More Than 50MM to do Contactless Payments

A new study has found that 57 million consumers will be using contactless payments by 2013. However, progress is slowed because there isn’t sufficient incentive for merchants and wireless carriers to make essential investments that will enable contactless infrastructure development and the evolution to NFC-based mobile payments. Javelin Research says payment card networks must create acceptance among merchants and migration among wireless carriers with a step-by-step contactless-to-mobile conversion strategy that builds on consumers needs for simplicity, integrated financial management, and control.

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Credit Card Solicitations Up 17% in 2007

Direct mail offers sent to current customers increased 17% in 2007 with increases in auto, insurance, telecom and credit card mailers up by 52%, 29%, 22% and 18%, respectively. However, over the same period of time, travel and leisure companies sent 40% of 2007 emails to current customers, while banking and credit card sectors were responsible for another 40%. IL-based Mintel Comperemedia’s media monitoring research says direct mail is holding ground against email as a means of customer communication. However, the estimated number of mailings sent by credit card issuers has dropped another 3% from December, according to the firm. The number of credit card-related mailings sent to consumers topped 900 million during October, but totals have dropped 19% since then. (CF Library 4/3/08)

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AmEx Platinum Card Targets Mother’s Day

American Express’ “Platinum Card Concierge” has compiled a list of this year’s top Mother’s Day gift recommendations which include culinary experiences, one of a kind signature items and adventures in art. Gourmet cooking is not just for chefs or to be found at restaurants anymore. Cardholders can send mom on a culinary journey around the world with a recipe kit passport. Every month a gift box will arrive on her doorstep filled with colorful pre-measured spices and hard-to-find ingredients to make an ethnic dish at home. Mom can also attend a taping of one of the most sought-after cooking shows on television or a culinary demonstration with world-renowned chef Thomas Keller through the “AmEx By Invitation Only” program.

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JP BANK CREDIT CARD

Having obtained government approval, Japan Post Bank has partnered with
Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co to introduce its first credit card. The credit
card, “JP Bank Card”, will offer 2% cashback on service charges when
used to pay utility bills and can be used at the bank’s 233 direct run
outlets and some 20,000 post offices across Japan. Moreover, an annual
membership of 1,312 yen will be accessed, unless at least one utility
bill is paid with the card, which will have 1 million cards issued in
the first year.

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AmEx & Delta Airlines Team for New Credit Cards

American Express has partnered with Delta Airlines for the launch of the “Delta Reserve Credit Card” and the “Delta Reserve Business Credit Card” to provide Delta patrons with flexibility and benefits. For an annual fee of $450, the cards provide such benefits as the ability to earn and share “Medallion Qualification Miles”, priority boarding, free club access and concierge services. Furthermore, when card users spend $30,000 with their card in a calendar year, they are automatically entitled to 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 bonus miles and an additional 15,000 MQMs/15,000 bonus miles when spending reaches $60,000 in the same year. If a cardholder is the “Basic Cardmember” of a domestic American Express consumer “Charge Card” account or of a domestic AmEx small business charge card account that has an annual fee greater than or equal to $55, the annual fee is $395. Consumers will continue to earn “Always Double Miles” on every eligible dollar they spend on Delta purchases, as well as at gas stations, supermarkets, drugstores, home improvement stores, and more. Delta reported a first quarter loss of $6.39 billion due to fuel prices and the steep decline in the company’s market value.

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TIMES CARD

TimesofMoney and Barclays have teamed to launch the “Times Card”
entertainment credit card for Indian consumers. The new fee-free credit
card offers cardholders such features as gift vouchers from retailers
across various industries, a 25% discount on movie tickets, the
opportunity to attend exclusive movie events and a rewards program
providing a choice of redemptions. Barclays financial services provider
operates in over 50 countries with 135,000 employees serving more than
30 million customers around the world while Barclaycard India has over
500,000 customers.

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BCOM POS

Yucheng Technologies has signed agreements with the Beijing Branch of
the Bank of Communications (”BCOM Beijing”) to provide outsourced POS
merchant acquiring services. The services provided to the bank include
merchant acquisition, deployment, installation/maintenance of POS
terminals, merchant training and a 24-hour technical support hotline.
Yucheng will purchase the POS terminals, which are designed to accept
all major payment cards, and share fee gains with BCOM Beijing.
Developments such as this are becoming more profound given 2007
statistics showing 1.47 billion bank cards were issued in China, up 30%
from 2006, and 21% of the country’s consumption value was made via bank
cards, up from 17% in 2006. BCOM has a network of 2,612 branches across
the country and a 2006 total asset value of RMB1,720 billion while
Yucheng Technologies Limited (YTEC) IT service provider employs 1,700
associates and has representation in 11 Chinese cities.

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GLOBALPLATFORM DASM

GlobalPlatform has launched its Device Application Security Management
(DASM) Specification for terminals, consisting of a suite of 3 documents
and allowing for the exchange of information and data when downloading
applications. The 3 documents include the “DASM Concepts and
Descriptions Specification”, which defines roles and responsibilities of
different actors specifying data to be shared, the “DASM Key and
Certificate Management Specification”, which determines what must be
applied to ensure all actors within the environment are verified as
trustworthy, and the “DASM Provisioning Specification, which specifies
the data format required to install an application. GlobalPlatform is a
member driven association that provides smart card infrastructure and
technical specifications for cards, devices
and systems.

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FTC Settles with the Last Debt-Set Defendant

The Federal Trade Commission has settled with the last “Debt-Set” defendant amid allegations of participation in operations that violate federal law by falsely claiming its products can reduce consumers’ credit card interest rates/credit card debt. The suit was brought against the organization in response to media marketing claiming consumers can “Reduce Debt Now” and “Eliminate Harassing Calls”, promising lump-sum settlements with negotiations down to “50 to 60%” of consumers’ total unsecured debt. In fact, consumers were encouraged to enroll in a “debt consolidation program” if their unsecured consumer debt was up to one month overdue, or a “debt settlement program” if overdue longer, which both require upfront payments-contradictory of the organization’s marketing campaign.

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CREDIT CARD COMPARE

Credit Card Compare has launched its credit advice website targeting
Australian consumers. With the country’s total balance of credit and
charge card debt at around the $42.7 billion, over $18 billion in credit
card transactions monthly and an average card debt of nearly $3000 per
Australian household, the website launch comes at an appropriate time.
The Credit Card Compare website makes available credit card reviews, its
“The Credit Letter” blog, personal finance advice, credit card news
items and card products sorted by types, interest, rewards and issuers.

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GlobalPlatform Launches a DASM Specification

GlobalPlatform has launched its Device Application Security Management (DASM) Specification for terminals, consisting of a suite of 3 documents and allowing for the exchange of information and data when downloading applications. The 3 documents include the “DASM Concepts and Descriptions Specification”, which defines roles and responsibilities of different actors specifying data to be shared, the “DASM Key and Certificate Management Specification”, which determines what must be applied to ensure all actors within the environment are verified as trustworthy, and the “DASM Provisioning Specification, which specifies the data format required to install an application. GlobalPlatform is a member driven association that provides smart card infrastructure and technical specifications for cards, devices and systems.

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