American Express has beefed-up its “Consumer Travel Network,” now offering double points in “Membership Rewards” for cardholders and other new services and benefits. The site has been redesigned for easier navigation and offers a private label version of the easy-to-use booking tool developed by Travelocity, along with its low fares and rates. It also offers customized booking tools for cruises and packages, last minute bargains and special promotional offers. American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850.
Atlanta-based PRE Solutions has filed a lawsuit against Dynamic Telecard, alleging breach of its “Transaction Processing Agreement” including the soliciting of PRE’s customers. PRE had previously served a cease and desist letter on Dynamic for soliciting PRE’s customers in breach of the agreement. Additionally, PRE’s suit alleges that Dynamic did not honor its commitment to use PRE’s systems to process merchants with whom Dynamic has distribution agreements. PRE Holdings, Inc. along with its subsidiaries PRE Solutions, Inc. and ITC Financial Services, LLC, is a provider of prepaid transaction processing solutions to more than 60,000 retail locations.
Georgia-based Interactive Designs has become the newest member of the “OneLynk Alliance,” RBS Lynk’s value-added reseller program. IDI is a manufacturer and distributor of salon management solutions in the US and provider of integrated software to help salon owners manage client data, inventory control, scheduling, employee commissions and POS equipment. RBS Lynk is a provider of electronic payment processing services, the third-largest processor of ATMs in the U.S. and is a member of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
Wisconsin-based Fiserv Credit Processing Services has expanded its loyalty program capabilities with the introduction of the “PLUS One Rewards Program” from ESC Loyalty. Branded credit cards will automatically earn points for every dollar spent. Those points then go into a PLUS One Rewards account that can be used to redeem a wide selection of rewards. Cardholders can start redeeming for rewards with as little as 1,500 points. ESC Loyalty is a provider of technology-based loyalty marketing solutions, specializing in applications for the credit- and debit-card industry. Fiserv reported $3.4 billion in processing and services revenues for 2004
MA-based Lightbridge reported first quarter revenue of $30.6 million versus $29.6 million for 1Q/04. Authorize.Net’s revenue for the first quarter were $10.1 million, an increase of 20% over the first quarter of 2004. The Company added 13,000 new merchants during the quarter. Transaction volumes increased to 55.9 million, a 25% growth over the comparable quarter last year. Processing volume was $5.2 billion in the first quarter, up 38% year over year. Lightbridge posted a net loss of $700,000 for the first quarter, versus the same net loss one-year ago. For complete details on Lightbridge’s current and past performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com])
MasterCard is launching its “Debt Know How” program, a multi-year, consumer education program, to help consumers manage their personal debt. The program will consists of an interactive website containing free, easy-to-use tips and resources for consumers, a national web-based Debt Know How seminar and local seminars around the U.S., partnerships with financial institutions and partnerships with policymakers to ensure their constituents receive the Debt Know How information.
Dallas-based TransFirst has teamed with TenderCard, a provider of closed loop, stored-value/gift and loyalty card solutions to offer STV cards to small and mid-size merchants. This new product offering will allow merchants to strengthen customer loyalty, increase traffic and enable small- to mid-size merchants to compete with larger retailers. TenderCard hosts gift cards and rewards programs for major merchants and chains, delivered via its proprietary Web-based IMATTS software platform. TransFirst currently processes approximately $20 billion in annual sales volume for more than 160,000 merchants and more than 760 financial institutions.
Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient and US-based Wave Systems have
formed a strategic alliance to offer an enhanced security solution to
address the trusted computing market. The collaboration will address the organizations’ joint development activities in the fields of smart card technology and trusted computing software. The aim is to leverage the combination of smart card technology and TPM associated software to offer clients in industry and government a comprehensive, flexible and easy-to-use security solution. Both partners are members of the Trusted Computing Group.
Wachovia has launched a foreign remittance product for the entire Latin American market. The new “Dinero Directo Card” links a customer’s Wachovia bank accounts to ATMs in the “VISA/PLUS” network. The card is part of the new Wachovia “Cuenta con Todo” package. Wachovia tested the card in 11 financial centers in Naples, FL, and Elizabeth, NJ, prior to introducing it in phases to all markets. Wachovia says 50% of the Hispanic households within Wachovia’s footprint are from countries other than Mexico. The card is the first by a major bank to enable money transfers to friends and family throughout Latin American and Caribbean countries as well as Mexico. In English, “Cuenta con Todo” translates to “account with everything.” In addition to the Wachovia “Dinero Directo Card,” the “Cuenta con Todo” package includes a free checking account, free VISA Check Card, and free online banking with bill pay.
The Electronic Payments Network has announced that Fiserv BANKLINK has adopted EPN STP 820 for its iLINK product, a suite of Web-based cash management products for financial institutions and their corporate customers to facilitate business-to-business payments. Fiserv, Inc. provides information management systems and services to more than 16,000 clients and reported $3.4 billion in revenue. EPN processed more than 3.4 billion payments in 2004.
Sammamish Business Systems has introduced Express Billing hosted service. Express Billing automates the billing and payment of recurring credit card charges for customers to pay on an ongoing basis. Sammamish Business Systems provides specialized billing and web-based business applications for organizations providing ongoing personal and business services.
New research shows that three out of five college upperclassman expect to have no credit card debt upon graduation and a year after graduation. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for Citibank, also reveals that 32% of college juniors and seniors have missed or been late on a credit card payment. Also, a quarter have written a check that bounced. Citi says it found that 42% of upperclassmen expect to be financially secure within three years after graduation, compared to 35% a year ago. The Harris survey also found that 37% think opening unnecessary new credit cards will not lower their credit score and 22% think using a debit card will help them build a credit history. Harris conducted the survey of 1,060 U.S. college juniors and seniors at a 4-year college or university between January 7th and 19th.