PayPoint & ThruComm

PayPoint Electronic Systems has inked a deal to provide the ThruComm “Integrator” service to merchants nationwide after successfully deploying the “Integrator” service to over 130 petroleum, specialty retail and restaurant locations, including ARCO petroleum stations. he ThruComm Integrator(TM) service delivers 3-5 second POS transaction response times and connects up to six devices simultaneously, so merchants do not need multiple dial-up phone lines.

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Web Ad Power

As Internet advertising continues to deliver lower credit card account acquisition costs, a new study, released this morning, shows that business decision makers are more heavily influenced by advertising on the Web than advertising on any other top medium. An overwhelming 77% of key decision makers said that the Web is the place where they prefer to find out about new products and companies, and nearly half said that the Web has actually influenced them to make a purchase or obtain a service for their business. Among the interesting findings in the survey were: 17% use the Web at least five hours per weekday (excluding e-mail) and 90% said that they use the Web to read general news. The study was jointly conducted by washingtonpost.com, Nielsen//NetRatings @plan and MORI Research.

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Jumping Juniper

Juniper Bank reported this morning that it now manages more than 500,000 credit card accounts with $800 million in receivables. One year ago the credit card issuer had about $300 million in outstandings and 150,000 accounts. Juniper also announced this morning it has expanded its management team. Kevin Murphy has been named director of collections; Phillip Weaver as director of strategic planning; and Kathy Kreusch-Cobb as director or human resources. Murphy spent the last 12 years at First USA as EVP of customer support and collections. Weaver also worked at First USA as EVP of strategic planning. Kreucsh-Cobb was SVP of human resources at First USA.

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MOSAIK MASTERCARD

BMO Bank of Montreal has introduced a truly customized credit card. The new “Mosaik MasterCard” offers consumers 900 potential combinations of features and pricing. The “Mosaik MasterCard” not only enables Canadian consumers to build their own card, it also allows customers to re-build their cards by changing the features as their needs change without having to replace the card or apply for a new one. Some of the individual features offered include the “AIR MILES Reward Program,” “CashBack Reward Program,” “Travel Protection,” “Travel Medical,” “Concierge Service” and either a standard or low interest rate as well as the card’s design. Some of card’s modules have annual fees. Consumers select the card’s elements from the bank’s paper or online interactive “CardBuilder” tools. Once they become a cardholder, they will be able to make changes by telephone or online using the “CardManager” tool. Existing BMO Bank of Montreal MasterCard cardholders are currently being converted to the new “Mosaik MasterCard” program. BMO Bank of Montreal is offering a pricing choice between a no annual fee card with an 18.4% APR and a $15 annual fee card with a 12.9% interest rate on purchases and a 7.9% interest rate on cash advances.

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New Zebra Printer

Zebra Technologies will tomorrow introduce the new “Eltron P320i” plastic card printer which provides custom, on-demand printing of proximity cards, smart cards, and magnetic stripe cards for access control applications. he new Eltron P320i is an easy-to-use, full color, single-sided card printer with a clear, user-friendly LCD display. For security reasons, the printer is housed in a lock-protected metal enclosure and includes an electronic pass-code system to prevent unauthorized use or removal of cards.

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VIRGIN SKYMILES

Virgin Atlantic Airways announced it will join the Delta Airlijnes “SkyMiles” program effective Oct. 1st. The news comes less than a week after Virgin announced it was joining the American Express “International Airline Program.” AmEx dumped British Airways for Virgin. The Delta agreement will enable “SkyMiles” members to earn and redeem miles for flights on Virgin Atlantic. To launch the partnership, Delta will award “SkyMiles” members double miles for qualified* travel on Virgin Atlantic from Oct. 1 through Dec. 15, 2002. Delta will also become a member of flying club, Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyer program, effective Oct. 1, 2002. flying club members will receive double miles on select Delta routes during the launch period.

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MS Hole

Microsoft last week issued another warning about a security flaw which permits a hacker to exploit the digital certificate validation that can enable identity spoofing. The security hole can enable hackers to gain access to computers and potentially steal credit card numbers and passwords. Microsoft indicated that the flaw affects several of Microsoft’s widely used software products, including Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0 Windows 2000, and Windows XP. Microsoft has made patches available on all products except the Windows 2000 version, which is expected shortly. In addition, a few Microsoft products for Macintosh users are also affected. BigFix said Friday it has issued “Fixlet” messages to automatically detect and patch the security holes. BigFix proactive solution automatically monitors, in real-time, thousands of the most critical security updates, service packs and hardware and software updates; identifies any and all computers where vulnerabilities exist; and alerts affected IT administrators or end-users within hours of a patch being made available and provides them with a simple, one-click fix to secure their computers.

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AIROS & SCTN

Toronto-based Airos Group has been awarded a contract from Smart Chip Technologies. The Airos Group is porting Smart Chip Technologies’ patent-protected loyalty application,”e-llegiance”, to run on the Ingenico “Elite 510” smart chip-enabled POS terminal for a loyalty program targeted for implementation early next year. The Airos Group is currently the prime integrator for an end-to-end multi-application smart card implementation. Previously, Airos participated in the “smart city” Barrie VISA Cash and Guelph/Sherbrooke Mondex trial with the development of both hardware and software solutions. Smart Chip Technologies is one of the founding members of the Solstice Alliance, which was formed to develop and market an Internet-capable, EMV (Europay/MasterCard/Visa) debit and credit compliant multi-application smart card payment suite.

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Cardbase 2002

The number of credit and off-line debit cards in the USA is growing 8.7% annually, based on second quarter data gathered by CardData. MasterCard’s card base is currently growing twice as fast as VISA, largely due to its surge in credit cards. The number of MasterCard credit cards issued in the USA was up nearly 16% at the end of 2Q/02 compared to an approximate 5% increase for VISA. However, VISA continues to dominate the debit card market, growing its cardbase by 14%. Based on debit cards-in-force, VISA has as 74% share of the off-line debit card market. For complete details on current and past brand data visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Second Quarter 2002
U.S. Quarterly Cards-in-Force by Brand

CREDIT CARDS
VISA 261.0m (+4.8%)
MasterCard 252.1m (+15.7%)
AmEx 34.8m (NC)
Discover 50.7m (+2.0%)
TOTAL: 598.6m (+7.7%)

DEBIT CARDS
VISA 122.6m (+13.9%)
MasterCard 42.8m (+11.9%)
TOTAL: 165.4m (+12.6%)
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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