Citi Cards Launches Mobile Shopper Application

With the number of people seeking local information on their mobile device having grown 51% last year, mostly through downloaded apps, Citi Cards is making available its “Citi Shopper.” Available in a free “beta version” location-based mobile application through citishopper.citi.com, “Citi Shopper” delivers local offers and deals on products from electronics to apparel; compares prices; provides maps to nearby retailers; as well as reminds Citi cardmembers of offers and benefits specific to their Citi credit cards. It searches inventory information of over two billion products to find products and offers at over a thousand retailers including some of your local favorites, compares prices, and maps the nearest stores where the searched item is in stock. With it, consumers can browse deals and promotions at major local and online retailers; be reminded of Citi credit card-specific rewards, benefits and offers; and sort products by price or distance.

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Spartanics Announces On-Site Plastic and Paper Cards’ Materials Testing

Card manufacturers will be able to obtain immediate on-site no-cost
materials analyses of suitability for finishing, marking and other
detailing with laser die cutting from Spartanics Laser Die Cutting
Materials Applications Laboratory engineers attending a series of
worldwide trade events in the coming year. Card manufacturers are
invited to bring samples to these various events, and for many to also
obtain free passes to the events from Spartanics. Spartanics laser die
cutting applications engineers have extensively tested laser die cutters
with varying laser strengths and software configurations with a wide
range of materials including: plastic films, polyesters,
polycarbonates, foams, textiles, paper, adhesive tapes, non-wovens,
wood, laminates, pressure-sensitive substrates, magnetic materials,
polypropylene, polymides, abrasives, rubber, among others.
Formalization of the Applications Laboratory signals Spartanics intent
to systematize this growing knowledgebase for cross-industry access.
The Mobile Spartanics Laser Die Cutting Applications Laboratory for
Materials Research will provide no-cost detailed engineering analyses
of maximum material thicknesses that can be handled with these different
substrates, including brand name materials, correlated to laser power
and other variables.

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SCA Releases The FICAM Roadmap White Paper

The Smart Card Alliance has released a paper summarizing and highlighting key concepts
in the new government document, “Federal Identity, Credential, and
Access Management (FICAM) Roadmap and Implementation Guidance.” The FICAM document outlines several new agency initiatives and numerous
supporting activities that agencies must complete in order to align with
the government-wide identity, credential and access management (ICAM)
framework. Members of the Alliance’s Identity and Physical Access
Councils reviewed, extracted and summarized the content from the
original document, following the same outline and flow. The summary
includes the FICAM segment architecture, as-is and target use cases, and
roadmap and initiatives for federal implementation of the FICAM
architecture. Smart Card Alliance Identity and Physical Access Council members
involved in the development of “FICAM in Brief” included: AMAG Technology;
Cogent Systems; Datawatch; Deloitte; Diebold; Gemalto; HP Enterprise
Services; Hirsch Electronics; IBM; Identification Technology Partners;
IDmachines; IQ Devices; Probaris; Roehr Consulting; SCM Microsystems;
Shane-Gelling Company; Tyco/Software House; Defense Manpower Data
Center; U.S. Department of State; VeriSign, Inc.; XTec, Inc.

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Barnes& Noble.com Offering Free $50 Gift Card

Barnes& Noble is offering a limited time promotion for all NOOK purchases for
$259 to come with a free $50 Barnes& Noble gift card.
NOOK is the most full-featured eBook Reader on the market and the
perfect gift for the dad who loves to read anytime, anywhere. With NOOK,
dads can instantly stock up on their favorite digital reads, choosing
from more than one million eBooks, magazines and newspapers in the
expansive Barnes& Noble eBookstore, sample eBooks for free and lend
eBooks to friends.

