Credit Card Solicitations Drop 19% Since Oct

The estimated number of mailings sent by credit card issuers has dropped another 3% from December. The number of credit card-related mailings sent to consumers topped 900 million during October, but totals have dropped 19% since then. According to Mintel Comperemedia credit card direct mail volume has fallen steadily since October. From December to January, credit card issuers reduced the number of mailings sent to current cardholders by 30%. Meanwhile, they increased direct mail offers to non-customers by 7%. Of 2007’s top 10 mailers, six increased their direct mailings to non-customers after the holidays. But four cut back on non-customer mail as well as customer mail in January, remaining hesitant about the unsteady, unsure market.

Details

AmEx Business Travel Unit Lands 73% More Deals

American Express Business Travel has seen a 73% increase from 2007 in new wins and renewals of contracts and has restructured its senior leadership team. Contributing to the strong sales growth through new contracts or extended agreements are well-known household name companies and various public sector organizations. Priyan Fernando, Chief Operating Officer also becomes President overseeing the Customer Group, in addition to retaining his current responsibility for leading Global Operations, Andy McGraw was appointed to the newly created position of SVP/GM, Worldwide Sales. Lisa Durocher was promoted to SVP/ Marketing and Innovation. She will continue to lead all Marketing, Innovation, Product Management and Online strategy. Andrew Winterton retains his role as SVP/GM, Global Supplier Relations, Partner Network and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Details

ATA Airline Card Shuts Down & Files Bankruptcy

ATA Airlines has shut down following bankruptcy filings and cancelled its frequent flyer program. ATA received abrupt and unexpected notification from FedEx Corporation that ATA would no longer be a member of the FedEx Teaming Arrangement. This arrangement gave ATA a significant share of the airlift contracts under the International Program of the Department of Defense Air Mobility Command, which facilitates transportation for military personnel and their families to and from overseas destinations. This arrangement accounted for most of ATA’s charter business. Customers who purchased tickets from ATA using a credit card need to contact their credit card provider directly for more information about how to obtain a refund for unused tickets.

Details

BofA Offers Patented Corporate Card Controls

Bank of America has been granted a patent for a new technology that enables its clients to manage the available funds on corporate purchasing cards dynamically and in real time. BofA’s “Active Card Control” is an extension of its commercial card product suite. Using the technology, the client can reset the available funds on each card as frequently as necessary through a web-based tool. When initially issued, cards will have $0 in available funds until the client is ready to pay the supplier. At that time, the client submits a purchase request through the “BofA Works” application which uses the “Active Card Control” technology to fund individual cards with the exact amount of the invoices to be paid. When those purchases are billed to the card, the available funds go to zero. Key benefits of “ACC” for the client include improved administrative efficiency and lower costs from not having to raise and lower credit limits or change single transaction limits; increased control over purchasing due to a mandatory approval process; reduced paperwork; and ease of implementation as purchase requests can be used with any card program that uses the Works platform.

Details

JetBlue Airways to Offer the PayPal Option

JetBlue Airways has signed agreements to provide its Internet-booking customers with the option to conduct transactions through PayPal. Resulting from these agreements, PayPal can provide JetBlue travelers with more options, flexibility, security and convenience as does the organization currently provides for its existing 57 million active customer accounts. Moreover, the payment solution allows consumers to establish accounts for payment with debit cards, bank accounts, stored balance or credit cards without sharing personal information. JetBlue serves 53 cities with 550 daily flights while PayPal allows anyone to pay without sharing financial information in 190 markets and 17 currencies around the world.

Details

OPTEVA CHINA

The Agriculture Bank of China has deployed 1,400 of Diebold’s “Opteva”
ATMs to provide customers with greater accessibility. This greater
accessibility will allow ATM users in remote rural areas to make deposits
and transfer funds without a bank card over an advanced-functionality,
self-service solution. The Agricultural Bank of China has over 31,000
branches and banking offices across China and had 2005 total assets of
$605 billion while Diebold Incorporated provides self-service delivery and
security systems, employs over 17,000 in nearly 90 countries and reported
a 2006 revenue of $2.9 billion.

