Gas Gift Card Sales Pick Up in Q2

SVM announced that its customers have purchased over 20% more gasoline gift cards in second quarter 2007 than in the first quarter and are using the cards to boost morale and build loyalty with their employees. SVM reports that its customers are using the SVM-issued gasoline gift cards to motivate, retain, and keep their employees enthused to come to and perform at work. According to the GAO, Americans have spent $20 billion more so far this year than last on gasoline. As a result, many employees are feeling a direct strain on their family budgets. Employers recognize this financial impact on their employees and are assisting by providing fuel cards to help with the cost of getting to work as well as to other daily activities such as the grocery store, doctor visits, community events, children’s activities and traveling on vacation. SVM provides gasoline gift cards from every major oil company in America and a distributor of the American Express-branded “Fill It Up” prepaid gasoline card.

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Americans View Credit Cards as Debt Cards

A new study has found that Americans overwhelmingly see credit cards as “debt” cards. Respondents were over five times as likely to characterize cards as “an easy way to get into debt” than they were to describe them as “empowering” or an “indispensable part of life.” More than a third admit to using their cards for purchases they can’t afford. The research by Roper Public Affairs and Media for CreditCards.com also revealed that about 75% say they don’t bother reading the terms and conditions of their own credit cards. About 72% of respondents realize that they should consolidate their balances onto a single card. However, only 22% actually have done so. Nearly 80% advocated checking their credit score, but only half said they occasionally do so.

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ClickandBuy Signs Metromojo.com

KY-based social network provider Metromojo.com announced that it has chosen ClickandBuy as its payment system for its network of geo-targeted online communities. Metromojo members use ClickandBuy to access the supporting member package, which allows users advanced messaging and profile customization capabilities, such as automated transactions for a scrolling ad/text message. Metromojo’s current city sites are primarily in the Southeastern and Midwestern United States, with plans to expand across North America as well as to many of the top 50 English-language markets globally. ClickandBuy processes, handles and manages digital content for games, songs, movies, streaming video, podcasts, VoIP calls, television, publishing as well as for physical goods.

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Consumers See M-Banking as Secondary Access

A new report has found that only about one-tenth of its survey respondents have used a mobile device such as a cell phone, PDA/Palm Pilot/BlackBerry/ organizer (PDA/organizer), or MP3 for conducting financial activities online. Three-quarters of the 1,000 respondents said they own one of these devices, but have not used it for online financial activities. The research by Atlanta-based Synergistics also found that slightly more than one-quarter of cell phone users say this is their primary method of performing banking transactions, while more than one-third say it is a secondary method and close to four in ten use it only in an emergency. Among those who have performed financial activities using a PDA or organizer, more than one-third say this is their primary method of performing banking transactions. More than four in ten of the PDA/organizer users say it is a secondary method, and close to one-fifth only use it for banking in an emergency.

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JCB Launches New Global Branding Strategy

JCB Cards has announced that “Good Times Start Here” will be the company’s new brand slogan, as part of its new global branding strategy. The new JCB logo, announced in February, will also start appearing at selected JCB acceptance merchant locations worldwide. JCB cards are issued in 20 countries and territories and are supported by a network of millions of merchants in 190 countries and territories. The company has over 350 partners and 59 million cardholders.

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Cardtronics to Acquire 7-Eleven US ATMs

Houston-based Cardtronics has inked a deal to acquire the U.S. ATM operations of 7-Eleven for about $135 million in cash. The acquisition will add more than 5,500 high volume ATMs to the company’s portfolio, expanding the size of Cardtronics’ network to over 30,000 machines. Under terms of the agreement Cardtronics will have a ten year exclusive right to operate all ATMs and advanced function financial self-service kiosks in 7-Eleven locations throughout the U.S., including any new 7-Eleven stores. Of the over 5,500 machines in the 7-Eleven U.S. ATM network, approximately 2,000 are “Financial Services Kiosk” or “Vcom” terminals. In addition, the 2,000 “Vcom” machines will soon start accepting image deposits for participating financial institutions. Cardtronics expects the deal to close by the end of June.

