The FTC testified last week that cross-border telemarketing fraud involving advance fee loans and credit cards continues to be a significant problem. In remarks before the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs’ Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the FTC said that fraud losses to consumers this year from Canadian telemarketing scams will increase to $36.5 million compared to $19.5 million for year 2000. The FTC found that more than 90% of complaints were generated by companies operating in Toronto (Ontario), Montreal (Quebec), and Vancouver (British Columbia). The FTC says the main problems in combating cross-border telemarketing fraud include the difficulties of obtaining information about foreign targets and enforcing domestic remedies in foreign jurisdictions. The FTC believes fraudulent Canadian telemarketers target U.S. consumers to take advantage of the difficulties to shield themselves from law enforcement.Details
Global Payments Inc announced that Coach, Inc. has renewed its contract for comprehensive payment and transaction processing services. The premium leather goods retailer will continue to obtain authorization and capture, as well as merchant accounting and settlement services from Global Payments.
Coach, Inc., with headquarters in New York City, is a leading marketer of modern classic American accessories. Coach Stores operates 173 stores and boutiques located within select department stores and specialty retail locations in the United States. In addition, Coach operates 175 stores and shops in 18 countries outside the U.S.
President and CEO of Global Payments Inc., Paul R. Garcia, said, We are pleased to continue our valued, long-standing relationship and we look forward to assisting Coach Stores in achieving their expansion goals for the future.
Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN) is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.Details
The International Card Manufacturers Association has added fifteen new members over the past three months. Among new manufacturing members: NJ-based Supercom Smart Cards and IL-based Innovative Plastic Printing. Among new supplier memberships: PA-based Gilles Leroux US, NJ-based Logika Technology Group, and PA-based WC Manufacturing. PA-based Card Personalization Solutions was the newest personalizer member. The ICMA has more than 220 members and is based in Princeton Junction, NJ. The annual ICMA Card Manufacturing Expo is scheduled for mid-November in Athens, Greece.Details
The Board of Directors of MIST decided Friday not to sell its smart card solutions and embossing business to Trilon Financial and CAI Capital, the Company’s two principal shareholders. Toronto-based MIST says its decision is based on the projection that smart card usage in financial applications will grow rapidly over the next few years and the Company would like to retain the expertise developed in this area. In December, MIST Board approved the sale of NBS Holdings Limited (which owns the smart card solutions and embossing business) to Trilon Financial and CAI Capital for $27.9 million. In May 2000, NBS Technologies decided to separate its card issuance business, which includes the imprinter, card solution and card issuance operations from its wireless transaction solutions business. The plan was to sell the card issuance business to Trilon Financial and CAI Capital, and operate the business under the name NBS Holdings Limited. The wireless transaction solutions business would continue to be owned by the NBS Technologies and operate under the MIST brand name. NBS Technologies also changed its name to MIST Inc. (CF Library 5/1/00)Details
The popularity of Internet banking is growing more rapidly among women than men, according to the latest quarterly survey by Nationwide.
Since the end of last year, about 1 million more women in Britain have begun banking over the Internet – compared with 600,000 men. While men are still more likely to be banking online, the gender gap is swiftly shrinking.
Men banking online rose 23% to 3 million in the first five months of 2001. But the number of women has doubled to about 2 million. If the trend continues then it is anticipated that the number of women organizing their finances over the net will equal that of men early next year, when more than 8 million people will be banking online.
Currently, 16% of all men and 10% of women with a current account are banking online.
Men are still the heaviest users of the Internet, though
Â· 46% of male Internet users log on every day, compared with 30% of females;
Â· 18% of women use the Internet just once a week. The figure for men is 17%.
Other findings from the Nationwide research include
Â· One in three (33%) of homes are now connected to the Internet. It was barely one in five (22%) 15 months ago;
Â· 13% of current account holders or 5.1 million people are banking online. Take-up varies with age, though – 22% of all 25 to 34 year olds are net bankers. Among 55 to 64 year olds, it is 8%;
Â· Only 13% of Internet bankers say this is their sole method of dealing with their banking provider. 87% use a bank or building society branch, at least occasionally. A further 74% say they make use of the telephone.
