Visa Announces General Counsel Succession Plan, Appoints Vice Chairman

Visa announced that Kelly Mahon Tullier will join the company as Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. She joins Visa from PepsiCo, Inc., where she was the Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. Ellen Richey, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Risk Officer, and member of the Executive Committee will continue in those roles through September 30, when she will become Vice Chairman – Risk and Public Policy. The Chief Risk Officer and the Chief Audit Executive will report directly to Ms. Richey. Ms. Richey will also lead a newly created function responsible for Public Policy at Visa, which will include ensuring that Visa continues to drive the future of payment security, being our voice with legislators, regulators and clients globally regarding payment system security, and other similar initiatives combining business and policy issues of strategic importance to Visa. She will also be responsible for coordinating global crisis management at the executive level.

AccountNow Merges With Ready Financial Group

The AccountNow Board of Directors has approved a merger with Ready Financial Group, which will continue to operate using both brand names. Acting CEO will be he who is currently of AccountNow while CEO of Ready will become CMO. Ready shareholders will convert to AccountNow shareholders and elect a representative to serve on the AccountNow Board of Directors. AccountNow has grown its reloadable consumer prepaid debit card business, to more than $2 billion dollars in annual transaction volume, by offering features and benefits traditionally reserved for customers with banking relationships. Reloadable prepaid debit cards were created for the estimated 40 million unbanked and underbanked U.S. consumers.

Global Vision Group Adds a New Consultant

CA-based e-payment consultants Global Vision Group has hired Dawn Greiner Kasten, previously with Bella Pictures,
as Senior Consultant and Marketing Practice Leader.
Kasten is a widely respected business leader with over 20 years of
experience in all facets of marketing in financial services, electronic
payments and internet businesses. For the 4 years prior to joining
GVGroup, she served as Vice President of sales and then Product/Channel
Development at Bella Pictures, a VC-funded startup that delivered
wedding photography nationally via leads generated through the internet.
From 1995-2003, Dawn was with Providian Financial (later WAMU/JP Morgan
Chase) where she rose to Executive Vice President, Head of Marketing.
She began her career at American Express as Senior Director of
Marketing responsible for retention, loyalty, segmentation and product
cross selling for the charge card customer base and holds an MBA from
Harvard Business School and a BA, summa cum laude, in Economics from the
University of Pennsylvania.

PBS Reprises a 2004 Credit Card Documentary Tonight

A new “FRONTLINE” documentary will air nationally tonight on PBS that
focuses on the changes and challenges the U.S. credit card industry
faces in 2009. “The Card Game” is a follow-up to the “Secret History of
the Credit Card” that aired five years ago on PBS. It is a joint project
with The New York Times. Lowell Bergman talked to industry insiders,
lobbyists, politicians and consumer advocates as they square off over
attempts to reform the way the industry has done business for decades.
Among featured guests is Robert McKinley, the founder of Florida-based
CardWeb.com and CardTrak.com. McKinley was also featured on the 2004
documentary and provided much of the research data. The majority of
McKinley’s interview was taped in July in Washington, DC. One of the
most interesting interviews is former Providian CEO Shailesh Mehta who
tells Bergman how his company successfully targeted vulnerable
low-income customers whom Providian called “the unbanked.” Mehta told
“FRONTLINE” “When people make the buying decision, they don’t look at
the penalty fees because they never believe they’ll be late. They never
believe they’ll be over limit, right? … Our business took off. … We
were making a billion dollars a year.” “FRONTLINE” is produced by WGBH
Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Major funding for “FRONTLINE”
is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation.

TSYS Program Solutions is Launched

TSYS has formed TSYS Program Solutions to provide turnkey credit card
programs for regional and community financial institutions.
TSYS will provide the program development, implementation and ongoing
delivery to make it easy for smaller banks to enter or re-enter the
credit card market. The new division will be led by:
Wayne Johnson,, previously with First Data, Andrew Mathieson ,
previously CEO and founder of Fintura Corporation, Patrick Fox ,
previously EVP of business development for Metris Companies,
Fred J. Grigsby III previously chief marketing officer at Fintura
Corporation and George Whitley, previously EVP, Fintura’s Business
Performance and Analysis functions.
TSYS’ solution includes profitability analysis, portfolio management and
campaign and marketing support combined with TSYS’ core capabilities in
data processing, card and statement production, customer care, analytics
and loyalty.

U.S.Bank Nails Vuoto for Retail Payments

U.S.Bank has hired Tony Vuoto, previously president of WaMu’s card
services division, as GM, Retail Payment Solutions.
Vuoto had been with Washington Mutual since
its 2005 acquisition of Providian Financial, where he served as chief
financial officer. His experience also includes 12 years in leadership
positions with Citigroup, including president of its private label card
business and general manager of its German credit card business.
Vuoto earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton University
and an MBA from
the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

Dodd Wants Proposed CFPA to Clean-Up Debit Cards

After news began to circulate that American Express and Discover were dropping over-limit fees rather than offer cardholders an opt-in, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd says he is proud the “Credit CARD Act” is working to clean up the credit card industry. However, he cited overdraft fees on checking accounts and debit cards as one reason for establishing a full-time Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Last month, Dodd asked bank regulators to draft new regulations requiring all interest rate increases that have taken place this year to be subject to a mandatory 6-month review. According to CardTrak, over-limit fees entered the credit card market in the late 1980s after the introduction of general purpose credit cards issued by non-banks. Providian largely developed the over-limit fee practice in the early 1990s. Before 1995 most issuers did not impose an over-limit fee unless the account exceeded the credit limit by 5% to 10% or more. The $1 over-limit policy came into the market in 1995-2000 period and then was further developed into an intra-cycle policy, wherein the fee is charged if the account goes over-limit at any time during the billing cycle as opposed to just the balance at the end of the billing cycle. (CF Library 7/10/09)

Zuora Lands a Former eBay Exec for Ops

CA-based billing service Zuora has hired Elizabeth Tse, previously with
eBay, as its new VP of Customer Operations.
Tse will manage the Professional Services Group, as well as Customer
Support and Care. She will own all customer
operations post-sales, including managing Zuora’s entire portfolio of
service offerings required to ensure the success of the company’s
customers.
Tse will manage the Professional Services Group,
as well as Customer Support and Care. She will own all customer
operations post-sales, including managing Zuora’s entire portfolio of
service offerings required to ensure the success of the company’s
customers. Previously,
Tse worked as VP, Global Billing, Payments &
Collections, at eBay, where she was responsible for overseeing worldwide
billing operations for the world’s largest online marketplace. Tse held
similar executive level positions with Providian Financial (now Chase)
where she was Senior Vice President of New Product Development and
American Express where she was Marketing Manager.

Fitch Ratings Upgrades WaMu Servicer Ratings

Fitch Ratings has upgraded Washington Mutual Bank credit card seller/servicer rating to ‘Proficient Plus’ from ‘Proficient’. The rating is based on the management team’s extensive industry experience, improvements made to its collection strategies and the company’s ability to cross-sell general purpose credit cards to existing bank customers. WMB has a managed credit card portfolio of $27.2 billion and 12.4 million customers as of Dec. 31, 2007. Fitch expects to publish a full report detailing the qualities of WMB that support the assigned ratings.