Sovereign to Offer AmEx Business Cards

PA-based Sovereign Bank has agreed to offer American Express business cards to its small business customers. Beginning in late spring, “OPEN from American Express” will issue three new co-branded cards to Sovereign’s small business customers via more than 650 branches throughout the Northeast. The cards include the “Business Gold Rewards Charge Card” and the “Business Platinum Charge Card,” which are linked to the “Membership Rewards” program. The “Platinum Business Cash Rebate Credit Card” offers up to 5% cash back annually on purchases. The agreement marks OPEN’s first strategic bank partnership in the Northeast region.

Details

SHOP.COM Intros Data Feed Program

SHOP.COM has introduced its “Certified Data Feed Provider Program,” that includes uploading billing and shipping information, credit card data and product details.A Data Feed Provider (DFP) is a data aggregator or data marketing company that manages a merchant’s data feeds on behalf of the merchant. For example, there are three types of data that can be uploaded: the merchant’s product data which needs to give customers enough information to make an informed, intelligent buying decision; order processing data which includes billing and shipping information, credit card data and product details; and order status information, which communicates the status of an order back to the consumer. Now, each of the three data integration feeds has its own SHOP.COM certification, and a DFP can be tested and certified for any or all of a merchant’s feeds. Consumers can shop on SHOP.COM for more than 7 million products and order from more than 1500 merchants in a single location, managing it all with a single password-protected account.

Details

Cards Drive Up Vending Sales

PA-based USA Technologies released a survey that shows consumers spend 50% more on average at vending machines when they can make purchases using their credit or debit cards. The 50% increase in average ticket is similar to the increase seen at quick serve restaurants when card transactions were introduced two years ago. Vending machines located in office buildings saw a 28% increase in average ticket, and for the first time the average ticket price rose above $1.00. Card purchases at airports, train terminals and roadside rest areas saw a 52% increase over cash, with the average ticket price for a card purchase rising to $2.33, compared with $1.53 for cash. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that micro-transactionsgenerated $25 billion in revenue for the card industry in 2005 USA Technologies provides networking of wireless non-cash transactions, associated financial/network services and energy management.

Details

U.S. Bank Launches SinglePoint

U.S. Bank has launched a new tool, called “U.S. Bank SinglePoint,” which enables business customers to use a complete suite of treasury management services from a single point of access. SinglePoint’s suite of online services allows business customers to monitor account activity, retrieve information; create reports and view images; transfer money via Automated Clearing House, initiate wire transfers and book and loan transfers; and prevent fraud. It also contains system administration capabilities including audit and control of employee access, as well as audit and history reporting.

Details

GECF & AmEx Launch the Dillard’s Card

The newly formed partnership between American Express and GE Consumer Finance has launched its first card product. The new “Dillard’s American Express Card” will award two “Dillard’s Reward Points” for every $1 spent at Dillard’s, and one point for every $1 spent elsewhere. The new Dillard’s card represents AmExs’ Global Network Services division’s first entry into the retail co-brand card market. Under terms of the relationship GECF will be responsible for issuing the card, managing the customer relationship and providing customer service, billing and credit management. Dillard’s is among the nation’s largest fashion apparel and home furnishings retailers with 330 stores in 29 states. GECF is the seventh U.S. partner for American Express. AmEx has now established nearly 100 card-issuing partnership arrangements in close to 110 countries. (CF Library 1/18/06)

Details

MBNA to Issue a Lesbian Credit Card

The largest lesbian lifestyle company has teamed with MBNA to issue a co-branded credit card. The new “Olivia Credit Card” offers one point for every $1 in net retail purchases. Points are redeemable towards Olivia vacations, airfare, and cash back, as well as everything MBNA’s “WorldPoints” rewards program has to offer. Over 75,000 people have traveled with Olivia in the last 10 years. Olivia charters entire ships or resorts to create one-of-a-kind vacations for lesbians, gay men and their family and friends. The group was founded in San Francisco in 1973.

