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.Details
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.Details
Denver-based Cardxx has named David Ziegler as CEO, Paul Lewis as President, Harry Tiffany as Technology Director, and has signed a Letter of Understanding to produce Smart Cards for Spyrus. Cardxx, Inc. is in the business of manufacturing and licensing secure Smart Cards using our proprietary and patented encapsulation process known as the Reaction Assisted Molded Process.Details
PNC Consumer Services is teaming with Discover Financial Services to provide home equity loan origination services for Discover cardholders. With the launch of the Discover Home Loans program, Discover Cardmembers are offered a consumer credit alternative that allows them to tap the equity in their homes to finance their long and short-term goals.Details
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.Details
MA-based Meridien Research released a new report that says VISA’s “3D Secure” initiative, if successful, will effectively bar the introduction of alternative payment mechanisms to settle traditional online shopping transactions and reduce the impact of fraud on Internet merchants.Details
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.Details
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.Details
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]).
Second Quarter 2002
U.S. Quarterly Cards-in-Force by Brand
VISA 261.0m (+4.8%)
MasterCard 252.1m (+15.7%)
AmEx 34.8m (NC)
Discover 50.7m (+2.0%)
TOTAL: 598.6m (+7.7%)
VISA 122.6m (+13.9%)
MasterCard 42.8m (+11.9%)
TOTAL: 165.4m (+12.6%)
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
The Federal Trade Commission and 15 state and federal law enforcers, who yesterday announced “Operation No-Credit” – a joint law enforcement campaign targeting a wide range of credit-related frauds, said they have filed 43 actions against credit con artists. Among those caught were seven separate enterprises offering consumers VISA and MasterCards, for a one-time advance fee, but never produced the promised credit cards. In one case, consumers paid as much as $499 to receive the credit card, most consumers did not receive the promised credit cards. A few received a “temporary” or “dummy”card with the MasterCard logo and a non-magnetic black stripe on the back. When consumers called to activate the card, the defendants told them for the first time that they had a debit card and not a credit card. The defendants also told consumers that they had to pay an additional fee and deposit money for any purchases made on the account.
OPERATION NO-CREDIT DRAGNET
(Credit Card Firms Sued by the FTC)
FLORIDA – Bay Area Business Council, Inc.; Bay Area Business Council Customer
Service Corp.; America Leisure Card Corp. Premier Financial Services
International, Inc.; First Financial Debt Consolidation Inc.
TEXAS – Brent Shivers dba Credit Card Services; Destyni Enterprises
TORONTO – 1st Beneficial Credit Services LLC; First Beneficial Credit Services;
First Beneficial Credit Services, Inc.; American Capitol; Platinum
TENNESSEE – Premier Financial Services of Tennessee, Inc.
UTAH – Westcal Equipment, Inc.; Pioneer First; PF Member Services., Inc.
NEW YORK – Star Credit Services Inc.
NEVADA – Tyme Lock 2000, Inc; United Family Services; USA Membership Services;
Total Resources, Inc.
Amsterdam-based Royal Philips Electronics and Japan’s Sony Corporation have teamed to jointly develop a new near field radio-frequency communication technology, which is fully compliant to both Philips’ existing “Mifare” and Sony’s “FeliCa” contactless smart card technologies. The “Near Field Communication” (NFC) technology will operate on 13.56 MHz and allow for the transfer of any kind of data between NFC enabled devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras and PDA’s as well as to PC’s, laptops, game consoles or PC Peripherals, across a distance of up to twenty centimeters and aiming at speeds fast enough to transfer high quality images. The aim is to build a ubiquitous open infrastructure of NFC-compliant devices which effectively incorporate smart-key and smart card reader functions, providing a convenient communication method for services such as payment (including credit card), ticketing, and accessing online entertainment content (e.g. gaming) through the devices. This can be done simply by holding devices or smart cards near each other. It is anticipated that the technology will play a key role in allowing content and service providers to offer various new ways of accessing their services. The consumer’s primary NFC device (e.g. mobile phone or PDA) acts as a smart-key to gain access to chosen services from any NFC device, anywhere, anytime.Details
Discover has teamed with ESPN GameDay and Best Buy, for the second year, to offer the “Discover Card Gets You on GameDay Challenge” offering cardholders a chance to appear on the New Year’s Day broadcast of ESPN College GameDay. Discover Card will support the promotion with advertising across ABC and ESPN television and radio college football programming, as well as ESPN The Magazine. Best Buy shoppers will be alerted to the contest by in-store signage.Details