TNB Balance Transfer Program Reaps $2MM+

Dallas-based TNB Card Services reports that its “2006 Fall Balance Transfer” promotion brought in more than $2.2 million in card balances for participating credit unions. TX-based EECU, with assets of $580 million captured more than $222,000 in outstanding balances with an average transfer rate of $3,200. DATCU of Denton, Texas, with assets of $368 million, had a response rate of 2.32% and average balance transfer of $3,180, DATCU generated more than $216,000 in new balances. The TNB promotion enabled the 22 credit unions that participated to customize it for their cardholders by selecting the interest rate and opting for a life-of-balance annual percentage rate, which was available for every percentage rate offered.

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Majid Al Futtaim and ORIX to Issue JCB Cards

Majid Al Futtaim and ORIX announced they would be issuing JCB
credit cards. JCB and ORIX, both Japanese companies, will be operating
out of Dubai, United Arab Emirates with MAF. The joint venture will be
tentatively named MAF JCB Card PJSC and will be issuing cards beginning
in July throughout the Middle East and North Africa. MAF JCB Card
PJSC starts with a capital of 100 million UAE dirham. JCB’s merchant network includes 14 million merchants and spans 190 countries. JCB cards are now issued in 19 countries with more than 59 million cardholders. The company has formed alliances with more than 350 leading banks and financial institutions globally. ORIX, a Japanese company as well, is an
integrated financial services group that has operations in 24 countries
and regions worldwide. Majid Al Futtaim is the MENA’s largest property
developer, opening the first shopping mall in 1995.

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Pay By Touch Hires ELOAN’s CMO

San Francisco-based Pay By Touch has hired Catherine Muriel, former CMO at ELOAN, as its new Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to joining E-LOAN, Muriel served as CMO of Upromise, the country’s largest private college savings loyalty service. To date, patented Pay By Touch biometric services enable 3.5 million shoppers to quickly and securely access personal accounts using a finger scan to identify themselves, make purchases and cash checks at 3,000 locations nationwide.

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Survey Finds 23MM Consumers Switch

An independent comparison Web site, MoneyExpert.com, will launch a
switching index that tracks the nation’s switching habits on a quarterly
basis. The company monitors switching in industries such as utilities,
financial services, telecoms and mortgage products. MoneyExpert.com’s
most recent studies have shown 212,000 contracts changed hands every day
in the last half of 2006. In total around 39.075 million products and
services were ditched by consumers shopping around. Gas and electricity
have the most fickle customers, with around one in seven households
changing one or both as utility bills continued to soar. Car insurance
and credit cards are second with 14 per cent of people claiming
to have swapped provider in each category. Telecoms companies were also
hit hard as some 10.1 million broadband, landline and mobile phone
accounts changed hands.

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HSBC Launches Mobile Phone NFC Pilot

HSBC Credit Card Services has launched a mobile phone payments pilot, in partnership with MasterCard and ViVOtech. The six-month test will use “Near Field Communication” enabled mobile phones to make contactless credit card purchases. More than 200 HSBC employees in New York, Chicago and several other large U.S. cities used the “over-the-air” personalization process to load their HSBC credit card data onto their mobile phones. HSBC introduced contactless debit cards to its bank customers in late 2005 and contactless credit cards in 2006. About 36,000 merchant locations around the world that accept MasterCard’s “PayPass.”

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GALITT Opens Office In United States

Reflecting the companies’ international growth, GALITT has opened a
financial consulting office in San Fransisco to be
managed by Dominique PIERRE. Pierre was a senior manager for GALITT in
France before moving to San Fransisco and has been managing multiple
“Visa Smart Breakthrough” programs. GALITT provides consulting services
in the Financial and Identification sectors on smart cards and secure
electronic transactions.GALITT is a result of the merger between KaSYS
and COGESYS CARD.dev, thus gathering more than 20 years of experience in
mastering e-transactions. Company skills include consulting,professional
& testing services related to card and payment technologies.

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BB&T Pilots VISA Contactless Check Cards

BB&T has launched a pilot program to issue “VISA Check Cards” with the Contactless feature to select clients in Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. A chip in the card sends the payment information to the reader, which will indicate when the transaction is complete, eliminating the need to hand the card to a cashier. Cardholders receive the same security protections provided on thetraditional “BB&T Check Card,” including BB&T’s “Zero Liability” protection, three-digit security code (CVV) and fraud monitoring. BB&T Corporation holds $121.4 billion in assets and is the nation’s 11th largest financial holding company.