Details

Discover Card Spending Index Hits a New Low

Americans grew even more concerned about the economy and their personal finances in the face of rising monthly expenses. The latest “Discover U.S. Spending Monitor” reached a new low in March hitting 85.1, down more than a full point from the previous month and lower by 11 points than just six months ago. Survey results also showed that consumers sharply underestimated their spending intentions for March. In February, 29% said they expected to spend more in March. When asked about their actual March spending however, 46% reported they were spending more. The 17-point increase appears driven by sharp increases in household expenses such as gasoline, food and mortgages. In turn, consumers plan to actively cut back their discretionary spending and even savings to help make ends meet.

Details

CASH STORE & INSTA-RENT

Rentcash Inc has announced the introduction of its “Insta-Rent” solution.
In conjunction with this development, Rentcash has changed its name to
Cash Store Financial. The name of the Organization was changed to reflect
its primary focus of providing payday advances while “Insta-Rent” was
designed to establish clarity with its payday advance and rental
businesses through 60 stores across Canada. The new establishment will
rent brand-name furniture, appliances, electronics and computers, with or
without an option to buy and employs over 250 associates. The Cash Store
Financial has 370 branches across Canada facilitating payday advance
services to income-earning consumers, issuing “The Cash Store Cash Card”
and “InstaWorld Debit Card” debit cards, and employs over 1,500
associates.

Details

MONERIS GIFT CARD

Home Hardware Stores has partnered with Moneris’ Ernex to launch its gift
card solution. With this, Moneris will provide the Ernex gift card through
over 1,000 of Home Hardware Store locations across Canada, replacing the
services of a former gift card provider with a reloadable option that has
no expiry dates. Moreover, this rationalizes Home Hardware’s card offering
given all of its card products, including debit, credit, loyalty and now
gift cards, are provided through Moneris. Home Hardware Stores Limited
provides building materials to consumers and had 2007 annual retail sales
of $4.8 billion while Ernex, a division of the Moneris Solutions
Corporation, provides marketing solutions with gift cards, reward and
loyalty services.

Details

STARSIGN TOKENS

On April 7th, 2008, Giesecke & Devrient will be launching its new
generation of USB security tokens, which allows data and applications
stored together with the user’s digital identity when plugged into a
computer.
The new token, the “StarSign Mobility Token”, also features a MicroSD
card, embedded smart card technology and can be used without driver
software to allow IT departments to retain control over the integrity of
proprietary applications on multiuser and virtual private networks. G&D is
based in Munich, Germany, is an international technology group with
implementations throughout the world, employs over 8,300 people and had a
2006 annual revenue of EUR1.3 billion.

Details

Navy FCU Joins the MoneyPass ATM Network

Navy Federal Credit Union has joined the MoneyPass ATM Network providing its 3,000,000 members access to 12,000 surcharge free ATMs in addition to the Union’s existing network of 376 ATMs. With this, the Credit Union joins the MoneyPass network consisting of over 850 financial institution serving over 25 million cardholders. Moreover, the Navy Federal Credit Union has over $34 billion in assets, 3 million members, 150 branch offices, and more than 7,300 employees while MoneyPass provides payment card processing solutions and is a division of Elan Financial Services, which serves over 2,000 financial institutions nationwide and manages over 38,000 ATMs.

Details

FRAUD SQUAD

Capital One Canada has teamed with Fraud Squad TV to launch multimedia
fraud-prevention solutions. In response to research by the Competition
Bureau of Canada showing 41% Canadians aged 18-34 said that they or
someone in their household has been a victim of fraud, while 20% of those
in the same age group are unlikely to report incidents of fraud, the
organizations have launched the initiative to distribute fraud education
materials to over 1,300 public libraries across the country. Moreover, the
initiative is targeted at this younger group of consumers through an
online “Fraud Awareness Quiz”, advertised through the Much Music Channel,
will be providing a quarterly newsletter and will be launching a Fraud
Squad TV 13-episode TV Season 1 DVD Box Set. Capital One Canada was
established in 1996, is based out of Toronto, ON and provides credit
products and services to consumers across Canada.

Details