Macyâs has launched its Citi-issued American Express Card, providing cardholders both in-store and out-of-store dining, travel and retail offers. Among these is the “Daily Wish” program from American Express providing up to 50% off travel and electronics and emergency assistance referral services, while ‘Preferred’ American Express Cardholders can enjoy premium benefits through the Macyâs Preferred Travel service. Additionally, cardholders will have access to Macyâs savings offers through the “Star Rewards” program; 15% back from the total bill at participating restaurants from September 6 through December 31, 2010; and double rewards through the end of 2010 on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases. Macyâs ‘Preferred’ American Express Cardholders can access additional premium benefits, like unlimited $25 Star Rewards Certificates and Macyâs Preferred Travel service, which delivers thousands of dollars in exceptional savings through Best Available Rates and complimentary room upgrades at hundreds of hotels around the world.
Spartanics laser die cutting applications engineers have extensively tested laser die cutters with varying laser strengths and software configurations with a wide range of materials including: plastic films; polyesters; polycarbonates; foams; textiles; paper; adhesive tapes; non-wovens, wood, laminates, pressure-sensitive substrates, magnetic materials, polypropylene, polymides, abrasives, rubber, among others. Formalization of the Applications Laboratory signals Spartanics intent to systematize this growing knowledgebase for cross-industry access. The Spartanics Laser Die Cutting Applications Laboratory for Materials Research provides no-cost detailed engineering analyses of maximum material thicknesses that can be handled with these different substrates, including brand name materials, correlated to laser power and other variables.
Credit card marketing to U.S. consumers has more than doubled in the past year, having skyrocketed to 1.1 billion offers in 2Q/10 from just 419 million in 2Q/09. This is thanks to increasing competition in the credit card industryÂ and the subsequent need to appeal to consumers. These figures are still far off the 1.5 billion pieces mailed in 2Q/08 when the economy was still in free fall and the nearly 2 billion pieces mailed in 3Q/07 before the recession took hold. The volume of card mail even retracted slightly from the 1.2 billion mailings delivered to consumers’ mailboxes in 1Q/10. Mintel Comperemedia says 28% of offers for new cards carried an annual fee, down from 33% a year ago, while 56% of mail offers promoted an introductory APR for both balance transfers and purchases, up from 37% a year ago. Additional Mintel findings show the longer the length of the introductory period, the more likely it is that the balance transfer fee will be 4%-5% rather than the standard 3%; rewards programs accounted for 80% of offers for 2Q/10; and the mean APR for variable rate offers declined to 13.79% from 14.21% in the previous quarter, the first quarterly decline since Q1 2009.
2Q/08: 1.5 billion
3Q/08: 1.4 billion
4Q/08: 0.9 billion
1Q/09: 0.5 billion
2Q/09: 0.4 billion
3Q/09: 0.3 billion
4Q/09: 0.5 billion
1Q/10: 1.2 billion
2Q/10: 1.1 billion
MasterCard Incorporated will acquire DataCash Group payment service for $520 million to develop a long-term growth platform. DataCash allows e-commerce merchants to process secure payments and develops outsourced electronic payments solutions, fraud prevention, alternative payment options, back-office reconciliation and solutions for merchants selling via multiple channels through its fraud solutions and technology platform. DataCash processed more than 240 million transactions for more than 1,400 merchants in 2009, for which it reported an annual revenue of $58 million with an EBITDA margin of 46%. Mastercard sees this development as a means to drive the growth of the e-commerce category with its acquiring customers for online purchases; expand and enhance its “MiGS” gateway business currently operating in the Asia Pacific region; to leverage its network and global presence by expanding DataCash to beyond western Europe; and to strengthen fraud capabilities and expertise.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a new patent to Verint in the area of recording technology and the protection of interactions and sensitive information as required by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This new patent and its related families of issued and pending patents further broaden Verint’s industry-leading portfolio of patents and applications worldwide across its enterprise workforce optimization solutions. Because recordings can contain sensitive credit card details and other personal information, such as social security numbers, they require enhanced protection and recording processes — including, for example, an added level of encryption for the data, a secure storage environment, and/or options not to record certain sensitive data at all. Verint’s newly issued PCI-related patent (U.S. Pat. 7,774,854), entitled “Systems and Methods for Protecting Information,” enables companies to mask, encrypt and/or protect portions of an interaction that contain sensitive information, such as cardholder data, or altogether cease recording for the portion containing that information.
