Advantex Marketing Revenues Climb 10% in Q1

Toronto-based Advantex Marketing International reported that sales and
fees for the quarter ended March 31st were up nearly 10% to
$17.1 million. Net results for the quarter improved by 46% or $0.6
million year-over-year. The Canadian credit card loyalty business was
the main driver of the higher revenues. Advantex says it plans to
introduce a “Merchant Funding Program,” wherein participating merchants
receive cash advances based on purchased rights to future credit card
sales over an extended period of time, up to six months. Advantex is
also working with The New York Times to develop a new “TimesCard”
loyalty program, scheduled for implementation this year and full launch
in early 2006. Advantex loyalty partners include Alaska Airlines, CIBC,
Delta Air Lines, The New York Times, United Mileage Plus, US Airways,
and other major North American corporations. For complete details on
Advantex’s latest performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

Options MasterCard Lifts CTFS Card Loans

Canadian Tire Financial Services reported that its net managed credit card receivables for the first quarter increased 20.5% year-over-year to C$2.82 billion. The average credit card balance in the first quarter hit C$1609, up 19% from one-year ago, largely driven by its “Options MasterCard” product. For the prior quarter, the average credit card balance came in at C$1525. First quarter pre-tax earnings for CTFS were flat at C$25.8 million. Canadian Tire’s MasterCard receivables represent approximately 91% of CTFS’ total managed portfolio. CTFS’ retail credit card and personal loan receivables make up the remaining nine percent of the portfolio. The average number of accounts with a balance decreased year-over-year due to the sale of Canadian Tire’s commercial MasterCard account portfolio to BMO Bank of Montreal in June 2004. CTFS, in conjunction with BMO Bank of Montreal, markets the “Commercial Link MasterCard” while the receivables are owned and managed by BMO Bank of Montreal. CTFS says it plans to increase gross credit card outstandings to C$3.1 billion by the end of 2005. For complete details on Canadian Tire Financial Services’ first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Intelli-Check Post a Flat First Quarter

New York-based Intelli-Check reports flat first quarter revenues, but a 27.5% increase in year-over-year sales bookings. Revenues for the first three months of 2005 remained relatively unchanged at $296,832 compared to $298,259 for the same period in 2004. Intelli-Check, Inc. ID-CHECK technology instantly reads, analyzes, and verifies the encoded data in magnetic stripes and barcodes on government-issue IDs from approximately 60 jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada.

FDC Expands its Latin America Presence

Panama’s Provident Bank & Trust has signed a payment processing agreement with First Data. FDC operates Processing Center, S.A. in Panama. PROCESA uses First Data’s “VisionPLUS” transaction processing platform to provide a wide range of payment services for credit, prepaid, gift and corporate cards. PBTBL is a principal member of VISA and MasterCard International since 2000.

MasterCard Introduced a New Fraud Tool

MasterCard has introduced a new fraud protection tool. “Aristion” allows users to define a set of rules or criteria related to unacceptable card use. If a transaction or series of transactions meet these criteria, “Aristion” highlights transactions for further review. Subscribers to “Aristion” can feed any MasterCard transaction data into the system to determine whether cards are being used in accordance with agency guidelines. Importantly, “Aristion” can also accept non-monetary data, an extremely useful capability for spotting cases of potential account takeover or identity theft. MasterCard unveiled the new tool at the annual MasterCard International “Public Sector Forum.”

ADS Inks Card Deal with Crescent Jewelers

Alliance Data Systems has inked an eight-year agreement to provide private label credit card services for Crescent Jewelers, which operates 122 fine jewelry stores in California, Arizona and Nevada. Alliance will provide full credit card management and processing and will develop and launch multiple new credit plans to support Crescent Jewelers’ business strategy. Alliance Data Systems is a provider of transaction services, credit services and marketing services, managing over 105 million consumer relationships.

AOL Latino Launches a Prepaid Card

AOL Latino has launched the “AOL Latino Internet Prepagado” prepaid card via 7-Eleven stores nationwide. The starter kit includes a CD to install AOL Latino and gives 400 minutes of Internet access for only $9.99. The Tarjeta de Recarga (Bilingual Refill Card) is available for only $8.99 and members get up to 375 minutes to access the AOL service. 7-Eleven, Inc. operates or franchises approximately 5,800 stores in the US and Canada and licenses approximately 22,000 stores worldwide, with total sales of more than $41 billion in 2004. AOL Latino is the only bilingual Internet service provider for U.S. Hispanics.

AmEx Transactions to Fund the RMHC

American Express is now making a $0.01 donation per transaction to the Ronald McDonald House Charities for transactions between May 8th and June 19th. The “Make Room to Heal” campaign aims to raise up to $600,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities. RMHC has more than 245 Houses with 6,000 bedrooms available around the world for seriously ill children and their families. Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit, 501(c)(3), have awarded more than $400 million in grants and program services to support children around the world. American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, network and financial services provider founded in 1850.

Now Prepay Inks an Agreement with GPN

Global Payments has certified VendTek’s “e-Fresh Now Prepay” client software on selected Canadian POS terminals and will make the service available to Global Payments’ Canadian customers. By using “Now Prepay,” merchants can offer their customers an extensive selection of prepaid services more easily and efficiently and without the need
to hold or manage a physical inventory of prepaid cards. Additionally, the elimination of large on-site card inventory reduces security risks and out of stock concerns, providing “just in time” availability, thereby increasing merchants’ cash flows and allowing them to only pay for the product they sell, when they sell it.

U.S. Bank Introduces B2B Partner Cards

U.S. Bank has launched a program to enable a partnering business to market itself and extend rewards to its business customers. Patterson Dental has become the first partner in the program with the launch of a “VISA Business” card this month. The “Patterson Advantage VISA Business Card” offers reward points for all purchases and extra points for Patterson Dental product purchases. Under the program, Patterson receives compensation for each card issued and on purchase volume. The new card will be marketed to 130,000 dental professionals. Patterson Dental has nearly 1,300 sales reps serving the USA and Canada.

ALTERNA MASTERCARD

MBNA Canada has been selected by the newly-formed Alterna Savings to issue two MasterCards. CS CO-OP and Metro Credit Union merged last month to create Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited, Ontario’s newest financial institution. Alterna will offer MBNA’s “Platinum Plus MasterCard” and the “WorldPoints MasterCard.” Alterna Savings has 190,000 members and 24 branches. MBNA Canada is the second largest MasterCard issuer in the country with nearly 500 agents or partners.