The Universal Air Travel Plan reports that total charge volume for 2003 exceeded $7 billion, a 10% gain over 2002 volume, and that charge volume for March 2004 surpassed all forecasts and exceeded 10 year historic volume highs usually set during peak travel booking times in the fourth quarter. UATP is beginning to see the same type of numbers it was posting prior to 11 September 2001, Ralph Kaiser, UATP s president and chairman said. Since taking over as president and chairman of UATP in October 2003, Kaiser has reduced expenses and pushed strategic investment initiatives to reverse UATP’s downward trend during the airline industry down cycle. UATP accounts are actively issued by 15 member airlines and accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel by more than 200 airlines worldwide.Details
Discover Financial Services will announce today it is opening the “Discover/NOVUS Network” to financial institutions that want to issue on its network. The nation’s fourth largest payment card network also confirmed it is in advanced discussions with several financial institutions to issue cards on its network. Discover is using the “Annual Card Forum and Expo,” which opens today in Orlando, as the forum for the announcement. While Discover can link its authorization and settlement systems directly to issuers who process in house, Discover will also announce that First Data, TSYS and Metavante have already taken steps with Discover to ensure that their bank customers can issue on the “Discover/NOVUS Network.” Discover says these new processor links will facilitate financial institutions’ ability to issue card products on the “Discover/NOVUS Network” using their existing systems. David Nelms, Chairman and CEO of Discover Financial Services will make the announcement this morning. In May 1996, Harvey Golub, then chairman and CEO of American Express invited U.S. banks to join AmEx in issuing consumer and corporate cards on the company’s worldwide network. Golub’s invitation was also made at the “Annual Credit Card Forum.” In January, AmEx inked a deal with MBNA to issue a card, its first card issuing partnership in the USA. (CF Library 5/3/96; 1/29/04)Details
VISA USA has launched the “World Shopping Tour” promotion through July 31st, offering one grand prize winner a ten-day world shopping tour, worth $150,000, to three select cities of his or her choice. When cardholders use their Visa card to make purchases between now and July 31, 2004, they re automatically entered to win. The more times cardholders use their Visa card, the more times they are entered. Visa is the world s leading payment brand and largest consumer-payment system, enabling financial institutions to provide their consumer and merchant customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives.Details
Southern Methodist University of Dallas, and Rollins College of Winter Park, FL have signed a deal for Moneris Solutions and infiNET Solutions to provide payment processing for tuition and fee payments. Under the agreements, SMU and Rollins College will begin processing tuition and fee payments, through the Internet only, using the Service Charge program offered by the Moneris-infiNET Solutions relationship. Tuition and fees represent 60-70% of the total payment volume that could be processed via credit cards, through Moneris Solutions. Moneris Solutions ([www.monerisusa.com]) has a 30-year history as one of North America’s largest electronic transaction processors, delivering advanced payment card processing capabilities through point-of-sale hardware, payment processing software, e-commerce solutions and a gift and loyalty program. infiNET Solutions is a customer-focused company that provides innovative business services and software to the higher education and healthcare markets.
American Express’ “OPEN: The Small Business Network” has launched the “Unmatched Savings Program” enabling small business owners combinable and trackable savings on business purchases from its partners. In addition, the savings provided by the new program are combinable with other marketplace offers or volume discount pricing that an individual business may already receive from program partners. OPEN: The Small Business Network is a division of American Express that offers small business owners a wide range of tools, services and savings designed to meet their evolving needs, including charge and credit cards, convenient access to working capital and credit information, enhanced online account management capabilities and enhanced savings on everyday business expenses from industry-leading partners. American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financialand network services company founded in 1850.Details
American Suzuki Motor Corporation and PA-based Ecount have teamed to issue a MasterCard stored value card to pay commission to its Suzuki salespeople. Before converting to Ecount’s electronic payment platform one year ago, Suzuki was spending more time and money to issue each commission check. Now, Suzuki pays 20% less per payout through Ecount cards, and the company no longer has to waste valuable resources issuing replacements for checks that were frequently lost. Ecount is an industry-leading electronic payments company that provides a better way for businesses to pay people, and for people to get paid. The Automotive Operations of American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC), Brea, Calif., was founded in 1985 by Suzuki Motor Corporation.Details
