Biometric Smart Payment Cards Finally Deployed

The first biometric smart card deployment in financial services is in the pipeline for a third world country. The top financial institution in the Ivory Coast, Caisse d’Epargne et des Cheques Postaux, has inked a contract with Oberthur Card Systems for 500,000 cards and 300 biometric readers. CECP has 200 branches throughout the country. Oberthur developed a solution that provides two-level authentication of the cardholder with both a photograph and fingerprints. After a three-month pilot deemed successful by both customers and employees of Abidjan’s main branch, the bank will deploy the project, known as “Reference,” in all of its branches.

I.C.E. Becomes a Significant Gift Card Player

Oxnard, CA-based International Card Establishment has completed its acquisition of Neos Merchant Solutions, an Irvine, CA-based gift and loyalty card provider. The deal which includes cash, debt, and stock is valued at $7.5 million. Neos revenues are expected to be between $6 million and $9 million for 2004 and $9 and $12 million in 2005. I.C.E. has projected revenue of $22 million (pro forma) in 2004, expected to grow to $50 million (pro forma) in 2005. I.C.E reported net revenues of $3.5 million for the second quarter compared to net revenues of about $250,000 in the year ago quarter. The net loss for 2Q/04 was $615,000 compared to $130,000 one-year ago. I.C.E. is aiming to become a direct credit card processor and expects to make more acquisitions in its bankcard unit. For complete details on I.C.E.’s latest results visit CardData ([][1]).


Oberthur Card Systems Hires a Disney Exec

Oberthur Card Systems has hired Julie Pantiskas, formerly VP of Operations and VP of Customer Care at The Walt Disney Company, as VP of customer delivery. Ms. Pantiskas will head Oberthur’s North and Central American Customer Delivery department, driving the company’s growth in the financial services, security, and wireless sectors. In addition to her position at The Walt Disney Company, Pantiskas worked for Deloitte & Touche, served as president and COO of Nut Tree Associates, and was a Group Sales Manager for Macy’s California. Oberthur Card Systems is one of the world’s leading providers of card-based solutions, software, and applications.

NBS Technologies Acquires UbiQ

Toronto-based NBS Technologies has entered into a definitive
agreement to acquire UbiQ. UbiQ, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a privately held software development company dedicated to the smart card industry. Under the terms of the proposed transaction, NBS will issue a
combination of cash and common shares to holders of equity interests of
UbiQ in exchange for all of the issued and outstanding shares of UbiQ.
NBS Technologies is a provider of card personalization, secure
identity solutions, and point of sale transaction services for financial
institutions, governments, and corporations worldwide.

64K Dual Interface Smart Card CAC Ready

Oberthur Card Systems'”ID-One” 64K dual interface contact and
contactless smart card is the first of its type to receive the U.S.
government’s FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certification. The card is now
positioned for use in the next phase of the U.S. Department of Defense’s
“Common Access Card” program. Oberthur Card Systems’ “ID-One” solution
makes available all 64K for customer-specified applications and
biometric information such as facial, iris or fingerprint records.
The certification, which is awarded by the National Institute of
Standards and Technology, also allows Oberthur Card Systems to
compete globally for e-passport contracts.

HCFB Contracts MUZO for its Credit Card Program

Home Credit & Finance Bank Russia has signed an agreement with Prague-based MUZO for payment card processing and issuing services
for the Bank’s new, revolving consumer credit program. MUZO, the largest indirect payment processor in the Czech Republic, will integrate a comprehensive front and back office solution for HCFB’s new program based on MasterCard’s PIN-based “Maestro” card. MUZO’s services
will include: authorization for ATM and POS transactions, as well as card personalization and related card management and distribution
solutions of the issued cards including PIN related support services.
HCFB is the second largest provider of consumer credit in Russia.
Global Payments is majority owner of MUZO.