The survey was conducted on Nationwide’s behalf by MORI. Nationwide’s own figures for Internet banking reflect its increasing popularity among women. Total registrations were up 225,000 to around 700,000 in the first five months of 2001, with women accounting for about 145,000 or 65% of this growth.
Jim Willens, Nationwide’s e-commerce director, said “The Internet has become a mainstream activity and so it’s not surprising that more women, as well as men, are making use of it. The days when the Internet was the preserve of a technology-minded minority – historically male – are fast disappearing.
“Few new users want to be restricted to doing all their banking this way. Regardless of their sex, they want to be able to combine the ease of Internet banking with the convenience and reassurance of alternative channels such as branches and telephone.”
* Participants categorized according to method used to carry out day-to-day banking on their main current account.
MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,060 women and 986 men (aged 16+) within Great Britain on behalf of Nationwide between 17 and 22 May. Similar surveys were carried out in February 2000, December 2000 and March 2001.
Nationwide launched the UK’s first retail Internet banking service in May 1997.
Members registered for Internet banking can also access their accounts via Nationwide branches, post and telephone, as well as personal digital assistants operating on the Microsoft Pocket PC platform. WAP phone and full Internet TV banking services are being launched this summer.Details
The University of Michigan and TCF Financial Corporation announced that TCF National Bank has been designated as the official financial service provider to the Mcard campus card program at the University of Michigan.
“This is a tremendous honor for us and a great business opportunity with over 64,000 prospective customers. TCF was chosen because of our deep experience in campus card programs across the country, our unique product line that features Totally Free Checking, and convenient distribution in the Ann Arbor area,” commented Thomas Wagner, President of TCF National Bank, Michigan, which has 13 offices in the Ann Arbor area. TCF National Bank sponsors similar campus card programs at the University of Minnesota, Northern Illinois University, St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, and Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan.
“TCF Bank was an ideal fit for the University,” said Tim Slottow, Associate Vice President, Business and Finance for the University of Michigan. “The TCF team aggressively pursued our relationship, demonstrated a high degree of expertise in campus programs and developed a customized product and service mix that should benefit all members of the University community.”
The Mcard is the University of Michigan’s single campus card program that combines many features including identification, library privileges, building access, meal plans, and banking services. Each student, faculty member, staff member, and other members of the University community are eligible to receive an Mcard. Additionally, staff and faculty members will qualify for discounts on loans, bonus rates on Certificates of Deposit and other free services. Upon their first account deposit, students will receive a free Michigan(R) sweatshirt.
TCF is a Minnesota-based national financial holding company with $11.8 billion in assets. TCF has more than 350 banking offices in Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado and Indiana. Other TCF affiliates provide leasing, mortgage banking, and investments and insurance sales.Details
The French bank BNP Paribas announced that it will join Bank of America, Barclays, Deutsche Bank/Deutsche Bank 24, Scotiabank and Westpac in a Global ATM Alliance to create innovative financial services expressly for their customers who travel internationally.
The group’s first major initiative is to offer free access to the alliance’s 23,000 cash machines in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Bank of America customers can begin using BNP Paribas’ ATMs without charge on August 1. Additionally, Bank of America customers can access the other four alliance banks’ ATMs without charge on July 1. Ultimately, the Global ATM Alliance aims to expand its service to every continent.
“We are very pleased that BNP Paribas has joined the Global ATM Alliance,” said Bill Raymond, manager of ATM Management & Development, Bank of America. “Extending the ATM network into France is a terrific added value for our customers who travel in Europe.”
