JCB Smart Card Chief

JCB has named a new top executive to oversee smart card migration, secure e-commerce, contactless payment, as well as other emerging technologies, both domestically and internationally. Masahiro Omoto, who spent 16 years of his 18-year career with JCB in the International Department, has been appointed EVP/GM of the Advanced Technologies Department. Omoto is succeeded by Hitoshi Shioda, SVP, overseeing advanced technology for JCB’s International Department. JCB’s payment card network has 10.43 million merchants and over 45 million card members worldwide.

Details

ECHO 1Q/03

Electronic Clearing House reported record first calendar quarter revenue of $9.8 million, an increase of 16.5% over last year. 1Q/03 net income was $268,000, as compared to a net loss of $1.9 million in the same year-ago quarter. For the quarter, gross margin from processing and transaction revenue increased to 34.6%, from 30.5% in the year-ago quarter, and from 32.4% in the prior quarter. ECHO says the reduction of its charge-back losses accounted for approximately 1.1% out of the 4.1% of the gross margin improvement for the quarter over the same period last year. Additionally, the 30.5% increase of the check services revenue this quarter also contributed to the higher gross margin, since check services normally generates a higher gross margin than bankcard processing revenue. Bankcard processing and transaction revenue increased 13.4% to $7.8 million for the quarter. Check-related revenues increased 30.5% to $2.0 million. For complete details on ECHO’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

FREESTAR LAWSUIT

FreeStar Technology Corporation has filed a counter claim in the
vFinance Investments lawsuit. The lawsuit seeks $54 million in damages.
Freestar has charged vFinance for using a ‘death spiral’ strategy,
violations of the federal securities laws, breach of contracts, including
over-conversion of pledged securities, market manipulation, breach of
fiduciary duty and fraud. The litigation was initiated by vFinance
Investments, Boat Basin Investors, Papell Holdings, Marc Siegel, David
Stefansky, Richard Rosenblum as the result of Chapter 7 Petition for
involuntary bankruptcy filed against FreeStar
in January.

Details

ClearCommerce Engine 5.2

ClearCommerce Corporation, the leading provider of risk management and payment processing software for online retail, announced the availability of ClearCommerce Engine 5.2, the first solution to include merchant-configurable velocity checks with its arsenal of fraud detection technologies, adding expanded support for point-of-sale payment transactions, and improvements to the XML integration component.

Details

Debit Card Use

A new study has found that consumers prefer PIN to signature debit transactions by a 12% margin and that 19% would be willing to use a payroll card. The research also found that 42% of consumers surveyed stated they changed how they made payments last year, and 33% expect to make changes this year. The survey was conducted by Unisys, Global Concepts and Talson Associates. The study as found that most interest is in interbank transfers with a shared customer (“me-to-me transfers”) and cross-boarder payments, although RFID and “smart cards” still show some promise. The report noted that banks are loosing Internet payments to PayPal and other players. Based on the data, the researchers project that 15% of retail bill payment check writing will shift to electronic payments over the next 12 months and that electronic POS payments should grow substantially over 12 months with 34% of cash transactions shifting to cards.

Details

Wireless Wallet

Mosaic Software said yesterday that its “Postilion” solution now includes Boston Communications Group “Wireless Wallet” interface to support bcgi “ATM Recharge.” By using the bcgi “Wireless Wallet” interface, ATM deployers can quickly tap into the fast-growing trend for consumers to prepay their wireless service at ATMs. Through a nationwide real-time infrastructure, bcgi provides one or more of its services to approximately 70 wireless carriers and resellers, including five of the top six national carriers. bcgi handles more than four billion minutes of service a year. Mosaic Software provides software solutions to banks, telco’s, cellco’s, retailers, portals and processors worldwide to drive payments and other financial transactions through ATMs, POS terminals, phones and Internet access points on a truly multi-channel architecture. It also provides EMV enablement, debit card management and loyalty software solutions.

Details

Spiegel Update

The Spiegel Group announced it has received final Bankruptcy Court approval for the full amount of its $400 million senior secured DIP financing facility. A consortium of banks, led by Bank of America, Fleet Retail Finance and The CIT Group/Business Credit, will provide the DIP financing facility. Spiegel also announced that Alliance Data Systems will proceed with launching new private-label credit card programs for the company’s merchant divisions. The divisions include Eddie Bauer, Spiegel Catalog and Newport News. World Financial Network National Bank will administer the new private-label credit card programs. On April 28, The Spiegel Group filed a motion with the Bankruptcy Court seeking approval to enter into a private label credit card agreement with ADS, and the court approved the motion on May 2. With this approval, Spiegel and each of its three merchant divisions entered into separate but essentially identical 10-year agreements with ADS.

Details

GSM SIM CARDS

China Unicom has ordered six million “SIMtonIC” GSM SIM cards from
Oberthur Card Systems. The order follows the announcement in February of an
order for 7.5 million high-end 32K SIM cards for China Unicom_s CDMA and
GSM networks. The cards will be manufactured and personalized in Oberthur
Card Systems_ Shenzhen production site, which is “ISO 9001 version 2000”
certified.

Details