CREDIT CARD USAGE

Cardholder activities among consumers in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Deyang, and Hangzhou vary widely according to a new research report. Holders of credit cards in Shanghai and Guangzhou use their cards more frequently for purchase transactions than do their counterparts in other major cities, with 71.7% of card holders in Guangzhou using their credit card at least seven times per month over a six-month period compared with just 25.5% in Deyang and around 30% in Shenyang. According to the study by the School of Management at Fudan University in Shanghai and underwritten by MasterCard, cardholders in Shanghai and Guangzhou use their cards more frequently for shopping than their counterparts in Shenyang, Hangzhou and Deyang, with cardholders in those three cities spending comparatively more, and using their cards more frequently, on hotel accommodation. Not surprisingly, taken across all cities expenditure on shopping and dining out accounts for most of the credit card transaction volume.

Fiserv 2Q/03 Profits Up 18%

Fiserv reported that second quarter processing and services revenues were $659.1 million, a 17% increase over 2Q/02. Pre-tax income for the second quarter was $128.6 million, an 18% gain over the year-ago period. During the second quarter, Fiserv closed two acquisitions including VA-based ReliaQuote and WI-based Wausau Benefits. Since the close of the quarter, Fiserv closed the acquisition of the EDS Credit Union Industry Group and also completed the acquisition of Chase Credit Research and Chase Credit Systems. For complete details on Fiserv’s second quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Best Buy Launches Reward Zone Card

After an eight-month pilot program in southern California, Best Buy, this week, launched the “Reward Zone” loyalty card nationally. The card rewards members with 100 points for every dollar they spend at its 550 retail stores in the USA. Members earning 12,500 points will receive an automatic $5 discount on future purchases. New members receive a 5,000-point enrollment bonus the first time they use the card. The card comes with a $9.99 annual fee. Best Buy’s most loyal customers have been automatically enrolled in the program this year for a waived fee. To kick-off the launch of the new card, Best Buy is offering a $1 million sweepstakes for consumers between now and August 23rd. Best Buy is using Frequency Marketing’s proprietary “Loyalty Solutions Platform” for the card. FMI provides the technology platform, technical services, print fulfillment and ongoing program support for the “Reward Zone” program. The technology platform includes “MemberNet”, FMI’s Web interface. Print fulfillment includes member welcome kits, quarterly statements and award certificates. Best Buy manages creative development and media buying through its existing vendors and runs member services using FMI’s platform at its existing call centers.

Experian Links Into Money 2004

Experian Consumer Direct has inked a deal to provide credit reporting information and tools for Microsoft “Money 2004 Deluxe,” “Premium” and “Small Business” versions. Money 2004 is a complete personal finance solution that helps consumers manage day-to-day finances, track investments, maximize tax savings, and plan for retirement. Experian Consumer Direct’s services include daily credit alerts to notify consumers if new information has been added to their credit report, a key tool for fighting identity theft. Experian Consumer Direct offers consumers quick, easy and inexpensive access to their credit histories, to help them manage their financial lives.

DIEBOLD INDIA

Diebold has appointed a new managing director and has established a new corporate office. The company has named Rajiv Singh as managing director to head up Diebold India Private Ltd. and Diebold Systems Pvt. Ltd. Diebold also announced the establishment of its new corporate office for the Indian sub-continent in Mumbai. Prior to joining Diebold, Singh held the position of managing director of Computer Associates, India, and SAARC countries.

WildCard Systems Names New CIO

FL-based WildCard Systems has hired Shashi Kapur, formerly with Equifax and Telecredit, as CIO. Shashi has 25 years of technical and executive management experience in software development, telecommunications network design, implementation, operations and consulting. Before joining WildCard Systems, he served in senior management and consulting positions for a number of technology-based companies including Biometrics Marketing, TeleVoice, GTECH Corporation, Equifax and Telecredit (now Certegy, Inc.). Headquartered in Sunrise, FL, WildCard Systems is the global solutions leader in turnkey host based prepaid cards and custom stored-value products.

OTI CARDS & BART

On Track Innovations has been selected by the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District to provide “ISO 14443” compliant contactless solutions for use in BART’s “SFO Airline Employee Discount Program.” OTI will support BART’s initiative by supplying microprocessor-based contactless smart cards. Employees will receive a contactless RFID microprocessor-based smart card encrypted to activate a discounted fare structure when used at the SFO BART Station. Applications developed by OTI include product solutions for micropayments, mass transit, parking, petroleum payment systems, loyalty programs, ID and secure campuses.

