Cardlytics Launches Targeted Promo Solution

Loyalty and reward provider Cardlytics has launched more than 50
national retail merchants across its transactional marketing platform
to deliver targeted promotional offers to consumers through their
online banking statements. Cardlytics’ platform allows banks and retailers to combine resources in targeting consumers using any combination of parameters, including merchants and merchant categories where someone shops, how much they spend, and where they live. Offers are delivered to consumers through their online banking statement, with all customer data held private and secure within each financial institution, thus protecting each user’s personal information and anonymity. The full-service solution targets customers based on debit or credit card transaction data, then tracks the delivery, activation, purchase and fulfillment of retail offers, allowing retailers to directly assess their online advertising’s impact on actual purchases – whether they occur online or in-store. Cardlytics’ multi-channel approach includes online banking, SMS, e-mail, mobile, online-mall and social networks.

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Discover Renews IBM IT Service Agreements

Discover has renewed its IT service with IBM as part of an extended outsourcing agreement. As part of the agreement, IBM will continue providing management and support for some of Discover’s most critical IT operations. IBM will make investments in software, processing, and storage technologies that will result in improved operations, efficiency, reporting and compliance.

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Papa John’s Introduces CashStar E-Cards

Interactive gift card provider CashStar has teamed with pizza delivery chain Papa John’s to offer virtual gift cards.
Papa John’s online gift cards can include a personalized message and be
emailed to the intended recipient, either immediately or at a later
scheduled date. The online gift card arrives via e-mail with a link to
access the gift card and can be redeemed directly online with Papa
John’s convenient online ordering. Papa John’s operates and franchises more than 3,400 delivery and
carryout pizza restaurants worldwide. In conjunction with Papa John’s
digital initiatives for reaching and interacting with customers,
including online and mobile web ordering, the new online gift card
option is available on the company’s website.

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Card Activation Scores 10 Settlements

Chicago-based POS technology provider Card Activation Technologies has made significant progress as it continues to seek
licenses for its patent. During 2009, Card entered into separate Settlement and Non-Exclusive
License Agreements with ten major retailer, restaurant and supermarket
chains including their affiliates. The terms of these Settlement and
Non-Exclusive License Agreements are confidential. On September 9, the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois,
Eastern Division, issued an extremely favorable report and
recommendation to Card on claims construction issues concerning its
patent. On October 13, Card Activation retained Stinson Morrison Hecker
LLP, one of the nation’s largest law firms, to assist Orum and Roth LLP
with the prosecution of the company’s patent infringement lawsuits. On
November 3, Card announced that they would file up to 45 additional
lawsuits against major retailers. Card anticipates filing additional
lawsuits to protect and enforce its patent during 2010.

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Credit Card Performance Should Improve Next Year

With the unemployment rate expected to peak next summer coupled with
the gargantuan attrition in the credit card market during 2009,
delinquency rates will likely start to fall in 2Q/10 and charge-offs
should start to decline in 3Q/10. During the third quarter credit card
delinquency (30+ days) stood at 5.8% while charge-offs averaged 9.4%,
according to CardData. Based on the monthly data released during the
fourth quarter, delinquency is expected to come in at 6.1% and
charge-offs at 10.5%. There is a consensus the unemployment rate will
peak at 10.3% for the second quarter of next year and slowly taper off
during the second half of 2010. Considering that the majority of the bad
credit has left the market, over 100 million accounts have been closed
during the recession and that credit card debt has declined 7.3% this
year, it is likely that delinquency will peak at 6.2% in the first
quarter and charge-offs will peak at 11.1% in the second quarter. Also,
the first quarter historically carries artificially high delinquency and
charge-off ratios following the holiday volume pay down. Nevertheless,
the two metrics will likely begin a very slow downward trend throughout
2010 as the very slow recovery continues. For the latest performance
metrics, including November 2009, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

