Triton Distribution Systems and Red Dragon Express have teamed
to offer event tickets throughout China, including for the 2008
Beijing Olympics. In addition to providing online booking for 500
different events at the upcoming Olympics, over 580 international
airlines and 23 Chinese airlines, Red Dragon customers can also
make cruise and hotel reservations with thousands of choices. The
Beijing Olympics will offer spectators access to witness 28 different
summer sports and 302 different events with nearly 10,500
competitors. Triton Distribution Systems and its China Portal, Red
Dragon Express, provide Internet-based travel distribution and
procurement solutions for airlines, car rental companies, hotels, tour
and cruise operators.

CardFlash Looks Back to August 2007

WI-based Fiserv agrees to acquire CheckFree in an all-cash transaction valued at about $4.4 billion. Shopko launches the “My Shopko extra savings Rewards Card” and the co-branded “my Shopko rewards VISA.” Contactless specialist ViVOtech picks up NCR as a new investor as it raised more than $22 million in its third round of funding. A new study from Demos find that 7% of white cardholders, 15% of African American and 13% of Latinos cardholders pay interest rates higher than 20%. Capital One inks deal to acquire prepaid card specialist NetSpend for $700 million in cash. Austin, TX-based Austin Ventures’, Inc. files a registration statement with the SEC for an IPO. The TJX Companies reports it took an after-tax cash charge of approximately $118 million for its recent computer intrusion events. Hypercom unveils a new version of its “PCI PED” certified “P1300 PIN Pad.” BankAtlantic becomes the first Florida bank to become an agent offering American Express business cards. Bank of America becomes the first “Official Bank of the NFL” in the U.S. and has introduced the “NFL Checking” program that includes “Check Cards” and checks designed specifically for the pro football fan. First Data’s “STAR Network” surcharge-free service hooks-up with the nation’s largest surcharge-free ATM network. Shell Oil Products US begins to implement VISA USA’s partial authorization policy for prepaid VISA cards. 7-Eleven, Elan Financial Services and InComm introduce the “Vanilla VISA Gift Card.”


Svenska Spel gaming company and Samport Payment Services have
partnered to offer casino-goers a card payment solution. Moreover, with
this development, Svenska Spel can offer customers an Internet payment
option, a POS payment option and an anti-fraud solution for card
payment transactions. Experts with Svenska Spel see this partnership with
Samport as a necessity for their expanding business model and the need
to provide cost-efficient flexibility and responsiveness.

NOVA and AmEx Sign a Merchant Agreement

Atlanta-based NOVA has inked a deal to sign up and service American Express merchants on behalf of AmEx. Under the terms of the agreement, NOVA will add American Express Card acceptance to the payment processing services offered to merchants and will provide processing, settlement, customer support and reporting to merchants for all major card brands. The program is also open to existing NOVA merchants that wish to now add American Express Card acceptance and use NOVA as their single point of contact. NOVA offers integrated payment processing services to more than 1,000,000 merchants worldwide.


FSV Payments and MiCash have teamed to provide a prepaid debt
“card-to-cash” money transfer solution. With this solution, users pay a
flat fee, regardless of the remittance destination or transfer amount, and
are allowed to collect cash at any of the Bancomer Transfer Service
around the world. The recipient can also opt to have the funds deposited
to an account of their choice and is given the option to establish a
list of
fund recipients. FSV Payment Systems provides stored-value and prepaid
debit solutions across various sectors and is headquartered in Houston,
Texas while MiCash provides financial services to the underserved
consumer-segment with remittance solutions and cards.

Rewards Network Adds a Board Member

Rewards Network marketing services has appointed Mark R. Sotir to its Board of Directors. Sotir is also a Managing Director of Equity Group Investments, L.L.C. and has experience in upper level management with Coca-Cola, Minute Maid and Budget Auto Rental. Most recently, however, the new board member was CEO of Sunburst Technology Corporation, an educational software distributor. His advanced education includes a BA in Economics from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Rewards Network is based in Chicago and provides frequent dining programs throughout North America for thousands of restaurants and more than 3 million members.


In response to the recent NDP criticism of Canadian credit card interest
rates, the Canadian Bankers Association(CBA) holds that the NDP is
misunderstanding credit cards, which are useful to consumers whom
benefit from a competitive market of 550 issuers. Evidence supporting
CBA’s position reflects that 73% of Canadian consumers pay their
balance in full every month, revoking the need to pay any interest, with
the remaining consumers paying an average of no more than 15% interest.
The Canadian Bankers Association represents 54 Canadian banks,
representing 249,000 employees, which were collectively responsible for
3.57% of the 2006 GDP.

