EZIPIN & KEYCORP

Electronic recharge solutions provider Ezipin has entered the Canadian market using Keycorp “K23” terminals to deliver prepaid communications products at the POS. Ezipin retail customers around Australia have installed approximately 3,400 Keycorp “K23” terminals. Ezipin has launched its service in Canada and has licensed its IP and business processes for the electronic distribution service in China. In Canada, Ezipin has initially ordered 500 “K23” terminals to enable retailers to sell prepaid mobile phone top-ups, long distance telephone PINs and other prepaid services across the counter. Ezipin customers can use the “K23” as a dedicated recharge terminal or combined with a debit/credit application for electronic payments, including cash back, surcharging and tipping.

National City Lands Co-Branded Golf Rewards VISA

The nation’s fastest-growing golf instruction and equipment company has teamed up with Ohio-based National City Bank to launch a rewards credit card. The new “Natural Golf VISA Platinum” offers cardholders 2% back on all purchases using the card, which then can be redeemed for Natural Golf products. Cardholders also receive a $50-value application gift. Under the program, cardholders earn a $25 Natural Golf certificate, which is included with their monthly VISA statement, for every $1,250 in VISA purchases. Natural Golf Corporation has more than 125 Certified Instructors teaching the Natural Golf System at schools that vary from half-day in length to four days at nearly 200 locations worldwide.

VISA Smart Adds More Partners and Launches VISA Smart POS

VISA International now has 19 technology partners in its “VISA Smart Global Partners” program, which is part of the comprehensive “VISA Smart” initiative. VISA reported it now has nearly 100 million EMV smart cards in circulation worldwide, and that the number of deployed EMV-capable acceptance devices has approached two million. Among the vendors making special smart card-related offers for products and services to VISA members are: Barnes International; ICC Solutions; Axalto; Orga; Bell ID; CardBASE; STMicroelectronics; DataCard Group; NBS; Thales e-Security; UbiQ Incorporated; ACI; Gemplus, Giesecke & Devrient; Oberthur Card Systems; NCR; Oasis Technology; SAGEM; and, Welcome Real-time. VISA International also this week announced the launch of “VISA Smart POS,” a low-cost software solution that dramatically reduces the time-to-market of EMV chip acceptance by up to 12 months. The “EMV Level 2” software module is available royalty-free to acquirers, merchants, and vendors. VISA says that small to medium-sized merchants in geographic markets that are committing to EMV chip migration face time-to-market, cost, and implementation challenges that are difficult to overcome using proprietary technology from multiple POS vendors. “VISA Smart POS” requires minimal changes to back office systems and is available for any POS device. Also, POS vendors can overcome the cost of EMV software development and compliance, and these savings can be passed on to merchants. “VISA Smart POS” is written in the industry-standard C++ and Java programming languages with written drivers for “Windows 2000.”

VISA Smart Expands to 19 Partners and Adds Low-Cost EMV Migration Software

VISA International said yesterday at the Paris “Cartes 2003” conference that it now has 19 technology partners in its “VISA Smart Global Partners” program, which is part of the comprehensive “VISA Smart” initiative. VISA says it now has nearly 100 million EMV smart cards in circulation worldwide, and that the number of deployed EMV-capable acceptance devices has approached two million. Among the vendors making special smart card-related offers for products and services to VISA members are: Barnes International; ICC Solutions; Axalto; Orga; Bell ID; CardBASE; STMicroelectronics; DataCard Group; NBS; Thales e-Security; UbiQ Incorporated; ACI; Gemplus, Giesecke & Devrient; Oberthur Card Systems; NCR; Oasis Technology; SAGEM; and, Welcome Real-time. VISA International also this week announced the launch of “VISA Smart POS,” a low-cost software solution that dramatically reduces the time-to-market of EMV chip acceptance by up to 12 months. The “EMV Level 2” software module is available royalty-free to acquirers, merchants, and vendors. VISA says that small to medium-sized merchants in geographic markets that are committing to EMV chip migration face time-to-market, cost, and implementation challenges that are difficult to overcome using proprietary technology from multiple POS vendors. “VISA Smart POS” requires minimal changes to back office systems and is available for any POS device. Also, POS vendors can overcome the cost of EMV software development and compliance, and these savings can be passed on to merchants. “VISA Smart POS” is written in the industry-standard C++ and Java programming languages with written drivers for “Windows 2000.”

