NextGen FICO Scores

Experian, a global information solutions company, announced the introduction of the new Experian/Fair Isaac Advanced Risk Score. Fair, Isaac and Company, a leading provider of credit scoring services, built this next generation of credit scoring models using Fair, Isaac advanced scoring technology and leveraging Experian’s consumer credit data content.

“Experian is focused on providing the most up-to-date solutions to aid creditors in maximizing their offerings in today’s competitive marketplace,” said Peg Smith, president of Experian strategic business development. “Incorporating the NextGen scores into Experian’s variety of available risk assessment solutions provides lenders improved flexibility and greater options to best meet their goals of booking better quality credit and getting greater accuracy in their marketing programs.”

“The sharper credit evaluation provided by the NextGen scores will help lenders more confidently extend credit to new populations, make instant credit offers, reduce losses and deliver more customized products and pricing,” said Cheri St. John, Vice President at Fair, Isaac. She attributes the boost in predictive strength present in NextGen scores to a new design blueprint, which uses the latest advancements in predictive technology.

The Experian/Fair Isaac Advanced Risk Score is available now across Experian’s entire consumer credit reporting product line as part of a suite of credit risk assessment tools. Experian offers credit grantors a variety of credit risk scoring models and consults with creditors to assist them in selecting the model or models best suited to providing the greatest insight into evaluating credit risk.

About Fair, Isaac

Fair, Isaac and Company (NYSE: FIC) is a global provider of customer analytics and decision technology. Widely recognized for its pioneering work in credit scoring, Fair, Isaac revolutionized the way lending decisions are made. Today the company helps clients in multiple industries increase the value of customer relationships. Fair, Isaac has made the Forbes list of the top 200 U.S. small companies eight times in the last nine years. Headquartered in San Rafael, California, Fair, Isaac reported revenues of $298 million in fiscal 2000. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at .

About Experian

Experian enables organizations to find the best prospects and make fast, informed decisions to improve and personalize relationships with their customers. It does this by combining sophisticated and intelligent decision-making software and systems with some of the world’s most comprehensive databases of information on consumers, businesses, motor vehicles and property. Through multi-channel delivery of its Web-based products and services, Experian enables its clients to conduct secure and profitable e-business and develop state-of-the-art Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for communicating and building relationships with customers. Experian is a subsidiary of GUS plc and has headquarters in Nottingham, UK, and Orange, California. Its 12,000 people support clients in more than 50 countries. Annual sales are approximately $1.5 billion. For more information, visit the company’s web site at .

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Postilion EMV Released

Mosaic Software has announced the general availability of Postilion EMV Gateway, a low-cost, fast track solution to EMV smart card compliance for both Card Issuers and Transaction Acquirers. Developed to handle all the processing requirements for customer transactions originated with an EMV chip card, EMV Gateway has been successfully implemented in Europe well ahead of the compliance dates mandated by Visa.

The main driver behind the adoption of EMV is the reduction of fraud for all transactions as well as greater security for offline processing of transactions. EMV is the specification, jointly developed by Europay (E), MasterCard (M) and Visa (V) for the interoperability of smart cards and terminals equipped with smart card readers for debit and credit schemes, regardless of the card manufacturer, issuer or location of the EMV terminal.

Essentially, Postilion EMV Gateway processes transactions on behalf of an organizations existing system. Traditional magnetic-stripe messages continue to be routed to the incumbent system — with the EMV transactions being intercepted and switched directly to the appropriate networks. This architecture provides for the ability to support EMV transactions without the need to make costly changes to existing authorization host systems. In addition, Postilion EMV Gateway is able to process the EMV security data using a hardware security module (HSM) prior to switching the message to the existing processor. An added benefit of the Postilion EMV Gateway is that it integrates fully with emerging technologies (including WAP-enabled mobile phones, the Internet and digital TV), allowing for multi-channel generic payment solutions.

About Mosaic Software

Mosaic Software is a leading edge provider of electronic funds transfer (EFT) software for consumer-generated electronic transactions, and is the market leader for web-enabled ATM and prepay software solutions. The company is held by strategic partners GE Equity and Comparex Holdings, and Mosaic management. With offices in the USA, a European office in the UK, South Africa and Australia, Mosaic has a strong global presence. The company is firmly established in the financial services industry and its EFT solutions drive operations in a large number of multinational companies and industry leaders around the globe. Clients include financial institutions, retailers, Internet service providers, card issuers, telcos, data processing service providers and some of the foremost players in the emerging online industry, in the USA, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.

