U.S. Bank Voyager Fleet Systems and Wright Express have signed a deal with NPC and NBS to market fleet card processing to non-fuel retailers, enabling Voyager and Wright Express fleet cardholders a broader range of acceptance and access to additional products and services. National Processing, Inc. began processing for the petroleum industry over 30 years ago and has remained a major player in the industry. National Bankcard Services provides integrated transaction processing solutions through a variety of point of sale systems for petroleum/convenience store chains and national retail chains. The Voyager card, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, is accepted at over 165,000 retail locations in all 50 states. ME-based Wright Express offers a variety of fleet card programs with cards accepted at over 150,000 fuel and service locations nationwide.Details
Los Angeles-based Single Source Financial Services Corporation and CardReady have released a Spanish Language Application and Agreement for merchant processing which has been certified by the Mexican consulate as an exact copy of CardReady’s English language merchant application and agreement. This Spanish language version will be used to recruit Spanish speaking merchants throughout the United States. A special marketing program has been developed, and it will be marketed by Spanish speaking sales representatives, and backed by bilingual support technicians.Details
MasterCard International announced today the expansion of its Middle East/ Africa region through the incorporation of South Asia. MasterCard has formed a new operating unit, to be known as SAMEA (South Asia, Middle East & Africa) which will service over 200 member financial institutions in more than 40 countries and includes some of the largest growing economies in the world. The South Asia market cluster consists of seven countries which includes Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and India, one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a GDP growth rate (Year on Year) of 5.3% per annum. MasterCard has been a pioneer in the payment systems industry in South Asia and is a clear market leader in this area.
“There are enormous economic and cultural similarities between the countries that have made up our Middle East / Africa region and those in South Asia,” said Alan Heuer, senior executive vice president of MasterCard’s Customer Group. “Bringing these countries together will enhance important synergies and reinforce MasterCard’s mission of being the “Best Business Partner’ of our members in the region.”
The new structure will combine the expertise gained from Middle East and Africa with the already successful South Asia region enabling MasterCard International to provide a high quality service that is relevant to the member financial institutions across SAMEA.
Commenting on the re-organization, Sonny Sannon, regional president, MasterCard International for Middle East/Africa said, “SAMEA accounts for one out of every three people on this planet making it a key region for MasterCard. The area has inherently been a cash-oriented society and through knowledge transfer, our goal at MasterCard is to help evolve modern payment systems in this exciting and diverse region.”
MasterCard International is the first payments organization to locate its regional headquarters within the geography of South Asia, Middle East & Africa, through the opening of its office in Dubai Internet City.
About MasterCard International
MasterCard International has a comprehensive portfolio of well-known, widely accepted payment brands including MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro. More than 1.7 billion MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of more than 15,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is a leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. MasterCard’s award-winning Priceless advertising campaign is now seen in 81 countries and in 41 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. With more than 24 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. For the year ended December 31, 2001 gross dollar volume exceeded US$986 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at
EDS yesterday announced a task order under an existing smart card contract to secure about 50,000 computers at more than 100 Air Force sites worldwide. Under yesterday’s order, EDS will serve as the Air Force’s single provider of middleware technology and smart-card readers for the service-wide implementation of a Department of Defense smart-card initiative. The task order could extend EDS’ support to hundreds of thousands of users as the program continues to be implemented throughout the Air Force. In November, EDS began issuing 600,000 smart cards at 900 DoD sites worldwide. To-date, EDS has issued more than 100,000 cards for the DoD, and the DoD is scheduled to issue 4 million of the cards during the next two years. The CAC card issued by EDS is a smart card enabled to use Java technology and certified to meet the Federal Information Processing Standard 140-1 Level 2 standard for security requirements for cryptographic modules.Details
