Visa Australia to end
signatures by 2013
Visa Australia has said it is to
move to chip and PIN technology for all of its credit cards, with
signature transactions to be outlawed by April 2013.
The overhaul would see more than 14 million
Visa cards upgraded along with half a million POS terminals and
thousands of ATMs by April 2013.
From January 2010, all new Visa cards will
feature chips, while debit and reloadable prepaid cards will be
updated from January 2011. Currently around 37 percent of
Australian Visa cards are chip-enabled. All credit cards will be
chip cards by 1 April 2013. All ATMs must be chip capable by 1
January 2011, while all merchant terminals must be chip-capable by
“These initiatives are part of a comprehensive
security upgrade aimed at providing cardholders with a higher level
of confidence and significantly reducing all types of card fraud
including counterfeit, skimming and online fraud,” said Visa’s
general manager for Australia and New Zealand, Chris Clark, in a
Visa takes money transfer
service to China and UAE
Visa Inc has extended the global
reach of its Visa Money Transfer Service to greater China and the
United Arab Emirates. In addition, the payment network has also
announced the launch of a managed service that reduces the time and
development investment required for a financial institution to
offer Visa Money Transfer to its customers.
Initially available in Canada and the US, and
later on a global basis, the service is intended to foster more
rapid adoption of the service in marketplaces around the world.
Senders can initiate a Visa money transfer to
make person-to-person payments, send funds to friends or family
members, or make account transfers. Sender channels through which a
Visa money transfer can be initiated include internet banking,
ATMs, self-service kiosks, in person at a bank branch, or via the
Visa Money Transfer programmes are offered to
consumers in greater China, Hong Kong, Georgia, India, Indonesia,
Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Ukraine and the
United Arab Emirates.
Visa Money Transfer is available via 50
sending institutions in 14 countries and territories around the
Gemalto provides instant
issuance in Indonesia
European smart card manufacturer
Gemalto will deploy its ‘Dexxis Instant Issuance’ solution in
Indonesia to enable on-the-spot delivery of secure chip-based
banking cards. Gemalto is working with local partner Smart Aplikasi
Indonesia, an affiliate of IT network solutions provider Alita.
Around 90 percent of Indonesia’s population is
unbanked and spread out over 17,500 islands. Gemalto’s solution is
decentralised instant card issuance, whereby consumers can pick up
a card in person within a bank branch in minutes.
The Dexxis solution offer includes EMV smart
cards, servers, software, printers, and training to deploy the
solution over a secure network in the banking and retail
“This instant issuance model makes it possible
to efficiently serve a widely dispersed population of unbanked
consumers,” said Tan Teck Lee, president of Gemalto Asia.
“It is more cost-effective and simpler than
trying to deliver individual personalised cards by mail, especially
when you consider many of the unbanked don’t have a postal address
or effective postal service.”
CUP Data renews processing
agreement with Minsheng Bank
Global payment processor TSYS has
announced that China UnionPay (CUP) Data Services, TSYS’s joint
venture with Chinese bank card network China UnionPay, has renewed
its credit card processing contract with China Minsheng Bank.
China Minsheng Bank is China’s first
nationwide commercial bank to be owned by mostly non-government
entities and the first commercial bank that has grown its
international operations through acquisitions. It is one of the
four largest joint-stock credit card issuers as well as one of the
few issuers that has a profitable credit card business in
China Minsheng Bank began issuing credit cards
in China in May 2005, and has a portfolio of 8 million cards.
“The credit card offerings of China Minsheng
Bank are among the most popular selections in the Chinese market,”
said Gaylon Jowers, president of TSYS International.
“We still see a tremendous opportunity for
growth with CUP Data and are extremely pleased with the contract
Terms of the multi-year extension were not
HSBC and BoComm credit card
HSBC and China’s Bank of
Communications (BoComm) are in advanced discussions to transfer
their existing joint credit card activities in China to a newly
established joint venture company.