MD-based The Rouse Company has partnered with Discover Financial Services and MidAmerica Gift Certificate Company to launch a mall gift card program at 42 of its properties. The mall gift card program will replace existing paper gift certificate programs at Rouse Company shopping locations across the country beginning in mid-May and the roll-out will continue through the summer months. The gift cards may be redeemed at any store within the shopping center that accepts the Discover Card. The prepaid card product will be issued on the Discover/NOVUS Network and MidAmerica will be handling the processing and fulfillment for all gift card purchases at each mall property and its Web site. MidAmerica Gift Certificate Company is a subsidiary of BB&T Corporation. The Rouse Company, through its numerous affiliates, operates more than 150 properties encompassing retail, office, research and development and industrial space in 22 states.Details
Nashville-based iPayment reported that its first quarter charge volume soared to nearly $2.9 billion, compared to $1.9 billion in the previous quarter, and $1.3 billion one-year ago. First quarter revenues jumped by 71% to $80 million, and first quarter net income increased ten-fold to $5.0 million. The processor, which went public last May, purchased 18,000 small merchant accounts from First Data’s Merchant Services subsidiary for $55 million in cash in December. The 18,000 small merchant accounts produce about $4 billion in annual bankcard volume, and therefore the primary driver for the first quarter volume surge. The processor also reported that during the first quarter it repaid $11 million of the $45 million it borrowed to finance the acquisition from First Data in December. iPayment projects annual revenues of approximately $335 million to $340 million, and an annual operating margin of approximately 11% to 12% for this year. For complete details on iPayment’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
AZ-based eFunds reports first quarter net income of $9.4 million, compared with net income of $4.6 million in the first quarter of 2003. First quarter net revenue increased 7.9% to $140.9 million as compared to the first quarter of 2003. Revenues for eFunds’ Electronic Payments segment increased 15% to $49.7 million, but net income declined 12% to $8.0 million. ATM Management revenues were up 4% to $35.2 million and net income jumped to $274,000 compared to a net loss of $438,000 one-year ago. The Risk Management unit produced revenues of $35.1 million, a 10% increase over 1Q/03, as net income for the segment grew 82% to $11.8 million. eFunds Global Outsourcing business posted first quarter revenues of $20.9 million, a 3% decline over one-year ago but net income soared by 185% to $4.0 million. For the full year of 2004, eFunds reconfirmed its previous outlook for 5% to 10% revenue growth with earnings per share growth of 25% to 30%. For complete details on eFunds’ first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Gemplus International and Valista announced the commercial launch of their “Gem-eCash,” an on-line prepaid solution, to coincide with its first deployment with Paynet Group in the Czech Republic.”Gem-eCash” is a new solution for micro payment purchases over the Internet. By combining a prepaid card with online purchasing power, users can make simple and secure purchases for digital content, such as mp3 music files, videos, games, newspaper articles and horoscopes, etc. Online buyers simply scratch off a panel on the phone card to discover the secret code, which corresponds to their prepaid credit. Valista was recently formed from the merger of Network365 and iPIN.Details
Citi Merchant Services has been selected as the exclusive payment processor recommended to its members by the United States Chamber of Commerce. Citi will offer credit and debit card processing solutions to the nearly three million businesses and organizations that the USCC represents nationwide. Citi Merchant Services says it has developed a customized program designed to meet the needs of the USCC’s large and varied membership that includes a highly competitive rate and fee structure, special equipment offerings, online reporting service, and customized processing solutions. Citi Merchant Services is the U.S. merchant card processor of Citigroup.Details
Dublin-based Datalex and Bibit have teamed to integrate Bibit technoology with Datalex’s premier Internet booking engine. Bibit specializes in processing payments originating from multiple sales channels, including Internet, call centers, mobile applications and point-of-sale, over an Internet infrastructure. The company’s multi-lingual, end-to-end payment service adds a proven payment component to Datalex’s already extensive solutions offering. Datalex’s customers include Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Amadeus, American Express, ATA Airlines, Amtrak, Best Western International, California State Automobile Association, Delta Air Lines, Deutsche Telekom, Disney Cruise Lines, Emirates Airline, Galileo, GoHop.ie, Japan Travel Bureau, KLM, Korean Airlines, LasVegas.com, Malaysia Airlines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Page & Moy, Siemens UK, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, SNCF, South African Airways, Thomas Cook, Trailfinders, TravelBag, Travelcare, T-Systems, Vail Resorts Inc., Unisys, WEXAS and Worldspan.Details