Catuity CALS Lands its First Deployment

Sydney-based Catuity has landed a contract with Ohio-based
CertifiChecks for the first deployment of the new Catuity “Advanced Loyalty System.” The system is a turnkey, hosted solution that will be sold to the merchants and chain stores who now use CertifiChecks’ paper-based solutions. The system is expected to be deployed in October and will be offered to CertifiChecks’ 70,000 merchants nationwide. The company also provides gift certificate programs to a top 10 grocery store chain, the U.S. military’s Defense Commissary Agency and Army and Air Force Exchange Service. The Catuity “CALS” is a modularized hosted system that enables unique customer profiles as well as the delivery of points-based, discount and frequency programs, plus offering a flexible gift card solution.

Details

CineVend to Deploy USTT’s e-Port

Pennsylvania-based USA Technologies’ payment card-enabled “e-Port” has been chosen as the cashless transaction solution by Seattle-based CineVend, a company that has recently launched a business to vend CDs and DVDs. The e-Port is already being used to vend non-traditional items such as cellular phones and calling cards, office equipment, sunscreen products, automotive components and gourmet foods. USA Technologies provides networked credit card and other non-cash systems in the vending, commercial laundry, hospitality and digital imaging industries.

Details

Skip-the-Line with the AmEx IN:NYC Card

American Express has added a new feature to its “IN:NYC” card that offers cardholders and up to three guests immediate access to skip to the front of the line at some of New York’s most popular clubs and lounges. The new “GET:IN for IN:NYC Cardmembers” is the result of a partnership with Clubplanet, an online nightlife resource. Each week, cardholders will have five different lounges/clubs to choose from. Cardholders also have weekly access to one VIP room with one additional guest and are also eligible for free or reduced admission at the participating venues. The “IN:NYC Card” was launched in October and is targeted at younger New Yorkers. The card offers “INSIDE Rewards” points redeemable for certificates at more than 70 New York City establishments or for one-of-a-kind experiential rewards. (CF Library 9/30/04)

Details

VISA Intros a Hispanic Education Prog

VISA USA has launched the “Hispanic Financial Education Campaign” which includes financial wellness columns, a Spanish-language magazine and a partnership with local chapters of the League of United Latin American Citizens. The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced the Hispanic population has reached 41.3 million and a recent study indicates the Hispanic consumer will represent 9% of the total US buying power by 2009. Visa cardholders in over 150 countries carry more than 1 billion cards, accepted at nearly 22 million locations, accounting for $3 trillion in annual transaction volume.

Details

Swedbank Selects ActivCard for Online Banking

ForeningsSparbanken has chosen ActivCard to deploy secure Internet access for approximately 600,000 more Internet banking customers, bringing the total deployment to over 2 million
online retail banking customers in the near future. This represents one
of the largest such retail banking deployments in the world. ActivCard
technology will therefore be used by more than 80% of Swedbank’s
online customers. Swedbank has 4.2 million household customers and 225,000 corporate customers in its home market.

Details

Fleet One Renews/Expands 3 Contracts

Nashville-based Fleet One has renewed contracts with Thorntons, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, and MAPCO Express. Fleet One agreed to 3-year contract extensions with Louisville, Kentucky- based Thorntons Inc. and Oklahoma City based-Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores and an 18-month extension with Tennessee-based MAPCO Express. Fleet One, an affiliate of SunTrust Banks, Inc., provides private label fuel card programs, electronic payment authorizations and billing.

Details

UBC Offers Discover & Conversion Bonus

United Bank Card is now offering its ISO/Agent partners a weekly $30 to $40 bonus for Discover activations and a weekly conversion bonus of $150 for switching existing merchants to UBC from a competitor. United Bank Card, Inc. is a payment and transaction processor serving merchant accounts for over 30,000 locations and processes in excess of 2 billion dollars annually.

Details

Phishing Attacks Hit 73MM Americans

An estimated 73 million U.S. adults who use the Internet were hit with phishing attacks over the past twelve months, a 28% increase over the prior year. Approximately 2.4 million online consumers reported losing money directly because of the phishing attacks, however, most of the money stolen was repaid by banks and credit cards. Gartner says its study for the prior year showed that 1.2 million consumers lost $929 million during 2004 due to phishing attacks. In the twelve months ending in May 2005, about 77% of online Americans shopped online while 73% of respondents regularly logged on to banking accounts and 63% paid bills online. More than 80% of U.S. online consumers said their concerns about online attacks have affected their trust in e-mail from companies or individuals they don’t know personally. Of these consumers, more than 85% delete suspect e-mail without opening it.

Details

Japan Cash Machine Gets a Suit from Mars

Japan Cash Machine Co. has drawn a lawsuit from U.S.-based MEI over patents that cover the MEI “Cashflow SC” bill acceptor and other MEI currency validation products. MEI is owned by Mars. JCM American Corp. was also named in the suit filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. U.S. patent laws allow the owner of a patent to stop the manufacture, importation, sale and/or use of products in the United States that are found to infringe, and the action against JCM seeks this type of specific relief. MEI developed the first electronic coin mechanism in the 1960s, followed by the first electronic non-contact bill acceptor, and more recently its vending management system. Today MEI has the largest worldwide installed base of unattended payment mechanisms. In 2004, MEI reached a milestone of selling more than 3.5 million bill acceptors, 4.5 million coin mechanisms and 1 million control boards worldwide.

Details

Interchange Antitrust Lawsuit is Filed

A small group of merchants are leading an antitrust class action lawsuit against the major card networks and their top issuers. The suit alleges collusive practices in setting credit card interchange fees at supra-competitive levels. The lawsuit was filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court of Connecticut. Defendants include VISA, MasterCard, Bank of America, Citibank, Bank One, Chase, Fleet, Capital One, MBNA and Wachovia. National law firm, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, is representing the merchant plaintiffs with CT-based Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder acting as co-counsel. Craig Wildfang and David Balto are heading the litigation for RKMC. The law firm says that VISA and MasterCard have previously been found to have market power in the relevant markets, so the card networks and their members have the burden of proving that they have set the interchange fees at the correct competitive level. The lawsuit says that due to the networks’ market power, the USA has the highest credit card interchange fees among industrialized countries. A recent Morgan Stanley study determined that VISA and MasterCard interchange dollar volume grew to $17.4 billion last year, compared to $9.4 billion six years ago. The research revealed that the weighted average for VISA and MasterCard interchange had increased from 1.58% in 1998 to 1.75% in 2004 and will likely grow to 1.86% in 2010. (CF Library 4/6/05)

Details

CVS Loyalty Card Suspends Data Access

The CVS drugstore chain has shut-down Internet access to customers purchase data after a security hole was uncovered by a consumer group. The “CVS ExtraCare” loyalty card provided easy access to the database by requiring the card number, the customer’s zip code and the first three letters of the customer’s last name. The purchase information was then sent via email to the customer. The service was launched six-months ago. The data security flaw was exposed earlier this week by Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering, or CASPIAN. CVS has issued 50 million cards in the program. CVS has 5,400 stores in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The Company says it plans to add an extra layer of security such as passwords before restarting the program.

Details