CTL & VISA DEAL

London-based Card Tech Limited has been selected by VISA International to provide a processing solution for VISA prepaid cards. Under an exclusive agreement, VISA will promote CTL’s processing solution for the prepaid card program to its members in the CEMEA region. Members can configure the system to issue all types of prepaid cards aimed at different market segments. VISA and CTL have predefined five popular types or prepaid cards: “Teen,” “Gift,” “Travel,” “Payroll,” and “Money Transfer.” The agreement does not cover the licensing of CTL’s software. Members who are interested in licensing CTL software must negotiate directly with CTL. Card Tech Limited provides card management solutions to more than 150 banks in 60 countries.

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Gay Card Habits

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender consumers carry a slightly higher balance on their credit cards and use their cards more on the Internet than non-gay consumers. According to a survey released this morning, the typical gay and lesbian consumer carries a median credit card balance per card of $556 as compared to $374 for non-gay consumers. The study by Witeck-Combs Communications and Harris Interactive also found that GLBT consumers use their credit cards most frequently for these five activities: Internet purchases (30%), general shopping (27%), gas/fuel (21%), entertainment expenses (15%), and travel expenses (13%). Other findings: gay consumers were more likely than non-gay cardholders to have two or more of the following types of credit cards: VISA, MasterCard and American Express. On average, VISA is the most commonly held credit card brand among gay and non-gay consumers alike. The study was conducted online within the USA in late July and involved a nationwide cross section of 2,091 adults.

Average Credit Card Balances
GLBT Heterosexual
Less than $500 25% 28%
$500 – $999 10% 6%
$1,000 – $4,999 12% 14%
$5,000 – $9,999 2% 3%
$10,000 or more 7% 2%
Mean $3,448 $3,319
Median $556 $374

Source:Witeck-Combs Communications/Harris Interactive

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AmEx IAP

American Express announced this morning that Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways have joined its “International Airline Program.” Under the program, “Centurion” and “Platinum” U.S. cardholders can purchase free companion tickets on 20 international airlines with the purchase of first or business class tickets, subject to availability. AmEx says the program is the most popular perk offered on its top end card products. U.S. cardholders can use the program as often as they like but there is a maximum of one complimentary companion ticket per trip, per cardholder traveling. The program was first launched in 1993 for “Platinum” cardholders and then extended to the “Centurion” card as it launched in 1999. Other participating airlines in the AmEx IAP include Aero Mexico, Aer Lingus, Air New Zealand, Air France, Alitalia, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, Continental Airlines, Japan Airlines, LanChile, Lan Peru, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, SAS, South African Airways and Swiss International.

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APTRA Momentum

NCR said its “APTRA” multivendor software platform for ATMs has been certified in the U.S. via Concord EFS, ACI Worldwide and Mosaic and is now used by FleetBoston, Fidelity Investments and 7-Eleven. ased on XFS standards, applications developed using APTRA(TM) are vendor-independent. That means the necessary software applications only need to be developed once to work for all machines within the bank’s ATM channel, versus the usual separate initiatives for each manufacturer’s ATMs.

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Gemplus & In-Q-Tel

Facing concern among board members, the new Gemplus CEO announced he has severed ties with a venture capital technology firm created by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Alex Mandl said he has resigned from the board of CIA-funded In-Q-Tel. Gemplus International named Mandl as its new CEO, effective September 9th. Mandl was the former Chairman/CEO of Teligent between 1996 and 2001. He was also the former President/COO of AT&T. There was some controversy between Gemplus board members over the selection of Mandl, specifically his connections with the CIA. Some board members were concerned that Mandl’s CIA ties could affect its ability to sell its product and services to some countries. In December, Gemplus CEO Antonio Perez decided to resign his posts as Chief Executive Officer and director to pursue other interests. Marc Lassus, founder and one of the largest shareholders of Gemplus, also agreed in December to cease his office as chairman. Earlier this month, Gemplus announced that its interim CEO, Ron Mackintosh, has decided to step down as of August 15th. (CF Library 8/30/02)

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Suds Cards

PA-based USA Technologies and American Sales have inked an agreement to use USA Technologies’ “e-Suds.net” services to network 9,000 university washers and dryers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. The “e-Suds” technology makes it possible for college students to go online to check if washers and dryers are available in their laundry room, charge the cost of doing laundry to their university accounts, have detergent and fabric softener automatically added to their wash and receive an email when their wash is complete. IBM has also agreed to market the e-Suds service. USA Technologies provides networked credit card and other non-cash/mobile commerce systems in the vending, commercial laundry, hospitality and digital imaging industries.

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JCB & ICE

JCB has certified the EMV kernel for Hypercom’s “ICE” card payment terminals for use worldwide with JCB’s “J/Smart” credit cards. This is the first time JCB has certified any payment terminal manufacturer for “J/Smart” outside of Japan, and the first time they have given anyone a global certification. The EMV kernel is certified for use with all of Hypercom’s “ICE” terminals including the “ICE 5500, 4000, 6500 and 6000” models. The “J/Smart” certified EMV kernel is immediately available, and the first “J/Smart” installations outside Japan were made earlier this year in the U.K. using the Hypercom “ICE 5500” terminals. Hypercom also announced a worldwide joint marketing arrangement with JCB to promote the acceptance of “J/Smart” cards and the sale of “J/Smart”-enabled Hypercom payment terminals worldwide.

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Payment Manager with EDD

Wells Fargo has launched “Payment Manager with EDD” for its corporate customers enabling them to electronically initiate payments and remittance via the ACH, wires, and checks with the remittance information provided via email attachment, data transmission or fax. Wells Fargo currently conducts business with 30 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, and is the second largest originator of automated clearing house (ACH) transactions in the United States.

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JCB & ICE

JCB has certified the EMV kernel for Hypercom’s “ICE” card payment terminals for use worldwide with JCB’s “J/Smart” credit cards. This is the first time JCB has certified any payment terminal manufacturer for “J/Smart” outside of Japan, and the first time they have given anyone a global certification. The EMV kernel is certified for use with all of Hypercom’s “ICE” terminals including the “ICE 5500, 4000, 6500 and 6000” models. The “J/Smart” certified EMV kernel is immediately available, and the first “J/Smart” installations outside Japan were made earlier this year in the U.K. using the Hypercom “ICE 5500” terminals. Hypercom also announced a worldwide joint marketing arrangement with JCB to promote the acceptance of “J/Smart” cards and the sale of “J/Smart”-enabled Hypercom payment terminals worldwide.

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GEMPLUS & IN-Q-TEL

Facing concern among board members, the new Gemplus CEO announced he has severed ties with a venture capital technology firm created by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Alex Mandl said he has resigned from the board of CIA-funded In-Q-Tel. Gemplus International named Mandl as its new CEO, effective September 9th. Mandl was the former Chairman/CEO of Teligent between 1996 and 2001. He was also the former President/COO of AT&T. There was some controversy between Gemplus board members over the selection of Mandl, specifically his connections with the CIA. Some board members were concerned that Mandl’s CIA ties could affect its ability to sell its product and services to some countries. In December, Gemplus CEO Antonio Perez decided to resign his posts as Chief Executive Officer and director to pursue other interests. Marc Lassus, founder and one of the largest shareholders of Gemplus, also agreed in December to cease his office as chairman. Earlier this month, Gemplus announced that its interim CEO, Ron Mackintosh, has decided to step down as of August 15th.

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