TNB Offers FDC’s Debit/ATM Solution

Dallas-based TNB Card Services is converting its debit card credit union clients to the First Data/STAR Network platform. TNB will offer the First Data suite of debit services to both its debit and credit card clients. With the suite, credit unions can integrate PIN and signature into one platform and save time, improve efficiency, enjoy greater flexibility and reduce the burden of back-office tasks involved with debit and ATM transactions. The STAR Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at 1.6 million ATM and retail locations nationwide. TNB provides full-service credit and debit card processing, as well as an agent issuing solution for credit unions nationwide. The firm serves more than 450 financial institutions and manages more than 1.6 million cards.

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Chase Expands United’s Card Fleet

Chase and United Airlines added another card to their fleet of cobranded “Mileage Plus” credit cards. The new “United Mileage Plus Platinum Class Signature VISA,” which carries a $140 annual fee, offers all cardholders, regardless of their United status, the ability to earn unlimited miles from purchases. Before today’s launch, United/Chase credit cards typically carried a 60,000 mile annual cap from purchases except for United customers who flew at least 25,000 miles annually. Under the program for the “United Mileage Plus Platinum Class Signature VISA,” new cardholders earn 15,000 bonus miles after the first use of their card and 5,000 of those miles will also count toward “Mileage Plus” elite status. Cardholders also have the opportunity to earn an additional 5,000 qualifying miles toward elite status, for making purchases with the card over a designated amount during the year. For tickets purchased on united.com, cardholders can also earn up to 5,000 “Elite Qualifying Miles.” A special anniversary companion ticket will also be provided to cardholders annually. Double miles are also awarded on both United and Star Alliance purchases and for specific everyday spending purchases. The new card is the sixth cobranded “Mileage Plus” card issued by Chase.

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Juniper Snags a Chase Card Executive

Barclay’s Juniper Bank has hired Kevin Sullivan, former SVP/National Sales at Chase Card Services, as senior director of business development for the bank’s financial services. With more than 16 years of card industry experience, Sullivan will play a vital role in developing Juniper Bank’s business. He served most recently as senior vice president of national sales at Chase Card Services and has also worked at MasterCard International and American Express Co. Juniper Financial Corporation is a leading full-service credit card issuer.

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VISA’s Q1 Commercial Sales Volume Up 26%

VISA USA’s commercial card sales volume rose more than 26% in the first quarter to $31.9 billion. As of March 31st, VISA had 24.3 million commercial cards-in-force, a 14% increase over one-year ago. The average sales ticket for a commercial card transaction is now $159.50 compared to $54.08 for a consumer card transaction, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). Of the $31.9 billion in sales volume, about $25.4 billion was on credit cards. A recent VISA survey on small business found that nearly 30% use business debit cards for core services and 20% report using business credit cards. For travel and entertainment expenditures, 82% of businesses use credit cards and 53% use debit cards. (CF Library 5/12/05)

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

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Credit Card Volume to Hit $1.8T in 05

Based on first quarter data, general purpose credit card gross dollar volume may hit $1.8 trillion this year. During the first quarter, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover posted $412.5 billion in GDV, a 7.2% gain over 1Q/04. Combined, VISA and MasterCard credit cards produced $307.0 billion in GDV, a 5.7% gain over one-year ago. American Express and Discover reported $105.5 billion in GDV, an 11.9% gain over 1Q/04. For the first quarter of 2004 credit card activity for the four networks increased 10.7%, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). Historically, the first quarter delivers 23% of annual GDV.

CREDIT CARD Q1 GDV HISTORICAL
(VISA, MasterCard, AmEx & Discover)
2002: $322.6 billion
2003: $347.4 billion
2004: $384.7 billion
2005: $412.5 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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TransFirst Hops on the EAN Partner Program

Dallas-based TransFirst has joined the Ecometry Alliance Network to provide payment processing products and services to multi-channel retailers. TransFirst will have the opportunity to successfully market its customized processing programs to Ecometry’s clients. TransFirst currently processes approximately $20 billion in annual sales volume for more than 160,000 merchants and more than 760 financial institutions. Ecometry Corporation provider software solutions for multi-channel retailers.

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LaserCard Revenues Weaken & Losses Widen

California-based LaserCard posted an 8% decline in revenue for the first quarter as its net loss widened to $3 million, compared to $363,000 one-year ago. Revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 were $5.8 million,compared with $6.3 million in the prior quarter and $6.3 million in the same quarter a year ago. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005, LaserCard reported revenues of $28.5 million, an $11.6 million increase from prior fiscal year revenues of $17.0 million. LaserCard Corporation manufactures and markets LaserCard optical memory cards, chip-ready Optical/Smart cards and other advanced-technology secure identification cards.

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First Cobranded blink Card Launched

PA-based convenience store chain Sheetz has become the first retailer to launch a cobranded contactless credit card. The new “Sheetz MasterCard with blink” features the “Sheetz Rewards” program, which includes the ability to earn free gas with every purchase. The “Sheetz MasterCard” rewards program also offers cardholders a variety of other rewards, including free Sheetz food, a 10% rebate on Sheetz purchases for the first 60 days and three percent thereafter. In January, Sheetz became the first retailer in the nation to adopt acceptance of MasterCard “PayPass.” Additionally, Sheetz has rolled out American Express’ “ExpressPay” in all of its 305 c-stores nationwide. (CF Library 3/23/05)

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BannerDirect Hires a Strategic Planner

New York City-based BannerDirect has hired Laura Stolzenthaler, formerly with Chase and American Express, as VP/Account Management & Strategic Planning. Stolzenthaler will be responsible for spearheading strategic management and client services and head up sales and marketing. She received a M.A. degree in Business Education at Cornell University and a B.A. in Economics from SUNY Stony Brook. BannerDirect is a full-service direct marketing agency.

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AmEx Opens an Online Broadway Gateway

American Express this morning opens a new Web site, hosted by Yahoo!, that will provide a comprehensive but streamlined resource for the Broadway theater scene. The site will be promoted across the Yahoo! network, including the Yahoo! front page, Yahoo! Finance and Yahoo! Entertainment and will also be marketed offline. Cardmember benefits will include pre-sale of tickets for top shows not yet available to the general public and rewards for theater merchandise. To date, American Express has supported over 200 Broadway shows and touring companies.

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Cards Mow Down Checks/Cash in Lawn Care

A new survey shows that 44% of American adults who have a lawn and take care of it themselves use credit or debit cards to purchase lawn care products and services, compared with 33% who use cash and only 20% who pay by check, according to a Harris Interactive survey released in conjunction with a joint MasterCard and Home Depot consumer promotion. The promotion currently running is the “Backyard Makeover Sweepstakes,” which ends next week. MasterCard users making a purchase at Home Depot with their card are entered for a chance to win a $100,000 backyard makeover.

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