Mosaic’s family of products, named Postilion, is a comprehensive software solution designed to effectively handle the transaction delivery and authorization requirements of every aspect of the EFT arena. Worldwide, Postilion is used for ATM Processing/Monitoring, EFT Switching and Routing, Point-of-Sale (POS), Credit/Debit Card Processing, Internet/Call Center Payment Authorizations, Prepayment, Internet/Home Banking and Mobile Commerce applications. Operating as the first fully-fledged EFT switch running on Windows NT/Windows 2000, Postilion is live in more than 500 installations worldwide.

Mosaic Software clients include 7-Eleven (US), American Express (US), E*Trade (US), Retail Decisions (UK), Calypso (Canada), AutoBranch Technologies (Canada), Greenland Corporation (US), Transaction Network Services (UK), Woodforest National Bank (US), Sky Financial Group (US) Echo (US), Pick ‘n Pay (SA), ABSA Bank (SA), Saambou Bank (SA), NBS (SA), Vodacom (SA) and MTN (SA).

An overview of the company and product may be found at: .

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Gold Cards

Over the past five years Platinum VISA and MasterCards have out shined their gold card brethren. However, over the past twelve months, most of the nation’s top issuers have quietly resurrected gold card products to target primarily the sub-prime and Hispanic markets. Indeed, gold VISA and MasterCards now carry the highest average interest rates, according to CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]). Among the top ten U.S. issuers, only Bank One/First USA and Fleet have refrained from the gold card revival. MBNA has only one gold product, the ‘First Union VISA Gold’. Citibank continues to offer a gold card in its American Airlines ‘AAdvantage’ program. Providian offers several gold versions with APRs ranging from 16.99% to 23.99%.

TOP GOLD CARD PRODUCTS
Citibank 16.49% $85.00
MBNA 13.99% None
Discover 13.99% None
Chase 18.99% None
Cap One 14.90% $72.00
Providian 23.99% None
BofA 14.40% None
Household 16.49% None
AVG 16.66%
Source: CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com)

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

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Buxx Mall

FL-based WildCard Systems has launched an online shopping mall with U.S. Bank in conjunction with the bank’s ‘VISA Buxx’ Web site. Teen cardholders and their parents can access the new shopping mall online which contains hundreds of brands and thousands of products from teen-oriented merchants such as Alloy, GraffitiOnline.com, The Sharper Image and Teva Sports Sandals, as well as offers, discounts, and promotions on special items. The online shopping mall is powered by Altura International and provides an advanced multi-vendor, multi-lingual and multi-currency e-commerce shopping platform. The ‘VISA Buxx’ product was co-developed by VISA USA and WildCard Systems. ‘VISA Buxx’ is currently issued by Bank of America, Capital One, National City, Wachovia, and U.S. Bancorp. (CF Library 8/10/00; 9/14/00)

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e-Port Outlook

After nailing a major deal to deploy its credit card terminals into NYC taxis, USA Technologies said Tuesday it has begun rolling-out its ‘e-Port’ swipe card technology into the manufacturing, laundry, prepaid wireless services, and smart card/debit card dispensing and revaluing industries. For example, laundromats that once required coins and tokens to operate washers and dryers, may now be activated by swiping a credit card, bank or smart card through the ‘e-Port’. The first cashless Laundromat-based ‘e-Port’ technology is being installed this month. USTT currently has USA an existing installed base nearly 1500 terminals. Last month, the company signed a $20 million contract to install 15,000 ‘e-Port’ credit card terminals in taxis and limousines operating in New York City over the next three years. The first of several thousand ‘e-Ports’ will begin appearing in New York cabs and limousines in January. (CF Library 9/6/01)

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2Q Market Share

MasterCard gained 110 bps in market share during the second quarter, based on total U.S. volume, at the expense of Discover and American Express. VISA continues to maintain a 51.9% market share of U.S. volume, which includes credit cards and off-line debit cards. During the second quarter, MasterCard added net, new cardholders at double the rate of VISA. MasterCard added 5.8 million net cardholders in 2Q, while VISA grew by 2.9 million, Discover increased by 1.1 million, and American Express added 400,000 net cardholders. At mid-year, Americans owed $567 billion in debt on VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express cards, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). Of the $567 billion in outstandings, approximately $500 billion is owed on consumer credit cards with the balance owed on commercial credit cards.

