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« February 23, 2003 - March 1, 2003 | Main | March 9, 2003 - March 15, 2003 »

March 06, 2003

Airport lockers can re-open -- after being upgraded with biometric readers

Martin Moylan reports on the Transportation Safety Administration's decision to re-open airport lockers -- after they've been updated to include biometric technology that requires travelers to provide a fingerprint to rent and open a locker.
The fingerprint ID system is 99.99 percent accurate, says Smarte Carte. Generally, the rental process goes smoothly, but folks with some gunk on their fingers can have trouble giving clean prints. And in anticipation of potential privacy concerns, Smarte Carte's snazzy $500 electronic lockers do not match customer names, obtainable via credit or debit cards, with prints. Prints are not compared to those of known or suspected terrorists, and the prints are discarded once a rental is concluded, the company says.

Visa USA announces Account Truncation Initiative

Visa USA today announced a new initiative intended to deal with increasing identity theft among American consumers. The basic idea is to limit the paper trail of receipts containing card numbers and expiration dates. Visa USA CEO Carl Pascarella made the announced today in Washington, DC.
"Today, I am proud to announce an additional measure to combat identity theft and protect consumers. Our new receipt truncation policy will soon limit cardholder information on receipts to the last four digits of their accounts. The card's expiration date will be eliminated from receipts altogether. This is an added security measure for consumers that doesn't require any action by the cardholder. We are proud to be the first payments brand to announce such a move to protect cardholders' identities by restricting access to their account information on receipts. "The first phase of this new policy goes into effect July 1, 2003 for all new terminals. I would like to add, however, that even before this policy goes into effect, many merchants have already voluntarily begun truncating receipts, thanks to groundwork that we began together several years ago.

March 04, 2003

Financial Times: UK biggest users of credit cards in EU

Jane Croft reports on a study published by the Credit Card Research Group on credit card usage in the UK.
Plastic card use in the UK accounts for more than half of all spending in high street stores. Currently 60 companies issue about 2,000 different types of credit cards in the UK. Melanie Johnson, minister for competition, consumers and markets, said: "This research shows that the use of credit and debit cards is growing in the EU and that consumers in the UK are at the forefront in terms of their use of cards."

Smart Card Alliance: Contactless Payments White Paper

The Smart Card Alliance has released a new white paper on contactless payments.
The latest trend in retail payment applications is contactless payment. Contactless payment systems are used successfully in Asia, Europe and North America and offer a number of advantages to issuers, retailers, and consumers. Contactless payment allows issuers to penetrate the cash payment market, enjoy increased customer transaction volume, and improve customer retention and loyalty. Retailers realize benefits due to faster transaction times, increased revenue, improved operational efficiency, and lower operating costs. Consumers enjoy the convenience of hands-free payment, the ability to pay for multiple services using one device, and the security of not having to display a card for payment.

March 03, 2003

New York Times: Credit cards far from home

Susan Stellin writes about notifying your credit card issuer before leaving on trips out of the country.
In most cases, such a red flag would only result in a merchant's being asked to verify the customer's identification at the point of sale before the purchase is approved, or the customer might be asked to call the card issuer and confirm a recent buying spree. But for those who are traveling when such a fraud alert occurs - particularly overseas, and especially in areas with a high incidence of credit card fraud - resolving the matter can get more complicated. In the most extreme scenario, the credit card might be temporarily suspended until the bank verifies it has not been stolen. Card issuers say this last possibility is unlikely, and some banks stop short of recommending that customers call before traveling to make sure their itinerary is on file. But at least some card issuers and those who follow the credit card industry say it is a good idea, particularly when traveling abroad, as do customers who have experienced problems far from home.

BankOne selects TSYS for card processing platform

BankOne and TSYS announced this morning that BankOne will move its credit card processing from First Data Corp. to TSYS in mid-2004. In addition, in 2006 BankOne intends to in-source its credit card processing under a license of TSYS' TS2 software.

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