MasterCard International launched its “MasterCard Vendor Program” this week, which gives vendors a single point of access to the comprehensive business and technical information needed to serve financial institutions using MasterCard’s payments platform. Financial institutions are increasingly deploying advanced technology on a global scale to deliver new products and services and better serve customers. MVP is a single, global resource for vendors that provide a range of services to these institutions, facilitating vendors’ capability to effectively serve financial institutions with any MasterCard-related project, at any location. Vendors in the MVP have access to up-to-the-minute technical information and support, as well as business and product briefings from a variety of sources within the organization, including operations, chip, mobile commerce, e-commerce and debit. More than 75 vendors currently participate in the program.Details
MasterCard International confirmed this week that its member financial institutions have been awarded extensive contracts to provide integrated payment solutions for the governments of France, Canada, Norway, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and Chile. In Canada, MasterCard and BMO Purchasing Solutions won an agreement to supply MasterCard-branded Government of Canada Acquisition Cards to more than 28,000 government employees in 100 Canadian government departments and agencies. In France, Credit Mutuel/CIC and Credit Agricole won five contracts to provide purchasing cards to French government departments. In Norway, the Norwegian Defense Department signed a contract with Europay Norge to provide the Eurocard Purchasing solution to the Norwegian government. In Taiwan, MasterCard worked with the government of Taipei and Taipei Bank to launch Asia’s first virtual and real world purchasing card. In Australia and New Zealand more than 100 MasterCard government procurement card programs are utilized across federal, state and local governments in Australia. And finally in Chile, MasterCard has worked with Banco Edwards to provide purchasing cards for senior naval officers to purchase supplies for the Chilean Navy’s Buque Escuela Esmeralda.Details
A group of former E*TRADE executives announced this morning they have formed a new financial services company which will focus primarily on asset management and banking. The new firm, Emerge Financial Corporation, says it will immediately develop a consumer lending conduit generating a broad array of residential mortgage loans and other consumer assets, possibly credit cards. The second phase will include the acquisition of an under-utilized bank or thrift that is poised for future growth and increased profitability. The principals in the new venture, who recently left E*Trade, include Stephen Dervenis, former CEO of E*TRADE Global Asset Management; Douglas Bream, former Director of E*TRADE Global Asset Management; and Kenneth Campbell, former Director of E*TRADE Global Asset Management and Vice President of E*TRADE Mortgage.Details
Trintech Group reported this morning that service revenue increased sequentially by 19% and that pro forma operating expenses fell by 38% for the quarter ending April 30th, with end-of-quarter cash equivalent balances of $53.0 million. However, the company’s quarterly revenue fell 41% to $10.1 million compared with $17.0 million for the same quarter one year ago. Trintech says the decline is mainly attributable to a difficult market environment coupled with slower than anticipated new product launches. While service revenue was up significantly, quarterly product revenue decreased by 70% to $1.8 million as compared with the corresponding quarter last year. The decline in product revenue is mainly due to a general weakness in the Company’s European POS business line, particularly in the German market. Software license revenue decreased 31% to $5.2 million this quarter as compared to the corresponding period last year due to continued softness in the global IT market. Service revenue was relatively flat at $3.1 million as compared with the corresponding quarter of the previous year. For complete details on Trintech’s latest quarterly performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Advanta Bank Corp. has installed a new electronic payment system from San Francisco-based BankServ to enhance payment options for its small business customers. An estimated three-quarters of a million transactions a year initially are expected to be processed electronically with BankServ’s new service, which allows Advanta’s customers to pay their Advanta business credit card bills with electronic checks — “on the fly.” Customers can simply call Advanta or visit their website to make a payment or schedule a future payment.Details
National Processing said Wednesday it has made a long-term strategic decision to discontinue processing debit and credit card transactions for the airline industry. NPC says the reason is due to contingent liability for chargebacks. Since the events of 9/11 there has been a increased risk for chargebacks and NPC is not willing to take that risk any longer in the airline industry. NPC’s airline revenues represent about 7% of the company’s consolidated revenue and approximately 5% of EBITDA. NPC said it will honor its existing contractual obligations to the airlines it currently serves but will not renew such contracts when their current terms expire. The contracts currently in effect have various expiration dates extending through November 2005. NPC also announced it is shutting down its Mexico operations, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramresearch.com]).
