Oberthur Technologies Awarded Innovations

Oberthur smart cards technology and related services, has received several prestigious awards for its innovation in the first part of 2010. Having received two International Innovation Awards from ACT Canada, a non-profit association that focuses on smart card technology in Canada, the company is being recognized for introducing innovative new technologies, applications and services into the payment card market. Namely, Oberthur’s “Smart Pin” won for being the first service that allows card issuers to securely deliver card PINs via mobile text message while in the Business Model Service category, Oberthur’s “EMV-In-A-Box” won for being able to provide issuers a turnkey EMV Migration solution. Oberthur Technologies also won the Élan Award for Unique Innovation at the International Card Manufacturing Association (ICMA) EXPO, held in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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USAA Federal Savings Bank Ranked Best mBanking

A new Javelin Strategy & Research report, “2010 Mobile Banking Scorecard – Shift in Smartphone Ownership Calls for a Shift in Focus: How 19 Top Financial Institutions Compare on Mobile Channel Retail Delivery,” has rated USAA Federal Savings Bank “Best in Class” in m-banking for the second year in a row. Javelin determined that 19 of the top 30 largest financial institutions (FIs) offer mobile banking. They judged and scored those 19 in five categories of criteria: marketing and security messaging, mobile access, general mobile banking features, short message service (SMS) features and security.

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American Express Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction

American Express has been ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among 10 of the largest card issuers in the U.S., according to the fourth annual nationwide study by J.D. Power and Associates. This study was based on customer interaction, billing and payment process, credit card terms, rewards programs, benefits and services, and problem resolution. American Express credits its investments in recent years, focusing on customer service with the “Relationship Care” approach for building and strengthening customer relationships. Also, services such as the Amex “Money Manager” fee free online service that helps Cardmembers manage their finances and rewards accounts; “Card with Custom Limits” feature providing Cardmembers the ability to set spending limits for Additional Cards on their account; and mobile payments, allowing users to pay their American Express bill on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, are all being credited with the JD Power ranking. Additionally, a more engaged workforce has led to greater productivity, lower employee attrition, and higher customer satisfaction.

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CITIBANK

Citibank Thailand has introduced its “Citi Locator” iPhone App mobile service. Allowing customers to search for Citibank World Privileges (CWP) offers in 27 countries, “Citi Locator” utilizes GPS technology embedded in all models of the iPhone to enable searches. In Thailand or other countries, customers can now easily find special offers by using the “Search Nearby” function. They can also select “Search by Location” as well as specify preferred merchant categories, including dining, shopping, sport and travel. Customers who travel often will find city- and country-specific search functions for 27 major countries.

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DebitFacts.org Names Debit Video Contest Winner

DebitFacts.org online educational debit resource announced Pete Herron of Moorestown, N.J., as the “Are You Debit Smart?” video contest grand prize winner. Herron, who shared why his debit card is his preferred form of payment, was awarded $5,000 on a prepaid Discover Card and a one-hour money management session with Judy Lawrence, financial counselor, author of The Budget Kit and founder of www.moneytracker.com. The winning entry received the highest overall scores based on creativity, thoughtfulness, originality, objectivity and entertainment and inspirational value. Reggie Schickel of Charlotte, N.C., was awarded second place, receiving $2,500 on a prepaid Discover Card and consultation with Lawrence while Adam Gruse of Mequon, Wis., was awarded third place, winning $1,000 and also time with Lawrence.

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VISA

Visa announced it is in compliance with the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry and reaffirms its intention to operate within the Code of Conduct’s framework. Visa has worked and continues to work with the Department of Finance, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and its Canadian business partners to ensure that the interpretation and implementation of the Code of Conduct is consistent, provides benefits to consumers, and sets a level playing field for all parties. Visa has consistently demonstrated transparency, one of the Code’s key tenets, and has been an industry leader in this area. Visa has publicly disclosed its domestic interchange rates on its website since November 28, 2008.

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IRAN SANCTION

The Reserve Bank of Australia under Regulations 1959 has administered financial sanctions against Iranian entities and persons who contribute to Iran’s proliferation activities. The Australian Government imposed further autonomous sanctions against Iran to reinforce UN Security Council Resolution 1929. With this, The Australian Government has directed the Reserve Bank to add nine persons and 80 entities to the Annex of names subject to financial sanctions under the Banking (Foreign Exchange) Regulations 1959. The updated Annex now contains 21 persons and 91 entities.

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MBNA PLATINUM

MBNA Ireland has seen a surge in applications for it’s new Platinum credit card and it’s no surprise when you look at the marketplace. As a result, 0% and low interest rate deals have become rare spectacles for the credit card user. It is this backdrop that makes the Platinum offering from http://www.MBNA.ie that much more desirable as card-holders have been used to a marketplace where zero percent deals were a thing of the past. The card from the Bank of America subsidiary comes with 10 months interest free borrowing on balance transfers as well as a substantially below average 14.9% APR (variable). A mere 2 years ago, such an offering wouldn’t have stood out from the crowd or even be worth mentioning but in today’s market, where card interest rates are at an average of 18.6%, a 0% offer with 14.9% APR is worth the hype.

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DBS EXEC

Sebastian Paredes is set to assume the role of CEO with DBS Hong Kong. Bringing with him 25 years’ experience, Paredes has successfully built franchises across multiple markets. He was most recently President Director of P.T. Bank Danamon, Indonesia, successfully solidified the bank’s position in retail, SME and commercial banking, and made inroads into new businesses such as consumer finance and micro lending, where he has served since 2005. He oversaw the bank more than doubled its loan book, expanded its customer base from 2 million to 5.2 million customers and grow revenues by over 240%. He also spent 20 years at Citi, with stints in South America, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe. Between 2002 and 2005, he managed 11 markets as CEO of Citigroup South Africa and regional head of Sub Saharan Africa, and increased the franchise’s net income significantly in a volatile and changing environment.

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CALLATAY & WOUTERS

Callatay & Wouters is launching a guide which looks at the drivers for and benefits of payments standardization and provides advice to financial institutions on best practice payments solutions to manage this change. The guide addresses such initiatives as SEPA and the Payment Services Directive (PSD), which are reshaping the industry, encouraging new market entrants, enhancing competition and, ultimately, improving customer service for consumers and corporates alike. Banks’ payments business is coming of age and has never been so important to the future success of the organisation as a whole.

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