Target has moved into the Top 25 of U.S. card issuers as VISA receivables topped $2 billion in the quarter ending May 4th. Since the launch of the smart VISA program in September 2001, Target has issued more than 6 million cards, becoming the largest issuer of smart VISA credit cards in the nation and the second largest issuer of general purpose smart credit cards in the USA. Target says it will have smart card readers installed in all stores by August. The company plans to make e-coupons available to smart VISA card customers by the Christmas holiday shopping season. Target ended its first fiscal quarter of 2002 with $4.2 billion in total card receivables which includes $2.2 billion in private label credit card receivables. The Target Guest Card had $899 million in receivables, while the Mervyn’s card had $607 million, and Marshall Field’s card had $687 million. Target’s private label card receivables have declined 16% over the past year. Target said yesterday it expects to add between $1.5 billion and $2.0 billion to credit card receivables by the end of 2002. Across the Target portfolio, delinquency (60+ days) is running at 5% while charge-offs are running about 7%. For complete details on Target’s 1Q/02 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Hancock Bank Holding has signed a three-year renewal with Genpass Service Solutions for servicing, supply and cash replenishment services for 130 ATMs throughout southern Mississippi and Louisiana. This renewal is part of the continuing expansion of business that Genpass Service Solutions has been experiencing over the last year. In 2001, Genpass Service Solutions had a 20% increase in total business. Genpass Service Solutions provides ATM servicing, supply, and cash replenishment services throughout the U.S. to more than 6,000 ATMs.Details
Toronto-based CIBC says market acceptance of its new American Express entourage cards remained strong during quarter ending April 30, and bank says it is optimistic about the prospects for its new CIBC Shoppers Optimum VISA card, launched with Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. in early May. CIBC says it had a market share, based on card volume, of 32.3% during the quarter, up from 32.1% the previous quarter. CIBC says its calculation of market share, based on card balances, remained at 21.7% for the quarter ending 4/30/02. During the quarter, CIBC continued to expand Amicus, its co-branded retail electronic banking business, in both Canada and the U.S.. The number of registered customers increased 7.0% during the quarter, bringing the total number of customers to 1,073,000. For complete details on CIBC’s latest performance data visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Canada’s Hudson’s Bay Company reported that as of April 30, there were 3.0 million active accounts in the combined credit card portfolios of Bay and Zellers. Credit card receivables amounted to $392.4 million or 5.9% below last year’s 1Q receivables balance of $417.1 million. Excluding the adjustment for securitizations, the receivable balance at April 30 increased 5.8% from the April 30, 2001 level and decreased 23% from the 2001 year-end level. Delinquency (30+ days) was 5.1%, slightly better than last year. Gross write-offs in the first quarter were $25.4 million, higher than Q1 2001 level by $2.4 million reflecting the impact of the personal bankruptcy levels in the Canadian economy. For complete details on Hudson’s Bay Company’s latest performance data visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Topica Inc., a provider of self-service email publishing products, has formed a partnership with PayPal to integrate e-commerce capabilities into email marketing. Small businesses, non-profits, web entrepreneurs and other users of the Topica Email Publisher product can now create secure PayPal “Buy It” buttons directly within the Topica application while designing their newsletters to collect sales, donations, or tips from their subscribers. As part of the partnership, PayPal will promote Topica Email Publisher to its 16 million accounts as an additional avenue for increasing sales. In exchange, Topica will promote the availability of PayPal’s ecommerce functionality to its userbase of publishers. The ability to integrate PayPal into email newsletters will also be offered to users of Topica Exchange, Topica’s free community-based email service.Details
VISA and MasterCard credit card volume grew 6.3% while the number of cards-in-force grew 12.3% during 2001. Gross dollar volume hit US$93.4 billion and the number of cards-in-force at year-end 2001 was 45.4 million. VISA holds a 70% share of the Canadian market, down from 72% in 2000, as MasterCard expands. MasterCard’s volume grew 10.8% last year to US$27.7 billion. VISA’s 2001 gross volume was $65.7 billion. MasterCard’s cards-in-force grew 22.5%, from 16.9 million in 2000 to 20.7 million at year-end 2001. VISA added 1.3 million cards last year to grow 5.6%, from 23.4 million to 24.7 million. Total transactions for both VISA and MasterCard combined was 1.4 billion.Details
American Express yesterday announced over $1.5 million in grant awards through its Performing Arts Fund to more than a dozen performing arts organizations nationwide. The American Express Performing Arts Fund was created in 1997 to assist performing arts organizations across the United States in developing and sustaining broader audiences. Since its inception, American Express has given more than $6 million to more than 60 arts organizations throughout the United States.Details
HID Corporation and Bioscrypt today jointly unveiled a practical and affordable new solution for access control that combines the high security of biometrics with a new generation of recently announced contactless smart cards from HID called iCLASS.
Bioscrypt, the world s leading provider of fingerprint-based biometric readers for access control, launched V-Smart iCLASS, a two-in-one reader solution. The new system combines bioscrypt on board, the company s brand for its proven fingerprint matching technology, with support for iCLASS contactless smart cards from HID, the global leader in proximity and Wiegand cards and readers. The iCLASS technology, optimized for access control and multiple applications, delivers the security and versatility of smart cards, yet retains the affordability and convenience advantages of proximity cards.
The two leaders cooperated in the development of V-Smart iCLASS to insure that traditional access control customers can use a superior biometric product that offers one-to-one biometric template authentication and user convenience. These two features support the markets requirement for fast throughput and individual privacy. The new smart cards and readers will be available July, 2002.
