Safeway’s Blackhawk Network subsidiary will expand its gift card business to the United Kingdom this year. The Company provides a turn-key gift card solution to a broad network of top North American grocery, drug and convenience store retailers, with a gift card offering of more than 100 brands from best-in-class retailers such as Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Best Buy, iTunes, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Home Depot, and Sears. Blackhawk Network also distributes prepaid debit and gift cards from American Express, MasterCard, VISA, and offers regional sports and entertainment gift cards for a range of venues and teams such as Universal Theme Parks, Paramount’s Great America, the Oakland A’s, the San Francisco Giants, the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago White Sox. Blackhawk Network’s new UK office will be run by Russell Atkinson.
Chase “blink” cards continue to drive the U.S. contactless payment card market as nearly seven million cards have been issued to-date. Chase was the first issuer to broadly offer contactless credit cards in the U.S., introducing “blink” last May. Cardholders in Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas now have “blink”-enabled Chase cards. Chase also offers “blink” rewards cards with partners such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Regal Entertainment Group, Sheetz, Texas Rangers, Wawa, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Universal. Chase says its research shows the one-year old contactless card increases the average ticket sale for some merchants by 40% more than cash purchases, and reduces consumers’ average transaction time by 10% to 40%. (CF Library 5/19/05; 6/8/05; 8/30/05; 10/27/05; 1/11/06)
Chase blink Cards
Jun 05: 0.5 million
Jul 05: 1.0 million
Aug 05: 1.5 million
Oct 05: 5.0 million
Jan 06: 6.0 million
Jul 06: 7.0 million
Source: CardFlash Library
CA-based Secure Wireless Transfers Corporation has launched a mobile commerce Beta application and service at the Bank of the West Beach Surfing Games this week in Huntington Beach, CA. The new “KushCash” service enables surfer winners to be paid directly to their mobile phones. The Company has set up registration kiosks and promotional giveaways at its booth and throughout the event. Participating merchant vendors at the Festival Village will be accepting “KushCash” mobile payments and offering discounts for items purchased with the new service. Consumers can also transfer money to another party.
Smart card specialist Gemplus International reports a 5% jump in net sales for the second quarter driven by robust revenue growth in the Financial Services and ID & Security units. Second quarter revenues climbed to 247.3 million euros, compared to 230.3 million euros in the prior quarter and 236.2 million euros for 2Q/05. Gemplus shipped 20.8 million units of payment microprocessor cards during the quarter, up 24% year-on-year. Payment microprocessor card revenue rose 2% year-on-year.
The Company noted that it been chosen by Commonwealth Bank of Australia for Australia’s first MasterCard “PayPass” pilot. The six-month trial will be rolled out in New South Wales, with the first phase involving 33,000 cardholders who will be able to use their MasterCard “PayPass” cards at more than 150 participating merchants. Gemplus is currently merging with Axalto to create Gemalto. For complete details on Gemplus’ second quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).
Aeroplan expanded the reward choices of its members by making thousands of new rewards available through a series of new reward cards. This Canadian loyalty industry first enables members to use their “Aeroplan Miles” towards an array of new rewards across Canada and the U.S. in five categories: Dining, Spa, Sports, Entertainment and Getaways. These prepaid, stored value cards may be easily ordered by any Aeroplan member online and are accepted where the American Express Card is welcome. Using their “Aeroplan Miles,” members can redeem for cards in two denominations: 14,000 “Aeroplan Miles” for a card worth $100 and 33,500 “Aeroplan Miles” for a card worth $250. Aeroplan has a network of more than 60 partners, representing more than 100 brands.
Redwood City, CA-based Obopay has teamed with Amp’d Mobile to offer a new mobile payment service to all Amp’d subscribers. Amp’d Mobile will promote the service to all Amp’d subscribers, and in addition, the two companies agreed to an aggressive joint promotion on university campuses across the country this fall. Obopay will bring to market the first complete mobile payment service in the U.S. Amp’d Mobile is the first integrated mobile entertainment company for youth, young professionals and early adopters, and the only 3G carrier in the US specifically targeting that demographic.
The world’s second largest producer of smart cards and a top global provider of mobile communications are forming a joint venture to provide services to the “Near Field Communication” ecosystem. Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient and Helsinki-based Nokia are expecting to have their integrated NFC services up and running in the fourth quarter according to this week’s CardFlash International. Target markets for NFC include: mobile operators, transport operators, retailers, banks, credit card companies, and providers of digital services/media. The joint venture will implement and operate a secure and versatile service platform to manage the over-the-air transactions with consumers’ NFC enabled devices. The service platform will be operated in a white-label mode with in-built interfaces to the IT systems of the actual service providers, such as banks issuing credit cards. The new company’s services will be available and open to any NFC enabled devices from all vendors. Giesecke & Devrient will own 57% and Nokia 43% of the new company.
Chicago-based AmbironTrustWave has signed a deal to provide Fifth Third Processing Solutions with “PCI Data Security Standard” compliance technology services to Fifth Third’s merchant portfolio. As a result of this agreement, Fifth Third Processing Solutions’ merchant clients will have access to the services that are required for validating compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard and ongoing data security needs, including Compliance Validation Services, The Risk Profiler, TrustKeeper, Incident Response and the ability to display AmbironTrustWave’s “Trusted Commerce” compliance seal on their e-commerce Web sites.
The world’s second largest producer of smart cards and a top global provider of mobile communications are forming a joint venture
to provide services to the “Near Field Communication” ecosystem. Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient and Helsinki-based Nokia are expecting to have their integrated NFC services up and running in the fourth quarter. Target markets for NFC include: mobile operators, transport
operators, retailers, banks, credit card companies, and providers of
digital services/media. The joint venture will implement and operate a secure and versatile service platform to manage the over-the-air transactions with consumers’ NFC enabled devices. The service platform will be operated in a white-label mode with in-built interfaces to the IT systems of the actual service providers, such as banks issuing credit cards. The new company’s services will be available and open to any NFC
enabled devices from all vendors. Giesecke & Devrient will own 57% and Nokia 43% of the new company.
First Data’s Money Network and ADP Employer Services have teamed to offer the co-branded “TotalPay Card” to businesses of all sizes. Through the agreement, Money Network will be responsible for back office operations and program implementation for employers seeking a paycard solution. The offering is FDIC-insured and leverages the existing Money Network TRANSCHECK product, a self-issued check system that enables Money Network’s Paycard clients to provide their employees immediate and free access to their payroll funds.
An end-user e-mail study by ICONIX has found that users were more than twice as likely to open e-mail messages marked with a visual icon as opposed to unmarked messages. Iconix eMail ID helps users gain control of their inboxes by adding a visual icon, called a Truemark icon, next to messages that have been verified as legitimate. E-mail users can take advantage of this intuitive, easy-to-use, and free service using their current e-mail providers.
First Data has signed an agreement to market ADP Small Business Services’ “EasyPay” payroll solution to companies with less than 50 employees. Under the terms of the agreement, First Data’s merchant services sales channels can market ADP’s EasyPay and related small business offerings along with First Data’s proprietary check, credit, debit, and gift card acceptance programs. EasyPay is ADP’s fully outsourced service for payroll processing over phone, fax, or online utilizing ADP’s secure hosted application. First Data will also market ADP’s popular TotalPayÂ® product suite Ã¢Â comprised of highly-valued money movement, fraud protection and check reconciliation features Ã¢Â and Total Tax CompleteSM, a set of compliance services including tax filing, state unemployment insurance management, new hire reporting and HR help desk services.