BART Expands OTI Smart Card Use

The San Francisco BART has extended the use of its “BART OTI” smart card for its employee security access control applications at BART offices and stations. With over 300,000 daily riders and 43 stations, BART provides Bay Area residents with a low cost, high frequency, fast and environmentally friendly alternative for their transit needs. BART uses a graded fare structure where people pay based on the length of their trip. OTI designs, develops and markets secure contactless microprocessor-based smart card technology to address the needs of a wide variety of markets.

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JCB to Release Mobile Offica This Fall

JCB is set to launch its wireless corporate solution in the fall of this year. Built around Sony’s “FeliCa” contactless IC chip technology, “Mobile Offica” includes a suite of functions including employee identification, office and network access, and cashless payment. “Mobile Offica” marks the first time that mobile phones incorporating a contactless chip enabling credit card payment will be available in Japan. Advanced postpay functionality is provided by linking to the employee’s own credit card account. “Mobile Offica” also enables users with i-mode capable phones to monitor outstanding credit card balances and view detailed transaction histories, and users may be able to request increases in their credit limits on-line. NTT DoCoMo will be releasing i-mode “FeliCa” Service for mobile wallet applications, including train pass and e-money, on four i-mode smart-card handset models, in early July.

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Wal-Mart Resumes MasterCard Debit Acceptance

MasterCard and Wal-Mart have hammered out a new agreement, enabling Wal-Mart customers to resume using MasterCard signature debit cards at all store locations, effective immediately. In December, Wal-Mart announced it would end acceptance of MasterCard signature debit cards effective February 1st, but would continue to accept VISA signature cards. MasterCard signature debit cards account for less than 1% of Wal-Mart transactions. After reaching a settlement last year in the retailers’ litigation, which reduced signature debit card interchange by more than 30%, Wal-Mart sought an additional discount from VISA and MasterCard. VISA promptly reached an agreement with Wal-Mart, MasterCard did not, saying it must manage the MasterCard system in a way that balances the needs of all participants in the system. During the first quarter VISA handled $123.4 billion in off-line debit card volume, compared to $30.8 billion for MasterCard, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]) (CF Library 12/4/03)

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

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ePay Launches ThreePay Top-Up Service

Euronet’s e-pay announced the activation of its electronic voucher service for 3, the U.K.’s first video mobile network, which is owned by Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited. Customers of 3 can now top-up on ThreePay in thousands of outlets across the U.K., such as the Post Office, Esso service stations, as well as BP and TM Retail, which includes Martins, McColls, Forbuoys. E Vouchers replace scratch-off cards. e-pay’s electronic top-up services are also available in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Poland and Malaysia

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Vital Board Adds Two VISA Executives

Vital Processing Services has named VISA USA executives Elizabeth Buse and Kevin Schultz to its Board of Directors Elizabeth Buse is executive vice president of product development and management for Visa USA, and is responsible for managing all Visa-branded products and services. Kevin Schultz is executive vice president of sales and integrated solutions for Visa USA, and is responsible for managing Visa’s member relationship and merchant sales teams. Vital Processing Services(R) (Vital)(R) is a leader in technology-based commerce enabling services.

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Lipman Lands $8 Million in NURIT Terminal Deals

Lipman Ingenieria Electronica S.L. has received orders from several Spanish banks with a total value of approximately $8 million. The orders for various models of the Company’s “NURIT” wireless and land line POS terminals are for delivery during the second and third quarters of this year. Lipman’s family of “NURIT”-branded wireless and land line terminals meet or exceed most widely recognized security standards, including “VisaPED” and “EMV,” making these terminals an ideal solution to meet the advanced needs of the Spanish market. Lipman’s corporate headquarters and R&D facilities are located in Israel.

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BofA Debit Card Volume Up 23%

Bank of America, the top VISA debit card issuer, reported a 23% increase in transaction volume. Consumers have greater security when they enroll in online banking, giving them the ability to see account transactions immediately, so fraudulent use can be identified and stopped right away. Check Cards with conveniences such as the ability to use them where Visa debit is accepted or at ATMs is a primary reason for their continuing growth. Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services.

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Smart Chip Technologies Receives a Broad Loyalty Patent

Smart Chip Technologies announced that the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has issued a patent for “Method and System for Allocating and Redeeming Incentive Credits between a Portable Device and a Base Device,” which is an expanded version of the patents owned in the United States, Mexico, Australia, and Japan. The broad SCTN patents cover the business process of allocating, storing, and redeeming any type of loyalty, rewards, or incentives between devices such as smart cards, mobile phones, merchant point-of-sale terminals, ATMs, PCs, satellites, or mainframe computers.The Company says the patent not only adds value to our end-to-end loyalty solution, but licensing Smart Chip Technologies” patent will also provide protection for its Canadian customers from other industry patents. John R. Thompson of Stoel Rives” Intellectual Property practice group is SCTN counsel for patent filings in North America and the Asia Pacific regions, working with the Canadian intellectual property legal firm of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP.

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BI-NATIONAL CARDS

Citigroup is introducing a new program to enable “Banamex USA” cardholders to add cardholders residing in Mexico. Under the program, the U.S. cardholder is given a “Banamex USA” credit card and the designated person in Mexico gets a card issued by Banamex in Mexico. The U.S. card is issued by California Commerce Bank, the US banking arm of Banco Nacional de Mexico or Banamex. Banamex USA and Banamex in Mexico are companies of Citigroup.
The U.S. customer will receive a monthly statement listing all activity on both cards. The cardholder in Mexico will receive a monthly courtesy statement, reflecting only his or her activity. The U.S. cardholder may make dollar payments on the entire bill, or allow the cardholder in Mexico to pay his or her portion in pesos at any Banamex branch. The program may be added to an existing “Banamex USA credit card account or be included on a new credit card account. During enrollment, the customer may designate the person in Mexico with whom he or she wants to share the account and set a pre-authorized portion of their credit line for that person. The annual fee for the US-based card is $29.

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MasterCard Targets Small Businesses

MasterCard yesterday launched a new “Priceless” campaign to communicate its ability to help small business owners succeed. The new “What It Takes” television spots broke on NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament and will run later on CNN, Fox, and CBS. A corresponding print ad is slated to break later this summer. The “What It Takes” television spot focuses on how it takes a person with truly special and unique qualities to handle the day-to-day challenges of running a small business. The new ad captures real-life small business moments such as working odd hours and dealing with faulty office equipment. Creative for the “What It Takes” campaign was developed by McCann-Erickson of New York. The MasterCard “Priceless” advertising campaign is now seen in 96 countries and in 47 languages. MasterCard recently won its fourth “Gold Effie” for the “Priceless” campaign which first launched in October 1997. (CF Library 6/14/04)

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