Seinfeld Returns

Jerry Seinfeld has returned to pitch American Express card products. The new 30-sec and 60-sec TV spots will debut on this weekend’s Academy Awards. The new commercial is Seinfeld’s first new creative work to appear on network television since the AmEx commercial titled “Drugstore” aired in 1999 which promoted double AmEx points at drug stores nationwide. In the new commercial to air Sunday night, Seinfeld discovers many uses for his American Express Card at the hardware store as he humorously tries to fix a broken cuckoo clock in his New York apartment. The commercial is a collaborative effort of Seinfeld and Ogilvy & Mather. AmEx has historically debuted Seinfeld spots during big events including the Super Bowl. The new AmEx spot will be available on Cardwatch ([][1]).(CF Library 1/19/99; 3/9/99).

[1]: /cardwatch/categories.html


Nordstrom ATMs

Core Data Resources, a leading electronic funds transfer processor, was selected as the exclusive provider of automated teller machine installations at Nordstrom stores nationwide. Nordstrom, Inc., one of the nation’s leading fashion specialty retailers, has 122 US stores located in 24 states and is implementing the ATMs as a courtesy and service to its customers. The NCR branded machines will be installed in all Nordstrom stores by fall 2001.

“We are excited to improve our offering of service to include ATMs that will provide convenient access to cash as well as information regarding Nordstrom merchandise, sale and promotional events,” said Kevin Knight, president, Nordstrom Credit and Customer Relationship Marketing. “We’re very pleased to be able to offer this convenience in our stores and we believe it will enhance our customers’ overall experience when shopping with Nordstrom.”

Core Data Resources will own and operate the fleet of machines and is responsible for managing all internal functions such as processing, vault cash and settlement services. “We feel very fortunate to partner with a premiere retailer like Nordstrom,” said Todd Clark, executive vice president, Core Data. “Nordstrom provides an excellent backdrop to showcase our end-to-end solutions for ATM processing.”

“Core Data Resources’ commitment to customer service and expertise in providing innovative transaction processing business solutions made them the obvious choice for Nordstrom,” said Knight.

Nordstrom, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading fashion specialty retailers, with 122 US stores located in 24 states, including 78 full-line stores, 38 Nordstrom Racks, three Faconnable boutiques, two freestanding shoe stores, and one clearance store. Nordstrom also operates 20 Faconnable boutiques throughout Europe. Additionally, Nordstrom serves customers through its online presence at [][1] and through its direct mail catalogs. Nordstrom, Inc. is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol JWN.

Core Data Resources, a frontrunner in the transaction processing business, delivers a dependable suite of real-time electronic payment services to independent sales organizations and financial institutions nationwide. Dial-up and leased-line ATM driving, ATM management, data processing, and gateway services are a few of Core Data’s areas of specialization. Core Data is currently the processing solution for over 25,000 thousand ATMs in the US. The company is headquartered in Amarillo, Texas and manages offices in Atlanta and Dallas. For more information, please visit [][2] or call 1-800-658-6677.



Wireless Ads

SkyGo, Inc. officially launched its ‘Mobile Advertising Platform’ yesterday. The firm recently completed a pilot and study with VISA, NextCard, and Catalina Marketing. Using ‘SkyGo MAP’, credit card issuers can deliver contextual ads within content; targeted, permission-based alerts; or a browse-able ad shopping channel. The suite of SkyGo products include ‘SkyServer’ and ‘SkyStudio’. SkyGo offers ‘SkyServer’ in two editions to enable carriers and publishers to deliver targeted interactive ads and sponsored content to mobile phones, PDAs and pagers. The ‘SkyServer’ platform enables one-click purchase from an advertisement and also integrates with third-party rewards programs. ‘SkyStudio’ creates interactive ad types and supports a broad range of devices and protocols. In addition, ‘SkyStudio’ enables campaign optimization, allowing advertisers to manage creative rotation and frequency. (CF Library 3/8/01)



Abbey National is selling its credit card business to MBNA Europe for
slightly more than $400 million. Under a five-year deal, Abbey will become
an agent of MBNA in the UK market. Reportedly MBNA paid an 18% premium for
the Abbey card portfolio. Abbey currently has
about 550,000 cardholders or about a 1.3% market share in the UK. MBNA and
Abbey will launch a new series of agent VISA cards in about 90 days which
will include cashback and platinum cards.


Trillion Dollars

The top dozen of bank credit card issuers in the U.S. accounted for more than $1 trillion in charge volume last year.

