MBNA Canada

RBC Royal Bank has signed an agreement to sell most of its affinity credit card portfolio to MBNA Canada Bank. This portfolio consists of less than one percent of RBC’s credit card account receivables. The cards are mostly with college and university alumni associations, cause-related groups, sports groups and special interest groups. RBC says it will retain certain other affinity partnerships and the associated receivables. MBNA Canada has more than 500 affinity credit card programs in Canada. Meanwhile, Edmonton-based Canadian Western Bank, has signed an agreement with MBNA Canada Bank to offer “Think Western” MasterCards to both its business and personal clients.

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Small Banks ATMs

A new study says that on average, large banks pay $1,500 per month, and small banks $1,100, to establish and maintain each ATM. As a result, the research by Chicago-based Grant Thornton says outsourcing is the effective way for community banks to compete with large financial institutions. Thornton says the trend of non-bank ATM operators and facilitators has been on the rise. With 350,000 ATMs in the United States, 250,000 are in non-bank locations, and 150,000 of these ATMs are owned by non-financial companies. Due to cost and availability constraints associated with expanding an ATM network organically, Thornton suggests that community banks look to the locations and ATM management services provided by third-party providers.

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ADS Buys Portfolio

NM-based American Home Furnishings has sold its private label credit card portfolio to Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems. Alliance Data will provide private label credit card services for American Home stores located throughout New Mexico and Arizona. Alliance Data will convert the existing proprietary card program and own the receivables previously processed and funded in-house by American Home.

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Barnes Banking ATMs

UT-based Barnes Banking Company has inked a five-year agreement with Fiserv that covers check processing and ATM driving. Under a five-year agreement, Fiserv will supply its outsourced Information Technology, Inc. (ITI) core processing system including such applications as the Director document management system and the Prime data analysis solution as well as check processing and automated teller machine driving. Fiserv 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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PRECISE & SCHLUMBERGER

Schlumberger and the Swedish firm, Precise Biometrics AB, have renewed their existing agreement on the integration of the biometric security option in the “Cyberflex Access 64K” smart card. The agreement between Precise and Schlumberger, announced in February, has resulted in an upcoming market launch of a new “Java Card” application by Schlumberger. The new application on the “Cyberflex Access 64K” card is designed for corporate and network security applications. To offer the application, Schlumberger licenses Precise Biometrics’ software product with “Precise Match-on-Card” capability, “Precise BioMatch C,” and integrates it into the Schlumberger “Java Card” product.

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Spiegel Update

Spiegel has received bankruptcy court approval to liquidate its First Consumers National Bank subsidiary. The bank formerly issued Eddie Bauer, Spiegel Catalog and Newport News retail credit cards. Under the plan, the bank will discontinue its services June 30 and begin the liquidation process. Cardholder Management Services will take over servicing the accounts from First Consumers National Bank on June 30th.

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K23 DEPLOYMENT

Toys”R”Us (Canada) Ltd. has selected Keycorp Canada’s payment terminals for all of its stores in Canada. More than 650 of the Keycorp’s “K23” terminals will be installed. It will be the first application of the new generation payment terminals in a multi-lane retail environment. It will also be the first time in Canada that the terminals have been integrated with existing POS systems for a major retail chain. The “K23” terminal has a large backlit graphics display and ergonomic PIN Pad design. Toronot-based Keycorp Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keycorp Limited based in Chatswood, Australia.

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STANDARD SMART CARDS

Johannesburg-based Standard Bank has licensed ACI Worldwide’s “Smart Chip Manager” to issue and manage a large volume of smart cards to meet EMV requirements. The first phase of this smart card implementation provides a limited number of internal users with a Standard Bank credit card certified by MasterCard. “Smart Chip Manager” enables Standard Bank to issue a variety of smart card platforms and to keep control over the entire smart card real estate. It allows Standard Bank to develop new smart card programs and add new card products, meanwhile keeping the active schemes up to date with the latest status, applications, parameters and information. ACI’s chip card technologies support more than 20 million multiple-application cards on different operating systems/smart card platforms worldwide. Standard Bank is the largest South African banking group ranked by assets and earnings.

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