Precidia and Vital Launch POSLynx

Precidia Technologies has introduced “POSLynx”, with distribution partner Vital Processing Services, to connect up to four existing POS terminals to the Internet for payment processing. POSLynx can connect up to four POS terminals to the Internet for payment processing. POSLynx is a cost-effective IP solution that is easy to implement, offers full transaction processing security and requires little support or maintenance. Vital Processing Services® is a leader in technology-based commerce enabling services. Precidia Technologies Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of IP access devices for a wide range of industries, including retail payments and building automation.

First Combination of CI-CAM with an Embedded Smart Card Chip Introduced

SCM Microsystems and Royal Philips Electronics have teamed with Irdeto Access to introduce the “Irdeto Chip On Board” module for TV set top box payments. The module combines SCM’s conditional access module with Philips’ high-security smart card chip. The new ICOB module is one of the first devices on the market to combine the unique features and security functions of a standard common-interface
conditional access module (CI-CAM) with an embedded smart card chip. By integrating an auto-expiring Irdeto Access smart card with the ICOB module, content providers gain the opportunity to cost-effectively distribute auto-expiring “teaser” promotional subscriptions with every CI-CAM purchased. Once the promotional subscription has expired, consumers can upgrade easily to a normal subscription (either billed monthly
or pre-paid) through the addition of a new smart card. This all-in-one solution operates in any DVB-compliant set top box that features a CI-CAM slot, enabling pay TV operators – or even free-to-air operators – to take
advantage of the large existing installed base of STBs to offer their premium content. Irdeto Access is a subsidiary of multinational media group Naspers.

Tower Settles with FTC Over a Security Flaw

Tower Records has agreed to settle FTC charges that a security flaw in the its Web site exposed customers’ personal information to other Internet users in violation of federal law and has agreed to have audits of its Web site security every two years by a qualified third-party security professional for ten years. The settlement will bar misrepresentations in the future, require Tower to implement an appropriate security program, and require audits of its Web site security every two years by a qualified third-party security professional for ten years. The Commission vote to accept the proposed consent agreement was 5-0. The FTC will publish an announcement regarding the agreement in the Federal Register shortly. The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through May 21, 2004, after which the Commission will decide whether to make it final.

PULSE Transactions Up 35% in 1Q/04

The volume of electronic transactions processed by PULSE EFT Association increased 35% in the first quarter compared to a 27% gain in the prior year. During the first quarter, PIN debit transactions at the point of sale increased 44% compared to the same period last year. ATM transactions increased 24% during the quarter compared to 1Q/03. PULSE also added more than 110 new member financial institutions during the quarter. The network links an estimated 90 million cardholders with more than 200,000 ATMs and 3.2 million POS terminals at retail locations nationwide.

MAG-IC X1000

Schlumberger’s Axalto subsidiary is planning to launch a new, code division multiple access portable point-of-sale terminal this summer, that provides a long-range wireless payment solution. Axalto is also set to bump-up the frequency used for its digital enhanced cordless telecommunication, portable POS terminal for short-range PIN-based transactions, from 1.9GHz to 2.4GHz, enabling it to operate in more countries worldwide. The “MagIC X1000 CDMA” terminal uses “1XRTT,” the leading-edge CDMA data wireless technology, which enables greater coverage at an affordable cost and always-on capability. The terminal is EMV approved, and compliant with the latest PIN entry security standards. Axalto’s “MagIC X1000 DECT” will be on the market before summer. The “DECT” terminal has a range of up to 300m and can support a network of four handsets and two bases. The new worldwide version of the “MagIC X1000 DECT” is EMV and PED approved, and is also compliant with the latest global PIN entry security standards.

