allEtronic Powers Up Paperless Card Receipts

allEtronic is offering digital paperless receipts to reduce the energy used to manufacture paper. Cardholders swipe a credit card in the normal fashion and the receipt automatically and instantly appears in a secure and private allEtronic account or by giving a cashier a phone number or email address to receive the receipts electronically. Customers still retain the option of getting paper receipts by just asking for them at checkout. Consumers can link as many credit or debit cards to their allEtronic account as they wish. The allEtronic system only requires the first 6 and last 4 digits of the card number in order to electronically transmit a receipt into the consumers allEtronic account. At no time will allEtronic ever ask for or require the consumer-™s entire card number.

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United Airlines Faces More Card Holdbacks

United Airlines debt ratings are sinking as the airlines grapples with higher fuel costs. Fitch Ratings yesterday revised its “Rating Outlook” for UAL to “Negative” from “Stable.” Ratings for UAL reflect the airline’s highly levered balance sheet, volatile cash flow generation capacity, and ongoing susceptibility to intense fuel and revenue shocks in an industry that remains particularly vulnerable to macroeconomic risk. United’s two primary credit card processing agreements provide for the holdback of cash by processors in certain circumstances. As of March 31, United reported $319 million in credit card holdbacks, classified as restricted cash on the balance sheet. United’s largest processor agreement provides for additional holdbacks, but covenants are linked to those in the credit facility at a reduced threshold. There is no fixed charge coverage test for the next four quarters. For the second processing agreement, there are currently no holdbacks. However, the processing institution could require the posting of cash collateral if certain material adverse changes occur.

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Wells’ Small Biz Index Sinks to a 5-YR Low

According to the latest Wells Fargo Gallup survey, small business owner optimism is at a five-year low with the “Small Business Index” having dropped 35 points since January to reach its lowest level since August 2003. The 35-point drop is the Index’s largest quarterly decrease to date, which has been on a steady 5-quarter decline and is currently at 48, a 66-point drop from the Index’s highest score of 114 in December 2006. Satisfaction among the small business owners, however, was down only 4 points from January to 86% while 94% feel successful in their role as a small business owner.

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Nielsen Consumer Survey Shows a Recession

A recent Nielsen survey indicates that 85% of consumers think the U.S. is experiencing a recession and consumer confidence has dropped 17 points. The survey reveals that 35% of U.S. consumers consider the economy their biggest concern over the next six months. Debt comes in a distant second place at 15%, followed by work/life balance at 8%. International affairs, such as war and terrorism, rank near the bottom of the list (2% and 3%, respectively). Americans-™ view of the economy is bleak with 66% of U.S. respondents have a pessimistic view of their local job prospects over the next 12 months, with 50% saying it-™s not so good, and 16% calling it downright bad. However, 51% say the state of their personal finances remains excellent or good, while just over 36% rank their situation as not so good.

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UATP Teams with Stored Value Solutions

Universal Air Travel Plan has teamed with Stored Value Solutions to focus on supplying gift cards to the global commercial airline community. The airlines will be able to brand the gift cards, making the solution a part of overall strategic objectives for growth by capitalizing on SVS’ solutions to the buying public and using the power of stored value to build brands, generate incremental sales, capture new sales opportunities and forge stronger customer relationships. Stored Value Solutions provides custom gift card solutions for prepaid cards, loyalty and B2B applications for a diverse set of clients including retailers, airlines, casinos and e-tailers and annually processes 625 million transactions for 600 clients and their 580 million cardholders. UATP accounts are accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel by airlines and travel agencies worldwide.

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Postilion Unveils a Voice Banking Solution

Self service banking provider Postilion has deployed its “Voice Banking” solution to offer customers interactive voice response services. By utilizing Postilion, customers can easily tailor programs for individuals and manage customers across all self-service channels, including retail Internet banking, business Internet banking, voice banking, ATM driving, and mobile banking, all integrated on a single platform and administered from a single management portal. Postilion offers flexible, packaged solutions with fast deployment options, ensuring they are able to provide customers with competitive, cross-channel banking services that retain loyalty while also controlling operational costs and increasing employee productivity.

