Elizabeth Buse has been named Group Executive, International, with Visa effective April 1. She will oversee Visa’s global sales and client service functions across Asia-Pacific and Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEMEA). Previously having served as Visa’s Global Head of Product, Elizabeth will be based in Singapore. This development follows Rupert Keeley decision to leave the company, under who’s leadership Visa’s business in the Asia Pacific region grew significantly. Now positioned for further growth Visa retail electronic payments network offers cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries.
Accor and MasterCard Worldwide have partnered to offer MasterCard
cardholders rewards through a joint promotion offering exclusive year
end hotel deals and a lucky draw. Cardholders who book a consecutive
three night stay at any of the 188 participating Accor Hotels in
Asia/Pacific from now until 31 January 2010 using their MasterCard cards
will be rewarded with one free night while those who extend their stay
will receive a 30% saving on the best unrestricted nightly rate. The
lucky draw will make them eligible for a three night stay at the award
winning five- star Pullman Sanya Yalong Bay resort located in Sanya,
China. The draw will send 10 lucky winners to the resort where they will
be treated to a private villa with a king-sized bed, private swimming
pool, massage area, jacuzzi, a spacious private garden and a separate
Visa reported Asia Pacific was its only region that posted positive growth in gross dollar volume for the second quarter, on both a nominal and constant U.S. dollar basis. The U.S. and Canada regions both showed overall negative growth driven by a severe drop-off in credit card volume. (Visa, Inc. does not include Visa Europe, a separate entity which will report it results in late November.) In the A/P region GDV was up 10.3% on a constant dollar basis and up 3.7% on a nominal dollar basis. Total GDV was $259 billion, compared to $229 billion for the second quarter and $250 billion for 2Q/08. A/P purchase dollar volume was 2% and cash dollar volume rose 7% for the second quarter. Visa has 512 million payment cards in circulation in the region and 424 million accounts as of September 30, 2009. Visa reports performance data on a one quarter delay. For complete details on Visa’s latest performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).
Sino Payments has concluded a reseller agreement for credit and debit
card ecommerce processing with eNETS. eNETS is to process ecommerce
transactions from its customers in Asia in multiple currencies,
including US dollar. NV-based Sino Payments has offices in Hong Kong and
Macau. Its proprietary IP transaction processing system (Sino Pay GPP)
was designed to convert transaction processing systems from old type
dial up point of sale systems connected to sophisticated check out
terminals to a modern seamless IP transaction process to reduce credit
and debit card transaction processing times by half. eNETS Pte wholly
owned subsidiary of NETS is owned by Singapore’s local banks and enables
online payment services for banks, merchants and other payment gateways.
Corporate travel payment solution provider AirPlus International has
released a whitepaper, “Successful Travel Management in Asia-Pacific –
Challenges and Solutions in a Fast Changing Region” at the ACTE
Asia-Pacific Education Conference in Singapore which explores the
unique realities of managing travel in Asia-Pacific and provides
suggestions to global travel managers for improved performance in the
A survey of ACTE-affiliated corporate travel managers supported the
study. Of those surveyed, 42% consider Asia-Pacific to be on the same
evolutionary path as Europe and North America, but at an earlier stage.
Another 72% consider travel managers from outside Asia-Pacific to lack a
good understanding of the region. This is best outlined by the
challenges highlighted within the paper which include cultural
diversity, multiple languages and alphabets, domestic (not global)
distribution systems, insufficient adaptation of management tools,
greater regulation and the lower status of travel managers. A few of
the whitepaper’s suggestions for working more effectively in the region
include: improving cultural understanding, meeting the high quality
service ethic in the region, visiting the region and recruiting local
expertise. Further, 19% said travel management has a different meaning
in Asia-Pacific but will change to resemble the European/North American
model more closely in the future.
In attempts to bolster financial performance, many airlines are considering
liquidating their frequent flyer programs. Experts show this is an
effective way for airlines to raise capital, unlock value, improve
margins, accelerate revenue growth, achieve economies of scale and
improve CRM customer relationship management. Disadvantages however,
seem to outweigh the good, according to the Carlson Marketing’s Global
Airline Practice division. The Division’s recent white paper shows what
hurts sellers include buyers’ possible short-term view,
unpredictability, capital gain is only a one-off, an imbalance of power
between program and airline, global alliances and current liabilities.
