International cash transactions (CTX) for Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards grew by 8.7% year-on-year (YOY) in the first quarter (1Q/16). International CTX for credit cards decreased 1.2% YOY while international CTX for debit cards rose 9.4% YOY in 1Q/16. In the first quarter gross international payment card CTX for Visa and MasterCard came…
The ‘International Bank Account Number (IBAN) only’ rule introduced on the basis of Article 5 (7) of the European Union (EU) ‘Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro’ adopted by the EU legislator in February 2012 prohibits payment service providers (PSPs) to require that payment service users (PSUs) provide the Business Identifier Code (BIC). Article 5 (7) states: “After 1 February 2014 for national payment transactions and after 1 February 2016 for cross-border payment transactions, PSPs shall not require PSUs to indicate the BIC of the PSP of a payer or of the PSP of a payee.” PSPs however, will have to continue to indicate the BIC of the account to be debited or credited when processing a Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) payment transaction in the interbank space. The EPC intends to host a workshop on 24 September 2013 in Brussels to initiate a dialogue on the minimum requirements for cross-border ‘BIC from IBAN derivation’ solutions.
The International Council of Customer Service Organizations (CSIA) named American Express Canada winner of the 2010 ‘International Service Excellence Award’ in the Division of a Large Business. This award follows a year of new investments and initiatives dedicated to reinventing customer service at American Express Canada. At the forefront of these investments was a new approach to service entitled ‘Relationship Care.’ This new service mindset focuses on deepening customer relationships and creating emotional connections, rather than just transacting. The International Service Excellence Awards are a top customer service award that nominates leading customer service organizations.
Under the Endorsement of Dubai Chamber, the World Islamic Retail Banking
Conference will be held in Dubai on October 12-14, 2009. With Shariah
compliant banking services increasingly becoming part of the banking
mainstream, regional banking professionals will discuss the
opportunities for global expansion available to Islamic banks in the
retail banking sector. Core issues being addressed are to include global
trends in Islamic banking, capitalizing on opportunities due to the
meltdown, Islamic mortgages and retail asset management. Supporting the
event are Noor Islamic Bank as Platinum Sponsor, Ajman Bank as Premium
Gold Sponsor, ITS as Gold Sponsor, Dubai Islamic Bank, LUUP and
Infrasoftech as Silver Sponsors, First Community Bank as Bronze Sponsor,
Apvision as Associate Sponsor, Infosys as Lead Technology Partner and
Qatar Islamic Bank as Supporting Partner.
NACHA electronic payments association has announced its hosting the
Institute of International Payments Conference in Atlanta, GA on November 18th to 20th. The 2 1/2
day conference has been designed to provide payment professionals an
education to understand the payments industry on a global scale,
including principles, concepts, infrastructures, practices, issues and
developments. The unbiased material will be taught by practitioners from
organizations engaged in international payments to include such topics
as International Payments Fundamentals, International ACH Payments,
Clearing, Settlement, International Standards, Straight-Through
Processing, Global Payments, Foreign Exchange, Currency Principles and
many other issues.
VISA reports that its international cardholders spent Bht 84,300 million in Thailand, representing 26% of Thailand’s total tourism spend. According to latest official published data, Bht 329,000 million was spent by tourists in Thailand during 2002. This shows for every Bht 1,000 spent in Thailand by tourists, Bht 260 was spent using a VISA card, up from Bht 170 in 1999. According to a VISA-commissioned study by Network Economics Consulting Group, the top spenders in Thailand in 2003 were cardholders from the USA who spent Bht 15,300 million, the United Kingdom (Bht 12,800 million), Japan (Bht 9,300 million), Hong Kong (Bht 4,300 million) and Sweden (Bht 4,200 million). Together these five visitor sources accounted for 52% of total international VISA spend in Thailand.
Several “ICBC MasterCard Peony International Golden Cards” were recently carried into space onboard the “Shenzhou-5” Chinese-manned spacecraft, in conjunction with the tenth anniversary of the card. According to the latest issue of CardFlash International (www.cardflashinternational.com), the event will kick-off a six-month promotion of the “Golden Card” to encourage more consumers to sign up for a genuine credit card. Debit cards outnumber credit cards in the country by more than 20-to-1. The latest statistics show 544 million debit cards and 25 million credit cards. Of the 25 million credit cards, 24 million are secured credit cards and 1 million are unsecured international credit cards. Almost 16.4 million secured credit cards carry the MasterCard logo. The “Golden Card Project,” launched in 1993, was advocated by former President Jiang Zemin as a way to accelerate the construction and reform of China’s finance and trade by encouraging more people to use credit cards. MasterCard says the five credit cards that were taken into space will be displayed in museums in Beijing and Shanghai.
