A recent survey has found that the number of U.S. consumers who applied for a credit card through a pre-approved direct mail offer jumped from 39% in 2005 to 60% in 2007. Nearly half of Americans received their newest piece of plastic through a pre-approved credit card offer. Auriemma Consulting Group says although branches, the Web and direct-response TV also court consumers, mail still generates the greatest success. The research also showed that Americans who acquired cards through pre-approved mail offers received an average credit line of $8,002. ACG also surveyed U.K. consumers and found that British consumers apply for credit cards primarily through untargeted materials such as take ones available at teller counters. Only 28% have ever replied to a pre-approved direct mail offer and just 15% applied for their most recent credit cards this way.Details
LIGA Municipal Dominicana has inked a deal to offer payroll cards from San Diego-based Global Pay Solutions to its 70,000 municipal
workers. Global Pay says it expects to earn about $2.5 million annually from the deal. The payroll services program will be directly managed by GPSI
Dominicana, a division of GPSI operating in the Dominican Republic. GPSI
Dominicana will be supplying payroll card services to the LMD’s
municipal workers throughout the 31 provinces in the Dominican Republic.
GPS’s payroll cards will provide workers with access to their funds
through ATMs throughout the world, as well as additional goods and services. Global Pay offers the “TRIO Card” which integrates cell phone top-off, prepaid long distance and complete signature and PIN based transactions into one reloadable, reusable instrument. The card can be used worldwide at over 900,000 ATM’s and over 1,200,000 retail locations via the MasterCard/Maestro/Cirrus and STAR Network. Through licensing agreements, non-U.S. banks can produce the “TRIO Card” for distribution as payroll products in literally every country. Future arrangements will allow for retail distribution of the TRIO card.
First National Bank of Omaha has introduced a no-annual fee credit card devoid of late fees, over-limit fees, balance transfer fees and cash advance fees. The new “Purity Platinum Edition VISA” also offers a 9.99% fixed interest rate. However, the cash advance interest rate is 23.82% and the penalty interest rate is up to 31.82%. According to CardData, First National Bank of Omaha has about $4.5 billion in outstandings and more than four million credit card accounts linked to about 5.5 million cards.Details
After considering the acquisition of International Express Payment
(IEXPay), Espirit Financial Group has decided to purchase the
establishment’s sister company, Check 21 China. Espirit cites the
company is better suited for acquisition, considering the business
plans in place, and more likely to meet short term strategic needs than
IEXPay. Furthermore, Espirit expects a quick investment return with
Check 21. Espirit’s consideration for purchase of either of the companies
first came with the desire to access the China market. Espirit expect to
see results with Check 21 as early as next quarter.
VISA’s charge to launch an initial public offering remains on track as the network filed details of its plan with the SEC on Friday. The filing initiates a formal SEC review process. The participating members of the boards of directors of each region and VISA International unanimously approved the global restructuring agreement, which contemplates a series of transactions through which VISA International, VISA USA, VISA Canada and Inovant will become subsidiaries of VISA Inc., a single, global company. VISA Europe will remain a membership association and will become a licensee of, and own a minority interest in, VISA Inc. Once the SEC has completed its review VISA will undertake a global process to seek member approval of the restructuring. At that time, voting members will receive a definitive proxy statement-prospectus. The proxy statement-prospectus will serve as VISA’s primary tool for explaining the details of the proposed restructuring. Voting members will then be asked to review the proxy statement-prospectus carefully and approve the restructuring agreement proposed within it. Last month VISA officially named Joe Saunders as Chairman and CEO of VISA Inc. (CF Library 5/15/07)Details
Gemalto has implemented smartcard technology with Financial Information
Network & Operations Ltd (FINO) enabling microbanking to be authorized
with the use of biometric authentication. This development is aimed toward
the rural population in India with the ability to store transaction
records on the
smartcard, including 15 different types of applications that facilitate
services such as deposit remittances, savings, loans, insurance and
FINO provides core banking technology solutions for low-income households
of India and acts as a business correspondent of large institutions,
estimated 500 million people. Gemalto provides digital security with 2006
annual revenues of 1.7 billion euro, has operations in about 100
more than 10,000 employees.
Bitel has chosen to work with Innova Card because of the increasing
requirements for data security and in order to meet PCI requirements.
Focusing POS design on PCI strategy, Innova Card is utilizing USIP.
This allows the companies to address emerging markets, global PCI PED
certified products, gives the ability to consolidate components and
streamlines mechanical design and security features. Bitel is preparing to
launch new wireless products this autumn utilizing the Innova Card USIP
processing chip. USIP Professional hosts tamper detection built-in
mechanisms (temperature, voltage, frequency and metal shield sensors),
keyboard monitoring countermeasures, permanent active protection,
automatically and rapidly erase keys for security, and side channel attacks
Consumer Action Law Center has demanded of the Australian Bankers
Association (ABA) and Abacus’ Australian Mutuals a stop to the
imposition of fees from financial institutions. This development is in
response to general perceptions of unfair and excessive penalty fees,
for late payments or overdrawing among Australian consumers.
Experts say that the financial industry has become very reliant on revenue
from these fees and penalties, which have been increasingly common
since 2004 with little done to prevent the growth. The Consumer Action
Law Canter and CHOICE’s recommendations include putting an end
to bounced check fees, providing real-time account information, ending
credit card over-limit fees, and limiting penalty fees to be in
proportion to the cost to the institution.
Athena has introduced the “ASEDrive IIIe USB Bio KB” combining
the “UPEK TouchChip TCS2” fingerprint sensor and password-free
logon for PC keyboards. Using a smartcard keyboard, the solution
eliminates the need for password through fingerprint detection with
the “UPEK TCS2” Area Sensor. “ASEDrive IIIe USB Bio KB” also
uses Bio API and Precise Biometrics’ Match-on-Card technology for
multi-factor authentication and is compatible with PC/SC standards,
Windows 2000, XP and Vista, Linux and MAC. Athena Smartcard
Solutions provides smart cards, tokens, smart card readers, combined
keyboards and smart card management systems.
In response to the growing card fraud, members of Canada’s
payments industry will be implementing a migration to chip-
and-pin technology. Payment companies leading the initiative
include the Interac Association, MasterCard Canada Inc. and VISA Canada
Association, among others. Mercator’s International Payments Advisory
Service has released a report on the state of the payment card market
revealing that card fraud has been growing steadily since 2002 and costs
businesses hundreds of million of dollars. The report also analyzes
Canada’s EMV migration project, card fraud trends in the market and
offered an estimated time-line.