San Diego-based ImageWare Systems has released its EPISUITE ID software solution in Chinese which enables users to design ID cards; capture photos, signatures and fingerprints; maintain a secure database of cardholder information; and encode magnetic stripes, bar codes, and smart chips. EPISUITE Chinese will be launched from ImageWare’s Singapore offices and will expand the company’s presence in the Asia Pacific.Details
Hampshire-based De La Rue has acquired a controlling interest in US-based Sequoia Voting Systems, a provider of touch screen voting systems. De La Rue will acquire an 85% interest while Dublin, Ireland-based Smurfit will retain a 15% interest. De La Rue will make an initial cash payment of $23 million and the potential of subsequent payments up to $12 million during the next three years, based on agreed sales growth targets. Sequoia has installed more than 35,000 Direct Record Electronic full face and touch screen voting machines in 16 states. One in five of the world’s ATMs have a De La Rue cash dispensing mechanism inside and more than 2,000 financial institutions in 60 countries rely on De La Rue to secure their transactions.Details
Experian reported Wednesday that it has signed 13 more clients for its CRM, Truvue, and National Fraud Database services including GE Capital, VISA, First American Payment Processing, American Express, Bank One/First USA, and Discover Financial Services. Experian also reported that as a whole, sales for the year increased by 7% and operating profit by 6%, despite difficult market conditions particularly in North America. At constant exchange rates and excluding acquisitions and disposals, sales grew by 3% and operating profit by 4%.Details
Karachi-based Union Bank has signed an agreement with American Express to issue Rupee-billed American Express cards in Pakistan. The launch follows the signing of an Independent Operator Agreement between Union and AmEx in July 2001, under which Union Bank issues and markets American Express cards in Pakistan, signs new merchant locations, and provides customer services to both cardholders and merchants in the country. Now consumers in Pakistan can choose to have either a US Dollar denominated American Express Card or a Rupee-billed Card. American Express established Global Network Services in 1997 to form strategic alliances with banks and financial institutions around the world to issue cards on American Express’ global merchant network. To date, GNS has built 76 partnership arrangements in close to 80 countries around the world.Details
NY-based FreeStar Technologies and EnelPunto Payment Gateway report their PaySafeNow system is now fully operational at the e-commerce Web site for Radio Shack in the Dominican Republic. EnelPunto has established FreeStar’s PaySafeNow system as the standard, approved e-commerce payment technology for its merchant network comprised of 50 online vendors, including Radio Shack-Latin America. FreeStar’s ePayPad, a consumer-side card swipe device that enables online users to make purchases over the Internet using PIN-authenticated ATM and debit cards, is also being marketed directly to consumers over Radio Shack-Latin America’s site.Details
Wincor Nixdorf has released a low-cost solution to adopt the Powered USB standard throughout Wincor’s BEETLE family of POS appliances. Migrating from serial to Powered USB connection technology takes a matter of minutes on the BEETLE systems. The serial ports on the BEETLE system’s internal board can be removed and replaced with Powered USB portsâa simple process that typically does not require outside service technicians. Powered USB device connections provide a locking connector that secures cables to the host. This is a critical requirement in the retail environment, where accidentally disconnecting a peripheral can bring a checkout lane to a halt. Powered USB also overcomes the limitations of standard USB connections that provide enough power for a keyboard and mouse, but are insufficient for scanners, displays, and printers.Details
MasterCard International launched its “MasterCard Vendor Program” this week, which gives vendors a single point of access to the comprehensive business and technical information needed to serve financial institutions using MasterCard’s payments platform. Financial institutions are increasingly deploying advanced technology on a global scale to deliver new products and services and better serve customers. MVP is a single, global resource for vendors that provide a range of services to these institutions, facilitating vendors’ capability to effectively serve financial institutions with any MasterCard-related project, at any location. Vendors in the MVP have access to up-to-the-minute technical information and support, as well as business and product briefings from a variety of sources within the organization, including operations, chip, mobile commerce, e-commerce and debit. More than 75 vendors currently participate in the program.Details
MasterCard International confirmed this week that its member financial institutions have been awarded extensive contracts to provide integrated payment solutions for the governments of France, Canada, Norway, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and Chile. In Canada, MasterCard and BMO Purchasing Solutions won an agreement to supply MasterCard-branded Government of Canada Acquisition Cards to more than 28,000 government employees in 100 Canadian government departments and agencies. In France, Credit Mutuel/CIC and Credit Agricole won five contracts to provide purchasing cards to French government departments. In Norway, the Norwegian Defense Department signed a contract with Europay Norge to provide the Eurocard Purchasing solution to the Norwegian government. In Taiwan, MasterCard worked with the government of Taipei and Taipei Bank to launch Asia’s first virtual and real world purchasing card. In Australia and New Zealand more than 100 MasterCard government procurement card programs are utilized across federal, state and local governments in Australia. And finally in Chile, MasterCard has worked with Banco Edwards to provide purchasing cards for senior naval officers to purchase supplies for the Chilean Navy’s Buque Escuela Esmeralda.Details
A group of former E*TRADE executives announced this morning they have formed a new financial services company which will focus primarily on asset management and banking. The new firm, Emerge Financial Corporation, says it will immediately develop a consumer lending conduit generating a broad array of residential mortgage loans and other consumer assets, possibly credit cards. The second phase will include the acquisition of an under-utilized bank or thrift that is poised for future growth and increased profitability. The principals in the new venture, who recently left E*Trade, include Stephen Dervenis, former CEO of E*TRADE Global Asset Management; Douglas Bream, former Director of E*TRADE Global Asset Management; and Kenneth Campbell, former Director of E*TRADE Global Asset Management and Vice President of E*TRADE Mortgage.Details
Trintech Group reported this morning that service revenue increased sequentially by 19% and that pro forma operating expenses fell by 38% for the quarter ending April 30th, with end-of-quarter cash equivalent balances of $53.0 million. However, the company’s quarterly revenue fell 41% to $10.1 million compared with $17.0 million for the same quarter one year ago. Trintech says the decline is mainly attributable to a difficult market environment coupled with slower than anticipated new product launches. While service revenue was up significantly, quarterly product revenue decreased by 70% to $1.8 million as compared with the corresponding quarter last year. The decline in product revenue is mainly due to a general weakness in the Company’s European POS business line, particularly in the German market. Software license revenue decreased 31% to $5.2 million this quarter as compared to the corresponding period last year due to continued softness in the global IT market. Service revenue was relatively flat at $3.1 million as compared with the corresponding quarter of the previous year. For complete details on Trintech’s latest quarterly performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Advanta Bank Corp. has installed a new electronic payment system from San Francisco-based BankServ to enhance payment options for its small business customers. An estimated three-quarters of a million transactions a year initially are expected to be processed electronically with BankServ’s new service, which allows Advanta’s customers to pay their Advanta business credit card bills with electronic checks — “on the fly.” Customers can simply call Advanta or visit their website to make a payment or schedule a future payment.Details
National Processing said Wednesday it has made a long-term strategic decision to discontinue processing debit and credit card transactions for the airline industry. NPC says the reason is due to contingent liability for chargebacks. Since the events of 9/11 there has been a increased risk for chargebacks and NPC is not willing to take that risk any longer in the airline industry. NPC’s airline revenues represent about 7% of the company’s consolidated revenue and approximately 5% of EBITDA. NPC said it will honor its existing contractual obligations to the airlines it currently serves but will not renew such contracts when their current terms expire. The contracts currently in effect have various expiration dates extending through November 2005. NPC also announced it is shutting down its Mexico operations, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramresearch.com]).