CashStar Issues MarketPlace Grill Cards

Arkansas-based MarketPlace Grill will offer CashStar online gift cards.
MarketPlace Grill is recognized as
an innovative leader always looking for new technologies to improve the
guest experience. With CashStar’s technology, MarketPlace Grill is also able to leverage
the industry’s only e-gifting and incentives platform with unparalleled
personalization and promotion capabilities. Leading in to the holiday
season, MarketPlace Grill is leveraging the CashStar platform to incent
customers purchasing online gift cards with a “GOGO” promotion: customers
who purchase $50 worth of gift cards will receive a $10 online gift card
to use for themselves or give as another gift. MarketPlace Grill is also
promoting the gift cards through their popular Facebook and Twitter
pages, including developing a viral video to help customers get into the
holiday spirit with online gift cards. The new online gift cards are available on the
company’s website and can be personalized with different images and
text. The cards can be delivered directly to the recipient via e-mail,
either immediately or at a later scheduled date. Customers can redeem
the cards at both MarketPlace Grill and MarketPlace Express locations.

Details

Airfares Rise as Hotel Rates Decline in Q3

Throughout one of the busiest travel times of the year, data show
airlines have raised average international airfares 2%
quarter-over-quarter, as they did for average domestic airfares.
Meanwhile, average international booked hotel rates decreased 10%
year-over-year, average domestic booked hotel rates decreased 2%
year-over-year, but increased 7% in budget-tier hotels
quarter-over-quarter and car rental rates increased 5% in Q3 2009,
remaining flat year-over-year. This is according to American Express
“Business Travel” third quarter data and analysis from its Business
Travel Monitor (BTM) North America monthly pricing index, published by
eXpert insights.

Details

World Emergency Relief MasterCard Unveiled

World Emergency Relief will now offer member and contributors the
CA-based Tempo affinity debit MasterCard.
Every time WER debit cards are used to make a purchase, the organization
will receive a portion of standard card transaction fees. The cards can
be used anywhere debit MasterCard cards are accepted and also provide
cash-back and ATM withdrawal access to the cardholders’ existing
checking accounts. Tempo technology makes it easy for organizations to
offer affinity debit
cards and provides a web portal for consumers to apply for and activate
cards, as well as track purchases and rewards. Tempo-enabled debit
cards are affinity partner-branded, generate
valuable cardholder rewards, and can be used for online and offline
purchases and ATM withdrawals. Tempo manages all aspects of card
issuance, including risk management,
application processing, card fulfillment, authorization and settlement.
World Emergency Relief is a global family of five charities sharing a
common vision and core values. The cards are issued by
Tempo partner First Bank & Trust of Brookings, SD, part of Fishback
Financial Corporation.

Details

DIEBOLD GROWTH

Diebold is recognizing its 10 year anniversary as a leading IT and
self-service solutions provider in South America. This development was
marked by the $225 million acquisition of Sao Paulo, Brazil-based
Procomp back in 1999. Diebold Brazil now wins some of the largest ATM
contracts in the company’s history, contributing expertise in software,
systems integration, and the development of key new products and
services through such solutions as Diebold “Integrated Services.”
Diebold Brazil has also help pave the way for new approaches to
optimizing costs, management and productivity of financial institutions’
ATM channels through outsourcing; employs more than 3,000 associates
throughout the country; and has delivered more than 100,000 ATMs and
other self-service terminals.

Details

WU E-REMITTANCE

The Western Union Company global payment services has introduced its
transactional websites in Belgium and Portugal, www.westernunion.be and
www.westernunion.pt, respectively, allowing consumers to send money
online using just a credit or debit card. Available anytime for payout
at more than 400,000 Western Union Agent locations in over 200 countries
and territories, this is the latest step in the company’s expansion of
new and existing channels for sending and receiving money. Western Union
continues to grow its core business – moving money – through a variety
of channels, including sending and receiving money with a cell phone or
sending money online directly to or from a bank account. This
development is in addition to the websites with said capabilities in
Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland,
Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
and the United States.

Details

CARDSWAP.CA

Serving shoppers looking to save 10-40% off face value and gift card
holders preferring to exchange gift cards for cash, CardSwap provides an
exchange platform for these consumers and guaranteed funds and value in
the card. Serving as a peer-to-peer online market for discounted gift
cards, the company is now giving consumers holding these unwanted gift
cards a choice to register and post the verified gift card up for sale
and only have to pay a 6% fee (minimum $4.50) of the sale price.
Meanwhile, the consumer can expect to save 10-40% off giftcards from
their favorite retailer.

