MBNA Canada Bank to Acquire CUETS

BofA’s MBNA Canada Bank has signed an agreement to acquire CUETS, the largest MasterCard credit card issuer for credit unions in Canada. MBNA Canada Bank is the second largest MasterCard issuer in Canada based on loans outstanding. CUETS is currently jointly owned by Credit Union Central of Saskatchewan and Credit Union Central Alberta. CUETS has about 500 relationships with credit unions in Canada. The new MBNA Canada subsidiary housing the CUETS business will be led by Stan Kuss, currently CEO of CUETS. CUETS’ 400 person workforce will be combined with the current MBNA workforce in Ottawa. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Chase Beefs-Up its Sheetz blink MC

PA-based convenience store chain Sheetz has teamed with Chase to launch an enhanced “Sheetz MasterCard with blink.” The enhancement is a more robust “Sheetz Rewards” program. Under the new program cardholders receive a 10% rebate on all Sheetz purchases and a 2% rebate for all other purchases for the first 90 days the account is open. Thereafter, a 3% rebate on all Sheetz purchases; 2% on groceries, travel and dining purchases; and 1% on all other eligible purchases. The rebates can be redeemed for $25 gift cards from various retailers. In May 2005, the “Sheetz MasterCard” became the first co-branded credit card to feature “blink,” Chase’s contactless payment option. Sheetz operates 330 stores throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina. (CF Library 5/27/05)

i2c Adds More Flexibility to InTouch

i2c Inc. has released “InTouch”, enabling clients to autonomously change the welcome greeting and up to three announcement messages played when cardholders call the IVR for customer service. i2c clients can access the IVR system via a telephone and interact with the IVR system to record, edit and/or re-record messages. InTouch can play a variety of interesting announcements until an agent is available to take their call. These messages may provide product information, promote services or educate callers about the company. Messages can be scheduled to play on certain dates for holidays and events and can be used to prompt callers to have information available before talking to a live agent and helps prepare the caller, speeds up call processing and occupies the caller while they wait on-hold. i2c is a global technology provider of electronic payment processing solutions.

Debit Card Usage Among Women Soars

MasterCard released a survey on women and debit cards which showed that 77% of those under 55-years old have primary or shared fiscal decision-making responsibilities with 85% indicating that they are increasingly using their debit card to help manage personal finances. The “Women in the Financial Marketplace” analysis, part of the “Yankelovich MONITOR 2006/07” study commissioned by MasterCard, also found that debit card usage by women has more than doubled since 2003, growing from 20% to 43%. Women now represent 61% of the most frequent debit card users.

Emirates To Use MasterCard MiGS

Mastercard Worldwide has announced that Emirates International
Airlines will be using “Mastercard Gateway Service”(MiGS) as a
secure payment platform to provide online ticketing and payments.
“MiGS” provides a single payments interface for multiple payment
instruments and handles multi-currency processing, supports
multi-country operations and includes fraud protection. For Emirates,
the solution also will reduce processing complexity and provide
payment solution in several markets. “MiGS” processes close to 50
million transactions per year. The Emirates Airline has experienced
over 20% per annum average growth, carried 17.5 million passengers
in the 2006-07 financial year and declared a US $844 million profit.

CO-OP Concierge for CUs is Introduced

CO-OP Financial Services has launched “CO-OP Concierge” for its credit union members. CO-OP Concierge is composed of the “Falcon Travel Notification”, which gives credit unions access to cardholder contact information and travel itineraries, resulting in faster notification when a questionable transaction occurs and “VIP Authorization Block Bypass,” which permits credit unions to identify elite cardholders they want to be exempt from any transaction blocks. CO-OP Financial Services’ membership has access to 800,000 ATMs worldwide through links to NYCE, STAR, Cirrus, Pulse and Plus.

