Edenred national commuter benefit program has made available its contactless Commuter Check Prepaid MasterCard card with MasterCard “PayPass” contactless payment technology. This lets commuters pay for qualified public transportation expenses through their employer sponsored pre-tax benefit program with a tap. The card can be used as its own fare card within transit environments already equipped with contactless payment readers, such as subway turnstiles and bus fare collection boxes. Riders using the new MasterCard PayPass-enabled card can choose from several different fare options per availability from the transit agency such as, a “pre-fund”, “pay-as-you-go”, time-based fares (one day, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly passes) as well as discounted fares for senior citizens, disabled and student riders.
Between October 31 and December 24, U.S. consumers spent an estimated $36.4 billion, a 15.4% year-on-year increase over the 2009 holiday season. There were 6 days in the 2010 season that surpassed $1 billion in sales compared with 3 days in 2009, which include Tuesday November 30 with $1.16 billion in sales and Wednesday December 1 with $1.13 billion. This, according to MasterCard Advisorsâ “SpendingPulse” macroeconomic report tracking national retail and services sales, also shows the Monday after Thanksgiving generated $999.3 million in sales, a 25.3% increase compared to the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2009. The data showed overall season-over-season growth of 5.5% ex-auto as consumer spending continued to show progress compared to the same period in 2009. eCommerce saw the most growth in any category with seasonal sales up 15.4%; apparel growth was up 11.2% over the 2009 holiday season with menswear having reached double digit growth at 10.5% while Womenâs Apparel grew by 5.6%. The Electronics category was up only 1.2% season-to-season; Jewelry posted several weekly year-over-year increases and ended the season up 8.4%; and Luxury posted season-to-season growth of 6.7%.
NagraID Security has confirmed its successful pilot with MasterCard and Bank Sinopac for its display cards. With this, NagraID Security will keep developing and bring innovative products that enhance security for online payments and transactions, namely to Taiwan. The rise in e-commerce transactions has increased demand for payment security, the innovative features of the new display card, now available through the “SinoPac Display Card” cardholders can take advantage of a wide range of mobile financial services such as online transactions using 3D authentication security and non-predesignated account transfers.
MasterCard Canada announced a six-month extension for Canadian merchants to migrate to chip-and-PIN POS technology, with the original timeline of October 15, 2010 extended to March 31, 2011. With this deadline, MasterCard accepting merchants who have not upgraded to chip-enabled point-of-sale terminals will be liable for fraudulent transactions effected at their POS. Chip migration brings additional significant security enhancements to Canadians, using a small computer processor chip with memory, logic and a configuration of software applications, significantly enhancing security and preventing unauthorized use or copying.
Overstock.com, First National Bank of Omaha and MasterCard Worldwide have made available the “Overstock.com MasterCard” credit card. Offering enhanced rewards for Overstock.com customers, the card offers customers additional savings on Overstock.com online purchases, as well as reward dollars on other purchases made when using the card. Customers who sign up for the “Overstock.com MasterCard” credit card will receive a free membership to “Club O Rewards” customer rewards program, giving customers access to shopping events; sweepstakes; free shipping and 5% back in “Club O Rewards Dollars” on Overstock.com purchases. The “Overstock.com MasterCard,” with an additional 3% back in Club O Rewards Dollars on Overstock.com purchases, gives users a total of 8% back in rewards dollars on qualified Overstock.com purchases, plus an additional $10 Club O Rewards Dollars credit the first time the card is used.
MasterCard Worldwide enhanced its “smartdata.gen2” expense management platform, providing advanced capabilities designed to drive greater control and increase cost savings for businesses of all sizes. New features include an enhanced expense reporting module, enabling companies and employees to seamlessly review and approve expenditures, online statements, receipt management, and data integration with the MasterCard inControl platform, which allows businesses to create Single Use Account numbers, and utilize rules-driven transaction controls and spending alerts. The new release not only strengthens current capabilities, but also provides companies with greater expense control and insight by automating and streamlining the workflow process for creating, submitting and approving employee expense reports. MasterCard SmartData serves 150 issuers and 466,000 companies in 53 countries, in all market segments as well as local, state, and federal government agencies. It features enhanced expense reporting; inControl integration; receipt upload functionality; online account maintenance; and paperless statements.