Details

OCT DEBT

Credit card gross dollar volume remains flat sequentially, while credit card outstandings edged up by a mere two basis points year-on-year in October, after rising 22 basis points in September. Despite setting a new high in June, credit card loan growth has been sluggish in 2009. Annual growth in July was 1.6%, June was 2.0%, compared to May at 2.1%, 2.3% for April and 4.4% for March. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia credit card balances posted at A$45.2 billion for October versus A$44.1 billion one-year ago. Credit card volume came in at A$19.2 billion for October and September, compared to A$18.9 billion in August and and A$19.2 billion for September 2008. Credit limits now stand at A$126.1 billion, compared to A$122.0 billion in October 2008. According to the RBA there are currently 14.4 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 14.2 million one-year ago.

Details

HOLIDAY SHOPPERS

Many Canadians are admitting delaying shopping because they are too
busy, say 38% of consumers, while 11% are just plain lazy and 6% are
hoping to avoid holiday shopping altogether. Other reasons, according to
the TD “First Class Travel” Visa Holiday Shopping survey, show 36% do
not know what to buy; 15% are procrastinating; 14% are waiting on last
minute deals; and 13% are just too overwhelmed by the entire holiday
shopping experience. In response, TD has recommended holiday consumers
shop online; track spending; buy gift cards; be practical; and donate.
Only 47% will do any shopping online this holiday season; 3% plan to do
more than half of their shopping online, and none of those polled plan
to avoid the stores entirely while 61% of Albertans plan to shop online,
34% of which plan to use the web for more than 10% of their holiday gift
buying; and only 32% of Quebecers are planning to shop online.

Details

NEOVIA E-PAYMENT

NEOVIA Payment Suite has won contracts with 8 new merchants selling
luxury goods online, making payment processing straightforward and
secure. Using the NEOVIA Payment Suite to take online payments at their
website, the new merchants will have access to the NETBANX international
payments gateway, the NETELLER e-wallet and Net+ cards solutions.
NETBANX allows merchants to accept card and non-card payments through
multiple channels including online, contact centres, mail order and
automated phone systems; the e-wallet allows consumers to spend securely
online as well as allowing merchants to increase customer lifetime
value; and the Net+ cards allow merchants to extend customer loyalty and
lifetimes. The new merchants include
Artworkbank online art collection management tool; Buy My Watch;
Churchill Fine Wines; Cool Diamonds; Grape Vine champagne supplier; I
Love Cashmere; RED5 gadget shop; and Pret-A-Beaute fashion and beauty.

Details

Discover’s Q4 U.S. Card Profits Fall 11%

Discover reported fourth quarter pretax income for its U.S. card business of $575.5 million, an 11% decline. The results were impacted by rising charge-offs and delinquency coupled with lower volume and balance transfer activity. Managed loans of $51 billion were essentially flat compared to the prior year. Sales volume declined 1% compared to the prior year and balance transfer volume declined 66% from 4Q/08. Discover says it reduced its marketing of promotional rate balance transfer offers. The managed net charge-off rate increased to 8.43% for the fourth quarter, up 295 basis points and four basis points from the prior year and the prior quarter, respectively. The over 30 days delinquency rate on managed loans was 5.31%, up 75 basis points from the prior year and 21 basis points from the prior quarter. However, the net yield on loan receivables was 9.37%, an increase of 82 basis points from the prior year and a decrease of 53 basis points from the prior quarter. The net yield increased from the prior year as the rate on credit card balances declined less than the cost of funds, primarily due to higher interest rates on standard balances and a reduction in promotional rate balances. The net yield decreased from the prior quarter reflecting the impact of a decline in higher rate balances related to the implementation of the “CARD Act,” an increase in lower rate student loan balances and an increase in the liquidity reserve. For complete details on Discover’s latest performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

U.S. CARD PRE-TAX PROFITS
4Q/08: $646.4 million
1Q/09: $167.0 million
2Q/09: $387.9 million
3Q/09: $912.8 million
4Q/09: $575.5 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Details

STARWOOD & AMEX

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and American Express Canada have
partnered to issue the Starwood “Preferred Guest” Credit Card from
American Express and the Starwood “Preferred Guest Business Card,” also
from American Express. Slated for introduction in 1Q/10, the cards will
provide members in Canada the fastest way to earn Starpoints toward free
hotel nights and flights. Offering an accelerated points earning feature
the Starwood cards will allow cardmembers to earn 1 Starpoint for every
$1 charged to the card and to earn a bonus of 10,000 Starpoints for up
to three free award nights. Starwood has nearly 1,000 properties that
span 100 countries and nine distinct brands including St. Regis, W,
Westin, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton and Le Méridien.

Details