The market demand for higher security, biometric template storage and more applications on a single credential has increased steadily during the past 12 to 18 months, said Mark Scaparro, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for HID. Yet until now no one has offered a cost-effective contactless smart card technology optimized for access control. iCLASS fills that gap.
We specifically designed the technology to make access control more secure and more powerful, Scaparro continued. At the same time, we included the features needed to implement other applications that can make the cards more useful. Finally, iCLASS breaks the last barrier to smart card penetration of the access control market price. For the first time, contactless smart cards are now affordable for access control.
Smart cards are an ideal complement to fingerprint biometrics, which led us to the decision to introduce the new reader and capitalize on the technology and security advances made by iCLASS, said Julia Webb, Vice President of Global Marketing and Business Development for Bioscrypt. Our fingerprint biometrics in V-Smart iCLASS gives security managers the peace of mind that comes with identifying the individual, not just the card. With bioscrypt on board they get what we call one-to-one security: one security credential and only one person who can use it.
In the new system, fingerprint templates are securely stored on the cards, not in the devices, making iCLASS smart cards portable databases that are well-suited for installations spanning multiple sites. Storing the template on the card simplifies system start-up and enables the support of unlimited populations. It also eliminates the redundant wiring requirement for biometric template management, lowering implementation costs significantly.
V-Smart iCLASS has bioscrypt on board, the advanced fingerprint matching algorithm proven on over 30,000 installations. It works with the latest in fingerprint sensor technology to provide a highly accurate and reliable solution that performs well even in extremely difficult cases. Designed to plug into existing access control systems, its stylish design is compact and modular. The reader features a double-gang surface mount and provides flexible communication options supporting Wiegand formats up to 64 bits. The convenient VeriAdmin software package provides user-friendly fingerprint template enrollment and administration capabilities.
HID s iCLASS
iCLASS is a new contactless smart card technology from HID. The company plans to manufacture a range of cards, keys, tags and readers that target access control and other applications.
An important advantage of iCLASS technology compared to other contactless smart cards is a read range of approximately three inches. That performance is comparable to proximity cards for access control, an industry first for smart cards. A longer read range makes it more convenient for users and increases the throughput of the system, because the fingerprint template transfer begins as soon as the card enters the range.
The iCLASS technology brings the power and security of smart cards to access control and offers several unique features that enhance traditional radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. These capabilities work together to reduce the risk of compromised data or duplicated cards and make additional secure applications possible:
Secure reading and writing of data
Cryptographic data storage
Mutual authentication between cards and readers
Secure encryption of all radio frequency data transmission
User definable access keys and optional DES and triple DES encryption
The new technology, developed by the Identification Technology Group (ITG) of HID s parent company ASSA ABLOY, utilizes advanced semiconductor technology based on the 13.56 MHz frequency and is compliant with the ISO standards for contactless smart cards 15693 and 14443 Types A, B1 and B2. Compliance with ISO standards enables many equipment and application developers to work with this technology to create a broad range of uses for the cards.
All iCLASS credentials will be available in either a 2K bits or 16K bits configuration. The iCLASS Tag will affix to existing cards or devices such as a cellular telephone or PDA to allow users to seamlessly and cost-effectively add contactless smart card technology to existing cards or devices. HID will also offer multi-technology credentials, iCLASS Prox and iCLASS Wiegand, that allow users to carry one card with a photo ID that is compatible with multiple types of readers.
Bioscrypt Inc. (TSE: BYT) is a leading provider of advanced fingerprint technology with over 30,000 fingerprint readers currently installed. The company s solutions combine the convenience of touch with the high security of fingerprint-based biometrics for simple and secure access to facilities, equipment and information. Using the bioscrypt on board ” brand, the company offers packaged products, OEM components and software licensing to leading security solution manufacturers and integrators worldwide for physical, wireless and network security applications. Among the many cutting-edge companies and partners using Bioscrypt technology are the U.S. Army, NASA, Continental Airlines, Intel, Atmel, HID Corporation, Honeywell and Northern Computers. Bioscrypt s patented technology is interoperable with leading fingerprint sensors and is both platform and operating system independent. Bioscrypt is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol BYT. For more information, visit the Bioscrypt Web site at www.bioscrypt.com.
As interest in PC secure log-on and other smart chip applications increases, HID’s credential remains the platform of choice to carry multiple applications. HID multi-technology credentials can be used throughout organizations to leverage the investment in existing systems, while providing for enhanced functionality in other areas. As the largest manufacturer of contactless access control readers and cards for the security industry, HID has shipped over 125 million credentials to customers worldwide. HID pioneered the development of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for security. Their experience in developing card technologies enables HID to play a critical role in the evolution and adoption of smart card technology. For more information on HID, visit their website at www.HIDCorp.com.Details