First Data electronic commerce and payment processing converted National Bank of Kuwait’s credit card portfolio to “FirstVision” global issuing and consumer finance processing solution, in conjunction with the renewal of First Data’s processing contract with the bank for an additional five years. The contract stipulates First Data will continue to provide a range of processing solutions and fraud management services to the bank for its credit card portfolios. National Bank of Kuwait has been a First Data client since 2001 and conversion to FirstVision has enabled the bank to expand further beyond its domestic market and offer credit cards in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
First Data Corporation electronic commerce and payment processing has converted the National Bank of Kuwaitâs credit card portfolio to its own “FirstVision” global issuing and consumer finance processing solution. With this conversion comes the renewal of First Data’s processing contract with the bank for an additional five years. The contract stipulates First Data will continue to provide a range of processing solutions and fraud management services to the bank for its credit card portfolios, allowing the bank to expand further beyond its domestic market. With this, NBK plans to offer credit cards in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Fifth Third Processing Solutions has signed contract
extensions for merchant processing services with the MA-based Uno Restaurant Holdings and
OH-based Damon’s International.
Uno has signed a contract extension with
Fifth Third Processing Solutions for its credit and debit card processing.
Damon’s has renewed its credit card processing
agreement. Fifth Third is a premier full service payment solutions provider that offers
servicing solutions and product engineering for financial institutions’ and
retailers’ credit card, debit card, merchant and private label programs
processing over 28.4 billion ATM and point of sale transactions and over $292
billion in debit
and credit card sales volume annually.
National Commercial Bank (NCB) has launched its “Visa Platinum Credit
Card” Sharia-compliant premium credit card. Available in a Bonus (Cash
Back) and Amyali (air miles) scheme, the “Visa Platinum Credit Card”
allows cardholders to choose which scheme best works for them. The new
Visa also offers travel insurance benefits of up to USD 200,000; access
to Visa “Global Assistance Services”; and the benefits of Visa
acceptance at over 30 million outlets in 170 countries around the world.
National Commercial Bank (NCB) first commenced operation in December
1953 with paid-up capital of SAR 30 million and now operates 1393
ATMs and 12,806 POS terminals.
The Western Union Company global payment services has appointed Wulf von
Schimmelmann to its Board of Directors to serve on the corporate
governance and compensation and benefits committees. To serve at least
until the next annual election of directors, with this development, the
board now consists of 10 directors. Currently serving as Chair of the
Supervisory Board of Deutsche Postbank; a member of the Supervisory
Board of Deutsche Telekom; a director of Accenture Ltd; a member of the
Supervisory Board of Maxingvest; and as Chair of the Supervisory Board
of BAWAG P.S.K., Schimmelmann was the CEO for Deutsche Postbank from
1999 to June 2007. During his service, Deutsche grew to become the
largest retail bank in Germany with almost 15 million customers.
Additional experience prior to 1999 includes his time as a member of the
Board of Managing Directors at BHF-Bank in Frankfurt am Main, as a board
member at Landesgirokasse-Bank in Stuttgart and as a partner at McKinsey
With Sub-Saharan Africa having received nearly US$10.8 billion in
remittances in 2007, Zain Middle East/African mobile operator and
Western Union have partnered to deliver mobile money transfer services
across the region through the “Zap” platform. Offering Zain users a
range of mobile phone transactional services in eventually 22 markets,
“Zap” allows users to interact with bank accounts, top-up or transfer
airtime, remit funds, pay bills and checkout in the grocery store. Given
a total of US$400 billion in remittances were sent in 2008, “Zap” fund
recipients can cash out through at more than 12,000 agent locations in
East Africa, Zain is the 4th largest mobile network in the world with
commercial presence in 24 countries to serve 64.7 million active
customers and Western Union global agent network consists of more than
334,000 locations in 200 countries.
Security provider Thales has tapped Michelangelo Neri as Division
Country Director in the UAE and will
coordinate all marketing and sales activities, for
Thales’s Security Solutions and Services business in the UAE. He is also
Director of the Integration Center based in Dubai in charge of Thales’s
different security programs in the Dubai and Doha airports, as well as the
Dubai Metro project, and Abu Dhabi Oil & Gas projects.
