NCO Deploys CRM Platform to Clients

NCO Customer Management, a division of NCO Group, (NCO), has made available its customer relationship management (CRM) platform for its clients. NCO developed this application for a major retailer who partnered with NCO Customer Management to support their new e-commerce initiative. They wanted to harness customer demographic data in a way that turned information into business intelligence that could improve the customer experience. They also wanted to launch their e-commerce strategy in time for the holidays, so they had an aggressive implementation plan. Once NCO clearly established the client’s technical requirements, their IT team built a customized solution in less than 60 days and successfully imported more than 20 million customer records into it.

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MY SURPRISE CARD

Bridgewater Bank and POSATEL INC have partnered to launch the “MY SURPRISE CARD” MasterCard-branded, non-reloadable, prepaid gift card. Available in denominations of $25, $50 and $100 from retailers across Canada, the “MY SURPRISE CARD” will begin to appear in retail outlets across Canada including regional and national gas, convenience, and general merchandise chains just in time for the Holidays. Montreal-based POSATEL INC POS systems provider will design, market and distribute the gift cards to participating retail outlets and provide the electronic system that is used to process card authorizations and purchases while Calgary-based Bridgewater Bank will issue the prepayment cards, establishing procedures, monitoring fraud, and coordinate the settlement processes.

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Arthritis Foundation Offers Tempo Affinity Debit Card

The Arthritis Foundation is now offering its members and contributors an affinity debit card powered by Tempo. Every time Arthritis Foundation debit cards are used to make a purchase, the organization will receive a portion of standard card transaction fees. The cards can be used anywhere Debit MasterCard cards are accepted and also provide cash-back and ATM withdrawal access to the cardholders’ existing checking accounts. Other non-profits that are offering Tempo-powered affinity debit card programs include the Breast Cancer Fund, Greenpeace and Surfrider Foundation. Tempo technology provides a web portal for consumers to apply for and activate cards, as well as track purchases and rewards.

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ADS Appoints New VP & CFO

Alliance Data Systems Corporation loyalty and marketing solutions appointed Charles L. Horn as executive VP and CFO effective December 7th. With extensive accounting experience, particularly in industries with complex accounting policies, and lengthy experience in the management and oversight of auditing and regulatory responsibilities, Horn brings with him a wealth of experience. Previously as CFO for two large publicly traded companies, he has been instrumental in taking the companies public, overseeing myriad acquisitions and re-financings, dividend recapitalizations, and a public debt offering. He has been a driving executive force behind Builders Firstsource, Pier 1, Conquest Industries, and he began his professional career as an audit manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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VISA CARGO

Catering to a world of increased global travel, Abbey International,
owned by Banco Santander, has partnered with Visa to make available its
suite of three cards for its clients, including Gold, Platinum and Visa
Infinite which are available exclusively to Abbey International Gold
current account holders. Offering an exclusive range of benefits
designed to Abbey International’s demanding brief, the Visa Infinite
card has been tailored to give clients enhanced levels of cover and
greater benefits, particularly for a wiser and more discerning
demographic, including an Airport Angel membership offering cardholders
access to over 400 airport lounges and a range of flight related
information services. The Abbey International Visa Infinite card is only
available to those Abbey bank account holders with at least GBP100k on
deposit and if there is over GBP250k in the account, all card membership
fees are waived.

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American Express Taps Ed Jay as New SVP Business Insights

American Express has appointed Ed Jay, previously with Thomson Reuters,
to Senior Vice President, American Express Business Insights.
Jay will lead American Express Business Insights, a line of business within the Global Merchant Services division, drawing on the power and reach of the Company’s global network to help business customers develop better-informed strategies to grow their business. In his most recent position, Jay served as Global Head of Product Management and Development for the $2.4B Investment and Advisory division at Thomson Reuters. He will join the Senior Management Team of American Express Company and will report to Bill Glenn, President, American Express Global Merchant Services.
Prior to his tenure with Thomson Reuters, Jay successfully led information and consulting businesses including co-founding an industry leading strategy and technology professional services firm in Boston. American Express Business Insights provides a range of information offerings and consulting applications from identifying consumer spending trends to geographic expansion to improved marketing and advertising strategies.

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ABBEY VISA

Catering to a world of increased global travel, Abbey International, owned by Banco Santander, has partnered with Visa to make available its suite of three cards for its clients, including Gold, Platinum and Visa Infinite which are available exclusively to Abbey International Gold current account holders. Offering an exclusive range of benefits designed to Abbey International’s demanding brief, the Visa Infinite card has been tailored to give clients enhanced levels of cover and greater benefits, particularly for a wiser and more discerning demographic, including an Airport Angel membership offering cardholders access to over 400 airport lounges and a range of flight related information services. The Abbey International Visa Infinite card is only available to those Abbey bank account holders with at least GBP100k on deposit and if there is over GBP250k in the account, all card membership fees are waived.

