CTST Founder Launches ID Solutions Show

Ben Miller, founder of the popular “CardTech/SecurTech Conference,” has launched a new conference on ID technologies to be held in Washington, DC next month. The “Inside ID: The Identification SOLUTIONS Mega Show” will feature 75 experts speaking in 15 focused seminars, and is scheduled for December 8-10 at the Washington DC Convention Center. The conference will cover smart cards, biometrics, photo ID, digital credentials and document security, as well as integrated identity management solutions. Miller is one of the foremost authorities in the transaction security and card technology industries. He founded the CTST conference in 1990 and built it into a 10,000 attendee and 1,000-exhibit booth event. In 1998, he sold the CTST company to Thomson Corporation and continued to serve as Chair until 2002. He also founded the Personal Identification Newsletter in 1986 and served as publisher and editor until 1998 when Thomson acquired it along with CTST. “Inside ID’s” Expert Advisory Board includes such notables as Michael Barrett, VP of Internet Strategy at American Express; author and journalist Jeff Kutler; and Joel Lisker of MasterCard. For more information on the event visit CardWeb’s Card Conferences ([www.cardconferences.com][1]).

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

Wachovia’s Business Check Card Gets Some Extras

Wachovia Bank has added “VISA Extras” to its “Business Check Card,” rewarding customers with two points for every dollar spent over $4,000 annually. We are continually looking for ways to enhance the services we provide to our customers. Wachovia’s Business Check Card combines the flexibility of an ATM card with the purchasing power of Visa. There is no monthly fee, and customers are protected by Wachovia’s Zero Liability policy if their cards are lost or stolen. Wachovia Corporation (NYSE: WB) is one of the largest providers of financial services to retail, brokerage and corporate customers throughout the East Coast and the nation, with assets of $389 billion and stockholders’ equity of $33 billion at Sept. 30, 2003.

Stage Stores to Unload $34 MM Store Card Portfolio

Stage Stores has completed its acquisition of Peebles and will now sell-off Peebles’ $33.8 million private label credit card portfolio. The total cost of the acquisition, including certain transaction related costs, net of tax benefits, is estimated to be approximately $167 million. The Company also assumed the outstanding balance under Peebles’ revolving credit facility of approximately $54.9 million. Stage Stores Inc. brings nationally recognized brand name apparel, accessories, cosmetics and footwear for the entire family to small and mid-size towns and communities through 514 stores located in 27 states.

Gift Card and CD-ROM POS Package Introduced

Los Gatos, CA-based Acquire has come up with a novel way to combine the delivery of retail product information with a prepaid card. The new “Entertainment Everywhere GiftCard” has been integrated in a POS package with a full size or mini CD-ROM. Each “EE GiftCard” also offers a sweepstakes, featuring vacations and exciting merchandise give-a-ways. The sweepstakes registration captures valuable consumer profile and demographic information. Acquire’s “EE Data” software application measures the consumer’s interaction with the CD, capturing insertion rates, viewing metrics and in-depth consumer analysis. The full size or mini CD-ROM can be used by retailers to showcase their latest products, services and corporate branding in an interactive format.

Columbus Data Services Offers IP ATM Access

Columbus Data Services has deployed “TNS TransXpress Secure” to further the migration from legacy processing protocols to an IP infrastructure by enabling ATM operators to access TNS’ private transaction data network via the Internet. TNS, one of the world’s leading providers of fast, cost-effective data communications services for transaction-oriented applications, recently began offering TransXpress® Secure to support access to TNS’ secure data networks via the Internet. Columbus Data Services was formed to provide small to mid-size financial institutions and ATM deployers with state-of-the-art technology at cost effective prices to enable them to compete aggressively in the ATM marketplace. Transaction Network Services is one of the leading providers of fast, cost-effective data communications services for transaction-oriented applications.

Nine Non-Income Factors Affect Consumer Consumption

The level of consumption in China is affected not only by personal income, but also, to a very significant degree, by differences in a range of non-income factors, which are related to levels of development of transportation and communications infrastructure, urbanization rates, and labor mobility. A new research study has identified nine non-income factors, which, if improved, could potentially lift consumption by up to 40% of the current level, benefiting mostly provinces that are in the interior and with less developed infrastructure. Overall, income remains the most important factor, accounting for 54% of differences in consumption levels between provinces. The “Consumption Facilities Index for China” study, commissioned by MasterCard and conducted by the Beijing-based National Economic Research Institute, highlights the fact that a great number of Chinese consumers today are still constrained in their spending behavior due to limited opportunities, restricted access to information, and other social and life-style related factors.

