Electrical retailer Comet Group has chosen Dione’s “Xtreme” payment terminal and PIN pad as part of its “Chip & PIN” implementation program. Installation will take place between May and July equipping over 245 stores with 2,200 “Xtreme” terminals each linked to an IBM EPoS using “Retail Logic” software. The popular “Xtreme” handset has already become the most widely deployed PIN pad in the UK, connecting to existing EPoS systems and EFTPoS devices and operating both as an EMV level 1 card reader and PIN pad. Compact and comfortable in the hand, it can read magstripe and chip cards, is fully PIN enabled and approved to the VISA PED (offline PIN) standard. Dione has a unique range of EMV solutions and is currently involved in over 50 “Chip & PIN” implementation program throughout the UK. Comet has more than 245 stores throughout the UK.
Atlanta-based NOVA Information Systems announced that all Shift4 merchants, POS vendors and VARs, including Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and JFK International Airport, previously connecting to NOVA via dial-up have been successfully migrated to a direct high-speed connection, cutting average authorization transaction times to less than 3 seconds on the new interface. Shift4’s community of more than 75 POS vendors and VARs serving the restaurant, lodging and hospitality markets now have access to the NOVA Network, rated number one in speed and reliability by MasterCard. NOVA Information Systems, a leader in the payment processing industry, is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. Shift4, a leading developer of financial transaction processing software and services, provides web-based, real-time enterprise payment solutions for leaders in the hospitality, retail, foodservices and e-commerce markets.
UTI Bank has placed a minimum order for 600 ATMs from Diebold including turnkey auxiliary services such as site preparation, ATM managed services and ATM upgrades on a contract
basis. It is Diebold’s third consecutive order from UTI Bank. Diebold ATMs now comprise 85% of the 1,250 ATMs owned by UTI. In addition to providing 600 new ATMs, Diebold Systems will also upgrade UTI Bank’s existing ATMs to the new “EPP4.0” standards. The company also secured a managed services contract from UTI Bank for remote electronic journaling and content distribution for the bank’s current
and new ATMs. The electronic journal solution will provide daily uploads of data to the central server online. The managed services contract also encompasses remote content distribution
for services such as delivering new screens and icons to ATMs in the network, as well as managing deployment of these services from the central server instead of service engineers working manually at the ATM.
While account/card growth in off-line or signature debit card volume has leveled-off at the 11%-12% level, card activity has been running at nearly twice the pace, between 19% and 22%. Furthermore, the number of VISA and MasterCard signature debit cards surpassed the 200 million mark during the first quarter. During the first three months of this year, VISA and MasterCard processed $104.6 billion in purchase volume, compared to $85.4 billion one-year ago. Gross transactions for the first quarter increased 19% to 3.2 billion. Overall, gross dollar volume increased 19% to $154.2 billion. At the end of the first quarter, there were 203.1 million VISA- and MasterCard- branded signature debit cards in circulation in the USA, linked to 161.5 million accounts, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). Based on gross dollar volume, VISA’s share of the off-line debit card market is a solid 80%. For complete current and historical statistics on the U.S. debit card market visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
U.S. SIGNATURE DEBIT SNAPSHOT
1Q/03 1Q/04 Y/Y CHANGE
Gross Volume $129.6b $154.2b +19%
Purchase Volume $ 85.4b $104.6b +22%
Gross Transactions 2.7b 3.2b +19%
Total Accounts 144.6mm 161.5mm +11%
Total Cards 183.1mm 203.1mm +12%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Dublin-based Research and Markets predicts the total global estate of ATMs will reach 1.54 million by 2007. Total ATMs reached 1.142 million by the end of 2001. Of these, 345,000 were located in the USA, a number that exceeded the machine populations of every other region. For example, outside Japan, the populous and economically dynamic Asia-Pacific region still had fewer than 200,000 machines in operation.
The latest Research and Markets report on “Self-Service Banking and ATMs in the 21st Century” looks at the development of the industry and gives you a complete guide to the worldwide market and pays particular attention to developments in the USA, Asia-Pacific, Western and Eastern Europe and Africa. There are also chapters on the kiosk and ATM marketing that are heavily orientated towards the role that this self-service equipment. Case studies include: Arab National Bank; AutoBank E, South Africa; Barclays Group; DBS Banking Group, Singapore; Euronet Worldwide; HBOS; IBM UK; LINK Interchange Network; Moneybox, UK;
Nationwide Building Society; Piraeus Bank Group, Greece; and, Travelex Group.
For the second consecutive year Working Mother magazine has named American Express to its short list of “Best Companies for Women of Color.” American Express’ diversity efforts are led by the company-wide Diversity Council, which is made up of global senior leaders who set overall diversity vision and policy and manage best practices. American Express Company () is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. Working Mother is the latest publication to acknowledge the company’s efforts to value diversity and provide a quality and supportive work environment.
Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions has inked a credit card/debit card/EBT processing contract with CVS/pharmacy for its 4,100 stores. Credit card transactions converted in April and debit card and electronic benefits transfer processing services are planned for conversion before yearend. In addition, the company will take advantage of Fifth Third’s Internet-based back-office management system, Fifth Third Direct. Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions processes over nine billion ATM and POS transactions per year for more than 200,000 retail locations and 1,550 financial institutions worldwide, including The Kroger Co., AutoZone, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nordstrom, Inc. and The Finish Line.
