Darden to Offer the FSV Payroll Debit Card

Darden Restaurants, which owns and operates 1,300 Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill restaurants, has inked a deal with FSV Payment Systems to give its 140,000 U.S. employees the option of using a “PAYCHEK PLUS!” payroll debit card. Instead of a paper check, employees who sign up for the program will receive what looks like an ATM card loaded with their weekly salary. The card may be used at ATMs and retail point-of-sale terminals across America. Darden Restaurants Inc. owns and operates over 1,300 Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, and Smokey Bones restaurants with annual sales of $4.7 billion. FSV Payment Systems offers a robust suite of unique, host-based stored-value and payroll debit card solutions direct to large employers and to financial institutions through an exclusive agreement with Fiserv Inc.

Details

VISA TravelMoney Adds POS Functionality

VISA has finally added POS functionality to its “TravelMoney” prepaid product and is also offering instant issuance in bank branches. The card was first introduced in 1996 as way to access funds in local currency via VISA and “PLUS” ATMs. The enhanced “VISA TravelMoney” card will be available through AAA and National City. Travelex, the world’s largest foreign exchange specialist, works with consumer outlet partners like AAA to implement the “VISA TravelMoney” program. VISA says the product gives members additional opportunities to capture increased revenue as compared to travelers checks. Additionally, the card helps VISA members meet the needs of consumers who prefer to “bucket” their travel funds. The card is available as a reloadable or disposable prepaid product.

Details

Fair Isaac to Acquire London Bridge for $300MM

London Bridge Software is being acquired by Fair Isaac for about $299 million. London Bridge has more than 1,600 clients worldwide and provides a comprehensive portfolio of software and e-Commerce solutions including customer and enterprise management software, banking software, and credit management software. Fair Isaac intends to incorporate London Bridge’s core expertise and leading software and systems for collections and recovery into a solutions portfolio that already includes the industry-standard platforms for account management and fraud detection. Fair Isaac believes it can leverage London Bridge’s installed base of customers for collections and recovery to deliver collections-focused scoring solutions, giving businesses access to customer decision strategies powered and influenced by analytics at the critical revenue recovery stage.The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

Details

PassMark Security Lands Wells i-Executive

Louie Gasparini, formerly SVP of Internet Transaction Systems at Wells Fargo, has joined security software company PassMark Security as CTO. In his new position, Gasparini will also manage an IT organization that provides product development, implementation services and technical support for clients as well as internal systems and computing resources. PassMark Security of Palo Alto, California introduced PassMarks, a photo image for banks and ecommerce sites to deploy to prevent phishing attacks. The PassMark serves as a two-factor two-way shared secret between the institution and its customers.

Details

Rewards Network Offers a Free Trial

Chicago-based Rewards Network, formerly iDine, is offering for a limited time, a one-year, free trial membership of its hotel and dining loyalty program. The Rewards Network Hotel program is easy to use. To join, simply log on to and enter code AQ21 or call (866) 881-3463, mention code AQ21 and register the credit card of your choice. Then, book your hotel reservations through rewardsnetwork.com with your pre-registered credit card and you will automatically save up to 15 percent on your hotel stay. Rewards Network, headquartered in Chicago, provides loyalty and rewards programs for restaurants and hotels via its registered credit card platform.

Details

Ingenico 5300 PIN-Based Terminal Available

Ingenico announced the US availability of its “I5300” countertop hand-over terminal that integrates a VISA “PED” approved PIN pad. The I5300 is an advanced, secure and flexible payment terminal that provides a single solution to electronic transaction acceptance and delivery of value-added services for retailers and restaurants. The Ingenico I5300 is an exceptional countertop solution for those businesses that accept PIN-based transactions. Ingenico is the recognized leader of electronic transaction products and systems in the world.

Details

GEMPLUS 1Q/04

Smart card specialist, Gemplus, reported that payment microprocessor card shipments rose 125% year-on-year, and 11% compared to the previous quarter, driven by the migration from magnetic stripe to EMV cards in Europe and Asia. EMV shipments increased 38% quarter-on-quarter, marking the fifth consecutive quarter showing significant sequential revenue growth. Financial Services revenues for the first quarter were 40.4 million euros, compared to 36.3 million euros for the first quarter of 2003. The Financial Service segment produced a gross profit of 9.1 million euros, a 73% gain over the same period one-year ago. Overall,
Gemplus International posted first quarter revenues of 197.3 million euros, a 27.9% increase over 1Q/03. The Company posted a first quarter profit of 300,000 euros compared to a loss of 27.8 million euros in the previous quarter, and a loss of 37.9 million euros one-year ago. During the first quarter, Gemplus deployed 3G cards for the launch of SK Telecom’s 3G network in Korea, which incorporated the “VISA Smart Debit Credit” application by VISA International for the world’s first mobile proximity payment service on a USIM card, called “MONETA.”

Details

Oberthur EMV Card Sales Increased 64% in Q1

Oberthur Card Systems reports that smart payment card sales increased 63.5% in the first quarter to $37.4 million, driven by EMV migration programs in the United Kingdom and Belgium, significant deliveries in France, and an exceptional renewal program of cards in Switzerland. The card manufacturer says it delivered 19.5 million smart payment cards during the quarter, versus 11.2 million the previous year. However, sales in the Other Cards segment including magnetic stripe cards, scratch cards and memory cards, totalled $20.5 million, an 11.6% decline year-on-year. Magnetic stripe cards volumes are stable with a 28% increase in the United States offsetting the EMV migration impact in Europe. The sales decrease of loyalty and scratch cards were responsible for most of the overall decline for this segment. Overall, Oberthur posted first quarter sales of $121.7 million, a 3.8% gain at constant exchange rates, or a 0.9% decline at actual rates. For complete details on Oberthur’s first quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

NPC Signs Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe

National Processing has signed a multi-year credit card processing agreement with Sasnak Management Corporation, d/b/a Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe, which operates the chain in approximately 50 locations throughout the Midwest. Under the terms of the agreement, NPC will provide authorization and settlement services for all VISA and MasterCard transactions accepted at all Carlos O’Kelly’s locations. Sasnak Management Corporation is a privately owned company that operates a chain of restaurants doing business under the name of Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe. National Processing Company, LLC is a leading provider of merchant credit and debit card processing.

Details

Merrill Lynch Rewards VISA Hits the Market

Merrill Lynch and MBNA have officially launched a co-branded credit card that offers rewards tiered to card volume. The new “Merrill+ VISA” offers a credit limit up to $250,000, free nights at The Ritz-Carlton, and free upgrades on international tickets with British Airways. The benefits are tiered with “+Benefits” available to all cardholders; “+2 Benefits” for those charging $20,000 or more annually; and, “+3 Benefits” for those charging $50,000 or more annually. Examples of “+ benefits” include complimentary spa services at some resorts for the “+Level.” A two-category upgrade on a major cruise line for the “+2Level.” And three complimentary nights at The Ritz-Carlton and business-to-first upgrades on international tickets with British Airways for the “+3Level.” Under the program, cardholders earn one “+Point” for every dollar charged and there is no cap on the points earned. MBNA is offering two pricing options: 5.9% APR on purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers or 0% APR on cash advances, and balance transfers for 12 months and 7.9% APR for purchases.

Details