Catuity Raises Funds as US and Canada Programs Gear Up

Catuity’s shareholders have approved the private placement of 3 million shares of common stock. As previously announced, the funds raised in the placement will be used primarily for general operations of the Company as its business accelerates. The Company also announced that its applet is being added to 20,000 VISA cards in Canada this fall as part of a smart card market trial. Catuity also said the “Smart VISA Rewards” program continues with a successful operational trial earlier this year as well as the national deployment of the system with the Company’s major retail customer. The rollout, which commenced in July, is now in its marketing pilot phase in all stores of this retailer. The Company’s revenues are expected to be in the US$4.3 million to US$4.6 million range for 2003.

Details Launches New Publications and Conference Exhibit

On the eighth anniversary of its Web site, this week announced a series of new online publications and launched a new “Super Hero”-themed conference exhibit program at the ABA/Foreward Financial Bank Card Conference in Dallas. In September 1995, used the ABA Bank Card Conference in New York City as a platform to launch its initial Web site. Speaking at a news conference at the St. Regis hotel in Los Angeles,’s CEO, Robert McKinley, detailed the Company’s plans to expand its CardFlash, CardData, and CardWatch professional services to an international level. He said the Company recently launched a weekly CardFlash International service, and will introduce CardData International and CardWatch International during the fourth quarter. Some of international content will be produced from the firm’s branch offices in Australia and the UK. McKinley also indicated the Company plans to leverage its extensive news database to introduce two new services in the first quarter of 2004, namely CardPeople and CardDesign. and its sister firm, RAM Research Group Ltd., have followed the payment card industry on a daily basis since 1986.


American Express Rolls-Out a Major Ad Campaign for Blue Cash

American Express said Tuesday it will launch a major national advertising and marketing campaign for its highly successful “Blue Cash” card. A key component of the program is “Sting Live at the Blue 5,” a free, ticketed concert to be performed by recording artist Sting in Chicago’s Grant Park on October 7th. American Express is offering Sting tickets via radio promotions, street teams and via the Internet. Four different 15- and 30-second national television spots are airing on cable and on local prime-time, and will be followed by “Blue Cash” ads broadcast on national network prime-time. In print, “Blue Cash” ads have begun appearing in lifestyle and news publications with September published dates. Large billboards and public telephone kiosks were also launched in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, this month.


Paymentech Re-brands Prism Processing Services

Prism Processing Services has been re-branded and will now operate under the Paymentech name. Paymentech acquired the assets of Prism Processing Services in 1998, to provide independent and community banks, credit unions and savings and loans a vehicle to outsource payment processing to their merchant customers. Operating as a division of Paymentech, Prism offered customized merchant processing solutions, including full turnkey operations.


Gemplus Beefs Up its North American Conventional Card Sales Unit

Gemplus is ramping-up its North American conventional card business to take a life of its own, with local management, dedicated sales and technical teams, and a local manufacturing facility with high-volume production capacity. The company also announced it has named Timothy Wright as Director of North America Conventional Card Sales. Wright previously served as VP/Sales for the De La Rue Brand in the USA from 2000 to 2002. He is also a current member of the International Card Manufacturers Association Board of Directors. Gemplus’ Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania production facility is ISO 9002 and ISO 1400 certified. Gemplus products include conventional card products, which include PVC cards, “GemLucence” (translucent PVC card body), and “HoloGem” (PVC card body covered with foil to produce a holographic or mirror effect).


American Express Says it Will Have a US Partner By Mid-2004

American Express said yesterday it expects to have its first U.S. bank agreements signed no later than the second half of 2004. Chairman and CEO, Kenneth Chenault, said VISA’s and MasterCard’s appeal to last week’s ruling by the appellate court is nothing more than a delaying tactic. He said he expects VISA’s and MasterCard’s efforts to be exhausted no later than mid-2004. A three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the 2001 court decision on September 17th, which required VISA to drop its “bylaw ‘210(e)” and MasterCard to end its “Competitive Programs Policy.” VISA and MasterCard said they are seeking further appellate review, including requesting a hearing en banc before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. (CF Library 10/10/01; 2/8/02; 9/19/03)



Schlumberger has signed an agreement to sell SchlumbergerSema, its IT business segment, for $1.5 billion and says it is considering
the divestiture or IPO of its smart cards, point-of-sale terminals, payment systems, eCity terminals, payphones, and Infodata businesses. Separately the company announced that it has changed the name of its Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals unit to Axalto. Schlumberger Limited announced yesterday the signing of a binding agreement with the French firm Atos Origin for the sale of the majority of SchlumbergerSema businesses. The deal includes $1.5 billion in cash and stock representing approximately 29% of the common shares outstanding of Atos Origin. Schlumberger says that the name change for its Schlumberger Smart Cards and Terminals division will bring more visibility and reinforce the company image as a leading smart card player in a rapidly evolving market. The division opted for a name that best reflects its smart card and point-of-sale terminals strategy and highlights the key contributions of smart cards in today’s digital age. Following the announcement of the sale of its IT business, Standard & Poor’s upgraded the “STARS” ranking on Schlumberger from “Hold” to “Accumulate.”