S1’s Postilion for Retail is VISA Certified

Atlanta-based S1 Corporation announced that the applications making up the “Postilion for Retail” solution have been validated as complying VISA’s CISP and PABP. CISP PABP validation is considered to be the industry standard for the data security validation of payment applications. It is designed to assist software vendors develop secure payment applications in an effort to minimize the potential for security breaches and compromised card details. S1 Corporation (incorporating Mosaic Software) delivers customer interaction software for financial and payment services and offers unique solution sets for financial institutions, retailers, and processors.

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GPN & HSBC to Provide Merchant Services

Global Payments has completed the formation of a joint
venture with The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited to
provide payment processing services to merchants in the Asia-Pacific
region. The joint venture, Global Payments Asia-Pacific Limited, will
provide merchant acquiring services to over 45,000 merchant outlets
across ten countries and territories: Brunei, Hong Kong, India, Macau,
mainland China, Malaysia, Maldives, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Taiwan.
Under the terms of the agreement announced in September 2005, Global
Payments paid HSBC US$67.2 million in cash to acquire a 56% ownership interest in the joint venture. HSBC controls the remaining 44% and contributed its existing Asia-Pacific merchant acquiring channel in ten countries and territories to the joint venture. In addition, HSBC and Global Payments have entered into a ten-year marketing alliance in
which the bank will refer its customers, in the ten Asia-Pacific countries and territories, to the joint venture for merchant payment processing.

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Dynamic Card Solutions Hits a Client Milestone

CO-based Dynamic Card Solutions has signed its 250th customer for its instant issue VISA debit cards. Citizens Commerce National Bank opened on November 12, 1996, with a single full-service location in Versailles, Kentucky. Dynamic Solutions International, Dynamic Card Solutions is an innovative developer of instant issuance and PIN selection solutions for banks, credit unions and retailers.

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Toronto Card Scammers Settle with the FTC

Six Toronto-based individuals and their companies have settled FTC charges that they fraudulently marketed and sold credit card loss protection and healthcare discount plans to U.S. consumers. The telemarketing boiler rooms have been shut down, and have agreed to pay $200,000. The order contains a judgment of $14 million, which is suspended based on the defendants’ inability to pay. The FTC says the firms operated as “National Credit Card Security,” charging consumers $249, often without authorization. The defendants’ second scheme targeted elderly U.S. consumers with promises of large discounts on prescription drugs and medical services. The firms involved include STF Group; Start to Finish Consulting Group; Ontario Limited; Q-Prompt; Korn Land Corporation; Med Plan; Chembe Management; Thunderchild Consulting; SMAKK Consulting; GTCQ; Global Discount Healthcare Benefits; and First Med, among other variations of these names.

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Moneris Signs Freestar Bank for Card Processing

IL-based Freestar has signed a three-year agreement with Moneris for credit card processing services and will participate in Moneris’ “Referral Bank” program. Under the agreement, Moneris offers Freestar the opportunity to provide advanced point-of-sale technologies, wireless payment processing and electronic bill payment to its business customers. Moneris Solutions, Inc. (www.monerisusa.com) has a 30-year history as one of North America’s largest electronic transaction processors, delivering advanced payment card processing capabilities through point-of-sale hardware, payment processing software, e-commerce solutions and a gift and loyalty program. Freestar Bank, headquartered in Pontiac, IL, is an independently owned community bank with assets of $ 270 million.

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MasterCard Financial Literacy Campaign Gears-Up

MasterCard has chosen 11 college students currently serving as Capitol Hill interns to manage a financial literacy campaign on their respective campuses during the 2006 fall semester. The Washington workshop will teach the interns key campaign techniques like event planning and partnership development skills to increase the reach of the financial literacy information in the “Are You Credit Wise?” program. Students participating in this year’s program will be taught different tactics and techniques to reach their peers with the information and materials provided by MasterCard. All materials distributed are exclusively educational and void of any marketing information. MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link between financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide.

