Self Service Banking Embraced by Consumers

NCR research has shown an increasing trend in self-service options for everyday needs, with 66% of the respondents demonstrating a more positive perception of the deployer’s brand when such services are offered. Moreover, 97% would use self service options when conducting retail transactions, 95% prefer self service banking, 94% favor the prospect of self service in conducting hotel reservations/transactions and 89% would favor more self-service healthcare options. Speed was shown as the main reason for preferring self service options, with 70% of respondents citing this factor for use in finances, 68% in retail, 63% in travel/hotel and 53% in healthcare while ease of use was found to be the reason 52% of consumers in finances sought self-service, 52% prefer self-service when conducting retail transactions, 60% in travel/hotel and 47% of consumers in healthcare.

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MasterCard Introduces a New Debit Platform

MasterCard has rolled-out a new debit processing platform that offers financial institutions a complete processing solution to help create differentiated products and services. The new “MasterCard Integrated Processing Solutions” provides banks with a suite of branded debit network and card issuer processing services including PIN, signature, and ATM driving. The platform also introduces a user-friendly customer interface, “MasterCard Portfolio Viewer,” which greatly simplifies the process for banks to package cardholder data into customized reports. Banks can quickly and easily change the “Portfolio Viewer” configuration and report parameters with no hard coding. Security Service FCU will be the first MasterCard customer to implement “MasterCard IPS.” The new solution is expected to be available in the USA in mid-2008, offering ATM terminal driving, debit issuing processing and branded debit network functionality as well as expanded rewards capabilities.

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Capital One Recognized for Diversity

Capital One has been recognized by DiversityInc. Magazine as one of the top 50 Companies for Diversity. To be considered one of the Top 50 companies, Capital One demonstrated consistent strength in CEO Commitment, Human Capital, Corporate and Organizational Communications, and Supplier Diversity. Capital One has established a broad range of initiatives intended to foster diversity across the company which include providing internal cultural leadership and engagement with the community through volunteerism, mentoring, and donations by associate networks, offering innovative programs such as generous parental leave programs for new mothers and fathers and mentoring for women- and minority-owned businesses through a supplier diversity program.

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eGistics and ChoicePay Team for Payments

eGistics and ChoicePay have partnered to provide a hosted platform for the processing and archival of utility, communications, insurance and other payment remittances. The eGistics platform also will provide ChoicePay with an online statement archive and consumer access to statements via the Internet. In the near future, the plan is for eGistics to provide statement delivery to ChoicePay’s kiosk network, and the ability for ChoicePay’s call center to retrieve archived documents for timely problem resolution. The joint capabilities offered by the eGistics/ChoicePay alliance are designed to improve the overall consumer experience and help billers, remittance processors and financial institutions achieve better business outcomes through increased and more robust payment channels.

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SmartyPig Launches from Iowa

Iowa-based online savings platform SmartyPig has launched, enabling consumers to obtain a 4.3% APY on their accounts, allow account holders make their accounts public to accept deposits from others and a rewards program with retail partners. Users set up their savings accounts at smartypig.com and choose to fund it on a monthly basis through electronic transfers from existing outside checking or savings accounts. SmartyPig account owners must be 18 years old; however, parents can give minors access to specific goals, making the experience an educational and rewarding one for kids. SmartyPig accounts are held at West Bank, an FDIC-insured bank. Customers can have as many savings accounts as they wish, each with an unlimited number of savings goals.

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Computer Sciences & Oracle Team for Banking

Computer Sciences and Oracle solutions have announced a collaboration of its “Hogan Core Banking System” and its “Siebel Retail Banking”, respectively, to provide banks with sales and service software for increased efficiency and customer solutions. Oracle’s Siebel solution will provide for the collaboration its branch service, contact center, branch teller, self-service and eBilling, an extension of its more than 15 year partnership with CSC.

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Texaco and Chevron Add Octane to Credit Cards

Texaco and Chevron have added more octane to their credit cards by adding complimentary road service, cash access at over 350,000 ATMs associated with the “Cirrus” network, and “Zero Fraud Liability.” There will continue to be no annual fee associated with the Chevron and Texaco credit cards and cardholders will continue to receive flexible payment options, online account information, and access to thousands of conveniently located Chevron and Texaco stations. In the coming weeks, active Chevron and Texaco cardholders will be reissued new personal credit cards.

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Discover Card Goes Global Via Diners Club

Discover has inked a deal with Citi to acquire Diners Club International. The agreement will give the “Discover Card” global acceptance once the networks are fully integrated. Discover will purchase the business for $165 million. Under the terms of agreement, Discover will acquire the Diners Club International network with more than $30 billion per year in spend volume outside of North America; its brand and trademarks; its employees; and agreements with 44 network licensees who issue Diners Club cards and maintain an acceptance network consisting of more than 8 million incremental merchant and cash access locations in 185 countries worldwide. Citi will remain a significant long-term issuer on the Diners Club network as part of the transaction. Discover will not issue cards or extend consumer credit in international markets as a result of this acquisition. Diners Club licensees in North America and globally are not included in this acquisition. Diners Club cardmembers can continue to use their cards as usual and will maintain all benefits related to their current card programs. While not included in the transaction at this time, Diners Club assets and employees in France are expected to be included shortly.

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PaySimple Solution Expands in San Diego

The San Diego Better Business Bureau is now accepting electronic dues payments via “PaySimple Solution.” PaySimple provides an on-demand Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that enables small businesses to bill, collect, and manage their customer payments under one user-friendly system. The PaySimple solution includes recurring billing, email invoicing, Automated Clearing House (ACH) direct-debit, credit card processing, e-check processing, Electronic Funds Transfer and online payments. The San Diego BBB has over 6,000 accredited businesses.

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Better ATM Services Expands Product Offerings

AZ-based Better ATM Services now can enable existing ATM machines to dispense pre-paid media, premiums, and incentives from ATM trays just like cash. Better ATM Services’ efficient and cost effective distribution option means banks, shopping malls, grocery stores, restaurants, independent service operators, advertisers, and any business can now offer prepaid gift cards and other prepaid media, premiums, and incentives through technology enabled ATM machines.

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TUXEDO EXEC

Tuxedo Money Solutions prepaid card provider has appointed Peter van
Dijk as a non executive director. Currently CEO of Mobility Commerce
Services (“Mcom”) and an executive member (COO) of the Board
of East-West e-ticketing bv East-West e-ticketing, Dijk’s experience in
the mobile and communications stems back to his role as Director of
Vialis transportation solutions. Peter joins Tuxedo Prepaid solutions in
conjunction with Gary Palmer and is a reflection of the Organization’s
recent success and fund expansion for operations. Van Dijk graduated with
a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical
University of
Delft, Holland.

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Computer Services Launches Mobile Banking

Computer Services has launched its new mobile banking platform in response to industry research reflecting a growing consumer demand of the said services. This research concludes that the number of cell phones reached 2.7 billion in 2007, more than computers or televisions, and is expected to exceed 4.2 billion by 2011. With this growth in cell phone deployment comes a subsequent dependence on cell phone services, an aspect on which CSI’s new mobile banking platform intends to capitalize. The CSI platform allows banks to provides customers with text/browser-based mobile systems, the ability to check account balances, view transactions and receive alerts through SMS.

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