Discover card merchant acceptance took a big leap with the help of China’s only national bankcard payment network. Discover Network cards are now accepted at more than 480,000 merchant locations and 90,000 ATMs across China. The expansion is the result of pact signed last year between Discover and China Unionpay. Under terms of the deal, signed in May 2005, Discover and China UnionPay agreed to accept Discover cards in China and Discover agreed to accept CUP cards in the U.S on its “PULSE” network. The first transaction of a China Unionpay card on the “PULSE” network took place in December. There are more than 800 million CUP cards issued in China and more than 50 million Discover cards issued in the USA. Discover cards are currently accepted in the USA, Caribbean, Mexico and Canada.Details
Gemalto has launched an end-to-end solution for secure Internet design of personalized EMV payment cards. The new “CardLikeMe” system enables users to upload a picture of their choice on a bank Web site and transfer it to a card. Once the picture is loaded on the bank Web site, users can visualize the card appearance in real time and adjust the photograph as they wish. The image is approved by the bank before the order is placed. Users may also choose a picture from a wide range of attractive background visuals offered on the bank’s online gallery. “CardLikeMe” has already gone live with several European financial institutions.Details
Las Vegas-based Cash Systems reported that third quarter revenue jumped 52% to $26 million. However, the Company had a new loss of $2.8 million due to several unusual expenses. The extra expenses includes $2.4 million in items related to prior processor and bank relationships, including reserves for processor receivables, termination fees, disputed fees and processing errors. Cash Systems says revenue is now expected to grow to approximately to $94 million for 2006, compared to previous revenue guidance of $90 million. Net income is expected to be positive for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2006. For complete details on Cash Systems’ latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Keycorp has partnered with CPI Card Group to manufacture MasterCard’s “PayPass” contactless cards for Banamex. The issued cards will be introduced into McDonald’s fast food outlets throughout Monterrey, Mexico. This joint effort will mark the first “PayPass” program launched in Latin America. The contactless card, manufactured by CPI, will use utilize the dual interface chip with the MULTOS operating system developed by Keycorp. Personalization of the cards will occur in the in-house bureau of Banamex.Details
VeriFone has delivered its 150,000th payment solution for
Mexico’s terminalization program. The program is coordinated by FIMPE
which promotes the usage of electronic payments under the name “Boletazo,” such as sweepstakes for cardholders and a nationwide program to provide POS systems to small businesses. Due to the efforts of FIMPE and VeriFone both the number of POS transactions and total sales
volume at POS increased 49% during 2005. This trend continues in 2006:
transactions at POS during the first half of the year increased 133%
compared to the same period in 2003, according to recent numbers of the
Banco de Mexico, Mexico’s Central Bank.
Royal Bank of Canada has selected ACI’s “Smart Chip Manager” for its planned migration to chip technology for debit and credit cards. “Smart Chip Manager” will provide RBC with the control and management necessary for early phases of chip card migration as well as the flexibility to offer new products in the coming years. Chip card internal trials will begin in late 2007. ACI serves over 800
customers in 83 countries.
GE Money’s credit card joint venture with the State Bank of India, formed in 1998, is paying-off in spades this year. SBI Card has added a record one million new customers this year bringing its portfolio to more than three million total cardholders. SBI Card is the only non-bank card issuer in India and is now the second largest issuer in the country right behind ICICI Bank. SBI Card says it has experienced a compound annual growth rate of 45% on volume and outstandings since the year 2000. The issuer has co-branding relationships with Indian Railways, Lifestyle, LG, Go Air, Vishal Mega-Mart, Hero Honda and Tata. The size of the Indian credit cards market is estimated to be about $4 billion and is growing at 35% per year.Details
MasterCard has launched two major new “PayPass” pilots in France and extended an existing pilot with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group in the UK. The French projects, in Strasbourg and Toulouse, will be the first trials of contactless EMV1 chip-based MasterCard credit payments in Europe, while the flagship project with RBS is the first trial of contactless debit payments in the region. In Strasbourg, MasterCard will support a seven company-strong consortium, including Groupe Credit Mutuel, CIC and NRJ Mobile, to enable 200 residents to make contactless payments via mobile phones at 50 retailers in the city. In the first EMV-enabled mobile commerce trial of its kind, the specially designed phones from Sagem will contain EMV-compatible SIM cards from Gemalto, contactless readers from Sagem Monetel and Near Field Communication electronic chips designed by Inside Contactless. In Toulouse, MasterCard will work with LaSer Cofinoga, the consumer finance arm of Groupe Galeries Lafayette, to enable a thousand of the latter’s customers to test a contactless payment card at participating Galeries Lafayette and Monoprix stores throughout the city. It will be the first contactless EMV-enabled multi-application card in Europe, for use in retailers and for public transport in the city.Details
U.S. Bank has inked a deal with the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania to issue the “Pennsylvania Masons VISA Platinum” credit card to its 125,000 members. The new Visa card features one of four pictures – one depicting an eagle and the American flag, another with a picture of the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia, a third with famous Masons and a fourth dedicated to youth. The 125,000 members will have access to three credit card products from U.S. Bank including a card that earns reward points that can be redeemed for gift certificates, merchandise and travel rewards, and another that provides cash back on purchases. U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), with assets of $217 billion, is the 6th largest financial holding company in the United States.Details
The Smart Payment Association has released the first version of their contactless data storage specifications. The members of the association have been working on a joint specification with the objective to keep it simple and easy to implement on contactless devices at a low cost, while providing appropriate levels of security. Whenever possible, existing standards were employed. The Smart Payment Association (SPA) members are Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Oberthur Card Systems and Sagem Orga.Details
UT-based prepaid specialist, Q Comm International, has decided to delist from the American Stock Exchange and withdraw its registration from the SEC. The Company currently has no plans to list its shares of common stock on another stock exchange. In light of this delisting and deregistration process, the Company will no longer host quarterly earnings conference calls with investors and will no longer file its current and periodic reports with the SEC, although, in the future, the Company will continue to communicate with its investors on a regular basis as a private company. Q Comm International is a prepaid transaction processor that electronically distributes prepaid products from service providers to the point of sale.Details
Hypercom has taken its “Optimum M4100 Blade” global. The new mobile credit/debit terminal is designed to comply with current global security standards and the smallest product of its kind. It is equipped with both Wi-Fi and GPRS wireless communication technology, is PCI PED and EMV Level 1 & 2-certified. Hypercom says its product, for the first time, enables credit cards to be used to pay for at-home restaurant deliveries, goods purchased at art festivals and craft shows, concessions at sports stadiums, in-flight purchases, and in other settings without wired connections including areas where the cost of wired communications is prohibitive.Details