Encore Merchant Services Offers TeleCheck Eclipse

Encore Merchant Services has announced the “TeleCheck Eclipse” all-in-one payment terminal, which combines an integrated inkjet printer, check reader, and credit and debit card processing. This digital process allows merchants to accept checks as quickly, safely and easily as credit cards while improving the cash flow of their business. Primax Payment Systems currently has over 5,000 merchants located in 48 states. Encore® Merchant Services targets new business through credit unions to offer full service credit and debit card acceptance services to credit union member businesses nationwide.

Credit Unions to Offer a MasterCard BusinessCard

Dallas-based TNB Card Services has introduced a “MasterCard BusinessCard” for credit unions that offers an optional “Member Miles Rewards Program” or a cash-back rebate program. The card gives small business owners better money management tools to track business expenses and employee spending. TNB Card Services, owned and directed by credit unions since 1976, provides full-service credit and debit card processing, as well as an agent issuing solution for credit unions nationwide. MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members’ credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs.

Hypercom Introduces an IP Gateway Device

Hypercom Corporation has rolled-out a compact, high speed, low cost Internet Protocol gateway device that converts existing Hypercom terminals into faster, IP-enabled card payment terminals. The new “Hypercom IN-tact 1101” allows the retailer with as few as one or as many as 16 Hypercom terminals to quickly and easily connect to the Internet. The device uses “3DES” and “SSL” session security to encrypt and transmit transactions virtually instantaneously. Hypercom says the “IN-tact 1101” gives ISOs the ability to deliver an array of time saving and/or revenue-generating, profit-building services to the merchant countertop. For example, the “IN-tact” continually monitors and alerts an ISO to any interruption in services. Secure remote management options allow a help desk to proactively troubleshoot issues right down to the terminal level, perhaps even before the merchant has realized that a problem exists.

PayPass and ExpressPay Shave Check-Out Times

A new white paper reports that MasterCard’s “PayPass” cardholder transaction volumes increased 12% from the prior year at the PayPass trial merchants, and that the American Express “ExpressPay” pilot results showed that customer average transaction size increased 20% to 30% compared to cash spending at participating merchants. The new study by the Smart Card Alliance, also says that in addition to an increase in transaction volume at “PayPass” merchants, “PayPass” also moved customers through checkout lanes more quickly. The most significant time savings recognized was in the drive-thru environment, where MasterCard’s “PayPass” shaved between 12 to 18 seconds off the purchase time as compared to cash. A time-motion study revealed that, on average, “ExpressPay” transactions are 53% faster than paying with payment cards with no signature, and 63% faster than cash.

Plug & Play TPI Payment Appliance Launched

WA-based TPI Software is launching the “TPI Payment Appliance,” an in-store thin-server solution that can be easily integrated with other line of business applications such as CRM, accounting applications, PC cash registers systems as well as traditional payment terminals. The TPI Payment Appliance is a new plug & play embedded hardware solution that provides all the benefits of traditional software with the ease-of-use of traditional payment terminals. TPI Software, LLC, is a privately held limited liability company based in Redmond, WA, and is the leading provider of innovative Payment technologies for processing credit card, debit/ATM card, EBT, electronic check services and electronic signature/receipt & check image capture and retrieval services.

ABS Charge-Offs Spike in March as Delinquency Stabilizes

Delinquency (60+ days), among card-backed securities, dropped to 3.35% in March, and continues to remain stable. However, prime charge-offs jumped 30 basis points from February to 6.75%. After three consecutive months of improved performance, sub-prime charge-offs reversed ground, climbing 64 bps to 17.27%. However, sub-prime charge-offs were 163 bps below the level a year ago, according to the “Fitch Credit Card Index.” Yield, after reaching an all-time low last month, climbed 124 bps for March to 17.10%, its highest level since April 2003. Excess spread rose 36 bps to 6.41%, also 36 bps above the year-ago level. The monthly payment rate fell for the first time since December, sliding 64 bps to 15.95%. Bankruptcy filings reported for the month of March totaled 152,567. Year-to-date bankruptcy filings were 392,023, down 1.2% from the same time last year.