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BBVA & FINACLE

BBVA and Finacle From Infosys have signed a Strategic Global Partnership
for the development of the “Finacle Universal Banking Solution,” the
first phase of which has been initiated. Finacle has a global footprint
across 60 countries and is the winner of The Banker Technology Award and
The Asian Banker IT Implementation Award. Leveraging the Finacle
solution, BBVA is intent on creating a differentiated customer
experience through innovative products, to further improve cost
efficiencies and increase productivity. In doing so, the bank will
implement Finacle core banking, CRM, treasury and wealth management
solutions. BBVA financial services group has over EUR 483 billion in
total assets, 47 million clients, 7,900 branches, approximately 112,000
employees in more than 30 countries and a market capitalization of EUR
55.4 billion while Infosys has over 91,000 employees in over 39 offices
worldwide.

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TNS & CRAZY JOHNS

Phone retailer Crazy John’s has chosen the Transaction Network Services
“Merchant Payment Gateway Solution” hosted recurring billing service to
provide secure card not present payment processing. The TNS solution
provides Crazy John’s with one interface for processing both credit card
and direct debit payments, reducing the cost of multiple vendors for
different payment mechanisms. In doing so, the phone retailer will
implement the PCI-DSS compliant payment solution to maintain the
security of real time card processing, for which all sensitive card data
will be stored off-site. Crazy John’s Australian independent mobile
phone retailer has over 120 retail outlets and 700 employees while
Transaction Network Services (TNS) international communications has 32
offices across 28 countries.

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ROYAL ORCHID PLUS

Citibank’s “Royal Orchid Plus Platinum Select” now offers its Thai
credit cardholders an enhanced air miles program. With the new program,
cardholders can earn one air mile with every Baht 20 spent on the card
and are given a lifetime annual fee waiver when over Baht 300,000 is
spent over a one year period. Additional features provided through this
enhanced program include double mileage rewards for a maximum spend of
Bt30,000 per month, access to the “Evergreen Citibank Royal Orchid Plus
Rewards Miles” program, free limousine service, travel accident
insurance coverage of up to Bt25,000,000, flight cancellation/delay/lost
luggage compensation, a 10% discount from Euang Luang Tour, discounts
with select merchants, hospital discounts, up to 50% more mileage
rewards and a 5% cash back when shopping at the any King Power Duty Free
store.

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JSC & ARBES

The JSC Bank of Georgia has launched its integrated internet and mobile
banking platform allowing users access to a universal remote banking
platform over the internet, telephone and mobile phone made available by
ARBES Czech Republic software provider. The mobile platform allows
clients to remotely transfer funds internationally, complete currency
conversions, online payments, blocking and unblocking cards, to set up
direct debits, to apply for a loan, debit or credit card and open a
deposit account. The mobile banking solution includes four different
applications, including PDA, WAP, Java and SMS banking, meeting the
requirements for all generations of mobile handsets. The Bank of Georgia
has a 33.7% market share by total assets, 131 branches, over 770,000
retail accounts and more than 120,000 corporate accounts.

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CARD ABS 1Q/08

Charge-offs amongst credit card-backed bonds in the U.K. headed north during the first quarter hitting 6.6%, compared 6.3% in fourth quarter and delinquency increased 20 basis points from the prior quarter, reaching 3.6% in March, its highest recorded value for the last nine months. However, the monthly payment rate and yield increased to provide mixed results for the first three months of this year. According to FitchRatings, the yield and the MPR both increased from Q4/07, to 20.5% and 17.3%, from 19.1% and 16.6% respectively. Excess spread also improved across all the series included in the Fitch Excess Spread Index , with only three series trapping excess spread in March 2008; the Fitch ESI values at the end of each quarter increased to 6% from 5.3%.

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