First Premier Launches the Farrah Gray MasterCard

First Premier Bank and Diamond Financial Products have teamed to launch the “Farrah Gray Prepaid MasterCard.” The card enables cardholders to prepay or store money as a balance that can be accessed for purchases, bill payments, or ATM cash withdrawals. The cards can be used wherever MasterCard debit cards are accepted, including ATMs; with acceptance at millions of merchant locations worldwide. Cardholders can re-load the cards multiple times at various locations and by different payment types. The cards are prepaid so there are no credit checks, no interest payments and no monthly fee. Diamond Financial Products provides stored value products.

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RSB & AMEX

Russian Standard Bank and American Express have launched the first AmEx cards issued in Russia. RSB currently has more than 2.4 million credit cards in circulation and has a presence in more than 2,000 cities in Russia. The “American Express Green,” “Gold,” “Platinum” and “Centurion” Cards will be ruble and dollar denominated. RSB is responsible for issuing the cards, extending credit, managing accounts, marketing and customer service support. AmEx will provide its technical, operational and marketing experience in managing a global card business and access to its global network of millions of merchants. AmEx will also continue to manage relationships with merchants in Russia, including signing new merchants to accept the card. American Express currently has more than 90-partnerships in more than 100 countries around the world.

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Indala to Issue 22,000 Microsoft Cards

San Jose-based Indala Corporation has begun production of 22,000 “Multi-Technology SmartCards” for Microsoft which includes payment options. This was the second of four phases designed to replace older 32KB-chip cards used by all Microsoft employees and contractors. Indala Corporation is a security technology company that develops and distributes 125 kHz proximity; 13.56 MHz contactless and contact smart cards; and associated readers for physical and network access-control applications.

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GCA Renews John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino

John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, NV has signed a contract to continue to use Global Cash Access'”Casino Cash Plus 3-in-1″ ATM, “QuikCash” cash advance kiosks and Central Credit services. QuikCash cash advance kiosks are customer-activated, touch screen terminals that provide casino patrons with POS debit and credit card cash advance transaction options. Available in countertop, wall-mount, free-standing and handheld models, QuikCash terminals can be installed virtually anywhere in a gaming establishment. Global Cash Access is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Global Cash Access Holdings, Inc. and is a provider of cash access products and related services to approximately 960 gaming properties and other clients in the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada and the Caribbean.

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Points & Privileges Drive Loyalty Cards

A new report shows that a combination of points and special privileges (but without discounts) works the best for retailer loyalty. OH-based COLLOQUY tested five loyalty program scenarios for a major retailer. More than 75 stores participated in two consecutive six-month tests where over 60,000 customers from the retailer’s credit card file were auto-enrolled in one of the five loyalty program scenarios. Besides the combination of points and special privileges, the other cells tested included: the “reward cell” offered loyalty program members the ability to accrue points they could redeem for in-kind merchandise – products already sold by the retailer. The rate of accrual was set at 2%-4%; the “service cell” offered members discounts on selected items at up to 50% off along with other soft benefits including special checkout lanes and preferred parking; the “rebate cell” offered members a 2%-4% rebate on all identified purchases that they could take as cash back or a balance reduction on their private-label credit card account; and the “awareness cell” was a communication-only strategy that used incremental, targeted and personalized direct mail to reinforce existing services offered by the retailer to the private-label cardholders.

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Acceptiva Offers Consultant Discount

Washington-based Acceptiva is offering a 25% discount on credit card acceptance for consultants and service professionals. The creation of Acceptiva was in response to the lack of customized, branded solutions available to non-profits and service professionals in the online payment industry. The Acceptiva Online Payment Solution integrates the look and feel of the site where the payments come from, offers secure payments, and includes online payment data access. Incoming payments are sent to the seller’s checking account, and buyers know exactly what they purchased and when, as the seller’s information shows up on the buyer’s credit card statement.

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Few Parents Opt for Bank-Issued Gift Cards

Chase and Harris Interactive released the “Disney Rewards VISA Family Trends Report” which shows that 68% of parents who shop for the holidays say they plan to spend the same amount of money or more on gifts this holiday season versus last year. About 40% of parents who shop for the holidays are planning to accomplish 25% or more of their holiday shopping via the Internet. The “Disney Rewards VISA Family Trends Report” also found that 87% of parents who shop for the holidays feel that it is appropriate to give a child a gift card. In total, 68% of parents who shop for the holidays say they plan to purchase store-branded gift cards, while only 22% plan to purchase a general purpose pre-paid gift card.

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DataFlux to Support UATP Data Quality

UATP has selected DataFlux data profiling technology to lead data quality analysis efforts. DataFlux will help analyze and discover data quality improvement opportunities. The DataFlux Data Quality Integration Solution provides data profiling and data analysis technology that provides the foundation for data improvement efforts. UATP accounts are accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel by more than 220 airlines worldwide. DataFlux is a wholly owned subsidiary of SAS and helps customers enhance the effectiveness of their data-driven initiatives, including customer data integration (CDI), enterprise resource planning (ERP), legacy data migration and compliance.

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U.S. Bank Launches Fencing Assn VISA

The United States Fencing Association and U.S. Bank have introduced a VISA affinity card. The card generates support for fencing each time a new card is activated and repeatedly thereafter each time the card is used. The USFA card depicts two fencers in action, and features no annual fee, a low introductory rate and a choice of exciting rewards including cash back or points redeemable for merchandise, travel, gift certificates or virtually any reward with the Choose Your Own Reward option. The USFA develops fencers to achieve international success and to administer and promote the sport in the United States.

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China UnionPay Cards Go Live on Pulse

China UnionPay and Discover have officially opened the “PULSE” network for Chinese travelers. During a ceremony in New York City on Monday, the Chairman of China UnionPay purchased a necktie with a card issued in China marking the first-ever acceptance of a “China UnionPay” bank card in the US. Next year Discover cardholders will be able to use their cards at China UnionPay’s 365,000 merchant locations and 80,000 ATMs in China. Both companies are continuing to work toward acceptance of China UnionPay cards at Discover’s more than 4 million merchant and cash access locations in North America. Discover cards are currently accepted in the U.S and the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada. More than 360,000 Chinese travelers will visit the US this year. China UnionPay is the only national bankcard payment network in China, with more than 800 million bankcards issued on the CUP network. Discover Financial Services inked a partnership with China UnionPay in May. (CF Library 5/26/05)

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