The Responsible Credit Partnership Moves

The Responsible Credit Partnership is moving to The Center for Financial Services Innovation in January. RCP will continue to represent consumer as well as industry and government concerns in the lending area, and to promote the responsible issuing and use of credit cards. Current RCP corporate partners include Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, Experian, Fair Isaac, Target Financial Services, U.S. Bank, VISA, and Wells Fargo. Chicago-based CFSI, an affiliate of ShoreBank, provides funding and resources, enables partnerships, and identifies, develops and distributes authoritative information on how to respond to the needs of the underbanked profitably and responsibly. Kimberly Gartner will continue as the partnership’s director in Chicago.

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The Compliments Card is Launched

Capital Incentives & Motivation has launched the “Compliments Card” with the help of PrePay Technologies. The new card is a gift card created to enable employers to make incentive payments to employees or third parties. Employers have a choice of two options. The disposable “Compliments Card” for making one-off award payments and the reloadable card which is fully personalized with the name of the recipient.
PrePay Technologies was the first company in the UK to acquire an Electronic Money License to issue e-money across Europe.

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Monthly Payment Rates Slip in August

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, headed south by 26 basis points in August but, continue to hover at record levels. Year to date, the monthly payment rate has averaged more than 20%, running about 200 basis points from one-year ago. Driven by higher minimum payments, payment rates were 20.20% in August, an increase of 160 basis points from year-ago levels. According to CardData the managed payment rate for July was 20.46% and 18.60% for August 2005. According to FitchRatings, the payment rate averaged 19.97% during the first quarter and averaged 18.60% for 2005. Five years ago the monthly payment rate hovered around 16%.

MONTHLY PAYMENT RATES
Aug 01: 16.33%
Aug 02: 15.98%
Aug 03: 17.88%
Aug 04: 17.65%
Aug 05: 18.60%
Aug 06: 20.20%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Interpay Nederland & Transaktionsinstitut Merger Closes

The merger between payment service providers Interpay Nederland and the German Transaktionsinstitut fur Zahlungsverkehrsdienstleistungen has been completed. The new company will operate under the name Equens. The new company will process approximately 7 billion payment
transactions in 2006. The merger will make Equens the first
pan-European payment service provider to bundle volumes, processing and
expertise over the entire payment value chain via international
collaboration in an increasingly consolidating European payment market.
Consequently Equens will also process SEPA payments on one joint
platform as from January 2008.

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Global Cash Access Inks Four Deals

Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access has inked new deals with Ladbrokes Casino & Sports Bar in London and Grand Casino Baden in Switzerland and expanded agreements with Gala Casino Harbourside and Gala Casino Manchester 235 in the U.K. All four properties will utilize GCA’s “QuikCash” cash advance terminals and “QuikCash Plus” Web. “QuikCash” cash advance terminals provide patrons with POS debit card and credit card cash advance transaction options, while “QCP Web” is a proprietary browser-based, full-service cash access transaction processing system for casino cashier operations.

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AmEx Bonus Points Mall Opens for Business

American Express has unveiled a new benefit that enables “Membership Rewards” members to earn two points for every dollar spent with major online retailers. The “Bonus Points Mall” features more than 100 top online retailers across 23 categories, such as apparel, books, electronics, home and sports. AmEx also redesigned the “Membership Rewards” Web site. Some of the key enhancements include a user-friendly format; a beefed-up search engine tool; personalization capabilities; rich media applications through “Flash;” and a customer support and education section. Last month, AmEx announced it was dropping double points on everyday purchases on the “Green,” “Gold” and “Platinum” charge cards but will continue the bonus points on its credit cards. AmEx is also introducing a new insurance feature to reimburse “Gold,” “Platinum” and “Centurion” cardholders if they unexpectedly miss an entertainment or sports event. (CF Library 8/1/06)

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Moto Hospitality and ReD Fuel Cards Partner

ReD Fuel Cards has formed a partnership with Lymm Services, a popular HGV refueling location in the U.K. The fuel operation at Lymm – which is located close to Junction 20 of the M6 in Cheshire – will be fully managed by ReD Fuel Cards. Moto has worked closely with ReD over the past six months testing their ability in running bunkering
fuel sites. ReD’s Card Issuing Operations consist of fuel cards in Australia, the U.K. and Europe and pre-paid card operations also in Australia, the UK and Europe. Moto is owned by Macquarie Bank.

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FTC Shuts Down a Debt Reduction Scam

The FTC has charged five companies with deceptive and unfair practices for a program that claimed it could reduce consumers’ debt by up to 60%. A federal judge recently issued a temporary restraining order against the nationwide operation. The court issued an ex parte TRO against Homeland Financial Services, National Support Services, United Debt Recovery, Freedom First Financial, and USA Debt Co, and their principals. The FTC says the defendants falsely claimed that, for a non-refundable fee of up to 15% of a consumer’s unsecured debt, they could reduce all of their unsecured debts, including credit card balances and medical bills. To the extent that the defendants initiate negotiations with creditors, they typically began only after a consumer paid 30% to 40% of the fee, which could be up to three months after a consumer has stopped making payments to creditors, as the defendants have advised them to do, the complaint stated.

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OXXO to Market Poni Cards at 4,360 Stores

The country’s largest convenience store chain is gearing up to carry “Poni Cards” at its 4,360 stores. OXXO, a subsidiary of the FEMSA Corporation, agreed to offer the ATM card from NJ-based The American Cash Exchange. The card can be used to receive cash sent from the U.S. at more than 26,000 ATM machines in Mexico. A “Poni Card” holder can immediately receive cash upon entering a “Poni PIN” purchased by the money sender in the U.S. The single use PIN’s permit beneficiaries to receive peso values up to $3000 Pesos. ACE has distributed almost 1 million of the ATM cards in all Mexican states since 2004.

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VASCO Digipass 810 Receives Full EPCI Certification

VASCO Data Security has become the first vendor to receive the full “Electronic Payment Certification Institute” certification for its
“Digipass 810.” VASCO already was the first vendor to receive the provisional “EPCI” certificate in 2005. The “EPCI” certification for VASCO’s “Digipass” stands for the authentication functions allowing a cardholder to authenticate himself/sign transactions and to check the card’s “Proton” balance. The certification also includes MasterCard and VISA “EMV-CAP” specifications.

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Skywards Miles Promotion Launched

Emirates Airlines and Citibank have launched the “Skywards Miles Raffle Draw” promotion offering new and existing cardholders the chance to win 120 prizes of 25,000 “Skywards” miles each through monthly raffle draws. New cardholders will get three “Raffle Draw” entries for the silver card and five entries for the gold card, while existing cardholders will receive one entry into the draw for every retail purchase of AED 1001. The new promotion follows the recent “APPLY&FLY” campaign which targeted new credit card applicants. Citibank and Emirates Airline also recently introduced “The Emirates-Citibank Ultima Credit Card,” UAE’s premium black credit card.

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