U.S. CREDIT CARD METRICS
(Past, Present & Future)
Unemployment Delinquency Charge-Offs
1Q/08: 5.1% 4.1% 5.6%
2Q/08: 5.5% 4.0% 6.0%
3Q/08: 6.1% 4.4% 6.2%
4Q/08: 7.2% 5.2% 6.4%
1Q/09: 8.5% 5.9% 8.7%
2Q/09: 9.5% 5.6% 9.7%
3Q/09: 9.8% 5.8% 9.4%
4Q/09: 10.1% 6.1% 10.5%
1Q/10: 10.2% 6.2% 10.8%
2Q/10: 10.3% 6.0% 11.1%
3Q/10: 10.2% 5.8% 10.9%
4Q/10: 10.1% 5.6% 10.9%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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FCAC & CARD REGS

New regulations on credit cards and fixed- and variable-rate loans and
lines of credit, will come into force on January 1, 2010 to insure
better communication of information for consumers of financial products
and services offered by federally regulated financial institutions.
Effective January 1, 2010, the legislation will require a summary box
containing all prescribed information to clearly indicate interest
rates, grace periods and fees; a consumer consent on credit limit
increases; no over-the-limit fees due to holds; new federally-regulated
debt collection practices; and in most cases all borrowers on a joint
loan must receive the information documents. The Financial Consumer
Agency of Canada (FCAC), encourages consumers to be familiar with these
regulations and those effective September 1, 2010, which disclose
consumers will no longer pay interest on new purchases for 21 days after
the statement date if you pay your balance in full by the current
month’s due date; institutions have to apply any payments made in excess
of the required minimum to the balance with the highest interest rate
and to other balances in decreasing order of interest rate or on the
relative proportion of each; credit card statements issued by federally
regulated financial institutions must indicate how much time it will
take you to pay the current balance in full if you pay only the required
minimum each month.

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Blackhawk Network Offers Virtual Cards

Gift card provider Blackhawk Network has launched the “E-Gift Cards” virtual gift card program.
Visitors to GiftCardMall.com select the “Retailer E-Gift Card” and customizes the
gift with the amount to give in a themed greeting design, along with a personalized message.
The recipient will receive the “E-Gift Card” within hours, including greeting card
message, via email, thereby allowing the recipient to use it right away.
Recipients can either print out their card to use as payment for
in-store purchases or type in the card number for online purchases, just
as they would when using a credit card or any prepaid card. GiftCardMall.com has unveiled a
new site design, making it easier for consumers to find the perfect gift
card while providing expanded gift card options and services during the
checkout process. In addition to the already-popular gift card
customization features on the site, new customization options such as
premium greeting themes are now available to accompany gift cards sent
through regular mail. GiftCardMall.com has grown to feature a wide variety of gift cards from
Blackhawk Network’s award-winning Gift Card Mall as well as exclusive
offerings for holidays and occasions throughout the year.

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Credit Card Solicitations Drop to 1.8B in 2009

Based on figures through the third quarter it appears the total number of credit card direct mail solicitations will come in at 1.8 billion, compared to 3.9 billion in 2008. According to CardWatch.com the 54% decline is driven by the new “CARD Act” regulations, higher underwriting standards and poor response. In the third quarter the number of solicitations dropped 70% year-over-year and 7% sequentially. However, there was clearly a pick up in mail activity in the fourth quarter as issuers launched new “Card Act” compliant products and sought new customers for the holiday season. According Mintel Comperemedia the estimated number of credit card solicitations for the third quarter was 391 million, compared to 419 million for the second quarter and 1337 million for 3Q/08. In October issuers sent 180 million credit card offers to U.S. consumers. This was the highest monthly total tracked since December 2008 and it’s the first significant rise in mail volume all year. During October Chase and American Express sent the most credit card offers. For a library of scans of direct credit card offers visit CardWatch.com. (CF Library 11/2/09; 11/20/09)

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INTELLECT GUB

Bank Sohar has signed up for Polaris Software Financial
Technology’s “Intellect GUB 10.0” Debt Management solution, allowing
control on receivables and to minimize delinquent accounts. The
“Intellect GUB” Debt Management Solution (Intellect Collect) is a
comprehensive debt collections system that enables Banks to design
strategies to collect outstandings from their customers and effectively
control the rising tide of delinquencies. Intellect Collect is a single
platform that facilitates customer based collections across multiple
products, and has been implemented in four leading banks in the Middle
East region. Polaris will follow Accelerated Implementation Methodology
(AIM) to enable the business ‘go live’ in 8 weeks.

