The U.K. “National Study on Identity Fraud” is officially underway. ID Analytics Limited will lead and conduct the research in partnership with five of the six largest banks, three of the four largest mobile operators, five of the seven largest credit card issuers, and two of the largest online and offline retail consumer finance companies in the U.K. A team of industry leaders from ID Analytics comprising analytic scientists, software, and security resources is now beginning to analyze key identity elements from the UK ID Network. In its research, the team is identifying patterns, practices, and activities indicative of identity fraud. Based on its findings, the team will build new solutions for fraud prevention that will be customized to the needs of the U.K. market. In 2003, ID Analytics, the U.S. parent of ID Analytics Limited, led a similar research effort in the U.S. which helped form the basis of the ID Network, the United States’ first and only real-time national system developed exclusively to manage identity risk.Details
Toronto-based Advantex Marketing International posted that revenue for fiscal 2004, ending June 30th, was $82.4 million, compared with $96.0 million in fiscal 2003. The decline in revenue can be attributed to the Company’s Canadian credit card loyalty business. The downturn in the full-service restaurant industry in Toronto resulting from SARS and other factors also impacted revenue. In addition, Air Canada’s filing for bankruptcy protection and restructuring process under the Canadian Companies’ Creditors Act also influenced revenue. However, factors that adversely impacted the Company’s CIBC Aerogold ADVANTEX Benefit program have been just about eliminated. Advantex Marketing International is a chief developer of syndicated loyalty marketing programs, which strengthen relationships between organizations and customers as well as build new relationships between customers and networks of merchants, service providers, and packaged goods manufacturers.Details
MasterCard has launched a new product that combines a contact chip and a contactless interface based on its “M/Chip 4,” an EMV-based smart card application for credit and debit cards. The new “OneSMART PayPass” will enable the “PayPass” program to expand beyond the U.S. into regions where EMV smart cards predominate, particularly Europe. With the product, payment details are captured by the terminal, then processed through the MasterCard acceptance network in the same way as a contact chip payment. The transaction is authorized either online by the issuer host or offline by the card. The card’s on-chip risk management capabilities can also accomplish “Card Authentication” offline. To further speed up a “PayPass” transaction, CVM requirements, such as signature or PIN, may be waived for low-risk, low-value purchases. ACI Worldwide and MasterCard have partnered for the first live issuance of EMV-compliant MasterCard “OneSMART PayPass” contactless cards. Ingenico, Oberthur, and Sagem Monetel have also teamed with MasterCard to support “OneSMART PayPass.”Details
The average amount that consumers pay each month on their credit cards has been steadily rising, hitting a record high in September. The increasing payment rates have slowed the growth of total revolving credit card debt to about 4% per year, a record low. At mid-year, bank credit card debt, exclusive of store/gas credit, stood at $672 billion compared to $646 billion one-year ago. Based on reports thus far, bank credit card debt may have reached $680 billion in the quarter ending September 30th. At year-end 2001, Americans owed $608 billion on bank credit cards. Therefore, bank credit card debt has grown by 12% over the past three years, the slowest rate of growth in the industry’s history. The average amount that consumers pay each month on their current balance reached 18.04% in September, compared to 17.73% one-year ago, 16.16% in September 2002, and 14.89% in September 2001. The 2001 figure was an aberration due to the 9/11 attack, but all of 2001 was well below the current payment rates. The monthly payment rate reflects the average amount paid back by all cardholders including those who pay-off their entire balance each month. There are approximately 185 million bank credit cardholders in the USA. Of these about 70 million pay-off in full each month, 71 million make more than the minimum required payment, and 44 million make minimum required payments.Details
The CO-OP Network’s CEO, Robert Rose, announced that he is retiring in June 2005 after serving as CEO since October 1990. Mr. Rose has been in the credit union industry for 36 years. At his arrival in 1990, CO-OP was the 24th largest ATM/EFT network in the U.S. It is now the largest network in the country and ranks No. 3 for overall ATM network. The CO-OP Network umbrella includes 1 billion transactions per year, almost 20,000 ATMs, and 1,800 credit unions spanning 50 states and 11 countries.Details
