Contactless to Drive Smart Card Shipments

A new study reveals that unit shipments in the total smart card industry totaled 2.02 billion cards last year, and is projected to reach 3.11 billion cards by 2008. Frost & Sullivan says contactless technology, which has been fairly successful in applications such as banking, transport, and security, is leading the growth. However, future expansion is likely to be threatened by the multiplicity of protocols. If contactless technology is to move forward, interoperability must be achieved, as in the case of contact cards where the standards are clearly defined at every level. Meanwhile, EMV migration in many parts of Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Brazil, and parts of Mexico is also expected to boost the uptake of smart cards. Smart card adoption is also likely to receive a boost from the growing demand for government IDs, especially in Asia-Pacific and North America.

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Notre Dame VISA Offers New Cardholder Incentives

Bank One and the University of Notre Dame have beefed up their “Notre Dame Platinum VISA” by offering new cardholders a Notre Dame sweatshirt, giving away items at events and at the University’s bookstore, and adding the “Flexible Rewards Select” option. This is a rare opportunity for Fighting Irish alumni and fans to access so many exclusive experiences.

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Heritage Building Society Deploys Opteva ATMs

Australia’s largest building society, Heritage, announced a $1.2 million refurbishment of its fleet of ATMs that includes the first-ever use of digital surveillance cameras by an Australian building society.
Forty-seven new Diebold “Opteva” ATMs will be deployed throughout
Heritage’s network of branches and mini branches, bringing the total
number of devices in the Heritage ATM network to 82. Ten of these units will be installed in new sites. The advanced “Opteva” terminals are being deployed with digital surveillance cameras, alarms, consumer awareness mirrors and many exclusive security enhancements designed to deter such criminal activity as card-skimming, in which personal information is duplicated from transaction cards.

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AmEx Business Travel Unit Revs Up – Snatches $1B

American Express Business Travel reports it has signed more than 50 new clients, winning $1 billion in new managed travel business through the first half of this year. Beyond providing services to major international companies, AmEx recently expanded its offering to the small and mid-size marketplace. A new program for these markets features a Webfare guarantee, double “Membership Rewards” points and automatic ticket refunds. New AmEx Travel clients include EADS (Europe), KPMG (Brazil), Ridley Corporation (Australia), Sara Lee DE (Europe) and in the USA: Tuesday Morning, CUNA Mutual Group, and Real Foundations.

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GE’s New SAM Provides Real-Time C-Card Management

GE Corporate Payment Services has released a new advanced reporting system that supports the real-time management of purchasing, travel and other corporate card and e-settlement programs. The new “Strategic Account Management” system provides general ledger mapping functions to simplify the accounting of commercial card and e-settlement transactions. The “SAM” system offers more than 140 standard reports and a highly intuitive query tool that accesses hundreds of fields. The system is highly customizable, not only to organization hierarchy, accounting structure, security needs and individual user preferences, but also to customer brand. The system interfaces with financial and ERP systems, allowing users to allocate expense data to proper cost centers. “SAM” also enables organizations that have individual-bill travel card and central-bill purchasing card programs to manage both on a single platform.

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Sprint Lands the Loomis Communications Contract

Loomis, Fargo & Co. has selected Sprint to deliver a wide range of communications services, including a new data network, wireless voice and data services, and anti-spam protection. With the new three-year agreement, Loomis will have the resources to implement innovative new wireless services that can help it further enhance its tracking of trucks and route status for its large vehicle fleet. Sprint will also become the primary communications provider for Loomis.

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Spartanics Annual Open House Gets Underway Today

Chicago-based Spartanics opened its “Annual Open House” this morning giving hands-on equipment demonstrations including wide format die cutting and card punching (6-Up systems) of vinyl core stock in-line with continuous high speed laminating. Other demonstrations include steel rule die cutting, portable hand-held color verification, and new ways to cut metal. In addition, a wide range of automated equipment will be showcased.

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ProCash 2350xe Gets its First US Deployment

PA-based Susquehanna Bancshares has installed the first Wincor Nixdorf “ProCash 2350xe” ATMs in the USA. The ProCash 2350xe is designed for drive-up ATM banking and is a full-function, freestanding frontload system. Susquehanna was able to install the units very quickly and efficiently and can now provide customers with a more ergonomic and contemporary machine.

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APTRA gets Supported by S2 Systems’ OpeN/2

S2 Systems announced “OpeN/2” support for NCR’s “APTRA” software and cash acceptor. Businesses using OpeN/2 for their ATM networks can now easily migrate deposit transactions from the branch to a lower-overhead, faster-processing channel. In as little as 60 seconds, customers will be able to see their deposit registered and cleared. Customers will see significant efficiency benefits by using NCR’s cash acceptor technology.

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I.C.E. Revenues Up Fourteen Fold in Q2

Oxnard, CA-based International Card Establishment reported net revenues of $3.5 million for the second quarter. In the second quarter of 2003, the Company posted net revenues of about $250,000. The net loss for 2Q/04 was $615,000 compared to $130,000 one-year ago. I.C.E. is in the process of closing the acquisition of Neos Merchant Solutions. The Company believes the new business will lift revenue to $22 million for the year. I.C.E. is aiming to become a direct credit card processor and expects to make more acquisitions in its bankcard unit. I.C.E. is projecting it will reach $50 million in pro forma revenues and attain profitability in 2005. For complete details on I.C.E.’s latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Top Issuers Grow 5% with 83% Aggregate Market Share

The top ten bank credit card issuers in the USA posted organic growth in managed outstandings of 4.7% between the mid-point of 2003 and this year. The top ten issuers now control about 83% of the U.S. bank credit card market compared to 78% one-year ago. Excluding its acquisition of the FleetBoston portfolio, Bank of America led major issuers with a 17% annual gain. If the acquisition is factored in, then BofA’s annual growth rate is 69%, and the average for the top ten would be 7.8%. Capital One continues to grow about three times the rate of its peers, posting a 15% jump in credit card loans since 2Q/03. Discover posted the sharpest decline, dropping more than 8% since mid-year 2003, and Providian slipped nearly 3% as it continues to clean up its portfolio. For complete details on second quarter results for U.S. issuers, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Top Ten U.S. Issuers – Outstandings
($ billions)
RANK/ISSUER 2Q/04 2Q/03 CHNG
1. Citigroup $115.0 $106.8 +7.7%
2. MBNA 83.5 80.8 +3.3%
3. Bank One 75.6 73.0 +3.6%
4. BofA 52.0 30.8 +16.9% (+69%)*
5. Chase 51.3 51.0 +0.6%
6. Discover 46.8 50.9 -8.1%
7. Cap One 45.2 39.3 +15.0%
8. AmEx 38.3 36.0 +6.4%
9. Household 20.2 19.0 +6.3%
10. Providian 17.3 17.8 -2.8%
TOTAL(inc Fleet) 545.2 505.4 +7.8%
TOTAL (exc Fleet)529.2 505.4 +4.7%

* BofA changed 69% if Fleet is included
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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