Datacard SE48 Debuts in Europe

Datacard Group this week is demonstrating its new “SE48” card issuance system for the first time in Europe. The new “Datacard SE48” system offers embossing, topping, indent printing
and magnetic stripe encoding, as well as contact and contactless smart card personalization capabilities. The compact system also offers the speed, flexibility and advanced security features financial institutions need for on-demand issuance of ready-to-use credit, debit, ATM and EMV cards. In addition to instant issuance applications, the “Datacard SE48” system is designed for short-run and batch-issuance requirements in centralized card programs. The system has production volumes up to 120 cards per hour and 25,000 cards per year. The system also offers many financial-grade security features, including 3-DES encryption, CPX protocol, locked cabinets, a non-resettable card counter and networking options.

Encore Helps Banks Migrate ATMs from Legacy to IP

VA-based Encore Networks will introduce this week its “IBR-10 IP+Legacy Converter,” a low-cost solution that enables banks and 3rd party EFT processors to migrate their remote terminals, ATMs, and cluster controllers to IP networks. The Encore Networks IBR-10 IP+Legacy Converter is designed to meet the requirements of seamless evolution from legacy applications to broadband IP infrastructure. With its flexible architecture, the IBR-10 product is the ideal low-cost platform that provides banks, financial institutions and 3rd party EFT processors with the ability to migrate their remote terminals, ATM cash machines, and cluster controllers to IP networks. The advantages are tremendous: higher speeds, lower network costs, virtually error free transmissions, faster response time and remote management capability.

Brits Expect to be Frugal During Holiday Season

Concerns over credit card interest rates may impact Christmas spending this year. Brits are planning to tighten their belts spending £16 less on gifts for the festive season, according to debit card “Switch.” However, overall, Brits are expected to spend £868 each on presents, cards, accessories – just £6 more than last year. UK retailers appear to be echoing this view with 38% saying that they expect consumers to spend around the same this year compared to last Christmas, and 36% saying consumers will spend slightly more. However, one in five retailers are expecting us to spend less this year.

Fifth Third to Distribute SLIM CD Processing Software

Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions has signed a contract to distribute SLIM CD’s high-speed merchant credit card processing software. Transactions are processed through SLIM CD’s certified high-speed connection in 2-5 seconds, without requiring the merchants to have a leased line or dedicated Internet connection. The SLIM CD includes a desktop application, data on demand, built-in gateway services, fraud detection services, a choice of shopping carts and backup dial-in connection capability. SLIM CD, Inc is a wholly owned subsidiary of Online Commerce Corporation (OCC), a privately held E-Commerce service provider.

Cubic Lands MARTA Smart Card Contract

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority has inked a $72.5 million deal with San Diego-based Cubic Transportation for a smart card-only multi-modal fare collection and revenue management system. Cubic says the new system will be the first in the U.S. to deploy a low-cost, limited-use smart card. Under terms of the contract, Cubic will replace MARTA’s existing magnetic ticketing and token-based system with the company’s open architecture smart card ticketing technology that will enable commuters to use one card to pay for rail, bus, paratransit fares and park-and-ride fees. If other contract options are exercised the deal could be worth up to $104 million. MARTA will offer two types of contactless smart cards: hard plastic style and a paper version meant for limited use. Both card types provide touchless entry which is handled via Cubic’s “Tri-Reader,” which can read any type of contactless smart card that meets ISO standards and is a standard component in all Cubic’s fare collection equipment.

ICBA Bancard Offers SiteBuilder Solution

ICBA Bancard has teamed with SLIM CD to launch a Web site to enable ICBA Bancard merchants to build a complete Internet Web site and shopping cart in minutes. The SiteBuilder product will be affordably priced to merchants, and will provide additional revenue opportunities to the ICBA Banks distributing this product to their merchants. The SLIM CD software includes a desktop application, data on demand, built-in gateway services, fraud detection services, a choice of shopping carts and backup dial-in connection capability. ICBA Bancard has provided more than 2,000 community banks with equitable access to payment system products and services. SLIM CD, Inc is a wholly owned subsidiary of Online Commerce Corporation, a privately held E-Commerce service provider.

Cardtronics Picks POSLink for Dial-Line Consolidation

Houston-based Cardtronics has selected Transaction Network Services’ POSLink subsidiary to consolidate dial-line access and lower network communications costs for its 12,500 ATM network. By using POSLink for dial-line consolidation and higher-bandwidth connections when necessary, Cardtronics and its customers will experience the benefits of reduced costs and a single point of contact for the thousands of phone lines used to connect its network ATM to the processing network. Cardtronics is the nation’s largest independent owner/operator of ATMs with a network of over 12,000 locations operating in every major U.S. market. Transaction Network Services is one of the leading providers of fast, cost-effective data communications services for transaction-oriented applications. Since its inception in 1990, TNS has designed and implemented one of the fastest, most reliable and lowest cost networks for the transport of transaction-oriented data.