Ameerah Cetawayo writes for the Bowling Green Daily News about gift cards - and provices a great, concise explanation for consumers about the differences between open vs. closed loop cards.
MasterCard Worldwide has announced that today it celebrated its 40th anniversary, "marking the company's third significant milestone this year, following its successful initial public offering and new corporate brand launch."
The Nov/Dec issue of BAI's Banking Strategies is now available online. The cover story, titled Generating Customer Delight Across a National Franchise, is an interview with Liam McGee, president of global consumer and small business banking, discussing how Bank of America Corp. bases its national franchise on delivering a consistent level of service and being responsive to local markets. Also included is an article by Karen Epper Hoffman titled Payments Go Mobile.
Glenbrook's Linda Elliott has been following the banking industry's efforts to comply with the FFIEC Internet Banking Guidance issued almost a year ago. We first posted her summary of bank strategies last September. Here's a link to the most recent update on what the industry has been doing since then.
Glenbrook's Payments Boot Camp in Denver next week is completely sold out. If you're interested in learning more about the "soups to nuts" of electronic payments at one of our Boot Camps, the next one will be held on Feb. 7-8, 2007 in Santa Clara, California. Registration is now open. If you've got a more urgent or customized requirement, contact Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson about our Private Payments Boot Camps that allow you and your team to share a "deep dive" into the world of electronic payments in a private setting.
A contactless payment key fob smaller than the keys on your keychain and a thin oval-shaped wristband are just two of the payment possibilities enabled by Texas Instruments ISO/IEC 14443 contactless payment chip and antenna packages. According to TI, "the release of the industry's smallest payment products, fully MasterCard PayPass certified, brings new versatility and convenience to the contactless payments industry, as issuing banks explore a range of form factors, from traditional cards to fobs and wristbands."
IBM has been awarded US patent number 7,128,274 titled "Secure credit card with near field communications" (PDF). The patent was filed by inventors Edward E. Kelley and Franco Motika.
Visa International Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region has announced it is bringing contactless technology to Latin America for the first time with the launch of its program in Guatemala, implemented by Visanet Guatemala, local banks Banco Cuscatlan, Banco Industrial and Banco Uno, and 100 fast-food and movie theater point of sale terminals.
MasterCard has announced that, in partnership with Nokia and 7-Eleven, it is now conducting a consumer trial in Dallas, Texas, of Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled mobile phones with MasterCard PayPass capability.
easycash, a German point of sale (POS) Network Service Provider, has announced that financial investor Warburg Pincus has reached agreement with First Data International to acquire 100% of easycash. First Data sold easycash in a competitive auction, which attracted the interest of both industrial buyers and financial investors. The completion of the transaction is subject to approval of the German Federal Cartel Office ("FCO"). The parties agreed to keep the terms of the transaction confidential.
CheckFree has announced the results of a 2006 survey by Lieberman Research Worldwide on consumer bill payment behaviors. "The survey, a follow-up to a study announced in 2004 that first introduced Americans to six segments of bill-payer personalities, found that consumers today are more trusting of the Internet, particularly when it comes to financial management, and that there has been a significant, positive shift in several of the bill payment behavioral categories. The survey was conducted by Lieberman Research Worldwide, a Los Angeles-based firm that specializes in consumer segmentation research."
SVPCO - Electronic Clearing Services has announced that Sterling National Bank is now participating in the Image Payments Network. Sterling’s first exchange partner is Bank of America.
Visa USA has announced it estimates overall retail sales (excluding auto sales) for the 2006 holiday season will grow 7.5 percent, slightly lower than the growth rate of holiday sales in the previous two years.
Global Payments has announced a referral agreement with Ruesch International. a provider of business-to-business payment solutions. Under the terms of the agreements, Ruesch International will refer clients who have payment card processing needs to Global Payments; and, in turn, Global Payments will refer agent banks and business clients to Ruesch International for their cross-border payment processing and foreign exchange transaction needs.
American Express has announced the American Express SimplyCash Business Card which "gives cash back on virtually all purchases and automatically delivers the rewards each month as a statement credit."
The 21st Anniversary Holiday Survey of retail spending and trends, commissioned by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, reports that "gift cards are expected to continue to be the top gift purchase, with approximately two-thirds (66 percent) of consumers planning to buy them, roughly the same as last year. However, holiday shoppers are planning on buying more of them: this year, consumers intend to buy an average of 4.6 cards, an increase from the 3.9 they bought last year." However, the survey suggests that gift cards may present a "mixed bag for retailers." "Our survey showed that, as a result of buying gift cards last year, 50 percent of consumers spent less time shopping during the holidays and 41 percent bought fewer spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment items," said Pat Conroy, vice chairman and national managing principal of Deloitte's Consumer Business practice. "Successful retailers can benefit from gift-card-and-product bundling, incentives for shoppers to buy additional products while in the store, and other strategies to upsell and cross-sell with gift cards."
MasterCard Incorporated has announced financial results for the third quarter of 2006, reporting net income of $193 million on net revenues of $902 million, a 13.9% increase versus the same period in 2005. MasterCard reported growth in gross dollar volume (GDV), increasing 15.0%, on a local currency basis, to $502 billion and an 18.9% increase in the number of transactions processed. Worldwide purchase volume rose 17.2%, on a local currency basis, during the quarter to $365 billion with the company's customers having issued 818 million MasterCard cards, an increase of 12.6% percent over the same period in 2005. MasterCard held a conference call this morning to discuss the results and has also provided some additional materials online.
TSYS has announced it is now certified to support open-loop prepaid cards in Europe on the MasterCard network. The certification includes capability for chip-and-PIN processing on MasterCard's network.
YeePay has announced a partnership with the largest online retailer in China - Dang Dang, to provide exclusive payment service for Dang Dang Mall (mall.dangdang.com), a new online store hosting program that allows merchants to sell their goods through Dang Dang's network.
US Bank Canada has announced it has acquired CIBC's Visa purchasing and Visa corporate credit card portfolio. U.S. Bank Canada is a division of U.S. Bank, which is a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, one of the world's largest issuers of Visa commercial cards.
CIGNA HealthCare has announced HealthePass, "a comprehensive new solution designed to simplify and improve payment processes to help patients anticipate and manage their health care costs, shorten provider revenue cycle and help address patient bad debt."
Cardways.com has announced the launch of its new Web site that offers consumers the opportunity to customize gift cards and greeting cards, allowing them to add their own personal touch to an already popular gift.