(2000 Charge Volume)
1. American Express $221.6 billion
2. Citigroup $188.0 billion
3. Bank One/First USA $142.5 billion
4. MBNA America $105.4 billion
5. Discover $ 90.1 billion
6. Chase Manhattan $ 60.8 billion
7. Bank of America $ 54.5 billion
8. Capital One $ 37.5 billion
9. U.S. Bancorp $ 34.1 billion
10. Household $ 33.0 billion
11. Providian $ 26.3 billion
12. FleetBoston $ 19.1 billion
TOTAL: $1,012.9 billion
Source: CardData



The European Region of VISA International reported yesterday that card volume increased 20% last year to nearly Euro 600 billion, while card numbers were up by 14% to over 177 million. The total number of transactions on VISA cards totalled 8.6 billion. Expenditure on ‘Visa Debit’ cards totalled Euro 232 billion, a 23% annual rate of growth. Cards-in-circulation throughout Europe stack up as follows: UK (61 million); Spain (26 million); France (19.4 million); Italy (11.4 million); Germany (8.1 million); Sweden (4 million); and Norway (2.7 million). For more details on VISA’s EU region and other international markets visit The RAM Report ([][1]).



VISA Smart Cards

VISA International reported Wednesday that its members have issued 42 million VISA-branded smart cards worldwide. More than 80% of these cards have been issued in Europe. The U.S., Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa accounted for 8 million of the total VISA-branded smart cards issued worldwide. VISA said its last accounting of smart cards, conducted in 1999, showed 23 million VISA-branded smart cards worldwide. Despite the success in the EU region, VISA is pushing more chip card technology in Europe and recently committed to investing 168 million euros to incent more VISA issuers to upgrade their card products. In the U.S., VISA efforts are in the early stages as three major issuers have launched smart cards. Earlier this month, VISA announced the first ‘smart VISA Business’ card in conjunction with FleetBoston. (CF Library 3/6/01)



Western Union Financial Services,
Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. announced it has
signed an agreement with China Post, China’s national postal system,
significantly expanding the company’s presence in Asia. China Post and
Western Union will launch money transfer services in 250 locations
immediately, and plan to expand to approximately 1,000 locations within a
year. Eventually, more than 40,000 of China Post’s 66,000 locations will
offer Western Union’s money transfer services.

The alliance with China Post complements Western Union’s recent agreements
with national post offices in India and Indonesia, and strengthens the
company’s presence in the Asia Pacific region. The agreement will allow
consumers in China to send and receive money, both domestically and
internationally, through Western Union’s money transfer system.

“The Chinese people have an enormous need for safe, reliable and
convenient means to send and receive money in China and throughout the world,”
says Ric Duques, Chairman and CEO, First Data Corp. “With our expansive
global agent network, Western Union is uniquely positioned to meet this need.
With the addition of China Post to Western Union’s agent network, the company
continues an important strategy of making its money transfer service available
at post offices.”

Western Union’s money transfer services are available at a number of post
offices throughout Western Europe, including France, Germany, Spain and
Portugal, as well as a growing list of post offices in Asia. Combined with
Western Union’s recent agreements with postal authorities in India and
Indonesia, the agreement with the China Post gives the company access to

billions of new potential users of its money transfer services.

The Western Union/China Post alliance has received the complete backing of
Liu Liqing, postmaster general of China Post, and the alliance is seen as a
win/win proposition for both organizations. Western Union currently is
working to establish an office in China to facilitate the immediate rollout of
its services to Chinese consumers.

About Western Union

Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data
Corporation (NYSE FDC), is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer
services. The company provides rapid money transfer service through a global
agent network. Consumers can quickly, safely and reliably transfer money at
approximately 101,000 agent locations in more than 185 countries and
territories using the Western Union and Orlandi Valuta money transfer
networks. Famous for its pioneering telegraph service, the original Western
Union dates back to 1851 and introduced electronic money transfer service in
1871. Western Union is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2001.


Enhanced Payment Manager

Wells Fargo recently launched a service that enables business customers to initiate domestic and international payments, including wires and ACH transactions with a single electronic payment file. Wells Fargo’s Payment Manager service has been enhanced to include International ACH payments, an inexpensive payment alternative offered by a small group of financial institutions. Combining International ACH with existing Payment Manager capabilities, Wells Fargo can now seamlessly generate all of a company’s payments, international or domestic, from a single file containing all its payment instructions. This solution allows companies to streamline their payment processes and reduce the administrative tasks associated with payment processing.

“Customers can simply send Wells Fargo one payment file in almost any format, typically directly from their ERP system or treasury management workstation, containing all of their domestic and international payment instructions. Wells Fargo can then generate all of the customers’ U.S. dollar and foreign currency payments, including international and domestic ACH, wire payments and domestic checks. This streamlined process offers users substantial savings in time and expense,” states Steve Ellis, executive vice president of Wholesale Internet Solutions at Wells Fargo.

“Payment Manager, as well as additional Wells Fargo ACH debit and credit services, put the ability to originate International ACH payments in the hands of any size company,” states David J. Zuercher, executive vice president of Wells Fargo’s International Group. “Wells Fargo’s International ACH leadership began in 1995 with origination to Canada. Building on our international payment experience, we now offer International ACH payments to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, with additional countries to be added in the future.”

