ATM FEES

The RBI subsidiary, The Institute for Development and Research in
Banking Technology
(IDRBT), has thrown out policies that require customers to pay Rs 2
for transaction switching when using ATMs. In place of this fee, banks
will only charge
mutual interchange transaction fees while some may waive the fee entirely.
All banks involved support this amendment and look forward to providing
a more user-friendly ATM service. A Nationwide Financial Switch (NFS)
was originally established to provide banks with a network of 16,891
ATMs under 27 member banks. ATM usage accounts for nearly 70% of
banking transaction in India with around 75,000 transactions on a daily
basis. With this development, however, experts project that ATM usage is
soon to account for closer to 90% of all banking transactions. The member
banks concerning this development include ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis
Bank, Canara Bank, Corporation Bank, Bank of Baroda and Punjab
National Bank, among others.

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JALCARD BIDDING

Japan Airlines has reopened bidding on its JALCARD credit card division
to a shortlisted group of organizations, including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial
Group Inc., Credit Saison Co., Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp.,
U.S. investment fund TPG and an unnamed investment fund. Sources say
that rather than Japan Airlines’ original intention to sell a minority
share,
the company may auction a majority holding to buyer as predicted by
March of 2008. JALCARD currently has around 1.9 million cardholders,
for whom its processed 1,650.5 billion yen for the 2006 fiscal year.

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HSBC PREMIER CARD

HSBC Bank plans to launch its “Premier Credit Card” for “Premier
Customers” requiring no annual fee. Additional features offered to
customers include a supplementary card, a rewards and mileage
program and a “Home and Away Program”, affording cardholders
privileges with over 9,000 merchant in over 40 countries. Furthermore,
customers can participate in the “MasterCard Moments” online luxury
accommodation service and insurance coverage of up to 3 million yen
on goods purchased with the card.

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American Bank Note Holographics is Acquired

Payment card hologram specialist American Bank Note Holographics has signed a deal to be acquired by communications specialist JDSU for $138 million in cash plus stock. NJ-based ABNH posted revenues of $23.7 million and net income of $4.3 million for the first nine months of this year. The Company has about 110 employees. ABNH currently supplies and supports card manufacturers with security and decorative products that are featured on cards issued by over 20,000 financial institutions worldwide. ABNH recently introduced second generation “HoloMag,” “HoloStripe,” and “HoloCard” products. However, the Company has been dogged by problems with its first generation “HoloMag” product. As a result the company lost VISA and MasterCard “HoloMag” revenue. Following the close of the transaction, which is expected in the first quarter, ABNH will become part of JDSU’s Advanced Optical Technologies business segment. JDSU says the acquisition will bolster its security solutions for brand protection and expand its position into security solutions for transaction card-based commerce. (CF Library 10/30/07)

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CREDIT INFO NETWORK

The Beijing Municipal Government and the People’s Bank of China
have signed partnership agreements to develop a consumer information
database network. The Beijing municipal government and the central bank
intend to provide the consumer information to banks, government
branches, social security, taxation and government employees. Additionally,
this development will provide individuals with their own credit information
and history on demand. Furthermore, this will alleviate the difficulty
banks
confront when seeking credit history information on first-time customers
and will allow issuers access to cardholders’ credit history through
this new
universal network.

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UNIBANCO & FALCON

Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros, S.A. (Unibanco) has recently signed
agreements to deploy the “Falcon” Fair Isaac Fraud Solution. With this
development, Unibanco will implement “Falcon” fraud management to
protect its retail credit, debit and private-label card portfolios for at
least the next 5 years. The bank currently has nearly 20 million
customers in the Brazilian market, which has a population of 183.5
million and has seen a 115% growth in credit card use between
2003 and 2006. The “Falcon” solution protects over one billion payment
cards from fraud around the world with the use of predictive
technology while Fair Isaac provides its clients in 80 countries with
solutions
designed to increase profitability and cut fraud losses. Unibanco operates
nearly 7,600 ATMs and 940 full-service branches throughout Brazil.

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AFS & PCI

Arab Financial Services (AFS) has announced that it will become a
participating organization in the PCI Security Standards Organization
to contribute to the development of its standards. In addition to
contributing to the standards of security, PCI will provide the financial
service organization with up-to-date payment card security standards
and community-developed protection against data criminals. PCI DSS
is endorsed by American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB,
MasterCard Worldwide and VISA, providing security standards
that require merchants to abide by information security controls and to
follow processes that ensure data integrity.

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VISA Financial Football Kicks-Off in New England

VISA has enlisted the input of New England’s financial treasurers and controllers to address the issue of financial illiteracy among teenagers distributing free copies of “Financial Football”, an interactive, NFL-themed, money management video game. Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill, Rhode Island State Treasurer Frank Caprio, New Hampshire State Treasurer Catherine Provencher, Vermont State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding, Connecticut State Assistant Treasurer Meredith Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Education Dan Iannicola and the Jump$tart Coalition are participating in a region-wide rollout of an effort to improve the money management skills of New England high school students.

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MY OWN CARD

Slovenska sporitel has signed partnership agreements with the
Serverside Group to provide its cardholders with the “My Own Card”
program allowing card personalization. In doing so, the organization’s
customer issued cards can be customized with personal images or from
a range of galleries. This new service will be promoted through
Serverside’s
online marketing tools, which include “Competition API” to allow issuers to
build and run design competitions, “TalkAboutMe” to allow issuers to
showcase the campaign, and “ShareMyDesign” marketing tool allowing
users to share designs with others. Experts at both companies foresee this
customization partnership as useful in attracting new customers and
intriguing
for existing ones.

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BB&T Bank Begins Upgrading to Opteva ATMs

NC-based BB&T Bank will purchase 300 Diebold “Opteva” ATMs for installation at bank branches and off-premises sites. The order includes a mix of “Opteva” models used by BB&T to upgrade its network of approximately 2,100 ATMs between now and 2010. An initial group of 20 Opteva terminals will be installed by the end of 2007. Diebold developed Opteva’s advanced design features based on extensive global consumer research. The company engineered the machine from the ground up with entirely new architecture. At the time it was introduced, Opteva contained 40 exclusive product features, each designed to provide added customer convenience, enhanced security and comprehensive service offerings. BB&T has $130.8 billion in assets and more than 1,500 financial centers in 11 states and Washington, D.C.

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BRED MASTERCARD

BRED Banque Populaire has unveiled a new MasterCard debit card targeted at 16 million females aged between 20 and 40 years-old in France. The new “Bred Affinity MasterCard” offers discounts at participating retailers, emergency calls for home repair services or
domestic accidents, guarantees for purchases and home shopping, and one or two year extension of guarantees granted by manufacturers. Cardholders receive automatic discounts at Sephora.com, Fnac.com, 24h00.fr, SmartBox.fr and Viapresse.com. The card is available as a “Classic” or “Gold” card. BRED Banque Populaire aims to issue more than 20,000 “Classic” cards and 5,000 “Gold” cards next year. There are currently 33 million affinity and co-branded cards circulating in Europe.

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BidPay E-Classifieds Deploy TrustPlus

MA-based TrustPlus announced a strategic partnership with BidPay.com to offer customers the convenience of using credit cards through the BidPay payment platform for online classifieds transactions. In coordination with TrustPlus’ reputation service, BidPay’s payment platform helps buyers make purchases using their credit cards without revealing the card’s information to sellers. By joining these services, online buyers will be able to access a seller’s reputation and make their purchase with a debit or credit card in one simple step without compromise to privacy or security. BidPay is a leading online payment service and a wholly owned subsidiary of CyberSource.

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