AmEx Installs Avaya IP Telephony Solution

American Express has installed Avaya “Internet Protocol Telephony”
solutions at its Middle Eastern Headquarters and contact center in
Manama. The new solutions have increased American Express’ Manama
contact center productivity by 30% and cut call response time by 20% as
the 30 agents at the Manama customer care center are now able to provide
24/7 service to American Express credit and charge customers around the
region. AEME also plans to link the new Bahrain contact center with its
existing customer contact centers in the region.

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RBC CASH Index to be Launched This Month

RBC Financial Group and Ipsos Public Affairs this morning announced an agreement to publish the “RBC CASH Index.” The “Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household” index will be a monthly national survey of consumer attitudes on the current and future state of local economies, personal financial situations, savings and confidence to make large investments. RBC will immediately assume sponsorship of the index, which has been in existence since 2002, and the first “RBC CASH Index” numbers will be released later this month. In addition to the overall “RBC CASH Index,” RBC and Ipsos will publish four indices calculated and comprised from specific questions within the “CASH Index Survey.”

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BMO Mosaik MC Wins a Marketing Innovation Award

Unica Corporation has selected finalists from BMO Bank of
Montreal, Nationwide Building Society and Rewards Network for their
marketing achievements and innovative use of Unica’s “Affinium EMM”
suite. Each year, the Unica Marketing Innovation Awards honor companies
that utilize “Enterprise Marketing Management” technology to address
marketing challenges, drive innovation and achieve business results for
their organization. Using “Affinium,” BMO was able to increase customer
acquisition rates by 3.5% above plan, boost overall assets under
management by 10% and increase loyalty by 20 basis points.

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Lloyds/AmEx Rewards Card Draws Mixed Reviews

Moneysupermarket.com has blasted the new “Lloyds TSB Rewards American Express” credit card. The firm says the new card “fails to live up to expectations, with just a GBP10 voucher rewarded for every GBP2,000 spent on the card.” Moneysupermarket.com says the 0.5% reward is pitiful and can only be spent in a select number of stores.
Lloyds TSB teamed with American Express in April to issue its own range of credit cards utilizing the American Express Network in the UK. Lloyds will create the products, issue the cards and manage the customer accounts, billing and credit management. Lloyds TSB has 16 million customers, over 2,000 branches and, more than 6 million credit card customers.

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Payday Lenders Create a New Credit Bureau

A group of payday advance companies has formed a new alternative credit reporting agency. The Community Financial Services Association of America, which represents 164 payday advance locations, is using PRBC for the reporting agency. CFSA says that traditional credit reporting agencies do not track or score payments of commonly recurring bills such as rent, private mortgages, utilities, telephone, cable TV, child care and payday advances. PRBC produces a “Bill Payment Score” which can be used to supplement a traditional credit score, or be used in the absence of one to gain a more complete and accurate risk assessment of an applicant. CFSA members Advance America and Check into Cash will offer the PRBC service at six Chicago-area locations starting this week.

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Bank of America Launches the Mexicana Airlines VISA

Mexicana Airlines and Bank of America have kicked-off a promotion for the new “Mexicana Airlines VISA Platinum,” offering a free companion ticket after a first purchase and a $99 companion ticket coupon annually afterwards. This is the first airline card to offer this type of reward and the first Mexicana Airlines card in the US. Bank of America serves 33 million consumer relationships and serves clients in 150 countries. Mexicana Airlines is Mexico’s airline and flies to more than 50 destinations in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

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Transact ATM Services Teams with Chex Services

Transact ATM Services has signed a deal to market Chex’s full line of comprehensive cash access products and services throughout the Canadian market. Chex’s product lines include full financial service booth operations, credit and debit card cash advances, Automated Teller Machine placements, multi-function ATMs, check cashing and electronic check conversion and verification, stored value cards and money remittance services.

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International Card Services Teams with FDC

First Data and International Card Services have signed an agreement to launch an alliance for merchant and ATM acquiring in the Dutch market. ICS currently has relationships with over 90,000 merchants in the Netherlands for the acceptance of VISA cards. ICS has been operating a card issuing and acquiring business in the Netherlands since 1975. FDC serves 4.1 million merchant locations and 1,400 card issuers globally.

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Diebold to Close its Danville ATM Plant

Diebold says it will close its ATM plant in Danville, VA by September 30th. The Danville plant, opened in 1997, assembles modules for ATM components and produces physical security and banking facility equipment. Diebold says most of these activities will be integrated into other selected U.S.-based Diebold manufacturing facilities while the remaining activities will be contracted to an external supplier in the USA. Diebold reported that ATM sales in the first quarter rose 12% to $173.3 million. ATM services revenues climbed 3.7% to $215.2 million. During the quarter, total “Opteva” ATM orders were approximately $109 million, an increase of more than 80% from 1Q/04. For complete details on Diebold’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 4/20/05)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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