Ingenicard to Distribute eSafe Prepaid Cards

Swiss-based Ingenicard US has signed a deal to distribute eSafe prepaid debit, gift cards, and phone cards in Latin America. Ingenicard is already entrenched and growing with 900 service branch locations in Argentina, Brazil and Peru with plans for further expansion into neighboring countries. Ingenicard operates a “Cash Exchange Platform.”
Ingenicard anticipates selling tens of thousands and up to one hundred thousand initial eSafe loyalty and cash cards in the first year of operations in both domestic U.S. markets and the presently targeted Latin American markets.

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Acacia Inks 6 Retailers for its Fraud Patent

Acacia Research’s Financial Systems Innovation issued a patent license for its credit card fraud protection technology with LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Pearle Vision, Cole Vision, Watch World, and Things Remembered. The patented technology protects retailers and consumers engaged in credit card, check card and debit transactions. The system includes an electronic card reader and the generation and use of a transaction number which specifically identifies each transaction, eliminating the need to print detailed information such as cardholder identity or account number on the customer’s receipt. The Acacia Technologies group develops, acquires, and licenses patented technologies. Acacia controls 30 patent portfolios, which include 128 U.S. patents.

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SCA Hires an Executive for Southwest USA

Gerald (Jerry) W. Arnold has joined Shoppers Charge Accounts Co., a division of Hudson United Bank of Mahwah,N.J., as vice president/account executive for the southwestern United States. Arnold has over 30 years of experience in sales, client relations and operations in the private label credit card industry. Prior to joining SCA, he was with Alliance Data Systems as director of operation support and implementation. Arnold graduated in 1970 from Eastern Kentucky University with a B.B.A. degree in marketing. SCA is a private label credit card company and a division of Hudson United Bank, a $9 billion asset company with over 200 branch offices.

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NCR to Beat the Street in Q2 by 4 Cents

NCR says it anticipates its second-quarter earnings to exceed its prior guidance by $0.04 per share and has raised its earnings expectation for 2005 to be in the $1.68 to $1.73 range. NCR expects to report second-quarter revenue of approximately $1.47 billion, an increase of 1 percent from the second quarter of 2004. Stronger-than-anticipated profitability in the company’s Teradata Data Warehousing and Customer Services businesses more than offset lower-than-expected revenue and profitability in Financial Self Service. NCR Corporation provides ATMs, retail systems, data warehouses and IT services globally.

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EFFCU Inks Certegy for its Issuer Reentry

Eastern Financial Florida CU, the third largest credit union in Florida, has reentered the credit card business after selling its portfolio in 2001 and has signed a three-year contract with Certegy for processing, cardholder support and rewards programs for its new MasterCard program. EFFCU is the third largest credit union in Florida, with over $2.0 billion in total assets and over 200,000 members nationwide. Certegy provides credit and debit processing, check risk management and cash access services, merchant processing and e-banking services to over 6,500 financial institutions, 100,000 retailers and 100 million consumers worldwide and generated over $1.0 billion in revenue in 2004.

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AmEx Launches Two No-Fee Travel Reward Cards

American Express launched two new credit cards that carry a travel rewards program, a full package of benefits and no annual fee. The new “Blue Sky Credit Card” for consumers earns points that can be redeemed on any travel related charge. Cardholders make their travel purchases through any source and then request a statement credit. Cardholders earn one point for every eligible dollar spent. Point redemptions start at 7,500 points ($100 off) and are redeemable in 7,500 point increments. AmEx also launched a business version of the “Blue Sky” card, called “Platinum Business FreedomPass Credit Card.” Small business owners also receive 5,000 bonus points with their first purchase.

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HLG-HL MASTERCARD

Hong Leong Bank has launched a cobranded credit card with HLG Securities. The new “Hong Leong Bank-HLG Securities MasterCard” enables users to float their share purchases for up to 50 days. Cardholders also receive a two-year annual fee waiver and receive a free “Hong Leong Touch ‘n Go MasterCard Zing” mini-card. The new HLG-HL credit card is the first such card in the country offering share purchases.

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PassMark System Now Offers a Windows Version

PassMark Security has introduced a “Microsoft Windows” version of its “Two-Factor Two-Way Authentication System.” The Company says it is a near plug and play system, often requiring only a small amount of set up and customization. The unique PassMark System provides secure two-factor authentication and anti-fraud filtering through a powerful real-time authentication and decision engine without requiring that any new hardware or software be distributed to the end user. The system also provides two-way security, authenticating the financial institution’s Web site to its customers using a secret PassMark – a small image and a phrase – that the financial institution displays to the member during log in. When the member sees his PassMark, he instantly knows it’s the real bank Web site and it’s safe to enter his password. The PassMark system is live today at the Bank of America, under the brand name “SiteKey” and at Stanford Federal Credit Union.

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VISA USA Goes Outside to Hire a New CEO

VISA USA went outside the box to name a new CEO, giving the nation’s largest payment card network a fresh pair of eyes going into a challenging and possibly turbulent period. John Philip Coghlan, former top executive for 17 years at Charles Schwab, took over the job yesterday, replacing the retiring Carl Pascarella. VISA says Coghlan’s proficiency in crafting long-term strategies and leading short-term execution is what made him the Board’s overwhelming choice. While Coghlan admitted he has little experience in the payments industry he did note his experience as a merchant. Before joining Schwab, he was a founder and the COO of San Francisco Grocery Express. Coghlan says he intends to reach out to merchants as he gets up to speed. Pascarella leaves VISA after 22 years, serving as US president/CEO for 12 years.

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Issuers Rated on Seller/Servicer Operations

A credit rating service has ranked five issuers, representing $103 billion in credit card-backed outstandings, for their seller/servicer operations. To-date, MBNA has earned the highest rating while Metris was rated the lowest. Fitch was the first agency to publish a formal rating criteria methodology for U.S. ABS seller/servicers. Fitch uses a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest rating. Within each of these rating levels, Fitch further differentiates ratings by plus and minus as well as the flat rating. In February the firm rated First National Bank of Omaha and InfiCorp Holdings. This week four more were added including HSBC, MBNA, Metris, and Providian.

SELLER/SERVICER RATINGS
MBNA 1-
HSBC 2+
INFI 3+
PROV 3
FNBO 3
METRIS 3-
Source: FitchRatings

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Certegy to Use Parsam Technologies’ uMonitor

Certegy has partnered with Parsam Technologies to use “uMonitor” technologies to broaden its suite of e-payment and e-banking services. Through the new relationship, Certegy will offer online bill presentment, new account services and loan services to its clients through a private-label arrangement using the Certegy brand to allow consumers to pay bills directly through the biller’s website or have the bills presented online by their financial institution. Certegy Inc. provides transaction processing service to 6,500 financial institutions, 100,000 retailers and 100 million consumers worldwide and generated over $1.0 billion in revenue in 2004.

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Radiant Systems & RBS Lynk Team for Aloha

RBS Lynk has been selected as the preferred payment processor for Radiant Systems’s hospitality division “Aloha” suite of POS applications for restaurant operators and RBS will also provide an ACH component to the “Aloha eCard.” The Aloha suite of POS applications has more than 30,000 installed sites worldwide. Radiant Systems, Inc. provides point-of-sale, self-service kiosk, and back-office technology for the hospitality, petroleum and convenience retail and entertainment industries. RBS Lynk is a single-source provider of electronic payment processing services and is a member of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

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