The Alliance Data “AIR MILES” Reward Program has renewed expansion
agreements with its largest client, the Bank of Montreal (BMO), with the
implementation of its new structure. The new structure no longer
requires BMO to pay Alliance Data a fee for the marketing and servicing
of each AIR MILES reward mile issued nor is it responsible for the costs
associated when AIR MILES reward miles are redeemed. Rather, with the
new structure, BMO has transferred this responsibility to Alliance Data,
which will now be estimating the redemption rate and maintaining an
adequate reserve for each AIR MILES reward mile issued by BMO. With the
placement of this responsibility with Alliance Data, the redemption rate
is projected to increase from 67 to 72% while breakage decreases from 33
to 28 % while, by the end of 2Q/08, BMO will pay Alliance Data
settlement asset account approximately U.S. $370 million. This new
development will also allow Alliance Data’s deferred revenue balance to
increase from $800 million to just under $1.2 billion.

HSBC Joins the Green Card Migration

A new MasterCard has been launched that offers cardholders one reward point for every dollar spent, redeemable towards charitable donations for organizations dedicated to environment preservation. The new “ecosmart MasterCard with Plus Rewards” from HSBC has linked with The Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute for the new “green” card. Additional organizations to which card members may donate include Arbor Day Foundation, Wind Power Renewable Choice, and Our Energy. Additional organizations to which card members may donate include Arbor Day Foundation, Wind Power Renewable Choice, and Our Energy. Plus, cardholders have the option to redeem reward points for environmental-friendly merchandise such as a rechargeable mulching mower or a garden composter. They may also redeem rewards to purchase gift cards at various retailers.


The director of the Azericard Ltd processing center has disclosed the
Visa Inc director for the CIS region is expected to arrive in Baku come
June as part of corporate restructuring. The International Bank of
Azerbaijan owning Azericard Ltd does not participate in creation of NNSS
(National Net Settlement System), which includes settlements on Visa
International cards in the country without the necessity of additional
currency conversion on commissions lower than international
rates.Additionally, the manager’s office for the CIS region is being
moved from Moscow to Kiev while issues of e-commerce development and
card-to-card money transfers are currently under discussion.


A new study forecasts a nearly fourfold increase in revenue from video surveillance software between now and the end of 2013, rising from about $245 million to more than $900 million. Such software can be used in ATMs and in banks, to identify known criminals before they commit a crime. ABI Research says the quickening transition from analog to digital video has made it possible to use software for detection and analysis. This can free humans from the drudgery while improving accuracy and creating opportunities to use video in ways never before possible. ABI notes that there are many small software companies in this market, and some big ones such as IBM, which has released software that is largely platform-agnostic, increasing pressure for others to follow suit.

CSI’s Card Sentry Reaches a Milestone

Computer Services has sold its 200th “Card Sentry” debit card fraud monitoring system. “Card Sentry” is designed to help banks proactively manage the risk associated with card fraud by scanning transactions and comparing them to industry standard, identified fraud trends. CSI constantly updates these known trends based on new criminal strategies, reported incidences of fraud and best practices from industry peers. CSI offers two levels of service to assist banks in informing customers of potential fraudulent activity detected on their debit card accounts. Most Card Sentry users are taking advantage of the premium service that allows CSI Card Sentry fraud analysts to contact cardholders directly. As evidence, fraud analysts were calling an average of 50 cardholders per The system was first released to CSI’s Visa customers, then offered to banks using MasterCard debit solutions, shortly thereafter enhanced to include regional network point of sale activity monitoring, and updated further to now include a letter generator feature to ensure timely and consistent communication with cardholders who cannot be reached via telephone.


Global Payments and Planet Payment have collaborated for the launch of
the ‘Pay in Your Currency’ service for Indian merchants, a market having
experienced an 11.9% increase in inbound international
travel for 2007 from the year prior. This figure also increased by the
same percentage from January through April in 2008 in comparison to the
same period in 2007. Providing consumers with the option to convert
payment card transactions to their native currency, this feature
provides the consumer with the knowledge of true cost while the
agreement expands on the relationship between Global Payments and Planet
Payment. The partnership currently offers the “Pay in Your Currency”
service in Malaysia, Taiwan and to HSBC merchants in China.

Coinstar E-Payment to Power TravelCenters

Coinstar E-Payment Services is offering a full range of “Pay As You Go products” and services at TravelCenters of America full-service travel centers operating under the “TA,” “TravelCenters of America” and “Petro Stopping Centers” brands. The “Pay As You Go” products includes prepaid wireless, long distance, gift cards, financial services such as prepaid re-loadable and one-time gift debit cards.


Diebold has designed an integrated security system to link automaker
Peugeot’s UK Subsidiary headquarters with sites across France and to
migrate its entire network of operations from the single, stand-alone
security system. Compatible with GE technology, the Diebold security
system provides Peugeot’s new facility with more stringent security
measures for the protection of employees, property, automobile design
information, new product details, and new models not yet introduced to
the public. Furthermore, the Diebold versatile security system provides
seamless integration into the company’s regional server-system for
access control, building intruder detection, CCTV, gates and barriers,
blockers and turnstiles, a two-way intercom system and perimeter fence
detection. Peugeot, and parent company PSA Peugeot Citroen, employs more
than 2,000 people while Diebold Inc provides self-service security
systems, employs more than 17,000 associates and has representation in
nearly 90 countries.

U.S. Bank Wins USPS Fleet Card Deal

The U.S. Postal Service has picked U.S. Bank to provide purchasing cards and “Voyager” fleet cards under the GSA “SmartPay2” contract. The USPS has been a U.S. Bank client for the past nine years under the current GSA “SmartPay” contract. It is one of the largest purchasing card programs in the federal government and the world-™s largest fleet card program. Earlier this year, U.S. Bank earned the purchasing card business for the DOT and the U.S. Air Force and Defense Agencies. Under the GSA “SmartPay 2” contract, each government agency issues a task order to solicit proposals from the four card issuers who qualified for a contract under GSA “SmartPay2.” Potentially, the estimated charge volume could be approximately $13 billion over the term of the contract, if all options are exercised.


The Conference Board for Australia Business Cycle Indicators has
indicated for March 2008, the leading index for Australia is down 0.4%,
having declined for the third consecutive month, to stand at 184.2 while
the coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, increased
for the second consecutive month by 0.1% to stand at 144.5. Additional
information shows the six-month growth rate in the leading index stands
at 0.8% for the six-month spanning through March, down from 2.7% for
2H/07, while the 6-month growth rate of the coincident index has
gradually slowed to 0.3% for the same period ending March of 2008, down
from 0.8% in 2H/07. Furthermore, figures show the real GDP growth slowed
to an average annual rate of 3.4% in 2H/07, down from 4.5% in 1H/07.