RomCard Offers OpenWay/iBIZ Software Way4CommerSafe to Banks

RomCard has purchased “Way4CommerSafe” to offer “Verified by Visa” and “MasterCard SecureCode” services to issuing and acquiring banks within the country. “Way4CommerSafe” is a product of OpenWay Group of Belgium, and iBIZ Software of Texas. In addition to the core 3-D Secure protocol, “Way4CommerSafe” can also support the wireless protocol for 3-D Secure, enabling the processing of secure m-commerce transactions. Four Romanian banks have already started implementation of the new service: Romanian Commercial Bank, Ion Tiriac Bank, Raiffeisen Bank and AlphaBank Romania. RomCard was founded in 1994 by Romanian Commercial Bank, Romanian Bank for Development Groupe Societe Generale, Raiffeisen Bank, and Ion Tiriac Bank.

MasterCard Middle Market Focus Rolled-Out

MasterCard yesterday rolled-out a new payment and expense management tool for mid-sized organizations that revolves around its “Corporate Multi Card.” The new “MasterCard Middle Market Focus” program will offer a wide range of MasterCard tools plus unprecedented savings on business travel through an exclusive relationship with Travelocity Business. Midsized companies using a valid MasterCard card that register for Travelocity Business will have the standard registration fee waived for a period of time, in addition to receiving Travelocity Business’ savings of up to 84% on traditional service fees and up to 26% in average airline costs. Additionally, a customizable Travelocity Business reservation site displays company-specific travel policies. “MasterCard Middle Market Focus” will also introduce “MasterCard QuickLaunch,” an online interactive tool that simplifies cardholder account set-up for the program administrator and enables a company to customize its card program from a personal computer through a secure Web site. Business owners can set up new cards for employees, set spending limits and adjust merchant category restrictions according to individual requirements. Other MasterCard tools for “MMF” include “MasterCard Exclusives Online”; “MasterCard Smart Data OnLine”; “MasterCard ExpenSys”; and Sales and Marketing Support. Mid-sized business are defined as companies with annual sales between $10 million and $250 million.

Sharp to Integrate Atmel’s FingerChip in its New Tablet PC

Atmel Grenoble’s “FingerChip” biometric sensor has been selected for Sharp’s first fingerprint-protected “Tablet PC.” The need to type a password or write it openly on the tablet PC display is replaced by a faster logon through a finger swipe, preventing illegal use of the device by a third party. The “FingerChip” utilizes a unique patented method for imaging the entire finger by “sweeping” it across the sensor. Sweeping captures successive images (slices), then uses software to reconstruct the fingerprint. This method allows the “FingerChip” to return a large, high-quality, 500 dots per inch image of the fingerprint. This image is then processed through authentication software, to extract a template, which is used for fingerprint comparison. Sharp will use the technology on its new “Sharp Mebius Muramasa PC-TN1-H1W” tablet PC.

KBtoys Offers I4 Commerce’s Bill Me Later

KBtoys has launched I4 Commerce’s “Bill Me Later” payment option on its Web site. Customers of both sites can choose I4 Commerce’s Bill Me Later payment option at checkout. It’s a convenient and secure payment option that gives KBtoys.com and eToys customers greater payment choice, flexibility and security. Bill Me Later offers a secure alternative to credit cards. It’s an attractive option for shoppers looking for other payment options, consumers who are new to online shopping and customers who don’t have credit cards. I4 Commerce provides payment solutions to multi-channel retailers that make commerce more convenient, secure and profitable. Denver-based KB Online Holdings, LLC owns and operates two of the most popular online toy sites. KBtoys.com(TM) offers thousands of the hottest toys and must-have video games.

Bank Mandiri Becomes First Bank to Deploy VASCO’s Digipass 260

Bank Mandiri has selected VASCO’s “Digipass 260” to help the bank protect a series of on-line services that the bank expects to launch shortly for its 6 million corporate and individual customers. Bank Mandiri is the first bank to deploy this brand new VASCO product. VASCO designs, develops, markets and supports patented ID authentication products for e-business and e-commerce. Bank Mandiri has 1,574 proprietary ATMs, which are supplemented by 4,000 additional ATMs made available via “LINK” (an ATM network linking all state bank ATMs).