PAYPASS BRIDGE

The national roll-out of “MasterCard PayPass” and “Maestro PayPass” is
being celebrated by carpeting the “Millennium Bridge” with reproductions
of millions of pounds of cash and coins. The new “Coin Bridge” will also
offer consumers the opportunity to support social housing and community
projects in and around London’s South Bank. The national rollout of
contactless payments begins in London this month with implementation
across the rest of the UK scheduled to take place throughout next
year, with five million contactless cards due to be in issue for use at
100,000 retailers by the end of 2008. Londoners will soon be able to use
their PayPass cards throughout the capital, with thousands of retailers
including McDonalds, Eat, Coffee Republic, Yo!Sushi, Krispy Kreme, Books
Etc, Threshers and the Science Museum participating in the launch
program. The rollout of contactless payments in the UK follows
successful European trials of the “PayPass” contactless platform with
the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, at both its headquarters in Edinburgh
and its London office, and the launch of several programs and pilots
across Europe. The region’s first “MasterCard PayPass” credit program
was launched with Garanti Bank and major retailers in Turkey in June
2006, with the bank’s subsequent rollout of the region’s
first “PayPass”-enabled wristwatch in spring 2007.

Details

Baby/Echo Boomers Expect a Cashless Society

According to new data released by VISA USA, 79% of “Baby Boomers” and 74% of “Echo Boomers” believe that our society will one day conduct all payment transactions electronically. VISA commissioned a survey of “Echo Boomers” (18 to 28 years old), and “Baby Boomers” (43 to 61 years old) entitled “How America Spends” and estimates by the year 2015, “Echo Boomers” and “Baby Boomers” will account for more than 50% of total consumer spending, $2.45 trillion and $4.6 trillion respectively. Currently, industry estimates show that “Echo Boomers” are responsible for $0.4 trillion in annual spending compared to $3.8 trillion by “Baby Boomers.” Factors that indicate the shift to cashless payments include the large proportion (75%) of debit card users, government migration that allows taxpayers to pay with cards and card payment of child and healthcare expenses.

Details

GE Money and Fleetcor to Buy Chevron Cards

Chevron is exiting the credit card business with the sale of its two portfolios. Chevron has selected GE Money Bank to own and operate its Chevron and Texaco branded consumer credit cards and FleetCor Technologies Operating Company to own and operate its branded commercial credit cards. Chevron says consumers’ usage patterns are changing and they are looking for new payment products and features. Chevron’s goal is to provide payment products that attract and retain consumers, marketers and retailers.

Details

Affiliate Releases the SpeedPay Platform

Affiliate has released “SpeedPay”, its new worldwide payment platform for affiliate programs. The new solution is an ideal way for programs to manage payments to a global affiliate base, including innovative features such as instant payment processing and the inclusion of a universally accepted VISA-branded debit card. Affiliate “SpeedPay” was developed by affiliate marketers and program managers to include a full suite of solutions specifically and exclusively for the affiliate marketing industry. Affiliates themselves have the benefit of being able to use their “SpeedPay” account like a regular bank account, and are provided a VISA-branded debit card.

Details

GE MONEY & AMEX

GE Money and American Express have teamed to initially offer two cards:
“Gold” and “Standard.” “GE Money Gold American Express Card” users earn
10 points for every 100 Yen in spending, equivalent to a 1% redemption
value. They can redeem points for AmEx Gift Coupons, ANA Mileage points,
iTunes Cards, or Amazon gift certificates. Cardholders also receive
access to 16 domestic and overseas airport lounges.
Complimentary domestic and overseas travel accident insurance of up to
100 million Yen is included, regardless of whether the payment for
travel was made using the new card. This is the first credit card in GE
Money’s global card portfolio to carry both the GE Money and American
Express brands.

Details

CREDIT SAISON & UC CARD

Credit Saison and UC Card have announced the merger of their
credit card operations. The merger will create a separate company,
Qubitous Co., and will take effect October 1, 2007. UC Card, the
Mizuho Bank credit card unit, will be financing 100% of the Qubitous
100 million yen capital and will transfer all operations immediately. It
is expected that Credit Saison will not be transferring operations until
April 2008 and will acquire a 51% stake in the new company. Mizuho
Bank will acquire the remaining 49%.

Details

BARCLAYCARD ONEPULSE

For the acceptance of Barclaycard’s “OnePulse cashless card”, over 1,000
London retailers have agreed to implement Barclaycard’s cashless payment
technology. Using the new solution, neither a customer’s user signature or
PIN is required for transactions under GBP 10. Cardholders will also benefit
from “Oyster” airfare discounts with pay-as-you-go or season ticket,
standard
chip and PIN security for transactions over GBP 10, and cashless “OneTouch”
payment convenience. Barclaycard is a multi-brand credit card and loans
business and processor that provides credit cards in dozens of countries.

Details

CITIGROUP AWARDS

Citibank came out on top at Global Finance Magazine’s “World’s Best
Internet Banks in Asia-Pacific”awards. Determined by a judging panel,
consisting of representatives from Tata Consultancy Services Ltd,
institutions were awarded based on strategy strength for attracting online
customers, web offerings attractions, online customer growth, breadth of
product offerings, tangible benefits gained from Internet initiatives
and web
site design and functionality. Citibank won “Best Consumer Internet Bank”
in Guam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand while Citibank Hong
Kong won “Best Online Consumer Credit Site” and “Best Information
Technology Initiative”. The financial institution also won “Best Corporate/
Institutional Internet Banking” in Australia, Indonesia, Japan, New
Zealand,
the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam and “Asia’s
best online investment management services site”.

Details

TELSTRA, AUSTRALIA BANK & VISA

Telstra, National Australia Bank and VISA have signed agreements to
begin testing NFC technology using both phones and cards. The trial will
begin with 250 existing customers in Melbourne as of January 2008 at 30
retail outlets, which will be equipped with the requisite NFC readers. The
solution will allow transactions of AU$30 or less without authentication,
otherwise PIN entry is required. According to ABI Research, by 2012
nearly 292 million handsets will have NFC capability as a standard
feature.

Details

JUNE DEBT

RBS has begun the implementation of contactless payment cards, which
can cut transaction speeds in half. Designed for speed and convenience,
the RBS contactless payment cards can be used at certain retailers in the
City of London and on the South Bank of the Thames. Customers can
make purchases for less than 10 GBP at local McDonalds, Oddbins,
cafes, delis, pharmacies, bars and sandwich shops. Since June 2006 over
52,000 purchases have been made using the new solution. With the full
implementation, however, RBS will start to issue several hundred thousand
contactless debit and credit cards to RBS, NatWest and MINT customers.

Details