Dubai transport chip plan for
A new initiative to create a single
card for use on public transport in Dubai has been pitched to local
banks by Emirates’ Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
According to The National
newspaper in Dubai, the RTA is looking to partner with local banks
and produce a card which would have the additional function of
storing credit for use on public transport.
Banks would be required to place a
chip in a prospective ‘dual chip transit credit card’ to store the
holder’s transport funds. The additional chip would effectively be
the prepaid chip currently used in the transport system’s prepaid
Silver and Gold Nol cards.
Abdullah al Madani, chief executive
of the RTA’s corporate technical services sector, said: “It will
cut down on the number of cards people will have to carry.”
Al Madani said the idea would
broaden the use of credit cards and encourage people to use public
transport, in line with the RTA’s long-term goal.
No launch date has been set for the
new initiative as the RTA is awaiting a response from local
Dubai launches iVESTOR
Dubai Financial Market (DFM) has
launched the iVESTOR card to improve cash dividend distribution and
act as a link between DFM and investors.
The iVESTOR card has been launched
in partnership with service providers, Network International and
Visa. It will be issued by the banking group Emirates NBD.
The card will enable DFM to credit
cash dividends directly into the shareholder’s card balance.
iVESTOR cardholders will also be
able to withdraw cash from any Visa or PLUS marked ATMs worldwide,
top up their balance through Emirates NBD cash deposit machines or
over the counter in the United Arab Emirates branches, and purchase
goods from Visa accepting retail outlets across 170 countries.
Essa Kazim, executive chairman for
DFM, said: “This value added service will be initially introduced
to DFM company shareholders and then extended to other listed
companies who appoint DFM as the dividend distribution agent.”
Sicap targets the
African mobile solutions provider
Sicap has announced the launch of a range of mobile money services
targeted at the unbanked and available on specially designed
One of the services is the Sicap
cash-in to cash-out ATM solution. This will enable mobile phone
users to transfer airtime or send cash transfers to any other
mobile user. The cash transactions are accounted for on the
customer’s mobile account, so no bank account or card is
Adapted to meet operator needs, the
ATMs can be deployed as a prepaid credit channel to the 95% of
African mobile users who use prepaid subscriptions and top up on a
Alternatively, they can be deployed
for money remittance services with cash withdrawals enabled, or
connected to CRM platforms for automated customer care, or set up
as a means for the unbanked to settle their utility bills.
AFS selects First
Arab Financial Services (AFS) has
teamed up with electronic commerce and payment solutions company
First Data to help support its regional client base.
Under the new agreement, AFS
clients will use First Data’s strategic issuing and consumer
finance solution, FirstVision. FirstVision incorporates an enhanced
version of VisionPLUS as well as a full range of associated
operational and value-added services.
Shankar Sharma, chief executive of
Arab Financial Services, said: “AFS continually aims to provide its
clients with industry-leading customer service and access to
innovative and integrated solutions with the objective of helping
them grow their business.”
Brian Quarrie, managing director,
First Data Middle East, said: “We are delighted to reach this
agreement to deliver processing services in support of Arab
Financial Services’ clients, some of which are already using other
services from First Data.
“We look forward to ensuring
continuity of service at the highest levels and to extending and
deepening our relationships with these organisations over
Cash is dying out – UK
Cash will be all but redundant by
2050 say the Payments Council, as the UK continues to turn to
alternative payment methods such as the internet, debit and
In the report, titled The Way
We Pay 2010, the council states that cash payments are down
15% in 10 years, and of the 21bn consumer cash payments made in
2009, 80% were for less than £10 ($15).
The council projects that in five
years, cash transactions will represent less than half of the
overall transactions made in the UK and by 2018 cash payments will
have plummeted to 20%, yet total spending is expected to rise by
Debit card usage has risen in the
UK to £264bn in 2009 and this figure is set to double again by
2018. Every adult now uses a debit card 158 times per year which is
almost every other day.
This is up from just over once a
week in 1999 and it is predicted that a quarter of all transactions
will be made using a debit card.
Bank of Italy halts Amex
The Bank of Italy has forced
American Express (Amex) to halt the issuance of new credit cards,
following an inspection.
According to a Bank of Italy
source, Amex failed to meet the Italian legal requirements with
regards to usury, money-laundering and transparency.
There was a concern that
supplementary cards were being issued without sufficient checks to
ensure they weren’t being used by front men for money laundering
In a statement, Amex public affairs
manager Joanna Lambert said: “As a result of the inspection, the
company is currently implementing an upgrade of its information
technology systems and other procedures in the country.”
“This is in order to adhere more
closely to the regulations applicable to payments service providers
and financial intermediaries.
“We will temporarily suspend
issuance of new cards from 12 April and will resume card issuance
as soon as these upgrades are completed, as established by the Bank
of Italy,” Lambert added.
The suspension of card issuance has no impact on existing Amex
card members who can continue to use their cards as usual.