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Atos Acquires Banksys & BCC

As of December 2006, Atos Origin, via Atos Worldline, aquired Banksys
and Bank Card Company (BCC) to create a leader in European payment
issuing and acquiring. This development will also allow for enhanced
customer service efficiency and performance. Banksys provides
authorization,
security and guarantee of electronic payments in Belgium and operates a
range
of services, including “CardStop”, through an acceptance network of more
than
100,000 merchants. BCC affiliates merchants to accept VISA, MasterCard,
Maestro, V PAY and VISA Electron and is continually diversifying its
acceptance
network of 55,000. Atos Origin is an international information
technology services company with annual revenues of EUR 5.4 billion and
employs over 50,000 people in 40 countries.

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HP Launches an In-Store Kiosk

Hewlett Packard has rolled out the “Retail Store Assistant”, an experimental kiosk designed to enhance the consumer shopping experience and improve efficiency for retailers. The Retail Store Assistant includes an in-store kiosk, which customers can access with a loyalty card or by typing in their phone number, that is linked to a retailer’s IT system, which contains inventory, sales and customer purchase information. By better connecting consumer and store data, the system works to the advantage of both customers and retailers. The personalization provided by the Retail Store Assistant makes for a better shopping experience and is key to closing what retailers call the “intention-action gap.” In addition to providing instant inventory tracking, the system also benefits retailers by providing real-time reports and analysis of marketing and sales campaigns, enabling store managers and marketing directors to modify their activities whenever they like. It also provides sales assistance to customers without the need for staff, and it can be used for in-store employee training.

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Serverside & SMC Launch Custom Card Solution

The Swedish Motorcycle Club(SMC) has collaborated with Nordea
Bank to launch a customizable credit card. Using Serverside customizable
technology, the cardholder can use any image they choose for a fee of
295 SEK per year and an additional 100 SEK each time they choose to
change the design. Card customization benefits card issuers by increasing
customer loyalty, acquisition rates and increased spending.
Serverside’s flagship product, “/AllAboutMe/”, is a web-based
application that allows cardholders to design their unique payment
card online. The corporation also has alliance with both DataCard and
VISA.

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Accretive Commerce to Use CyberSource

Accretive Commerce has formed a strategic alliance with CyberSource to offer CyberSource’s payment management services to Accretive Commerce’s clients. Accretive customers will now be able to accept online credit card, debit card, eCheck, PayPal, and Bill Me Later transactions and have the ability to accept orders originating from 190 countries, verify addresses, calculate sales tax, and check orders for compliance with export regulations. Accretive Commerce’s clients will also have the opportunity to utilize CyberSource’s risk management services that includes fully-managed services to advanced decision systems that automate order screening, helping to increase sales conversion and reduce the risk of fraud. Merchants will also be able to protect their brand by using CyberSource’s token-based secure storage service, which helps keep sensitive payment data out of merchants’ daily business operations. CyberSource is a provider of electronic payment and risk management solutions. Accretive Commerce is a business process outsourcer of ecommerce, customer care, and fulfillment & logistics solutions and services.

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Gemalto Wins a 3G Project From China Mobile

Guangdong Mobile, a subsidiary of China Mobile, has selected Shanghai
Axalto IC Card Technology (SAIT), a subsidiary of Gemalto, to deploy its
“3G” ready, SIM service delivery platform. “3G” enables high-speed data and
multimedia services through the platform, which can support operators with
expanding data services. Also, the platform allows Guangdong Mobile to
communicate with its subscribers and the management of SIM-based
information. China Mobile has a registered capital of 51.8 billion RMB
yuan and
assets of over 400 billion RMB yuan. Gemalto has annual revenues of EUR1.7
billion, operations in about 100 countries and over 10,000 employees.

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