Mars-owned MEI has filed a federal lawsuit against Japan Cash Machine over alleged patent infringement of its bill acceptor and other currency validation products. MEI systems process 1 billion transactions per week in 90 countries. MEI has the largest worldwide installed base of unattended payment mechanism in the vending, soft drink, gaming, amusement, transportation, retail and kiosk markets.Details
While charge-offs and delinquencies rose in the first quarter among UK credit card-backed securities, the monthly payment rate continued to deteriorate. The drop in Q1 MPR was driven in part by the reduced
availability of free balance transfer offers. According to Fitch
Rating’s “UK Credit Card Index,” the MPR, on a three-month average basis
was 16.5% in 1Q/05, compared with 16.7% in the previous quarter and
compared to 17.3% one-year ago. Fitch says that looking back, the “MPR
Index” has shown some peaks over 2004, driven by market growth, with
competition for customers leading to easy and frequent availability of
balance transfer offers. It appears as the product offerings settle
down, that the “MPR Index” is returning to the levels of early 2003.
Meanwhile, a combination of staffing issues, system problems and changes
in policy has contributed to the unprecedented rise in charge-off and
delinquency rates across UK ABS in the first quarter. The charge-off
index ended the quarter at 4.7%, up from 3.9% in December. Owing to the
same issues that caused the increase in charge-offs, delinquencies also
increased to 3.0% from 2.5% in the first quarter. Q1 yield increased on
a three-month average basis to 18.7% from 18.5% in the last quarter.
Fitch says the increase is most likely owing to a combination of higher
revenue from penalty fees on delinquent accounts and portfolios maturing
so that more accounts come out of their low interest teaser periods.
Dayton, OH-based CertifiChecks will be the first to deploy the new Catuity “Advanced Loyalty System” as 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
Dublin-based FireOne Group and Canadian-based Phantom Fiber have partnered to integrate FireOne’s stored value wallet, “FirePay,” with Phantom Fiber’s wireless platform. The first phase of the agreement will allow customers to download the mobile wallet application to their cellular device and fund their “FirePay” account virtually anywhere, anytime and still enjoy their mobile gaming with applications powered by Phantom Fiber. The ability to access account balance information and historical transactions will also be included. The companies expect that
deployment will be completed within the next month.
Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Smokey Bones) is upgrading to NCR’s “RealPOS 70” POS terminals for its 1,300 locations nationwide. NCR was also awarded the maintenance contract. NCR Corporation provides ATMs, retail systems, Teradata data warehouses and IT services.Details
OTP Bank has extended its “BASE24” software license to increase transaction capacity for payment processing. The new license, which includes “BASE24-atm” and “BASE24-pos” modules, includes a second-site license for DSK Bank in Bulgaria, a recent acquisition of the OTP Group. As part of the agreement, DSK Bank will also implement ACI “Card Management System” software for the issuing and acquiring of bank cards.
DSK Bank was recently named “Bank of the Year” for Bulgaria in 2004 by
Financial Times Group’s international banking magazine The Banker.
More than 500 customers in 78 countries use ACI supplied software. OTP Bank is Hungary’s largest bank.
One week before a West Virginia trial over its credit card and collection practices, Cross Country Bank and Applied Card Systems agreed to settle with the State’s Attorney General. The $1.5 million settlement will be used to fund consumer credit education and conflict resolution programs. While both firms did not acknowledge that any of the lawsuit’s claims were valid, the settlement prohibits Cross Country and Applied from debiting customers’ bank accounts without their authorization or to engage in aggressive collection tactics. The West Virginia lawsuit was filed in March 2004 and charged that Cross Country engaged in deceptive marketing of credit cards, offering low credit limits and charging exorbitant hidden fees to consumers who already had bad credit. The suit contends that Applied Card Systems used a wide range of abusive collection practices to coerce consumers into making payments if they contested the fees or defaulted on the account. The lawsuit alleged that Applied called consumers during the night, used obscene language and threatened cardholders with arrest to collect on a credit card account. Six other lawsuits are pending with the state Attorneys General of Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. (CF Library 6/4/04; 6/25/04)Details
Quatro Card Technology has purchased a second Spartanics “M500”
decorated material card punching and die cutting system. The new machine
will enable Quatro to create irregularly shaped loyalty cards, gift
cards and similar products. The Spartanics “M500” is a complete turnkey
punching and die cutting system that uses electro-optical sensors to
scan and record registration marks at production rates up to 165 strokes
per minute with consistent precision registration accuracy in X, Y, an
Rotational axes within +/-0.1 mm or better. The “M500” is the world’s
only card punching and die cutting system that re-registers in all three
axes during every press stroke.
Newark, California-based Payment Processing has unveiled its next generation payment processing gateway, “PPI PayMover,” which offers support for card present and card not present transactions as well as ACH transactions through a single clientless solution. In addition, application software developers will be given this technology, development level services and unlimited on-going support without charge. PPI is focused on integrated payment processing, supporting over 500 software developers and more than 10,000 merchants.Details
Bank of America has signed a definitive agreement to buy approximately 9% of the stock of China Construction Bank for $3 billion,
with the option of increasing its stake in future years. CCB, the second largest commercial bank in China, has $472 billion in assets and $422 billion in deposits. It has 136 million active retail deposit account relationships, a national network of 14,500 branches concentrated in the more economically developed areas and a relationship with 92 of the top 100 enterprises in China. It is China’s second largest mortgage lender and has leading positions in credit cards and infrastructure loans. The bank is currently majority owned by China SAFE Investments Limited, an entity of the government of China. Bank of America currently operates a bank in Hong Kong with 16 offices offering an array of consumer banking products. It also has corporate banking offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Zion’s Nevada State Bank has rolled-out a new service for small businesses to make deposits from remote locations. “Remote Deposits,” powered by software from Net Deposit, enables businesses to scan checks from their place of business and create an electronic image which is transmitted to a central processing center and converted into a substitute check. The substitute checks are then presented for payment at the appropriate paying institution. The new service is the result of “Check 21” which allows banks and other financial institutions to exchange digital images of original checks, known as substitute checks, instead of physically transporting the original checks to the paying entity.Details