PSCU Inks Shell Employees FCU Processing

Houston-based Shell Employees FCU has signed a long-term debit and credit card processing contract with PSCU Financial Services. PSCU Financial Services will convert more than 18,000 debit accounts for signature and PIN processing and 5,000 ATM accounts to the Debit Advantage platform and 9,000 credit card accounts to the CreditAbility platform for the $293 million, 28,000-member credit union. PSCU Financial Services is the nation’s largest credit union service organization, representing more than 8 million cardholder accounts and 200,000 online bill payment subscribers.

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VISA E-Commerce Debit Surpasses Credit

For the first time, VISA debit card e-commerce transactions surpassed credit during the first quarter (52% debit vs. 48% credit). VISA’s first quarter debit e-commerce transactions increased 38% over the same quarter last year, while debit e-commerce sales volume increased 40.5%. VISA also reports that “Verified by Visa” has seen its share of e-commerce transactions grow 230%. Overall, VISA e-commerce transactions grew 33% between 1Q/04 and 1Q/05.

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MAESTRO 1Q/05

MasterCard reported that the number of “Maestro” debit cards increased 8.3% to 567 million worldwide at the end of the first quarter.
“Maestro” cards in Europe grew by 7.5% to 260 million compared to the
first quarter of 2004. “Maestro” online debit gross dollar volume was
more than $261 billion for the period in Europe. In the Asia/Pacific
region, the number of “Maestro” cards issued rose to 148.7 million while
GDV was nearly $29 billion. “Maestro” card numbers increased 17%
throughout Latin America to almost 80 million cards in the first
quarter. “Maestro” GDV in the region was nearly $19.4 billion.
MasterCard experienced exceptional card growth in the South Asia, Middle
East and Africa regions, with more than a 42% increase to 32.1 million
cards for the first quarter. GDV in the region for the first quarter
was almost $20 billion. As of March 31st, consumers can make online
debit point of sale purchases with their “MasterCard” or “Maestro”
branded cards at nearly 8.8 million merchant locations globally. There
were more than one million MasterCard/Cirrus ATMs around the world at
the end of the first quarter of 2005.

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USPS Takes on Credit Card Company Ads

The U.S. Postal Service has taken on claims made by the Your Credit Card Companies group in a recent ad campaign. The full-page ads, which recently appeared in major news magazine, stated that “the majority of identity theft still takes place in low-tech ways-stolen purses, wallets and stolen mail.” The USPS says the ad falsely portrays the security of the U.S. mail system. The USPS believes the information in the ad and the perception it creates is incorrect and misleading. The USPS says its media relations department contacted the major credit card companies to put pressure on the PR firm that placed the ads. The ads appeared in U.S. News and World Report, Time, Newsweek, and Business Week. Your Credit Card Companies is an ad hoc group of financial services companies that includes Citigroup, MasterCard, MBNA, Discover, and Chase

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27% of Families Experience Card Fraud

A new poll has found that 27% of participants reported that their or a family member’s credit card was fraudulently used to charge purchases, up from 19% in 2000. The research also found that 95% of respondents said they are concerned that someone might fraudulently impersonate them to ruin their credit standing and put them in debt, up almost 20% from 2000. The study for the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, by Impulse Research of Los Angeles, found that 20% of respondents have been a victim of identity fraud or theft. Eighty-seven percent of respondents think that companies that fail to adequately protect the confidential information they have on customers and others should be required by law to pay to restore consumers’ credit ratings. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed would like to see these companies fined and 63% want these companies charged with a crime.

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Fifth Third Processing Signs a MS Bank

Mississippi-based Britton & Koontz Bank has signed a five-year contract with Fifth Third Processing Solutions for EFT services, including gateway access, debit card processing and ATM driving. Britton & Koontz Bank has $376 million in assets. Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions processes over 12 billion ATM and POS transactions per year for more than 1,350 financial institutions and over 135,000 retail locations worldwide.

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Oberthur and Metaca Team for EMV Cards

Oberthur Card Systems and Metaca are teaming to offer EMV smart card solutions and personalization services to Canadian banks. In addition to delivering its personalization systems and software to Metaca, Oberthur will provide its microprocessor chips (in micro module format) for Metaca to embed into plastic cards. Metaca will produce the cards and run the personalization programs for their banking customers using Oberthur technology. With a market of approximately 55 million cards, it is anticipated that issuers will start deploying smart cards in 2006 with critical mass expected by 2010, after which the liability in case of fraud will shift from issuers to acquirers.

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TransFirst Names a Shared Services Head

Dallas-based TransFirst has named Don Krasnosky, formerly with Paymentech and SPS Payment Systems, as president of the company’s Shared Services Division. Krasnosky’s career in the credit card and payments industry spans more than 15 years, during which he served as a payment systems consultant specializing in payment-related products and services while managing back-office operational functions such as merchant implementation, chargeback processing, help desks and credit and debit card reconciliation. Krasnosky graduated Cum Laude with a concentration in Finance from the University of Miami. TransFirst is a provider of transaction processing services and payment enabling technologies and processes approximately $20 billion in annual sales volume for more than 160,000 merchants and more than 760 financial institutions.

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e-onlinedata and Total Online Target ISPs

Ohio-based e-onlinedata and Total Online Solutions have launched new program whereby Web Hosts and ISPs can get a direct Internet merchant account and Authorize.Net payment gateway with a 2.10% Qualified Visa/MasterCard Discount Rate and 20 cents per transaction with no monthly minimum, no cancellation penalties, no AVS fees and lower chargeback fees. Total Online Solutions, Inc’s. product, AWBS (Advanced Webhost Billing System) is a billing/provisioning package. e-onlinedata is an Internet credit card processor.

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Gemplus Launches a Contactless Payment Solution

Gemplus International has unveiled its solution for contactless payment. “GemInstant PayPass” achieved all of the MasterCard PayPass approval requirements on June 30th, bringing to the banks a contactless solution compliant with the MasterCard “PayPass” specifications and testing requirements. The cards will be produced at Gemplus’ recently enhanced card manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania, starting in July. 7-Eleven agreed to accept “MasterCard PayPass” in its 5,300 U.S. locations by early 2006. In April, MasterCard and MD-based Ritz Camera Centers expanded MasterCard “PayPass” acceptance to each of the more than 1,100 Ritz Camera Centers and 114 Boater’s World Marine Centers. PA-based c-store operator, Sheetz, deployed “PayPass” system-wide in March of this year. In August 2004, McDonald’s inked a deal to accept MasterCard “PayPass.”

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