Michelangelo Neri joined Thales in January 2007 and most recently became
Director of Thales’s Dubai Integration Center, the company’s second largest
Integration Center within its Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) network.
Employing more than 200 people, it serves the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and
The Western Union Foundation has donated $2
million to communities in 19 countries through the “Our World, Our Family”
signature cause program, culminating in $9.1 million in grant monies
awarded in 2008 and marking a 67%increase in grants paid from 2007. The
” Our World, Our Family” program is a five-year, $50 million
signature program designed to provide communities with the skills,
knowledge and resources essential to breaking the cycle of poverty. The
framed around four areas: Our World Gives; Our World Learns; Our World
Strives and Our
World Speaks. Through grant awards, each program area is given equal
towards helping families across the globe continue stay connected, overcome
barriers and realize their dreams. In 2008, the Western Union
Foundation awarded grants to 276
organizations in more than 75 countries and territories, supporting
causes from natural
disaster relief to fostering educational opportunities in communities
around the world.
Giving in 2008 focused on disaster relief grants, direct donations to
organizations and Agent Giving Circle grants or direct donations from
its Agents worldwide.
ATM software provider Level Four and Innovation Systems announced that
National Bank of Kuwait, one of the largest banks in
the region, has gone live with “ATM Developer” to deliver greater
automation across its network of over 180 ATMs to
maximise the potential of the ATM by quickly introducing innovative ATM
services to its customers. The bank also benefits from the automation of
procedures to ensure increased network uptime at the ATM, its most
touch-point. Level Four installed “ATM Developer” at the bank’s IT
centre in Kuwait
City. The application includes a highly visual and intuitive user
making it easy for the bank’s staff to use, positively impacting
productivity levels. National Bank of Kuwait required an
automated testing and development application capable of streamlining
the bank’s process
and reducing he time to market for new products. With “ATM Developer”,
the bank has created a
virtual ATM environment to eliminate the need for expensive ATM hardware
labs and introduce more thorough and accurate testing processes.
Visa and HSBC have expanded their global
relationship to include new debit card programs throughout Asia Pacific
and the Middle East. Under terms of the agreement for Asia Pacific,
Visa will become HSBC’s exclusive partner for new consumer debit
products, with HSBC issuing more than 10 million Visa debit cards in
Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines,
Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. HSBC Middle East
Limited will begin issuing new Visa-branded debit
cards by early 2009 in eight countries including United Arab Emirates,
Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Pakistan. Some of these
approximately one million new cards will also be Visa payWave-enabled,
allowing cardholders to make contactless payment transactions quickly
and securely at the point of sale and will also be able to support
services such as loyalty programs for cardholders, bringing more
convenience and added value to debit transactions.
Petrol retailer OK-Q8 and EDB have signed a five-year agreement representing total
contract value over this period of around SEK 80 million for services related to card issuance and internet card
banking services. In addition, EDB and OK-Q8 have agreed to investigate
opportunities to expand the scope of the contract into other areas
during the five-year period. The contract provides for EDB to to issue all cards for OK-Q8
Finance’s customer portfolio in the Swedish
market. The cards currently issued to these customers can only be used
for payments at OK-Q8 and its partners, totalling 900 locations. In
addition, OK-Q8 will begin to issue a new OK-Q8 VISA card, which will
allow its customers to use their cards throughout the Visa network. EDB
has developed a new state-of-the-art card services platform to provide
the basis for its products and services in this area, and OK-Q8 will be
the first of EDB’s customers to start using the new platform.
OK-Q8 is one of the largest payment card issuers in Sweden, with 1.3
million customers and 1.6 million cards in use.
Jet Airways’ “JetPrivilege” flyer program has signed agreements for the
conversion of points-to-airmiles with Tata and SBI cards. With these
agreements, both Tata and SBI credit cardholders, who are “JetPrivilege”
members as well, can convert card points to JPMiles, with their “Empower”
and “Platinum Card”, “SBI Gold Card” and “SBI International/Domestic”
cards, respectively. This development is part of a recent Jet Airways
initiative to provide members with a more extensive list of opportunities
for earning “JPMiles”. With this airmiles program, travelers can redeem
points for free flights to destinations around the world.