HSBC has been a strategic investor of BoComm,
China’s fifth-largest bank by total assets, since 2004. It holds a
19.01 percent interest in BoComm and co-operates with BoComm on
over 60 initiatives, including trade settlement, payments and cash
management services and credit cards.
The proposed new joint venture company will be
an extension of HSBC’s co-operation agreement with BoComm’s Pacific
credit card unit, which already has over 11 million cards in
circulation. The proposed joint venture is expected to have an
initial registered capital of CNY2.5 billion ($368 million). BoComm
will inject CNY2 billion for an 80 percent stake in the joint
venture, while HSBC will pay CNY1.15 billion for its 20 percent
interest in the share capital.
The transaction remains subject to agreement
of final terms and conditions and will be subject to regulatory
Citi and Mobile Money launch
Mobile Money Ventures, a US mobile
financial services provider, has announced the launch of a mobile
banking solution in China with Citibank. Citi Mobile, the first
offering of its kind in the country from a foreign financial
institution, allows customers to access and manage their bank
accounts using their phone’s mobile browser.
Using Citi Mobile, customers can view their
account summary, transfer money and browse the product information
regardless of their wireless carrier. The offering is tailored for
both English and Mandarin-speaking users.
To ensure all transactions are secure, the
solution utilises two-factor authentication and no personal
information will be cached within the mobile device.
Europe, middle east,
First Data, BNP Paribas sign
Turkish ATM deal
Global payment processor First Data
has announced an ATM deployment agreement with Turk Ekonomi Bankasi
(TEB-BNP Paribas), one of the leading banks in Turkey. Over the
next three years, First Data and TEB will create a new network
comprising 1,250 ATMs at retail and other locations in Istanbul and
major cities across Turkey.
The First Data and TEB alliance is aimed at
creating a large retail ATM network, increasing ATM availability
and offering new functionality to cardholders. For retailers, the
ATMs offer a new channel for communication with customers and
provide opportunities to expand their service offering.
“This initiative is significant in terms of
size and scale and will deliver value to our customers across the
country,” said Cemal Kismir, head of retail banking at TEB.
UK council to trial contactless
parking meters in capitol
London’s Westminster City Council is
to introduce contactless parking meters, enabling motorists to use
their contactless debit and credit cards to pay for parking in
From January 2010 and over a three-month
period, 20 pay-and-display machines in the west end of the city
will be retrofitted with wave-and-pay card readers, so motorists
will be able to pay car parking charges by waving a credit or debit
card at a meter.
If the pilot is a success, the technology,
supplied by Parkeon, will be rolled out across Westminster.
Westminster City Council removed the old coin
meters in March due to repeated vandalism. Some of the replacement
meters incorporate chip and PIN readers, but most require users to
set up an account and pay by mobile phone.
It will be the first test of contactless
payments at parking meters in the UK, and follows 18 months of
research, development and testing alongside parking systems
manufacturer Parkeon and Westminster’s roll-out of a mobile-based
payment system that allows drivers to top up their parking charges
remotely, without needing to return to vehicles.
MasterCard and ISIC create
student card programme
The International Student Identity
Card (ISIC) scheme and MasterCard Europe have launched a new card
programme for students offering a student identification service
globally as the only internationally recognised identity card for
students. The cards will also have debit or credit payment
functionality provided by MasterCard.
The first such card in Europe was launched by
Credit Lyonnais as part of its ‘Zen Etudiant’ package for students
in France. The card is available across the Credit Lyonnais
network, and is intended for students who are Credit Lyonnais
customers and currently studying at university or college.
The bank has implemented a simple process that
allows students to use email to download a photo of themselves,
which is then integrated onto the card. Once the process is
complete and has been approved by Credit Lyonnais and the
cardholder, the ISIC MasterCard is available within one week.
Martijn van de Veen, general manager of ISIC,
said: “Our partnership with MasterCard creates a truly valuable
product for students. The card programme is the first payment card
to offer a three-in-one service to today’s student. Students across
the world already know the ISIC card and trust the card as a
reliable form of student identity and gateway to a student discount
programme that is second to none.”