Delta Air Lines and MasterCard Worldwide have implemented their brand partnership to offer the co-branded “Delta SkyMiles Debit MasterCard.” The comprehensive debit card program offered to Delta customers, the two companies will now work over the next several months to build a national network of financial institutions to offer the Delta SkyMiles Debit MasterCard through local bank branches across the United States. The “Delta SkyMiles Debit MasterCard” allow users to earn Delta miles on qualifying purchases; provide access to hundreds of merchant-funded discounts; purchase protections such Extended Warranties and Satisfaction Guarantee; and is available as Platinum Debit MasterCard, World Debit MasterCard and Debit MasterCard BusinessCard card.
MasterCard Worldwide has appointed Betty K. DeVita, president, MasterCard Canada, effective September 15. Most recently having served as Chairman and CEO of Citibank Canada for the past 28 years, Betty will oversee regional strategy, business development, acceptance expansion, operations, regulatory, marketing and product introductions with a mandate for delivering continued growth and innovation in the market at MasterCard Canada. She has also held a variety of other management roles including starting with Citibank at the retail branch level in New York. She holds a B.S. from St. John’s University, New York and the CEO Program Certificate from Wharton-KMA in Seoul, Korea.
MasterCard has introduced its “MoneySend” P2P remittance service for BlackBerry Smartphones. By securely combining the power of a mobile device with a banking relationship, “MoneySend” allows users in the U.S. to send or request money via their BlackBerry through participating banks and credit unions or when they create a virtual prepaid account through Bancorp Bank. Available for free download on BlackBerry App World (www.blackberry.com/appworld), the service allows users to link existing payment cards or bank checking accounts to the new virtual prepaid account and begin sending money via their BlackBerry Smartphone. Users can accept debit and credit card payments; send money to family members; pay for informal goods and services; request money from debtors; and manage their “MoneySend” transaction history from their BlackBerry.
MasterCard Advisorsâ “SpendingPulse” macro-economic report tracker of retail and service sales reported U.S. Apparel Sales was up 2.6% year-over-year in August after Julyâs 1.1% decrease. Apparel Sales have been up 5 out of 8 months this year while the Consumer Electronics and Appliances showed increases on a year-over-year basis by 2.3% and 9.4%, respectively. Meanwhile, eCommerce sales growth slowed in August to +7.2% for the smallest year-over-year increase in 2010. All eCommerce subsectors except Electronics were in positive year-over-year territory. Online Electronics recorded a modest decrease in August of 0.1%, online sales of Jewelry were back in positive territory, up 2% year-over-year.
AUGUST RETAIL SALES
MasterCard Incorporated will acquire DataCash Group payment service for $520 million to develop a long-term growth platform. DataCash allows e-commerce merchants to process secure payments and develops outsourced electronic payments solutions, fraud prevention, alternative payment options, back-office reconciliation and solutions for merchants selling via multiple channels through its fraud solutions and technology platform. DataCash processed more than 240 million transactions for more than 1,400 merchants in 2009, for which it reported an annual revenue of $58 million with an EBITDA margin of 46%. Mastercard sees this development as a means to drive the growth of the e-commerce category with its acquiring customers for online purchases; expand and enhance its “MiGS” gateway business currently operating in the Asia Pacific region; to leverage its network and global presence by expanding DataCash to beyond western Europe; and to strengthen fraud capabilities and expertise.
With 49% of consumers disclosing the need for a budgeting tool, Citi is set to implement the MasterCard “inControl” U.S. consumer application. With 51% seeking the safety and security offered through “inControl” while using their cards, through spending controls and real-time account information, it allows users to establish spend management controls and maintain secure and intended usage through real-time alerts. The Application allows users to set up budgets for particular types of spending and manage exactly where, when, how, and for what types of purchases their credit cards may be used and to establish how and when they receive alerts, via SMS-text or email, for protection against overspending. The service will be available to cardholders of participating Citi MasterCard credit cards later in the year.