Catuity Expects a 2004 Loss Due to the Winding Down of the Target Program

Catuity reports that its expects to post first quarter revenues of $0.5 million compared to $1.5 million for last year’s first quarter. The Company says it expects to incur a loss in 2004, as compared to its close-to-break-even 2003 results, as a result of the phasing out of the “Target VISA” smart card program. However, Catuity has current channel partner agreements with Maritz, Certegy, KESM, and EMS which should generate revenue this year and additional revenue in 2005 as they add new retail licensees. Catuity say it anticipates that its efforts in 2004 will be directed more toward magnetic stripe cards, rather than smart cards. The Company says that in North America, Western Europe and Australia, it believes that mag stripe with loyalty rewards stored, not on the card, as in the case of smart cards, but on a host server will be preferred. Its discussions with Maritz, Certegy and others, indicate that this appears to be the preference. Catuity says it will utilize its system with smart cards as EMV mandates are accomplished in various regions of the world.

Details

CreditCall and ANT Team to Develop a Set Top Box Payment Service

CreditCall and interactive TV software development specialist, ANT, have teamed to develop a payment system that will allow consumers to purchase services using their
credit or debit card, directly from an on-screen menu from their satellite, cable or broadband decoder box. The payment system employs CreditCall’s “CardEase” transaction technology,
which securely processes payment from the user’s card. ANT’s “Fresco” browser for TV is being integrated with “CardEase” to render an intuitive user interface, enabling the consumer to operate the payment system via their TV screen and remote control. Communications with the payment host will be via the back channel fitted to the cable or broadband decoder box, or by normal telephone line in the case of satellite. The Creditcall and ANT technology partnership will also allow satellite, cable and IPTV companies to reduce the number of failed subscriptions through the convenience of an “on-box” payment method, and at the same time reduce the costs of call centers and traditional payment methods.

Details

JCB and Starwood Hotels Launch a Five Month Promotion

JCB and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide have announced an agreement to promote tourist demand among JCB cardholders in Japan. The current campaign is intended to build demand among JCB’s more than 40 million cardholders in Japan by adding benefits for overseas use. The campaign will run for 5 months through August. Cardholders making a reservation at a Starwood Hotel through JCB Travel Co. are automatically entered in a lottery to win Starwood and JCB gift certificates. JCB cardholders also have a chance to win “50% Off” vouchers for stays at selected hotels and resorts in popular destinations such as Hawaii, Seoul, Shanghai and Bali. JCB is promoting the campaign through multiple customer channels including the JCB home page and cardholder magazines like “The Gold” which reaches 900,000 priority customers a month in Japan.

Details

Certegy Exits 7-Eleven Vcom Program

7-Eleven has switched vendors for check-cashing services at its stores equipped with the Company’s self-service “Vcom” kiosk. Dallas-based CashWorks will now handle the cashing of government and payroll checks at approximately 1,000 7-Eleven stores in 13 states where “Vcom” is installed. Effective July 1st, Certegy will no longer provide risk-decisioning services to Vcom for payroll checks. However, Certegy will continue to provide point-of-sale check warranty services for personal checks via more than 2,000 company-operated 7-Eleven store locations in the USA. 7-Eleven proprietary kiosk offers ATM capabilities and touch-screen convenience to provide customers with financial and other services 24X7. Customers can use “Vcom” kiosks to conduct ATM transactions, cash checks, purchase money orders and money transfers, access Verizon residential telephone services, pay bills and purchase phone and stored-value cards.

Details

Simpay Names Encorus its Processor for M-Payments

Simpay has signed a multi-year transaction processing deal with First Data’s Encorus mobile payments services company. Simpay is a consumer m-payment brand formed by Orange, Telefonica Moviles, T-Mobile, and Vodafone last year, with its commercial launch scheduled for the first quarter of 2005. Simpay brings together consumers, mobile operators and merchants to deliver convenient and accessible m-payments across national borders. Other interested companies include 3, debitel, Elisa (previously Radiolinja), KPN Mobile Group, Mobilkom, O2, Optimus, SFR, TeliaSonera, and TMN. The Founding members of Simpay represent over 280 million wireless subscribers worldwide.

