Standard Bank Implements Fair Isaac’s TRIAD

Standard Bank announced it is implementing Fair Isaac’s “TRIAD” adaptive control system to improve risk assessment and profitability in its credit card division. The bank will replace its existing credit risk management software with “TRIAD 7.” Consultants from PIC Solutions, Fair Isaac’s reseller in Africa and the Middle East region, will work with Standard Bank and Fair Isaac in the design, implementation and ongoing management of “TRIAD” in the bank’s credit card division. The PIC team currently consults with 11 “TRIAD” clients in South Africa.

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AmEx OPEN Survey Finds Tax Relief a Big Issue

A new American Express “OPEN” survey has found that 26% of small business owners identified tax relief as the most pressing issue the new Congress and the President should address. The OPEN Small Business Network Semi-Annual Monitor, released each April and October, is based on a nationally representative sample of 773 small business owners/managers of companies with fewer than 100 employees. OPEN: The Small Business Network is the division of American Express that provides small business owners an enhanced set of products, tools, services and savings designed to meet their evolving needs, including charge and credit cards, convenient access to working capital, robust online account management capabilities and savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners.

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Americans with Debt Post Higher Credit Scores

A new study reveals that the average credit score for consumers with debt above the national average is higher than the average credit score for those with debt below the national average. The research by Experian found that U.S. consumers have an average debt of $11,224, about 12% higher than the previous year. Experian data show that 25% of U.S. consumers have debt that is above the national average and their average Experian “PLUS Score” is 695. The average “PLUS Score” for consumers with debt below the national average is 671. The monthly “Experian National Score Index” is based upon a nationwide sampling of three million consumer credit profiles.

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SmartPay Jieyin Names Greg Shen as CEO

SmartPay Jieyin has named Greg Shen as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director. Shen previously led a buyout and restructuring of Intrinsic Technology, a telecom solutions provider in China, which SmartPay recently acquired. Shen will also join SmartPay’s Board of Directors. SmartPay works with over 15 Chinese banks and numerous merchants including 10 of China’s largest mobile telecom operators and is China’s clear leader in processing payments originating from
mobile phone subscribers.

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Commerce Bank’s Gift Card Scores Record Sales

Cherry Hill, NJ-based Commerce Bank reports that it issued more than 220,000 “VISA Gift Cards” since the launch of its program in November. The cards carried a total value of $14.5 million, making it one of the most successful general purpose gift card launches to-date. The Bank projected sales of 80,000 to 100,000 cards during the holidays. The new “Commerce Bank VISA Gift Card” is offered without conversion, expiration, reissue and other fees. The card was also delivered in upscale packaging during the holidays. Commerce Bank has 319 retail locations. It says an average of 30 gift cards were sold daily per store during December.

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32MM European Teenagers Ripe for Prepaid Cards

A new study has found that 8.4% of the European population are
teenagers representing a significant market for new products including
prepaid cards. The study by Research and Markets revealed that the teenage demographic represents a significant potential customer
base for prepaid cards since credit cards are not available to 10 to 17
year olds in most countries and debit cards in only a few. The report also examines the position of online in the banking distribution channel mix, the growth of ePurse markets and outlines new initiatives in
combating online fraud.

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Drexel University and U.S. Bank Partner

PA-based Drexel University has teamed with U.S. Bank to launch a suite of VISA affinity credit cards including a rewards card. Students, alumni and employees, who carry the Drexel card, will have access to a variety of credit cards offered through this U.S. Bank partnership, including one that earns reward points that can be redeemed for gift certificates, merchandise, cash and travel rewards. Drexel is widely recognized for its focus on technology and cooperative education. U.S. Bank is part of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB). With $195 billion in assets, U.S. Bancorp is the 6th largest financial services holding company in the United States.

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Clermont-Ferrand SMTC Contracts with ERG Group

The Clermont-Ferrand-based Syndicat Mixte des Transports en Commun has selected ERG Group, INEO and Parkeon to supply a smart card based automated fare collection system. The new smart card system will be the first large urban ticketing system in France to abandon the magnetic ticket technology currently used throughout France in favor of smart card technology. The project is valued at over EUR 4 million. It will begin rollout immediately and will be fully implemented in September 2006.

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Payment Data Systems & Central Bancard Team

TX-based Payment Data Systems has signed a multi-year agreement with Central Bancard to provide credit card authorization and settlement. With this new capability, PDS will be in a position to create and capture significant new revenue opportunities from an extremely diverse cross section of billers that have wanted to do business with PDS, but until now have had to seek out other providers. Payment Data Systems, Inc., is an Integrated Payments Solution Provider delivering comprehensive, cost-effective solutions to billers and retailers for the processing and management of electronic payments via the Internet, point of sale, or payments taken by Customer Service Representatives or an Interactive Voice Response (IVR). Central Bancard’s focus is on developing comprehensive programs to meet the needs of the agent and ISO communities.

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PayPal Adds the Australian Dollar and a Local Site

PayPal has launched a new PayPal site in Australia and
introduced the Australian Dollar as an additional currency to its service. Earlier this month, PayPal also added the Australian Dollar to the range of currencies offered on its global service, which includes U.S. Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Euros, Pounds Sterling and Japanese Yen.
Australian users can now send and receive payments in Australian
Dollars. PayPal has more than 63 million accounts in 45 countries.

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Shoppers Charge Accounts Names a New COO

NJ-based Shoppers Charge Accounts has promoted Robert Noren to SVP/COO. In his new position as chief operations officer, Noren will continue to direct the company’s credit, customer service and collections areas, while also assuming responsibility for special projects and compliance. He continues to report to SCA president Tom Nelson. SCA, which services independent, regional and national retailers throughout the U.S., acquires retailers’ receivables or will develop private label credit programs for merchants who currently don’t offer a house charge.

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