Family Account

MasterCard and Texas-based Town North Bank/TNB Card Services have teamed to offer, next year, an account that connects all the members of a family to one credit line. The primary cardholder of the new “MasterCard Family Account” determines who in the family, including children, receives a card and assigns a spending limit to each individual cardholder. Spending limits can be customized to meet the needs of each family member and may be adjusted at any time. An individual account number is issued for every card. All transactions are summarized on a single account statement that is sent to the primary cardholder every month. MasterCard says the new program will help tap into the $627 billion in household purchases globally that influenced by consumers in their teens and early twenties. Over 80% of this spending is cash. MasterCard also says a recent survey found that 82% of parents liked the “MasterCard Family Account” as a safety net in case of emergencies.

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AFFINA SYSTEM

Datacard Group confirmed that its “Affina Life Cycle Management System” is
being used to enable Sumitomo Mitsui VISA smart cardholders to add new
applications after issuance. VISA recently annouced that cardholders in
Japan will be the first in the world to download applications to their
smart cards via the Internet. The “Affina” system enables SMCC’s launch of
an innovative new service that allows cardholders to download PC network
access functions to GlobalPlatform multi-application VISA smart cards. To
download an application, SMCC cardholders need only insert the VISA smart
card into a reader connected to their PC and enter an ID and password for
cardholder identification. SMCC expects strong demand for this type of card
and plans to issue at least 100,000 such cards within one year.

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C.TICKET CARDS

ASK reported it has shipped more than 2.5 million “C.ticket”
contactless smart cards for use in a transportation ticketing system on the
island of Capri in Italy which attracts more than seven million visitors a
year. The “UnicoCapri” system provides tourists with single trip, hourly or
daily tickets and features ten different artworks that are collectable as
souveniers of Capri. The user-friendly contactless fare cards are
authenticated within 0.1 seconds, so that 100 passengers can board the
busses or inclined railway in two minutes. Within this small time, the
system performs a complete and secure transaction including reading the
card, checking it against the black list of lost-stolen cards, processing
and updating the card data and displaying the outcome of the fare
validation through an LED and an acoustic signal. For regular commuters
among the 13,100 island inhabitants, ASK’s “GTML” dual interface
microprocessor cards are used to supply a more flexible and fully featured
ticketing medium.

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OYSTER CARD

Transaction Systems Limited has rolled out the first smart cards as part
of a 1.2bn pound ticketing system for Transport for London and the London
Underground. The infrastructure is substantially complete and, after months
of field testing, the card, called “Oyster,” has been given to almost
80,000 Tube and bus staff in the first stage of a managed roll out which
will continue through 2003. TranSys is led by two principal shareholders,
EDS and Cubic Transportation Systems, and was awarded the contract in 1998.
After four years in the delivery stage, the concession is now transitioning
into the operations phase which extends to 2015. Cubic, as the supplier of
all systems assets to TranSys, has equipped 6,000 buses and 255 Tube
stations to take the new “Oyster” cards, and installed a comprehensive data
acquisition and control system to support ongoing operations, revenue
management and reporting. The overall solution is integrated and built upon
a foundation of Cubic technology, which has been operational in the London
Underground since the mid 1980s. The “Oyster” smart card simply needs to be
touched onto the card readers on buses or at gates. For some, the “Oyster”
card will carry their period ticket while others will use the card for the
new pay-as-you-go facility.

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VERIFONE PARTNERS

VeriFone has signed four European channel partners including EL-ME Ag in
Germany, Necomplus in Spain, Smartel SpA in Italy, and VIDRA info in
Yugoslavia.VeriFone has more than 30 existing partners that make up the
company’s extensive channel to market in the Europe, Middle East and Africa
region. EL-ME Ag specializes in the development, production and
distribution of electronic systems for the German market. SMARTEL SpA is
dedicated to the design and deployment of card, payment and loyalty systems
as well as the support and management of POS-terminal networks and has more
than 280,000 terminals installed throughout the country. Necomplus has
nearly 10 years of experience in serving the merchant and acquirer
community in Spai offering software solutions for electronic payment
including multi-application capability at the Point-of-Sale, remote
diagnostics and management tools, and innovative loyalty systems. VIDRA
Info, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arius, is an IBM Business Partner
serving more than ten of Yugoslavia’s leading banks and some of the largest
public organizations in the country, and has recently formed a joint
venture with Komercijalna Banka and Euronet to set up and run a national
processing centre for POS and ATM transactions.

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Thales P3CM

Thales e-Security has introduced the first cryptographic module designed specifically to address the requirements of application data preparation for smart card issuance. Thales says the new “P3CM” will reduce the cost for issuers looking to migrate to EMV smart cards and with the accompanying “P3” software it also gives issuing banks or independent bureaus an easy route from magnetic stripe to smart cards by providing them with the extra data required. “P3CM” generates and prepares the data required for the issuance of EMV smart cards without compromising performance but with the additional benefit of a significant reduction in unit size and cost. Thales also announced it has published free, on its web site, the industry’s first guide to EMV migration.

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Employee Fingerprints

Sub-prime credit card issuer, Cross Country Bank/Applied Card Systems said this week it is using a biometric fingerprinting system from to process background checks on employees. The “Live Scan” “ID 1000” system from Cross Match Technologies digitally formats the prints for rapid transmission via analog telephone lines to the ABA, which then transmits the fingerprints to the FBI for screening through the agency’s national database. Cross Country, one of the first institutions to submit fingerprints electronically to the ABA, said its has cut the process from up to 45 days to as little as eight days. Cross Country, which has approximately three million customers operates processing centers in Boca Raton, FL., Huntington, WV, Ashland, KY, Beckley, WV, and Glen Mills PA.

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Priceless Muppets

MasterCard International has unleashed a new round of “Priceless” television ads that include the “Muppets”. The “Muppet” spots began running this past weekend and will continue airing through the holiday season. The new ads support MasterCard’s “Priceless Memories Sweepstakes” which is offering U.S. cardholders a shot at more than 1,000 “get together” prizes between now and the end of the year. The commercial plot features Kermit the Frog as the contest winner, who then invites pals Miss Piggy, The Great Gonzo, Animal, Pepe the King Prawn, Fozzie Bear, Sam the Eagle and Rizzo to join him in a trip to New York City where they create their own “priceless” memories. (CF Library 11/4/02)

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