Arthur Blank Offers RFID-Enabled Cards

Arthur Blank & Co. is supplying RFID-enabled cards for one of the first loyalty and stored transaction RFID systems for the retail and services industries. The new RFID solution, based on the SynapseT web-enabled framework for rapid deployment of real-time transaction processing, will include RFID cards from Arthur Blank & Co., a leader in card marketing solutions. With RFID-embedded plastic cards, the new platform created by IBSS will offer one of the first RFID retail applications storing a customer’s service transactions and loyalty data on a single card. Arthur Blank & Co., Inc. specializes in all facets of custom printed plastic cards. IBSS is the creator of SynapseT, a groundbreaking software technology. SynapseT is a complete framework and methodology used to create, implement and manage a wide variety of dynamic, distributed, networked and real-time enterprise applications, quickly and efficiently.

Metavante Does ATM Remote Key Distribution

Metavante this morning announced it has securely delivered remote key distribution technology to financial institution clients using “Triple DES”-enabled ATMs supplied by NCR and Diebold. Remote key distribution allows Metavante to securely generate encryption keys from its automated system, then send the encryption keys directly to the financial institution’s ATM. Previously this process was manual and required multiple individuals, from Metavante and the requesting bank, to generate, deliver and install encryption keys to each individual ATM. Metavante Corporation delivers virtually all of the technology that an organization needs to offer financial services.

EximBank Deploys Card Tech Systems for ATMs and Debit Cards

EximBank of Vietnam has implemented Card Tech Limited’s “ATM Controller and Debit Switch.” The bank will use the CTL systems to expand its centralized ATM network across the country and also to launch its debit card program. With EximBank, CTL implemented “PRIME,” a comprehensive multi-institutional back-office card and merchant management system and real-time authorization switch, as well as an ATM Controller and POS interfaces. EximBank is based in Hochiminh City and has three branches in Hanoi, Danang and Cantho.

MyVigo to Expand Synapse RFID

MyVigo Corporation has contracted to leverage the IBSS “Synapse” platform for the development of its RFID retail point of service information management system. MyVigo intends to provide merchants in the United States and Canada with a customized suite of services keyed to RFID preferred customer identification cards/key fobs. The cards/key fobs will carry customer profile data that MyVigo issuing merchants require to identify their preferred customers. MyVigo Corporation seeks to provide merchants with RFID and Internet tools to advance in real time the management, delivery, acceptance, approval, administration, notice of service or maintenance, and proof of purchase related to commercial transactions — all with the swipe of a card/key fob at the point of sale. IBSS is the creator of Synapse(TM), a groundbreaking software technology. Synapse(TM) is a complete framework and methodology used to create, implement and manage a wide variety of dynamic, distributed, networked, and real-time enterprise applications including RFID, quickly and efficiently.

GlobalPlatform Smart Card Seminar Scheduled

GlobalPlatform is hosting a free one-day business seminar on 14
September at Børsen, the Royal Exchange, in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Cryptomathic is co-hosting the event. In addition to gaining a basic
grounding in the benefits of GlobalPlatform technology, seminar
participants will hear from industry experts who have developed
GlobalPlatform solutions for their EMV and PKI application programs and
gain a technical insight into the latest developments of
GlobalPlatform’s infrastructure and strategies. Presentations will be
delivered throughout the day by representatives
from GlobalPlatform Member organizations, including Axalto,
Cryptomathic, Datacard Group, Giesecke & Devrient, Setec,
STMicroelectronics, and Visa International. Guest presentations will be
delivered by speakers from Luottokunta, Rosan Finance, Skandiabanken and
the US Department of Defense.

ICMA Holds its First Workshop in Asia

The International Card Manufacturers Association will hold its first-ever educational workshop in Asia. The “Innovative Solutions for Plastic Card Production” workshop will be held August 31 – September 1, at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, Korea. The conference will be
co-hosted by ICMA’s president, T.K. Choi, CEO of KBC Corporation, and Victor Chan, VP of business development for NBS Technologies. Serving as Keynote Speaker will be Mr. Ho Gun Lee, CEO of BC Card Co. and Chairman of KEPIA (Korea Electronic Payment Industry Association), who will explore standardization issues in his session, “One Card, One Asia.”