Bank of America and Aetna have teamed to launch a new credit card that promotes healthy living. The new “Aetna Healthy Living Platinum Plus VISA” offers bonus rewards and redemption discounts on certain health-related purchases with rewards deposited to a “Health Savings Account” if desired. The credit card is currently available to Aetna’s “Small Group” customers and will be expanded to other customer groups in 2007. Cardholders earn 3 points for every $1 spent hospital treatments, doctor and dentist charges, sporting goods stores, fitness and weight loss centers, vitamin stores and and 1 point on all other purchases. Cardholders also an exclusive 10% point redemption discount on gym equipment, spa set, bicycles, blood pressure monitors and other health-related items from the “WorldPoints” catalog.Details
VISA USA is now testing the delivery of mobile payment coupons and rewards via text message, graphic and bar code images direct to consumers’ mobile devices. The pilot, to be launched this month, will involve 500 VISA employees at its California headquarters. Pilot participants will receive payment coupons and rewards that can be redeemed at on-site cafes located on VISA’s corporate campus. The California trial follows a large-scale U.S. mobile payment test at Philips Arena in Atlanta. A recent online survey conducted by VISA found that 61% of respondents between the ages of 25 and 34 are interested in making mobile phone purchases. There are currently more than 225 million mobile phone users in the U.S.Details
CA-based International Card Establishment posted third quarter revenues of $2.8 million, compared to revenues of $1.2 million for 3Q/05. For the quarter ended September 30, 2006 the company reported net income of $29,278 $(0.00 per share) as compared to a net loss of $(1,066,127) $(0.04 per share) for the quarter ended September 30, 2005. For the nine months ended September 30, 2006, the company reported net revenues of $7,683,082 versus $2,751,569 for the comparable period a year ago. I.C.E. is a rapidly growing provider of diversified products and services to the electronic transaction processing industry.Details
Cardtronics plans to install S1’s “Postilion” software to provide in-house ATM transaction processing for its network of more than 26,000 ATMs. The modularized family of products drives consumer- generated transactions at every point of an electronic funds transfer (EFT) network. Cardtronics is the world’s largest owner/operator of ATMs with more than 25,000 locations. We operate in every major US market, and at over 1,000 locations throughout the UK and over 300 locations in Mexico. S1 Corporation delivers customer interaction software for financial and payment services and offers unique solution sets for financial institutions, retailers, and processors.Details
Cogneto and Cognitec Systems have teamed to deliver the first facial recognition technology to the online banking market. Using their own webcams, users can receive a higher level of identity assurance for their online bank accounts. Cognitec”s software matches images of users with photos taken by UNOMI during the normal log-in process. Cogneto is a pioneer of cognitive authentication, which uses a range of recognition and behavioral factors to identify online users. Cognitec Systems develops and markets the well-established and world-leading FaceVACS face recognition software.Details
FL-based Global Axcess reported that third quarter revenue rose 15% year-on-year to $5.6 million. The Company achieved gross profit from continuing operations of $2.4 million or 43% of revenue for the three-month period ended September 30, 2006. This compared to $1.9 million or 41% of revenue for the same period of 2005. Global Axcess Corp was founded in 2001 with a mission to emerge as the leading independent provider of ATM services in the United States.Details
NJ-based American Bank Note Holographics reported that sales in the third quarter fell 27% to $6.6 million. Net income also declined from $1.1 million for 3Q/05 to $0.7 million for 3Q/06. The drop in revenues and net income were directly related to the cessation of the “VISA HoloMag” program. In March VISA directed its members and authorized card manufacturers to cease producing and issuing VISA cards incorporating the “HoloMag” mag stripe that was provided by American Bank Note Holographics. VISA said card terminals had been affected by electro-static discharge from static electricity when using cards incorporating the holographic magnetic stripe. During the second quarter, the Company developed a second generation “HoloMag” product that incorporates an electro-static dissipative agent that helps to insulate a vulnerable terminal from electro-static discharge. For complete details on American Bank Note Holographics third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]). (CF Library 4/18/06; 8/14/06)
Dallas-based PayPro reported that third quarter profits skyrocketed by 2582% over the prior quarter. The results showed a 213% gain in quarterly revenue over the second quarter, with third quarter revenues of $11.2 million compared with $5.3 million in revenues for 2Q/06. The Company focuses on Pan-American companies and infrastructure projects in Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Venezuela and the Caribbean. Among various other products and services PayPro offers “VISA Prepaid Cards” and e-commerce merchant accounts. In June Mike Terrell returned as President & CEO. The appointment came following the sale of Chexcard Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary. PayPro is an international payroll and payment solutions company. For complete details on PayPro’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]). (CF Library 6/29/06)
China unveiled new banking rules that enables foreign banks to offer local currency banking services to domestic individuals as well as businesses. The new rules, which take effect on December 11th, also will allow foreign banks to issue credit cards in local currency after they become locally incorporated banks. The People’s Bank of China will be responsible for the operation and management of the payment system. Under the new rules foreign banks will be limited to take fixed-term deposits of at least one million yuan from Chinese residents and can lend only 75% of their deposits. A minimum registered capital of one billion yuan is required to incorporate a bank. The opening of the Chinese banking system is part of a December 2001 agreement when it joined the World Trade Organization. To-date HSBC, Citibank, American Express and Discover have major partnerships with Chinese banks or payment service providers.Details
MasterCard announced the largest roll-out to-date of contactless technology in self service POS and vending machines. The news comes one day after the card network announced plans to penetrate the taxicab industry with “Tap & Go” payment technology. MasterCard yesterday announced that 5,000 additional self service POS terminals, including vending machines, will be equipped with USA Technologies’ “e-Port” cashless transaction solution to begin accepting “PayPass.” The 5,000 “e-Ports” will be deployed in New York City, Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington D.C., Denver, Seattle, Miami and Orlando. The deployment follows a successful trial of 1,000 vending machines in the greater Philadelphia area. The vending and taxicab “PayPass” initiatives are yet another milestone in “PayPass” growth. So far this year “PayPass” launched a pilot with New York City subways in July; is now accepted at nine Major League Baseball stadiums; launched in Europe in July; was added to Advanta’s business card; and has launched pilots with special watches and wristbands. “PayPass” acceptance has now expanded to 36,000 merchants worldwide. (CF Library 1/30/06; 6/05/06; 6/27/06; 7/21/06; 8/15/06; 9/6/06)Details
VISA’s new “V PAY” debit card got off the ground this week with its first transaction from the famous Getreidegasse in Salzburg. “V PAY” is VISA Europe’s new “chip and PIN” only pan-European, SEPA-compliant (Single Euro Payments Area) debit card, allowing cardholders to make highly secure domestic and cross-border payments anywhere in Europe.
“V PAY” cards can be accepted at over three million POS terminals and 180 thousand ATMs across Europe. hobex was the first Austrian provider to process “V PAY.” In Europe, there are over 315 million VISA debit, credit and commercial cards. In the 12 months ending June 2006, those cards were used to make purchases and cash withdrawals to the value of over 1.19 trillion euros.