MasterCard Unveils New Hologram Expressly for Debit Cards

Under the requirements of the recent Wal-Mart debit card settlement to make its debit cards “clear and conspicuous,” MasterCard yesterday introduced a new debit card identifier. The updated card standards require MasterCard debit issuers in the USA to utilize a new hologram which features the word “Debit” within the MasterCard identification area. The requirements apply to U.S. issued MasterCard-branded consumer signature debit, stored-value, electronic benefits transfer, prepaid and payroll cards. MasterCard debit issuers and card manufacturers are required to adopt and implement the new hologram design-standard beginning January 1, 2004, and may do so sooner if they choose. Based on the settlement, debit card issuers are required to have 80% of their cards re-issued with a new “Debit” identifier by July 1, 2005, 100% by January 1, 2007. The hologram design was developed in partnership with American Bank Note Holographics, MasterCard’s current global hologram supplier.

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Paymentech Offers a New Direct Internet Connection for Transactions

Dallas-based Paymentech has launched a new service that provides a secure, direct Internet connection to Paymentech’s authorization center that can reduce the average processing time from 10-15 seconds for a dial-up connection to a three seconds. “NetConnect” provides all merchants a username and password to prevent unauthorized transactions, including refunds, from being processed against their merchant account. Paymentech says the new service is more affordable than frame relay connections, since it utilizes Internet connections such as a DSL. “NetConnect” is compatible with Go Software “PCCharge,” Intrix “Supercharge” and “Positouch via Transaction Plus.” Paymentech also offers a software development kit to program the application to existing software, or, if the merchant prefers, Paymentech can provide the actual specifications.

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Diversinet has Acquired Caradas

Toronto-based Diversinet has acquired Caradas, in an all-stock transaction. The acquisition of Caradas and its digital identity and
authentication management technology broadens the Diversinet skill set, gives the company a deeper knowledge of financial applications and provides established relationships with important financial customers, including VISA, MasterCard, Fleet Bank, First National Bank Omaha, and other institutions. Caradas also operates Caradas Labs, an independent test facility, providing functional, security, and standards testing services to the financial services industry. Caradas, founded in 2001, has annual revenues of approximately US$4 million and is currently profitable.

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Cap One Charge-Offs and Delinquency Down Again

Capital One reported yesterday that charge-offs and delinquency declined sharply for the third consecutive month during August. With $65.2 billion in managed loans, and approximately $43 billion in U.S. credit card loans, the issuer reported that charge-offs dropped to 5.34% in August compared to 5.75% for July, and 6.20% in June. Delinquency declined to 4.74% in August, from 4.92% for July and 4.95% in June. At the end of second quarter, Cap One had 45.8 million accounts, including domestic and international credit cards and auto loans. For complete details on Capital One’s 2Q/03 performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

Capital One 2003
Month Charge-offs Delinquency
Apr 03 6.36% 4.86%
May 03 6.40% 4.82%
Jun 03 6.20% 4.95%
Jul 03 5.75% 4.92%
Aug 03 5.34% 4.74%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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WinCo Stores Deploy Precidia Technologies’ EtherDial

Ottawa-based Precidia Technologies has deployed its unique “EtherDial” product in 35 WinCo stores, connecting ATMs to the store’s Ethernet LAN. The “EtherDial” allowed WinCo to eliminate its dependence on dial lines for ATM transaction processing. The “EtherDial,” like the other products in Precidia’s line, features value-added management capabilities such as an SNMP agent, an embedded Web server for log and status pages, and remote configurability. WinCo has stores in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California and Oregon.

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VISA EU to Deploy BT’s Niku 6 Across its IT Department

VISA EU has awarded BT a contract to help it manage its portfolio of IT projects, internal services and resources. The BT solution is based on the “Enterprise Portfolio Management” system “Niku 6.” BT will deploy “Niku 6” across VISA’s entire European IT department, which is headquartered in the UK. VISA said it will be able to apply a high-degree of governance to its IT function, including risk management and cost control.

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Optimal Robotics is Buying All of the Assets of Montreal’s RBA

Optimal Robotics has signed an agreement for the purchase of substantially all of the assets of Canada’s largest independent service company. Headquartered in Montreal, RBA is the largest independent Canadian provider of multi-vendor hardware maintenance outsourcing services, with over 350,000 sites being serviced and annual revenues of approximately CDN$41.0 million. RBA delivers its maintenance services through various business segments, including Interac/Credit Card POS systems, Video Lottery and Bring-In Centers. RBA provides its services through a network of approximately 35 branches and 550 employees.

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