U.S. Bank Voyager Fleet Systems and Esso

U.S. Bank Voyager Fleet Systems will now provide Esso Puerto Rico
customers the ability to purchase fuel at participating Esso sites in
Puerto Rico. Under the terms of this arrangement, Voyager customers will
be issued an “Esso Fleet Card” that will be accepted at participating Esso
retail gas stations. Esso will send transactional data to Voyager, and
Voyager will combine these transactions into a single, consolidated
billing statement for fleets using the Voyager system. Voyager Fleet
Systems is a leading provider of the universal fleet fueling and
maintenance card for over 1.5 million vehicles and is a wholly owned
subsidiary of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, with assets in excess of
$207 billion.

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Card ABS Charge-Offs Rise 160bps in Oct

Charge-offs for credit card-backed securities during October surged by 160 basis points sequentially but only up 70 basis points annually. The rush of consumers clamoring to beat the filing deadline before the new U.S. bankruptcy law took full effect October 17th caused the spike in credit card ABS. According to Standard & Poor’s “U.S. Credit Quality Index,” charge-offs during October hit 7.1% compared to 5.5% in September and 6.4% one-year ago. S&P says the October charge-off rate was 90 bps higher than the 6.2% average for the year-to-date, 50 bps higher than the 2004 average of 6.6% and only 10 bps lower than the 2003 average of 7.2%. S&P also says charge-off rates for individual card ABS during October grew for more than 80% of the trusts, with increases ranging from 25 bps to 910 bps.

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VISA LAC Q3

VISA’s Latin American and Caribbean Region registered a 42% increase in overall POS sales volume for the twelve months ending September 30th. POS sales volume for credit grew 38%, while debit grew by 49%. Overall, growth in POS processing transactions hit 2.5 billion, up 28%. Acceptance grew 15% to over 2.1 million locations in the LAC region. Globally, total sales volume, including cash advances was $3.9 trillion, an increase of 15%. Furthermore, POS sales volume also grew at a solid pace of 15%, amounting to $2.5 trillion. Meanwhile, the number of VISA-branded cards grew to 1.3 billion, representing an increase of 14%.

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Arcot Takes VISA VbV to Mobile Phones

Arcot Systems has extended VISA’s “Verified by Visa” to mobile phone transactions which conform to the latest VISA dynamic passcode authentication specifications. The first implementation is being piloted in Russia and Europe. Arcot was the first software provider to enable 3-D Secure-protected mobile telephone transactions via its patented “TransFort” authentication platform. More than 10,000 card-issuing financial institutions rely on Arcot’s “TransFort” payment authentication solution.

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American Express Launches Processing Plus

American Express and Ariba have launched “Ariba Processing
Plus” solution. The joint offering will provide
automated electronic procurement and payment functionalities for Ariba’s
United Kingdom customers using the “American Express Corporate
Purchasing Solution”. “AP Plus” provides customers with enhanced line
item detail that reduces manual processing costs and improves visibility
into transaction detail. This detail includes online status updates and
history available for card authorization, settlement, and purchase order
transactions. For suppliers, “AP Plus” eliminates the need for separate
point-of-sale systems that require manual entry and carry the risk of
administration errors. The Ariba Supplier Network is an open business
transaction network. It includes 120,000 registered e-enabled suppliers
engaging in transactions worth more than $5 billion each month.

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ADS Extends Limited Brands Card Deal to 09

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems has signed agreements with Limited Brands to continue providing credit card programs for Victoria’s Secret, The Limited, Express, Bath and Body Works and Henri Bendel through 2009. The agreements formalize the intentions of both parties to deploy new tools and resources to expand the card programs. Alliance Data will continue providing account acquisition and activation, receivables funding, card authorization, card issuance, statement generation, loyalty marketing services related to the credit card, remittance processing, and customer service functions. Limited Brands presently operates 3,677 specialty stores. Alliance Data is a provider of transaction services, credit services and marketing services, managing over 105 million consumer relationships.

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STM And Smardtech To Develop Smart Cards for ERG

STMicroelectronics and SmardTech are collaborating to develop and
deliver a smart card solution based on the “ST19W” secure MCU family and
the SmardOS operating system, as part of an electronic ticketing system
developed by German card.etc AG, together with ERG Transit Systems.
The smart card solution meets the technical requirements of the VDV
(Association of German Transport Operators) Kernapplikation (KA) project
to develop and establish a national e-ticketing technology standard.
SmardTech is a provider of software solutions for smart cards and smart
tags based applications. card.etc AG is a full service provider for
integrated smart card solutions and an issuer of multi functional smart
cards for public transport. STMicroelectronics provides
semiconductor solutions for microelectronics applications. In 2004, the
Company’s net revenues were $8.76 billion and net earnings were $601
million.

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Sony Adds More Zip to the AmEx IN:LA Card

Sony Pictures Digital and American Express have teamed to launch “IN:LA Flash Rewards.” The new program features technology that disseminates time-specific rewards through mobile text messaging and e-mails to “IN:LA” cardholders. The program allows entry to exclusive private concerts from top rock and hip hop acts and VIP movie screenings of two major motion picture releases as well as other special offers, discounts and giveaways from local LA establishments. The “IN:LA Flash Rewards” program will run for a minimum of thirteen weeks. In September, AmEx launched its third city-centric credit card. The “IN:LA Card” features the “INSIDE Rewards” program whereby cardholders earn one point for every dollar spent and double points on local dining, movies, mobile phone service, cable and satellite TV service, Internet service, gym membership and magazine/newspaper subscriptions. AmEx also offers the “IN:CHICAGO Card” and the “IN:NYC Card.” (CF Library 9/30/04; 9/22/05; 9/30/05)

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Peter Norton Energizes the SinoPEC Nationwide Gas Card

eChinaCash and SinoPEC have rolled out the “SinoPEC
Nationwide Gas Card” along with the “Sincere Appreciation Customer Loyalty Program.” Both the card and loyalty program are designed to strengthen
SinoPEC’s brand image and customer loyalty while rewarding customers
through a strategic network of global partners and sponsors. The eChinaCash Chairman is Peter Norton of Norton Anti-virus software. SinoPEC holds over a 70% market share in China’s gasoline industry and has annual sales of over $71 billion. eChinaCash is a major provider
of payment card solutions and applications for large Chinese
corporations and financial institutions.

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Experian Acquires PriceGrabber for $485MM

Experian has acquired Los Angeles-based PriceGrabber.com for $485 million plus expenses. PriceGrabber.com will become part of Experian Interactive, which currently includes LowerMyBills.com, MetaReward, Affiliate Fuel, ClassesUSA.com and Experian Consumer Direct. The PriceGrabber.com database contains millions of products in more than 20 categories, such as consumer electronics, clothing, photography, computers, office products, software, toys, home and garden and video games. The company also powers comparison shopping on more than 300 Web sites. This year, PriceGrabber.com estimates sales to be $60 million. PriceGrabber.com was founded in 1999 and employs 140 people.

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E-Plus Inks Deal to Use Redknee’s mCommerce Gateway

Redknee has secured a contract to provide its new
“mCommerce Gateway” to mobile network operator E-Plus. “MCG” will
provide subscribers with the ability to make mobile payments for retail
goods, content and media via their mobile handsets, so they can better
manage and control their expenditures and provides a secure interface
for managing multiple content partnerships, accepting credit and debit
cards and pre- and post-paid accounts, allowing the operator to define a
monthly maximum limit for mobile retail spending. Redknee is a provider
of mobile phone infrastructure software.

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