Compounding these uncertainties is the current economic climate with
less capital available for purchasing the program, less travel, less
consumer spending, a higher rate of credit card defaults, lower consumer
credit ratings, reduction in network size, fewer miles being redeemed
and less of an appetite for balance sheet adjustments.
Having already issued more than ten million multi-application smart
cards to various card issuers across the country, Watchdata smart card
and contactless technology solutions has announced its compliance with
the Singapore Standard for Contactless ePurse Application (CEPAS) and is
now the only card vendor authorized to supply the CEPAS-compliant cards.
Having met the strict testing criteria to provide such multi-application
smart card that is more secure, fast, efficient, flexible, interoperable
and cost effective, Watchdata has introduced such products as the
“TimeCOS” contactless smart card to conform to the “CC EAL5+” highest
level of security. Watchdata smart card and contactless technology
solutions conducts operations in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America,
Africa and the Middle East.
The MasterCard Worldwide Insights Report,
Economic Crisis and Preference for Online Shopping in Asia/Pacific,
Middle East and Africa reveals that online shoppers across this
region spent an average of US$667 online in 4Q 2008 versus US$633 during
the same quarter in 2007, and made an average of 3.3 purchases, up from
3.1 in 2007. The survey covered 5037 respondents across 10 markets: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UAE
and South Africa. Books and arts (with 38% of online shoppers choosing this) emerged as
the most frequently bought items online, closely followed by home
appliances and electronic products (37%) and CDs/DVDs/VCDs (36%).
The majority of the online shopping conducted in the region was planned,
with 83% of online shoppers admitting that they tend to plan their
shopping in advance and conduct research on their planned purchases.
Most online shoppers either bought items impulsively “hardly ever” (36%)
or “just a couple of times” (38%). The top reason for impulsive buying
was the discounted prices (67%) that online channels afford. The survey and the accompanying Insights Report do not represent MasterCard financial performance.
Card personalizer Datacard Group announced that it has
established an agreement with Golden Spring Technology,
supplier of smart label and RFID equipment to offer smart label package systems, as well as
contactless smart card inlay systems, in the Asia Pacific region.
The solutions for contactless smart card inlay production
ranges from 1500 units per hour (UPH) up to 6000 UPH. The solutions of
the smart label equipment
with flip chip process ranges from 1600 UPH up
to 20000 UPH.
Secure card personalizer Datacard Group has entered into an agreement with Golden Spring Technology, a provider of smart label and RFID equipment, for Datacard to offer smart label package systems and contactless smart card inlay systems in the Asia Pacific region. The solutions for contactless smart card inlay production
ranges from 1500 units per hour (UPH) up to 6000 UPH. The solutions of
the smart label equipment with flip chip process ranges from 1600 UPH up
to 20000 UPH. Datacard Group offers the world’s best-selling secure ID and card personalization solutions. The company’s portfolio includes systems for high-volume card issuance, card delivery and fulfillment, secure ID issuance and passport production, plus extensive service and supply offerings. Datacard Group serves customers in more than 120 countries.
A new report from from Frost & Sullivan= titled “Asia
Pacific Contactless Smart Card Market” reveals that the market earned
revenues of $769.4 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach $1356.0 million in 2014.
The ongoing issuance of projects such as e-passport and mass transit
ticketing will continue and applications will expand to include contactless and mobile
payments. Some other contactless applications that will insulate the market from
the downturn are upgrades and replacement cards. To ride out this unstable phase, market participants should promote
their product’s ability to create a more efficient and cost-saving system in the long
term, be it in the mass transit, government, or other industry. This benefit will be
even more apparent if there are multiple applications. At a time when participants
need to restrain spending, vendors should revisit successful business cases and
emphasize the long term cost savings and efficiency that resulted from them.
MasterCard Worldwide has appointed Vicky S. Bindra as president, Asia/Pacific Middle
East Africa region. Bindra joins MasterCard from GE Capital, where he was CEO,
since 2007. Prior to that, he held several senior-level
assignments at Citibank in New York and Singapore in consumer banking, credit cards, small
business, sales and marketing and private banking. In addition, he was a
partner at Bain & Company, leading assignments in financial services and
private equity. Bindra is a graduate of St. Xavier’s College in Calcutta with a
degree in finance and accounting, a certified public
accountant and holds
an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of