Booz Ranks Retail Banking Performance

A new study from Booz Allen Hamilton says that the U.S. ranks as one of the top three countries in overall retail banking performance followed by Hong Kong and Switzerland. The study, “Striving for growth: Best practices in retail banking sales and service channels,” reveals that the majority of banks worldwide are failing to meet many customer needs and get the best performance from sales channels such as call centers and websites. U.S. banks perform relatively well across all service channels: branches, internet, and call centers, as well as channel integration. Out of a representative sample of U.S. retail bank chains, the study revealed which banks ranked highest in each channel and identified best practices as well as performance gaps. Bank branches need to provide better personalized service. U.S. bank branches compare well to global best practices but offer few segmented offerings and limited availability of specialists. High performers are Chase and HSBC.

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Card Users Don’t Use All Benefits

Research conducted by the UK Post Office reflects that nearly 60%
of credit card consumers do not take full advantage of the benefits
offered. These benefits include low interest rates, cash back, and 0% on
transfers and purchases. Almost half of consumers said they receive no
benefits and those with cash-back card incentives said they see an
annual pay-out of an average of 37 GBP.

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Chockstone Adds Gift Card Dormancy Tracking

OR-based Chockstone has added dormancy reporting into its gift and loyalty marketing platform. The new feature will protect merchants from mishandling funds under abandoned and unclaimed property laws. The new enhancement and current platform will provide detailed reporting for each of the 50 states, categorizing gift card balances by: state where purchased; state where first registered; state where last used; capture complete transactional activity, including how long each card has been dormant; track online purchases and transaction history from Web stores; and report quarterly and yearly activities. Chockstone notes that corporate credit departments can find their A/R portfolios targets of unclaimed property audits by states. Unused credit memos or past-due escheatable credits could cause understatement of liabilities.

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ScandiCard Integrates Electron Card and Invoice System

Integrating Visa’s “Electron Debit Card” and invoicing features,
Scandicard is introducing “Easy Invoice”. “Easy Invoice” allows for
invoices to be electronically sent and automatic alerts when the invoice
is read. Furthermore, when those on the receiving end of the invoice
make payment, through whatever means, the sender is alerted once
again. Considering that this is a low cost option for what is usually
an expensive solution, experts believe that before the end of the year,
“Easy Invoice” will attract upwards of 10,000 new customers.

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Late Auto Payments Destroy Credit Scores

While credit card delinquencies impact consumer credit scores, a new analysis has found that the average credit score for U.S. consumers with no late auto payments is nearly 100 points higher than for those who have at least one late payment. The latest “National Score Index” study by Experian Consumer Direct also found that nationwide, 12% of consumers have at least one late auto payment on file; the national average balance on an auto loan is $15,654; the average U.S. monthly auto payment is $495; and 28% of the U.S. population has at least one auto loan or lease on file.

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Global Payments to Provide Processing to STARBANK

Global Payments Europe has signed a payment processing service agreement
with
STARBANK to provide authorization, card management, bank card
personalization,
fraud monitoring, ATM and POS management, e-Commerce, and (SMS) alert.
This development is expected to help with the expansion of the bank’s
credit
card marketing in Russia. Global Payments serves financial institutions
with
indirect payment services, card issuing services and credit bureau
processing
services for consumers, merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs),
financial institutions, government agencies and multi- national
corporations.

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FoodStuffs Launches a PrePaid Gift Card

FoodStuffs Wellington, in conjunction with Loyalty New Zealand, has
introduced the “New World Gift Card.” The new card is sold in
denominations of $25, $50, and $100 and uses a technology platform
provided by Loyalty New Zealand. The card also incurs points with the
store’s existing shopper’s program, “Fly Buys”, when used and is
available for purchase at 45 of the store’s locations.

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Buy-Now Pay-Later eScore is Introduced

MN-based eBureau has rolled out “Buy-Now Pay-Later eScore”, a new predictive scoring service. Buy-Now Pay-Later eScore provides statistical scores that accurately measure the payment probability associated with individual online consumer sales transactions. This allows direct marketers to confidently make deferred payment and “pre-qualified” marketing offers up front â” techniques proven to increase consumer response rates and boost average order value â” while minimizing the risk of non-payment and subsequent bad debts. Although 2006 online retail sales surpassed $136 billion in the U.S., a significant percentage of Internet users are unwilling to provide credit card information for Internet purchases. eBureau provides a suite of precision marketing, risk management, and fraud prevention information solutions to multichannel marketers, financial services companies, online retailers, and agencies today.

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PPI Enters Dry Cleaning POS Software

Payment Processing has partnered with NC-based Liberty Computers, a developer of dry cleaning point-of-sale software. With the new integrated solution, customers of Liberty Computers can process credit card transactions more quickly and easily, and with fewer manual entry errors. Payment Processing provides integrated payment solutions. In 2006, PPI processed over $3 billion in VISA and MasterCard payments.

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Super Wealthy Prefer AmEx Centurion

A research service says that American Express’ $2500 per year “Centurion” card is the most prestigious credit card among the super affluent. New York-based Luxury Institute says MasterCard’s “World Elite” ranked third while VISA’s “Signature” and “Platinum” cards came in fourth and fifth. The “2007 Luxury Brand Status Index” ranks consumers with a minimum net worth of $5 million and $200,000 in annual income. The national sample of over 500 ultra-wealthy American consumers, with an average income of $775K, and average net worth of $14.4 million, was surveyed online.

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Chase Expands Rapid Cash to NY, NJ & CT

Chase has expanded its consumer money transfer service for Mexicans to the New York Tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. “Rapid Cash” enables Chase checking account customers to make three free transfers, up to $1,500 each, per monthly statement cycle. The money is transferred to Banorte bank, which has more than 1,000 branches and 2,800 ATMs in Mexico, and deposited into a Banorte account or picked up at any Banorte branch in cash for no fee. Customers can use their “Mexican Matricula Card” as a form of identification to open the account. “Rapid Cash” was first introduced to Chase customers in Texas, then rolled out to a larger part of the country. The NY launch is being supported with TV and radio advertising.

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