MEI Sues Japan Cash Machine Over Patents

Mars-owned MEI has filed a federal lawsuit against Japan Cash Machine over alleged patent infringement of its bill acceptor and other currency validation products. MEI systems process 1 billion transactions per week in 90 countries. MEI has the largest worldwide installed base of unattended payment mechanism in the vending, soft drink, gaming, amusement, transportation, retail and kiosk markets.

Kreditkort Selects webMethods Fabric for Cards

Kreditkort has chosen webMethods “Fabric” to integrate its
various credit card management systems and to provide the
foundation of a “Service-Oriented Architecture.” webMethods provides
business integration software to integrate, assemble and optimize
available IT assets to drive business process productivity. Kreditkort
is a principal member of MasterCard in Iceland and is owned by the
Icelandic banking community. Kreditkort acquires MasterCard, Maestro,
American Express, Diners and JCB card transactions from domestic and
international merchants.

Takamatsu City’s Symbol Tower to Offer QUICPay

JCB, NTT DoCoMo Shikoku, and Symbol Tower Development
Corporation have teamed up to offer “QUICPay” mobile contactless payment
service at 23 stores and restaurants in Takamatsu City’s Symbol Tower.
The service will be targeted to more than 1,500 office workers in the
building and is available to the general public as well. With “QUICPay”,
a part of the customer’s existing credit limit is assigned to a
contactless IC chip which may be embedded in a plastic card or in a
mobile phone handset. Also, “QUICPay” purchases are linked to the
cardholder’s existing JCB credit card account so that users can earn
loyalty points. JCB has been testing “QUICPay” since November of
2004, starting with a taxi trial project and is currently conducting a
trial in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Seicomart, a large convenience store
chain in Hokkaido, will be implementing a six-month trial of “QUICPay”
through November at 10 of its outlets in Sapporo.

Mint Technology Launches the Prepaid Mint MasterCard

Toronto-based Mint and Affinity Merchant Solutions have signed a distribution agreement for the prepaid “Mint MasterCard.” AMS says it will initially distribute 100,000 of the cards. The affinity
rewards card will include a loyalty program featuring numerous
value-added services marketed through merchants. Horizon Plus Card Services, an affiliate of Peoples Trust, will be responsible for card issuance. Mint develops and markets new types of electronic payment applications in the financial payments sector. Through its payment platform Mint facilitates and issues prepaid MasterCard cards, municipal parking cards and new wireless payment alternatives such as: MasterCard cards with “PayPass” functionality and cellphone based parking.

Catuity Receives a European EMV Patent

The European Patent Office has granted Catuity a patent covering the
use of its EMV-compatible loyalty solution at the point of sale and over
the Internet to a wide range of popular devices. It is the first patent
grant for the company in Europe. Catuity may now seek registration of
the patent in up to 19 specific European countries that comply with the
EPO decisions. The technology covered by the new patent expands on the
company’s existing intellectual property portfolio by adding, optimizing
and refining the methods used to manage loyalty data stored on a smart
card. By increasing the efficiency of data storage, more loyalty programs
can be added to the chip, further enhancing the appeal of smart cards to
retailers, issuers and consumers. Importantly, the patents cover the use
of loyalty on widely used devices including PCs, PDAs or handheld
computers, mobile phones and electronic kiosks.
The grant by the European Patent Office brings to 11 the total
number of EMV-compliant patents pending or granted to Catuity in markets
around the world.

5MM Web-Driven Businesses Now in the USA

A new joint study from MasterCard and Warrillow has found that Web-driven businesses now represents 25% of the U.S. small business market, accounting for more than 5 million businesses. When compared to their traditional counterparts, Web-driven entrepreneurs are more likely to be women and university educated. Warrillow says Google is a big key to the success of these Web-driven businesses when it enables tiny businesses to buy a sponsored link. The report is being released today in conjunction with the “The Warrillow Summit,” which gets underway this morning in Chicago.