VoiceCash launches Germany’s
first prepaid twin-card
International VoiceCash Group, which
specialises in international mobile money transfers, has announced
it has launched a prepaid MasterCard dual function card, the
‘blauworld’ prepaid MasterCard, with issuer Newcastle Building
Society for the German market.
The card is Germany’s first prepaid twin-card
for cashless payments, and enables the international sharing of
money. Customers will receive two cards; a main card for their own
use and a partner card for the recipient of money abroad. Money can
be assigned from the main card to the partner card. The cards can
be managed online, via mobile phone SMS commands, and with a
certified voice biometrics programme.
First prepaid card launched in
Kosovan telecom operator IPKO,
Raiffeisen Bank, payment platform provider Better Served Kosovo and
RêvEurope have teamed up in Kosovo to introduce the country’s first
Issued by Raiffeisen Bank, the IPKO Visa
prepaid card allows customers who buy and load cash on the card to
shop online, make purchases in the 28 million merchant outlets
where Visa cards are accepted and withdraw cash from 1.4 million
ATMs in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. With
free e-banking capabilities, cardholders can manage their accounts
online at www.ipkocard.com.
Commenting on the launch, Jean-Marc Tonti,
Visa general manager for the SEE and CIS regions, said: “We are
delighted to support the first prepaid card in Kosovo and would
like to congratulate all the organisations involved in developing
such an innovative programme.
“It is of particular importance for the
Kosovan market as it will contribute to increasing electronic
payments in the country and bring more people into the banking
sector and the formal economy – a stated governmental
Citi extends commercial cards
US bank Citi has announced that its
Global Transaction Services business for Europe, the Middle East
and Africa (EMEA) has extended its global platform for commercial
card issuance into Romania in conjunction with Unilever, the
personal care and foods product producer.
Romania is the fifth market in Central and
Eastern Europe (CEE) that Citi has launched its global card
offering in this year. In June this year, Citi also extended its
offering of global commercial cards to four new markets in Central
and Eastern Europe – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and
Manish Kohli, head of wholesale cards for EMEA
at Citi, said: “Our continued investment and expansion further
reinforces our commercial card position as a dynamic tool and
delivery platform and the top choice for our existing clients, as
well as new international and local clients in these markets.
“We feel this move is demonstrative of our
unrivalled ability to support our clients. Citi clients will
benefit from innovative programme reporting, dedicated client
service teams, and award winning customer service.”
MasterCard launches PayPass in
MasterCard Worldwide, Credicard,
Citibank’s credit card administrator for the Brazilian market, and
Redecard, the Brazilian acquiring company, have launched
MasterCard’s contactless proposition PayPass in Rio de Janeiro for
public transportation and other quick service merchants. PayPass is
the first contactless payment product to be introduced for public
transportation in Latin America and is designed for transactions
Thousands of Credicard MasterCard cardholders
in Rio de Janeiro will now be able to make payments with a
MasterCard PayPass key fob at the Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf
Mountain) lift, Supervia train stations, UCI cinemas, McDonald’s
and Estapar/Riopark parking lots located in Rio.
In the coming weeks, PayPass cards and devices
will also be accepted on the Rio de Janeiro metro system, with
Redecard planning to add more merchant acceptance locations in the
According to MasterCard, contactless payment
technology can reduce the time a consumer spends waiting in line by
25 percent, and that only 21 percent of consumers want to spend
more than 10 minutes in line for purchases under $25. There are now
nearly 61 million PayPass-enabled cards and devices available in 32
Level Four secures TecBan
ATM software provider Level Four has
announced that TecBan, a company specialising in ATM network
management, is using Level Four’s ‘BRIDGE:test’ solution to deliver
greater test automation to its network of over 6,800 ATMs.
TecBan, which supplies services to several
Brazilian banks, is looking to improve the range of functionality
on offer. Brazil has the third-largest ATM network in the world,
and the deal marks Level Four’s first project in Brazil.