Details

India Gets its First Auto Co-Brand

India’s ICICI Bank has teamed with Toyota Kirloskar Motor to launch the country’s first automobile co-branded credit card. The new “Toyota ICICI VISA” card offers 4 reward points for every $2 spent on the card at a Toyota dealer and 1 reward point for every $5 spent elsewhere. Points can be redeemed for dealer servicing or for parts and accessories. New cardholders also receive one free service voucher and a 5% discount on standard Toyota accessories. Additionally, the card offers a “Multiplier Rewards” program which can multiple existing points by 10 times and an “Accelerated Rewards” program wherein cardholders earn up to 10 reward points on every $5 spent on the card. Cardholders can also use the new card to make a down payment for the purchase of a Toyota and can spread the payment out in equal monthly installments. Toyota has more than 200,000 customers in India.

Details

TransUnion Launches a Locator Report

TransUnion has launched “Comprehensive Locator Report” which provides eight unique searches from dozens of data sources to locate the right person for collections. By conducting eight unique searches and delivering valuable information from dozens of data sources, Comprehensive Locator Report addresses a major pain-point collection agencies are experiencing today: locating the right person at the right time. This need has become amplified with an increasingly mobile public, higher interest rates and new bankruptcy laws making it more difficult for consumers to file for bankruptcy. Some of the data sources now available to collectors include listings of a debtor’s current phone numbers, occupants within their residence, neighbors, relatives, associates and even potential deceased information.

Details

Keycorp’s K23 Terminal is Deployed by CollectivePOS

Secure electronic transaction solutions provider Keycorp Limited
announced that it has certified and launched a point of sale
solution that uses secure Internet and Broadband networks to
significantly speed up electronic transactions. The “K23 Terminal” high
speed Internet Protocol solution is being deployed by
Toronto-based Collective Point of Sale Solutions. The
units are being rolled out to small and medium retailers across the country. The new unit can connect to the Internet via ADSL, cable or wireless modems. Alternatively, it can use its 10/100 Base-T fast Ethernet interface to connect to the merchant’s LAN. To protect the data transmission, Keycorp has equipped the product with SSL security.
Keycorp Canada is a subsidiary of Australia-based Keycorp
Limited. CollectivePOS provides payment-processing services and secure point-of-sale solutions for more than 7,000 merchants across Canada and
processes more than $1 billion annually.

Details

Australian Card Debt Growing 14% Y/Y

Credit card debt in Australia took its typical post-holiday downturn in January, dropping A$700 million from the prior month, compared to an A$800 million drop one-year ago. During the past twelve months, credit card debt has increased 14% while credit card volume rose 12%. For January, credit card balances dropped to A$33.5 billion after reaching a record high of A$34.3 billion in December. One-year ago credit card debt stood at A$29.4 billion. Gross dollar volume on credit card and charge cards in January was A$13.8 billion, compared to A$12.3 billion one-year ago. Card credit limits reached A$92.6 billion at the end of January, compared to A$82.4 billion for January 2005. There are currently 12.6 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 11.7 million one-year ago, according to CardFlash International.

Details

VISA Launches a Prepaid Load Network

VISA USA is launching a new prepaid infrastructure to make it easier to add funds to VISA reloadable prepaid cards via merchant locations nationwide. The new “VISA Prepaid Load Network” will also create new revenue opportunities for merchants through potential card reload fees. The forthcoming prepaid network is an opt-in service for issuers, acquirers and merchants. Using “VisaNet” connections, transaction message formats, and settlement processes, the service allows consumers to add funds to eligible VISA reloadable prepaid cards at a merchant’s checkout counter. Issuers benefit from an efficient system to expand their prepaid card programs and acquirer banks benefit from a new service to offer merchants as well as incremental revenue in the form of an interchange fee paid by the card issuer to the acquirer. Initial VISA member and merchant participants are expected to introduce the “VISA Prepaid Load Network” service in late 2006 and early 2007.

Details