American Telecom Services has launched a “VISA Gift Card” promotion for its “Pay N’ Talk” program. The VISA Gift Card will be delivered by mail following their activation of Pay N’ Talk with a purchase of a prescribed amount of service. The VISA Gift Card will be worth approximately one-half the value of the initial service purchase and consumers can utilize the card anywhere VISA is accepted, including recharging their pre-paid minutes. This program will be launched this spring in select new and current channels and packaged in a limited amount of new products. American Telecom Services offers the only home phones that are bundled with Pay N’ Talk prepaid residential long-distance services powered by IDT Telecom and is the provider of DigitalClear Internet phones.Details
Recently introduced by British Airways is the levying of 1GBP surcharge to
customers booking through GDS called “GDS opt-in-fees”. AirPlus
International, for the sake keeping its customers informed, has decided
will be shown on the invoice if a TMC decides to charge those fees. Some
TMCs absorb the fees while some pass the charge on to the customer. Airplus
settles tickets for over 260 airlines and has more than 30,000 corporate
customers around the world. As a business travel payment solution, this new
development will keep its customers in the know.
As expected Discover unveiled its “Zip” contactless payments technology last week. The “Discover Network Zip” supports contactless payments and mobile banking functions. Supported devices include contactless cards, fobs, cell phones, and PDAs. Discover also introduced “Perks Everyday,” a new points-based rewards program that provides issuers with either a turnkey or customized capability. “Perks Everyday” provides “Discover Network” cardholders with an opportunity to earn points on card purchases and other transaction types, and redeem those points by choosing from hundreds of offers including gift cards, merchandise and services.Details
LML Payment Systems has announced its acquisition of Beanstream
Internet Commerce for $17.5 million. Included in the definitive
agreement, Beanstream could also receive $1.8 million in LML
common stock if certain revenue milestones are reached by the first
anniversary of the closing. This will add to LML offerings, enabling
an advantageous position in credit card processing, electronic funds
transfer, automated clearinghouse payment processing, credit store and
authentication services for both e-commerce and traditional businesses.
Beanstream serves over 5,500 businesses throughout North America.
LML is a payment processor providing check processing solutions
including electronic check authorization, electronic check conversion
(ECC)and primary and secondary check collection.
MasterCard posted record net income of nearly $215 million for the first quarter compared to $127 million one-year ago, as net revenues climbed 24% to $915 million. In the prior quarter MasterCard earned $41 million on revenues of $839 million. Gross dollar volume climbed 16% for 1Q/07 to $509 billion and worldwide purchase volume increased 18% to $375 billion. As of March 31st, the Company’s customers had issued 835 million MasterCard cards, an increase of 11% over the same period in 2006. General & Administrative Expenses rose 15% to $398.5 million. However, Advertising & Market Development Expenses declined about 2% to $178 million. Total operating expenses increased 8% to $601 million during the first quarter compared to 1Q/06, primarily driven by an increase in personnel costs related to the hiring of additional staff to strengthen the company’s capability to add value to its customers’ businesses, and higher professional fees primarily related to legal costs to defend outstanding litigation. Currency fluctuation contributed approximately 1.9% of the increase in expenses for the quarter. For complete details on MasterCard’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
MASTERCARD HISTORICAL ($ millions)
1Q/06 2Q/06 3Q/06 4Q/06 1Q/07
G&A: $347.8 $365.2 $392.1 $399.3 $398.5
A&M: $182.7 $307.1 $290.2 $352.9 $178.5
Net Income: $126.7 ($310.5) $193.0 $ 40.9 $214.9
Note: G&A: General & Administrative Expenses;
A&M: Advertising & Market Development Expenses.
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Global Cash Access has signed agreements to provide cash access
services to patrons in 4 Belgian and 2 British casinos. These casinos
include Casino De Namur in Namur, Belgium, Casino Middelkerke in
Middelkerke, Belgium, Casino Blankenberge in Blankenberge, Belgium
Casino de Spa in Spa, Belgium, Stanley Circus in Nottingham, UK and
Casino at the Empire in West End, London, UK. Among the services
GCA will provide are credit card cash advance and debit card
withdrawals from GCA’s QuikCash kiosks and terminals, as well as
from cashiers. Currently, the Global Cash Access Subsidiary provides
such services to over 1,000 casinos worldwide.
SERMEPA has introduced the “Advantis JCrypto GP Card,” the first EMV smart card in Europe utilizing GlobalPlatform specifications. A unique feature of the new card is that the EMV payment applet is
integrated with the GlobalPlatform-based OS in the ROM of the chip, rather than being stored in the external memory. Another key feature which is enabled due to the card’s GlobalPlatform and Java functionality is its post-issuance download capability. Issuers from the financial and banking community will be able to load new applications, such as electronic signature or identification applications, onto cards once they have been issued to cardholders. The “JCrypto GP Card” is part of the SERMEPA family of “Advantis” products.
vps ID Systeme GmbH IT solutions has appointed Karl-Heinz Huber
as Partner Manager to work with business partners for the development
of synergies and business opportunities. Huber has a degree in computer
science from the University of Karlsruhe and began his career at Siemens
as Software Architect and Project Manager. He later moved on to R&D
management, consulting and customer management in sectors such as
retail automation and financial services. vps has been providing card
personalization and management software solutions since 1992.
AlertPay, an electronic wallet payment system enabling the sending and
receiving of Internet payments securely, has announced the deployment
of recurring billing services and credit card payment solutions using
“Verified by Visa” (VBV) and “MasterCard SecureCode” (MSC). This
development is of particular importance to merchants that offer subscription
services. “Verified by Visa” and “MasterCard SecureCode” applies a
personal password to be used in conjunction with a credit card
for online transactions. AlertPay has more than 1.1 million members
located in 148 countries around the world.
VA-based Intersections reported that revenue for the first quarter rose 27% to $58.2 million. However, net income declined 86% to $484,000 due to higher marketing and subscription additions. Total subscribers increased to approximately 4.69 million as of March 31st. Subscription revenue, net of marketing and commissions associated with subscription revenue, increased to $31.9 million for the first quarter from $29.5 million for the first quarter of 2006. Intersections safeguards more than 5 million customers, who are primarily received through marketing partnerships and consumer-direct marketing of the company’s “Identity Guard” brand. The Company also provides consumer-oriented insurance and membership products through marketing partnerships. For complete details on Intersections’ latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
According to the latest research on Canadian vacation travel habits,
conducted by TD Canada Trust, 70% would choose their spouse as
vacation trip partner, 14% would take friends, while only 6% would
take their children. Of the 1000 adults polled, 5% would prefer other
family members. Among Atlantic Canadians, however, 11% said they
would take their children as travel companions. Also, 95% of the
participants said that safety was a determining factor in vacation
destinations. Furthermore, 46% travel more then once a
year while 48% do so no more than once a year. In either instance,
their most recent trip lasted a week. These findings reflect that
Canadians value vacations as a means of having time with our partner
or friends and to enjoy respite from every-day responsibilities in a safe
and secure environment.
Omaha-based First National Credit Card Center has become the new consumer credit card issuer for Citizens Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Citizens Republic Bancorp. Citizens Republic Bancorp is the 43rd largest bank holding company in the U.S. The partnership with FNCCC represents one of the largest agent bank relationships in its portfolio. FNCCC is part of First National of Nebraska and has about $4.3 billion in credit card outstandings as of year-end 2006, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com]).