Citibank Launches a Festive Season Campaign

Citibank India has launched its nationwide festive season promotion which runs from October 18th through December 31st. The “Citibank Most Wanted Brands Offer” ties together thirteen top brands across 12 different categories. It enables customers to avail an assortment of assured gifts, cash back offers, discounts, rebates and sweepstakes on purchases made on their Citibank credit and debit Cards.
Citibank’s partners in the promotion are Shopper’s Stop (retail) and Indiaplaza, a FabMall.com venture (e-Shopping), Hutch (mobile services) and Nokia (mobile phones), Jet Airways (air travel), Travel Guru (holidays), Gili (jewelry), Hewlett-Packard (computers and accessories), Philips and IFB (consumer durables), Reebok (footwear and accessories) Mitsubishi Cedia (automobiles) and The Grand (restaurants).

Retail Sales Up for Fourth Straight Month

A monthly survey indicating economic conditions in the Eurozone retail sector has found a weaker rate of expansion during July than those indicated throughout the second quarter, but a solid increase nevertheless. However, it was the fourth-fastest in the survey’s thirty-one month history. The July “Bloomberg Eurozone Retail
Purchasing Managers’ Index” posted 53.8 in July. July data for the three major Eurozone economies that constitute the survey signaled that France recorded the sharpest growth in retail sales for the second month running (57.7). The rate of growth in German retail sales eased further from May’s high, but was solid nevertheless (54.2). Meanwhile, Italian retail sales declined for the sixth month running (47.6).

UTI Bank to Launch VISA Credit Cards

UTI Bank announced plans to issue VISA credit cards. The bank will begin issuing the cards to Mumbai customers soon and will launch the cards nationwide before year’s end. “Silver Plus” cardholders will receive a 10% to 50% discount at hotels worldwide. “Gold Plus” cardholders will receive a guaranteed 50% discount at 120
hotels across India. The bank is also planning to add a “Platinum VISA” to its credit card offerings. UTI currently has 4.7 million debit card customers.

Deutsche Bank Launches Personalized Credit Cards

Deutsche Bank has launched a full suite of credit cards following its roll-out of retail banking last year in the country. The new Deutsche cards include “Classic,” “Gold,” “Platinum”
and “Corporate” credit cards which can be personalized. Cardholders have access to more than 40 credit card designs which have been selected across categories as diverse as music, wildlife, zodiac signs, sports and child art. This feature has been introduced for the first time in India. Deutsche Bank’s product ambassadors in India – the legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and tennis icon Sania Mirza – will promote Deutsche Bank credit cards in India.

Standard Chartered Bank Launches a Titanium MasterCard

Standard Chartered Bank has introduced the “Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium MasterCard” credit card. This is the first card in India to offer a lifetime cash-back at a flat rate of 5% as a permanent feature and not a promotion. Cardholders earn 5% cash back on fuel and
telecom usage, and 1% on all other categories. The card also offers free airport lounge access at all Clipper lounger across the country. Standard Chartered Bank is India’s largest international bank.

Centurion Bank Expands its Euronet ATM Agreement

Euronet Worldwide has expanded its multi-year ATM
outsourcing agreement with Centurion Bank of Punjab from 164 ATMs to 408
ATMs in total. Centurion Bank of Punjab (CBOP) was formed from the
October 2005 merger of Centurion Bank and Bank of Punjab. Of the 408
ATMs in the combined entity, Euronet has been operating 164 ATMs of the
former Centurion Bank since February 2005 prior to its merger and
subsequent formation of CBOP.

The Post Office to Add 500 More ATMs

The Post Office plans to install an extra 500 ATMs in its branches. The P.O. has already committed to roll out 1,000 within the next five years under a deal with the Bank of Ireland. The P.O. recently installed a free-to-use ATM service at the Speke branch in Liverpool, replacing a fee-charging ATM. Since installing the free ATM service, use of the cash machine has already increased seven-fold. As a result, the Post Office also confirmed its intention to withdraw from its involvement with third party fee-charging ATM suppliers.

ICICI Deploys Fair Isaac’s Strategy Science

Fair Isaac announced that ICICI Bank has become the first financial institution in Asia to implement its “Strategy Science” to enhance business performance in its retail credit portfolio. “Strategy Science” is Fair Isaac’s proprietary methodology for determining optimal decision strategies by using advanced analysis capabilities. Fair Isaac has been working with ICICI Bank since 2000 to help implement best practice credit and risk management techniques. The bank currently deploys Fair Isaac custom application scorecards and “TRIAD” adaptive control system to manage risk in its credit card portfolio.
The country’s credit card market has been growing at more than 30% annually.

ICICI Bank to Deploy CTL’s Bankcard Management System

ICICI Bank has chosen Card Tech Limited to upgrade its bankcard
management system to manage its extensive card portfolio including 60,000 merchants. With over four million cards converted, CTL has achieved one of the largest credit card conversions outside of the U.S. to date. CTL’s project design and planning team methodology for systems integration and migration resulted in a smooth transition for the bank and since going live, “PRIME 3.0” has helped ICICI Bank to achieve secure, high-volume transaction processing. Using “PRIME”, the bank now offers over 80 innovative card products, manages 100,000 merchants, and supports its rapidly increasing credit card portfolio of over four million cards.

India Fastest Growing in Tourist Spending

A new report from VISA Asia Pacific indicates that India is the
fastest-growing Asia Pacific market for international tourist spending.
Tourists to India spent US$372 million during the fourth quarter of
2005, a 25% increase over the same period in 2004. Overall,
international travelers to and within the region spent $6.5 billion on
their VISA cards in the final quarter of 2005, representing a 12% increase
over the same period in 2004 and a 14% increase over the third quarter
in 2005 [$5.8 billion]. Tourists from the US, UK, Japan, Australia and
Hong Kong were the biggest spenders in
the Asia Pacific, accounting for 54% of total spending on VISA
cards between October and December 2005. In all, international tourists
made over 42 million VISA transactions in the region between October and
the end of December 2005 and withdrew $1.4 billion in cash at ATMs and
over-the-counter outlets.

INDIATIMES VISA

Mumbai-based ICICI Bank and Indiatimes have teamed to launch a co-branded rewards credit card. The new “Indiatimes ICICI VISA” offers 10% cash-back on most online purchases made on the Indiatimes shopping portal. The card also produces 5% cash-back on air travel tickets sold via the Indiatimes shopping portal. Additionally, cardholders are eligible for discounts up to 40% on certain Indiatimes purchases. Furthermore, cardholders earn four reward points for every Rs 200 spent at Indiatimes. The points are redeemable for purchases on the shopping Web site. Indiatimes has set up a special section on its Web site, called “ShopMore” which is for the exclusive use of “Indiatimes ICICI VISA” cardholders. There are currently 1.8 million consumers shopping on the entire Indiatimes Web site which includes more than 500 merchants.