MasterCard’s Dunbar to Leave Technology Unit

MasterCard confirmed that the President of its Global Technology and Operations unit will be leaving and Rob Reeg, Chief Technology Officer, will head the unit on an interim basis. Roy Dunbar who headed Global Technology and Operations since 2004 will conclude active employment on January 31st with his resignation effective March 15th. He is leaving to become CEO of a company outside the payments industry. Dunbar succeeded Jerry McElhatton in September 2004. Dunbar worked for 14 years at Eli Lilly prior to joining MasterCard. The Global Technology and Operations headquarters of MasterCard is near St. Louis. (CF Library 9/23/04)

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Commerce Bank Names a Payment Systems Exec

Payment process Moneris has entered into an affinity partnership with the American International Automobile Dealers Association to offer dealer members exclusive pricing for merchant card processing, check guarantee, conversion, gift cards and ACH/EFT processing. By partnering with Moneris, AIADA dealers will have access to a simple, exclusive pricing structure, a wide array of hardware and software solutions for payment processing, and unparalleled 24/7 customer and technical support to meet their unique needs. As an added bonus, Moneris’ loyalty program will reward dealerships’ best customers and help retain crucial service business.

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Post-Holiday Credit Card Debt is Unchanged

A new survey has found that when asked how much credit card debt they have this January as compared to last year at this time, 44% of consumers report the same and 29% report less, compared to one-year ago of 43% and 29%, respectively. The TransUnion survey conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media also found that 42% of consumers report purchasing less through the use of credit this holiday season than last year, a marked increase from the 35% reported in the 2007 vs. 2006 survey. About 30% say they purchased the same amount using credit as in the previous year, down from 37% in 2007. Only 11% indicated they purchased more, as compared with 14% the year prior.

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ADS & Epsilon Ink the Sharper Image Card

Alliance Data Systems will launch an integrated private label credit card program and permission-based email marketing services with retailer Sharper Image. Alliance Data’s bank subsidiary will provide Sharper Image with a full suite of services, including account acquisition and activation, receivables funding, credit authorization, card issuance, statement generation, electronic bill presentment services, remittance processing, marketing and customer service functions. The program will also include loyalty and reward incentives for eligible cardholders, such as merchandise discounts and rebate certificates based on purchases, invitations to in-store events, and other exclusive offers.ADS’ Epsilon will deploy its proprietary email communications and campaign management platform for Sharper Image. Epsilon will also provide strategic consulting to help Sharper Image develop highly targeted permission-based email marketing campaigns designed to acquire, retain customers and generate increased sales through up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. Sharper Image is a specialty retailer with 2006 fiscal year-end revenues exceeding $525 million.

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Recession Can Flatline ARM Industry Profits

About $1.65 billion from 48 completed M&A transactions took place in the accounts receivable management industry last year. Kaulkin Ginsberg says the year was characterized by fewer transactions involving comparatively larger deal values. Significant deals include Sherman Financial, West Corporation, AllianceOne and NCO Group. Kaulkin Ginsberg says that during a recession, major credit issuers like credit card lenders typically increase the volume of placement outsourcing to collection agencies and debt buyers, but it becomes harder for the debt purchasing companies and collection agencies to liquidate the debts. This can potentially flatline or reduce the level of collections and profitability of ARM firms in the short term.

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Shift4 & JDA Software Form an Alliance

TNB Card Services has hired Doug Farrell, formerly with Remitpro, and Andy Bowers, formerly with Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions, as VPs of regional sales. Farrell will focus on the south central and western regions. He previously held positions with a variety of companies in the electronic payments market, including First Data Resources and Eastman Kodak. He has had extensive experience in selling outsourced software applications and technology solutions to Fortune 1000 companies. He has a degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Andy Bowers, who focuses on the northeastern region, previously worked in sales with Muzak Corporation. He has a degree in business administration/organizational communication from Ohio University.

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Credit Union Outstandings Rise 15% in 4Q/07

Credit unions turned in a solid performance during the fourth quarter, besting industry averages and the nation’s top credit card issuers. Based on early returns in CardData’s fourth quarter portfolio survey, credit union outstandings were up 15.2% year-on-year while volume increased 13.5% over 4Q/06. Account growth was up a modest 3.6%, on par with the industry. The results are based on credit union card portfolios representing more than $1 billion in aggregate outstandings. Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union posted an 8.5% gain in outstandings and an increase of 7.8% increase in quarterly volume. However, America First CU posted a 41% gain in outstandings and a 25% gain in 4Q/07 volume. Chase reported this week that end-of-period managed loans of $157 billion increased by 3% year-on-year. Charge volume of $95.5 billion increased by 2% from 4Q/06. Citi posted credit card outstandings of $116.4 billion, up 4% compared to one-year ago. Purchase volume for the fourth quarter rose 8% to $87.8 billion for Citi.

CREDIT UNIONS 4Q/07
Outstand Volume Accounts
PA State Emp CU $308MM $125MM 121K
America First CU $294MM $198MM 141K
NC State Emp FCU $187MM $131MM 193K
Randolph Brooks FCU $129MM $108MM 67K
Kinecta FCU $111MM $ 53MM 59K
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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CREDIT CARD COMPARISON

European Union lawmakers are refining legislation that will allow
consumers to more easily compare loan terms and rates across the
continent. Currently, figures show that consumer credit interest rates
vary from as low as 6% in Finland to as high as 12 percent in
Portugal, according to experts, which seriously compromises market
competition. With these new legal requirements, the EU hopes to
address this issue of one-sided competition in the consumer credit
market and provide the consumers key facts amid figures regarding
their loans with greater transparency. Furthermore, the EU is seeking
to increase consumer rights when such loans are contracted with such
benefits as the allowance to terminate a loan without justification or
additional fees and to make early payments.

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Dolans Name Top Credit Card Info Websites

The nation’s most popular personal finance duo searched high and low across of the Internet, carefully reviewing tons of Websites to come up with the “Top 100 Best Money Websites.” Ken and Daria Dolan named cardtrak.com and bankrate.com as the best credit card information sites on the Web. The Dolans said they found a blitz of self-serving and fraudulent sites with many offering inaccurate information, sales pitches, dead-ends, and even outright scams. The Dolans’ “Top 100 Websites” are organized by 39 categories. The Dolans have published five books on personal finance, host a nationally syndicated radio program on nearly 100 stations and are Money contributors to CBS’ “This Morning.”

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LINQPAY & IPS

LinQpay mobile payments and Internet Payment Solutions have
signed collaborative agreements, with undisclosed terms, for the joint
development of an “M-Payments” solution. The joint venture is designed
to provide various payment services on a mobile platform, including
mobile extensions to IPS e-wallets, combining LinQpay’s mobile payment
services and IPS’s Chinese payment platform. With this, IPS will extend
its current payment platform with LinQpay’s m-commerce services to
provide mobile websites, m-commerce and m-fulfillment to companies and
organizations throughout the country. LinQpay provides m-commerce and
m-payments around the world while IPS, a subsidiary of Universal
Technologies Holdings Limited, develops new e-payment solutions for
merchants across Asia in many different sectors.

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NABU VISA

The German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union and Volkswagen Bank have teamed to launch a series of VISA cards. Giesecke & Devrient is supplying the new EMV-compliant cards that offer a choice of six different animal motifs. Under the “NABU VISA” card program the first annual fee of 10 euros goes to the nature conservation society. NABU also receives a proportion of the credit card transactions made using the card thereafter. NABU customers can personalize their credit cards by opting for one of six animal motifs (wolves, bears, lynx, robin, snow leopard or stork). Each of these motifs symbolizes a current NABU project.

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