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Fiserv Turns Things Around with Vertical Card Format

Fiserv financial services technology solutions has launched its intriguing
vertical-format Visa card. The groundbreaking design option reflects all card
information vertically rather than horizontally, allowing issuers a new way to
showcase there logo. Among several innovations from Fiserv, the vertical design
puts a new, eye-catching spin on the traditional credit card. Other cutting edge
offerings from Fiserv include; “The Card Collection,” an exclusive offering of 78
card designs reflecting a broad range of lifestyle themes, money motifs and
regional images on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ ordering platform to eliminate inventory
carrying; “MyCardCreation,” making it simple and affordable for cardholders to
create cards with their own pictures on them; and “Contactless Cards,” allowing
for maximum convenience and speed with contactless payments. Output Solutions from
Fiserv is a leading provider of business-critical communications to the financial
services and retail markets to reinforce core competency in payments.

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Fitch Sounds an All Clear Signal on US CC ABS

Fitch Ratings has not placed any additional U.S. credit card ABS transactions ‘Under Analysis’. Five hundred and thirty classes of U.S. credit card ABS transactions were designated with a SMARTView date of Nov. 25, 2009, indicating that performance has been reviewed and a rating action is not anticipated within the next 30 days. As Fitch receives monthly information on credit card ABS transactions from trustees and servicers, Fitch analysts run the data through various internal algorithms which identify classes of a transaction as possible candidates for upgrade or downgrade. Fitch’s analysts scrutinize the output to decide which deals need further review, which are noted as ‘Under Analysis’. Deals not selected for further review are given a SMARTView date indicating that the performance information has been reviewed as of that date. A transaction may also be designated as ‘Under Analysis’ when a review is undertaken because of a material event affecting the transaction or when a regular, more in-depth periodic review is being performed. While transaction performance is reviewed monthly, Fitch conducts detailed portfolio reviews at least annually.

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OCT LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the Euro Area
increased 0.9% in October to 101.4 (2004 = 100) following a 1.0%
increase in September and a 1.9% increase in August. Five of the eight
components contributed positively to the index in October while the
six-month growth rate slowed slightly in October. The Conference Board
LEI for the Euro Area has increased by 10.5% during 2009 after falling
more than 15.0% between June 2007 and December 2008. Meanwhile, The
Conference Board Coincident Economic Index for the Euro Area, a measure
of current economic activity, declined by 0.1% in October, falling to
101.6 (2004 = 100), according to preliminary estimates, after decreasing
by 0.2% in September and remaining unchanged in August. The rate of
decline for The Conference Board CEI for the Euro Area has slowed
substantially during the past six months. The eight components of The
Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the Euro Area include
Economic Sentiment Index; Index of Residential Building Permits Granted;
Index of Capital Goods New Orders; Dow Jones EURO STOXX Index; Money
Supply (M2); Interest Rate Spread; Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing
Managers’ Index; and the Eurozone Service Sector Future Business
Activity Expectations Index.

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Payments Expert Says Interchange Changes Costly

A new PYMNTS report indicates that the reform of interchange fees could result in higher costs to consumers. David Evans, author and Founder of Market Platform Dynamics new report, entitled “GAO to Congress on Interchange Fee Regulation: Yellow Light”, suggests that if interchange fees are reduced for merchants, consumers could pay higher fees for cards and their rewards could be slashed. Evans states, that “[t]here is nothing that suggests that consumers overall will benefit from interchange fee caps.” PYMNTS.com is a joint venture between Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, and Market Platform Dynamics. It provides a platform for industry professionals to share content related to their latest company and product developments, to tap into the collective commentary and analysis from experts, bloggers and industry pundits, and to interact with industry thought leaders on topics of critical importance to the future of the sector.

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FRB Launches Holiday Credit Card Ed Campaign

The Federal Reserve has rolled out a public service ad campaign to
advise smart use of credit cards by consumers this holiday season.
The advertisements will appear before movie previews at 12 highly
attended theaters in major metropolitan areas from November 27 through
December 3. The ads provide tips for getting the most from credit cards,
including paying on time, staying below the card’s credit limit,
avoiding unnecessary fees, paying more than the minimum payment, and
watching for changes in account terms.

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