Cap One Expands No Hassle Cards to Canada

Capital One has introduced a no-fee/”no-hassle” rewards card in response to a recent survey suggesting such criteria is popular. The recent survey, sponsored by Capital One, shows that only 10% of Canadian consumers were satisfied with their current rewards card. Moreover, 42% of the participants were bothered by annual fees and 42% were frustrated with expiry dates on credit card rewards programs. In addition, 53% would prefer a cash back reward, 26% prefer gift certificates, 24% would be happy with merchandise, and 39% prefer travel rewards. Therefore, Capital One’s rewards card also offers one reward mile for every dollar spent, a “welcome” bonus of 5,000 miles with first purchase, no limit on the rewards customers can earn, no expiration on rewards for the life of your account, and no blackout dates or seat restrictions among other consumer- friendly features.

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OTI 2Q/07

MasterCard has launched “Consumo Inteligente” (“Smart Spending”) an informational platform adapted to the Mexican reality. Mexico will spearhead the new program, which will also be available in other Latin American countries in the future. MasterCard’s customer banks and commercial partners will have free access to these educational materials that they can distribute to their clients. Represented by the family, the fundamental element of society, and which is made up of 4 members, the “Consumo Inteligente” program has a catchy visual image that provides the interactive tools needed to guide consumers in handling their personal finances and appropriately using their debit and credit cards.

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Barclaycard Employees Go on a Major Ride

Barclaycard USA announced that eight employees from the US and UK will embark on a seven-week, 3,250-mile cross-country bicycle ride to raise more than $250,000 for six American, British and international charities that include The East Side Charter School in Wilmington, DE; the Care and Share Food Bank of southern Colorado; BBC Children In Need Appeal; Macmillan Cancer Support; the Alzheimer’s Society and CORD. CORD is an international humanitarian organization working with displaced people and communities affected by violent conflicts worldwide. The riders will depart San Diego, CA, on Saturday, September 29, and will arrive in St. Augustine, FL, on Wednesday, November 14. The cross-country course follows the Adventure Cycle Association of America’s Southern Tier route traversing California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The team will cycle an average of six to eight hours daily covering 70 to 100 miles across mountains as high as 6,200 feet above sea level.

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Equifax Fraud Solutions Upgrades Fraud Index

Equifax has added “eIDverifier” and “eIDcompare”, a statistically derived fraud index score to its online solutions with the availability of fraud authentication offerings in Spanish. Equifax developed this new index score by analyzing patterns in fraud transactions across a wide range of industries. Based on its research, Equifax designed a highly predictive fraud index to help confirm the legitimacy of an identity and the likelihood of an applicant presenting fraudulent information. By giving businesses greater confidence that consumers are who they say they are, eIDverifier and eIDcompare enable financial institutions to speed the application process and make better business decisions. The solution now generates questions and corresponding multiple choice answers in Spanish as well as English, giving consumers the option to authenticate in either language.

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Clearing House Names a New Check Executive

The Clearing House Payments Company announced that SVP Jerry Milano, head of SVPCO Check Services, is retiring and SVP Susan Long will manage both paper check and electronic check clearing services. Milano came to The Clearing House five years ago after serving as President of Western Payments Alliance and played a key role in consolidating SVPCO’s paper check clearing businesses across the country. Earlier in his career, Milano was President of the Chicago Clearing House, President of the California Bankers Clearing House, and was Director of Payments Systems for the American Bankers Association. Over the past two years, Long has been responsible for managing the rapid growth of SVPCO’s image exchange operations. During that time, most of the nation’s largest financial institutions, as well as the Federal Reserve, have begun participating in the SVPCO Image Payments Network. In August 2007, the image network posted record volume of 263.8 million check images.

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Payment Rates Are Strong Despite Funky Economy

Monthly payment rates continued to remain healthy despite a challenged economy. MPR, or the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt each month, climbed to nearly 19% in August. The higher payment rates were driven by new minimum payment standards. According to CardData, the MPR declined to 18.30% in July, compared to 18.40% in the prior month and 20.46% one-year ago. While the dip historically has been seasonal, it appears that many borrowers are increasingly pressured by current economic factors. The combination of higher interest rates and a cooling off of the real estate market diminished the attractiveness of “cash out” refinancing activity in which many borrowers reduced their more expensive credit card debt by drawing on the equity in their home — either by refinancing their mortgages or by accessing their home equity lines of credit.

