Virgin Money South Africa says it has signed up more than 50,000 cardholders in the first seven weeks. The card issuer says it received 12,000 phone inquiries in the first two days. In June Virgin Money formed a joint venture with Absa to issue the “Virgin Money” credit card in South Africa. The new MasterCard is the first in the country to offer a combination of no fees and an interest rate of 0% for the first three months with an ongoing APR of 15.75% thereafter. Virgin Money also issues credit cards in the UK and Australia. The Company currently has about two million cardholders worldwide.Details
Fair has named J.Y. Pook as vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific. Mr. Pook will support the expansion of the company’s Enterprise Decision Management applications and technologies.
He also will be responsible for establishing and growing
successful relationships with the company’s local clients and strategic
partners, as well as leading all aspects of the company’s operations and
staff based in the region.
More than 400 executives from the payments industry across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa met in Hong Kong at the “MasterCard Product Forum and Technology Fair 2006” to discuss major trends emerging in the region and exchange key insights into the future of payment solutions. The region is seeing a GDV growth rate in excess of 10% and a 16% growth rate on purchase volume, with the use of cash steadily declining. MasterCard has developed many payments innovations in the region that were on display at the “Forum,” including: “Chip Combo Cards,” full-function cards including prepaid, debit and credit, layered with MasterCard “PayPass” contactless functionality. Factors such as the increasing demand for convenience, the broadening of bank’s portfolios and products, and higher awareness of data security coupled with the requirement to strengthen relationships have propelled the concept of a single card with multiple functionality.Details
BP Australia and Citibank have teamed up to launch a co-branded
MasterCard. The “BP-Citibank MasterCard” offers a 5% discount on every product at every BP service station across the country. In addition to saving money at BP, cardholders are entitled to a 1% rebate on everything they purchase using the card, anywhere in the world. There are nearly 1,400 BP service stations across the country.
The NFC Forum has published its first four specifications for the use of near field communication technology. NFC technology is a short-range, standards-based wireless connectivity technology. It allows consumers to perform safe contactless transactions, access digital content and connect electronic devices with a single touch. The NFC Forum was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. The Forum’s mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market about NFC technology.Details
Samsung S1 Corporation has joined GlobalPlatform. The Company is
Korea’s largest total security system provider and smart card player,
committed to the development of EMV compliant products that meet both
Korean and global market requirements. Currently, Samsung S1 smart card
deployments account for 60% of the financial sector in Korea.
Contactless specialist, On Track Innovations, reported second quarter revenues of $10.3 million, a 32% jump over 2Q/05. The Company’s net loss dropped to $2.0 million for the second quarter, compared to $3.0 million in the year ago period. During the quarter, MasterCard, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Citibank announced the beginning of a six-month contactless payment trial in select New York City subway stations with pre-selected Citi credit card and Citibank customers. The new payment tags leverages technology from OTI. Also, Chinatrust Commercial Bank, one of the largest credit card issuers in Taiwan, LAKS, a well-known Austrian watchmaker and OTI are supplying payment watches as part of “2006 FIFA World Cup” promotion for MasterCard “PayPass.” OTI says it expects total revenue in the second half to be slightly higher or about the same as the first half, owing to a slight delay in the banks’ roll-out schedule for their internal reasons, which will affect OTI’s payments business. For complete details on OTI’s latest performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).Details
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has signed a deal with Lipman for a $2.5 million follow-on contract for “NURIT 8320”
and “NURIT 8000” POS terminals and “NURIT 222” PIN Pads. CNPC will be using these additional terminals to extend the project from the initial 8,000 petrol stations to more than 14,000 stations, resulting in one of the largest POS terminal deployments in China to date.
First Data International has signed an agreement for the
acquisition of Argencard. Buenos Aires-based Argencard is a provider of
card issuing and merchant acquiring processing services supporting more
than 70 banks with nine million cardholders and over 150,000 active
merchants. The company is an acquirer of MasterCard, Maestro and JCB in Argentina and Uruguay, and also delivers, through its subsidiary POSNET, point of sale services for more than 60,000 merchants and 75 credit card issuers of private label cards. The deal is expected to close by year end.
Bankruptcy filings have now risen to about 14,000 filings per week compared to approximately 8,000 filings per week six-months ago. One-year ago filings averaged 35,000 per week level, prior to the full implementation of the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.” During July filings neared 63,000, the highest level since October when the reforms went into effect. The number of filings in the first quarter is the lowest number of quarterly filings in the last 20 years.
Nov 05: 21,457
Dec 05: 32,480
Jan 06: 34,411
Feb 06: 39,636
Mar 06: 42,724
Apr 06: 44,989
May 06: 43,780
Jun 06: 54,937
Jul 06: 62,986
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)