Citi Retail Services signed a multi-year renewal of its U.S. private label credit card relationship with Sunoco. Citi and Sunoco will continue to improve the customer experience and focus on growing the Sunoco-branded card programs Citi issues in partnership with Sunoco. Citi will also leverage its extensive data analytics capabilities and credit marketing services to further grow sales. Credit products that Citi issues for Sunoco include the Sunoco Rewards Card for consumers and the Sunoco Corporate Card for commercial customers.
Citi Retail Services announced a long-term extension of their successful 22-year credit relationship with Staples, the world’s largest office products company and second largest Internet retailer. Citi Retail Services will continue to provide processing services and customer service support for all of Staples’ private label credit card programs. Staples offers three private label credit programs to meet the needs of businesses and organizations of all sizes, as well as individual consumers: The Staples Business Credit Account with Revolving Terms, the Staples Commercial Billing Account with Net Pay terms, and the Staples Personal Credit Account. Each credit program has no annual fee, and can be used for purchases at Staples stores, by catalog and online at Staples.com.
Shopify ecommerce platform announced its Shopify POS system designed to let anybody easily sell in-store in addition to online. Shopify POS marks a new frontier for Shopify as they branch out from helping people create ecommerce stores, to helping people run and grow businesses across all levels of commerce. Shopify POS uses the same easy-to-use online store management system as its ecommerce platform, allowing merchants to manage all aspects of their business from one place. They can add a product or update inventory on one side of the system, and it is instantly updated across the board – creating an organized, seamless integration between selling online and selling in-store.
Standard Chartered Bank signaled its ongoing commitment to talent development in financial services technology by announcing the 2013 Mobile Ventures Fellowship (MoVe) program, initiated as a part of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore’s (IDA) Company-Led Training Programme (CLT). Standard Chartered announced another 10 traineeships for young Singaporean technopreneurs (MoVeRs) in mobile banking technology. This is intended to expose MoVeRs to the financial services industry and spur their creativity in designing and developing next generation mobile banking services for the Bank’s customers.
MasterCard Advisors released its SpendingPulse index in partnership with Wells Fargo indicating June spending at small retailers was up 8% from the year ago figure, higher than the overall U.S. retail growth rate of 6.9%. Each MasterCard SpendingPulse for Small Business report includes information about current retail sales (excluding autos and gasoline), year-over-year growth in total retail sales (excluding automotive sales), as well as views with and without food services. The report provides valuable information for all stakeholders who support or work with small businesses, including merchants who sell to small retailers, advertisers, and economists.
Citi Retail Services and CITGO Petroleum Corporation announced a multi-year renewal of their long-standing U.S. private label credit card relationship. This extension is the latest in a series of new and renewed partnerships between the recently rebranded Citi Retail Services and leading retailers, such as CITGO, across the country. Citi Retail Services provides consumer and commercial credit card products, services, and retail solutions to national and regional retailers across the U.S. The business services nearly 90 million accounts for a number of iconic brands, including The Home Depot, Macy’s, and Sears, among others.
Citi Retail Partner Cards announced an expanded leadership team. With this, Craig Vallorano has been named Executive VP, Business Development and Strategy; Leslie McNamara has been named Executive VP, Partnership Management; Elisabeth “Molly” McCombe has been named Chief Marketing Officer; and Rick Cunningham joins Citi Retail Partner Cards as Executive Vice President, Business Development. The division also announced that Citi Retail Partner Cards will rejoin Citicorp as an autonomous division of North America Consumer Banking. While operating independently, Citi Retail Partner Cards and Citi Cards will continue to share processes that optimize performance and controls.
Ryanair is set to introduce the’Ryanair Cash Passport’ prepaid MasterCard. Managed by Access Prepaid Worldwide, the Ryanair “Cash Passport” will charge no transaction fees for any payments made on the Ryanair.com website. Additionally, there will be no transaction fees on any UK purchases until March 31st and there will be a purchase fee of GBP6, reimbursed to Ryanair passengers with a GBP6 Ryanair travel voucher. The Ryanair Cash Passport can also be used for ATM withdrawals, online and high-street purchases at more than 32 million locations worldwide (that display the Mastercard Acceptance Mark).
MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse provided summary results for performance of specific U.S. retail industries in April 2011, including luxury, e-Commerce, Apparel, Restaurant and Electronics. Total U.S. Apparel sales recorded their ninth consecutive year‐over‐year gain of 10.4% in April, thanks in large part to this year’s Easter pre‐holiday sales happening throughout April. Among this, family apparel came in at 10.6%, posting the 11th straight positive year‐over‐year growth rate; menswear grew 12.4% and women’s wear was up 7.4%. U.S. e-Commerce was up 19.2%, the category’s 6th straight month of double-digit growth and 21st straight month in positive territory, passing the 15% mark for the second straight month. Electronics online sales, at 9.1% posted their 8th straight month in positive territory.
Summary results for performance of specific U.S. retail industries in March 2011 indicate total apparel sales recorded their 8th consecutive year-over-year sales gains, increasing by 4.4% year-over-year, approximately half of the average growth recorded between September 2010 and February 2011. The Furniture sector posted a modest increase of 2.4%, its 5th consecutive month of positive growth. These findings, according to the MasterCard “SpendingPulse,” also showed e-Commerce continued to grow in double digits, highlighting the continued strength in online sales for a fifth consecutive month of double-digit growth by 16.1%, higher than February’s 13.2% increase. Online Total Apparel grew by 18.7%, marking the 16th straight double-digit increase. The SpendingPulse Luxury Index of high-end restaurants, food stores, department stores and general apparel categories was up 8.5%, the largest year-over-year increase since December 2010, and the sixth consecutive month of growth.
MasterCard Advisors “SpendingPulse” macroeconomic report provided summary results for performance of specific U.S. retail industries in February 2011. Maintaining the positive performance that began in fall 2010, the report indicated total Apparel sales grew by 6% over February 2010, making for seven straight months of growth, albeit the smallest growth since September. Meanwhile, the Furniture sector showed a 4th consecutive month of positive growth with February growing 4.0% compared to February 2010. This is the longest streak of positive growth for the sector since the Spring of 2007, thanks in part to a positive President’s Day holiday. February’s year-over-year growth rates were smaller in most categories than those recorded in the November 2010 through January 2011 period, as e-Commerce saw the most growth for its fourth consecutive month of double-digit growth up 13.2%, slightly higher than January’s 12%. Online Total Apparel grew by 13%, marking the 15th straight month of double-digit increase. There was double digit growth in every sub-category of apparel with the exception of women’s clothing which still grew by 7.7%. Valentine’s Day being one of its most important occasions for Jewelry purchases, Jewelry e-Commerce posted year-over-year growth of 7.2% after January’s 9.2% decline. Electronics e-Commerce grew by 5.4% in February, its sixth straight month of growth, albeit at a slightly lower rate than in January.
MasterCard Advisors “SpendingPulse,” tracking national retail and services sales, in January recorded strong growth. Specifically, Total Apparel sales continued to do well with all sub-sectors posting solid year-over-year increases, mostly in the Teen and Men’s sub-sectors, up 12.8% and 8.1% year-over-year, respectively. The Electronics and Appliances sector posted a year-over-year decline of 3.8% in January following a year-over-year increase recorded in December while the Consumer Electronics sub-category declined by 3.3% and the Appliance sub-category fell sharply by 6.4%. But e-Commerce posted double digit year-over-year increases for the third consecutive month, growing 12%.