Melbourne-based National Australia Bank – the largest financial institution in Australia and part of the National Australia Bank group, launched a FICS-developed transactional Internet banking suite for its retail customers. Developed as an “Australianized” version of FICS Group’s standard FICS – Retail Internet Banking product, the new system leverages the Java programming language to offer a range of on-line banking services to the Bank’s customers. The product is currently undergoing a trial with staff members and selected customers. National Australia Bank plans to make a full launch of the product later this year.
After being dumped by Chase Manhattan earlier this year, ‘The British Airways VISA’ is back in the market as it was re-launched yesterday with First USA. The new product is loaded with a lot of punch as it offers a waiver of the first year’s annual fee, one of the lowest interest rates of any major airline card and automatic membership in the airline’s ‘Executive Club’ frequent flyer program. The FUSA/BA VISA offers a 4.9% five-month intro rate and a 16.99% go-to rate. The card is available as a ‘Classic VISA’ for $50 per year or as a ‘Platinum VISA’ at $65 per year. New cardmembers who apply for the card via a special toll-free number automatically earn 10,000 bonus miles when they make their first purchase with the card. They will also receive an additional 5,000 miles after their first British Airways flight. The airline co-branded card offers the standard one airmile for each dollar charged.
Advertising Age revealed the winners of this year’s prestigious ‘THE BEST AWARDS’ for advertising and American Express has come up a winner. The awards recognize creative excellence in 21 categories of advertising media produced during 1997. In the financial services category Ogilvy & Mather’s American Express “London” ad won first place. VISA’s BBDO NY-produced “Bob Dole” ad came in second. The best TV commercial of the year was Volkswagen’s “Da Da Da”.
NCR Corp. and TBS First Inc. announced Wednesday a business alliance to offer solutions for the retail entry-level ATM market. Under the new alliance, TBS will contribute its electronic commerce software, sales and marketing experience to enhance this retail ATM solution. In addition, TBS will become the exclusive distributor in Canada, the United States and Latin America of NCR’s current mini-ATM, ‘The Cash’, and other future joint developed co-branded ATM solutions. The distribution network will be made through the TBS Business Partners Plan.
Beginning this month MasterCard is offering consumers a chance to win one of more than 2.2 million ‘Coca-Cola ATM MasterCard Cards’ with cash values of $20, $40 and $100. This is the second year MasterCard has joined Coca-Cola’s annual summer promotion. The ATM cards will be randomly inserted in more than 1.5 billion packages of Coke. Instant win messages will also appear on fountain cups and under the caps of large bottles of Coke. Winning cards can be redeemed at any MasterCard/Cirrus ATM. The MasterCard Coca-Cola card is a key component of ‘The Coca-Cola Card’ summer promotion announced in mid-March. The ‘Coca-Cola Card’ gives consumers more than 20,000 local discount offers from over 9,500 partners.
A highly regarded consumer credit management training program, scheduled for June, is open to individuals 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 NationsBank, Chase Manhattan and U.S. Bancorp. The program uses case studies, exercises, and a computer-based profit-modeling game to ensure active involvement. The seminar will be in New York City, June 16-18. For more information 1-212-866-2395.
The National Hockey League’s newest expansion team, the Minnesota Wild, and First USA, launched a new MasterCard Friday night during the Minnesota State Boy’s High School Hockey Tournament. The Minnesota Wild will begin play in the NHL in the 2000-2001 season. ‘The Minnesota Wild MasterCard’ offers approved applicants a free team T-shirt. Card pricing 4.9% five-month intro APR, thereafter 13.99% fixed APR and no-annual-fee. MasterCard is the official corporate sponsor of the NHL and First USA also issues affinity cards for six other NHL teams.
AlphaNet Hospitality Systems announced this morning it has signed both The Watergate Hotel and Radisson Hotel Toledo for a state-of-the-art credit-card activated business center called ‘The Office’. “The Office” provides hotel guests with business equipment that operates in a self-serve and unattended manner. Besides featuring a personal computer complete with popular business software, Internet and e-mail access as well as printing, faxing and photocopying capabilities, “The Office” provides business travelers with easy access to on-line information through Business Traveler Services and CyberConnections.
MasterCard International and Fortune Brand’s Cobra Golf have joined up to co-sponsor ‘The 1998 Fantasy Golf Challenge’. The ‘Golf Challenge’ consists of ten contests, with each contest running for three to four weeks. The final context will conclude with the PGA Tour Championship in late October. Cobra Golf is supplying $50,000 in golf prizes including its King Cobra line of drivers, putters and bags. MasterCard has agreed to advertise the contest on its web site. The PGA has also agreed to promote the online contest on its Internet leaderboard. The program is being produced by on-line casino operator Winstreak and its sub-division, SHARC. Winstreak is a division of IGN Internet Global Inc..
Chase Manhattan relaunched the cobranded Bell Atlantic card yesterday by converting 70,000 Chase/NYNEX cardholders to the Bell Atlantic program. Bell Atlantic and NYNEX merged last year. Chase acquired the 500,000 cardholder, Bell Atlantic program August 21, 1997 from First Omni Bank. The relaunched card will be called ‘The Bell Atlantic Credit Card from Chase’ and will be issued as a no- annual-fee VISA or MasterCard. Chase indicated yesterday it will convert the existing ‘Bell Atlantic VISA’ cardholders to the ‘Bell Atlantic VISA Card from Chase’ in April. The rewards program connected with the card offers a 1% rebate on purchases, a 2% rebate on Bell Atlantic residential phone services and a 3% rebate on certain Bell Atlantic calling card calls. Rebates are good towards Bell Atlantic residential phone bills. Card pricing includes a 9-month intro rate of 6.9%, a tiered go-to purchase rate of prime +9.4% for balances under $2,500 and prime +7.4% for balances above $2,500. Interest rates for cash advances are prime +11.55%.
A private label discount charge card for The New York Times will launch in May according to Toronto-based Advantex Marketing International, the firm responsible for the overall management of the program. Dining card developer IGT Services will handle the merchant participation. ‘The New York Times TimesCard’ will be available to seven day, full price subscribers in the NY metro area who pay their subscriptions six months in advance.
A highly regarded consumer credit management training program, scheduled for next month, is open to credit 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 NationsBank, Chase Manhattan and U.S. Bancorp. The program uses case studies, exercises, and a computer-based profit-modeling game to ensure active involvement. The seminar will be held in New York City, February 10-12. For information/reservations call 1-212-866-2395.