Noble Drilling recently implemented the combined Payment Manager and International ACH payment solution. “Noble Drilling is pleased to be part of Wells Fargo’s leading edge automated global payments service,” states Mark L. Mey, vice president and treasurer, Noble Drilling Corporation. “As we could not find any banks offering this service, we challenged Wells Fargo to develop a custom payments solution for Noble. This has evolved into a world-class product capable of realizing tremendous efficiencies and cost savings for corporations.”

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified financial services company with $272 billion in assets. Noble Drilling Corporation is a leading global provider of diversified services for the oil and gas industry.


Dove Consumer Study

Dove Consulting announced that, in conjunction with the American Bankers Association, the firm will conduct a nationwide trend study on consumer payment preferences. The major goals of this initiative is to provide a valid fact base and insights on consumer payments, including:

— The choices consumers have for payment mechanisms and the extent to which they are aware of these choices

— The mix of payment mechanisms consumers use today and the underlying reasons for this mix

— Preferences that consumers have for various payment mechanisms, the primary drivers of these preferences and the extent to which gaps exist with mechanisms available today

— The relative attractiveness of potential consumer payment mechanisms and the primary drivers of this attraction

In addition, the study will explore how payment products and channels can be tailored, packaged, and priced to build share of wallet and profitability. By comparing results with the ABA/Dove 1999 study, sponsors will have access to two very deep databases and be able to use these as projective instruments for planning purposes.

Dove Consulting is seeking sponsors for the study.

“The proliferation of new consumer channels-from Internet to wireless to kiosk to enhanced ATM-creates obvious opportunities for financial institutions to open up new spaces for growth,” says Ann Schmitt, a director in Dove’s financial services practice. “But considerable challenges as well when it comes to understanding how consumer payment preferences are changing.”

“The payoff for sponsors will be not only identifying opportunities for growth, but also avoidance of unwarranted investment in payment options with low consumer demand potential.”

Payment mechanisms included in the study will ultimately be determined by sponsors, but at a minimum will address Cash; Checks (paper, electronic truncation at the point of sale, electronic initiated); Signature (off-line) debit; PIN-based (on-line) debit; and Credit.

Three sponsorship positions are currently available. For more information regarding sponsorship, please contact Ann Schmitt at Dove Consulting at 303-663-2048.

About Dove Consulting

Since 1981, Dove Consulting has been helping companies move beyond the boundaries of their business to open up new spaces for growth. Dove’s Financial Services practice is one of the most respected in the area of e- Payments, distribution, and consumer Internet financial services strategy. American Express, Bank of America, Capital One Financial, Charles Schwab & Co., Diebold, eBay, S1 Corporation, and Boeing are among the leading clients served by Dove.



The People’s Bank of China is accelerating its efforts to integrate the
country’s bank card systems this year into a unified bank card association.
All commercial banks must be able to handle all cards recognized by the
association by the end of 2002. Under current law, the foreign currency
card business must abide by China’s regulations on foreign exchange
management, however foreign banks will be able to do foreign currency card
businesses three years after China’s World Trade Organization entry.


Discover 1Q/01

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. reported net income for its Credit Services/Discover Card division of $142 million for the quarter ended Feb 28. However both charge-offs and delinquency grew during the quarter, reflecting the weakness in the U.S. consumer economy. The credit card net charge-off rate increased to 4.79%, 13 bps higher than last year’s first quarter and 22 bps higher than the previous quarter. The 30+-day delinquency rate was 6.34% compared to 5.58% a year ago and 5.92% for the prior quarter. Managed credit card loans rose to $49.5 billion, an 18% from a year ago. Transaction volume increased 4% from first quarter 2000 to $24.4 billion. Merchant and cardmember fees rose 6% to $629 million. For the quarter, Discover opened almost 1.4 million new cardmember accounts, bringing the total number of cardmember accounts to a record 43.7 million. For complete details on Discover’s latest quarterly results visit CardData (

1Q/00* 2Q/00* 3Q/00* 4Q/00* 1Q/01*
Receivables: $42.0b $43.7b $44.8b $47.1b $49.5b
Volume: $23.5b $21.9b $21.9b $22.8b $24.4b
Accounts: 39.2m 40.4m 41.4m 42.6m 43.7m
Actives: 22.8m 23.1m 23.1m 23.8m 24.0m
Chargeoffs: 4.66% 4.21% 4.18% 4.57% 4.79%
Delinquency: 5.58% 5.11% 5.47% 5.92% 6.34%
Yield: 13.35% 13.69% 14.05% 14.13% 13.66%

*1Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 2/29/00; 2Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 5/31/00; 3Q/00
fiscal quarter ended 8/31/00; 4Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 11/30/00; 1Q/01
fiscal quarter ended 2/28/01. Source: CardData (