BI-NATIONAL CARDS

Citigroup is introducing a new program to enable “Banamex USA” cardholders to add cardholders residing in Mexico. Under the program, the U.S. cardholder is given a “Banamex USA” credit card and the designated person in Mexico gets a card issued by Banamex in Mexico. The U.S. card is issued by California Commerce Bank, the US banking arm of Banco Nacional de Mexico or Banamex. Banamex USA and Banamex in Mexico are companies of Citigroup.
The U.S. customer will receive a monthly statement listing all activity on both cards. The cardholder in Mexico will receive a monthly courtesy statement, reflecting only his or her activity. The U.S. cardholder may make dollar payments on the entire bill, or allow the cardholder in Mexico to pay his or her portion in pesos at any Banamex branch. The program may be added to an existing “Banamex USA credit card account or be included on a new credit card account. During enrollment, the customer may designate the person in Mexico with whom he or she wants to share the account and set a pre-authorized portion of their credit line for that person. The annual fee for the US-based card is $29.

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MasterCard Targets Small Businesses

MasterCard yesterday launched a new “Priceless” campaign to communicate its ability to help small business owners succeed. The new “What It Takes” television spots broke on NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament and will run later on CNN, Fox, and CBS. A corresponding print ad is slated to break later this summer. The “What It Takes” television spot focuses on how it takes a person with truly special and unique qualities to handle the day-to-day challenges of running a small business. The new ad captures real-life small business moments such as working odd hours and dealing with faulty office equipment. Creative for the “What It Takes” campaign was developed by McCann-Erickson of New York. The MasterCard “Priceless” advertising campaign is now seen in 96 countries and in 47 languages. MasterCard recently won its fourth “Gold Effie” for the “Priceless” campaign which first launched in October 1997. (CF Library 6/14/04)

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Welcome Lines Up a Value Added Reseller for Southern Africa

NamITech Limited has signed an agreement with Welcome to become a VAR of Welcome”s enhanced EMV offerings to banking customers in Southern Africa. NamITech holds a strong position in the EMV solutions market, with a team of leading experts and VISA and MasterCard accredited manufacturing facilities and infrastructure. Welcome”s flagship product, XLS, was recently awarded “ROI of the Year” by The Banker, an FT Business Publication, for its ability to deliver substantial return-on-investment to banks. The award makes XLS the first EMV application to win formal recognition for its role in reducing costs and increasing revenues. XLS surrounds the basic EMV application in the POS terminal and enhances it with revenue boosting services such as instantly awarded loyalty points, coupons, punch cards, vouchers and cash back. NamITech Ltd is a secure technology provider focusing on a number of key market areas: mobile, banking and industry and government.

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VISA Leads a Charge to Cut the Phishing Line

VISA, the Better Business Bureau, Call For Action, the FTC, and the Treasury Department yesterday announced a joint education campaign to help consumers avoid phishing scams Phishing is an e-mail scam in which fraudsters attempt to convince consumers to reveal personal information — such as their credit or debit account numbers, checking account information, Social Security numbers, and banking account passwords — through official-looking fake Web sites or in a reply e-mail. Many financial institutions use e-mail to communicate with customers and direct them to their Web sites where the customers may be asked to enter personal information as part of registering for a service, such as online banking or accessing account information. Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives. The BBB system is dedicated to fostering fair and honest relationships between businesses and consumers, instilling consumer confidence and contributing to an ethical business environment, in both the traditional and online marketplaces.

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LML Payment Systems Posts a Profitable Quarter

Vancouver-based LML Payment Systems reported first calandar quarter revenues of $2.7 million, compared to $2.3 million one-year ago. The Company had net income of approximately $82,000 for the quarter compared to a net loss of approximately $702,000 for the year-ago quarter. Revenue for fiscal 2004 year ending March 31st, was approximately $8.7 million compared to approximately $8.6 million for the previous year. Net loss for fiscal 2004 was approximately $1.7 million compared to a net loss of approximately $3.0 million for the previous year.