FreeStar Technology Corporation reported that revenues, for the year ending June 30th, were $1.3 million, an increase of 136% from the prior year. According to Paul Egan, CEO of FreeStar, the Company completed an upgrade of their processing capabilities and feels that it is ready to continue the roll-out of their product offering along with the adoption of the Europay/Mastercard/Visa processing standard throughout Europe. FreeStar Board Member and CEO of European Operations, Carl Hessel, commented on FreeStar’s effort to make progress toward providing secure transaction capabilities to financial institutions. Angel Pacheco, FreeStar’s CTO, discussed the expansion of communication and operational networks to facilitate the interchange of data between FreeStar’s processing partners and merchant network. The Company is also writing EMV POS software that will enable the Rahaxi platform to process transactions from a broad range of terminals and POS devices. (Rahaxi is FreeStar’s operating subsidiary). FreeStar Technology is a payment processing and technology company that processes roughly 1 million card payments each month.Details
Collis and JCB have developed a new EMV PVT tool that covers all tests specified by JCB for cards that are personalized according to “J/Smart 1.2” and “J/Smart 2.0” specifications. “J/Smart” is JCB’s
credit application for smart cards. It is compliant with the EMV standard for smart card credit and debit transactions. Collis’ EMV PVT thoroughly tests payment cards on all the aspects of personalization. Compliance is checked with the strict rules from the EMV specification, as well as with specific requirements of credit card scheme operators. The EMV PVT immediately shows whether a card is personalized correctly or not with a green checkmark or a red cross. It also generates a Word report that pinpoints any magstripe-chip inconsistency, (tag) error
or rule violation in detail. The tool can be used in development of the
personalization and for sampling during production.
AL-based AmSouth has signed an agreement to sell its credit card portfolio to MBNA and to enter into an agent bank agreement. The AmSouth portfolio has approximately 390,000 accounts and total receivables of approximately $550 million. AmSouth says its credit card business is non-core, lacks meaningful scale, and is unable to compete in the increasingly competitive credit card environment. AmSouth expects a pre-tax net gain of approximately $170 million from the credit card sale. Goldman, Sachs & Co. served as AmSouth Bancorporation’s adviser on the credit card portfolio transaction. AmSouth has 670 bank locations.Details
Catuity shareholders approved a reverse stock split in
order to maintain the Company’s Nasdaq listing. Catuity was informed it will receive a letter on November 4th from Nasdaq indicating its intent to de-list Catuity’s shares unless the Company appeals the determination. In the meantime, Catuity’s post-reverse shares will begin trading on November 12th on both Nasdaq and the ASX, and the Company will have traded for 10 consecutive trading days above $1.00 by
the end of November. Catuity is a provider of POS-focused solutions.
Datacard Group and Serverside Graphics have teamed to provide card issuers with a cost effective way to issue credit, debit, pre-paid, gift, and other personalized cards designed by cardholders themselves. Cardholders design their cards online at a card issuer’s Web site using the Serverside Graphics software and services. Once the design is approved by the issuer, the card image is printed using a Datacard “Artista” custom card printer and then passed to a Datacard “9000 Series” card issuance system for further personalization and card delivery processing. It is then mailed to the cardholder’s home.Details
ActivCard has introduced a new low-cost token for retail banking
customers. ActivCard makes it possible for banks to offer their retail customers an anti-fraud, anti-phishing device with a one-button interface that generates one-time passwords for secure remote access to personal financial accounts. This new token offering represents an extension of the company’s token line and provides banks options to extend to customers with varying security needs.
MasterCard reported that its U.S. gross dollar volume for the third quarter increased 7.7% over 3Q/03 to $176.0 billion, compared to a 7.2% annual growth rate for the prior quarter. The number of U.S. credit cards grew by more than five million to 267.5 million since the second quarter. U.S. credit card accounts also grew by more than five million to 218 million over the past three months. MasterCard ended the third quarter with 52.9 million off-line debit card accounts representing 58.3 million cards. Credit card volume was up 4% to $139 billion and debit card volume increased 22% to $37 billion. Combined purchase volume for U.S. credit and debit cards in the third quarter increased 7.7% to $133 billion, compared to one-year ago. During the quarter, MasterCard processed 1.9 billion credit card purchase transactions and more than 550 million debit card purchase transactions in the USA. For complete details on MasterCard’s 3Q/04 results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).