ACTIONAID CARD

Co-operative Bank has teamed with international development charity ActionAid to launch a new credit card. The new “Money Where Your Mouth Is VISA” card generates GBP15 for every account opened and 25 pence for every GBP 100 spent on the card or transferred to the new credit card. ActionAid says 5% will go towards supporting its campaigning work, ensuring people are treated fairly by
governments, companies and international institutions. The new card also offers a 12.9% interest rate and GBP25,000 of free travel accident insurance when the card is used to pay for travel tickets.

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AmEx Launches a FL Dollar Rent A Car Promo

American Express has launched a Dollar Rent A Car promotion offering “Pass24 Prepaid Toll Service” with select car rental rates at participating Florida locations. To receive this offer, the rental must end by Mar. 31, 2008. 24-hour advance reservations are required. Weekly rates require a five-day minimum rental. The offer is subject to limited availability and may not be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. Taxes, surcharges, additional driver fee and optional items such as refueling are extra. Other restrictions may apply. Pass24 is currently offered at all DOLLAR locations in Florida.

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$185MM in Debit Card Refunds Mailed

NY-based Constantine Cannon says it has mailed 55,000 payments involving more than $185 million in settlement refunds this week. This is the fourth round of distribution from the “VisaCheck/MasterMoney Litigation Settlement Fund.” To-date more than $985 million has been paid-out in 701,026 claims. Constantine Cannon expects that payments for online PIN debit overcharges will be made to all or most qualifying Class Members in 2008 when the “Settlement Fund” is replenished. A total of 803,258 claims have been filed.

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NRF Develops Best Practice on PCI Compliance

The National Retail Federation is developing an “IT Best Practices” reference library to define best practices on each of the twelve basic PCI audit points with variations by retail segment. The Best Practices Guides will be developed by collecting “how we do it” information from contributing retailers and vendors. All contributions will be analyzed by the committee and amalgamated into the “best practice.” Draft best practices will be posted to websites for further critique and enhancements before being declared “Best.” Other best practices to be included in the library are privacy, spam control, environmental protection, record retention and data management. Best practices will be developed by a sub-committee of the CIO Council supplemented with technical assistance by the ARTS Standards committees.

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Loyalty Cards & Mobile Coupons Link

San Diego-based Single Touch Interactive and Atlanta-based InComm have teamed to offer customers with mobile coupons through retail loyalty cards. Combining InComm’s point of sale integration at over 100,000 national retail stores with Single Touch Interactive’s “Abbreviated Dial Code” mobile technology creates a mobile coupon platform that doesn’t change customer or retailer behavior. Consumers only need to sign up one time for the mobile coupon program via their mobile phone by dialing #SAVE and entering their loyalty card number or they can sign up online at any participating retailer. When the consumer visits a participating retail store, they dial #SAVE on their mobile phone to hear and activate available mobile coupons. At checkout, the consumer simply swipes their loyalty card to trigger the discount. Customer behavior at checkout remains the same and the retailer doesn’t need to add special equipment.

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Delinquency Returns to Pre-05 Levels

Credit card delinquencies, based on total dollars outstanding, rose for the third consecutive quarter, rising 50 basis points in 3Q/07 compared to one-year ago. Sequentially, delinquent dollars increased 27 basis points, but the number of past-due credit card accounts fell 21 basis points. While the delinquent dollars figure is the highest in nearly three years the delinquent account figure is the lowest in four years. According to the American Bankers Association’s “Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin,” delinquencies based on total dollars outstanding for 3Q/07 were 4.00%, compared to 3.73% in the second quarter and 3.50% for 3Q/06. Based on the number of accounts past-due, the figures were 4.18% for 3Q/07, 4.39% for 2Q/07, and 4.57% one-year ago. The ABA says that it anticipates delinquency rates will continue to rise in the fourth due to continued weakness in the housing sector.

3Q CREDIT CARD DELINQUENCY HISTORY
(based on total dollars outstanding)
1980: 3.40%
1985: 3.15%
1990: 4.01%
1995: 4.21%
2000: 3.93%
2005: 3.74%
2006: 3.50%
2007: 4.00%
Source: ABA Delinquency Bulletin

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Illinois Looking for Gift Card Owners

A new Illinois law that took effect January 1st prohibits gift card fees that diminish value and requires that gift cards not expire for five years after issuance. The Illinois Treasurer’s Office also reports that it is holding more than $5 million in unused gift card balances for state residents. The unredeemed balances usually come to the state marked as “owner unknown.” In such cases, the purchaser or recipient must file a claim with the Treasurer’s Office using the serial number on the expired gift card. An estimated $8 billion in gift cards went unused in the U.S. in 2006, according to TowerGroup.

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IL Bright Start Futuretrust MC is Launched

The Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program has rolled out the 529-linked “Bright Start Futuretrust MasterCard” with an automatic $25 contribution after the first use. Participating account owners will also earn a minimum of 1% every time they make a purchase with the card. Members earn up to 15% in additional college savings when they shop at thousands of partners in the Futuretrust Preferred Merchant Network. For every $25 of rebates accumulated, the money will automatically be invested into a linked Bright Start 529 account. The rebates are state tax deductible for Illinois residents. The Bright Start College Savings Program is Illinois’ tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan with more than $2.4 billion in assets.

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VISA AWARD

VISA has been recognized as the “World’s Leading Credit Card” for the tenth consecutive year. More than 167,000 travel agents and
professionals in over 160 countries worldwide cast votes in the World Travel Awards survey. The 14th annual “World Travel Awards Ceremony” was held December 12th at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort and Spa, Providenciales in the Caribbean. Respondents cited VISA’s extensive merchant relationships and marketing partnerships, as well as its unsurpassed acceptance around the world as key factors in making the awards. VISA competed with American Express, Diner’s Club, JCB, and MasterCard.

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XProtean QRS Integrates with Sharp UP-X500

CA-based retail solution provider XProtean has announced a strategic distribution deal with Sharp Electronics’ Point-of-Sale division. Under this agreement, Sharp will bundle XProtean’s Quick Serve Restaurant Industry Solution with Sharp’s UP-X500 point-of-sale system. The UP-X500 is an integrated, open-systems platform supporting Windows® XP. In addition, the agreement allows XProtean and Sharp to collaborate on new product developments designed for hospitality and retail industry in the U.S. XProtean advanced POS systems come integrated with electronic payment processing engine that enables credit, debit, and gift card acceptance.

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