Discover Inks a 2nd Mall Gift Card Deal

Discover has inked another marketing deal to offer its gift cards through retail locations. Under terms of this week’s agreement, Discover will offer “Discover Gift Cards” and “Jones Lang LaSalle Mall Gift Cards” at 23 of Jones Lang LaSalle managed properties. The “Mall Gift Card” can be used at Jones Lang LaSalle managed properties where Discover cards are accepted and can be purchased for $2 in denominations from $20 to $500. “Discover Gift Cards” can be used both in and outside of the properties at any merchant that accepts Discover cards and can be purchased for $4.95 in denominations of $50 or $100. Discover plans to expand its gift card availability by adding more Jones Lang LaSalle managed malls throughout the year. In September Discover announced the availability of its “Gift Cards” at 35 General Growth Properties mall locations nationwide. General Growth Properties is the second largest U.S.-based publicly traded real estate investment trust and has a portfolio of approximately 200 regional shopping malls in 45 states. Jones Lang LaSalle Retail is the largest third-party shopping center manager with a portfolio of 150 regional malls, strip centers, power centers, lifestyle centers, ground-up development projects, mixed-use centers and transportation terminals across 31 states. (CF Library 9/5/07)

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CIBIL & TRANSUNION

The Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL) and TransUnion
have collaborated for the introduction of the “CIBIL TransUnion Score”,
the first credit score to be introduced in the country. The new scoring
system will aid creditors in gaging consumers’ creditworthiness using a
rationalized, 3-digit number. This development is in response to the
expanding number of credit options available to consumers throughout India
and the growing demand for a need to determine their eligibility. With
CIBIL
over 90 million credit files and a team of TransUnion analysts, the two
companies were able to develop a scoring technique for Indian consumers.
TransUnion is based in Chicago and currently employs over 4,000 across
30 countries.

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Vesdia and MXT to Enhance Affinity Cards

Atlanta-based Vesdia and DE-based MXT Card Services have teamed to offer rewards on affinity credit cards. Vesdia has built a loyalty platform that enables cardholders to receive merchant-funded rewards of up to 30% on purchases made through the Company’s online and offline merchant network. MXT Card Services, founded by former MBNA/BofA card executives, specializes in partner-branded affinity credit card programs. Vesdia says the integration of a merchant-funded rewards network and meaningful redemption options will lead to deeper relationships with cardholders, an increase in cardholder activation and usage. Vesdia’s loyalty programs include: “BabyMint,” “Stockback,” “NestEggz,” and “FundraiserRewards.” MXT is headed by Gregory Rigg. former Executive SVP at MBNA, who serves as President/CEO/Director.

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DIEBOLD & GBM

Diebold has partnered with its local distributor, General Business
Machines(GBM), for the formation of “Diebold Central America” to
provide solutions throughout Central America and the Caribbean.
With the formation of this new branch, Diebold will purchase a major
share of the GBM ATM distribution business for completion by January
1st, 2008. “Diebold Central America” will employ nearly 50 under
GM Jose Ardon and according to experts will expand Diebold’s
presence in the region with the introduction of new solution sets including
electronic security products, imaging capabilities and outsourcing
infrastructure. Diebold employs 15,000 associates across 90 countries and
had a 2006 revenue of $2.9 billion while GBM offers its distribution
services
in 9 countries throughout Central America.

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AmEx Offers a Gift Card Holiday Promo

American Express Incentive Services has launched an online promotion enabling shoppers to receive a free “Gadget Lover’s Card” worth $25 when they purchase five “AmEx Gift Cards” in one order through December 31st. The Gadget Lover’s Card can be redeemed for three months after the date of issue at U.S. locations of participating electronic retailers, including f.y.e., Sam Goody, The Sharper Image, and Suncoast. Shoppers can take advantage of this online promotion by visiting the American Express Web site, www.americanexpress.com/gift, purchasing any five American Express Gift Cards and completing a rebate form found on the Web site. According to a new American Express Gift Card Survey, 37% of consumers say they will shop for consumer electronics this year. Among shoppers 18-24 years old, the number of gadget givers jumps 60%.

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ACSP & FICO

Associacao Comercial de Sao Paulo (ACSP) has partnered with
the Fair Issac Corporation to provide Brazilian businesses with
ACSP’s Global FICO Score. The Global FICO Score will provide
consumer credit risk scores with consumer credit data to lenders,
regardless of the consumer’s credit lifecycle. This system has been
implemented to improve decisions in the lending process, to
reduce lender risk and assist Brazilian lenders in meeting regulatory
compliance requirements, including Basel II. The FICO Score ranks
consumers in order according to credit risk, is consistently scaled
across bureaus and is consistent across borders. ACSP provides
information to 2,000 credit agencies across Brazil while Fair Isaac
provides clients with risk management solutions across 80 countries.

