Diversinet has Acquired Caradas

Toronto-based Diversinet has acquired Caradas, in an all-stock transaction. The acquisition of Caradas and its digital identity and
authentication management technology broadens the Diversinet skill set, gives the company a deeper knowledge of financial applications and provides established relationships with important financial customers, including VISA, MasterCard, Fleet Bank, First National Bank Omaha, and other institutions. Caradas also operates Caradas Labs, an independent test facility, providing functional, security, and standards testing services to the financial services industry. Caradas, founded in 2001, has annual revenues of approximately US$4 million and is currently profitable.

WinCo Stores Deploy Precidia Technologies’ EtherDial

Ottawa-based Precidia Technologies has deployed its unique “EtherDial” product in 35 WinCo stores, connecting ATMs to the store’s Ethernet LAN. The “EtherDial” allowed WinCo to eliminate its dependence on dial lines for ATM transaction processing. The “EtherDial,” like the other products in Precidia’s line, features value-added management capabilities such as an SNMP agent, an embedded Web server for log and status pages, and remote configurability. WinCo has stores in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California and Oregon.

Optimal Robotics is Buying All of the Assets of Montreal’s RBA

Optimal Robotics has signed an agreement for the purchase of substantially all of the assets of Canada’s largest independent service company. Headquartered in Montreal, RBA is the largest independent Canadian provider of multi-vendor hardware maintenance outsourcing services, with over 350,000 sites being serviced and annual revenues of approximately CDN$41.0 million. RBA delivers its maintenance services through various business segments, including Interac/Credit Card POS systems, Video Lottery and Bring-In Centers. RBA provides its services through a network of approximately 35 branches and 550 employees.

Points International and American Airlines Expand Deal

Toronto-based Points International announced a comprehensive agreement with American Airlines. The agreement builds upon an existing relationship through which Points has developed a growing suite of solutions to enhance the “AAdvantage” program and extends a number of existing short-term agreements through December 31, 2007, including those for “pointsxchange,” “pointspurchase,” and “pointstransfer.” In addition, Points and American Airlines will jointly commit to co-market loyalty offerings to millions of “AAdvantage” members over the next
five years.

MasterCard Offers Canadians a Free Equifax Credit Report

MasterCard Canada this week launched “Credit Report Week” and is offering Canadians an Equifax credit report at no charge. The special offer will end Sunday, September 14th at 11:59 p.m. Under Canadian law, Canadians are entitled to see the information that Equifax Canada or TransUnion Canada has about them. Basic credit reports are always available free by mail or in-person from both credit agencies. Online credit reports, however, are available for a fee. For example, Equifax Canada’s online report costs $14.50. MasterCard is limiting the fee offer to the first 10,000 consumers through the Be Credit Wise credit education center at www.mastercard.ca/creditwise.

CIBC Extends E-mail Money Transfer to Charitable Donations

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and CIBC are extending E-mail money transfer to include charitable donations. CIBC will donate $1.50 to CBCF for every Email Money Transfer donated by a CIBC customer. Last year, four of Canada’s Big Five banks launched Email Money Transfers as a way for Canadians to send money to each other directly out of their bank accounts and using only an email address. The annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation “CIBC Run for the Cure” is the largest single-day fundraising event in Canada dedicated to breast cancer and will be held this year on October 5, in 36 communities across the country.

CIBC AVENTURA VISA

CIBC has launched a card offering amazing lifestyle experiences and unforgettable travel rewards. The new “CIBC Aventura Gold VISA” is targeted at “Generation X” and “Baby Boomers” offering everything from flying a “MIG 25 Supersonic Interceptor” to a run on Canada’s only Olympic bobsled track. Customers earn one “Aventura Point” for every $1 spent on the card. They also earn “Double Aventura Points” when they use their card to dine, golf, or stay at one of the participating “Advantex Benefit” establishments throughout North America. Points can be redeemed in four categories: “Aventura Lifestyle Rewards,” “Aventura Airline Travel Rewards,” “Aventura Flexible Travel” and the option to convert to “Aeroplan Miles.” The card carries an annual fee of $120 and an annual percentage rate of 19.5%. The “CIBC Aventura Gold VISA” card will be supported with an extensive national marketing campaign, including special events, direct mail and media.

HN Financial Migrates to Keycorp’s K23 Platform

HN Financial, a division of Hospitality Network and subsidiary of Saskatchewan Crown communications company SaskTel, has committed to Keycorp’s “K23” platform for deployment with merchants across Canada. HN Financial has already ordered 200 K23s and is actively promoting the Keycorp platform as its flagship POS terminal solution. HN Financial offers merchants the opportunity to use the POS terminals to generate revenue by charging their customers a service fee or a surcharge per debit transaction. Keycorp Canada, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of Keycorp Limited based in Chatswood, Australia.

GE Mortgage and Equifax Canada Team to Offer Credit Score Access

GE Mortgage Insurance and Equifax Canada have signed a deal to enable Canadians to get personalized credit reports and scores online at GE Mortgage Insurance Canada’s Web site. GE Mortgage Insurance also announced that consumers who hold GE-insured mortgages through participating lenders have access to Equifax’s online credit reports and credit scores at a 15% discount as part of GE’s “Homebuyer
Privileges Program.”

First InSight Report Shows Students Drive Social Spending

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College released a report that shows first-year college
and university students are a powerful and highly influential group to be reckoned with. On average, today’s college- and university-bound students have at least one credit card, and 40% report carrying debt on these cards. These students spend about $500 per month on fast food and clothes, and they drive household spending. Dubbed the “double cohort” generation, the majority of these students were born in 1984 or 1985 and they make up part of the 1.7 million students (5% of the nation’s population) who are enrolled in courses leading to degrees, diplomas or certificates at public colleges and universities throughout Canada.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Selects Chordiant Software

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has selected Chordiant Software to furnish its customer service processing for its “Card Products Division.” Chordiant’s system automates and manages key business processes from the initial point of customer contact through to the various back-office systems, contact center agents will be provided with real time information from a variety of different sources. Furthermore, the integration of Chordiant “Enterprise Contact Center” with CIBC’s deployment of Chordiant “Marketing Director” will allow marketing campaigns to be directly connected with the contact centers that execute them.

Hudson’s Bay Company’s Store Card Balances Up 18.5% for 2Q/03

Toronto-based Hudson’s Bay Company reported that credit card receivables for the second quarter of $460.3 million were $71.7 million or 18.5% above 2Q/02’s receivable balance of $388.6 million. The retailer also reported there were 2.8 million active Hbc customer credit card accounts at the end of the second quarter, including 1.4 million “Bay” cardholders and 1.4 million “Zellers” cardholders. During the second quarter, the number of charge-off accounts increased by 2.0%. Of the dollars charged-off, the value of bankrupt accounts increased from last year by $2.1 million. Net bad debt expense in Q2 2003 of $24.0 million was $5.2 million higher than the 2Q/02 level of $18.8 million, reflecting mainly the higher gross write-off levels. For the second quarter, Hbc reported an average balance per active account of $463, a 10.7% increase over last year. The average volume per account was $382, an 11.8% increase.