Ian Kerr, Level Four CEO said: “This is a
significant and exciting deal, which marks our first step in the
South American market. As the ATM market in Brazil continues to
grow, it is essential network providers have the infrastructure and
software in place to maximise the availability of the ATM
Panama’s new credit card law
Panama’s national assembly has
approved a new law which spells out the rights of users of credit
cards and other financial cards, the assembly said on its website.
The law establishes fixed interest rates and credit limits and says
that only banks with licenses from regulator SBP can provide credit
or other financial cards.
Congressmen Alcibíades Vásquez Velásquez and
José Isabel Blandón stated that the law, the first in Panama to
regulate credit card provision, is necessary due to Panamanians’
excessive debt levels. There are more than 500,000 credit cards in
the country, with a total balance of about $800 million, according
to the assembly.
Itaú-Unibanco reports third
Itaú-Unibanco, Brazil’s largest
private bank, has reported third-quarter net profit of BRL2.27
billion ($1.3 billion), compared to BRL2.55 billion in the year-ago
period, which the bank attributed to a one-time expense in the
Itaú-Unibanco agreed to pay BRL600 million to
alter a partnership with local supermarket chain Companhia
Brasileira de Distribuicao (CBD), under which the bank provided
financial services to CBD. However, Itaú-Unibanco’s recurring net
profit increased slightly to BRL2.69 billion in the third quarter
from BRL2.67 billion.
The bank’s total credit portfolio was BRL268.7
billion at the end of the third quarter, up from BRL265.9 billion
in the second quarter of this year, and also up from BRL254.7
billion in the year-ago period. Itaú-Unibanco’s consumer credit
portfolio rose 6.3 percent from a year earlier to BRL98.38
The bank maintained guidance for an expansion
in its credit portfolio of around 12 percent this year and it is
forecasting expansion for its credit portfolios of between 20
percent and 25 percent for next year.
The bank’s non-performing loan rate was 7
percent, compared with 4.6 percent a year earlier.
VisaNet and Redecard report Q3
Brazilian card and payment processor
VisaNet has reported a 34.8 percent increase in third quarter net
income to BRL396.7 million ($226 million), up from BRL294.2 million
in the year-ago period.
The gain in net profit was largely due to
transaction growth and higher revenue from POS equipment.
Transactional volume rose 21.3 percent to BRL54.2 billion, while
net operating revenue grew 28 percent to BRL924.4 million. VisaNet
has more than 1.6 million affiliated merchants covering 97.5
percent of Brazil’s municipalities.
Its MasterCard-affiliated rival Redecard also
reported a rise in third quarter net profit, with net income of
BRL333 million, a rise of 18 percent compared to BRL282 million in
the year-ago period. Revenues rose 17 percent to BRL615 million
compared to BRL525 million.
Redecard attributed the rise in profits to
increased credit card sales and services and lower operating
expenses. Redecard also reported a 15 percent increase in card
transactions and 22 percent growth in revenues from POS
Scotiabank sets up shop in
Scotiabank Jamaica has formally
launched its Scotia Private Client Group (SPCG), which is dedicated
to providing financial services to affluent clients who have more
than J$250,000 ($2,833) in investable assets with the bank. SPCG is
an international brand for Scotiabank’s private banking operation,
with clients now being able to access products and services through
25 offices in 18 countries globally.
SPCG recently launched a MasterCard-branded
‘Black’ credit card, offering US dollar chequing facilities and a
Banco Paris may
enter Peru in 2010
The head of Peru’s Bank, Insurance
and Fund Administrators (SBS), Felipe Tam, reported that the
Chilean company Cencosud, owner of Wong Supermarkets, may be
operating in the Peruvian banking market by 2010 through Banco
Cencosud will reportedly be operating in Peru
by mid-2010, which would add to the Chilean banks Falabella and
Ripley, which operate in the country along with their respective
department stores in the country, Saga Falabella and Ripley.
“The interest of the Chilean business and
financial sector is mainly due to the fact that they see a great
potential market in Peru for the business of credit card
financing,” Tam said.
RBS WorldPay to process NPCA
RBS WorldPay, the global payment
processing provider, has announced that it is now able to process
National Payment Card Association (NPCA) debit cards.