Initially, the access fee waiver will apply to transactions performed at member ATMs in the following locations
Â·Bank of America – more than 12,000 ATMs throughout the United States
Â·Barclays – more than 3,000 ATMs throughout the United Kingdom
Â·BNP Paribas – 2,700 ATMs throughout France
Â·Deutsche Bank 24 – 1,800 ATMs throughout Germany
Â·Scotiabank – more than 2,100 ATMs throughout Canada
Â·Westpac – 1,500 ATMs throughout Australia
One of the world’s leading financial services companies, Bank of America is committed to making banking work for customers like it never has before. Through innovative technologies and the ingenuity of its people, Bank of America provides individuals, small businesses and commercial, corporate and institutional clients across the United States and around the world new and better ways to manage their financial lives. The company enables customers to do their banking and investing whenever, wherever and however they choose through the nation’s largest financial services network, including approximately 4,400 domestic offices and 13,000 ATMs, as well as 38 international offices serving clients in 190 countries, and an Internet Web site that provides online access for more than 3 million customers, more than any other bank. Bank of America stock (ticker BAC) is listed on the New York, Pacific and London stock exchanges.
BNP Paribas the leading banking group listed in France has more than 2,000 domestic offices and a network of 2,700 ATMs. It is number 1 in France in e-banking. BNP Paribas ranks number 2 in Euroland in terms of earnings (4.124 billion in 2000) and has assets of 694 billion (Euros). The group employs 80,000 people worldwide and has one of the world’s largest international networks, extending in more than 80 countries. Its core businesses are retail banking, corporate and investment banking, international private banking and asset management.
Barclays Barclays PLC is the UK’s fourth largest bank and has total assets of Â£316 billion. Barclays has over 16 million customers, over 2,129 UK branches, 624 branches overseas and 3,800 ATMs in total. The group also operates in over 60 countries around the world and is a leading provider of co-ordinated global services to multinational corporations and financial institutions in the World’s main financial centres. Barclays has been involved in banking for over 300 years and has 75,300 employees world-wide.
Deutsche Bank/Deutsche Bank 24 One of the world’s leading financial institutions with total assets of 940 billion (Euros) and more than 98,000 employees worldwide. Within the “Private Clients and Asset Management” Group, Deutsche Bank provides its more than 11 million private and retail customers an extensive offer of Private Banking and Personal Banking (Deutsche Bank 24) services.
Scotiabank This is one of North America’s premier financial institutions with about CAD 275 bn. in assets and approximately 52,000 employees worldwide including affiliates. It is also Canada’s most international bank, with more than 2,000 branches and offices in over 50 countries and a network of 2,100 ATMs in Canada.
Westpac Banking Corporation Westpac is Australia’s first bank and a leading provider of financial solutions to eight million customers in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region. The Westpac Group (including Bank of Melbourne and Challenge Bank) employs 29,000 people around the world, with total assets over AUD $184 billion and has 1,500 ATMs throughout Australia.Details
Precis Smart Card Systems, Inc. announced the June 8 shareholder approval of an amendment of Precis’ Certificate of Incorporation to change its name to Precis, Inc. The name change is reflected on the Company’s newly redesigned web site at [www.precis-pcis.com].
The new web site features an updated look for Precis including a revised logo design. The site now also features a “Virtual IQ” site where potential investors can find a variety of information regarding the Company including stock quotes, officer information and press releases.
The site also features links to Precis’ subsidiaries, Care Entree and Foresight, Inc. Care Entree markets a national healthcare membership program that provides its members with significant savings on physicians, hospitals, dentists, prescription drugs, vision care, hearing and chiropractic services. Foresight provides product enhancements or “club benefits” to financial institutions, rental purchase dealers, consumer finance companies, retail outlets, employee groups and member-based associations.
For more information on Precis, its subsidiaries Foresight, Inc., or Care Entree, visit [www.precis-pcis.com], [ www.foresightclub.com] and [www.careentree.com], respectively.
UniCredito Italiano, ItalyÂs second largest banking group has become the sixth major new shareholder of the CLS Group this year, bringing the total number of financial groups as shareholders to 62. It joins a shareholder group that consists of many of the worldÂs largest commercial and investment banking organizations which collectively account for a substantial majority of the cross-currency trading in 16 countries.