U.S. CREDIT/DEBIT CARD VOLUME
Brand 1Q/01 VOL SHARE 2Q/01 VOL SHARE
VISA $204.6 billion (51.9%) $223.4 billion (51.9%)
MC $109.6 billion (27.8%) $124.4 billion (28.9%)
AMEX $ 55.6 billion (14.1%) $ 58.8 billion (13.7%)
DISC $ 24.4 billion ( 6.2%) $ 23.5 billion ( 5.5%)
TOTAL $394.2 billion $430.1 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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EUROPAY MID-2001

Mid-year 2001 key business indicators from Europay International Europe’s leading payment system highlight continued double-digit growth.

Figures for the first six months of the year show that 283.2 million cards carrying Europay brands Eurocard®-MasterCard®, Maestro®, eurocheque® and Cirrus© are now being carried by European consumers, a rise of 14% over the same period last year. This translates into thirty-four million new cards 70% of which originated in the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and Turkey.

The number of Eurocard-MasterCard credit/charge cards rose 14% to reach 73 million. On the debit side, cards bearing Maestro, eurocheque and/or Cirrus brands kept their market lead with 210.1 million cards – a rise of 14%. This confirms their position as European consumers’ preferred debit solutions. Close to 194 million of these cards are Maestro branded.

Europay’s acceptance networks broke the 300,000 barrier with the number of ATMs increasing by 21% to almost 305,500. The number of point-of-sale terminals accepting Maestro jumped 17% to reach over 2.7 million, while close to 5 million merchants now accept Eurocard-MasterCard cards a rise of 12%.

The number of transactions generated by cards bearing Europay brands grew by 15% in comparison with last year, to reach 12 billion. Associated volume increased by 13% and passed the €1 trillion mark.

Dr. Peter Hoch, Europay’s Director and CEO, said “These excellent figures show the popularity of our brands and services with our Members and their customers. As we move closer to our strategic partner MasterCard, these results confirm the strength of Europe as a key player within a global marketplace.”

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Access & Assets Card

Checkpoint Systems, Inc., a leading provider of supply chain management and security solutions worldwide, unveiled a new line of access control readers and cards at the ASIS Show, Booth #1263, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.

The Performa Proximity Readers and Proximity Plus Cards utilize advanced 13.56 MHz radio frequency identification (RFID) technology that, for the first time, enables the integration of access control and asset tracking capabilities into one system. This new and innovative system will enable a broader range of application requirements to be satisfied as companies continue to look for ways to improve their inventory management capabilities.

Checkpoint’s new Performa(R) Proximity Reader for reading ID badges can be mounted directly on any type of wall or door mullion, including metal, without impacting the performance. In addition, the reader is weatherized to withstand harsh outdoor environments. Its 13.56 MHz RFID technology is the globally accepted frequency and the most advanced technology available.

The Performa(R) Proximity Plus(TM) Cards are also compatible with Checkpoint’s RFID asset tracking product line. The new line of cards are the most reliable available given Checkpoint’s expertise in high-volume RFID tag manufacturing and innovative “flipchip” assembly. The credit card-sized cards utilize a passive, battery-free design allowing for an infinite number of reads and over one trillion unique codes. The cards can be pre-programmed with customer-specific identification numbers and can include graphics quality direct print.

Checkpoint’s Access Control Products Group now provides a single source for securing your facility and tracking important assets. These new cards and readers join the family of Performa products successfully launched in 1999. The Performa line includes paper-thin, flexible passive tags and advanced readers designed to maximize reader range for fixed and portable applications. In addition, Checkpoint offers a complete range of software for access control an asset tracking applications. “The new Performa(R) Proximity Readers and Proximity Plus(TM) Cards leverage Checkpoint’s RFID technology in order to provide a single source solution for access control and asset tracking,” said Dave Shoemaker, group vice president, strategic marketing, Checkpoint Systems. “Checkpoint is continually expanding our product offerings to offer our customers next generation technology and breakthrough, cost-effective solutions.”

