Card Issuers Spent $22MM on Hispanic Marketing

FL-based Hispanic Market Weekly has conducted research concluding credit card companies spent $22 million on advertising to U.S. Hispanics for the first half of this year, led by VISA’s media buys of $13 million. The findings also show 97% of the $22 million spent on Hispanic advertising came from, in addition to VISA, MasterCard and JP Morgan Chase & Co. with MasterCard having spent $2.2 million and JP Morgan Chase having spent $5.4 million. Hispanic Market Weekly was founded in 1997 and is an authority on news in Hispanic marketing.

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FrontStream Picks-Up $16MM in Funding

TN-based payment solution provider FrontStream payments has secured $16 million in equity funding. FrontStream Payments products and services include turnkey solutions that enables small and medium sized merchants to increase revenues through the acceptance of credit and debit cards. The company also helps drive customer relationship management and loyalty efforts by allowing them to offer their own “branded” loyalty, gift and prepaid cards. Investors in this initial round included SSM Partners, Noro-Moseley Partners, the Wakefield Group, Southpoint Capital, and management.

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TRAVELEX VISA

Payzone has appointed Mike Maloney and Nigel Bell CEO and CFO,
respectively. Maloney excepts his new role having seceded his position as
COO with British Telecom Ireland, where he has served since 2004. Prior
to this, Maloney was executive chairman of Eurocommerce Payment
Solutions between 2002 and 2004 and is in addition to his experience as
an executive in the industry for the 6 years prior with other
organizations.
Nigel Bell moves up from his position as Payzone’s group financial
controller
to the interim Chief Financial Officer effective immediately.

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TheStreet.com and CreditCards.com Partner

TheStreet.com and CreditCards.com have partnered provide credit card content on TheStreet.com’s “BankingMyWay” Web site. At BankingMyWay consumers conduct free searches to find the best local banking rates available online for CDs, savings accounts, interest checking, money markets, mortgage/home equity and auto loans. Under the agreement, visitors to the site now have access to the CreditCards.com search engine where they can view a wide selection of the best credit card offerings which includes credit cards in the following categories: low interest, balance transfer, rewards, cash back, airline, instant approval, prepaid and debit, as well as cards for bad credit, and student and business credit cards.

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Wells Announces Single-Use Card Accounts for B2B

Wells Fargo is launching a single-use account for commercial MasterCard and VISA card customers. Those who utilize the company’s “Payment Manager” automated payments and remittance channel service are provided access from a single liaison for ACH, check, wire, and card payments. This single-use account is managed by the Wells Fargo system Commercial Card Expense Reporting (CCER) platform. This new feature is offered in addition to the accounts payable solution announced in October 2007, when Wells Fargo became the first bank to join the “MasterCard Payment Gateway.”

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AmEx Sponsors Tribeca Film Festival Again

American Express will sponsor the seventh annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York April 23-May 4 and will unveil its new American Express Insider Center. The Center offers Cardmembers exclusive access to special events including ‘masterclasses’ spotlighting cinematic themes, roundtable discussions with directors, casts and crew, and private short film screenings. The Insider Center will also transform into an après-theatre lounge in the evening where filmmakers, industry insiders and Cardmembers can mingle after an exciting day at the Festival. The Insider Center will be open April 24 through May 2 from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm until midnight for American Express Cardholders with ticket stubs. Additionally, private programming will take place from 2:30 pm to 10:00 pm. Cardmembers can find tickets to Insider Center programming at www.americanexpress.com/tribeca. Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan. The Festival has attracted more than two million attendees from the US and abroad and has generated more than $425 million in economic activity for New York City.

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Fuel Costs Drive Retail Sales Down in March

The National Retail Federation has reported a 0.9% drop in retail sales between March ’07 and March ’08 and a 0.3% drop between February of 08 and March of ’08. Blaming high energy costs, combined with lower climatic temperatures this season and the subsequent increase in energy costs, clothing/accessories stores saw a 0.5% drop from February and a 2.0% drop from the year prior while electronics/appliance stores saw 0.4% drop month-to-month and a 1% drop year-over-year. Moreover, furniture and home furnishing stores reported a .3% drop over the 1 month period while reporting a 10.2% drop over the duration of the past year. However, retailers in health sales reported a 2.8% increase in sales while sporting goods stores reported a 1.5% increase in sales since March of 2007.

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TNB Card Names a New VP of Regional Sales

TNB Card Services has hired Wendy Stanczyk, previously with ITS, as VP of regional sales. She will work with credit unions to provide strategic direction and counsel in effective ways to manage and optimize their card programs to drive card usage, retention, and growth. At ITS Stanczyk managed a national territory within the insurance, credit card, collections, auto, mortgage, utility and federal credit union industries. Prior to ITS, Stanczyk worked in payment services for eight years with First Data Corporation/Western Union Payment Services. TNB Card Services is owned and directed by credit unions since 1976, provides electronic payments processing, as well as an agent issuing solution for credit unions nationwide.

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MagTek Introduces an iPad Secure PINpad

NV-based MagTek has launched its “iPad” secure PINpad providing protection of card information with the implementation of its 3-Track “MagneSafe” secure card reader with authentication technology. In doing so, the “iPad” encrypts personal data at the POS, hindering any attempt at intercepting clear text data, using industry standard “3DES” to manage decryption services. Additionally, the new PIN pad implements a bus powered USB 2.0 interface, a graphics LDC with backlight, a locking cable connection, an optional privacy shield and “MagnePrint” secure card authentication allowing for detection of fraud.

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VERIFONE & CREDIBANCO

Verifone Holdings has reported the sale of 18,700 of its payment terminal
solutions to Credibanco bank association and transaction acquiring.
VeriFone and its partners have sold the bank association such terminals
as the “Vx 510” (both LAN and dial models) and the GPRS wireless
version of the “Vx 670”. Credibanco provides banks processing
throughout Colombia with 53,000 points of sale and a telecommunications
network to 17 principal cities and 385 municipalities while VeriFone
Holdings provide secure electronic payment solutions around the world.

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Wachovia Bank Deploys S1 Enterprise

Multi-channel software provider S1 Enterprise has rolled out its new online ACH solution designed to provide a central repository for payee information, additional ACH transaction types and improved usability features. Wachovia Bank is among the first clients of S1 Enterprise to use this new ACH service. Wachovia’s clients will access the new ACH service via the Wachovia Connection online banking portal to initiate multiple types of ACH payments — including tax payments, payroll, direct debits and trade payments. S1 will provide tax routing and formatting updates to the Bank and will also assist Wachovia with implementation services.

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ISLAMIC AIRLINE VISA

Emirates Islamic Bank (EIB) & Skywards have partnered to Launch the
“EIB Skywards VISA Credit Card”, the first Islamic co-branded airline
card available to UAE consumers. Combining payment products with EIB
and Emirates Airlines value options, the credit card affords cardholders
convenience, security and the opportunity to earn “Skywards miles”,
catering to consumers in the UAE market. When used to conduct payment
transactions, benefits of the card include rewards such as free travel and
upgrades to consumers.

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