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Top 5 Card Volume Rise 12% in 2006

Credit card volume among the top five U.S. issuers, generating more than $1.5 trillion in total card volume, grew by an average of 12.1% during 2006. The nation’s top issuers’ growth was led by American Express with Citigroup ranking at the bottom. AmEx posted a 16% increase in U.S. credit card volume topping $406 billion for the year. Citi’s U.S. bank credit card purchase volume increased 9% to $304 billion. BofA’s gross volume grew nearly 10% in 2006. BofA’s Card Services includes U.S. Consumer and Business Card, Unsecured Lending, International Card Operations and Merchant Services. Chase, which also includes some international, was up 12.5% while Capital One’s U.S. purchase volume increased 12.9%. For the latest fourth quarter portfolio figures, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

TOP 5 U.S. ISSUER ANNUAL VOLUME*
($ billions)& (ranked by card loans)
ISSUER 2005 2006 CHG
BofA $ 368.4 $ 404.5 + 9.8%
Chase $ 301.9 $ 339.6 +12.5%
Citi $ 278.2 $ 304.3 + 9.4%
AmEx $ 350.1 $ 406.8 +16.1%
Cap One $ 73.7 $ 83.2 +12.9%
TOTAL $1372.3 $1538.4 +12.1%
* BofA & Chase include international;
AmEx is U.S.gross volume;
Citi and Cap One are U.S. purchase volume
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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Vista-Powered PASS Commerce Center Launched

Denver-based IP Commerce and the PASS Consortium have launched the “PASS Commerce Center” for small businesses using “Windows Vista Business” offering credit card processing via Chase Paymentech; financing, including payment protection, small business loans and equipment financing via CIT; remote check deposit service via Banserv; and payment-enabled invoices and online payments vis PayPal. “PASS Commerce Center” services are powered by “IP Payments Framework” from IP Commerce. “IPPF” is a single platform that provides the framework to enable disparate payment applications and services to communicate. “PASS Commerce Center” contains two complementary elements to provide a holistic financial management experience, “PASS Cash Management Center” and the “PASS Gadget.”

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Ingenico Sales Rise 17% in 2006

Terminal manufacturer Ingenico reported fourth quarter sales of $170 million, a 5.2% gain over 4Q/05. The Company says revenues were driven by strong sales Asia and Southern Europe while revenue from Latin America was virtually stable. For the full year revenues grew at a 17% pace. Ingenico also reported the start of a sharp decline in net debt as of December 31st, due to higher profit margins and greater control over working capital requirements. During the fourth quarter, Ingenico introduced “i6780,” the first color touch screen payment terminal with integrated tactile keypad to meet requirements for the visually impaired; teamed with Gilbarco Veeder-Root have joined to develop and deliver comprehensive integrated indoor and outdoor payment technologies that automate petroleum retail sites; and received “Class B” certification on the “i7780,” “i5100” and “3010” PIN Pad from Chase Paymentech Solutions. During 2006, Ingenico developed its business in prepaid card recharges, contactless and Near Field Communication payments. For complete details on Ingenico’s latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CFI Library 10/2/06; 10/10/06; 11/13/06)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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VISA Throws a Financial Football to Teens

VISA USA has released “Financial Football,” a free cell phone game developed with the NFL and PLAYERS INC to help teens learn how to manage money wisely. “Financial Football” puts students’ fiscal knowledge to the test by combining the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. To score points, a player needs to answer various money management questions correctly. Wrong answers and penalties can cost a player yardage. “Financial Football” is part of “Practical Money Skills for Life”, a comprehensive financial literacy program that teaches young adults personal finance skills. The free, computer-based version of “Financial Football” has already been downloaded and played over 100,000 times.

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FNMS Signs Retailers for Bill Me Later

First National Merchant Solutions is powering the Web sites operated by Home Decor Products, NetShops, Toshiba America Information Systems, and the Sharper Image to offer shoppers the ability to pay for purchases with the “Bill Me Later” credit-based payment option. Shoppers select the “Bill Me Later” option as they would any other payment option and receive instant credit from I4 Commerce to complete the purchase. I4 Commerce issues a bill in 14 days, giving consumers the option to pay in full or finance their purchase over time and pay in installments. First National Merchant Solutions is a top 10 payment processor.

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