Checkpoint Systems, Inc. is a multinational company that manufactures and markets labeling systems designed to improve efficiency, reduce costs and provide value-added labels solutions for customers across many markets and industries. Checkpoint is a leading provider of EAS and RFID systems, source tagging, barcode labeling systems, hand-held labeling systems and retail merchandising systems. Applications include automatic identification, retail security and pricing and promotional labels. Operating directly in 30 countries, Checkpoint has a global network of subsidiaries and provides professional customer service and technical support around the world. Checkpoint Systems, Inc.’s web site is located at [www.checkpointsystems.com][1].

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

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UltraCard Raises $3 Million

Upgrade International Corp. announced that it has received an additional $2.5 million in funding from Antares 2 Pension Fund, managed by Fonditel EGFP, SA., and $500,000 from a private European investor.

Fonditel is the manager of pension assets for Telefonica, the global telecommunications operator headquartered in Spain. Daniel Bland, Upgrade’s President and CEO stated the following: “This financing will enable Upgrade and UltraCard to move forward in our efforts to commercialize the UltraCard and deliver many applications including an alternative solution to a central database model for a national ID card system. UltraCard once commercialized will allow for your entire encrypted biometrics identification system to be stored on the card, thereby eliminating the need to store and verify your personal ID from a government-controlled central database. Not only does this solve the `Big Brother is watching’ concern it also has the potential to drastically reduce the cost of building the database infrastructure. Protecting our borders and our way of life without trampling on our civil liberties should be the number one priority in the information technology business today. We will expend a substantial amount of our resources in fulfilling this obligation.”

About Upgrade

Upgrade International Corp. () through its ownership interest in UltraCard Inc. (), Efornet Corp., and cQue Corporation is engaged in the development and commercialization of a patented ultra high capacity portable data storage technology. UltraCard’s patented method for using existing hard disk storage technology provides both highly durable media in a credit card format and an inexpensive read/write device that together will become the next generation in personal portable data storage for a broad range of existing and new markets. Management believes that the UltraCard technology will potentially provide numerous industrial users with a combination of high levels of security and a vastly greater amount of personal transportable data storage at the lowest cost in the industry. In addition the acquisition and development of existing SmartCard solution providers represents a strategic market strategy designed to accelerate the integration of the vastly superior technology inherent in the UltraCard into existing and newly developing markets.

On Behalf of the Board of Directors, Daniel S. Bland President and Chief Executive Officer

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Magna Printers

Datacard Group has added ‘Advanced Imaging Technology’ to its ‘Magna Class’ card printers. The new technology uses optimized print ribbons to improve the sharpness and quality of photos, graphics and logos printed on full-color and monochrome cards. The results include smoother backgrounds, superior reproduction of fine-text characters, better color matching with cameras and scanners, and low ribbon status. The ‘Magna Class’ includes six printer models that personalize up to 650 one-color cards and 180 full-color cards per hour. Meanwhile, DataCard also announced the latest version of its ‘ID Works’ identification software which now offers navigation in English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish for every solution in the software portfolio. For packages in the ‘ID Works Basic Edition’ and ‘Standard Edition’ families, ‘version 3.1’ enables new translated functionality for card and report design and production. It also enables multi-language navigation for several enhancements previously available only in English, such as ghost photo imaging, transparent color options and variable card sizing.

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BART Upgrade

The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District has contracted with Cubic Transportation Systems to replace fare collection equipment at the transit authority’s five extension stations with Cubic’s new advanced electronic ticketing system. The $5.5 million order is in addition to the $31 million contract awarded to Cubic in 1999 to put new ticket vending machines and faregates in all but the newer BART stations. The new BART equipment uses a processing architecture compatible with Cubic’s ‘Nextfare Solution Suite’ for advanced integrated ticketing. BART is using Cubic’s ‘Tri-Reader’ technology for integration across its fare collection system to easily facilitate an upgrade to smart cards. The Cubic ‘Tri-Reader’ is the transit industry’s first card reader that processes multiple card technologies, including ‘ISO 14443 Types A and B’ and the Cubic ‘GO CARD’ now in use in Chicago and Washington D.C.

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