ICMA 2003

The International Card Manufacturers Association’s EXPO currently
being held this week in Vancouver announced it will hold next year’s event
in Cancun, Mexico. The “12th Annual Card Manufacturing EXPO” will be held
November 9 – November 12, 2003 at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach.
The EXPO will include a full conference program consisting of both
management and technical topics, and will feature an exhibition of
suppliers of card manufacturing and personalization equipment, materials,
components and services. The “Fifth Annual Global Market Survey” results
will be announced, which unveils how the card manufacturing industry has
grown or changed and reveals major trends for the future. Additionally, the
“Second Annual ICMA Spiritus Award” will be presented to an ICMA member
company that has implemented outstanding programs that have had significant
impact on society or their own community. The EXPO will conclude with the
“Final Night Awards Dinner” featuring the presentation of the “Seventh
Annual Elan Awards” for “Card Manufacturing Excellence” recognizing card
manufacturing achievement for both “Outstanding Card Design” and “Technical


Cubic Transportation Systems has completed delivery of a new intermodal
fare payment system to TransLink of Vancouver, for the new SkyTrain
“Millennium Line.” The system includes advanced touchscreen ticket vending
machines that issue a common magnetic farecard that is good across the
region’s rail, bus and ferry services. The machines are able to issue
instructions in six languages. The ‘Millennium Line’ is the extension to
the SkyTrain light rail system, which includes the existing Expo Line. In
early fall, Cubic will begin delivering additional ticketing machines that
will be installed across the Expo Line’s 21 stations. Each of the machines
is equipped with Cubic’s new “Tri-Reader” technology, which reads any one
of three types of smart cards, allowing TransLink the option of switching
from magnetic stripe to smart cards in the future.
The delivery was part of a US$18 million contract that Cubic received in
April, 2001, to develop the fare payment system. TransLink, which currently
is operational on more than 1,150 of the city’s nearly 1,270 buses.

Mini Card

The success of Discover’s “2GO Card” has prompted one major VISA issuer to respond with its own mini card. Bank of America confirmed this morning the launch of a mini VISA, about half the size of a regular credit or debit card that can be attached to a key chain. Bank of America will retain their exclusive rights to issuing the mini card for a one-year period. Following the first year, under a license from Bank of America, VISA member banks will be permitted to issue VISA-branded mini cards, for which Bank of America will receive royalty payments. The mini card, which is being offered as a companion to full-sized credit and debit cards (it will share the same account number), is initially being distributed to select existing BofA consumer credit cardholders. By the end of the month, current and future credit card customers of BofA will be able to request a mini card. Bank of America will initially make the mini card only available to credit card customers, with an introduction of a debit card version slated for the future. In March, Discover launched a unique oval shaped credit card. The Discover “2GO Card” is housed in a protective case that attaches to a key chain, belt, or money clip. Users simply rotate the card out of its case and swipe. According to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]) BofA has 22,394,554 cardholders at mid-year 2002. (CF Library 3/21/02)

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

Cardtronics ATMs

Houston-based Cardtronics says the acquisition of 1,200 ATMs from Diebold has boosted its nationwide network to more than 9,000 owned and/or managed ATMs, many of which are deployed in retail outlets of Amerada Hess, ConocoPhillips, Sunoco, Circle K Stores, ExxonMobil, Rite Aid and Uni-Mart. Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Houston, Texas, Cardtronics is the nation’s largest specialty provider of fully integrated Automated Teller Machine (ATM) products and services.

E-centives & Trilegiant

Bethesda, MD-based E-centives, Inc. announced it will provide its e-mail marketing system and infrastructure to certain of Trilegiant Loyalty Solutions’ client base of companies which includes top credit card issuers. Trilegiant Loyalty Solutions offers three product lines: loyalty, convenience and protection. From private-label, customizable rewards programs to time- and money-saving products to peace of mind benefits, Trilegiant Loyalty Solutions provides solutions to over 175 clients in diverse industries.