Lipman Adds GPRS Wireless Capabilities

Lipman is now offering a GPRS wireless communication option on its “Xplorer,” “Secura Integrated” and “Xtreme Integrated” payment systems. The additional GPRS functionality further enhances the versatility of the Xplorer, Secura and Xtreme systems. Based on SecuraCell technology, both Xplorer and Secura systems have received EMV approval as well as widely recognized security certifications such as Visa PED and ZKA. Lipman is a leading worldwide provider of electronic payment systems and develops, manufactures and markets a variety of handheld, wireless and landline POS terminals, electronic cash registers, retail ATM units, PIN pads and smart card readers, as well as integrated PIN and smart card solutions.

MASTERCARD MRS

MasterCard Advisors launched the first fully integrated end-to-end rewards solution in Europe. The new “MasterCard Rewards Services” is designed to enable payment card issuers to integrate their global rewards offerings into one system, thereby streamlining operations and reducing administrative costs and complexity. Built on a platform that supports multiple languages and translation, currency conversion and country-specific reporting requirements, “MRS” is ideal for card issuers seeking to increase their international business. The system is customizable and will support the expanded reward offerings of the issuer by country or region, according to the specific business priorities. GE Consumer Finance’s Corporate Payment Services unit will be the first issuer to offer a MasterCard-branded rewards program in Europe, utilizing end-to-end MRS services which include call center support, merchandise, gift voucher and travel fulfillment. Corporate Payment Services’ first rewards program based on MRS was the “Gains Travel Card Rewards” program, where enrolled business cardholders receive points when they use their corporate card for eligible purchases. This program launched in the United Kingdom and Ireland in October 2004.

Shanghai Shen JCB Card Launches this Month

China’s Bank of Shanghai is gearing up to launch its first JCB branded credit card next month. The new “Shanghai Shen JCB Card” will be denominated in both local Chinese currency and U.S. dollars and be issued in both “Standard” and “Gold.” The new card is targeted at Shanghai’s business travelers and expects to issue 50,000 cards in the first year, according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International. JCB is currently working with other Japanese partners to develop new services for JCB cardholders in China such as discounted package prices for tours in Japan and special deals on mobile phone rental in Japan. JCB has 12.2 million merchants in its network and 53.6 million cardholders worldwide.

BOS JCB CARD

Bank of Shanghai is gearing up to launch its first JCB branded credit card next month. The new “Shanghai Shen JCB Card” will be denominated in both local Chinese currency and U.S. dollars and be issued in both “Standard” and “Gold.” The new card is targeted at Shanghai’s business travelers. Bank of Shanghai expects to issue 50,000 cards in the first year. JCB is currently working with other Japanese partners to develop new services for JCB cardholders in China such as discounted package prices for tours in Japan and special deals on
mobile phone rental in Japan. JCB has 12.2 million merchants in its network and 53.6 million cardholders worldwide.

Chex Services to Expand Overseas

Minnesota-based Chex Services has signed a marketing agreement with Basinco Holdings to offer Chex’s full line of cash access products and services in Europe, Asia and Africa. Chex Services, Inc is a wholly owned subsidiary of FastFunds Financial Corporation and specializes in full booth operations to Native American casinos and has developed a suite of cash access products for use in the traditional gaming and retail markets.

Dauair Joins the UATP Network

The recently launched German regional airline, Dauair, has joined the UATP network. AirPlus International, UATP’s largest account issuer, is the leading form of payment for business travel in Germany.
Dauair began accepting all UATP cards on May 6th. Dauair’s main distribution tool is the online booking engine and is a ticket less carrier; however, traditional methodology may also be used by booking through travel agencies or through the Dauair call center. Dauair offers flights from Dortmund to Berlin-Tempelhof and Poznan, Poland. UATP accounts are accepted as a form of payment for corporate business
travel by more than 200 airlines worldwide.