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2009 Holiday Retail Sales Still Running 1% Lower

Based on data thus far it looks like overall retail sales will be down about 1% for the holiday season. However, e-commerce holiday sales are up about 4% and debit card usage is up 10%. Americans are projected to use general purpose credit/debit cards and store credit cards to charge about $126 billion in retail purchases this holiday season, compared to $136 billion last year and $148 billion in 2007. The figures exclude travel, everyday and business expenses. The National Retail Federation forecasts that sales will decline to $437.6 billion for 2009, compared to $447.5 billion last year. According to comScore e-sales peaked on Tuesday, December 15th instead of “Cyber Monday” December 14th. Total e-sales of $913 million set an individual day spending record, the first such day to surpass the $900 million threshold. According to the Chase Paymentech “Cyber Holiday Pulse Index,” which tracks top retailers only, peak sales of $339.5 million hit on Wednesday, December 16th.

Holiday Card Volume
(four weeks ending 12/25)
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Y/Y Gain
Credit: $ 77.1 b 85.6 92.2 77.1 63.5 -13.6%
Debit: $ 28.2 b 35.3 41.0 45.6 50.2 +10.0%
Store: $ 14.7 b 13.9 15.1 13.0 11.8 – 9.2%
TOTAL $120.0 b 134.8 148.3 135.7 125.5 – 7.5%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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CardTrak.com Names Ten Best New Cards of 2009

With new credit card rules in place the top issuers launched more consumer and business friendly products in 2009. Among the best new card products of the year is a truly “green” card and a debit card with discounts for teens. CardTrak.com has compiled a list of the ten best new cards of 2009. And the winners are: 1. Gconomy Visa; 2. Chase Ink; 3. BofA Basic Visa; 4. Citi Forward; 5. Chase Sapphire; 6. AmEx Gold Premier Rewards; 7. Discover Current; 8. U.S. FlexPerks Visa; 9. Priceline Visa; and 10.BBVA Compass ClearPoints. The “Gconomy Visa” offers points for each purchase, donates a portion of every purchase to a “green” schools program, and rewards households for recycling. The Chase “Ink” card is a new business card portfolio that includes four distinct cards and marks the issuer’s first introduction of a pay-in-full charge card. The “BankAmericard Basic Visa” has simplified rates and terms offering the same APR for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. The “Citi Forward” credit card lowers the purchase interest rate by a quarter percent when cardholders use credit wisely and rewards them with points has emerged each billing period for paying on time and staying under the credit line has emerged. The Chase “Sapphire” is targeted at the upper 15% of U.S. households in income and offers no preset limit, offers personalized customer service and is linked Chase’s “Ultimate Rewards” program. The American Express “Premier Rewards Gold Card” offers the opportunity to earn triple “Membership Rewards” points on airfare purchases, double points on gas and grocery purchases, and one point for all other purchases. The Discover “Current” card isa debit card for teens that offers members-only in-store coupons and online discounts at hundreds of merchants. U.S. Bank “FlexPerks Travel Rewards” earns double points for spending on gas, groceries or airline purchases – whichever is highest for the customer during the month as well as double points on most cell phone related charges. Barclays launched the “priceline.com Visa” enables cardholders to use their points as soon as they post to the account (typically within two days). Sunbelt-based BBVA Compass introduced the “BBVA Compass ClearPoints” credit card that features clear, simple and transparent terms and conditions, as well as pricing terms that will never change.
For more details visit CardTrak.com.

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