Xign Corporation has promoted Jim Lucier as VP/Corporate Alliances, overseeing all aspects of partnership activities including sales channel development, co-marketing relationships and product management, including the “Xign Payment Services Network”. Lucier brings to Xign more than ten years of operating experience in alliances, project management, sales and business development. Prior to joining Xign, he was senior vice president and general manager for west coast operations at Etensity, a leading e-business professional services firm. Xign Corporation is the leading provider of Enterprise Order to Pay software and services used for B2B commerce.
Since surpassing the C$2.0 billion in credit card outstandings milestone in the second quarter of last year, Canadian Tire Financial Services reported that card loans were up 26% year-on-year to C$2.4 billion for the first quarter of this year, and up 64% since the first quarter of 2002. More than 95% of CTFS’ card portfolio is now comprised of “Options MasterCard” accounts. Financial Services’ goal for 2004 is to achieve gross ending credit charge receivables of C$2.8 billion. CTFS reports it had C$27 million in adjusted earnings before income taxes for the first quarter, a 22.6% increase over 1Q/03. CTFS says that increasing average balances represents the most significant opportunity to improve Financial Services’ earnings this year. The industry average balance at the end of 2003 for standard bank credit cards was C$1,875. The average CTFS balance is running at C$1,350 for the first quarter of 2004, compared with C$1,098 for the first quarter of 2003, and C$832 for the first quarter of 2002. In the first quarter of 2004, the average number of credit card accounts with a balance increased by 2.4% and average balances per account were 23% higher compared with the same period of 2003.
The European Commission this week announced that VISA International and MasterCard International have agreed to publish multilateral interchange fees paid transactions in Europe. The EU says the move is intended to enhance retailers’ ability to negotiate the fees with the banks that are part of the VISA and MasterCard card systems, according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International (www.cardflashinternational.com.) In accordance with the Commission’s decision of July 24th 2002, VISA had already allowed its member banks to reveal information about the “MIF” levels for consumer cards and the relative percentage of the cost categories composing the benchmark, at which the “MIF” has to be capped. However, merchants have repeatedly complained to the Commission that their banks are reluctant to give full information on the “MIF,” although VISA allowed them to do so. VISA has now published the “MIF” for consumer cards and the weight of the relevant costs components on its website. MasterCard Europe offered to publish on its website some of its “MIFs” and, for some cards, the relative weight of the cost elements composing these fees, and recently confirmed to the Commission its intention to do so. The EC says it will continue to monitor how VISA complies with its commitments under the exemption decision. The Commission is also investigating MasterCard’s rules and agreements, in particular those on the “MIF.”
VISA EU Intra-regional Interchange Reimbursement Fees
(Effective 4 April 2004)
Interchange fees Credit & deferred debit Immediate Debit
Electronic Authorisation Rate (EA)* 0.75% EUR 0.27
Secure Electronic Commerce Fee
(Fully Authenticated) 0.75% EUR 0.27
Secure Electronic Commerce Fee
(Non-Authenticated Security transaction) 0.75% EUR 0.27
Electronic Data Capture Rate (EDC)* 0.90% EUR 0.27
Card Not Present Rate (?CNP?) 0.90% EUR 0.29
Card Not Present (CVV2) 0.80% EUR 0.29
Airline Reimbursement Fee* 1.00% n/a
Non-Electronic 1.20% EUR 0.30
Wal-Mart this week announced it is now offering a cut-rate check cashing service in 44 states, with licensing pending in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Nevada, New York and Rhode Island. The retailer is charging a flat $3.00 fee to cash pre-printed payroll or government-issued checks up to $1,000. In states where the law requires a percentage based fee, then the maximum fee is $3.00. Wal-Mart’s currently offers its more than one million associates free cashing of their Wal-Mart paychecks. The retailer says its research shows check cashing outlets charge between $5.00 and $15.00 to cash a typical $500 check. Last week, Wal-Mart announced it will charge a flat fee of $9.46 for all amounts up to $500 with a competitive exchange rate for money transfers to Mexico. The retailer says their fee represents a 40%+ savings over competitors. Wal-Mart also announced that family members who pick up their money at Wal-Mart, Bodega Aurrera, Superama and Suburbia locations in Mexico from now through June 3 will also receive a 40-peso in-store certificate. Additionally, senders will receive a complimentary three-minute phone call to notify family members that the money is on the way. Wal-Mart uses Viad’s “MoneyGram” service for the money transfer service.
VA-based Intersections Inc., a major third-party provider of identity theft protection and credit management services to credit card issuers, reported first quarter revenues of $38.2 million, an 8.3% increase over the year-ago period. Subscription revenue increased 27% to $37.3 million for the quarter and the total number of subscribers increased to more than 2.4 million compared to 1.8 million at the end of 1Q/03. Revenue generated from indirect marketing arrangements represented 37.5% of total subscription revenue compared to 24% for the comparable period of 2003. Subscribers from indirect marketing arrangements represented 55% of total subscribers, compared to 43% of total subscribers one-year ago. The Company reported that it signed up about 600,000 new subscribers during the first quarter and lost 438,000 subscribers. About 150,000 cancelled within the first 90 days of their subscription and 288,000 cancelled after the first 90 days of their subscription. For complete details on Intersections’ first quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).