A routine task of sending money home to his loved ones in the Philippines saw Mr. Julio F Fonte Jr. walking away richer by RM50,000 when he received the Grand Prize in the Maybank “Mega Remittance Promotion” campaign. Mr. Dexter Tan, Head of Payments, Cards, Wealth & Payments, Maybank, Miss Dwikrisnawati, consolation prize winner from Indonesia, Mr. Julio F Fonte Jr, the grand prize winner from Manila, Philippines, Mr. Gulzar Ahmad, consolation prize winner from Pakistan and Mr. B. Ravintharan, Head of Cards, Wealth & Payments, Maybank. The four phase campaign was launched in conjunction with the Maybank Money Express (MME) service which started on 1 September 2011 and will run until 30 June 2012.
Amro Bank has signed an agreement with PT Garuda that will enable
the bank’s credit card customers, who are also members of
“Garuda Frequent Flyers”, to exchange reward points for free flights.
The Program has been designated the “Rewards and Mileage” program
and has no destination restrictions. “Rewards and Mileage” was designed
with the intent of doubling the number of Amro Bank credit card holders
by years’ end from 200,000 to 400,000.
PT Bank International Indonesia (BII), with more than 700 ATMs, has
connected to ATM BERSAMA network of Artajasa, making it a network
of 11,900 ATMs from 68 different banks. This partnership is part of an
effort to improve BII customer service as well as to other banks’ customers. As a result, all BII debit cards can be used in the ATM Bersama network and cardholders can now get discounts at thousands of merchants throughout the country and given the ability to do online transfers. BII has 230 branches and 700 ATMs with a total customer deposit base of more than IDR 37 trillion. The Bank also has IDR 53 trillion in assets.
Five Indonesian banks are now ready to launch EMV chip technology for use with their credit cards. Bank BCA, Bank Buana
Indonesia, Bank BNI, BII and Citibank have launched their chip
technologies on schedule. However, Bank Indonesia postponed the compulsory use of chip technology for new credit cards and renewals from the initial deadline of September 1st to the end of 2009. This timeframe also applies to replacement of all credit cards and credit card processing equipment, originally scheduled for the end of 2008. In addition, Bank Indonesia has also moved back the timetable for
introduction of chip standards for debit cards, ATM cards and prepaid
cards. The launching of chip technology for debit cards, ATM cards and
prepaid cards has been delayed to allow time for the National Payment
System Communication Form (FKSPN) – Standards and Products Committee and
Card-Based Payment Instruments Sub-Committee and four switching
companies to establish standards for debit cards, ATM cards and prepaid
cards to be applied uniformly throughout Indonesia.
Biometric Identification, Inc., a provider of fingerprint identification systems, announced Wednesday that BridgePoint has selected its embedded OEM fingerprint verification module for integration into their PeopleAccess Smart Card Reader line. Designed for new and retrofit applications, the integrated access control reader provides strong user authentication by employing fingerprint verification in conjunction with the convenience and efficiency of a smart card solution.
“BridgePoint’s goal is to offer customers the most comprehensive and secure smart card-based solutions available on the market today,” said Tom Corder of BridgePoint. “We selected Biometric ID’s fingerprint verification module because it is based on field-proven biometric technology and it provides us with the flexibility to use virtually any sensor component that we want to employ.”
PeopleAccess(TM) Access Control Readers will interface with industry standard Wiegand based access control systems, enabling users to upgrade existing card platforms to smart cards. The Reader can be programmed to differentiate between multiple microprocessor smart cards from major suppliers (Gemplus, G&D, Schlumberger) within the same access system, thus offering an incredibly flexible access solution. BridgePoint utilizes a re-programmable architecture so card platforms can be added or changed in the future at minimal cost.
In addition to the Wiegand based Readers, BridgePoint also plans to integrate the BII OEM biometric module into the firm’s new PeopleAccess Single Door Access Control System. This system, due out in the Second Quarter, will be unmatched in performance and cost for a single door system, believes Corder.
