Chip & PIN May Drive Card Fraud to the U.S.

New research suggests that America’s reluctance to adopt the “Chip and PIN” technology used in the U.K. and France will contribute to a sharp rise in counterfeit card fraud losses as organized crime is likely to turn to the U.S. where the protection against counterfeit is weaker. The study says that counterfeit card fraud rose by 121% in the last five years, from $95.6 million in 1999 to over $211 million in 2003. According to London-based Datamonitor, one of the obstacles to the EMV implementation in the U.S. is the high cost of transition, estimated to be in the region of $13 billion. This compares to annual fraud losses of $1.5 billion in 2003. Given this imbalance, it is difficult for card issuers to build a business case for investment in anti-fraud measures. However, Datamonitor forecasts the losses associated with counterfeit card fraud will show the strongest increases over the next five years.

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ViVOtech Hires Catuity’s Kilgour

ViVOtech has hired Doug Kilgour, formerly VP of sales and marketing at Catuity, as VP of sales for the Western US Region. Mr. Kilgour will be responsible for the overall strategy and sales of ViVOtech’s loyalty solutions. Kilgour formerly served as vice president of financial services markets for Xdrive Technologies and co-founded Smart Card Retail Systems. He also has experience with senior sales and marketing in Canada and the U.S. ViVOtech provides technology that enables consumers to make contactless payments.

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Fifth Third Lands the Thorntons Contract

KY-based Thorntons, which operates over 150 gasoline and convenience stores in the Midwest, has signed a three-year contract with Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions for processing services, including credit, debit, and EBT processing as well as gift card services. Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions processes more than 9 billion ATM and POS transactions each year for over 207,000 retail locations and 1,351 financial institutions around the world. Fifth Third Bancorp is a financial services company with $95.6 billion in assets. It operates 17 affiliates with 997 full-service banking centers.

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Fiserv Expands its Health Business

Fiserv has acquired Pharmacy Fulfillment. According to Leslie M. Muma, president and CEO of Fiserv, the acquisition will give Fiserv an opportunity to expand it Fiserv Heath group. It will also contribute roughly $10 million in annualized revenues. Fiserv, Inc. serves over 15,000 clients worldwide, providing information management systems and services. The company reported $2.7 billion in processing and services revenues for 2003.

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Jeep Rewards VISA Event Draws a Large Crowd

Chrysler Financial and its “Jeep Rewards VISA Card” sponsored the “Camp Jeep” event in Virginia and California, which attracted 12,000 attendees. Chrysler Financial and Jeep Rewards Visa(R) sponsored the Camp Financial tent, which offered a trivia game that tested the knowledge of benefits of financing and leasing, credit health questions, the history of the Jeep brand, and questions about Jeep products. Jeep owners were able to apply for a Jeep Rewards Visa Card. Jeep Rewards Points can be exchanged for Dealer Dollars certificates, which can be used for services or products offered at participating Chrysler, Jeep, or Dodge dealerships.

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Americans Prefer Senator Kerry’s Dog

Bank One’s “AKC Rewards Visa” sponsored the first “Presidential Dog Poll” which found that Americans prefer a German Shepherd dog to serve as the “First Dog” for the next four years, the same dog that Senator Kerry owns. Bank One’s AKC Rewards Visa card enables cardmembers to earn 1% back on each purchase they make for themselves as well as their dog. Cardmembers can get a check for $25 or a $25 gift certificate at selected merchants when they earn 2,500 points. They can also get 1,000 bonus points after their first purchase. The American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization committed to the advancement of purebred dogs. It manages the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world.

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N9NE Group Selects $$$ ON THE NET Processing Solution

The N9NE Group, co-owners and operators of the N9NE Steakhouse, Rain Nightclub, ghostbar, and Skin Pool Lounge at The Palms Casino in Las Vegas, have installed Shift4’s “$$$ ON THE NET” solution to process all of their credit and debit transactions. The N9NE group was looking for a solution to help them quickly, accurately and securely process and manage over 35,000 transactions monthly from four different locations.

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GZS Offers Pan-European Credit Card Processing

GZS Gesellschaft Zahlungssysteme mbH has become Germany’s first card processor to offer pan-European credit card processing. The Viseca Card Services credit card portfolio with close to one million credit cards was migrated to GZS’s issuing-processing system after comprehensive planning and successful preliminary tests. Following
the porting of its German business to the new issuing-processing
platform at the end of 2003, GZS now manages around 8.3 million credit
cards at its processing centre in Bad Vilbel.

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ACE Cash Express Q2 Revenues Rise 8%

Dallas-based ACE Cash Express reported that total revenue increased 8.1% to $58.1 million for the second calendar quarter, due primarily to a 23.5% increase in loan fees and interest, and a 22.0% increase in bill payment services. The continued focus of ACE Cash during fiscal 2004 has been operational goals to drive efficiency gains and for strong financial performance.

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CIBC Cards Loans Up 6%, Revenues Climb 12%

CIBC reported that its credit card loans grew 6% in the quarter ending July 31st to C$9.878 billion. The nation’s largest bank credit card issuer posted a nearly 12% increase in card revenues for the quarter to C$347 million, tying the record set in the final quarter of last year. During the quarter, CIBC sold approximately 2.3 million shares of Global Payments resulting in an after-tax gain of C$74 million. CIBC expects to unload the remaining 6 million shares held, which have collars, for an after-tax gain of at least C$182 million. This month, CIBC announced the sale of Juniper Financial to Barclays Bank for C$383 million. Upon closing the deal by year end, CIBC expects to recognize an after-tax gain of approximately C$46 million. On October 1st, CIBC intends to end its “Entourage” co-branded venture with American Express which launched in January 2002. For complete details on CIBC’s latest results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Grupo Financiero Uno Implements Falcon

Transaction processor Grupo Financiero Uno will offer advanced fraud detection capabilities to its clients through a recent implementation of Fair Isaac’s “Falcon Fraud Manager.” As part of a five-year agreement, Grupo Financiero Uno has integrated
Fair Isaac’s market-leading payment card fraud detection system with its
processing platform, providing credit card issuers in Guatemala, El
Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama with an improved
ability to minimize fraud losses through real-time detection of
fraudulent card transactions.

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