J.C. Penney Computer Tape Goes Missing

Reportedly a computer tape containing information on approximately 650,000 customers of J.C. Penney and up to 100 other retailers has been lost. The Associated Press reports that the tape from GE Money was lost by Iron Mountain. The backup computer tape was discovered missing last October. The missing information includes Social Security numbers for about 150,000 people. According to the AP, GE Money is paying for 12 months of credit-monitoring service for customers whose SSNs were on the tape. Iron Mountain has more than 100,000 corporate clients throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Rim. Neither J.C. Penney or GE Money have issued statements on the breach.

CardFlash Looks Back to September 2007

Chevron selects GE Money Bank to own and operate its Chevron and Texaco branded consumer credit cards and FleetCor Technologies Operating Company to own and operate its branded commercial credit cards. VISA has named Byron Pollitt, formerly a top executive at Gap and Walt Disney, as CFO designate of Visa Inc. New York City taxi drivers go on strike over new rules that require then to install credit card readers and GPS technology in their cabs by October 1st. MasterCard rolls-out two new spots in the NFL season opener that features tongue-in-cheek vignettes by Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. JCB and Union Bank of Taiwan launch the first card with “J/Speedy” in the world. Ceridian and hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management reached an agreement over a proxy fight. Houston-based Cardtronics files a registration for an IPO to raise up to $300 million. Target announces it is reviewing potential ownership alternatives for its $7 billion credit card portfolio. American Express inks a deal to sell its American Express Bank Ltd to Standard Chartered PLC for $1.1 billion. A six-month “Visa payWave” pilot is launched in Taiwan. Barclay’s introduces the “DIRECTV Rewards VISA.” Discover Network signs an integration deal with Chase Paymentech. Discover Financial Services signs an agreement with Wells Fargo Merchant Services to offer full-service processing for all Discover transactions through WFMS. MasterCard introduces a new savings program for “MasterCard BusinessCard” credit and signature debit cardholders. VISA expands its contactless program with a key fob payment device embedded with “VISA payWave.”

CPI Acquires Didier Printing Company

CO-based CPI Card Group has acquired IN-based Didier Printing Company. This will allow CPI Card Group to expand the services offered to its customers with highly flexible and responsive customer card solutions. The combined business will have three state-of-the-art manufacturing sites (Colorado, Nevada and Indiana), and has the largest smart card production capacity in the industry. The executive management team from Didier — Jim Galliher, Gary Smythe, Bill Lynch and Andy Sappenfield — will remain with the company. CPI offers a single source for plastic cards.


Flybe has reported that applications for its new “Spend & Fly” chip
and PIN credit card have shown impressive volumes, given the card’s
customer benefits. Among these benefits, customers are afforded the
‘spend once, fly free’ program, various offers on retail purchases and,
upon their first transaction, are awarded a free return flight through the
card’s “Rewards4all” frequent flyer program. Moreover, for every
GBP250 spent on the card, the card member is rewarded 1 point
toward their free flight, which requires a total of 16 points.


Citigroup reported that fourth quarter net income for its international card business rose nearly 5% sequentially to a record $678 million. Revenues of $2.62 billion jumped 59% year-on-year, but declined more than $200 million since the third quarter. Revenue growth was primarily driven by higher purchase sales and average loans, up 37% and 53%, respectively, and a $448 million pre-tax gain on Visa Inc. shares.
Credit costs increased 9%, as a decline in net credit losses was offset by an increase in loan loss reserves. Net credit losses declined as higher losses in Mexico and portfolio growth were offset by the impact of recent acquisitions. A charge of $149 million pre-tax to increase loan loss reserves primarily reflected portfolio growth. Credit card outstandings as of December 31st were $46.5 billion, up 50% year-on-year. The account base grew 21% year-on-year to 37.3 million compared to one-year ago. Purchase volume for the fourth quarter was $31.6 billion, a 37% increase year-on-year. Delinquency (90+ days) increased slightly to 2.24% from 2.22% in 3Q/07. Charge-offs were 3.39% compared to 5.62% in the prior quarter and 5.39% for the year ago quarter. For complete detail’s on Citigroup’s international cards performance, visit CardData (