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Chevy Chase Cardholders Get Some Relief

Once among the top credit card issuers in the country, Chevy Chase Bank recently agreed to pay more than $16 million to former cardholders in a class action lawsuit filed in 1999. The bank, formerly based in Maryland, was renowned for charging cardholders double digit interest rates well above the Maryland usury limit of 24% per annum, in most cases up to 28%. It was among the first card issuers in the U.S. to introduce punitive interest rates on high risk cardholders. The bank subsequently moved its card operation to Virginia to avoid the Maryland usury law. The issuer also notified cardholders in early 1996 it was switching to an arbitration requirement. The Maryland court hearing the case approved the settlement this week. First USA/Banc One (now Chase) purchased the $4.9 billion credit card operation of Chevy Chase Bank in September 1998. (CF Library 9/3/98; 3/9/01)

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Top AmEx Card Exec to Chair the Zopa Board

San Francisco-based Zopa, an online exchange service for P2P lending and borrowing, has named Phillip Riese, the former president of American Express Consumer Cards Services Group, as chairman of its board of directors. Riese brings more than 20 years of financial service expertise to his role as chairman. He is the former president of American Express Consumer Cards Services Group, where he spent 18 years of his career developing, marketing and servicing charge and credit card products. During that time, Mr. Riese and his team were credited for the successful turnaround of the flagship business of American Express. Zopa (www.zopa.com), a Delaware company, is the world’s first online, person-to-person lending and borrowing exchange.

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GEMPLUS 2Q/06

Smart card specialist Gemplus International reports a 5% jump in net sales for the second quarter driven by robust revenue growth in the Financial Services and ID & Security units. Second quarter revenues climbed to 247.3 million euros, compared to 230.3 million euros in the prior quarter and 236.2 million euros for 2Q/05. Gemplus shipped 20.8 million units of payment microprocessor cards during the quarter, up 24% year-on-year. Payment microprocessor card revenue rose 2% year-on-year.
The Company noted that it been chosen by Commonwealth Bank of Australia for Australia’s first MasterCard “PayPass” pilot. The six-month trial will be rolled out in New South Wales, with the first phase involving 33,000 cardholders who will be able to use their MasterCard “PayPass” cards at more than 150 participating merchants. Gemplus is currently merging with Axalto to create Gemalto. For complete details on Gemplus’ second quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Wachovia Launches Consumer Friendly VISAs

NC-based Wachovia is launching new VISA card products that enable customers to combine debit and credit card points in its new “Possibilities Rewards” program. The issuer is re-entering the market after a five-year hiatus. The new credit cards also provide late fee and over-limit fee waivers. Wachovia’s new credit card product suite consists of three different products including “Wachovia Classic,” “Wachovia Platinum” and “Wachovia Signature.” The issue also noted that will not engage in repricing the interest rate until a customer has two consecutive payments past due three times or three consecutive payments past due once in a 12-month-period. Wachovia announced in November that it had terminated its existing joint marketing agreement with MBNA and re-entered the credit card business.

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Giesecke & Devrient To Use SafeNet HSMs

Giesecke & Devrient has selected MD-based SafeNet’s “Hardware Security Modules” for its cryptography needs including smart card production, personalization and key management. SafeNet HSM is a PCI adapter-based HSM that provides high-performance secure cryptographic processing in server systems and supports applications requiring high-performance symmetric and asymmetric cryptographic operations. By integrating the HSM’s smart card cryptographic key transfer into its security solutions, G&D can ensure the ultimate level of secrecy and integrity of keys and sensitive data for its customers. SafeNet is a global leader in information security. Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), based in Munich, Germany, is an international technology group operating subsidiaries and joint ventures throughout the world.

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Advanta’s Biz Card Q2 Profits Up 69%

Business card specialist Advanta posted a 25% rise in managed outstandings during the second quarter to nearly $4.4 billion. Advanta’s Business Card unit earned net income of $23.0 million as compared to $13.6 million for second quarter 2005. During the second quarter, Advanta opened 86,398 business card accounts and ended the quarter with 978,517 gross accounts. About 70% of the accounts were active. Transaction volume increased 24% to $3.0 billion during the second quarter. Charge-offs dropped from 3.62% in the first quarter to 3.24% for the second quarter. Over 30 day delinquencies on managed receivables declined 38 basis points to 2.66% and over 90 day delinquencies on managed receivables increased two basis points to 1.31%, compared to the first quarter of 2006. Advanta says it anticipates growth in managed receivables in the range of 20% to 30%, with transaction volume increasing 20% to 25%. In addition, the Company plans on investing more in acquisition and marketing activities which should result in new account growth in 2006 to be 45% to 50% higher than full year 2005 new account growth. For complete details on Advanta’s second quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

ADVANTA’S CARD PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
Period Card Loans
2Q/05: $3.51 billion
3Q/05: $3.60 billion
4Q/05: $3.76 billion
1Q/06: $3.89 billion
2Q/06: $4.39 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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