The first EMV chip-enabled mobile ATM in Europe will circulate in the Olympic venues around Athens during the Olympic Games due to the partnership between VISA International and Alpha Bank. Also, the first smart prepaid card, the “VISA Money Olympic Games” card, will also be offered. A network of 16 new EMV chip-enabled ATMs will be installed that will support four languages -English, Greek, French and German and two types of transactions: balance inquiry and cash withdrawal. Almost 1,000 terminals will be installed by the two sponsors in the Olympic venues, that will operate through the GSM mobile telephony network, mainly operated by the food & beverage sector.
TX-based Wincor Nixdorf has promoted Doug Evans to VP of retail for Wincor Nixdorf USA. Evans, formerly director of retail solutions for Wincor Nixdorf, will now manage the company’s U.S. retail business. He will work closely with engineering, sales, marketing, project management, and channel marketing teams to help assure continued growth for Wincor Nixdorf’s retail business in the U.S. Wincor Nixdorf, Inc. is one of the fastest growing providers of IT products and solutions for the retail and banking industries.
After racking up nearly GBP100 million on losses for its “la Carte Egg VISA” in the last five quarters, Prudential’s Egg is
withdrawing from the French market. For the second quarter, Egg produced an operating profit for its British “Egg VISA” card of GBP19.4 million versus an operating loss of GBP16.5 million for its French “Egg VISA.” Overall, the Egg plc Group made a profit of GBP1 million in the second quarter leading to an overall loss before tax for the first half of 2004 of GBP4 million, down from a loss of GBP23 million in the same period last year. The Group has been trying to sell-off both credit card portfolios but no deal has been announced to-date. During the quarter, Egg added 171,000 new credit cardholders to bring its total portfolio to 2,944,969 cardholders. Total Egg credit card outstandings were GBP3,091 million at the end of June.
Fiserv EFT/CNS reported that its overall transaction volume for the first half of this year is running 18% over last year, handling slightly more than two billion transactions. The Fiserv-owned “ACCEL/Exchange Network” also reported record volume through mid-year. Six-month transaction totals increased 25% to 127 million. Among individual delivery channels, ATM transactions climbed 62% to 21 million , and POS transaction activity increased by 19% to 106 million. “ACCEL/Exchange” transactions are currently enabled at 55,000 ATMs and approximately 1.5 million POS devices nationwide. In addition to “ACCEL/Exchange,” Fiserv drives the AFFN, Tallahassee, FL-based Credit Union 24 and the surcharge-free Allpoint Network, and processes EBT transactions. Transaction volume for these segments was 798 million through midyear 2004, a 26% increase over the first six months of 2003. PIN-based point-of-sale volume by 28% to 639 million.
CIBC, Canada’s largest VISA issuer, is putting an end to “Entourage,” its co-branded venture with American Express, on October 31. CIBC says that “Entourage” failed to meet financial expectations. The company will instead refocus on its core VISA business. “Entourage” was introduced in January 2002, AmeEx’s first card-partnership in Canada, and made CIBC the first Canadian bank to issue both American Express and VISA. At the time, American Express referred to Canada as a “critically important credit card market” for the company. The venture had also been a milestone for American Express because CIBC was the first bank in either Canada or the U.S. to partner with the company for a co-branded card. Since then, however, MBNA has signed with American Express to offer co-branded cards in both countries, and that agreement awaits the Supreme Court’s decision on whether to uphold two lower courts’ nullification of VISA and MasterCard’s exclusionary rules. Under terms of the agreement between American Express and CIBC, CIBC issued the cards, held the accounts and handled all customer service functions. The company marketed three versions of the “Entourage” card. The “Entourage American Express Card” was Canada’s first smart chip credit card, offering consumers tighter security for online transactions; the “Entourage Platinum American Express” offered exclusive features for consumers; and the “Entourage Business American Express” offered features for the business card holder.
Global Vision Holdings and BSP Rewards have signed an agreement to launch “Global Rewards,” a consumer purchases incentive program. BSP currently has enrolled more than 4,000 restaurants and chain restaurants as well as more than 400 merchants in the program. The merchants include department stores (such as Target and Macy’s), office supply stores (such as OfficeMax), drug stores (such as Eckerd), grocery stores, specialty stores, sporting goods stores and travel services providers. Under the terms of the agreement, GVHL will function as the mass-distribution marketer of the program and set up major channel distributors. GVHL is a developer and wholesale marketer of a new generation of prepaid (also known as “Stored-Value”) financial services.
ITD has partnered with UK-based terminal and payment solutions provider, Dione. ITD is an established service provider
specializing in payment solutions ranging from POS and smart card
payment terminals, end-to-end payment solutions, Internet payment
systems and card management systems. ITD has previously teamed with other payment specialists such as HPS, iBIZ and EST. Dione plc now operates in 20 new international territories.
MasterCard and Bed Bath & Beyond have jointly announced a back-to-school consumer promotion which includes a sweepstakes offering a grand prize of $100,000 towards college tuition. Now through September 7, 2004, each time cardholders use their MasterCard cards at any one of the more than 600 Bed Bath & Beyond retail locations nationwide or at www.bedbathandbeyond.com, they will be automatically entered for a chance to win $100,000 which may be used toward college tuition, plus a $2,500 Bed Bath & Beyond Gift Card to help decorate the new dorm room. MasterCard International has a comprehensive portfolio of well-known, widely accepted payment brands including MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro.
Nabil Bank has deployed Card Tech Limited’s “PRIME” solution. The installation was part of an upgrade of the bank’s CTL “START” card management solution and included an ATM controller and a debit switch.
Since Nabil began working with UK-based CTL in 1998, the bank has
progressively improved its personal and corporate banking products,
introducing new services such as cash advance and a multi-application
credit card. More than 160 banks from 60 countries use CTL software.
Federal regulators have postponed the rollout of the Central Data Repository for call reports. The decision to delay implementation of the CDR was made to address delays in system development and testing. Moreover, the agencies had received an increasing number of questions and concerns about the new system from banks, industry trade associations, software vendors and other stakeholders. The agencies are considering alternative plans for the CDR rollout, including phasing in the new technology and business models in separate reporting quarters. For now, the agencies will continue to collect, validate and manage Call Report data using their existing processing systems.
At mid-year the number of MasterCard smart cards in Asia-Pacific hit 23 million, compared to 14.5 million at the end of June 2003. Since 2001, the number of smart MasterCards in the region has grown nearly six-fold, with 90% of the cards EMV-compliant. MasterCard says the rapid growth is driven by a combination of strong global smart card programs such as “OneSMART MasterCard,” lower costs of multi-application cards, and the development of new applications such as “MasterCard Open Data Storage.” With “OneSMART MasterCard,” all of MasterCard’s global smart card solutions, technical expertise, and marketing support are consolidated under a single banner.
Four Piggly Wiggly grocery stores in South Carolina began offering Pay By Touch’s finger-scanning payment system last week. Starting today, Piggly Wiggly customers in Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina will have the option of paying for groceries using a finger scan linked to their financial accounts. The Pay By Touch payment systems are being used in all Piggly Wiggly checkout lanes to provide a safer, more convenient way for shoppers to pay for their groceries, while also allowing checkout lines to move approximately 33 percent faster. Pay By Touch is a free consumer payment service that allows shoppers to pay for purchases using a finger scan to access their financial accounts and loyalty programs. Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina.