MCB VISA

MCB has launched its 11th VISA card across Pakistan in the city of
Gujranwala targeting the exponentially growing business population.
The card provides customers with its “i-party”, “i-revolve”, and “i-insure” features
to attract the desired market of consumers, a measure that is fundamental
to the banks’ plans for expansion throughout the country. MCB operates
through over 1000 branches, has over 4.5 million customers and an
expansive ATM network.

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Holiday Payment Card Purchase Volume Up 10%

Americans will likely use general purpose credit/debit cards and store credit cards to charge more than $148 billion in retail sales this holiday season. While overall spending via all payment means is expected to rise between 4.0% and 5.0%, the figure for payments cards will increase about 10.0% above last year. For the 2006 holiday shopping season, holiday purchases on general purpose credit/debit cards and store credit cards increased more than 12%. Signature debit card use is expected to increase by more than 16%, while store credit cards will be up about 8.5%. Credit card volume is running about 8% above last year. Consumers will likely rack up more than $92 billion in holiday sales on VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards. The National Retail Federation says total holiday retail sales are expected to increase 4.0% this year to $474.5 billion.

Holiday Card Volume
(five weeks ending 12/25)
2005 2006 2007 Y/Y Gain
Credit: $ 77.1 b $ 85.6 b $ 92.2 b + 7.7%
Debit: $ 28.2 b $ 35.3 b $ 41.0 b +16.2%
Store: $ 14.7 b $ 13.9 b $ 15.1 b + 8.5%
TOTAL $120.0 b $134.8 b $148.3 b +10.0%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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IEM MASTERCARD

CIMB Bank’s Direct Access division has launched its improved “IEM
Affinity Card” Mastercard, featuring no member fees, a rewards program,
concert discounts and a flexi-pay plan to the over 8,000 cardholders.
Direct Access also provides the platinum and gold editions with the
“Paypass” feature and with these developments, hopes to increase the
IEM Affinity Card cardholder base to the entire 16,500 IEM members.
CIMB Group is owned by Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Bhd with
over US10 billion in capital and employing more than 20,000 throughout
13 countries.

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Stanford FCU Joins Cardtronics’ Allpoint Net

KS-based processing technology provider DCI has hired Michael Kelly and Matthew Hornbaker as the company’s newest regional sales managers for DCI’s “iCore” processing system and bank technology solutions. Kelly has more than 20 years experience in the financial technology industry and Hornbaker has more than 13 years of sales experience for a large banking software company. Kelly will manage DCI sales in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico territories. Hornbaker will manage sales in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Texas territories.

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MONTISE & VISA

Montise and VISA Europe have launched a mobile prepaid voucher
service to provide VISA card customers with purchasing power through
their mobile phones. Vouchers can be loaded, or prepaid, through either
a credit or debit card and can be used to conduct online purchases and
in-store retail purchases. This agreement is projected to culminate in a
wide variety of new products and services with participating VISA banks
across Europe.

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Datacard Offers Contactless Personalization

Datacard Group has annouced a contactless smart card coupler option for the “Datacard 150i” desktop card personalization system. The new option enables banks, credit unions and other financial institutions to give consumers immediate access to contactless payment cards. Datacard Group expects the contactless smart card coupler to benefit the many solution providers serving this market segment, including Dynamic Card Solutions, a instant issuance solution provider and developer of “DCS CardWizard” software. Last month, Datacard introduced the “SP55k” kiosk card printer. The “SP55k” kiosk card printer issues full-color, personalized cards with magnetic stripes and bar codes as well as contact and contactless smart cards. (CF Library 10/24/07)

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HOLIDAY SPENDING

APACS trade body has released projected figures for the upcoming
holiday season for British consumers this year. This foresight predicts
that 64.3% of purchases will be made using a plastic card, credit cards
will remain the least popular method of payment, 10% of spending will
be made over the Internet and total spending will increase 4.2% since
last year reaching GBP53.0 billion. Furthermore, debit card spending is
expected to increase by 14.3% since last year reaching GBP22.4 billion,
there will be GBP11.7 billion in credit card spending while cash/check
spending will fall 4.7% since 2006 to GBP18.9 billion. APACS provides
banks, building societies and card issuers a forum to address
non-competitive issues.

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CardWizard Goes Over the Edge with FCP 20/20

CO-based Dynamic Card Solutions has introduced the “CardWizard FCP 20/20” instant issuance product for full, over-the-edge card personalization. Using the “CardWizard FCP 20/20” along with DCS’ “CardWizard” software, issuers can add any background image to the front and/or back of a card. Banks can deliver standard background designs or allow customers to choose custom designs including their own images to be printed on cards. “CardWizard” transfers the image along with all personalization data to the “FCP 20/20” where the card is printed on the spot without requiring a separate embosser. These images are printed onsite onto both sides of association-branded blank stock in high definition full color, eliminating the need to store multiple card stocks at branch locations and adding greater personalization at the branch.

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WESTERN UNION & DEUTSCHE BANK

Western Union and Deutsche Postbank have revised contracts to extend
remittance services to bank customers. This extension of customer
service includes the introduction of “Direkt” service, allowing online
banking customers to conduct remittance with funds transferred from
their “Giro” accounts. Postbank provides remittance from over 3,200
locations throughout Germany and is providing an expanded level of
convenience under these contract revisions. The Western Union Company
has 320,000 locations in over 200 countries while Deutsche Postbank
has assets of EUR 190 billion, nearly 14.6 million German customers and
employs 22,000.

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Consumers Endorse Expansion of ATM Services

Diebold has released research on the next-generation retail banking customer. The “Identifying the Next-Generation Retail Banking Customer” report reveals that ATM usage continues to find strong support across generations. The study shows that aside from withdrawing cash, all generations unilaterally rate viewing account balances, making deposits and transferring funds between accounts as their three most-preferred ATM services. Meanwhile, all segments tend to prefer ATM deposits versus making one via online from home. The majority of members from all generations surveyed also support the potential to use the ATM to scan checks directly over making traditional, envelope-based deposits. “Gen Y” members are oriented more to parallel information processing and multi-tasking than their older counterparts. Also, customization functions, such as check and cash deposit automation, one-to-one marketing ability and capability to communicate new, retail banking services in real time, further enhance an ATM’s appeal to young bank users.

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MBNA Canada Launches a Green MasterCard

The first credit card program in Canada to earn points for carbon offset credits has been launched. MBNA Canada Bank has introduced the “Eco-Logique MasterCard.” Under the new program cardholders earn points with each eligible retail purchase. The funds generated through these points will be used by MBNA to purchase carbon offsets that support environmental projects. In March, Bank of America, the parent of MBNA Canada Bank, announced a $20 billion, 10-year initiative to support the growth of environmentally sustainable business activity to address global climate change. MBNA Canada Bank has more than 500 co-branded and affinity credit card programs and is the second largest MasterCard issuer in Canada.

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FIS ScoreCard Rewards 6 Million Cardholders

Fidelity National Information Services this week reported that its “FIS ScoreCard” loyalty and rewards program has now topped 6 million credit and debit cardholders from 1,700 financial institutions nationwide. SCE Federal Credit Union recently signed an agreement to add “ScoreCard” to its 20,000 debit card accounts. “ScoreCard” is a complete, turnkey rewards program that helps financial institutions build loyalty by awarding credit and debit cardholders with “ScoreCard Bonus Points” that may be redeemed for brand-name gifts, travel and cash refunds.

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