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RBC REWARDS

A recent RBC poll shows 33% of Canadian cardholders prefer cash back over any other type of incentive, including merchandise (27%) and travel rewards (23%). RBC’s payment survey found that 58% of Canadians hold a credit card with some type of reward program with 88% who say they pay for travel using their card and 53% use it to pay for retail purchases. Fifty per cent indicate they use their credit card for dining, entertainment or gas purchases, while 34% use it to pay for drug store purchases. The survey also found Canadian families spend on average $628 at the grocery store each month and 53% of shoppers use their debit card at the cash register, with the others split between using cash (21%) and credit cards (26%) to pay for groceries.
The “RBC Cash Back card” offers 1% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back on grocery store purchases until December 31, 2010 The RBC Cash Back card tracks rewards on the cardholder’s monthly credit card statement and pays out the cash back in January each year. A cardholder who spends about $500 a month on groceries, and $500 on other monthly purchases using their RBC Cash Back card for the remainder of this year would earn over $200 by next January.

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MasterCard PayPass Pilots Warsaw Metro

OTI’S ASEC S.A.,
one of the operators of the ticket vending machines in the Warsaw
vicinity, SIX Pay, a European player in the acquirers market, and
MasterCard have started tests of contactless payment cards using
MasterCard PayPass technology. The people of Warsaw have been provided with the option to
make quick non-cash payments for their tickets in all OTI subsidiary,
ASEC’s machines located in the Metro stations and other locations in Warsaw.
Currently in Poland PayPass payments are accepted, for example in:
McDonald’s, Coffee Heaven, Zabka, Kolporter, Empik, Sferis and in Shell
petrol stations. Additionally, contactless payments can be made in such
music festivals as Smooth Festival, Open’er Festival, Coke Live Music
Festival, Selector Festival and Off Festival. Moreover, contactless
payments are accepted in selected Extra Class football league stadiums.
The acceptance network of PayPass technology is constantly growing in
Poland and, according to the financial forecast of Polasik Research, the
network can increase up to 15,000 service and retail locations by the
end of this year. Around the world there are currently nearly 75 million
PayPass cards and devices accepted in 230,000 service and retail locations.

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NagraID Security Launch MasterCard Display Cards

NagraID Security display cards passed MasterCard’s approval process, meeting required levels of durability, safety and compliance to ISO standards required for the commercial launch of banking cards and the introduction into MasterCard’s brand standards and rules. The Debit and Credit MasterCard Display Card looks and feels like a normal credit or debit card but comes with an additional small display and a button that enables card holders to use the same card for standard banking payment functionality and to generate second-factor one-time passwords (OTPs) for added authentication.

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Hua Hong Implements Agilent RF Device Modeling

Hua Hong NEC Electronics Company has successfully used Agilent’s “Integrated
Circuit Characterization and Analysis Program (IC-CAP” software to
develop an RF device modeling platform for 0.35µm and 0.18µm RF
semiconductor devices. Hua Hong NEC developed its customized RF modeling platform using the
advanced capabilities available in the IC-CAP software. One such
capability, GUI Studio, allowed the company to directly generate
well-documented, simplified and intuitive extraction routines that
significantly cut time required for a complete modeling process. Agilent’s IC-CAP platform is a flexible device-modeling program that
delivers powerful characterization and analysis capabilities. The
resulting RF modeling platform included proprietary de-embedding, RF
model extraction techniques, corner simulation setups, and a
quality-assurance script. The platform is ideal for today’s semiconductor modeling processes for DC
and RF applications. IC-CAP provides efficient and accurate extraction
of active device and circuit model parameters.

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VISA Q1

An annual report released by Visa that analyzes cardholder spending for the past two years.
saw a 34% increase in South Africa for inbound tourism spending during the first quarter of 2010, and anticipates additional growth opportunities around the 2010 FIFA World Cup, according to Tourism Outlook: South Africa. “VisaVue Travel” data indicates that South Africa weathered the economic headwinds which impacted international tourism during 2009 better than most countries around the world. While many countries saw double-digit drops in inbound tourism spending, Visa cardholder spending by international visitors to South Africa decreased only 2.7 percent from $1.84 billion in 2008 to $1.79 billion in 2009. Despite a challenging climate in 2009, 2010 has already shown reasons for the country’s continued optimism. During the first quarter of 2010, Visa cardholder spending increased to nearly $566 million, up from $423 million during the first quarter of 2009. The top contributors to South Africa’s inbound tourism spending in 2009 include: The United Kingdom (26%), United States (15%), Mozambique (5%), Germany (4%) and France (4%). While travelers from Western Europe and the U.S. continue to be the strongest contributors to South African tourism, significant increases in spending by cardholders from emerging markets is indicative of South Africa’s growing stature as a tourism destination. Visa data revealed double- and triple-digit growth in spending by cardholders originating from: Malawi (168%), Mozambique (118%), Angola (115%), China (28%) and Botswana (18%). This significant growth can also be attributed to developments in payments infrastructure and increased adoption and use of digital currency by consumers in developing markets.

