The Postal Rate Commission is reaching out to credit unions and smaller banks to encourage them to enter into “Negotiated Service Agreements” to lower their mailing costs. To date, only Capital One has been approved for an “NSA,” but Discover and Bank One struck similar deals with the Postal Service in June that are now awaiting approval from the PRC. Since September 2003, Capital One has been able to mail credit card solicitations using First-Class Mail at discounts up to 6 cents per piece. Under the Cap One “NSA” and the two proposed “NSAs,” mailers receive pricing incentives if they send more First-Class Mail than they typically do in a year and convert to using the “Address Change Service,” which provides electronic notification of forwarded mail and undeliverable pieces, eliminating the return of undeliverable mail. Currently, NSAs are complex and time-consuming to create but the Postal Service says it is aiming to streamline the process. Once negotiated, the NSA is presented to the Board of Governors and authorization is requested to file the case with the PRC. The Postal Service and the customer then litigate the case before the PRC, presenting documentation and evidence that the agreement is in the best interest of the mailing public. This process can take 10 months. If the NSA is recommended by the PRC, it is returned to the Board of Governors for final approval and implementation.Details
Discover has inked an exclusive acceptance agreement with Dollar General. The “Discover Card” will be the only credit card accepted for payment at more than 5,500 Dollar General stores in 27 states and will be accepted at all of Dollar General’s more than 7,000 stores chain wide. Previously, Dollar General accepted only cash and personal checks as forms of payment. Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions has been selected as the electronic card processor for all electronic payments.Details
A new MasterCard has been introduced that gives cardholders a chance to win a monthly cash jackpot of at least $25,000, every time they spend $1 on purchases. The new “American DreamCard Platinum MasterCard” awards one sweepstakes entry for every net $1.00 spent on the card, up to 1,000 entries per a $1,000 transaction. Consumers also receive 1,000 entries for applying during the promotional period which ends September 30th. If approved, cardholders will also earn 100 entries by enrolling in the online account servicing platform, and one hundred entries each time they pay their “American DreamCard” bill online. Monthly winners will receive 0.50% of the total amount of net dollars spent by the cumulative number of cardholders on their “American DreamCards” during each drawing period. The maximum monthly prize is expected to vary between $30,000 and $100,000. Metris/Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank is the issuer of the innovative card.Details
A new survey shows that 70% of parents with children younger than college age said they plan to use their debit card for back-to-school purchases and that one in five parents, with children in college, plan to give their child a debit card to help the student manage spending while at school. The “Back to School Spending Index” survey, sponsored by MasterCard and conducted by Harris Interactive, found that on average, parents of U.S. students college age and younger expect to spend $412 this year on back-to-school items. More than one-third of parents expect to spend more this year than last and one-sixth anticipate 2004 back-to-school costs for books, clothes, and supplies to exceed $500. The MasterCard survey also revealed that households with children are more likely to have debit cards than those without (72% for those with children vs. 58% for those without children).Details
Paymentech has negotiated a contract with eFunds’ Deposit Payment Protection Services to offer “SCAN” check authorization services to its top retail and e-commerce customers. By making SCAN available to all their merchant channels, Paymentech will provide retailers with the opportunity to leverage and contribute to multi-channel information to mitigate risk, protect their business and their bottom line.Details
APAC Customer Services has named John Park, CFO of Orbitz, to its board of directors. Mr. Park is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Orbitz, Inc. The chairman and founder of APAC is confident that John’s expertise and experience will make him a valuable addition to an already strong board.Details
New research suggests that America’s reluctance to adopt the
chip and PIN technology used in the UK and France will contribute to a sharp rise in counterfeit card fraud losses as organized crime is likely to turn to the U.S. where the protection against counterfeit is weaker.
The study says that counterfeit card fraud rose by 121% in the last
five years, from $95.6 million in 1999 to over $211 million in 2003.
According to London-based Datamonitor, one of the obstacles to the EMV implementation in the U.S. is the high cost of transition, estimated to be in the region of $13 billion. This compares to annual fraud losses of $1.5 billion in 2003. Given this imbalance it is difficult for card issuers to build a business case for investment in anti-fraud measures. However, Datamonitor forecasts the losses associated with counterfeit card fraud will show the strongest increases over the next five years.
Toyota Financial Services insurance division has developed a a new claims handling and payment process that utilizes a credit card issued by PNC Bank. “ActivePay,” powered by Works Operating Company, offers an integrated online payment solution that connects payment management with VISA’s global payment network, allowing commercial credit cards to be used as a payment of choice. Under the program, TFS assigns each claim a unique “ActivePay” card number when either a repair shop or non-affiliated auto dealership requests approval for repairs covered under TFS’ vehicle service agreements. TFS can electronically document the service center name and the type of approved repair, and then assign an exact dollar amount to that specific credit card number. This establishes the credit card’s limit. When the credit card payment transaction is submitted by the repair facility, PNC Bank’s “ActivePay” card system automatically reconciles or matches that information to the approved claim amount. The claim is automatically processed if the service center name, repair type and dollar amount match; exceptions are manually reviewed.Details
MBNA yesterday rolled-out a new credit card offering football fans a variety of NFL and NFL TEAM experiences such as dinner with a coach, golf with former players, sideline passes, game tickets, etc. The new “MBNA NFL Extra Points” credit card is available with the team logo of any of the 32 NFL clubs, or the NFL shield. Cardholders receive one point for each dollar charged. “Extra Points” redemptions include VIP Draft Party Access for 8,000 points, two game tickets for 35,000 points, dinner with a coach for 80,000 points, and two “Super Bowl” tickets for 200,000 points. MBNA is the official credit card issuer of the NFL and all 32 NFL teams.Details
Card processing company, AmeriCard, has changed the company name to OneBridge. This name change comes along with the announcement that they have also expanded their business focus with a new vision of specializing in making money move by providing comprehensive card processing solutions. The expansion includes offerings to enhance the card transaction process beginning with the recent introduction of its new proprietary system.Details
Applied Card Systems, whose representatives allegedly harassed consumers with multiple phone calls and abusive language, agreed to settle FTC charges that their business practices violated federal law. The FTC alleges that third parties, including relatives, neighbors, and employers were continuously called by Applied Card Systems even after representatives were told that the consumer they are looking for does not reside or work with them.Details
Simon Property Group is introducing giftcards for Indiana University and Purdue University. IU and Purdue fans can show their team spirit by simply flashing their Simon IU or Purdue Giftcards. A portion of the proceeds from sales will go to support scholarships from the IU Varsity Club and the General Scholarship Fund at Purdue University.Details