Emails with Visual Icon Draw Response

An end-user e-mail study by ICONIX has found that users were more than twice as likely to open e-mail messages marked with a visual icon as opposed to unmarked messages. Iconix eMail ID helps users gain control of their inboxes by adding a visual icon, called a Truemark icon, next to messages that have been verified as legitimate. E-mail users can take advantage of this intuitive, easy-to-use, and free service using their current e-mail providers.

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JCB Launches Phase 2 of True Guam Campaign

JCB International, in cooperation with the Guam
Visitors Bureau, will be launching “Phase” Two of the successful “True
Guam” Campaign from July 1st, 2006 through January 31st, 2007. The first phase of the “True Guam Campaign” ran from December 16th 2005
through May 31st 2006. This project promoted Guam as an
attractive destination among JCB’s 56 million cardmembers and motivated
increased spending on Guam with the objective of strengthening the local
tourist economy. In the second phase of the campaign, JCB cardmembers
only have to show their card to receive a special gift. Participating
businesses have significantly increased the number of prizes available
to over 13,00. Over the seven-month period of the
campaign, JCB has set a target of an increase in JCB card sales of 700
million yen over last year, or 100 million yen each month. In addition,
the Guam Visitors Bureau will be providing full-scale support for this
promotion.

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CITGO & Citi to Launch a Co-Brand

CITGO and Citibank are launching a new co-branded MasterCard on August 1st which offers a 20% rebate on CITGO purchases for the first 60 days and a 4% rebate thereafter. The new “Citi Platinum Select CITGO MasterCard” is the centerpiece of a multi-million dollar “Tri-mark” advertising campaign which includes national TV. The 20% rebate offer is part of the 90-day launch period which ends October 31st. Once the launch promotion ends, cardholders earn 4% on CITGO purchases and up to 1% on other qualified purchases. Cardholders may earn up to $50 in rebates each month. All rebates are automatically credited on the cardholder’s statement against future CITGO purchases made with the card. Houston-based CITGO has more than 13,000 independently owned and operated locations in the U.S.

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ORCC to Incorporate Clearingworks

Online Resources Corporation has signed an agreement to incorporate into its payments gateway US Dataworks’ “Clearingworks” solution for ACH payment processing. The agreement calls for Online Resources to incorporate into their payments gateway US Dataworks’ proprietary technology, Clearingworks, a comprehensive solution for Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment processing.

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DMP Scam Agrees to $1MM FTC Settlement

Credit Foundation of America and its related individuals have agreed to pay nearly $1 million in consumer redress and civil penalties to settle FTC charges that they made false claims about their debt management program and violated the “Do Not Call Rule” . The settlement orders prohibit the defendants from making false claims about debt management or credit counseling programs and from engaging in abusive telemarketing practices. The defendants also agreed to standard compliance and reporting provisions that enable the FTC to monitor future compliance with the orders.

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Consumers Get Access to VantageScore

Experian is now offering its “VantageScore” to consumers for $5.95. The score, along with interactive tools can help consumers evaluate their credit standing and understand the factors that contribute to their VantageScore. VantageScore was developed as a direct result of market demand for a more consistent and objective approach to credit scoring methodology. Additional features of the site include a score illustrator to learn how potential actions could impact the score, national VantageScore averages and comprehensive educational reports on credit.

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First Data to Market ADP EasyPay

First Data has signed an agreement to market ADP Small Business Services’ “EasyPay” payroll solution to companies with less than 50 employees. Under the terms of the agreement, First Data’s merchant services sales channels can market ADP’s EasyPay and related small business offerings along with First Data’s proprietary check, credit, debit, and gift card acceptance programs. EasyPay is ADP’s fully outsourced service for payroll processing over phone, fax, or online utilizing ADP’s secure hosted application. First Data will also market ADP’s popular TotalPay® product suite â“ comprised of highly-valued money movement, fraud protection and check reconciliation features â“ and Total Tax CompleteSM, a set of compliance services including tax filing, state unemployment insurance management, new hire reporting and HR help desk services.

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Yodlee BillPay Encourages Card Use

Redwood City, CA-based Yodlee has launched a new service that enables consumers to pay bills with credit or debit cards in addition to ACH. “Yodlee BillPay” offers the benefits of both the consolidated bill pay model (single console for managing all bills) and the biller direct model (flexible payment instruments, same-day credit, direct confirmation of payment from biller). Yodlee says the service makes bill paying a profitable venture for financial institutions since it generates interchange revenue. Payments (for over 2,600 merchants) are stored in Yodlee’s “Payment Warehouse” and routed to the appropriate end points, including a proprietary “Direct Payment” engine, which facilitates payments directly at biller Web sites or via connections to third party payment service providers. Yodlee allows payments to be routed to the channel that offers the lowest cost and/or highest profit, as well as providing the fastest fulfillment of payment requests.

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Biometric Smart Payment Card Unveiled

A smart payment card with an onboard fingerprint scanner has been introduced that eliminates the need for manual data entry in all kinds of Web-based financial transactions. With the new card from SmartMetric a digital signature of the fingerprint is permanently stored on the card. Each time the card is to be used, the person activates the card by touching the sensor. The Company says the readings are 99.999% accurate even if the finger is dirty or calloused. The firm also says the card’s security cannot be circumvented by any conventional means.

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MC UK Interchange Practices Upheld

MasterCard was vindicated yesterday after the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal annulled a 2005 decision by the Office of Fair Trading which claimed the network’s credit card interchange fees were illegal. MasterCard said the OFT took six years to pursue the weak case and it is asking the CAT to award it costs in connection with the appeal. In September the OFT ruled that pre-November 2004 UK credit card interchange fees violated EU and UK competition law. (Prior to November 2004, MasterCard’s UK credit card interchange fees were established by MasterCard UK Members Forum Limited, which includes most of MasterCard’s UK customer banks, but since then, MasterCard management has established its UK credit card interchange fees independently of its customer banks.) The OFT had already abandoned significant parts of its 2005 decision after acknowledging that it is necessary for a four-party payment system operating with an “honor all cards” rule to establish default terms of reference between card issuers and merchant acquirers. MasterCard says the OFT’s unprecedented action of abandoning a case after having issued a negative decision is testament to the strength of MasterCard’s position.

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Card Scam’s Ferraris to be Auctioned

The lavish assets of the principals involved in a three year credit card scam will be auctioned off this weekend in Tampa. A federal district court ordered the auction sale of four Ferraris including a rare “F40”, two Mercedes Roadsters, a BMW 300i and fine jewelry. In November 2003, the FTC filed charges against Peoples Credit First and its related companies for marketing an unsecured general purpose credit card in exchange for a $45 advance fee payment. However, applicants only received a catalog card good towards overpriced merchandise. The scam produced $10 million in revenue over the three year period.

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eMue to Develop an Exclusive OTP DisplayCard

eMue Technologies and Innovative Card Technologies have inked a deal to develop a specialized version of the “OTP DisplayCard.” eMue has developed a unique mutual authentication solution that mitigates identity fraud across multiple business channels, including the internet and telephone, in addition to providing stronger authentication for online transactions. Innovative Card Technologies’ ISO-compliant DisplayCard enables cardholders to generate and display a dynamic passcode for one-time use, proving the presence of the card for
dual-factor authentication. Upon completion of the development agreement, Innovative Card Technologies will manufacture the specialized “DisplayCard” exclusively for eMue. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Australia
recently acquired an interest in eMue.

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