HSBC Launches 0% Credit Cards

As part of a special offer, HSBC has launched two 0% cards. One of
the cards, available for application over the phone or at a branch, offers
0% interest for twelve months, 4.9% plus 2.5 % fee on balance
transfers, then 15.9% APR. The other card is available for application
online only and offers 0% interest plus 2.5% fee on balance transfers,
0% on purchases for first 3 months, and the 15.9% APR. The balance
transfers for both types of accounts must be made within 30 days of
account opening. These new cards coincide with research by the bank
suggesting that the offers and promotions available when opening a
credit card influence the customers’ behavior for the duration of the
accounts existence.

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ClickBank Passes the $1MM Per Day Milestone

Online retailer ClickBank broke the $1 million revenue mark in a single day’s business. ClickBank is one of the world’s largest online commerce systems for buying, selling and promoting digitally delivered products and/or services with more than 100,000 affiliates and 10,000 vendors. These products include ebooks, computer programs, software and games; no physical products are shipped. The company’s Internet-based business-to-consumer network handles an average of more than 20,000 transactions each day.

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Sony Launches a Playstation ATM Card

Sony will launch the Playstation Network(PSN) pre-paid card,
called the “PlayStation Ticket” in Japan for purchase at 52,000
ATMs. The “PlayStation Ticket” allows the customer access to
the PSN with a password given at time of purchase and can then
download content. With 4 pre-paid increments of 1,000 yen, 3,000 yen, 5,000 yen, and 10,000 yen, this solution brings to PSN patrons ease of payment.

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Credit Card Mergers Do Not Affect Card Usage

According to a recent report from Auriemma Consulting Group, two-thirds of cardholders whose issuers have been a part of a merger have not changed the ways they use their credit cards after the merger. About 68% of the card holders expect little change to their opinion of their credit card company if their card issuer was bought or sold. The information in this release includes data from 401 credit card users surveyed in February 2007. The findings were originally published in the February 2007 issue of Cardbeat. ACG is a management consulting firm in the payments and lending industry.

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AmBank Launches a College Prepaid MasterCard

AmBank and Metropolitan College have launched a college co-branded
prepaid card called “NexG-Metropolitan College Prepaid MasterCard”.
Because it is prepaid, it allows parents to manage the students finances.
Benefits include no minimum income requirement, guaranteed approval,
no application fee or bank account is needed, and is universally accepted.
Reloads of the “NexG prepaid MasterCard” can be made at AmBank
branches, e-pay terminals, at select merchants and through bank
accounts. The card is only available on Metropolitan College Campus.

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Gemalto Pocket Reader Receives Certification

Gemalto has announced that its “Pocket Reader”, for remote banking
and e-commerce verification, has received CAP certification and is
APACS compliant. For every online transaction, the device requires
the cardholder to enter a different PIN number every time, contributing
to the reduction of online fraud. The device does not require PC
configuration and is therefore portable to be used on any computer.
Gemalto offers digital security with 2006 annual revenues of 1.7 billion
euro, operations in about 100 countries and over 10,000 employees,
including 1,500 R&D engineers.

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AirPlus 2006 Payment Volume Rises 15% to Near $19B

AirPlus International business travel payment solutions announced that
its total settlement volume rose by 15% to $18.6 billion and operating
profits were $12 million in 2006 equating to 51% growth.
Contributing to its success, the company launched “FlexEbill”, allowing
companies to customize their electronic billing format and has expanded
in the Asian Market. Furthermore, the company was given the Business
Travel World Award for the “Best Expense Management Process”.
Airplus International currently has 640 employees and more than 32,000
corporate clients.

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American Express Launches the Platinum Club

As part of their “Membership Changes Everything” campaign,
American Express has launched “The Platinum Club” in Bangalore, India
aimed at the wealthy. Economic boom in the country has generated desire
for exclusivity amongst the affluent in the city and the “Platinum Club”
will
offer them benefits including automatic membership of the American Express
Platinum Credit Card, 10X Membership Rewards program, travel and
dining benefits from various partners. American Express has also signed
agreements with 500 Platinum Partners across India, Singapore and
Thailand to offer members 10X membership rewards points. Nearly
65,000 Bangloreans travel abroad each year and eat out an average of
more than once a week.

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Fortis & An Post Bank Collaborate

“Postbank” community based banking service, the joint venture of Fortis
and An Post, began operations in 250 post offices. By May of next year,
the service will be in 1,000 post offices across Ireland and will be the largest retail bank service in the country by the end of 2008. Currently, “Postbank” provides a demand deposit accounts and a guaranteed investment product. Eventually, it will also provide ATM, current account and credit card facilities. Research shows that 40% of adults visit a post office at least once a week and 75 % at least once a month. Existing post office staff will be trained on “Postbank” and will employ an additional 500 within three years.

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Clearent Selects Ingrian DataSecure Platform

Clearent, a provider of debit and credit card payment processing to ISOs and agent banks, has selected Ingrian “DataSecure Platforms” to protect confidential cardholder data collected during digital transactions. Ingrian’s hardware-based solutions provide users an advantage by enabling centralized key storage within the appliances and requiring multiple administrators to be involved in policy changes. Clearent’s ISO and Agent Bank customers have online access to merchant boarding, residual management, and search and reporting functions, all backed up by outstanding customer service. Ingrian DataSecure Platforms protect critical data from both internal and external threats, and ensure compliance with legislative and policy mandates for security.

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Rights Group Advocates For Indian Cardholders

The Credit Card-Holders’ Association of India (CCHAI) is
advocating for credit cardholders, according to The Hindu.
CCHAI claims that over the past 10 years banks have capitalized
nearly 6,000 crore in extra charges, including late fees, cash advance
fees, billed finance fees, over-limit fees, cash withdrawal fees, and
check pick up fees from credit card customers. The Association also
says that the country’s credit card customers are charged the highest
interest rates in the world. In response, they plan to file with the
Supreme Court to have banks pay back a portion of the fees. Experts
say banks charge more for credit card transactions due to the higher
risk of default and because of the convenience of easy borrowing.

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APACS Says 5MM NFC Cards by 2008

Visa Europe and Mastercard “Paypass” are leading a roll-out of contactless
credit and debit cards for financial institutions. For the 1st phase, these
institutions include Bank of Scotland, Barclaycard, Citi, Euroconex
Technologies Ltd, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, and The Royal Bank of
Scotland Group. APACS estimates suggest that over 5 million contactless
cards will be issued by the end of 2008, and that they will be accepted by
at least 100,000 merchants. There are 20 billion payments under GBP 10
in the
UK with a value of approximately GBP 200 billion per year. This new
technology is expected to increase small value transactions and places
they are
accepted, such as coffee shops, newsagents, and in taxis.

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