“The adoption of our OEM biometric module by BridgePoint is yet another strong endorsement for the use of Biometric ID technology in smart card based fingerprint verification solutions,” said Bob Kamm, President and CEO of Biometric ID. “We welcome BridgePoint to our distinguished group of over one hundred OEM organizations that are integrating our cost effective embedded fingerprint verification modules into their product lines.”
In addition to the functionality offered by the BridgePoint smart card system, the integrated solution utilizes the advanced technology of Biometric ID’s MV1100 self-contained fingerprint verification module. The MV1100 is an embedded biometric solution, smaller than a business card, which verifies an individual’s identity in less than a second. The device is designed for applications where a host computer is not available or not considered secure. The MV1100 stores thousands of fingerprint templates, performs enrollment and verification with the industry’s leading fingerprint verification algorithm Ridge Recognition(TM), and provides multiple communication options.
MasterCard International and Bank Internasional Indonesia Wednesday announced the introduction of the BII Platinum MasterCard card. The BII MasterCard Platinum card is the first Platinum card to be launched in Indonesia and the first Platinum MasterCard in the world to employ smart card technology.
Platinum cards continue to attract a niche market, particularly upscale consumers who are attracted to the exclusive benefits and image the Platinum card confers. Despite the current economic turndown in Asia, Platinum cards are expected to make their mark in Asia’s payments market, with four other markets having launched Platinum programs this year.
“There exists a sizable group of high net-worth individuals who, not matter what the economic conditions are, who value and prefer superior benefits, privileges and services,” said Rudy N. Hamdani, Senior Vice President, BII Card Center. “The vision for our financial institution is to offer products that allow consumers to make ‘one stop’ for all their financial needs — the BII Platinum MasterCard program rounds out our product portfolio.”
“MasterCard’s strength has always been its ability to provide payments products to meet the various and specific needs of our cardholders in any part of the world. The MasterCard Platinum card offers among the most exclusive benefits available and there is a market that seeks these special benefits. MasterCard’s Platinum program is the program of choice for these discerning consumers,” said Bambang Gunawan, Country Manager, Indonesia, MasterCard Asia/Pacific.
Smart Card Rewards Program
The BII MasterCard Platinum card is the first in the world to use smart card technology. The chip-based rewards program will track bonus points: cardholders will receive a “Bonus Rupiah” reward of 5% of every purchase when the purchase takes place at any of the 300 participating outlets of “BII Merchant First Club”. Cardholders making purchases at any of the 15 million MasterCard acceptance locations worldwide will receive a 0.5% reward of the value of the purchase and this reward can be redeemed at any of the 300 “BII Merchant First Club”.
BII MasterCard Platinum card cardholders will be entitled to Preferential Treatment, MasterCard’s premium privilege program. With Preferential Treatment, cardholders enjoy a wide range of benefits, including free room upgrades and welcome gifts at exclusive, high-end hotels among them, Summit Hotels and Resorts.
BII Platinum MasterCard cardholders may also avail of the special concierge service which provides entertainment and dining referrals and reservations, valuable travel information and assistance, and a personal shopping service.
The Platinum MasterCard card, a program developed by MasterCard International based on member-bank feedback and consumer research, is already in use by upscale cardholders in fifteen countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, Peru, Chile, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.
BII Platinum MasterCard card features also include a high credit limit, 24-hour concierge service, Masterphone calling card, Global Cash Access, year-end account summary, travel insurance of up to 5 billion Rupiah, MasterCard Global Service, and access to airport lounges around the world.
The Platinum card features a distinctive “P” design that will assist the Platinum MasterCard Collection partners in providing special treatment to cardholders at the point-of-sale.
“The BII Platinum MasterCard Collection’s exceptional
offerings combine uncommon quality and superior value. With the broad array of benefits offered, this card program meets the diverse needs and discerning lifestyles of upscale consumers, from exceptional shopping and cultural experiences to dining and travel,” added Gunawan.
MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. With 23,000 member financial institutions, serving consumers in 220 countries and territories, MasterCard is the industry leader in quality and innovation. More than 600 million MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus and Mondex” cards are accepted at more than 15 million locations worldwide. In 1997, gross dollar volume exceeded $600 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at .
Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. (DCR) has downgraded the ratings of its Indonesian bank and structured transactions.
All the ratings remain on Rating Watch–Down.
The following transactions and bank ratings have been downgraded to ‘B-‘ (Single-B-Minus):
* P.T. Bunas Finance TBK Auto Loan Receivables * P.T. BII Trust Certificates Credit Card Receivables * P.T. Bank International Indonesia Foreign Currency (sr. unsec.) Local Currency (sr.unsec.)
The rating downgrades and the continuation of Rating Watch–Down status reflect the deteriorating creditworthiness of the government of Indonesia as a result of the increasingly unstable political situation in the country. Social unrest in the capital city and elsewhere in the country, sparked by economic decline and rising prices, have put the viability of the Suharto government in question. As a result, the operating environment for these structured transactions has worsened.
The ratings assigned to P.T. Bank International Indonesia positively incorporate the current level of financial support supplied by the Sinar Mas Group. Although it remains unclear if social unrest can be contained and an environment of normalcy restored (within which the IMF-supported economic program can move forward), DCR believes — at the present time — foreign exchange resources (at approximately US$15 billion), remain sufficient to cover sovereign debt service payments. Further deterioration in the credit fundamentals could put sovereign debt service coverage at risk. DCR continues to monitor developments in Indonesia closely.
Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. (DCR) has downgraded the long-term senior unsecured debt rating of P.T. Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) from ‘BBB’ (Triple-B) to ‘BBB-‘ (Triple-B-Minus). This downgrade applies to both the local and foreign currency obligations of BII. Further, the rating of BII’s US$140 million U.S. dollar-denominated future credit card receivable transaction has been downgraded from ‘BBB+’ (Triple-B-Plus) to ‘BBB’ (Triple-B). The rating of the future flow credit card transaction is based primarily on the credit quality of the originator, BII.
The downgrade of BII’s unsecured debt reflects DCR’s concerns over Indonesia’s currency instability, high interest rates and eroding economic outlook. The continuation of these systemic issues will place increased pressure on BII’s asset quality, profitability and liquidity. BII is the flagship company of the financial arm of the Sinar Mas Group (the Group), the second-largest conglomerate in Indonesia with diversified business interests including pulp and paper, agribusiness, property and real estate, and financial services.
In view of the tight liquidity situation in the Indonesian markets, one additional concern is the extent to which BII’s strong association with the Group may result in an increase in related party lending. While related party lending was insignificant as of midyear 1997 at 0.5 percent of total loans, as recently as 1994 it equaled 10.3 percent of total loans, or 84 percent of total shareholders’ equity. The low percentage of related party lending as of midyear 1997 reflected a reduction in related party lending as well as a capital increase of 967 million rupiah from the limited public offering of shares in February 1997.
Following Thailand and the Philippines, Indonesia free floated its currency in mid-August, which resulted in a substantial devaluation of the rupiah. Since the beginning of the year, the rupiah has devalued almost 30 percent. While the stability of Asian currencies remains uncertain, the extent of the rupiah devaluation has accelerated a deep-rooted concern about the Indonesian banking system: asset quality problems, solvency of smaller-size banks, overall competitiveness/efficiency and its substantial exposure to foreign currency funding.
DCR’s retention of an investment-grade rating for BII reflects, in part, the fact that its liquidity proved to be ample in managing through the initial economic shock. Further, BII’s funding mix dampened the impact of the extreme currency devaluation. However, a prolonged period of rate volatility and the likelihood that rates will stabilize well above previous levels will place considerable burden on BII’s borrowers’ debt repayment capacity.
DCR expects that it will take a period of several weeks for market conditions to begin to move toward equilibrium. Positively, BII enters this challenging period with solid reserves and a recently strengthened capital base. In addition to its above-average operating fundamentals, BII’s solid market position should also assist it in weathering the current market instability. However, we will continue to monitor the ongoing regional economic environment and its influence on BII’s financial condition and take rating action as necessary.