SCM Microsystems Introduces eSIM

SCM Microsystems has introduced a cost-effective USB reader for SIM-size smart cards called “eSIM.” “eSIM” is a high-performance reader that can support any PC-based smart card application, particularly those ealing with IT security such as desktop or network logon, single sign-on, digital signature and document or email encryption/decryption. A SIM-sized smart card can be used with eSIM to securely store passwords, encryption keys including public key pairs, digital certificates or other information needed for these applications. The technology in eSIM includes an on-board flash feature that provides seamless firmware upgrades in the field, enabling the reader to be upgraded after deployment to take advantage of new smart card technology, new protocols, new applications or other technology innovations as they arrive.

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Viad’s First Quarter Net Income Up 86%

Viad Corporation reported first quarter income revenue of $398.9 million, a slight gain over one-year ago, and $41 million in net income, an 86% jump over 1Q/03. The Company says strong performance in the money transfer business and improved investment results at Travelers Express fueled the rise in profits. Payment Services’ revenue for the first quarter grew 11.5% to $191.3 million, up from $171.6 million in the first quarter 2003. Money transfer transaction volume grew 33% and revenue grew 23%, as compared to the first quarter 2003. Total agent locations increased by 14% in comparison to the prior year quarter to over 68,000. Viad is currently in the process of spinning-off its MoneyGram business. For complete details on Viad’s first quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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MasterCard Creates a Junior Masters Golf Tournament

MasterCard International announced the “Junior Masters” golf tournament offering the chance of a lifetime to play alongside professionals in the “MasterCard Masters” golf tournament at Huntingdale Golf Club in December. The winning male player at the MasterCard “Junior Masters” will receive an exemption from MasterCard to play in the “MasterCard Masters” and the winning female player will receive an exemption to play in a women’s professional tournament. The MasterCard “Junior Masters” tournament will take place at the Vines Resort, Perth in July, will bring together 100 of the best junior male and female golfers under 18 years of age from Australia, New Zealand, Asia and South Africa. Each Australian state will nominate four male and four female players to be invited to participate and they will be joined by 20 international young golfers from New Zealand, South Africa, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Japan and the Philippines. The competing golfers will be chosen by their state golf associations, state junior foundations and women’s golf associations, assuring the tournament will have the highest ranked junior players from each state.

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Citigroup Aims to Capture $1.5 Billion of Latin American Commercial Card Volume

Citigroup Global Transaction Services is launching commercial payment and information management VISA card programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. Citigroup estimates the annual card spend will reach US$ 1.4 billion by 2008. The commercial card programs will be launched initially in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. Citibank currently offers commercial cards in over 30 countries and has more than one million corporate and government cardholders. In the last four years, the number of VISA cards for businesses and public sector institutions in Latin America grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 27% and VISA commercial cards generated US$1.5 billion in annual sales volume.

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ExpressCard Smart Card Readers Unveiled

SCM Microsystems this week introduced a new line of smart card readers using the new “ExpressCard” specification developed by the PCMCIA standards organization. The SCM readers are the first smart card readers to be introduced to the market for ExpressCard equipped computers, and are among the first devices in the world under the new high-performance hardware expansion standard. The SCM readers are designed to meet the requirements of the ExpressCard specification developed by the PCMCIA standards organization and will undergo ExpressCard compliance program certification later this year. SCM Microsystems is a leading supplier of solutions that open the Digital World by enabling people to conveniently access digital content and services.

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STS Emvelink and VeriFone SC 5000 PINpad Integrate

VeriFone announced that UK retailers could now benefit from a fully certified “Chip & PIN” solution following VeriFone’s collaboration with systems integrator Smart Technology Solutions. The new solution will enable retailers using STS’ EMV Level 2 card processing software, “Emvelink,” to select VeriFone’s “SC 5000” PINpad for use with PC-based and integrated EFT POS systems. In January, “Emvelink” became one of the first Level 2-certified software kernels to attain EMV 4.0/2000 approval. In addition to “Chip and PIN” compliance, the “SC 5000” is a plug and play device, enabling it to be integrated with other integrated EFT software available in the UK market.

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Fiserv Makes Stored-Value Payroll PDQ

Fiserv has introduced “PAYCHEK PLUS! PDQ,” a stored-value payroll solution that enables financial institutions to fully implement a payroll debit program in one week. PDQ is the first product in a suite of solutions Fiserv plans to offer to financial institutions and their commercial clients through the relationship with FSV Payment Systems. Fiserv, Inc. provides industry leading information management systems and services to the financial industry, including transaction processing, outsourcing, business process outsourcing and software and systems solutions.

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ERG Group to Utilize MIFARE Cards in a Seattle Project

ERG Group has chosen Royal Philips Electronics’ “MIFARE” contactless interface technology to establish a regional smart card-based mass transit fare collection and settlement system in Seattle, Washington. The fare system based on “MIFARE” chip technology will enhance the reliability, security, efficiency and convenience of public transportation covering seven of the greater Seattle, Washington transit systems in the Central Puget Sound region. The project is known as the “Central Puget Sound Regional Fare Coordination Project.” ERG anticipates that 400,000 smart cards will be initially issued for this regional system. ERG has been successfully using “MIFARE” cards in many applications in Europe and Asia and is ready to implement similar fare systems in the North American market.

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CAPITAL Card Chooses SAS Enterprise Miner

NC-based CAPITAL Card Services has chosen SAS “Enterprise Miner” to help maximize profitability and minimize risk for its customers. CAPITAL recognized that card issuers need to fine-tune their credit selection strategies if they are to improve their overall portfolio profitability. In addition, issuers looking for ways to increase market share are trying to better measure and understand risks associated with lending to atypical credit segments. CAPITAL Card Services Inc. is a leading servicer of MasterCard and Visa accounts for financial and non-financial institutions. SAS is the market leader in providing a new generation of business intelligence software and services that create true enterprise intelligence.

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Giesecke & Devrient Adds a Jewel to its Contactless Cards

Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient has licensed the “Jewel” low-cost contactless smart card chip for mass transit ticketing from Innovision Research & Technology. “Jewel” is the smallest and lowest-cost chip ever produced for smart card applications. With a very small silicon area, the “Jewel” chip is inexpensive to produce and compatible with international standards – including ISO 14443A, the new UK transport standard ITSO version 2.1 and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s Regional Interoperability Standards Limited Use fare card specifications. It enables production and deployment of contactless tickets compatible with existing ticket types in smart card-enabled public transportation systems.

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NOVA Buys Out the Rest of euroConex Technologies

Atlanta-based NOVA Information Systems has inked a deal to purchase the remaining 50% shareholding position of euroConex Technologies from Bank of Ireland. However, Bank of Ireland will maintain its card program sponsorship of euroConex for merchant acquiring for the continued growth and development of their merchant base. EuroConex will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the European-owned affiliate of NOVA. EuroConex provides debit and credit card processing services to merchants, directly and through alliances with banking partners in the European market. In addition, euroConex provides a range of multi-currency solutions including “Dynamic Currency Conversion.” NOVA Information Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp and provides credit and debit card processing services, software applications, electronic check conversion, gift card solutions and other value-added services to more than 650,000 merchant locations in the USA and Europe.

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