Mellon Bank signed agreements Tuesday to sell its credit card business to Citibank. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, it is estimated the portfolio sold for a 17% premium. According to CardData (www.carddata.com), Mellon currently has $1.9 billion in card receivables and 800,000 accounts. As part of yesterday’s deal, Citibank will establish an agent bank relationship with Mellon, whereby Citibank will market bank credit cards under the ‘Mellon’ and ‘Dreyfus’ brands. Citibank’s affinity card unit has also signed an agreement with the American Dental Association subsidiary, ADA Financial Services Company, to manage and market an affinity card program designed especially for ADA members. Citi said Tuesday the new version of ‘The American Dental Association’ card will feature ‘TravelersMiles’, which enables cardmembers to earn points redeemable for free mileage in a variety of value-added airline travel programs. On Jan. 15, Mellon announced its plans to sell its credit card business, as well as its mortgage business and network services transaction processing unit. With yesterday’s deal Citibank will reclaim its number one ranking, based on outstandings, from Bank One. Goldman, Sachs and Co. served as adviser on the sale of the credit card business. Both banks expects the acquisition to close promptly.
Associates’ SPS Payment Systems has purchased the NTB National Tire & Battery private label card program. NTB is a division of Sears, Roebuck and Co. SPS says it will re-launch the NTB card.
The International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA) announced the first Card Manufacturing Global Market Survey.
In response to industry demand, the ICMA survey polls card manufacturers on the number of cards manufactured and shipped, the types of cards made-mag strip or smart card- and the application and regional markets involved. ICMA Executive Director Jeffrey Barnhart says, ‘the results will offer insight into a variety of areas in the plastic card industry, including accurate production statistics, major application trends and industry growth.’
The survey was distributed in early January to card manufacturers worldwide, with responses expected to be returned no later than April 1. Once compiled by Arthur Andersen, the prominent international accounting and consulting firm, the survey results will be made available free of charge to all respondents and ICMA members. Non-members and the industry at large may purchase a copy.
OR-based Card Capture Services announced the purchase yesterday of 295 ATM processing contracts from ATM International, Inc. CCS now provides services to an installed base of 6,300 ATMs. Yesterday’s purchase is the second major portfolio acquired in the past two months. In December CCS acquired North American Cash Systems and its contracts with 800 ATMs.
Australian-based Telstra Smart Phonecard technology will introduce a new program aimed at encouraging healthy eating among school students while cutting operational costs at school cafeterias across the country, a market which currently accounts for an estimated A$750 million each year in small change transactions. ‘Munchiecard’ will use the ‘Telstra Smart Phonecard’ system. ‘Munchiecard’ is being introduced first at two schools in Adelaide, South Australia.The group plans to roll it out to more than 200 schools in South Australia as well as other States across Australia over the next twelve months. ‘Munchiecards’ are sold in $20 and $50 denominations.
A highly regarded consumer credit management training program, scheduled for April, is open to executives from all financial institutions. The program, ‘Consumer Credit: Managing Risk and Reward’, is headed by former Citibank and Ford Motor executive David Lawrence. Mr. Lawrence is also the author of ‘The Handbook of Consumer Lending’. The seminar is usually offered internally at major banks such as Bank of America, Chase, CitiGroup and U.S. Bancorp. The program uses case studies, exercises, and a PC-based profit-modeling game to ensure active involvement. The seminar will be held in New York City, April 6-8. For additional information/reservations call (212) 866-2395. or e-mail [[email protected]]
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Nation’s Largest Independent ATM Company Opens Five Regional Sales Offices
Card Capture Services, Inc., a leading independent provider of ATMs nationally, recently opened five regional sales offices in major markets. The new offices are located in Los Angeles, California; Denver, Colorado; Tampa, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; and Portland, Oregon.
Sites were selected based on the company’s long-term sales strategy, says David Grano, CCA president and CEO. ‘The new offices will allow us to support existing clients as well as develop new accounts in the region. We will continue to target both independent businesses and regional chains,’ he said. Opening the regional offices will help the rapidly growing company continue to provide high quality customer support and service to its existing clients.
With the opening of five new offices comes the appointment of five business development managers who will lead each office. John Bunce heads the Northwest territory, which encompasses Oregon, Washington, Idaho and parts of Canada; T. I. Diaz runs the Tampa, Florida office; David Liperote manages the Denver, Colorado office; and Judy Shimizu-Martinez oversees Southern California territory. She also will explore CCS business opportunities in Mexico. Bob Waterloo operates, the Chicago office.
John Bunce knew he wanted to work for CCS shortly after relocating from Chicago to Portland. Now in charge of the Northwest region, Bunce plans to grow the customer base by demonstrating how CCS adds value to carious businesses and financial institutions. ‘My goes is to make sure merchants understand the investment CCS has made to their business, and that they are satisfied with how we honor our obligations.’
