PayPal Opens its First International Website for the UK

PayPal has launched its service in the UK. With the launch, PayPal is also reducing or eliminating withdrawal fees for its UK members. Withdrawals of under GBP 50 to a UK bank will cost 50% less or GBP 0.25 and fees will be eliminated completely for withdrawal amounts of GBP 50 and above. PayPal UK is the company’s first international Web site and part of its broader plan to expand the service in Europe. On September 16th, PayPal announced the establishment of its new European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. The Dublin headquarters provides customer service, fraud prevention and operational support for PayPal members in the UK and other European countries PayPal has 31 million members worldwide.

Details

Tesco Launches Euronet’s Electronic Top-Up Service

Tesco Ireland has launched Euronet’s “e-pay” electronic top-up services at its 79 branches. The rollout provides e-top-up services at all Tesco Ireland outlets for the mobile operator customers of Vodafone Ireland, O2 Ireland and Meteor. Ireland has 3.1 million mobile phones, 70% of which are prepaid. Most prepaid accountholders are using electronic top-up to add minutes to their mobile phones. Ireland’s mobile operators report subscriber counts, including Vodafone with more than 1.7 million customers, O2 with more than 1.27 million and Meteor with more than 130,000 customers. Tesco Ireland is the largest food retailer in Ireland.

Details

Do Not Registry Opens to Telemarketers Tomorrow

Starting today, consumers can once again register their phone numbers in the national “Do Not Call Registry.” Telemarketers may access the registry at telemarketing.donotcall.gov beginning Friday. Earlier this week, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the FTC’s request to stay the order of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado that halted enforcement of the registry. The FTC says it will now move forward with implementing and enforcing the registry.

Details

Nearly 11 Billion Cards Manufactured Last Year

Last year, approximately 10.7 billion cards were manufactured worldwide, a 10.3% increase over 2001, but, when measured in U.S. dollars, the global card market increased slightly from $4.7 billion to $4.8 billion over the same period. Traditional cards represented 84% of the units, while smart cards represent 16.4% of the units. However, smart cards, due to their high cost, represented 75% of the dollars on a global basis. The findings come from the International Card Manufacturers Association “Global Market Survey” which also found that financial hologram cards represent 11.9% of the global card unit market, an increase by 11.3%.

Details

Senior Citizens Do Not Check Credit Reports

More than half of all those over age 60 admitted in a recent national survey they have never checked their credit reports, according to a report released today by the InCharge Institute of America. The nationwide survey of 1,200 Americans, performed in July 2003, was conducted to assist the organization in its effort to educate consumers on the proper use of credit and management of personal debt. The Federal Trade Commission data shows that 22 percent of all identity theft victims are over age 50.

Details

On Track Innovations Launches EasyFuel with Practic

Practic Import, one of the main suppliers of products for gas stations in Spain, has teamed with On Track Innovations, to launch a wireless solution for petroleum payment management and loyalty programs for oil companies, commercial transport and transportation fleets, and private motorists. OTI’s “EasyFuel” solution represents the next generation of it gasoline management system developed specifically to meet the challenges of the U.S. and European markets. Several major oil companies, such as BP, as well as commercial fleet companies, have adopted OTI’s solution for petroleum payment and fleet management in Africa, South America, and Europe. The fleet product has been operating in South Africa via BP under the brand name FuelMaster, and currently includes approximately 500 gas stations and 40,000 vehicles.

Details

TransUnion Launches Collection Prioritization Service

TransUnion has launched a new collection service that delivers information in 24 hours and offers 180 credit characteristics to use in determining the most predictive data for each account. TransUnion Collection Prioritization Service identifies uncollectable accounts, rank-orders accounts most likely to be recovered and offers the largest number of credit characteristics available in the market today. The new service combines the collections-specific attributes of six TransUnion products and is enhanced when customers utilize TransUnion’s world-class analytics capabilities.

Details

VISA and MasterCard Appeal Federal Court Decision

VISA International and MasterCard International have filed an appeal to the September decision by Federal Court Justice Brian Tamberlin which upheld the Reserve Bank of Australia’s credit card reforms. VISA said the new credit card regulations give competitors an “unjustified competitive advantage” while MasterCard said there are “reviewable errors” in the court’s decision. Last month, the judge rejected the VISA and MasterCard claim that they are not a “designated payments system” and therefore not subject to RBA regulatory power. However, Tamberlin did not rule on whether the reforms are sound policy, that could impact bank earnings and possibly make the country less attractive for new entrants. Tamberlin did note that he was also not persuaded that the RBA failed to engage in a proper decision making process or misapplied the legislation. Last year, the RBA issued new reforms on the credit card business permitting merchants to recover from cardholders the costs of accepting credit cards. The new standard went into effect January 1st. Also under the new RBA rules, interchange fees will decrease from around 95 basis points to approximately 55-60 basis points by October 1st. The new interchange rates will cost bank credit card issuers an estimated US$300 million per year. At mid-year 2003, Australians owe a record $24.24 billion in credit card debt among 10,705,000 total credit card accounts. VISA and MasterCard are also facing possible regulation of interchange fee practices in the UK, Poland, Switzerland, and New Zealand.

Details

MASCOT & CARD-PAC

Dublin-based CardBASE Technologies and Taiwan-based CyberSoft have integrated card systems to support the issuance of EMV cards. The combining of CyberSoft’s “CardPac” credit card system and CardBASE’s “MASCOT” smart card management system, provides card issuing banks with an out-of-the-box solution that protects their current investment in card infrastructure while also complying with EMV. “MASCOT” is an integrated solution aimed at the bulk issuance and lifecycle management of smart cards in a single or multi application environment. The integration was completed in six weeks using the “MASCOT Integration Toolkit.

Details

Marks & Spencer &more MasterCard Draws Attention of the OFT

Marks & Spencer Financial Services launch of its new “&more MasterCard” has hit a snag. The Office of Fair Trading notified the issuer that it is a violation of the “Consumer Credit Act of 1974” to automatically replace a Marks & Spencer private-label store card with the new MasterCard, without the written permission of the cardholder. More than 2.6 million of 5.0 million existing Marks & Spencer charge card users were in the process of being upgraded to the “&more” credit card. The new card was opened to the public this week. Prior to the national roll-out, Marks & Spencer completed a pilot phase in nine stores in South Wales with 40,000 charge card holders migrating to the new credit card. The new “&more” card offers 1 loyalty point per 1 GBP spent with Marks & Spencer and 1 loyalty point per 2 GBP spent elsewhere. The “&more” points can be converted into vouchers to spend exclusively at Marks & Spencer UK stores. The new card offers an APR of 14.9%, no annual fee, and credit limits of up to £10,000.

Details

MAJOR ABS DEAL

The largest ever single issuance of credit card asset-backed notes into the Canadian term market has closed. Royal Bank of Canada has securitized CD$1 billion of credit card receivables via the Golden Credit Card Trust. The senior notes of CD$950 million carried a yield of 4.2% while the subordinated notes of CD$50 million carried a yield of 5.1%. Standard & Poor’s has rated the senior notes “AAA” and the subordinated notes “BBB.”
The dealer syndicate for the senior and subordinated notes was led by RBC Dominion Securities.

Details