New MULTOS Group Becomes StepNexus

The group that acquired the “MULTOS” smart card technology from MasterCard in November has decided to name the new company StepNexus Inc. Oak Hill Venture Partners, Hitachi, Keycorp, and MasterCard teamed four months ago to established the Company in the US and in the UK. StepNexus was formerly called Bamboo Technologies. StepNexus offers two initial solutions including the “MULTOS Operating System” and “StepNexus Service” which includes initialization and maintenance of device trust environments including “MULTOS” based smart cards. More than 50 million MULTOS smart cards have been issued in more than 30 countries.

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DIB VISA

Dubai Islamic Bank has teamed with London-based Card Tech Limited to launch its first credit card that is fully compliant with
Islamic Sharia’a principles. The new “DIB Alislami VISA” is available
as a “Classic,” “Gold,” “Gold Executive” or “Platinum” card. Dubai Islamic Bank was established in 1975 and is the first Islamic bank
to have incorporated the principles of Islam in all its practices.
DIB has been a client of CTL since 1991 when it selected CTL’s “CARDMAN”
issuer system to manage its credit card portfolio. The bank migrated to
CTL’s “PRIME” and “ONLINE” platform in 1999, and has since used it to issue over 25,000 VISA charge cards and approximately 300,000
“VISA Electron” Cards. More than 190 banks from 70 countries use CTL solutions.

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DRG Earns VISA’s QDSC and QPASC Status

San Jose-based Digital Resources Group has received “Qualified Data Security Company” and “Qualified Payment Application Security Company” status from VISA. VISA USA Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP) and MasterCard International’s Site Data Protection (SDP) require the use of approved Qualified Data Security Companies (QDSCs) to perform PCI On-Site Security Audits to validate compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard using the Payment Card Industry Security Audit Procedures. DRG is also qualified to perform Payment Application Security Assessments according to VISA’s Payment Application Best Practices (PABP) procedures. VISA has developed “Payment Application Best Practices” to address security and the risks associated when full magnetic stripe data or CVV2 values are stored after authorization by payment applications. The goal of the PABP is to help software vendors create secure payment applications. Digital Resources Group provides information security assessment and data protection.

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Online Resources Q4 Revenues Nearly Triple

VA-based Online Resources reported that fourth quarter revenue increased 39% over 4Q/04 to $15.8 million. Net income nearly tripled to $2.9 million. Last year, ORCC increased end-users, with a 32% increase in banking account presentation, a 27% increase in banking billpayers and a 42% increase in active cardholders. The Company also expanded potential service distribution, increasing the total client base to 829 including a 16% increase in the pool of potential banking and cardholder users. ORCC is projecting first quarter income between $16.5 million and $17.0 million and net income between $1.3 million and $1.7 million. For complete details on ORCC’s latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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OPC Renews its Washington DC Contract

Official Payments Corp. has won a renewal contract with the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue to continue providing electronic tax payment processing services to residents of the District. Official Payments has processed electronic individual income tax payments made by credit and debit card for DC since 1999. OTR has also expanded the agreement, authorizing Official Payments to begin accepting payments made by electronic check. Official Payments provides electronic payment services on behalf of government entities.

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Discover’s No Surcharge Decision Draws Rebuke

Discover Card’s decision to drop its “No Surcharge Rule” has drawn fire from the Americans for Consumer Education & Competition, which is largely funded by VISA USA. The group says Discover waved the white flag to merchants and has entered a slippery slope as it will pave the way for more check out fees. The group says consumers need to lobby their state legislators to ban merchant check out fees and to enforce those bans. States that ban surcharging are: California, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, and New York. New Hampshire specifically bans surcharging by travel companies and Kentucky bans surcharging by restaurants for tips if they are included on a credit transaction. Wyoming, Washington, Maryland and Massachusetts allow merchants to offer a cash discount to the customer who pays with cash rather than credit, as do many other states. Only Minnesota allows surcharging up to five percent of the purchase price.

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USA Technologies Q4 Revenues Rise 72%

PA-based USA Technologies posted fourth calendar quarter revenue of $1.96 million, a 72.4% increase compared to the same period a year ago. During the quarter, USTT completed a $4 million private placement and achieved $1 million in gross revenue for December, the highest in its history. The Company also launched its “Miser” product with Pepsi including 100 Pepsi bottlers and lowered its production costs through offshore manufacturing. USTT’s other products include “e-Port” for cashless transaction solutions, unattended “Business Express” services in hotels and the online “e-Suds” laundry service. For complete details on USTT’s latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Barclays and Icelandair Launch a Co-Brand

Icelandair and Barclays have teamed for the first time to launch a frequent flyer MasterCard. The new “Icelandair MasterCard” offers two pricing options, one with an annual fee and one without. The $39 annual fee card offers 10,000 bonus points for the first usage, two points for every dollar spent with Icelandair and one point for every dollar spent on other purchases. The no annual fee card offers 5,000 miles for the first transaction, one point for every dollar spent on Icelandair and one point for every $2 spent elsewhere. The APR for both cards starts at 13.99%. With six U.S. gateways, Icelandair’s primary destinations include Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Hamburg, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Reykjavik and Stockholm.

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ICELANDAIR MASTERCARD

Icelandair and Barclays have teamed for the first time to launch a
frequent flyer MasterCard. The new “Icelandair MasterCard” offers two
pricing options, one with an annual fee and one without. The $39 annual fee
card offers 10,000 bonus points for the first usage, two points for
every dollar spent with Icelandair and one point for every dollar spent
on other purchases. The no-annual fee card offers 5,000 miles for the
first transaction, one point for every dollar spent on Icelandair and
one point for every $2 spent elsewhere. The APR for both cards starts at
13.99%. With six U.S. gateways, Icelandair’s primary destinations
include Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Hamburg,
Helsinki, London, Manchester, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Reykjavik and Stockholm.

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Century Bankcard Services Passes $1B Volume

Chatsworth, CA-based merchant processing acquirer, Century Bankcard Services, with 6,500 merchant accounts, passed the $1 billion milestone in merchant volume last year. It was named among the “500 fastest growing small businesses in the U.S.” by Inc. Magazine and is growing through portfolio acquisitions, ISO referrals, and financial institution partnerships.

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ADS’ Epsilon Acquires Email Marketing Firm

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems and its Epsilon division has reached an agreement to acquire DoubleClick Email Solutions, the largest permission-based email marketing service provider in the industry. The combination of DoubleClick Email Solutions and Epsilon Interactive (formerly Bigfoot Interactive) will further strengthen Epsilon Interactive’s technology and marketing service capabilities particularly in the areas of strategic consulting, client services, delivery optimization and analytics.

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