Bank Freedom MasterCard Takes Off

Prepaid Card Holding’s subsidiary Bank Freedom has shipped 44,000 prepaid MasterCards in April 2008, more than double the forecasted order. Bank Freedom has recently entered the prepaid card industry with its Bank Freedom Prepaid MasterCard, issued by MetaBank pursuant to license by MasterCard International Incorporated. According to market data available, there are between 40 and 80 million people in the United States who don’t have a bank account or who can’t qualify for a credit card because their credit scores are too low, known as the “under-banked” market. The prepaid card solutions offered by Bank Freedom can act as a card account and payment solution for those people who do not use banks or credit cards. and for the under banked, a way to replace their reliance on check cashing centers, money orders, and enable them to buy certain products that require a major credit card.

Details

DUBAI BIZ CARD

Dubai First has launched its flexible interest “Business Credit Card”
for consumers in the region in association with Visa International for
acceptance at more than 22 million locations. In doing so, the Dubai
First “Business Credit Card” is offering flexible financing options to
businesses with financial flexibility using an interest rate mechanism
as low as 1.33% per month, a rewards program allowing for points
redemption for cash, services or free offers and a draft facility
feature allowing for card use anywhere. Additional features include
access to a dedicated personal account manager, special discounts and
privileges, discounts on UAE Gate Card, business secure insurance and
information support. Around the world, small and medium sized
enterprises’ spending have been growing at an average rate of 14%
annually with an estimated spend of US $4.2 trillion in 2006.

Details

Small Business Confidence Rises in May

Fewer small businesses have poor impressions of the current economy, with cash flow issues at the lowest rate in six months. The latest Discover “Small Business Watch” has increased to 81.8 in May from 76.1 in April. Also reflecting a rebounding economy, 28% of owners say business conditions are improving, up from 24% in April, 71% think the U.S. economy is getting worse, down from 76% in April, and 39% have had issues with cash flow over the last 90 days, down from 44% the month prior. Additional findings show these small business owners work more than others with 59% defining a “day off” as being available for calls and emails, 23% not having taken a planned vacation that lasted at least a week in over four years, 25% of owners usually working 10 to 12 hours per day and 47% working “always” or “most of the time” on official holidays.

Details

Chase Paymentech Solutions JV to End

Citing that the payments and merchant-acquiring businesses are core to their strategies, JPMorgan Chase and First Data announced they have agreed to end the Chase Paymentech Solutions joint venture by the end of this year. Afterwards, JPMorgan Chase and First Data will operate separate payment businesses. JPMorgan Chase will provide global payment solutions for allocated merchants by retaining 51% of the JV’s assets, including most of its employees and the JV’s Canadian and European operations. The bank will name its payments and merchant acquiring business Chase Paymentech and retain the JV’s Dallas headquarters. First Data will continue to provide transaction processing and data commerce solutions for allocated merchants through its current technology platforms. First Data will assume management of the full-service ISO and Agent Bank unit of the JV and will integrate 49% of the JV’s assets and a portion of the JV employees into its existing merchant acquiring business. Chase Paymentech Solutions processed approximately 19.7 billion payment transactions, with more than $719 billion in annual bank card and debit volume.

Details

’08 AmEx Membership Rewards Announced

American Express has announced the “2008 Membership Rewards Program” partner lineup, including new additions. Among the news additions is the Wynn Las Vegas resort, Air Tahiti Nui, West Elm, Legal Sea Food, Forth Wall Restaurants, U.S. Golf Association Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and The Peninsula Hotels. The additional 140 partners span various sectors allowing for AmEx point redemption in a wide selection of reward categories, including organizations such as Airlines, Car Rentals, Railway, Charities, Dining, Entertainment, Financial Services, Hotels, Merchandise, Retail, Sports and Adventure.