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Green Monday Looms for Online Merchants

A company that monitors more than 14 billion card transactions annually with its card fraud prevention and payment processing services has found that purchase value of goods sold on “Black Friday” was up 83% and up 80% on “Cyber Monday,” year-on-year. The firm also predicts that online purchasing activity will peak for major retailers on “Green Monday” December 10th, between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m (EST). Retail Decisions says that U.S. online shopping activity reveals that the purchase value of goods sold and transaction volume on “Black Friday” lagged slightly behind “Cyber Monday,” but overall transaction volume for “Black Friday” was up 62.25% and Cyber Monday up 54.25%, compared to 2006. The peak online shopping hour on “Black Friday” was 11:00 a.m. (EST) and on “Cyber Monday” it was 9:00 a.m. (EST). ReD also says its data so far shows the hottest selling products to be the Nintendo “Wii,” gift cards, “Xbox 360 Premium Console,” GPS products from Garmin and TomTom and DVD camcorders. MasterCard recently projected that transaction data for historical holiday online shopping data show that “Cyber Monday” fell on December 11th last year and December 5th in 2005. With Thanksgiving falling early this year on November 22nd, this year’s “Cyber Monday” will likely be December 10th. (CF Library 11/20/07)

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XProtean Integrates Mercury Pay’s C-Payment

Retail management solutions specialist,XProtean has integrated Mercury Payment Systems’ “C-Payment.” C-Payment, is an electronic payment processing solution that is integrated with XProtean’s Point of Sale solutions. XProtean offers advanced POS systems, back-office solutions and corporate-level solutions for small format retail businesses.Mercury Payment Systems is an integrated transaction processing company created to enhance point-of-sale systems by offering credit, debit, check, gift card and loyalty processing.

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ICMA ACE-M Accreditation Gets Underway

The International Card Manufacturers Association says its “Advanced Card Education” program has accredited its first members including Gemalto, Perfect Plastic Printing and Production Associates. The ACE designation is only awarded to people who demonstrate a broad and detailed knowledge of the card manufacturing and processes by successfully completing a rigorous exam. ACE accreditation validates expertise and distinguishes employees as motivated experts in the card manufacturing industry. Applicants must be working for an ICMA member company and have a minimum of three years industry experience.

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BMO FINANCIAL 3Q/07

BMO Financial Group reported that third calendar quarter card revenues fell 25% compared to 3Q/06 and 32% compared to the prior quarter. Card revenues were affected by an US$185 million pre-tax adjustment to increase the liability for future customer redemptions related to its credit card loyalty rewards program, offset by a US$107 million pre-tax gain on sale of MasterCard International shares and a US$43 million recovery of prior years income taxes. BMO’s credit card loan portfolio also declined sequentially from US$4356 million to US$4503 million for the quarter ending October 31st, but rose more than 33% from 3Q/06. One-year ago BMO’s card portfolio stood at US$3371 million. BMO noted that consumer spending was sustained by solid gains in employment and income, supporting growth in personal loans including credit cards. For complete details on BMO’s latest performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Heartland Takes On MICROS/Merchant Link

NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems has filed an antitrust lawsuit against three firms alleging they have caused increased processing prices for table-service restaurants through an anti-competitive tying arrangement. The lawsuit was filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey naming MD-based MICROS Systems, TX-based Chase Paymentech and its MD-based Merchant Link subsidiary as defendants. The suit alleges that the tying arrangement forced independent competitors to pay for the use of Merchant Link’s gateway in order to process credit and debit card payments on the MICROS POS platform. The complaint further alleges that when selling its POS systems, MICROS did not disclose all the costs associated with the Merchant Link tie to restaurateurs. HPS says that the arrangement makes it nearly impossible for many restaurant owners to use any other card processor and has resulted in inflated card processing costs for restaurants. Heartland says it will seek recovery of its litigation expenses and damages to re-establish a level competitive playing field in the table-service restaurant industry.

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GLOBALPLATFORM WHITE PAPER

GlobalPlatform’s latest white paper has been published for government
officials, managers and consultants explaining how its specifications bring
value to government ID programs and defining the advantages of its card
management infrastructure. Additionally, the white paper defines the
overview and effect of how the company’s technology is applied to these
programs. The sheet has been published as an informational source, rather
than a technical source, is a reflection of GlobalPlatform’s effort to
educate
on the value of its smart ID programs and assists in first-time deployment.
GlobalPlatform is a member driven association with cross-industry
representation from around the world and has accomplished numerous
marketing advances with its smart card infrastructure.

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