Incurrent Solutions is now offering interactive voice response and speech recognition solutions that integrate with the CardSite transaction warehouse. CardSpeak is a service bureau-based solution developed to augment card issuers existing touch-tone and speech recognition system capabilities. CardSpeak can upgrade any card issuer’s telephone support hot-line to include: cardholder transaction searches by dollar amount, date or merchant name or category across up to 24 months of billing detail; payment and balance transfers capabilities; instant credit approvals; ATM, branch, or store location capabilities; small business or corporate capabilities; enroll, delete, or revise employee administration; and MCC, GL, cost center, or merchant specific totals. Incurrent is offering CardSpeak through its strategic partnership with Worldwide Automation Services.Details
Equifax announced the election of Coca-Cola Co. executive Steven Heyer to its board of directors. Heyer is President and COO of Coca-Cola Ventures and a member of the Coca-Cola Co. executive management committee. He is also responsible for Coca-Cola’s Latin America operations and oversees the company’s non-carbonated beverage businesses. Heyer joined Coca-Cola in 2001 from AOL Time Warner where he most recently served as president and chief operating officer for Turner Broadcasting System Inc. Prior to joining TBS, Heyer was president and chief operating officer of Young and Rubicam Advertising Worldwide. Previously, he was senior vice president and managing partner at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Inc., where he spent 15 years serving in several senior positions.Details
The Spiegel Group confirmed yesterday it has reached an agreement with MBIA Insurance Corporation over credit card bonds issued by OR-based First Consumers National Bank. Spiegel agreed to dismiss its litigation against MBIA and The Bank of New York, and MBIA agreed to withdraw its letter declaring a pay-out event. On April 10, MBIA declared the pay-out event under two of FCNB’s credit card-backed securities, for which MBIA insures the payments to noteholders and The Bank of New York acts as indenture trustee. Spiegel filed suit the following day and obtained a temporary restraining order against MBIA and The Bank of New York. Spiegel says the pay-out event would have diverted excess cash flow of approximately $20 million monthly to repay noteholders. On February 21, Spiegel announced plans to sell its credit-card operations. The company also signed an agreement with the OCC which included restrictions on extending credit to certain customers and requires the bank to obtain a $198 million guarantee, which has been provided through the company’s majority shareholder. In addition, the bank must provide to the OCC the details of a plan to sell, merge or dispose the bank. (CF Library 2/22/02;4/23/02; 5/28/02)Details
Payment Systems for Credit Unions and National City have been selected by Nazarene Credit Union, Brea, California, to manage the credit union’s credit card portfolio. Under the PSCU Portfolio Solution, Nazarene Credit Union will receive a turnkey solution provided and managed by PSCU. The entire process from evaluation and purchase, to maintaining on-going servicing of the credit card portfoliois will be handled by PSCU. National City owns the credit card portfolio and markets related card enhancement services through an agent relationship with Nazarene CU.Details
Diners Club International has launched its first unified North American advertising campaign. Five new ads to run in Canada as part of the “Travel in Good Company” campaign will feature professionals who work and travel in Canada and the card benefits that are specifically Canadian. Diners Club began the campaign in April with billboards in nine airports across the country (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa,Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax). In addition, print ads will appear on a monthly basis in the EnRoute in-flight magazine, which will refer the reader to the newly updated dinersclubcanada.com Web site.Details
VISA has contracted Ask Jeeves, Inc. for its corporate “Visa Card Advisor” Web site to direct consumers to requested information about VISA consumer credit cards. Through a question and answer interaction, the “Visa Card Advisor” will lead customers to relevant products by asking them questions such as “What special features are you interested in?” or “How would you rate your credit history?” By connecting customers to the answers they seek, Visa expects to enhance customer satisfaction and increase conversion rates.Details