Details

OTI Cuts Expenses as Revenues Drop

On Track Innovations reports revenues of $9.3 million for 1Q/08, down 10% since the year ago quarter, and a gross margin of 32%, compared to 39% in corresponding period the year prior. These figures are reflective of management’s initiatives to reduce operating expenses to establish subsequent profitability in the near future. Additional data show OTI’s on GAAP operating expenses were down 24% from 4Q/07 to $7.3 million. OTI secure contactless microprocessor-based smart card technology is available in a range of industries, including petroleum payment systems, homeland security solutions, electronic passports and IDs, payments, mass transit ticketing, parking, loyalty programs and secure campuses. For more details on OTI’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

Details

FFN to Offer ANB Credit Card Portfolio

OK-based First Financial Network has inked a deal to market and manage the sale of approximately 12,000 active and inactive credit card accounts totaling $12 million from failed AR-based ANB Financial. At the direction of the FDIC, FFN will initiate a targeted marketing campaign aimed at procuring qualified purchasers in order to obtain maximum value on the portfolio. FFN will utilize its online “Loan Trading Platform” to image account documentation in the portfolio and provide qualified investors with immediate access to due diligence information and the opportunity to place bids. Investor due diligence is scheduled to begin on May 29th with a bid date of June 25th.

Details

Capital Markets Acquires Payzone

Chicago-based financial services solution provider Capital Markets Technologies has acquired EFT facilitator Payzone. Payzone was established primarily as an ACH payments facilitator, allowing international payments to be distributed to their ultimate destination automatically rather than by manual processing at the receiving bank. Due to Homeland Security requirements which now require that all international payments into the USA are routed and filtered through New York before travelling on the US branch banks, Payzone’s technology is set to see an increase in its usage.

Details

EUFISERV TAKEOVER

Having acquired a 50% stake in the European processing network, First
Data payment services has teamed with EUFISERV’s 15 European shareholder
banks with the intention of expanding its European Interbank presence.
The Brussels-based EUFISERV provides inter-bank POS/ATM switching, which
First Data intends to further develop for SEPA framework compliance.
Additionally, First Data will acclimate the organization’s network to
its own, positioning EUFISERV to provide end users with access to over
74,000 ATMs, 1.5 million POS merchants for the acceptance of more than
165 million card accounts in Europe, and, to reflect its new ownership,
will be changing the network’s name.

Details

First Hawaiian Intros Priority+ CashPoints

First Hawaiian Bank has introduced its “Priority+ CashPoints” point accelerator program, allowing account holders to earn Priority Reward “CashPoints” up to 5x faster. Redeemable for travel awards on any airline, gift cards, cash rebates, and various other retail goods, First Hawaiian Bank offers “CashPoints” benefits through its partnership with over 130 local businesses throughout Hawaii to reward up to 5 CashPoints for every $1 spent in purchases. First Hawaiian Bank has assets of $12.75 billion and 58 branches throughout Hawaii, three on Guam and two on Saipan.

Details

PGP PLATFORM

Barclays Bank has partnered with the PGP Corporation enterprise data
protection to provide a safeguard solution to sensitive information in
over 50 countries with the “PGP Encryption Platform.” Barclays will be
deploying the manageable platform, designed to accommodate growth in
encryption technologies, across the retail and commercial banking
organisation sectors for the protection of consumer information and will
be working with PGP to extend key management solutions. Barclays Bank
has over 300 years of banking history, has operations in over 50
countries and employs 135,000 people whom serve 30 million customers and
clients.

Details

AmEx AEIS Names a New CFO

American Express Incentive Services has named Russell Yergensen, previously with American Express’ prepaid division, as CFO. Yergensen will lead AEIS’ strategic planning, finance, pricing and legal management teams as the company pursues revenue growth and implements innovative programs to deliver custom enhancements and operating efficiencies. Yergensen joined the AEIS executive team in March 2008 after serving as vice president of strategic planning and business analysis for American Express’ Travelers Cheque and Prepaid Services group. Prior to that role, Yergensen was the director of business planning and financial analysis for American Express. He joined American Express after serving as a certified public accountant with Ernst & Young. AEIS, a joint venture between American Express Travel Related Services Company Inc. and Maritz Inc., provides business-to-business reward solutions including stored-value cards, American Express Gift Cheques and a Web-based reward management tool.

Details