The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) expects gains of nearly $325 million
before taxes for 4Q07. Experts say the bank has the VISA restructuring
of RBC’s membership interest exchange to thank for the reevaluation
and projected revenue gain. Additional sources of income expected to
come to fruition from 4Q07 includes $120 million, pre-tax, from
increased consumer credit card spending, due to increases and
improvements on card loyalty reward programs, and from RBC’s Capital
Markets segment. The Capital Markets segment is expected to generate
$360 million, pre-tax, based on subprime collateralized debt obligations
(CDOs) and subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).


NTT DoCoMo has joined the non-profit NFC Forum as a sponsoring
member, joining organizations from around the world. NTT DoCoMo
serves about 53 million customers while the NFC Forum was launched
as a non-profit industry association to serve the globally expanding NFC
market. The Forum was designed to develop NFC technology with
specifications to ensure interoperability among devices and services and
has over 135 industry members. NFC allows secure interactions among
electronic devices and cuts consumer wait time.

U.S. Bank Offers U.S. Figure Skating VISA

U.S. Bank has partnered with U.S. Figure Skating to offer the “U.S. Figure Skating VISA” card. Cardholders can choose from four card designs depicting the U.S. Figure Skating logo, figure skates or the U.S. Figure Skating mascot, Snowplow Sam. The card generates support for the mission and programs of U.S. Figure Skating each time a new card is activated and repeatedly thereafter each time the card is used. The U.S. Figure Skating card features no annual fee, a low introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers, 100% fraud protection and 24-hour cardmember service. U.S. Figure Skating is the national governing body for the sport of figure skating comprised of approximately 1,425 member clubs and Basic Skills programs representing nearly 184,000 members.

ViVOplatform Smart Poster Management Launched

NFC provider ViVOtech is rolling out the commercial release of their ViVOplatform “Smart Poster Management Software.” Smart posters are similar to traditional posters or billboards but are logic enabled by having one or more NFC tags mounted on their back side. When an NFC mobile phone is waved directly at a smart poster, the device communicates with the NFC tag to receive a message, connecting to the VpSPm backend system using a wireless data network. VpSPm is a one-on-one mobile marketing software system that enables merchants to drive business through the creation, management, and delivery of personalized and context-sensitive information to consumers’ mobile phones.


The first credit card program in Canada to earn points for carbon offset credits has been launched. MBNA Canada Bank has introduced the “Eco-Logique MasterCard.” Under the new program cardholders earn points with each eligible retail purchase. The funds generated through these points will be used by MBNA to purchase carbon offsets that support environmental projects. In March, Bank of America, the parent of MBNA Canada Bank, announced a $20 billion, 10-year initiative to support the growth of environmentally sustainable business activity to address global climate change. MBNA Canada Bank has more than 500 co-branded and affinity credit card programs and is the second largest MasterCard issuer in the country.


The Wine Rack wine shop has launched its Chase Paymentech gift card
program in CAD$25 and CAD$50 increments. The gift card can be
redeemed for full or partial value throughout Ontario at POS terminals
at the Wine Rack retail locations. Research shows that 69% of shoppers
plan to give gift cards during the 2007 holidays while 39% would prefer
to receive them. Wine Rack has over 160 locations throughout Ontario
and is a division of Vincor Canada while Chase Paymentech Solutions
offers payment solutions for wireless terminals, electronic gift card
programs and e-commerce.

Online Banking Users Will Embrace M-Banking

A new report projects that by year’s end, mobile banking customers will top one million and that more than 40 million U.S. consumers will adopt mobile banking by 2012. TowerGroup says the adoption of mobile banking will be fueled by two primary factors: consumers’ increasing preference for real time, self-service transactions and their growing adoption of mobile data services and applications. The research firm estimates that up to 30% of online banking users will adopt the mobile channel in the next five years. TowerGroup expects that by 2012, approximately one-fourth of all mobile banking users will come from outside the online banking channel. However, the growth of mobile banking still faces cultural, technical and business challenges. Chief among the technical challenges are information security and consumer privacy.


