Carlson Marketing Group Canada and Intersections have teamed to launch a new service to give Canadians enhanced access to the two major credit bureaus in the country. “Credit Alert” will be offered to credit card-holding customers of several of major credit card issuers in Canada. The service’s features include: a one-bureau Credit Report with detailed credit history; a one-bureau Credit Score with easy-to-understand explanations; quarterly credit updates, including updated credit score; “Notify Express” two-bureau monitoring and notification of credit report activity every business day; access to credit education specialists and the consumer fraud resource center; ability to access credit information online; and, access to online educational resources.
Toronto-based Oasis Technology posted its third consecutive profitable quarter for the period ending June 30th. The quarter was driven by strong product license growth, numerous product upgrades, and successful collaborations with existing customers to expand Oasis product implementations to meet new business requirements. In addition to earnings growth, the company recognized 7% revenue growth over the second quarter, and 45% revenue growth over the same period in 2002. Oasis serves clients in more than 70 countries around the world, including ABN AMRO, American Express, Citibank, Credicard/Redecard Brazil, Diners, Europay, Golden Card (China), MasterCard, National Processing Company and VISA International.
Canadians are staying closer to home this year, heading for campgrounds and amusement parks, but shying away from air travel and eating out. Based on debit and credit dollar spending volumes from the last week of school (on average across Canada), June 21-27, against dollar volume spending from the first week of summer vacation, June 28 to July 4, it appears that more Canadians are heading outdoors this year. Spending at trailer parks and campsites jumped 59% while boat rentals were up 6%. The data also showed that amusement parks were up 48%; aquariums were up 46%; tourist attractions were up 13% and golf courses were up 9%. Based on the data gathered by Moneris Solutions Corporation, the categories that have not yet benefited from the start of summer vacation include restaurants (flat), transportation (down 3%), travel (down 9%) and apparel (down 9%).
CGI Group Inc. has certified Keycorp Canada’s Interac compliant debit and credit software application residing on Keycorp’s latest “K23” fixed line terminal. The “K23” terminal is the second Keycorp product that CGI has added to its portfolio of supported POS devices. The “K23” terminal is smart card-enabled and meets the latest security standards including certification with Interac and is EMV level one and two certified. The application includes cash-back, surcharging, and tipping functionality allowing the merchant to turn their existing payment terminal from an expense into a revenue source.
Bank of Montreal is now offering its 3 million “Mosaik MasterCard” cardholders the option of receiving and paying their monthly statements online through Canada’s epost. BMO joins a list of more than 65 Mailers sending mail through the epost service, including national retailers such as Canadian Tire, Hbc, Sears and Future Shop. Additional Mailers also available through epost include: TELUS; Hydro-QuÃ©bec; ENMAX; Union Gas; City of Ottawa; City of Toronto; City of Winnipeg, and City of Richmond. More than 330,000 Canadians have registered for their free epost mailbox to-date.
Ontario-based Manulife Bank accountholders can now use more than 1,350 ABMs across Canada through “THE EXCHANGE” network. The bank recently joined “FICANEX,” a limited partnership of member financial institutions that use “THE EXCHANGE” network in Canada. Member companies include six banks, sixty-two credit unions, and one co-op. The network also includes 26,000 ABMs in the continental United States for withdrawals, and offers no convenience fees for Ficanex member-company access cardholders in Canada.
Vancouver-based VendTek Systems reports that Ontario-based Pioneer Petroleums has launched its “Now Prepay” terminals into service at 65 “Snack Express” stores. Pioneer plans to add 10 more sites immediately and gradually increase the total number of sites during the months to come. The license for the “Now Prepay e-Fresh” software enables Pioneer Petroleums and their customers to connect their POS terminals with “Now Prepay’s e-Fresh” server. This enables POS terminals to provide the re-sale of prepaid long distance and wireless services through the electronic network.
Canadian Tire Bank will begin operations tomorrow. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions recently approved the new bank which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian Tire Financial Services. The bank will be used to fuel growth of the “Options MasterCard” portfolio and enable CTFS to cut costs. Currently, CTFS manages more than 2.5 million “Options MasterCard” accounts. These accounts make up more than 85% of Canadian Tire’s gross credit charge receivables. Financial Services plans to add at least 600,000 new accounts by the end of 2003 and convert the remaining 230,000 qualifying retail card accounts to the “Options MasterCard.” CTC’s Financial Services business had net credit charge receivables at the end of the first quarter of $1.86 billion, a 36.7% increase over 1Q/02.
Arby’s restaurants will be accepting credit and debit cards following a deal between Triarc Restaurant Group and Moneris Solutions. Arby’s says that each of the 129 Canadian Arby’s locations are franchised and independently owned and operated, and therefore, needed a payment processor who could service each location on a one-on-one basis, while at the same time offer the benefits and cost savings appropriate to a single, nation-wide merchant. Moneris is Canada’s largest processor of debit and credit card payments.
Montreal-based Ultramar has decided to migrate to Keycorp “K26″ electronic payment terminals. Ultramar operates about 1,100 retail outlets in Eastern Canada. Although the initial order is for only 50 terminals, Ultramar has indicated that the”K26” will be the payment terminal of choice for its retail outlets as the older technology is replaced. A key step in the migration program will be customizing Keycorp’s special petroleum industry payment application software and migrating the legacy “Ultramar POS” application to the new Keycorp platform. Keycorp will also provide application enhancements for Ultramar.
VISA Canada announced it is gearing up to migrate to EMV smart cards. Chip cards have been in use in Canada for a number of years, particularly in telephone cards used in payphones. All VISA cards in France have been equipped with chip technology since 1992. Approximately 60 million VISA EMV smart cards are in use around the world. There are major conversion programs underway in Europe and Asia. VISA Canada says that one significant improvement for the consumer will be the use of a PIN at the point of sale rather than a signature. In a survey conducted in January, 61% of Canadians said they would prefer entering a PIN at the point of sale.
Vancouver-based Envision Credit Union has completed its implementation of Fincentric’s “Wealthview Banking” system. Working with TELUS and Fincentric, Envision now has just over 100,000 members using the new system. TELUS provided systems integration and IT consulting services for Envision’s implementation and conversion onto the “Wealthview Banking” system and continues to provide a complete suite of banking system management services ranging from ongoing systems integration and consulting services, application management and enhancement services, systems operation and technology management, and telecommunication network provisioning and management.
“Wealthview Banking” is a complete front-to-back office banking system for financial institutions, offering comprehensive applications for deposits, payments, and consumer lending. “Wealthview Banking” features capabilities and integration across multiple delivery channels, including Internet banking.