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Consumers Increase Debit Card Use 10% Since 2008

Debit card issuers saw 10% increase in debit card use between 2008 and 2009, mostly with small ticket transactions. In 2009, 58% of all debit transactions were less than $20. Year-over-year PIN debit transaction grew 13% for the same period with an average ticket size of $41 while signature debit transactions increased 9% with an average ticket of $35. This, according to the PULSE “2010 Debit Issuer Study,” also shows those who conducted at least one PIN or signature POS transaction within the last 30 days performed on average 17.3 POS transactions per month, flat compared to 2009; the percentage of eligible accounts that can be accessed by a debit card remained steady at 73 percent since 2007; and 64% of consumer debit cards are active also steady since the 2008 figure of 66%. With Regulation E in effect, issuers expect 30% of consumers to opt in to overdraft services, but expectations vary according to institution size. Large banks expect 20 to 40 percent of their customers to opt in, while many credit unions and community banks expect a much higher participation rate, with many forecasting that more than 70 percent of customers will opt in.

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Recurly Deploys Intuit Payment Gateway

Self-serve subscription billing management provider Recurly is now offering
subscription billing management with automatic integration to Intuit’s
merchant account and payment gateway service. As part of the promotion through Recurly, Intuit Payment Solutions is
offering businesses incentives to apply for their merchant account and
payment gateway services. Approved merchants receive $100 American
Express Gift Card, or a free copy of QuickBooks Pro ($199 Value), and no
fees for two months. This offering enables
small businesses, who are interested in launching subscription-based
businesses to assemble an end-to-end solution for subscription billing
with payment gateway services, merchant account and automatic
QuickBooks integration in days rather than months.
small businesses can set up a recurring billing system
and start generating recurring subscription revenues. They can easily
assemble an end-to-end solution for subscription billing with payment
gateway services, merchant account and automatic QuickBooks
integration. And Intuit Payment Solutions provides extremely competitive
rates so businesses can launch quickly without paying a premium for
taking a simple approach.

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2009 OD Fees Average $33.36, Highest at Big Banks

Consumers saw an average bank overdraft fee of $33.36 in 2009. For those
who bank with institutions with card portfolios of less than
$100million, they had to pay an average of $30.21 for each overdraft.
Meanwhile, those who elected to go with a larger institution with
portfolios of greater than $100million, were doling out an average of
$36.50 in fees. US over-limit 2009 card fees on portfolios greater than
$100million averaged $1 higher than in 2008, having peaked in September
at $38.01. Compared to September 1999, over-limit fees averaged $24.12.
The peak average of $24.96 in 1999 was in December. For bank portfolios
of less than $100million, over-limit fees in 2009 peaked in December at
$33.99 after having not topped the $30 mark until August. In 1999, the
overdraft fee high was $18.63, also in December. With Regulation E in effect, issuers expect 30% of
consumers to opt in to overdraft services. Large banks expect 20 to 40% of
their customers to opt in, while the smaller banks
expect 70% of their customers to opt in.

$100mm
JAN: $28.05 $35.92
FEB: $28.35 $35.92
MAR: $28.80 $35.93
APR: $28.83 $35.95
MAY: $28.90 $35.98
JUN: $29.30 $36.10
JUL: $29.48 $36.12
AUG: $31.35 $37.75
SEP: $31.66 $38.01
OCT: $31.56 $36.58
NOV: $32.34 $36.90
DEC: $33.99 $36.91
SOURCE: Carddata.com

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