‘With CCS, the customer always comes first and our infrastructure is designed to revolve around the customer.’ Say T. I. Diaz, business development manager for the Tampa office. ‘My goal is to build brand-recognition because we’re the good guys, the ones who get it right the first time. We offer a good product, but it’s the behind-the-scenes service for the life of the program we provide that sets us apart from the competition.’
‘I am here to assist banks create and develop their ATM programs, as well as provide merchants solutions for their ATM needs,’ says Dave Liperote, business development manager for the Denver office. Liperote is absolutely passionate about CCS and the services it provides. ‘I want to let people know that we have a physical presence in Colorado. I want to build a face-to-face relationship with the banks and merchants in the region, and to help match CCS products with their business needs.’
One as-yet untapped market is the Hispanic and Asian population of Southern California and parts of Mexico, a cultural territory that trio-lingual Judy Shimizu-Martinez hopes to educate about the advantages of using CCS as its ATM provider. ‘I want to open up the California market and increase brand recognition of CCS. My fluency in Japanese and Spanish will help me reach this audience.’
Bob Waterloo, a native of the Midwest, relocated from Portland to Chicago to take on what he calls, ‘an exciting entrepreneurial opportunity.’ Waterloo’s goal is to increase the presence of CCS in the Midwest by establishing relationships with small and medium-size businesses.
Card Capture Services, Inc. was incorporated in May, 1993 in Portland, Oregon. CCS offers turn-key ATM programs providing transaction processing, machine maintenance, customer service, accounting and reporting to a growing base of 5,770 merchant owned and operated Automated Teller Machines nationwide. The company currently has 119 employees and a nationwide network of 30 independently contracted dealers.
Beginning now, corporate air travelers can enjoy enhanced benefits and a wider range of travel information capabilities with the new US Airways Air Travel Card.
The Air Travel Card, which has always offered such benefits as:
–the ability to pay for all airline travel using only one credit card,
–worldwide card acceptance,
–no initial deposits, annual fees or extra card charges,
–cardless accounts to ensure against unauthorized use, and
–$200,000 worth of travel insurance at no charge,
now has been enhanced to include the following benefits for cardholders:
–management reports to summarize travel patterns and itemize costs,
–simplified record-keeping, payment and cost accounting data,
–customized billing statements to detail and track airfare expenses,
–flexibility to choose how and when to receive monthly billing statements, as well as the number of statements to be received, and the
–ability to receive billing statements electronically. US airways is one of 27 airlines throughout the world that issues the Air Travel Card, which is now accepted by more than 200 airlines worldwide.
There are many ways to contact US Airways. For additional information on the US Airways Air Travel Card, call US Airways at 800-528-3819 or email them at [[email protected]]. Information is available about US Airways flights by contacting your professional travel consultant or calling US Airways at 800-428-4322. You can also visit their Web site at [www.usairways.com].
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Bank of America said Monday it will enable its commercial credit card customers to access the power of a transaction information management system that uses Web-based, point-and-click technology to set new standards of speed, accuracy and cost-efficiency. The online account management and reporting system, ‘EAGLS’ will be available mid-year 1999. ‘EAGLS’ was originally designed with the requirements of the federal government’s General Services Administration in mind. ‘The system has now been modified to meet the needs of private sector customers. ‘EAGLS’ allows users to set up accounts, maintain them, and view regularly scheduled reports, as well as write their own reports with new flexible management information tools. The system also provides superior controls, expedited cardholder setup and on-line access to at least 13 months of data. End-to-end purchasing capability will be delivered through an electronic mall interface, accompanied by electronic reconcilement and EDI capability.
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.
First USA is offering free shipping and handling for items purchased from a variety of premier catalogs. First USA will promote its credit cards as “The Card That Ships It For Free”. Participating catalogs include The Company Store, Harold’s, JCPenney “Best Gifts” Catalog, Omaha Steaks and Orvis. The offer is good for purchases made from 16 select catalogs by December 31. In order to take advantage of the free shipping offer, First USA and Bank One cardholders must use the appropriate purchase codes when the order is placed with the catalog company. Purchase codes can be obtained from First USA Customer Service. The free shipping and handling program covers standard delivery only. First USA will offer the new service to its 1,300 affinity and co-branded programs.
The “World’s Best Way To Pay” is partnering and co-sponsoring “The World’s Leading Cruise Lines”. Carnival Corp. announced Tuesday its first-ever corporate marketing effort for its family of six cruise companies: Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line-Westours, Seabourn Cruise Line and Windstar Cruises. VISA had previously been involved in marketing partnerships with Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line. The relationship will now expand to Carnival’s other brands and will feature exclusive offers for VISA cardholders.Carnival Corp.operates 42 ships under six brand names on worldwide itineraries.