MC to Access Abacus Data Derived from Credit Card Info

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation will utilize Fair Isaac’s software technologies, analytic models and development processes for “Enterprise Decision Management.” Using Fair Isaac’s “Strategy Science Framework” and software platform for model development and strategy deployment, HSBC plans to accelerate its deployment of optimization projects to drive immediate bottom-line benefits across Asia. For the long term, HSBC will use the solution to enhance its in-house optimization capabilities and ultimately develop and deploy optimized strategies across six products and 20 countries and
territories in Asia for more than 10 decision areas across the customer
lifecycle.

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Home Depot Intros Cobranded Credit Cards

The world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer has teamed with Citibank to launch its first pair of co-branded general purpose credit cards. Home Depot has introduced the “Home Depot Rewards MasterCard” and the “Home Depot Business Rewards MasterCard.” Under both programs cardholders earn 2,500 bonus points with their first purchase (enough for a $25 gift card), two points on every dollar spent at Home Depot and EXPO Design Center, and one point for every dollar spent on purchases elsewhere. The new consumer card carries risk-based pricing with “Tier 1 Pricing” for purchases and balance transfers at prime plus 7.99%. The “Tier 2 Pricing” for purchases and balance transfers is prime plus 10.99%. The “Tier 3 Pricing” for purchases and balance transfers is prime plus 13.99%. Default rates are prime plus up 23.99%. Home Depot has 2,082 retail stores in the U.S.

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Citibank Introduces Instant Credit Card Issuance

Citibank Global Consumer Group Hong Kong sets a new service standard for the credit card industry in Hong Kong by introducing the instant credit card issuance service, which substantially reduces the current card approval cycle from days to approximately an hour. Citibank is the first and the only bank in Hong Kong that can provide such innovative service at present. Leveraging the credit bureau data, and through technology and system enhancement, Citibank enables a new level of service efficiency that was impossible in the past. Card applicants now only need approximately an hour from submitting the application form to obtaining a new credit card to immediately take advantage of the privileges while shopping.

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Tiny Businesses Want to Stay Tiny Businesses

A new survey from Discover has found that 67% of owners of businesses with five or fewer employees are quite happy to have their companies remain small and 61% don’t expect to work for anyone else before they retire. The findings from opinions collected by Rasmussen Reports also found that 67% of consumers surveyed believe that self-employed people and small business owners typically provide better customer service than larger companies. Additionally, 78% used to work in a big company but don’t expect to go back. About 42% claim that they have no plans to retire.

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TransUnion Acquires Cheque Guarantee Services

Cheque Guarantee Services has been acquired by Chicago-based TransUnion. The merged operation will be known as “TransUnion Cheque Guarantee Services.” With “TransUnion Cheque Guarantee Services,” the risk of payment by check is assessed and the transaction is approved or declined. This process occurs in exactly the same way as a credit card or debit card transaction is approved or rejected – which typically takes less than 20 seconds.

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PNC Dumps MBNA for U.S. Bank as Agent Bank

Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank has switched its credit card issuer from BofA/MBNA to U.S. Bancorp. PNC will launch a two new credit card programs on September 1st for its consumer and small business customers. The bank will market two cards including the “PNC Bank Select Rewards VISA Platinum Card” and the “PNC Bank Platinum Business Rewards MasterCard.” The new cards will offer 0% on balance transfers (with no fee) and purchases for 12 months. Consumer and business customers opening a new PNC credit card will receive a $50 statement credit with their first purchase. Business card owners can establish cards for all of their employees and have the ability to set spending limits on individual cards. In 1999 PNC sold its entire portfolio to MBNA for a 15% premium. At that time PNC had approximately $2.9 billion and 3.3 million accounts. (CF Library 1/14/99)

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Gas Rebate Credit Cards Gather More Steam

Newbie Web site CardRatings.com released results from gas card consumer survey which showed that while almost 70% of those responding were aware of credit cards that offer rebates on gas, only 34% have such a card. When asked how often they used their gas rebate credit cards, an overwhelming 78% of respondents said “Frequently,” while 79.2% of respondents said they planned on using their gas rebate credit card more frequently to help offset the cost of gas prices in a follow-up question. The presence of an annual fee (81%) and the actual amount of the rebate (75%) ranked the highest of importance to respondents when shopping for a gas rebate credit card. How widely the card is accepted came in third at 65%.

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Cash Now Focuses on Asian Markets

FL-based Cash Now has launched its e-commerce sub-prime lending system licensing into the Asian markets. The Asian expansion will be managed by the company’s office in Adelaide Australia. Cash Now will now seek governmental licensing in South East Asian countries for Cash Now services as well as opening franchises and licensing its technology in this region. The potential revenue for 100 licensees in Asia has a potential to generate $10 million to $30 million in revenue
annually.

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Visitor Card Spending Rises 13% in Asia-Pacific

VISA reports that international travelers to and within the Asia-Pacific region spent a total of US$6.8 billion on their VISA cards during the first quarter of 2006, a 13% increase over the same period a year ago. Of the $6.8 billion spent by tourists, 24% was in the retail sector, with clothing merchants, department and discount stores, and jewelry, watches and crystal shops proving most popular. Key shopping markets in Asia Pacific, Hong Kong and Singapore retained their attractiveness for shoppers. Fifty-two percent of the $575 million spent on VISA cards in Hong Kong was in the retail sector – the highest proportion in the region. The influx of mainland Chinese shoppers into Hong Kong over the Chinese New Year period contributed to the large amount spent. In Singapore, 30% of the $490 million in visitor spending was in the retail industry, in particular, consumer electronics. VISA cardholders from China chalked up the highest average spending per transaction at $223, followed closely by visitors from Hong Kong at $205, attributable to their heavy spend on education fees, largely in Australia.

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Gemalto Wins a MasterCard Vendor Award

Gemalto has won a “Best Vendor Partner Award” for its MasterCard “OneSmart PayPass EMV” contactless combi cards. Gemalto is delivering the cards to two Taiwan banks including Cathay United Bank, one of the top three credit card issuing banks in Taiwan; and Taipei Fubon Bank, Taiwan’s second-largest privately owned bank. The “PayPass EMV Contactless Combi Card” features both a built-in chip and a standard magnetic stripe.

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