, signature, facial, and iris characteristics. With an average size of biometric templates of 500 bytes or less, a Datastrip ID card can even store multiple or ‘layered’ biometrics in conjunction with text and high quality photographic images, providing the means to implement highly sophisticated ID schemes. For example, biometric verification can be used to authorise banking transactions, building access, and the distribution of government benefits. Storage of biometrics on a portable medium, such as a PVC card, additionally allows ID systems to operate in off-line modes, safeguarding privacy and the freedom of the individual.

Another potential application of Datastrip’s 2D Superscript technology is in automated document handling. A compact Datastrip can be printed onto documents at extremely low cost. With around 1kbytes/inch2 (160 bytes/cm2) available, the Datastrip code provides the capacity to store large volumes of data within a small space, making it an economical means of automating data storage and retrieval. This reduces the cost of processing major paper-based records such as driver’s licences, vehicle registration documentation, and bills of lading.

The new coding scheme incorporates extensive Reed-Solomon error correction as standard – enough to support up to 50% data destruction – assuring high reliability over the lifespan of card or document systems. When printed in the form of a 3 x 5/8 inch (76×16 mm) strip on a standard CR-80 card for example, over 2kbytes is free for application data storage. If required, as many as four strips may be printed on a standard plastic card, providing a total capacity in excess of 8kbytes.

Datastrip’s 2D barcode system is particularly applicable to ID applications. Many of its built-in security features can be customised for individual applications. The coding algorithm is not in the public domain and may be post-processed to ensure that the same data results in different printed codes – making it extremely difficult to copy or decipher.

Datastrip’s Unique ID feature supports the establishment of a closed network, supported by specifically authorised readers. Furthermore, data may be stored in modular fields making it easy to create multi-application cards. And each field may be assigned different security levels, further structuring record access and protecting users’ privacy. For highly sensitive applications, data may also be encrypted.

Datastrip codes can be produced using a variety of popular and economic card and code generation systems including Quik Works from Datacard, FreezeFrame from ESP-Systex, FoxID32 from Fox Technology, Mosaic from NBS Technologies and Polaroid’s ID Card Maker from Imaging Technology Corporation.

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Providian Lawsuit

The law firm of Girard & Green announced this weekend that a class action lawsuit has been filed in the San Francisco Superior Court on behalf of all persons who were holders of credit cards issued by Providian Bank. The complaint alleges that, Providian engaged in deceptive, unfair and oppressive business practices directed at their credit cardholders. Some of the practices include failing to post payments received from cardholders in a timely fashion. Imposing unauthorized charges for credit protection and other services. Failing to respond to cardholder complaints, correct overcharges and remove improper charges assessed to cardholders.

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SureServer

Wells Fargo & Co. and GTE CyberTrust announced this morning a new service to provide secure e-commerce transactions. The new service ‘SureServer’ will utilize digital certificates so that business can be securely conducted over the Internet. Customers will use Wells Fargo’s ‘SureServer’ certificates to authenticate their identity, thus assuring both parties that on-line transactions are legitimate and secure. When customers see the ‘SureServer’ seal on the merchant’s website, they can click on logo and see a copy of the certificate, with validated merchant information. The certificates will be available to both current Wells Fargo merchant account holders as well as non-Wells Fargo merchants starting June 1st .

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Price Chopper

Hypercom announced late last week that Price Chopper Supermarkets is purchasing Hypercom’s touch screen, multi-lane ‘ICE’ (Interactive Consumer Environment) payment terminal system and controller application packages. Hypercom’s ICE multi-lane payment terminal system supports traditional electronic payment functions and new applications such as signature capture, loyalty programs, check truncation, stored value and, most importantly, e-commerce. Hypercom’s ‘ICE’ solution is specifically designed to meet the needs of the multi-lane payment terminal and systems market, which includes the top 100 US and selected global retailers, including supermarkets, department stores and mass merchandisers.

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Right Relationship

Friday Chase Manhattan and Foote Cone & Belding announced the launch of a new global brand campaign. The campaign notes the brand difference of Chase using the tagline: ‘The Right Relationship is Everything’. The campaign began Sunday and appears in various newspapers and magazines today. All the ads will look similar and will convey the theme that relationships between people are the same throughout the world.

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