Details

LendingTree Offers AmEx Gift Card as a Grand Prize

LendingTree has launched the “You Win” sweepstakes with a $25,000 “American Express Gift Card” as the grand prize. In addition to the sweepstakes, LendingTree currently rewards its customers who use the Realty Services program to buy or sell their home with a personalized American Express branded gift card in values up to $2,000. LendingTree, an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp, is the leading online lending Exchange that connects consumers, Lenders, REALTORS(R), and related service providers. American Express Incentive Services (AEIS) provides business customers with a wide array of incentive and stored value card products for consumer promotions and employee rewards.

Details

NCR and Fujitsu Want Optimal Robotics

NCR said this morning it has upped its offer to acquire the self-checkout business of Montreal-based Optimal Robotics to $38 million and wants to close the deal as originally scheduled on April 9th. In February NCR agreed to buy Optimal’s self-checkout business for $30 million. Fujitsu has since made an offer of $35 million. NCR indicated it will take legal action against Optimal and others related to Optimal’s solicitation of the bid from Fujitsu. NCR says it believes that Optimal’s actions to date are improper and in breach of its legal obligations.

Details

eFunds Licenses ATM Manager Pro

eFunds has acquired a license to use e-ClassicSystems’ ATM channel management software, “ATM Manager Pro”. eFunds will utilize a majority of ATM Manager Pro’s functionality including asset compliance, transaction warehouse, financial analysis including profitability and merchant statements, and cash forecasting and settlement. The system will also be integrated with existing legacy systems and operations to eliminate duplication and provide a central repository for ATM information. e-ClassicSystems, Inc., based in Norwood, Massachusetts, is a premier provider of software solutions to organizations that deploy or manage ATMs.

Details

Socially Responsible VISA Card Launched

Portland, OR-based ShoreBank Pacific has launched the “Salmon Nation VISA” card. The new card will support the “Salmon Nation” initiative of Portland-based Ecotrust, a non-profit organization promoting the interdependency of regional economic and ecological systems. Launched last fall, Salmon Nation is raising awareness of issues and behavioral choices that contribute to enhancing the health of regional watersheds and the economies of the people that live in them. More than 3,500 people have declared their “Salmon Nation” citizenship to date. The bank will contribute 50% of the income it generates from the card to Ecotrust’s efforts to build and promote “Salmon Nation.”

Details

VISA Annual Volume Nears $3 Trillion Milestone

VISA International yesterday reported that its global card sales volume approached $3 trillion last year, rising 10% over 2002. VISA’s nine commercial products posted volume of $177.5 billion in 2003, an increase of 19% over the year-ago period, and VISA’s 12 debit products generated $1.4 trillion in sales volume, a 16% gain over 2002. Gross dollar volume in Asia-Pacific hit $438 billion. Excluding South Korea, card sales volume in Asia-Pacific grew 12%. Volume in Central Europe, Middle East and Africa was $139 billion, a 34% increase. The European Union region achieved card sales volume of $943 billion, an 11% increase over 2002. Latin America and Caribbean produced card sales volume of $181 billion, a 16% increase over the prior year. Canadian card sales volume of $89 billion, represented a 9% increase over 2002. As previously reported VISA’s U.S. volume was up 12% to $1.1 trillion last year. Totally, VISA handled $2.9 trillion in global card sales volume.

Details

Metavante Processing for the Allpoint Network

Metavante has been certified by Allpoint and is now processing in the “Allpoint Surcharge-Free ATM Network”. The Metavante and Allpoint relationship provides current and future Metavante clients with quick and easy access to Allpoint’s 25,000 surcharge- free ATMs coast to coast. Metavante Corporation is a leading provider of electronic funds transfer (EFT) and card solutions including debit, prepaid debit, and credit card account processing, card personalization, ACH processing, ATM driving and monitoring, gateway transaction processing, merchant processing, transportation payment solutions, healthcare identification card fulfillment, and flexible spending account processing. Allpoint is America’s Largest Surcharge-Free ATM Network, with more than 25,000 ATMs in leading national and regional merchant locations across the country.

Details

Scorex PLUS Eliminates Existing Accounts Bias

Experian-Scorex has introduced “Scorex PLUS” which provides two models: one for new accounts, and one for existing accounts. Until now, lenders have only had two options for effective risk scoring: a traditional bureau risk model or a custom model. While custom models are more predictive than traditional bureau models, they also require a larger investment. Experian-Scorex provides solutions that enrich customer data and allow organizations around the world to proactively manage their relationships with their clients.

Details