VendTek Systems Inc. reported a net loss of $301,000 for the quarter
ending July 31, compared to a net gain o $11,000 for the year ago quarter.
Over the past nine months VendTek’s net loss has increased $173,000 to
$777,000, compared to net loss of $604,000 in 2001. The company says the
loss continues to reflect the lower capital spending by its traditional
customers. Revenues for the past nine mnths were $1,042,000 compared to
$4,209,000 in 2001. VendTek projects over the next 2 quarters that new
licensing revenues from its “e-Fresh” projects to start replacing the
previous legacy product based manufacturing revenues. When realized these
new revenues should mark the successful transition of its business into a
more profitable licensing based model.

I-Gambling Block

The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to require banks and other financial services firms to block payments to Internet gambling concerns. The legislation also requires Internet providers to remove advertisements and links to offshore Internet casinos. The bill also increased penalties from two years to five years. Many large credit card issuers, such as Citibank, Bank of America, Fleet, Direct Merchants Bank, MBNA, and Chase Manhattan Bank have already begun to block Internet gambling transactions. PayPal recently announced it will discontinue its payment services to online gambling merchants. London-based Sportingbet.com says 30% of its American customers use credit cards to place bets on Web casinos. There are upwards of 2,000 offshore gambling Internet destinations. Meanwhile, a recent study found that Internet gambling companies could see their growth potential cut in half over the next year as major credit card issuers refuse to accept online gambling transactions. The Bear Stearns study projects that growth rates in the industry could be sliced next year, from 43% to 20%, or to roughly $4.2 billion in total industry-wide revenues. Bear Stearns says credit card transactions are the life blood of Internet gambling and without them it will force such firms to shift to international markets and may possibly set off a wave of consolidation. (CF Library 6/24/02; 6/27/02)

Contactless Access Cards White Paper

Smart Card Alliance this week released a white paper titled: “Contactless Technology for Secure Physical Access: Technology and Standards Choices”. The use of contactless technologies is particularly attractive for secure physical access, where the ID credential and reader must often work in harsh operating conditions, with a high volume of use or with a high degree of user convenience.


Oberthur reported this morning that its net loss for the first half of
this year reached 20.7 million euro compared to a net profit of 200,000
euros one year ago. The smart card manufacturer says profits were affected
by variations in exchange rates (2.2 million euros) and the impact of a
declining stock price on shares owned by the company (2.5 million euros).
However sales revenues were only down 4.7% from 228.2 million euros in the
first half of 2001 versus 217.8 million euros for the first half of this
year. The company noted it has reduced its net debt by 18 million euros
since the first of this year and will cut another 300 jobs. Oberthur says
payment card activity increased by 3% during the first half of 2002, with a
considerable increase in microprocessor cards and personalisation services,
compensating for the slowdown observed in the magnetic cards market. This
segment now represents 52% of the company’s sales revenues, compared with
48% in the first half of 2001.

InteleTech & CashMover

FL-based InteleTech Corporation has acquired CashMover, Inc. and is moving forward with its “InstaBanc” prepaid debit/value-added card. InstaBanc can now combine the services of an ATM Card, retail purchase card, loyalty card, security card, phone card, bill payment, and money transmittal services to make Stored Value Cards with real value for the medium and low income market.

Aria Returns

Providian has resurrected its “Aria” credit card brand. In solicitations hitting mail boxes over the past six weeks, Providian is offering the “Aria VISA Platinum” with credit limits as low as $250. In May 1999, Providian launched its “Aria” Internet card brand in response to NextCard. The “Aria” card was part of Providian’s e-commerce intiative which also included GetSmart.com. In February 1995, Providian acquired the WebCard VISA portfolio from H&R Block and GetSmart.com from a group of private investors. According to CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]), the new and improved card is offering a 12 month 0% interest rate on purchases and a fixed 9.9% APR on balance transfers. The go-to APR on purchases is a fixed 9.99%. Providian also charges a default rate up to 24.99% and a $35 fee for late payments and over-limits. (CF Library 5/17/99; 11/10/99)

[1]: http://www.cardwatch.com