MONTHLY PAYMENT RATES
Aug 06: 20.20%
Sep 06: 20.02%
Oct 06: 20.83%
Nov 06: 20.01%
Dec 06: 19.70%
Jan 07: 19.88%
Feb 07: 18.79%
Mar 07: 18.21%
Apr 07: 18.04%
May 07: 19.01%
Jun 07: 18.40%
Jul 07: 18.30%
Aug 07: 18.99%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Fantasy Entertainment Picks USAT’s e-Port

PA-based USA Technologies reported that NH-based Fantasy Entertainment, a major supplier of photo and imaging kiosks, has equipped 1,000 of its self-service photo booths nationwide with the “e-Port” cashless payment technology. Fantasy Entertainment is among the first to utilize USA Technologies’ recently announced “e-Port Connect” service, which supports the company’s cashless transaction product line, and Web-based terminal reporting system, “USALive.” Fantasy’s 3,000 self-service kiosks are located in shopping and entertainment centers, malls, theme parks, zoos, aquariums, hotels and resorts nationwide. The “e-Port Connect” service enables merchants to remotely manage and mobilize on-line and by wireless their unattended cashless points-of-sale locations, providing merchant services, networking and communication services, technical support and consumer help desk, and electronic transfer of funds.

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Mosaik MasterCard Kicks-Off Canada’s Chip & PIN

The first chip and PIN transaction made with a Canadian MasterCard chip card was conducted at a Toronto-area spa and salon. The transaction was made with a “BMO Mosaik MasterCard” at Tresses Spa and Salon on a Moneris POS terminal. Moneris Solutions has been providing merchants across the country with chip-compatible POS systems to accept chip cards with 75,000 chip-compatible payment devices in the marketplace. A major market trial of chip cards will take place in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario in a few months time and is a precursor to the national roll-out of chip cards. As a card issuer, “BMO Mosaik MasterCard” is the largest MasterCard issuer in Canada and is preparing for the phased introduction of chip cards to its cardholders. MasterCard notes that more than 70% of payment cards issued in Europe are chip-enabled.

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MasterCard Launches Smart Spending in Mexico

MasterCard has launched “Consumo Inteligente” (“Smart Spending”) an informational platform adapted to the Mexican reality. Mexico will spearhead the new program, which will also be available in other Latin American countries in the future. MasterCard’s customer banks and commercial partners will have free access to these educational materials that they can distribute to their clients. Represented by the family, the fundamental element of society, and which is made up of 4 members, the “Consumo Inteligente” program has a catchy visual image that provides the interactive tools needed to guide consumers in handling their personal finances and appropriately using their debit and credit cards.

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CO-OP Picks Transaction Network Services

VA-based Transaction Network Services has been selected to provide ATM and host connectivity managed network services to CO-OP Financial Services. CO-OP is the largest credit union service organization in the USA. TNS was selected because of its expertise in providing connectivity services to the ATM industry and its ability to support the evolution of CO-OP’s product offering. CO-OP Financial Services (formerly CO-OP Network) is the nation’s largest credit union service organization and is wholly-owned by its credit union shareholders.

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Generation X Poses Marketing Challenges

A new study paper from NY-based Media Logic finds that financial service companies face a complex marketing challenge with “Generation X,” because it is smaller in size than the technology-driven “Generation Y” and lacks the spending power of “Baby Boomers.” But, “Generation X’s “need for financial products and services is greater than any other age group and with the right understanding of this audience, marketers who are willing to take on the challenge of building deeper relationships with this segment can change the paradigm and be rewarded with great marketing opportunities. Media Logic is a strategic marketing and communications firm specializing in brand development, revenue generation, marketing planning and integrated communications.

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TSYS Acquiring Solutions Inks Veracity Payment

TSYS Acquiring Solutions has announced a multi-year agreement to provide merchant processing services to Atlanta-based Veracity Payment Solutions. Veracity is a new member service provider with decades of domestic and international industry experience at the executive level. Veracity will offer complete electronic payment processing services as well as card acceptance consultancy to businesses nationwide. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. TSYS Acquiring Solutions is a supplier of acquiring solutions, related systems and integrated support services to the acquiring industry and its customers.

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