Experian Names a New SVP/Corporate Marketing

Experian has named Kim Hosmer, formerly with First Data and Western Union, as SVP/Corporate Marketing. Hosmer brings more than 15 years of senior management experience to Experian. In her previous role as vice president of global marketing at First Data Corporation, Western Union, Hosmer oversaw strategic pricing and product positioning for the global business units and new product development teams. Experian is a global leader in providing analytical and information services to organizations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward of commercial and financial decisions.

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Internet Barometer Says Consumers Want Incentives

Consumers are willing to spend more for the holidays, but only if retailers offer free shipping and exclusive online incentives, according to the latest “Consumer Internet Barometer.” The “Barometer,” produced by The Conference Board and TNS, covers 10,000 households across the country and tracks who is doing what on the Internet. More than 90% of consumers said free shipping would serve as an incentive to spend more online this holiday season and more than 65% said special offers or deals not available in stores would boost their online spending. Half of holiday shoppers would be willing to spend more if the merchandise offered was available exclusively online. An equal proportion said that the ability to return items to a store would make them point and click more often. And, 35% said free return postage would increase their online holiday purchases.

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Global Hyatt Deploys NCR EasyPoint Xpress

Global Hyatt has deployed NCR “EasyPoint Xpress” Check-In” kiosks throughout its recently launched Hyatt Place chain. NCR Xpress Check-In kiosks are designed to offer intuitive, contemporary and efficient service by providing faster check-in/out and shorter lines. The solution confirms reservations; encodes, validates and dispenses room keys; and prints guests’ folios in most cases in under a minute. Hyatt Place combines The Hyatt Touch with stylish design, purposeful amenities and forward-thinking technology to serve as a new kind of Hyatt for today’s relaxed lifestyle. NCR Corporation (NYSE:NCR) is a leading global technology company helping businesses build stronger relationships with their customers.

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Chase Travel Card Drives Moen Credit Card Usage

MN-based Moen, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of faucets, sinks, showering products and bath accessories reports it has seen significant cash management successes as a result of integrating their “JPMorgan Chase Travel Card” program with their expense management solution from Gelco Expense Management, raising card utilization to 94%, a rate significantly higher than the industry average. Moen’s finance department manages more than 1,000 processed expense reports per month. The expense management solution combines JPMorgan Chase’s corporate travel and entertainment card offering and online PaymentNet reporting system with Gelco’s comprehensive expense management solution. Since integrating their corporate travel card and expense management program, Moen has reported improvements in process efficiencies, cost and time savings. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.3 trillion and operations in more than 50 countries.

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Unbanked Latinos Represent a Huge Market

A new report released says that unbanked and underbanked Latino consumers in the U.S. have completely different financial services needs and expectations than other ethnic populations. Key findings incluide that customer service is critical to attracting and retaining the underbanked Latino customer; also ideal product/platform to get customers through the door and into a long-term relationship; plus “Micro-Targeting” is required for several Latino sub-segments, with national origin as one important factor. Javelin Strategy & Research also notes that banks must reformulate traditional strategies to reach underbanked Latinos in the U.S.

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First National Merchant Solutions Hires a COO

First National Merchant Solutions has hired Vic Susman, formerly with First Data, GE Client Business Services and Lloyds, as COO. Susman brings more than 10 years of financial services experience to First National Merchant Solutions. He has led customer service improvement initiatives, process improvements and new business integration efforts for First Data Corporation, GE Client Business Services and Lloyds TSB in London. First National Merchant Solutions is a top 10 payment processor with more than 50 years of experience providing first-rate service and solutions to businesses across the nation.

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InComm Unveils a Total Kiosk Solution

Atlanta-based InComm has rolled-out a complete kiosk solution, including installation and setup, cash management, product expertise, support and more. InComm’s retail distribution network of 145,000 location includes three of the four largest grocery store chains, the four largest big box retailers, seven of the top 10 drug store chains, ten of the top 15 convenience store chains, the four largest electronics retailers, the three largest office supply chains and three of the largest dollar store chains. InComm recently signed Green Dot, the nation’s largest provider of retailer-sold prepaid debit cards and operator of the “Green Dot Financial Network” to a distribution agreement. Also, Chicago-based Signature Days, an online provider of experience gifts, has partnered with InComm to distribute its gift cards nationwide. (CF Library 12/6/06)

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T.G.I. Friday’s Beefs-Up its Gift Card Program

TX-based T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants has added “Bonus Bites” to its gift card, offering through January 3rd, a $5 bonus card for purchasers. The Friday’s Gift Cards are available in $10, $25 and $50. When guests purchase a $25 Gift Card, they receive a $5 Bonus Bites card. With the purchase of a $50 Gift Card, guests receive a $10 Bonus Bites card. The Friday’s Gift Cards have no expiration date, no dormancy fee and no processing fee or any hidden charges. Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc., the parent company of TGI Friday’s Inc., is a privately held company owned by Minneapolis-based Carlson Companies, a world leader in the hospitality, travel and marketing industries.

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Pemco Signs a Card Deal with EducationFirst FCU

TX-based EducationFirst FCU, with assets of $210 million and 29,000 members, has selected Pemco Technologies for credit card, signature debit, and awards program services. EducationFirst has been serving the financial needs of its members since 1952. Although its roots belong to educators and their families, other groups have joined along the way, sharing in its steady growth as well as the cooperative spirit unique to credit unions. Pemco Technologies provides innovative payment solutions to the financial industry including credit signature processing, debit signature processing, PIN-based processing, ATM services, cardholder award programs, fraud management/ detection/prevention, and gift card programs.

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MasterCard Targets Small Biz for Gift Cards

MasterCard has rolled-out a new online service that offers U.S. small businesses a streamlined way to order and personalize its gift cards. The gift card can be customized with a company logo, a recipient’s name and an embossed message. The cards are available exclusively through a newly launched website, MasterCardGiftCard.com. The MasterCard gift cards for small businesses are available in any denomination from $10 to $500. Orders can be shipped directly to the small business or a recipient within 5 days, depending on the quantity ordered and level of personalization needed. Small businesses that use “MasterCard BusinessCard” and “Debit MasterCard BusinessCard” to purchase a gift card will also be eligible for special discounts. In addition to their business logo, small businesses can personalize the front of the card to include a recipient’s name and a custom embossed message for a variety of occasions such as building loyalty among employees and customers or fostering new relationships with prospective clients.

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Vesta Acquires Point and Pay

OR-based Vesta has acquired FL-based Point and Pay. Point and Pay counts over 60 counties and municipalities as clients in the Southeastern U.S. The combination diversifies Vesta’s offerings to address electronic payments for utilities and government entities. Vesta brings the scale, fraud controls and industry leading security of Vesta’s multi-billion dollar payment volumes to Point and Pay’s high growth convenience payments business. Vesta’s clients include AT&T, Cingular Wireless, China Mobile, China Unicom, T-Mobile USA, Verizon, IDT, Sprint and numerous others.

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First Data Completes Acquisition of Argencard

First Data has closed the deal to acquire Argencard which will operates under the name of First Data International. Argencard brings to First Data more than 70 banks with 9 million cardholders and over 150,000 active merchants. The acquisition firmly establishes First Data’s presence in South America, and provides the company an opportunity to further expand its electronic payment processing experience and capabilities across this fast-growing region.

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