Indala Promotes Barnes to Product Management

Simon Barnes, previously Indala director of sales for EMEA, has been promoted to VP of product management. Mr. Barnes will be responsible for creating and implementing product strategy to exceed customer demands and corporate objectives. Barnes is a veteran of the security industry with over 20 years of experience. Indala Corporation develops and manufactures 125 kHz proximity, 13.56 MHz contactless and contact smart cards and associated readers for physical and network access-control applications.

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CTFS Options MasterCard Outstandings Up 26%

Canadian Tire Financial Services reported that its net managed credit card receivables, for the third quarter, increased 25% year-over-year to $2.7 billion, driven by a 26% increase in “Options MasterCard” average balances to $1,483. Pre-tax earnings rose 38% to $36.7 million. However, the average number of accounts with a balance declined slightly during the quarter primarily due to the sale of the commercial and PartSource credit card portfolios, a short-fall in in-store applications and adjustments to account approval standards over the first six months of the year. During the quarter, Financial Services tested a new personal (term) loan product targeted to existing credit card customers which added approximately $70 million in receivables at the end of the quarter. In addition, in the third quarter CTFS partnered with BMO Bank of Montreal to launch the new “Canadian Tire Commercial Link MasterCard” to replace the existing commercial card. Active commercial accounts are held by more than 50,000 Canadian Tire business customers. For complete details on Canadian Tire Financial Services’ third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Datacard Group Adds Top NCR Executive to the Board

MN-based Datacard Group, a company that offers secure ID and card personalization solutions, has elected Lars Nyberg, non-executive chairman of NCR, to its board of directors. Mr. Nyberg has held other positions with NCR as well as with Philips Electronics. He is currently a chairman of Micronic Laser Systems AB. He was born in Sweden and has a degree in business administration from the University of Stockholm.

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ExpensePath Goes to Subscription Pricing for P-Card

ExpensePath Software has launched subscription pricing for its “P-Card Web Solution” product, driving the fee down to as little as $7.50 per user annually. ExpensePath provides systems needed for sound financial management and relevant cost reduction as well as comprehensive control of Purchasing, Travel, and Fleet card transactions. The Company was founded to provide enterprise corporate credit card management solutions that assist companies in automating workflow. ExpensePath’s P-Card Web Solution reduces costs and increases the amount of information about P-card transactions.

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Capital One Officially Announces PrimeLock Card

Capital One officially announced its new “PrimeLock” card yesterday, a card offering a prime +0% APR with no annual fee. The new card’s interest rate always equals the prime lending rate, so consumers no longer have to check their rates and switch cards to obtain a competitive rate. The card offers savings by having no balance transfer or cash advance fees, no annual fee, and zero liability for fraudulent or unauthorized charges to the card. Consumers can also customize payment dates. Capital One is a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest providers of Visa and MasterCard credit cards in the world.

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EASYPAY JCB

Equitable CardNetwork has launched a new JCB credit card with a unique installment plan tailored to the ordinary worker’s salary payment cycle, as well as a reduced annual fee. The new “EasyPay JCB Card” allows cardholders to pay for every purchase in four equal payments, twice a month over a period of two months, since salaries are paid every two weeks in the Philippines. The card also carries an annual fee that is one-third of the average annual fee of other credit cards. Currently, there are approximately 4 million people with credit cards in the Philippines, about 5% of the total population, but most of these are
from the top layer of the affluent classes. The “Easy Pay JCB Card” features are targeted to a much wider market, and ECN anticipates issuing 30,000 of the “EasyPay” product in the first year. Card marketing will be supported by newspaper, radio and public transit advertising.

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ATM Fraud – Key Driver for Smart Cards

A new white paper suggests that growing ATM fraud could accelerate the U.S. conversion to the smart card. UK-based Level Four says the actual cost of ATM fraud, including administrative costs, in the U.S. is approaching $200 million a year and is rapidly increasing. Level Four argues that fraud migration will quickly become apparent as North America’s more immediate neighbors, such as Latin America and Canada, migrate to the EMV standard. EMV becomes standard from January 2005 in Western Europe and some countries in Asia Pacific, and from January 2006 for the rest of Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Canada.

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Women Prefer Universal Gift Cards

A new survey has found that eight in 10 women prefer to receive a gift card, during the holiday season, that enables them to pick out their own gift at a store of their choosing. The VISA USA commissioned survey found that 40% of women say have been disappointed by a gift they received from a husband, father or brother. A recent ValueLink survey found that 139 million Americans have purchased and/or received a gift card in the past 12 months, nearly double the 2001 figure. Also, the average number of gift cards purchased by a consumer has increased from 4.1 cards per year to 6.9 cards per year since 2001. (CF Library 10/7/04)

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Consumers Warm Up to Cashless Vending

Payment cards and vending machines are coming together, undoubtedly lifting sales. A survey of recent deployments shows that in six months cashless vending transactions rose to nearly a third of total sales. PA-based USA Technologies, developers of the “e-Port” cashless transaction device, said that one survey of six vending machines at one location showed that when cashless was introduced in March, cashless sales were 12%. Over the next six months cashless sales had risen to 32.3% of sales. In total, the six machines generated $17,995 in credit card use between March and October, representing nearly $3,000 credit card use, per machine. Another survey conducted between June and October on 100 glass-front-beverage vending machines showed cashless sales averaged $474 per machine per month, or $5,692 per year. The third USA Technologies survey shows that for a hotel property, that was experiencing high vandalism, “e-Port” was installed to eliminate cash entirely. The average ticket item for cashless transactions in a vending machine is up from $1.32 to $3.39, with 75% of all cashless transactions being multi vends.

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Global Axcess Revenues Rise 24% in Q3

FL-based Global Axcess reported that third quarter revenues increased by 24% and 3/04 operating income rose 43%. The firm has more than 3,500 ATMs nationwide. GLXS says it currently has 59 partners in the “Branded Cash” program, with approximately 711 branded ATMs sites, up from 473 last quarter. GLXS expects to hit 800 by year end. For complete details on Global Axcess’ third quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Australian Purchase GDV Up 18.5% in Aug

Gross dollar volume for purchases on credit card and charge cards during August jumped 5% from the prior month, and 18.5% from one-year ago. However, total outstandings for August were flat compared to July, and up 12% since August 2003. Revolving balances, or balances accruing interest, increased slightly to A$19.5 billion during August, and up 11% from one-year ago, according to data released by the Reserve Bank of Australia. During August, Australians charged A$12.8 billion in purchases on credit/charge cards compared to A$10.8 billion one-year ago. At the end of August, consumers owed A$27.8 billion on credit cards versus A$24.8 billion for August 2003. Card credit limits reached A$74.8 billion at the end of August, compared to A$66.3 billion for August 2003. There are 11.2 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 10.6 million one-year ago.

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