SVPCo Image Exchange

The Small Value Payments Company said yesterday that in early 2004 it will begin an “Image Exchange” on behalf of its 23 participant banks which represent over 50% of U.S. commercial bank deposits. The project is underway, with the first phase of using image to expedite returns processing available next year.

CHIP-PORT

ID Data has launched “ChipPort,” is a distribution channel for
applications and card solutions enabling users to access products that are
already approved and certified by the major card schemes.
The company says its new “ChipPort is a survival kit that puts commercial
power back in the hands of independent card manufacturers which face
numerous threats from larger players. The solution saves the costs and
delays in gaining accreditation for products and services. ChipPort, a
subsidiary of ID Data was founded in October 2001.

Taxi Terminals

Canada’s Mobile Knowledge has signed a key contract with west coast based Taxi Equipment Company to equip 350 of the 1150 vehicles with MK’s new “Series 6000” in-vehicle data terminals which provided payment card options to riders. The equipment will be shipped in the current and next quarters.

WESTPAC PROCESSING

Westpac Banking has signed a multi-year contract with First Data for
credit card and merchant processing services. First Data will deliver card
and merchant processing services to Westpac in phases from October until
all implementations are completed in the last quarter of 2003. First Data
has provided Westpac with a range of ATM, EFTPOS and merchant processing
services since 1990. This major contract extends and enhances the existing
long-term relationship. Westpac is the second largest issuer of credit
cards in Australia and New Zealand. Last year, First Data handled more than
700 million banking transactions on behalf of its clients in Australia.

BNA CERTIFICATION

Toronto-based BNA Smart Payment Systems has achieved “Class B”
certification to process retail transactions for credit, debit and EBT card
payments through Vital Processing Services’ authorization network. The
certification is unique in that the application was developed in standard
Java language. Most payment applications are developed in either
proprietary or dated languages. Also noteworthy, the application runs on a
Banksys terminal, which features more current technology than the old style
“gray box.” The terminal has value-add features including Ethernet
communications cards, WAP browser for Internet access and smart card
compliance features like EMV. The terminal and application reads standard
ABA magnetic strip cards and ISO standard smart cards.

PAYWARE PREPAY

Ireland-based Trintech Group has formed partnerships with a number of
electronic prepay solutions companies and Netzwerkbetreiber to offer its
“PayWare PrePay” terminal solution in Germany. The companies include:
Alphyra; Brodos; Cardmaxx; Electronic Payment Systems; and Trendy Cash.
Trintech’s “PayWare PrePay” is designed to replace costly paper-based
top-up vouchers for prepay phones with a solution that enables merchants to
print PIN codes from the terminal, or directly replenish the phone without
the need for PIN codes by way of a direct link to the mobile operator.
Trintech’s “PrePay” software is designed to work on a range of Trintech POS
devices, including the popular “Compact 9000i” range. The solution has also
been certified by T-Mobil, Germany’s largest mobile operator, for the
eTopUp of its customers in Germany.

VISA Signature Gold

After upgrading its co-branded “United Mileage Plus VISA” card to the “Signature Platinum” level last year, Bank One/First USA has now added a “Gold” version. The new “United Mileage Plus Gold Class VISA” with “VISA Signature” benefits, offers no pre-spending limit, enabling cardholders to exceed their established credit lines based on payment activity. Other benefits include two miles for every dollar charged on United purchases; one mile for every dollar charged on all other purchases; one mile for every two dollars in balances transferred and convenience checks written (up to 10,000 miles per year); and 2,500 “Anniversary Bonus Miles.” In June, Bank One/First USA introduced a business card version of the program which enables business owners to accrue up to 150,000 air miles per year from all card purchases, including those made to employee cards. In November 2001, First USA and United first introduced the “VISA Signature” version of the “Mileage Plus VISA” card. United’s “Mileage Plus” program has more than 40 million enrolled members, with about four million cardholders in its VISA co-branded program. (CF Library 11/29/01; 6/13/02; 8/29/02)

UNIX Processing

GA-based CoreCard Software has inked a deal to be the exclusive distributor of RS2’s UNIX-based “BankWORKS” integrated e-payment processing solution in the Americas including Latin America. CoreCard will provide consulting, implementation and other support services for the “BankWORKS” solution in these markets. “BankWORKS” supports all aspects of card issuing and acquiring services. It is built on an open architecture and supports smart cards, e-Commerce, Internet and Mobile-Banking. “BankWORKS” products are installed at over 80 locations in more than 30 countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Asia. CoreCard is a PaySys International spin-off with Intelligent Systems Corporation as its largest investor.

M-VT101

Epson has unveiled a new thermal card printer which provides retailers with a way to print individual pre-paid long distance and cellular cards on inexpensive blank media. The new “M-VT101” is also suitable for customer loyalty and frequent-buyer programs, gift cards, promotional offers, coupons, membership cards, event tickets, and temporary photo ID cards. Printing thermal cards on demand costs approximately two cents per card versus 20-25 cents each for plastic cards. The “M-VT101” has an estimated lifetime of 100,000 printed cards.