ClairMail mobile banking and payments solutions announced a new suite of international mobile banking capabilities designed to facilitate transactions across global markets and multiple currencies. These include Multi-Currency Account Management, allowing financial institutions to offer cross-currency mbanking and payments functionality to customers; and international ATM/Branch Locator; and Multi-Language Capability and Customized Localization, allowing banks to customize user interfaces based on local markets. ClairMail mobile solutions for banking, payment and card services provides a technology platform designed to help financial institutions realize the strategic potential of mobile banking, driving new levels of customer trust and loyalty, facilitating cross-sell opportunities and enabling near term, measurable cost savings.
TX-based Cardtronics non-bank owner of ATMs has announced the pricing of a secondary public offering of 7 million shares of already outstanding common stock at a price to the public of $14.00 per share. The shares of common stock are being sold by the following selling stockholders: CapStreet II, L.P., CapStreet Parallel II, L.P., and investment funds affiliated with TA Associates. The offering is scheduled to close on August 24, 2010. The selling stockholders have granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,050,000 shares of common stock to cover over-allotments, if any. Cardtronics will not receive any of the proceeds from the secondary offering of shares of its common stock by the selling stockholders.
Oberthur smart cards technology and related services, has received several prestigious awards for its innovation in the first part of 2010. Having received two International Innovation Awards from ACT Canada, a non-profit association that focuses on smart card technology in Canada, the company is being recognized for introducing innovative new technologies, applications and services into the payment card market. Namely, Oberthurâs “Smart Pin” won for being the first service that allows card issuers to securely deliver card PINs via mobile text message while in the Business Model Service category, Oberthurâs “EMV-In-A-Box” won for being able to provide issuers a turnkey EMV Migration solution. Oberthur Technologies also won the Ãlan Award for Unique Innovation at the International Card Manufacturing Association (ICMA) EXPO, held in Scottsdale, Arizona.
A new Javelin Strategy & Research report, â2010 Mobile Banking Scorecard â Shift in Smartphone Ownership Calls for a Shift in Focus: How 19 Top Financial Institutions Compare on Mobile Channel Retail Delivery,â has rated USAA Federal Savings Bank âBest in Classâ in m-banking for the second year in a row. Javelin determined that 19 of the top 30 largest financial institutions (FIs) offer mobile banking. They judged and scored those 19 in five categories of criteria: marketing and security messaging, mobile access, general mobile banking features, short message service (SMS) features and security.
American Express has been ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among 10 of the largest card issuers in the U.S., according to the fourth annual nationwide study by J.D. Power and Associates. This study was based on customer interaction, billing and payment process, credit card terms, rewards programs, benefits and services, and problem resolution. American Express credits its investments in recent years, focusing on customer service with the âRelationship Careâ approach for building and strengthening customer relationships. Also, services such as the Amex “Money Manager” fee free online service that helps Cardmembers manage their finances and rewards accounts; “Card with Custom Limits” feature providing Cardmembers the ability to set spending limits for Additional Cards on their account; and mobile payments, allowing users to pay their American Express bill on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, are all being credited with the JD Power ranking. Additionally, a more engaged workforce has led to greater productivity, lower employee attrition, and higher customer satisfaction.
Citibank Thailand has introduced its “Citi Locator” iPhone App mobile service. Allowing customers to search for Citibank World Privileges (CWP) offers in 27 countries, “Citi Locator” utilizes GPS technology embedded in all models of the iPhone to enable searches. In Thailand or other countries, customers can now easily find special offers by using the “Search Nearby” function. They can also select “Search by Location” as well as specify preferred merchant categories, including dining, shopping, sport and travel. Customers who travel often will find city- and country-specific search functions for 27 major countries.
Mobile Remote Deposit Capture Technology Enables Secure Check Deposits via Camera-equipped Smartphones
Mitek has received a United States patent for its “Mobile Deposit” mobile Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) application. The Mitek technology allows users to deposit personal or business checks into their bank or credit union accounts from anywhere at any time simply by snapping pictures of the checks with their smartphone cameras. The now-patented mobile banking application relies on Mitek’s expertise in image-analysis and processing software for camera-equipped smartphones, including iPhone, BlackBerry and devices on the Android and Windows Mobile platforms.