UniCredito in due course will apply to become a Settlement Member of CLS Bank International, a ÂbankersÂ bankÂ, which will provide a new global infrastructure for multi-currency payment clearing and settlement services. The process of continuous linked settlement (CLSÂ) will eliminate settlement risk in cross-currency payment instruction settlement making cross-currency settlement simultaneous for the first time.
Joseph De Feo, Chief Executive Officer of the CLS Group and President and Chief Executive Officer of CLS Bank, said
ÂCLS Group is gaining momentum and the announcement of another significant new shareholder in UniCredito endorses the strength of support for CLS amongst the global banking community.Â
UniCredito Italiano was formed in 1998 when five Italian banks were brought together into a single group, with two more joining in 1999. Today, the organisation comprises seven banks in Italy and four banks in central and eastern Europe, positioning it amongst EuropeÂs leading banks, where it ranks 17th in term of market capitalisation.
Luigi Parrilla, Head of Group Treasury, UniCredito, comments
ÂUniCredito has international aspirations and FX plays an important part in our ability to compete effectively with other European banks. All of the banks within the group are set to benefit from CLS in terms of reduced risk and improved liquidity, and we see this as the beginning of a trend in Italy.Â
The following banks were announced as shareholders of CLS Group earlier this year Banca Intesa, the largest Italian bank; Banco Popular Espanol, SpainÂs third largest banking group; Dexia Banque Internationale Ã¡ Luxembourg, LuxembourgÂs leading bank; leading Japanese bank Sumitomo Trust (STB); and Zurcher Kantonalbank, SwitzerlandÂs third largest bank.
ÂContinuous Linked SettlementÂ (CLSÂ) is a process that enables two legs of a cross-currency transaction to be settled simultaneously. Representing a significant shift in the way cross border settlement has been done for centuries; it is a real-time, global settlement system that eliminates the settlement risk caused by delays arising from time-zone differences.
The continuous linked settlement service is offered by CLS Bank International (CLS Bank), a ÂbankersÂ bankÂ that will provide a new global infrastructure for multi-currency payment clearing and settlement services, initially in foreign exchange.
CLS Bank is supported by 62 of the worldÂs largest financial groups, which account for a substantial majority of the cross-currency transactions in 16 countries and have invested more than $300 million to develop the settlement service.
CLS Bank is based in New York, regulated as a bank by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of CLS Group Holdings, incorporated as CLS Services Ltd., a UK company based in London.
Further information on CLS, including shareholder details, can be obtained at www.cls-services.comDetails
Coinstar Inc. announced the nomination of Keith Grinstein, Fran Conley and Ronald Woodard to its board of directors, as well as a new date for its annual meeting.
The three nominees would replace Robert O. Aders, William D. Ruckelshaus and Coinstar founder and chairman Jens Molbak, whose terms expire this year.
“Over the past eleven years, I have enjoyed building Coinstar into a vibrant company,” said Coinstar chairman Jens Molbak. “Going forward, I have made a personal decision to spend more time with my family. The current management team has done a tremendous job running the business since I stepped down as CEO more than a year ago. Coinstar has a bright future with exciting growth opportunities and I look forward to continuing to serve Coinstar as a consultant.”
Mr. Molbak has decided to step down as chairman effective June 20, at which time board member Ronald A. Weinstein will assume the role of chairman.
The nominees would bring a strong and diverse mix of experience to Coinstar’s board. Mr. Grinstein is vice chairman of Nextel International. He is also a partner at two Seattle-based venture capital companies, Second Avenue Partners and Madrona Investments. His past experience includes work at AT&T Wireless Services (formerly McCaw Communications), where he served as president and CEO of the Aviation Communications Division. Mr. Grinstein currently serves on the board of directors for several public and private companies including The Ackerley Group, Car Toys, F5 Networks, Nextel International, and Terabeam.
Ms. Conley is founder and president of Roanoke Capital, a financial consulting firm, and a general partner of Roanoke Investors Limited Partnership. Prior to founding Roanoke Capital in 1982, Ms. Conley held a variety of positions at Rainier National Bank, including senior vice president and chief administrative officer of the bank’s Washington Division. She currently serves as a director for REI and Cutter & Buck.