Clear2Pay has completed its acquisition of Integri under undisclosed
terms and price. The acquisition stipulates that Integri will be a wholly
owned, autonomous business unit of the acquiring company while
its GM, Jan De Meester, is to become VP for Clear2Pay. Integri brings
to Clear2Pay an extensive portfolio of smartcard test suites, an “INQ
SEPA Platform” for SEPA Credit Transfers/Debit testing and a team of
45 professionals from Europe and the U.S. that design custom-made
test solutions and services.


According to research conducted by the COLLOQUY loyalty team,
Canadian consumers’ participation in loyalty programs far outranks
that of U.S. consumers. The research shows that 75% of Canadian
consumers partake in loyalty marketing programs, defined in this context
as a program that recognizes and rewards the company’s best customers,
while only 39.5% of American General Adults do the same. Additional
differentiations between the two markets reflect that Canadian consumers
are more willing to accumulate points and miles, thus, exhibiting
patience over
Americans, 69% of Canadian programs offer points rewards while 55% of
American programs provide cash-back rewards and Canadians are twice as
likely as U.S. consumers to redeem rewards for friends/family. The
COLLOQUY research was segmented into different Canadian consumer
segments reflecting 96% of Affluent consumers participated in a rewards
program of some type. Additionally, 95% of Core Women , 90% of Seniors,
86% of General Adult and 78% of Young Adults throughout Canada
collected card rewards. COLLOQUY’s Research concentrates and
examines developments in the rewards realm around the world, providing
over 28,000 marketers with consulting, news, editorial, educational and
research services.


Threshold has announced that it will be implementing Postilion’s
for its ATMs and payment switching. Postilion is providing Threshold with
its “active/active” software configured with IBM hardware over the UNIX
operating system. Threshold has provided companies and organizations with
managed ATM and transaction processing in Canada for nearly 10 years and
is a subsidiary of Versent Corporation ULC, which employs over 850 across
North America, while Postilion provides self service banking and processing
in over 50 countries and is a division of S1 Corporation. S1 Corporation
provides customer interaction software, employs over 1,400 around the world
and has over 3,000 clients.

First Data Quarterly Revenues Up 16% Y/Y

First Data reported that third calendar quarter revenues were up 16% to $2.1 billion. Card Services revenue for the quarter rose 10% to $473.2 million, compared to 3Q/06. Income from continuing operations was down 73%, but included $208 million of after-tax costs related to its merger with KKR. Commercial Services generated revenues of $1.2 billion, an 11% gain over the year ago quarter, primarily driven by strong transaction growth. Financial Institution Services generated revenue of $502 million, up 10% over 3Q/06. First Data International generated revenue of $425 million, up 28%. KKR acquired FDC on September 24th. Also effective September 24th, Michael Capellas became FDC’s new Chairman and CEO, replacing Ric Duques. Substantially all of the Company’s U.S. operations will be led by Edward Labry. FDC also announced that Tom Bell, formerly with Accenture, has been hired as EVP/Chief Strategy Officer. For complete details on FDC’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

3Q/06: $429.5 million
4Q/06: $453.9 million
1Q/07: $443.6 million
2Q/07: $458.7 million
3Q/07: $473.2 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com


Phoenix Interactive Design has announced the implementation of its ATMs
that utilize VISAatm terminal software with deposit automation and check
imaging. The new software provides ATM users with a variety of check
imaging and bulk-cash acceptance over a platform that allows integration
with image exchange solutions. The ATMs also provide a display of the
deposit for user-confirmation and amount verification. Other improvements
include refined amount recognition to ensure accuracy, image analysis,
and cash/check acceptance of multiple notes. These developments are
projected to save nearly $1.30 per deposit, citing a reduction in manual
and time. Phoenix Interactive Design provides ATM operating software that
interfaces with ATM hardware manufacturers for self-service channels.