A New Democrats legislator has asked Canada’s deputy prime minister to investigate foreign exchange fees charged to Canadian credit cardholders by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and their respective member-issuers. The request follows on the heels of an April 8th decision by a California Superior Court judge who ordered VISA and MasterCard to refund more than $800 million in foreign currency conversion fees to U.S. cardholders. According to the Toronto Star, NDP finance critic Lorne Nystrom estimates Canadians could be owed up to $100 million in foreign exchange fees. Nystrom said in the House of Commons that the foreign surcharge ranges between 1.5% and 1.8% in Canada.Details
Air Canada and CIBC have extended their “Aeroplan” air miles contract from 2009 to 2013. Under terms of the deal, CIBC agreed to boost its prepayment to Air Canada for air miles from $200 million to $350 million, and agreed to pay Air Canada a higher price per “Aeroplan” mile. CIBC purchases “Aeroplan” miles to issue to CIBC “Aerogold VISA” credit card customers. As at March 31st, CIBC carried the payment at $181 million on its balance sheet. Meanwhile, Air Canada announced that it will begin charging “Aeroplan” members a $25 fee to book a reward flight and a fuel surcharge fee up to $50 for each ticket. The new fees will take effect April 30th. However the booking fee will be waived till January 2004 for members who book flights online.Details
Cybertel Communications Corporation announced that its subsidiary, Cybertel Holdings has agreed in principle to partner with Golden Retriever Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vital Processing Services, a joint venture with Visa USA and Total System Services, Inc. to integrate GRS’s software into The Giving Card’s platform. The software will enable The Giving Card platform to operate with virtually all major transaction processors.Details
FL-based iDine Rewards Network reported that operating revenue for the first quarter was up 40% as gross dining sales increased 45% over last year. First quarter profits of $3.4 million was a 10% increase over 1Q/02. The company also announced it now has more than 10,000 participating merchants. The Company currently has 18.0 million credit cards registered through 13.3 million enrolled accounts. Dining incentives are offered through the Company’s dining programs, either branded under the name “iDine” or provided through co-branded and private label partnerships, such as airline frequent flyer programs, club memberships, or other affinity organizations. The Company closed the quarter on plan with over 2.7 million active members. iDine also confirmed plans to launch a hotel rewards program in the second quarter with over 300 hotels in 35 markets across the country. For complete details on iDine’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Certegy Inc. announced a multi-year agreement to provide check cashing services to Safeway Inc., one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America. This agreement will provide Safeway customers with a quick and convenient method to cash payroll checks in nearly 1,500 locations throughout the United States.Details
A new study shows that more than half of U.S. consumers with bank accounts would be more likely to make a deposit at an ATM if their bank provided the new ATM receipt that captures a picture of all deposited checks. The Harris Interactive survey of U.S. adults commissioned by NCR Corporation found that 21% report that a lack of confidence the machine got the deposit right deterred them from making cash/check deposits at an ATM, while 11% said looking for or hassling with filling out a deposit envelope deters them from making cash or check deposits at an ATM. According to Dove Consulting, only 10 out of every 100 banking customers use an ATM today to make a deposit. NCR’s patented “no-envelope” deposit technology prints a picture of each individual check directly on the customer’s ATM receipt.Details
SHAZAM has selected Arcots TransFort solution, to provide an Internet identification/authentication solution for SHAZAM participants that issue Visa affiliated debit cards. SHAZAM will use Arcots 3D Secure-compliant TransFort solution as a hosted solution to provide a real-time payment authentication solution required to support the Verified by Visa program.Details
A new study has found that nearly half of Canadians agree that a
store’s acceptance of a particular form of payment has a big impact on
whether they will shop there regularly.
Almost one third of Canadian consumers have decided not to purchase a
product or service because the merchant did not accept the consumer’s
preferred form of payment. In 82% of those cases, it was a debit or credit
card payment format that was not accepted. The report by Moneris Solutions
and Decima Research also found that 71% of respondents selected debit or
credit as the payment form they use most frequently for in-store
purchasing, with debit cards leading in popularity at 46%. Yet consumers
payment preferences vary by merchant type. Debit was the most preferred
form of payment at grocery stores and clothing stores. Credit cards are the
first choice at electronics merchants and home furnishings stores. Cash is
the first choice at pharmacies, restaurants, and
barbers/hairdressers/beauty salons but, when combined, debit and credit forms
outpace cash at most of these merchants.
A new report suggests that smart card deployments in the banking industry
will rise 12% this year followed by a sharp 21% increase in 2004. Future
growth hot spots include effective EMV migration in Brazil, Canada, Japan,
Korea, Malaysia, Mexico and Taiwan, and numerous projects in central
Europe. Significant new pilots are also anticipated in Italy and Spain.
According to analysis conducted by Schlumberger Smart Cards and Terminals,
the single biggest driver on the horizon for the sector will be Brazil, and
2003 could mark the turning point in that country’s conversion. Slightly
farther out, Proton’s migration to its new generation “Prisma” e-purse with
EMV credit and debit capability could start in volume next year. Major
drivers for last year’s growth include the strong renewal of e-purse cards
in Benelux, the roll-outs of UKIS cards in the United Kingdom, and
multi-application banking cards in France.
Versatile Card Technology announced that it has been awarded ISO 9001:2000 certification for quality system management by AFAQ. Compliance with ISO 9001:2000 is designed to achieve total customer satisfaction by ensuring on-time delivery quality assurance, environmental management, safety management and occupational health.Details