The NPCA claims to offer merchants a card
acceptance solution with significantly lower transaction fees than
traditional credit or debit cards.
The NPCA PIN-based payment system processes
transactions through the Federal Reserve Automated Clearing House
(ACH), resulting in lower merchant fees and a self-funded loyalty
programme which the NCPA claims provides immediate savings to
Specifically, the programme benefits retailers
by helping them save on the interchange fees credit card companies
normally charge on each transaction.
The merchant can then use some of the savings
to incentivise customer behaviour by passing some of those savings
along to them.
NPCA first introduced its alternative payment
solution in June 2006, often referred to as ‘decoupled debit’.
NPCA’s ACH card solution is being positioned
as an alternative to traditional card acceptance in both the
petroleum industry and other business sectors.
INSIDE commits to support
Discover contactless products
INSIDE Contactless, the contactless
chip technology provider, has announced it has signed an agreement
with US card issuer and payment network Discover for the
development of Discover Zip contactless payment devices.
INSIDE has committed to support Discover Zip
in upcoming versions of its MicroPass contactless payment platform,
and has been designated a preferred vendor for card-based Zip
The MicroPass 4002 contactless payment
processor is the first Discover-certified implementation relased on
Designed for Discover Zip contactless payment
applications, the MicroPass 4002 offers increased transaction
speeds and also offers card issuers access to a complete suite of
form factors, including chip, module, card inlay, fob inlay (mini,
2D, 3D), sticker or paper ticket configurations.
“INSIDE’s MicroPass provides our card issuers
with a multifaceted contactless platform from which they can build
their unique product offerings,” said Farhan Ahmad, general manager
of prepaid and director of emerging payments at Discover.
“Future MicroPass platforms will allow issuers
to combine Discover Zip with other value-added contactless
applications such as mass transit, building access and merchant
loyalty programmes in one convenient payment device.”
Univision announces alliance
with MasterCard Worldwide
Univision Communications, a
Spanish-language media company serving the US market, has announced
a strategic alliance with MasterCard Worldwide to introduce two new
prepaid financial services, the Univision prepaid MasterCard card
and the Univision MasterCard gift card.
Both prepaid cards will be available
nationally in 2010 and are being developed to provide Hispanic
consumers with access to relevant, flexible and valuable financial
tools that can be used anywhere debit MasterCard is accepted.
“Univision’s mission is to inform, empower and
entertain the Hispanic community,” said Joe Uva, president and CEO
of Univision Communications.
“We recognise, better than anyone, the
importance of empowering Hispanics by connecting them with
financial tools and services they can trust. Our financial services
offering is an extension of our ‘Cuentas Claras’ initiative.”
According to a study by the Center for
Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), approximately 40 million US
households (or 106 million people) are financially underserved, of
whom 19 percent are Hispanic.
In addition, 35.4 percent of
Hispanic-Americans are unbanked versus 31.6 percent of black
non-Hispanic Americans and 11.2 percent of other Americans (for
example, non-Hispanic and non-black, including Asian-Americans and
Western Union launches prepaid
Visa gift cards
Western Union, the money transfer
specialist, has launched a new Visa prepaid gift card and greeting
card offering, providing consumers in the US with ways to send
money using Western Union prepaid cards.
The card’s features include acceptance
anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted including online, and cover
by Visa’s zero liability policy, which means that cardholders are
protected from unauthorised use, and the ability to examine card
“The launch of the Western Union prepaid Visa
gift card complements Western Union’s consumer experience when
giving the gift of cash,” said Stewart Stockdale, executive
vice-president and president of the Americas region at Western
“As a leader in money movement, we understand
what consumers need and want – convenience, fast and reliable money
management solutions. Our new prepaid gift card and personalised
greeting card offering follows the recently introduced Western
Union MoneyWise and gold card reloadable prepaid cards.”
According to a Western Union consumer survey,
by GfK, 69 percent of consumers in the US are planning to give cash
or a prepaid gift card to friends and family over the Christmas