American Express has landed McDonald’s USA as the latest national merchant partner to accept its contactless “ExpressPay.” AmEx has been working with contactless payments since 2002. It is also the first issuer to launch contactless cards nationally with the rollout of “Blue from American Express” with the “ExpressPay” feature in June 2005. “ExpressPay” is also embedded in the “Clear from American Express Card” and available via a key fob that can be linked to any AmEx card. “ExpressPay” will be available at more than 12,000 McDonald’s restaurants nationwide. Merchants now accepting “ExpressPay” also include: AMC Theatres, Boater’s World, CVS/pharmacy, Duane Reade, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, Meijer retail supercenters, Regal Entertainment Group, Ritz Camera and Sheetz.
Dallas-based TNB Card Services has published a new marketing guide for credit unions that covers acquisition, activation, retention and loyalty programs. The TNB 2006 Card Marketing Guide offers a mix of solutions for acquisition, activation, retention, and loyalty programs. TNB works with its client credit unions to develop successful campaigns to drive card usage and increase revenue.
RoboServer Systems has unveiled a new version of its “Line Buster” self-serve machine for QSRs. “Line Buster” allows fast-food customers to skip long lines and place their own orders by selecting a few buttons on a touch-screen kiosk and has been unveiled with a new software platform, a new user-interface, and a choice of three kiosk models. Industry estimates show that self-serve technologies can cut customer waiting time by as much as 33%. RoboServer Systems provides Point of Sale and Self-Serve software technology for the restaurant industry.
VISA Asia Pacific announced that online spending by VISA cardholders
outside their home countries, for the third quarter, exceeded $377
million, a 71%
growth over the same period in 2004. The number of international online
VISA card transactions also increased exponentially from 1.9 million in
the third quarter of 2004 to more than 3.6 million for the same period
in 2005, a 94% gain. Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines
all doubled when compared with the same quarter in 2004. VISA
cardholders spent the most on transportation, about $109 million, an
increase of 79% year on year, followed closely by retail and
trade, at about $103 million, a 90%. For the 12 months ended September
2005, $509 billion was spent at point of sale or withdrawn from ATMs in
Asia Pacific using VISA cards.
A major “Near Field Communication” pilot for mobile phone applications including contactless payments is set to launch in Atlanta. Chase, Cingular Wireless, Nokia, Philips, VISA, ViVOtech, and the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena will participate in the trial. Approximately 150 contactless POS readers have been deployed by ViVOtech throughout Philips Arena in Atlanta. Fans will also be able to access and download mobile content such as ringtones, wallpapers, screensavers, and clips from favorite players and artists by holding their NFC-enabled phone in front of a poster embedded with an NFC tag.
E*Trade Financial has introduced a proprietary, automated credit card balance transfer system which enables customers who are loyal to their branded airline mileage rewards credit cards to enjoy mileage earning benefits without paying interest rates on the balances they carry. The new “E*TRADE Mileage Maximizer Account” program is linked to a competitively priced E*Trade credit account carrying a prime +1.9% APR. The online set-up process provides customers with the opportunity to set their payment preference — pay off the entire balance, a pre-set amount, or a percentage of the new statement balance. Once enrolled, E*Trade’s proprietary balance transfer system monitors the customer’s airline rewards card balance on a daily basis to determine the payment due date. When the system learns of a new payment due date, it schedules a transfer and sends the customer an electronic notification of the planned transfer. Customers may edit or cancel a particular transfer up until the date it is completed. Once the transfer is complete, the system sends the customer an electronic confirmation.
San Jose-based Indala Corporation has begun production of 22,000 “Multi-Technology SmartCards” for Microsoft which includes payment options. This was the second of four phases designed to replace older 32KB-chip cards used by all Microsoft employees and contractors. Indala Corporation is a security technology company that develops and distributes 125 kHz proximity; 13.56 MHz contactless and contact smart cards; and associated readers for physical and network access-control applications.
7-Eleven has signed a five-year agreement with NCR to add 1,200 units to its advanced-function financial services kiosk program and replace other in-store ATMs in the U.S. NCR will also service the majority of 7-Eleven’ existing base of non-NCR ATMs. The 7-Eleven network currently has 1,050 kiosks which offer check cashing, Western Union money orders and transfers, bill payment and Verizon long distance services in addition to ATM services. The rollout under the new agreement begins this month. The deal also includes hardware and software maintenance services and incident management.
Vancouver-based Citadel Commerce has launched “SecureSwipe”, a device that enables PIN debit and swiped credit card purchases to be made from home. The
“SecureSwipe” PIN pad is a hand held, DUKPT encryption compliant
device containing a keypad and LCD display and interfaces to a
consumer’s PC via industry standard USB technology. “SecureSwipe”
utilizes VPN tunneling technology to transmit fully encrypted PIN blocks
to Citadel’s data center, making it possible for a consumer to purchase
“myCitadel Wallet” e-money using a bank issued ATM PIN debit card.
Citadel provides secure online payment processing solutions.
Oberthur Card Systems and M-Systems, a provider of flash-based data storage devices, have teamed to develop a new secure-storage token platform for strong, two-factor authentication in high-volume vertical markets. Network security is greatly enhanced by two-factor authentication, which combines something the user physically carries, such as a secure-storage token, and something the user knows, such as a personal password. This two factor authentication can also be combined in the future with biometry (fingerprint) for user identification. Oberthur Card Systems is is a provider of card-based solutions, software and applications.
A September poll has found that 27% of Americans have used a credit card to track spending, with 31% of men and 24% of women using a credit card for that purpose. The MasterCard survey also found 22% of males say they precisely know their own debt situation to the penny, while 16% of females make that claim. Sixteen percent of Americans surveyed say they have sought professional advice at some point in their lives to pay off debt. In response to the findings, MasterCard launched a consumer education campaign how to manage personal debt. The “Debt Know How” program includes an interactive section on the MasterCard Web site and a curriculum as well as training sessions for educators and personal finance coaches.
Wincor Nixdorf has enhanced its “BEETLE/iPOS” system with Intel “Pentium 4” technology and has introduced its “iBISTRO QSR” solution for the quick-service restaurant industry. The BEETLE /iPOS includes an integrated power supply, customer display and TFT touch screen in a small-footprint, splash-proof design that is well suited where space is at a premium. The BEETLE /iPOS supports both Windows and Linux-based operating systems. Wincor Nixdorf is a supplier of POS systems and automated teller machines with net sales of EUR 1,744 million last fiscal year.