Fifth Third Reward Programs Drive Profits

One of the nation’s first issuers to reward both credit and debit card use, says the program has produced more profitable consumer relationships. OH-based Fifth Third Bank reports that its two-year old rewards program produced cardholders who spend 90% more per statement cycle than all other Fifth Third consumer cardholders. The issuer also found that “Fifth Third Cash Rewards” MasterCards comprise almost 20% of all new credit card accounts opened monthly at the bank and that 80% of “Cash Rewards” cardholders have other account relationships with Fifth Third. The successful “Cash Rewards” program is a partnership between Fifth Third and MasterCard Advisors. Under the program, credit cardholders earn a 1% cash reward for every dollar of purchases on the “Fifth Third Cash Rewards MasterCard.” Debit cardholders can earn one point for every two dollars in purchases made using a “Fifth Third Enhanced Jeanie,” “CheckCard Plus” or “e53 debit MasterCard” card.

Details

BabyCenter Launches a Card with MBNA/Vesdia

San Francisco-based BabyCenter has teamed with MBNA and Vesdia to launch the “BabyCenter MasterCard” credit card. The new card enables parents to earn rebates swept into an investment account. Cardholders automatically earn a 1% rebate on all purchases and, with their registration in the “BabyCenter Savings Program,” parents earn an additional 5% rebate from purchases at the BabyCenter Store along with bonus rebates from hundreds of participating merchants. Cardholders can direct their rebates into an investment plan such as a 529 college savings plan, money market account, mutual fund or savings account. Atlanta-based Vesdia is also the savings engine behind the “BabyMint” and “NestEggz” programs.

Details

AEON & JCB

Non-bank credit card company, AEON Credit Service, has become the third major card issuer to receive a license for issuing the JCB Card in Hong Kong, following HSBC and Hang Seng Bank. The new “AEON/JCB Travel Card”,
which displays a kabuki motif, offers cardholders special deals at
merchants in Japan, as well as exclusive low-price tours to Japan. AEON and JCB anticipate that more than 10,000 cards will be issued in the first year. The “AEON/JCB Travel Card” will be advertised aggressively in newspapers and magazines, on the subway system and buses, and through various other channels to reach the target market of approximately 3,400,000 in Hong Kong. In 1993, AEON became the first non-bank in Hong Kong to issue credit cards and currently has about 720,000 cardholders. JCB began expanding globally as an international credit card brand by opening its first overseas subsidiary in Hong Kong in 1981, and the first JCB Card issuing program outside Japan was launched in partnership with HSBC four years later in 1985.

Details

HP to Upgrade 2,400 TD ATMs and POS Processing

TD Bank Financial Group and HP announced an initiative in
which HP will upgrade and manage TD’s national automated banking network
and POS transaction infrastructure. The seven-year outsourcing agreement, valued at $320 million, will upgrade approximately 2,400 ATMs across Canada and TD’s automated banking and POS transaction processing system. HP also secured outsourcing deals with MCI and Standard Register.

Details

AirPlus and GE Launch an U.S. Corporate MasterCard

Neu-Isenburg-based AirPlus International has added a corporate card to its arsenal of corporate travel payment solutions targeting the U.S. market. The “AirPlus Corporate MasterCard” will issued by GE Capital Financial. AirPlus already offers an UATP-based “AirPlus Company Account” worldwide. The “Company Account” provides detailed data including company, traveler and trip-specific information. All data generated through the use of an AirPlus payment product, including the new “AirPlus Corporate MasterCard,” is available to the client via the Web-based “AirPlus Information Manager.” Airplus says the addition of the new “Corporate MasterCard” enables U.S. companies to manage all corporate travel purchasing through a single provider worldwide. AirPlus also offers a “VISA Corporate Card” in the UK. The Company has a 30% market share in Europe in the business travel management business.

Details

MasterCard International Launches First European OneSMART Club

MasterCard International has launched its first “OneSMART Club” covering Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). “OneSMART Club” is an initiative to bring together MasterCard customers and industry suppliers across a number of markets to foster and support the deployment of added value chip-based business solutions. It was introduced globally by MasterCard earlier this year. The CEE “OneSMART Club” will initially focus on three areas: “OneSMART MasterCard Authentication” which ensures a higher level of security for online shopping and remote banking; “OneSMART MasterCard Web” that allows cardholders to securely store and manage a wide range of personal data (such as names, addresses, URLs, log-on passwords) on the smart card chip; and “OneSMART MasterCard Pre-Authorized” which is a new chip-based payment solution suitable for new markets and off-line payment environments. Financial institutions from six countries – Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia – have already indicated their support of the OneSMART Club, as have a number of chip technology vendors.

Details

ABN-Amro Deploys Digipass GO3

ABN-Amro Singapore will provide its retail customers with VASCO’s “Digipass GO3” to guarantee secure online banking. ABN-Amro is the first bank in Singapore to use Digipass in a retail-banking environment. “Digipass GO3” is a lightweight, low cost strong user authentication token, especially designed for the large volume banking market. With a simple touch of a button, the end user
generates a unique one-time password. The password changes every 36
seconds and can be only used once, which means that it can’t be re-used
by fraudsters. Digipass says a its one-time password prevents phishing attempts.

Details

PowerPay RFID Payment System Goes Nationwide

NYC-based Smart System Technologies has taken its “PowerPay” payment system nationwide. “PowerPay” is a cashless and contactless transaction solution using RFID technology designed for entertainment venues. At the same time, teams and merchants that adopt the technology can deliver automatic rewards to consumers. For teams such as the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks, who are adopting the technology this season after successful in-season tests last year, this includes rewarding points to consumers that can be accrued and redeemed for team-themed experiences or merchandise, and offers from other participating sponsors. Concession and merchandise areas throughout Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field will be equipped with the “PowerPay” system beginning July 28th.

Details

BofA Offers Students a Stuff Happens Card

Bank of America has added a “Stuff Happens” card to its “CampusEdge” checking package for college students. The new card enables students to waive a fee if they make a mistake such as bouncing a check. The “CampusEdge” checking program includes: no monthly fees for the first six months, or free for five years if a parent has an account with Bank of America, and no minimum balance requirements. Students who get a BofA “Student VISA Gold” card receive a CD-ROM with Quicken and “Practical Money Skills for Life” games. Students also can find advice about making the right decisions through the “Making it Count” college freshman orientation program, presented through a partnership between Bank of America and Making it Count, a division of Monster, Inc.

Details