AmEx & Delta Airlines Team for New Credit Cards

American Express has partnered with Delta Airlines for the launch of the “Delta Reserve Credit Card” and the “Delta Reserve Business Credit Card” to provide Delta patrons with flexibility and benefits. For an annual fee of $450, the cards provide such benefits as the ability to earn and share “Medallion Qualification Miles”, priority boarding, free club access and concierge services. Furthermore, when card users spend $30,000 with their card in a calendar year, they are automatically entitled to 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 bonus miles and an additional 15,000 MQMs/15,000 bonus miles when spending reaches $60,000 in the same year. If a cardholder is the “Basic Cardmember” of a domestic American Express consumer “Charge Card” account or of a domestic AmEx small business charge card account that has an annual fee greater than or equal to $55, the annual fee is $395. Consumers will continue to earn “Always Double Miles” on every eligible dollar they spend on Delta purchases, as well as at gas stations, supermarkets, drugstores, home improvement stores, and more. Delta reported a first quarter loss of $6.39 billion due to fuel prices and the steep decline in the company’s market value.

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TIMES CARD

TimesofMoney and Barclays have teamed to launch the “Times Card”
entertainment credit card for Indian consumers. The new fee-free credit
card offers cardholders such features as gift vouchers from retailers
across various industries, a 25% discount on movie tickets, the
opportunity to attend exclusive movie events and a rewards program
providing a choice of redemptions. Barclays financial services provider
operates in over 50 countries with 135,000 employees serving more than
30 million customers around the world while Barclaycard India has over
500,000 customers.

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BCOM POS

Yucheng Technologies has signed agreements with the Beijing Branch of
the Bank of Communications (”BCOM Beijing”) to provide outsourced POS
merchant acquiring services. The services provided to the bank include
merchant acquisition, deployment, installation/maintenance of POS
terminals, merchant training and a 24-hour technical support hotline.
Yucheng will purchase the POS terminals, which are designed to accept
all major payment cards, and share fee gains with BCOM Beijing.
Developments such as this are becoming more profound given 2007
statistics showing 1.47 billion bank cards were issued in China, up 30%
from 2006, and 21% of the country’s consumption value was made via bank
cards, up from 17% in 2006. BCOM has a network of 2,612 branches across
the country and a 2006 total asset value of RMB1,720 billion while
Yucheng Technologies Limited (YTEC) IT service provider employs 1,700
associates and has representation in 11 Chinese cities.

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GLOBALPLATFORM DASM

GlobalPlatform has launched its Device Application Security Management
(DASM) Specification for terminals, consisting of a suite of 3 documents
and allowing for the exchange of information and data when downloading
applications. The 3 documents include the “DASM Concepts and
Descriptions Specification”, which defines roles and responsibilities of
different actors specifying data to be shared, the “DASM Key and
Certificate Management Specification”, which determines what must be
applied to ensure all actors within the environment are verified as
trustworthy, and the “DASM Provisioning Specification, which specifies
the data format required to install an application. GlobalPlatform is a
member driven association that provides smart card infrastructure and
technical specifications for cards, devices
and systems.

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FTC Settles with the Last Debt-Set Defendant

The Federal Trade Commission has settled with the last “Debt-Set” defendant amid allegations of participation in operations that violate federal law by falsely claiming its products can reduce consumers’ credit card interest rates/credit card debt. The suit was brought against the organization in response to media marketing claiming consumers can “Reduce Debt Now” and “Eliminate Harassing Calls”, promising lump-sum settlements with negotiations down to “50 to 60%” of consumers’ total unsecured debt. In fact, consumers were encouraged to enroll in a “debt consolidation program” if their unsecured consumer debt was up to one month overdue, or a “debt settlement program” if overdue longer, which both require upfront payments-contradictory of the organization’s marketing campaign.

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CREDIT CARD COMPARE

Credit Card Compare has launched its credit advice website targeting
Australian consumers. With the country’s total balance of credit and
charge card debt at around the $42.7 billion, over $18 billion in credit
card transactions monthly and an average card debt of nearly $3000 per
Australian household, the website launch comes at an appropriate time.
The Credit Card Compare website makes available credit card reviews, its
“The Credit Letter” blog, personal finance advice, credit card news
items and card products sorted by types, interest, rewards and issuers.

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GlobalPlatform Launches a DASM Specification

GlobalPlatform has launched its Device Application Security Management (DASM) Specification for terminals, consisting of a suite of 3 documents and allowing for the exchange of information and data when downloading applications. The 3 documents include the “DASM Concepts and Descriptions Specification”, which defines roles and responsibilities of different actors specifying data to be shared, the “DASM Key and Certificate Management Specification”, which determines what must be applied to ensure all actors within the environment are verified as trustworthy, and the “DASM Provisioning Specification, which specifies the data format required to install an application. GlobalPlatform is a member driven association that provides smart card infrastructure and technical specifications for cards, devices and systems.

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GPN & NBC

GA-based Global Payments has extended its marketing alliance agreement
with the National Bank of Canada through 2017. With these agreements, in
exchange for merchant referral and MasterCard Canada processing
sponsorship, Global Payments will provide National Bank of Canada
customers with its card acceptance services. These services include POS
products, credit card processing and account settlement. The National
Bank of Canada provides financial services such as retail, corporate and
investment banking, has over $120 billion in assets and employs 16,856
people while Global Payments Inc provides electronic transaction
processing services to organizations around the world.

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PSCU and CheckFree Launch a Green Initiative

FL-based based PSCU Financial Services has partnered with WI-based Fiserv “CheckFree” to encourage consumers to utilize online billing options for the reduction of paper consumption. In doing so, the 18 credit union partnership organizations hope to enlighten consumers as to how these practices benefit the environment. Affirming such sentiment, research shows if all U.S. households participated in the practice of using online bill payment and e-bills, as oppose to the practice of patronizing traditional paper statements, it could save 16.5 million trees annually. PSCU Financial Services credit union service organization (CUSO) serves over 1,100 financial institutions nationwide, is owned by more than 500 member credit unions, represents over 11 million cardholder accounts and more than 580,000 online bill payment subscribers while Fiserv provides information management and electronic commerce systems to organizations in the financial and insurance industries.

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American Express Introduces Members Know

American Express has introduced its online travel community, “Members Know”, allowing cardholders to share travel experiences and to engage in dialogue with Travel + Leisure magazine editors. Research shows American Express cardholders are over 90% more likely to travel frequently than those who are not and in response “Members Know” was introduced to allow them to guide each other with advice, allow members to search a list of cities for popular hotels/restaurants, a top ten list of local service merchants, discounts and free services.

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Barclays Launches the Times Card in India

TimesofMoney and Barclays have teamed to launch the “Times Card” entertainment credit card for Indian consumers. The new fee-free credit card offers cardholders such features as gift vouchers from retailers across various industries, a 25% discount on movie tickets, the opportunity to attend exclusive movie events and a rewards program providing a choice of redemptions. Barclays financial services provider operates in over 50 countries with 135,000 employees serving more than 30 million customers around the world while Barclaycard India has over 500,000 customers.

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