Mr. Woodard is president and CEO of MagnaDrive Corporation. Mr. Woodard co-founded MagnaDrive after a 32-year career with the Boeing Company where he held numerous positions including president of the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. He currently serves on the board of directors for Atlas Air. “Coinstar’s board of directors is looking forward to adding this new talent to its board,” continued Molbak. “At the same time, I’d like to thank Bob Aders and Bill Ruckelshaus for their superb service to Coinstar.” Coinstar’s annual meeting has been rescheduled from September 20, 2001 to August 10, 2001.
About Coinstar Inc.
Coinstar Inc. (Nasdaq:CSTR) owns and operates the only nationwide network of supermarket-based machines that offer coin counting and other electronic services. Linked by a sophisticated interactive network, the company has more than 8,500 machines throughout North America as well as in the United Kingdom. Meals.com, the company’s majority-owned subsidiary, is an infrastructure provider that helps supermarket retailers and packaged goods manufacturers communicate directly to consumers through the use of online and in-store technologies.Details
Catuity, Inc. announced its intention to appeal the decision of the judge in the Federal Court of Australia in legal proceedings commenced by Welcome Real Time for patent infringement in Australia.
In the last several weeks Catuity has consulted with its partners, customers and legal counsel. Many of these organizations have reviewed a range of relevant patents and the WRT proceedings. These organizations have urged Catuity to pursue an appeal, despite Catuity’s view that the decision has limited impact on its current or future business.
Catuity has been advised by Australian legal counsel that the decision applies only to smart cards in Australia used in accordance with the patent claims. Catuity has obtained U.S. legal counsel opinion that states inter-alia that WRT has no counterpart U.S. patent issued and that the judge’s opinion on infringement is contrary to accepted rules of claim construction under U.S. patent law. Patent law in Australia is different to the U.S., as are legal proceedings, and the situation in Australia has little relevance or impact on the development of the loyalty market in the United States.
It is clear Catuity can make changes to its systems and continue to develop, operate, market and sell its systems in all countries, including Australia. In a press release dated May 29, 2001, WRT acknowledged that Catuity could make such changes and avoid the patent. Catuity has reviewed possible technical changes and is satisfied that such changes will have very limited or no impact on the functionality and efficiency of its systems.
Catuity and its partners believe the courts are neither the best nor the proper place to resolve issues of this nature. There are a number of Australian and foreign patents issued and pending, some or all of which may impact Catuity, WRT and other market participants. Catuity and its partners agree that no single patent (or group of patents owned by one organization) will stand the test of legal challenges or allow any party to obtain a sustainable competitive advantage in the loyalty software market.
Catuity and its partners are working toward creating common, freely available, open standards that will allow loyalty programs to evolve from being small, proprietary, fragmented systems to being large, open, interoperable systems available to all. Key industry participants believe this goal is realistic and achievable (and has been achieved in other areas such as the EMV standard for smart card payments and the CEPS standard for smart card electronic purse). As part of this process, Catuity is holding discussions with many key industry participants and WRT. Catuity’s appeal of the decision of the Federal Court in Australia is considered necessary, at this stage, to achieve the industry’s goal.
Catuity, Inc. (www.catuity.com) is a leading provider of loyalty software systems. The Catuity software includes an integrated suite of applications that provide loyalty, ticketing, access control, and membership. The Catuity Loyalty System is ubiquitous in that it can operate on any device, any card program, and with any payment process, including stored value, smart cards and wireless applications. Catuity unites the brick-and-mortar retailer with the Internet to enable cross-sell capabilities with consistent brand imaging across all channels.Details
ICBC (Asia) says it expects to make a profit within the next two years. Managing director Chris Chan told the Hong Kong Economic Times that the bank will work with parent Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to set up a joint venture for credit card business expansion. Chan also said ICBC (Asia) is expected to invest additional 30 mln hkd in the credit card business.Details