Banks Endorse VISA’s V PAY for SEPA

Visa Europe has welcomed the Belgian banks first positive step towards
the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). “V PAY” is always chip, always PIN,
which offers a unique optimal level of
security and issuer control with minimal fraud losses compared to other
European debit schemes. It builds on the investment of the European
banks in EMV infrastructure across Europe, and provides local and
European governance. Currently there are 20 acquirers signed up to “V PAY”
and 12 acquirers in advanced negotiations.

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20% Say ID Theft Losses are Frustrating

A new poll reveals that 60% of adults who have had their identity stolen lost money as a result and while 57% recovered their losses within three months, 21% say they have not yet been able to recover their loss. The “Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Personal Finance Poll” also found that 16% of adults say they have had their credit or debit card used by someone they don’t know without their permission. More than 60% of adults say they trust credit card insurance companies. Retailers, however, have some work to do as 52% say they trust retailers very little or not at all to protect their personal information. In an effort to help prevent identity theft, about seven in 10 adults say they watch for suspicious activity on their accounts, shred mail that contains their account numbers and/or limit access to their Social Security number to prevent identity theft.

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HSBC Retail Services & Debitman Team

San Mateo, CA-based Debitman Car got a big boost today from HSBC. The electronic payment network operator known as “The Retailer’s Network” will now have HSBC Retail Services drive its growth. HSBC will handle card program fulfillment and support services. Merchants who choose HSBC card programs to access Debitman receive significant cost savings compared with other card networks. Merchant integration into the “Retailer’s Network” requires neither POS modifications nor costly investment in card acceptance equipment. Customers who hold cards for network merchants will use one payment card, linked to their checking account, to pay for purchases and earn retailer loyalty rewards wherever the Retailer’s Network is accepted, currently more than 200,000 locations.

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Fubon Bank Teams with OTI for MC PayPass

On Track Innovations is providing Taipei Fubon Bank a Mastercard compliant
“Tap & Go” key fob solution. Fubon Bank is offering the new device to its
customers as part of their 2006 FIFA World Cup promotion. Customers have
the opportunity to win prizes when using their PayPass-enabled key fob to
pay for their purchases. The grand prize is a trip to watch the 2006 FIFA
World Cup in Germany. Taipei Fubon Bank has the largest network of
branches among privately owned banks in Taiwan and the highest market
share in Greater Taipei. OTI designs, develops and markets secure
contactless microprocessor-based smart card technology.

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Lower Interchange Forces Paradigm Shift

A new study forecasts that the payments business will be a $703 billion industry by 2013, up from $467 billion in 2003. However, average revenues per transaction will decline to $1.58 for domestic payments and to $7.27 for cross-border payments by 2013, down from $2.08 and $9.33, respectively, in 2003. The report by The Boston Consulting Group says the “Single Euro Payments Area,” the legislation intended to harmonize European payments platforms, will bring measurable benefits to consumers and is worth the investment that European banks must make to meet the requirement of bringing pan-European payments capability alongside domestic programs by 2008. According to the report, banks in the U.S. are battling slowing growth in credit card usage owing to a saturating market, increased use of substitute credit lines (such as those based on home equity) and a shift by consumers toward debit instruments. Interchange revenues, which reached an average of 175 basis points per transaction in 2005, are also under siege because of a series of lawsuits brought by retailers claiming that interchange rates are unfairly high. BCG says that if interchange income which represents about one-third of risk-adjusted revenues for U.S. card issuers were to be slashed, banks would need to review their core business models.

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KBC Group to Deploy NCR Personas M Series ATMs

The KBC Group will deploy new NCR “Personas M Series” ATMs. NCR has been selected as the sole ATM supplier to the bank and is now starting to deliver the NCR “Personas M Series 76.” These units enable the bank to quickly and easily introduce image-based, intelligent cash deposit transaction capability, in lieu of envelope deposit. Some of the new machines are also equipped with cash recycling functionality, popular in certain markets, which accepts, validates, sorts and stores deposited cash. The deposited cash can then be re-used and dispensed to subsequent customers who wish to withdraw cash from the ATM.

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Mountain America CU Deploys CardWizard

Salt Lake City-based Mountain America Credit Union selected Colorado-based Dynamic Card Solutions to implement a program that instantly issues VISA debit cards using “CardWizard” software in conjunction with Datacard’s”150i” branch-level embosser. By offering debit cards instantly at the branch, the credit union eliminates the cost, delay and risks associated with the conventional method of sending newly issued cards through the mail. Mountain America Credit Union has more than $1.8 billion in assets and more than 219,000 members. Dynamic Card Solutions is an instant issuance provider for Visa and MasterCard debit cards.

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VeriFone Targets Drive-Thru Payments

VeriFone unveiled a rugged and secure drive-thru consumer-operated payment solution that supports credit, debit and contactless cards and integrates with existing VeriFone payment systems for easy implementation. The new “QX720” utilizes a dip-insertion style card reader for magnetic stripe credit and debit cards and the keypad features rugged metal-cap keys in an ATM-style interface. The “QX720” can be mounted at the payment window, where it interfaces with via a small junction box with electronic point of sale systems and existing VeriFone payment systems such as the VeriFone “MX870” or the “Vx Solutions” family. Optionally, it can be mounted at an order board utilizing a serial link and power extension.

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Quick Chek Installs SelfServe

New Jersey-based Quick Chek convenience store chain, with more than 100 locations in the Northeast, has deployed the Retalix “SelfServe” kiosk ordering system. Retalix SelfServe enables customers to easily place sandwich orders on animated and interactive touch screens throughout the store that are connected to the kitchen prep area and POS. By simplifying the process of ordering sandwiches and other quick service restaurant (QSR) items, the solution frees time for customers to shop and pay at the POS while the order is being filled and has reduced the human error factor. Retalix is an independent provider of enterprise-wide software solutions to retailers and distributors worldwide.

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GEMALTO APPROVAL

The European Commission has cleared the proposed
Axalto and Gemplus merger. The shareholders and boards of directors of both companies have already approved the transaction and the U.S. antitrust authorities have not raised objections to the transaction. In December, the boards of Axalto and Gemplus unanimously approved a merger of equals to create Gemalto. The $1.1 billion transaction will create a company with annual revenues of $2.1 billion and 11,000 employees. Management of the companies expect to realize joint annualized net operational synergies of approximately $100 million by the third year after closing on a fully phased basis. Alex Mandl, the President & CEO of Gemplus, will assume the position of Executive Chairman and Olivier Piou, CEO of Axalto, will be the CEO of Gemalto. Mr. Mandl and Mr. Piou will jointly constitute the Office of Chairman. Frans Spaargaren will assume the position of Chief Administrative Officer with responsibility for integration, procurement, supply chain and IT and Charles Desmartis will be the CFO of Gemalto. The Board of Directors of the combined entity will be comprised of 11 members, 5 proposed from the current Axalto Board, 5 proposed from the current Board of Gemplus and 1 other independent member will be jointly nominated. Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisor to Axalto and Morgan Stanley as financial advisor to Gemplus. (CFI Library 12/8/05)

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VeriFone Rolls-Out ON THE SPOT

VeriFone has introduced its “ON THE SPOT” payment systems solution, designed to reduce credit card skimming in restaurants. With ON THE SPOT, customers can pay faster, safer and easier whether dining at the table, utilizing carside takeout and home delivery, or going through the drive-thru. Restaurant owners may also benefit from reduced credit card processing fees when customers use PIN-based debit cards, which incur lower processing fees than signature-based debit and credit payments.

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