Several “ICBC MasterCard Peony International Golden Cards” were recently carried into space onboard the “Shenzhou-5” manned spacecraft in conjunction with the tenth anniversary of the card.
The event will kick-off a six-month promotion of the “Golden Card” to encourage more consumers to sign up for a genuine credit card. Debit cards outnumber credit cards in the country by more than 20-to-1. The latest statistics show 544 million debit cards and 25 million credit cards. Of the 25 million credit cards, 24 million are secured credit cards and 1 million are unsecured international credit cards. Almost 16.4 million secured credit cards carry the MasterCard logo. The “Golden Card Project,” launched in 1993, was advocated by former President Jiang Zemin as a way to accelerate the construction and reform of China’s finance and trade by encouraging more people to use credit cards. MasterCard says the five credit cards that were taken into space will be displayed in museums in Beijing and Shanghai.
American Express is launching a new program next month to encourage its European cardholders to visit other European cities. ‘European Airline Privileges’ entitles AmEx cardholders to buy two business class tickets for the price of one business class full-fare ticket. The new program is initially being launched in the UK and Italy during April to over 300,000 ‘Platinum’ and ‘Gold’ cardholders via direct mail, statement inserts and joint offer mailings. AmEx indicated this morning it will launch the program in the other participating markets later this year. Participants in the ‘European Airline Privileges’ program include Lufthansa, Alitalia, Air France, Aer Lingus and Sabena. The new program is an extension of AmEx’s current ‘International Airline Program’ which was developed in 1996 across Europe for American Express’ ‘Gold’ and ‘Platinum’ cardholder base. A similar program was launched in the USA during 1993 for AmEx ‘Platinum’ cardholders. In Europe the ‘IAP’ has generated more than $15 million (Euro 16.2 million) in airline ticket sales each year.
Competition among frequent hotel guest card programs is heating up after yesterday’s unveiling of the new ‘Starwood Preferred Guests’ program. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., which now owns the Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis/Luxury Collection, Four Points, Caesars, and W hotel chains, replaced the former ‘Sheraton Club International’ and ‘Westin Premier’ program with the new program. Starwood declared its new program the “most flexible and rewarding program of its kind” however it drew prompt criticism from competitors. (see CardFlash story #3 for today). Nevertheless public interest in the new program was too much for Starwood’s Web site. The Web channel detailing the program crashed last night and was still unaccessible early this morning. Among major features of the ‘Starwood Preferred Guest’: no blackout dates and no point expiration dates for active members, plus instant rewards and on-line award redemption. Under the new program it will typically take an average of three stays, or $1,000 in spending, for members to earn their first free weekend night. Members can also instantly redeem points on-line, track account information and access ‘Starwood Preferred Guest’ special offers via a special Web site. Travelers can also enroll in the program via the Internet and create their own personalized web page based on their travel preferences. Starwood cardholders may also transfer ‘Starpoints’ to most major airline carriers in any increment as well as an unlimited number of transfers within each membership year. Starwood has more than 550 participating hotels in over 60 countries. For details on the new program visit CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com]).
MasterCard International was one of ten companies, two individuals and a public relations agency honored in Boston yesterday for their commitment to communications measurement and research. The ‘Delahaye Circle of Excellence’ honored MasterCard with an award in ‘International Measurement’. MasterCard began evaluating its domestic public relations efforts two years ago. After a successful international pilot program in 1996, it launched its global competitive measurement program at the beginning of 1997 and has since expanded it to cover 17 individual markets. MasterCard uses the measurement to track the effectiveness of programs in different regions and to ensure message consistency throughout its global markets.
VISA International announced from London yesterday it has become the preferred payment card for Sydney, New South Wales and Australia. The Sydney agreement also covers the ‘2000 Olympic Games’. Specifically VISA signed marketing partnership agreements with the Sydney Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tourism New South Wales and the Australian Tourist Commission. As part of the agreements VISA will offer customized Australia Travel packages exclusively to cardholders, and discount rates for travel, hotel, dining and purchases via VISA’s ‘International Destination Program’.