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NetBank Launches MBNA Small Business Cards

Atlanta-based NetBank has added business credit cards, under an agent deal with MBNA, to its offerings for small business banking customers. Since launching its service one year ago, NetBank has signed up approximately 1,600 small business customers with over $37.5 million in deposits. NetBank will offer two cards: the no annual-fee “MBNA Platinum Plus for Business” and the “MBNA Platinum Plus Business Rewards” cards. In addition to traditional deposit products, NetBank also offers small businesses Internet-based payroll and tax filing services through a partnership with PayMaxx; equipment financing services; and online bill payment. NetBank plans to introduce other new products later this year, such as insurance and additional loan and credit products.

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Alliance & Leicester Passes 20-Year Mark Using BASE24

Alliance & Leicester, the eighth largest bank in the UK, celebrates a 20-year business partnership with ACI Worldwide. Since 1984, Alliance & Leicester has used ACI’s “BASE24” software to support transaction processing across growing customer channels. The bank continues to use payment software from ACI along with expert risk management technology to manage its exposure to potential fraud. In 1984, Girobank, later to become part of Alliance & Leicester, was the first EMEA customer to deploy “BASE24” software. “BASE24” now supports the bank’s network of over 2,500 ATMs. Alliance & Leicester was also the first European customer to implement ACI “Proactive Risk Manager” to detect potentially fraudulent behaviour. The solution combines network scoring technology with rules-based strategies and advanced client/server workflow. It enables Alliance & Leicester to prevent and detect fraud quickly and effectively.

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GE Enters the Payroll Card Market

GE Corporate Payment Services launched a MasterCard payroll card, the latest in its suite of stored value products. The payroll card is supported by phone- and Web-based customer service, however, employers can’t view employee transaction activity. An instant issue version of the payroll card, designed for short-term employment, is also available. GE Corporate Payment Services is the commercial card unit of GE Consumer Finance. Cards are issued by GE Capital Financial Inc.

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Line-Ups at the POS Cost Merchants $1.7 Billion Annually

A new study has found that Canadians do not like to wait in the check-out line to make purchases and, as a result, merchants are losing an estimated $1.7 billion in sales annually. About 20% of people would wait one to three minutes, whereas 40% of Canadians would wait three to five minutes. According to the research by Leger Marketing on behalf of Moneris Solutions, Canadians who walked away from their purchases due to line-ups estimated that the value of those purchases was an average $127 per year. Payment preference also plays a key role in consumer satisfaction at the point-of-sale. The Moneris survey found that overall, nearly two-thirds of Canadians (64%) prefer to use their debit or credit card for their purchases. And as the value of the purchase increases, so too does the consumer’s preference to use a card for payment. For purchases in the range of $25 to $75, the debit card is the preferred method of payment for about half of Canadians (49%), followed by credit (25%) and cash (24%). For purchases greater than $75, credit and debit cards reign supreme, combining for 81% of all payments.

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SRI to Hold an ID Theft Conference

The Strategic Research Institute is producing a conference entitled “Identity Theft in Financial Services: Cause, Effect, and Remedies” They also need to understand, anticipate, and influence pending legislation and regulation. They need to be part of the dialogue. A unified forum to facilitate communication between financial services, credit, retail, regulatory, and federal and state law enforcement entities has up till now been missing.

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Summer Promo for ExxonMobil MasterCard Launched

Exxon Mobil has launched a summer promotion for its co-branded “ExxonMobil MasterCard,” offering a $20 rebate credit toward future Exxon and Mobil gasoline and inside convenience store purchases for new cardholders Ongoing rebates of 3 percent on all purchases made with the card at Exxon and Mobil locations and 1 percent on purchases made everywhere else MasterCard is accepted. ExxonMobil, Exxon and Mobil are trademarks of Exxon Mobil Corporation or one of its subsidiaries. The ExxonMobil MasterCard is issued by Citibank.

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Ernex Helps Create a Loyalty Program for Travelodge

Vancouver-based Ernex, a division of Moneris Solutions, has assisted hospitality provider Travelodge Canada in introducing a brand-exclusive
“Guest Rewards” program. Members of the Travelodge Guest Rewards program can now get updated points information at the point-of-sale terminals of participating Travelodge Canada properties. The points can be redeemed for gift certificates from over 25 leading Canadian retailers as well as cash credits which can be applied towards future stays at Travelodge Canada properties. Royal Host owns the master franchise rights for the Travelodge brand
in Canada, and also owns 39 hotels, manages 75 properties and franchises 118 locations for over 15,500 guestrooms in the mid-market to upscale segments.

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