AOL Jumps on VISA Buxx Bandwagon

VISA’s prepaid teen card got a big shot in the arm today as Bank One and America Online teamed to introduce the “AOL Cash Card.” The new card is part of the “VISA Buxx” program, providing a parent-controlled, re-loadable payment card for teens and young adults. The program allows parents to set spending limits, track their teen’s spending, load additional funds onto the account every month or set up a recurring load schedule to maintain the card as an “allowance,” receive real-time updates on purchases, and access transaction histories entirely online through the AOL service. AOL will make the new card available to members as a new feature of “AOL 9.0 Optimized,” the latest version of the AOL and “AOL for Broadband” services. AOL says the program will be available for members with teenagers ages 13 and up that have “Screen Names” on “AOL 9.0 Optimized.” VISA U.S.A. introduced “VISA Buxx” in August 2000. U.S. Bancorp was the first issuer of the card. There are ten issuers of “VISA Buxx” cards today including: Bank One, Bank of America, Wachovia, First Tennessee, First Union, National City, Sandy Spring Bank, National Exchange Bank & Trust, Hudson Savings Bank, and U.S. Bank. (CF Library 8/10/00)

AMEX PLATINUM REWARDS

American Express has launched a new down-scale version of its “Platinum Card” that offers rewards, a competitive interest rate, and special privileges for Kiwis. The new “American Express Platinum Membership Rewards Credit Card” carries an annual fee of $325, significantly lower than the $1,250 charged for the “AmEx Platinum Charge Card.” The new “Platinum” credit card offers two “Membership Rewards” points for every dollar spent until the end of 2006 plus a select range of bonus partners offering up to 10 points for every dollar spent. Cardholders also receive membership in the “Platinum Privileges Club” offering special accommodation offers at fine hotels, enrollment in the “American Express Wine Cellar” club and “Avis Platinum Preferred Club” membership. The new card offers an interest rate of 16.99% and an introductory balance transfer rate of 5.99% for the life of the transferred balance. To qualify for the “American Express Platinum Membership Rewards Credit Card,” applicants must have an annual income of at least $60,000.

iDine Rewards Network Adds Two Board Members

Miami-based iDine Rewards Network has named Harold Shain, President and COO of Newsweek, and Peter Bynoe, a partner in the law firm of Piper Rudnick, to its Board. Prior to joining Piper Rudnick, Mr. Bynoe managed Telemat Ltd., a business consulting firm where he gained substantial project management and financial services experience. Previously he served as executive vice president, general manager and U.S. publisher and directed Newsweek’s ad sales and marketing staffs, and the magazine’s overall advertising strategy. iDine Rewards Network currently has 20.4 million credit cards registered through 15.4 million enrolled accounts.

Digital Insight Renews and Expands Fiserv Deal

Digital Insight has expanded its marketing relationship with Fiserv to include Fiserv’s Galaxy PLUS and CUSA Technologies companies in addition to Fiserv’s AFTECH, Summit Information Systems, USERS Incorporated, and XP Systems. Together, the Fiserv credit union business units included in the agreement serve over 2,300 credit union clients. Fiserv, Inc. provides industry-leading information management systems and services to the financial industry, including software and systems solutions, transaction processing, outsourcing, and business- process outsourcing. Digital Insight provides retail and commercial Internet banking, electronic bill payment and presentment, eCommerce portal technology, wireless channel delivery, advanced targeted marketing, website development and maintenance, as well as online and call center lending services.

iNetEvents to Become International Card Establishment

Los Angeles-based iNetEvents, Inc. has acquired International Card Establishment, Inc. and is nearing the completion of the acquisition of GlobalTech Leasing, Inc., both headquartered in Oxnard, CA, and will eventually change its name to International Card Establishment, Inc.. Following the two acquisitions and a share restructuring, iNetEvents will own 100% of both I.C.E. and GlobalTech Leasing and have approximately 17.6 million shares outstanding. Mr. Brandon Stauber will continue as President and CEO of the Nevada subsidiary and Jonathan Severn was appointed the new President and Chairman of the Board of the Company. iNetEvents, Inc. specializes in providing a range of technology services to the event management industry.