Capital One says its “National Mascot of the Year Contest” will end at midnight December 20th with the results to be announced New Year’s Day. Right now, the Nittany Lion from Penn State is in first place in the popular online vote. The Capital One National Mascot of the Year will be announced during the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, 2003.Details
Vancouver-based DataWave Systems has entered into an agreement with
National Money Mart Company in Victoria to develop and distribute prepaid
stored value cards. Under the agreement, DataWave and Money Mart have
established a joint venture called NextWave Card Corporation. The new
entity will offer prepaid and stored valued cards to Money Mart’s 287
corporately owned, franchise and agent locations. Money Mart is the largest
convenience-based retail financial services company in Canada.
MI-based First Resource Federal Credit Union and GA-based Enhancement Services Corporation launched the “Card Perks” reward program this week. “Card Perks” is one of the first programs in the country that pools points from both credit and check cards into one cardholder points total. Under the program, FRFCU cardholders will earn one point for every dollar spent on their credit card and one point for every two dollars spent on their check card (non-PIN transactions). There are a variety of reward options including round-trip airline tickets, cruises, hotel packages, and gift certificates, starting as low as 1,500 points. All FRFCU credit and check card cardholders are automatically enrolled in the program when they begin using their card. There is no annual fee. ESC now serves more than 40 financial institutions with credit and debit card reward programs.Details
U.S. Bank’s Elan Financial Services division has introduced a check card marketing program to help financial institutions encourage cardholders to increase usage of their check cards, as well as acquire new cardholders and that also includes a portfolio analysis tool that estimates the profitability of a check card program by calculating the current penetration, activation and usage in order to develop future strategic marketing plans. The Elan check card marketing program is targeted to financial institutions that may not have a fully staffed marketing department or extensive marketing budget yet need access to reliable, professional marketing tools.Details
MasterCard has launched a new card product that enables consumers to simply tap or wave their payment card on a specially equipped merchant terminal that then transmits payment details wirelessly, eliminating the need to swipe the card through a reader. The new contactless “MasterCard PayPass” card is targeted for use at quick serve restaurants, casual restaurants, gas stations and movie theaters. MasterCard says it is currently working with Chase, Citibank and MBNA to pilot the “PayPass” card with several merchants in the Orlando area. Participating merchants in the Orlando trial include Boaters’ World, Chevron, City of Orlando Parking, Friendly’s, Loews Universal Cineplex, Ritz Camera and Wolf Camera. Manufacturing companies supporting “PayPass” include Infineon/SC2, OTI/Samsung, Philips Semiconductor/Oberthur. Card manufacturing supporters include CPI Card Group and Oberthur USA. Card personalization providers include First Data and MBNA. POS providers include C-SAM, OTI, Panasonic, Stella, VeriFone, ViVOtech, and 3 Form Design. Testing and compliance supporters include Cadimes, Caradas, and Consult Hyperion. Merchant installations are by Edgar Dunn and OTI. The “MasterCard PayPass” product is built around globally interoperable standards and relies on the ISO Telecommunications Standard #14443 to transmit Track 2 data via radio frequency.Details
Vancouver-based DataWave Systems has entered into an agreement with National Money Mart Company in Victoria to develop and distribute prepaid stored value cards. Under the agreement, DataWave and Money Mart have established a joint venture called NextWave Card Corporation, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com]). The new entity will offer prepaid and stored valued cards to Money Mart’s 287 corporately owned, franchise and agent locations. Money Mart is the largest convenience-based retail financial services company in Canada.
Consumer EBPP providers or CSPs processed more than 400 million Internet-initiated consumer bill payments in 2001 representing $120.9 billion. The study by NACHA’s Council for Electronic Billing and Payment and TowerGroup found that consumer bill payments on the Internet has increased by 35% annually for two consecutive years. In 1996 the estimated electronic bill payment volume was 113 million items, worth $26.9 billion. The study also found the average bill payment size in 2001 was $300, up from an average of $231 in 1996. Also, the top five bill payment service providers processed 92% of the bill payments in 2001, compared with 76% in 1996.Details
Schlumberger Limited said yesterday it will realign its SchlumbergerSema information technology unit to focus on the global energy market. The smart card and terminal unit of SchlumbergerSema will be managed separately and will not be affected by the actions, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com]). There was speculation yesterday that SchlumbergerSema may put its smart card and terminal unit on the block. The company says it will reduce its SchlumbergerSema unit workforce in Continental Europe and the USA by 1,600 employees at a cost of US$77 million. SchlumbergerSema will also recognize charges of US$2.9 billion after-tax in its fiscal fourth quarter. These charges include US$2.6 billion, related to impairment of goodwill and a further $267 million impairment associated with intangibles and other costs, including a provision against a deferred tax asset in Europe. Yesterday’s announcement forced the company’s stock down and resulted in several downgrades. For Schlumberger’s latest performance information visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Ontario-based RDM Corporation’s “EC5000i” series imager has been selected by National Processing Company to provide imaging solutions to NPC retailers nationwide. NPC processes more than 4.0 billion transactions annually and provides services to over 645,000 merchant locations in the United States, making NPC the second largest processor in the world.Details
NJ-based phone card specialist IDT Corporation will change the name of its Winstar division to IDT Solutions by the end of March. In the next 60 days IDT will launch a major marketing campaign to make businesses aware of the high quality and lower cost alternatives that IDT Solutions can provide including voice, data and high-speed Internet services.Details
TransUnion has taken a significant equity position in TrueLink, an online developer and marketer of credit-based products. The agreement enables TransUnion to offer a full suite of credit management products to more consumers, including credit monitoring and 3-in-1 credit reports. TransUnion will continue to market “TrueLink” products and services through TrueLink’s Web site.Details
GE Consumer Finance and Pearle Vision have launched a private label credit card program for Pearle’s 373 corporate locations and 410 franchise locations that offers instant credit to Pearle Vision customers. Approved cardholders can receive a 25-day grace period, no payments for 90 days, or no payments for six months, depending on the purchase amount. The new program is being launched to 373 Pearle Vision corporate locations, and offered to the company’s 410 franchise locations in December. Pearle Vision, a division of Cole National Corporation, expects the program launch to be completed by March 2003.Details