ANZ Launches the Black World MasterCard

The “ANZ Black World MasterCard” was launched in Indonesia and designed for affluent cardholders. The card offers membership to hotels for special room rates and dining privilege, Priority Pass access to airport lounges at over 275 cities around the world, automatic qualification for a year-long complimentary membership to the DFS Platinum Services Club, double reward points on frequent flyer miles, and 24-Hour Worldwide Family Medical Benefit. The card also offers its members the “3x Privileges Program” allowing consumers to divide their payment in 3, “ANZ Spot” offering a cut on cardholders’ bills when
dining at partnering restaurants, “See it First! Program” to allow
holders to be among the first to view Hollywood box office movies, and a Rewards Program where all points accumulated can be redeemed with selection of exclusive reward items.

FamilyMart Inks With NTT DoCoMo

FamilyMart Co has announced an alliance with DoCoMo in which
DoCoMo is to acquire 2,930,500 shares of common FamilyMart
stock for about 9 billion yen. In conjunction, FamilyMart will be
accepting mobile credit via DoCoMo’s iD platform enabling
users to make NFC payments with their phones. This agreement
will benefit each company through leverage of FamilyMart’s 7,000
convenience stores and DoCoMo’s some 52 million customers.
With this, the companies plan to Introduce iD mobile payments for
purchases made on FamilyMart’s shopping website, the “Famima iD”
mobile credit card, a provision of benefits for using DoCoMo’s
DCMX and FamilyMart’s “Famima iD” mobile credit cards, and
trial use of Famima Cards by owners of DoCoMo phones.

Selektpoints Awarded For Innovation

An independent panel of industry consultants, credit card experts,VRL
KnowledgeBank’s research team and journalists have decided that
is to be awarded the “Best Innovation in a Loyalty Program” at the “Cards
International Global Conference”. The solution was awarded for creating a
global coalition program available through a wide range of merchants
redemption to cardholders. The loyalty program also provides banks and
retailers with chip-based programs utilizing the “SCTN End to End Loyalty”
Solution through Phoenix Technology Holdings Inc. Selektpoints is
an EMV Smart Chip Based loyalty program.

Wachovia Hits 1 Million Cardholders

After re-entering the credit card business last July, Wachovia Card Services reports it has reached one million credit card customers in its portfolio. Wachovia terminated its joint marketing agreement with MBNA in November 2005. The millionth card customer and the banker who sold the card received 250,000 Wachovia “Possibilities Reward” points and a $500 VISA gift card, respectively. Wachovia recently launched a business credit card product targeting companies with annual revenues of up to $15 million. The new card allows customers to combine business and personal rewards with credit and debit rewards to reach redemption targets faster. Wachovia also offers its consumer cardholders automatic one-time late fee and over-limit fee waivers. Steven Boehm is president of Wachovia Card Services.

HSBC ATM Cards To Operate On China Unionpay

HSBC ATM cards are now accepted at China Unionpay ATMs and POS
allowing cardholders to withdraw funds, check balances and make purchases.
This development is projected to be beneficial to tourism considering that
73.9 million visits to mainland China, 60% of the total in-bound visits
to the
country, were of Hong Kong citizens. CUP ATM cards have been accepted
by HSBC’s ATMs in Hong Kong since January 2005 enabling CUP
cardholders to withdraw cash in Hong Kong dollars and check account
balances. CUP has the widest network of nearly 100,000 ATMs and
890,000 POS terminals across the country.

Canadian Tire Outlets To Accept MasterCard Chip & PIN

Canadian Tire and MasterCard Canada have jointly announced that Canadian
Tire is establishing software and POS in its 468 stores to accept
MasterCard Chip
and PIN cards before the end of next year. Canadian Tire is a retail
outlet to which
40% of Canadians visit each week. This development marks the progress of
Canadian marketplace with this advance in card security. The chip is a
enhancing security with information in an encrypted form and requires
the use of a PIN
complete the transaction. The store has 1,100 general merchandise and
apparel retail
stores, gas stations and car washes in an inter-related network of
businesses engaged
in retail, financial services and petroleum.