Washington Mutual has teamed with the number one sports multimedia company in the world to launch a co-branded sports credit card today. The new “ESPN Total Access VISA” card extends ESPN’s powerful, middle market brand into WaMu’s core middle market consumer audience. The relationship also gives WaMu access to unique marketing channels including the ESPN Network, ESPN Magazine, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, as well as to fans at select sporting events. The new card offers consumers rewards, access and competitive pricing. Cardholders receive five points for every dollar spent on purchases made from ESPN and one point for every dollar spent anywhere else. Cardholders can earn insider access to a wide range of sports experiences and VIP Access to the “X Games.” Cardholders can also earn access to ESPN The Magazine’s “NEXT Big Weekend” event at the pro football championship host city, pre-draft parties, and a behind-the-scenes look at ESPN studios. Other rewards include: gift certificates to ESPN Zone and ESPNShop.com; instruction at ESPN Golf Schools; the opportunity to host your own private party at ESPN Zone; and the opportunity to drive a race car on a championship track; plus earn sports merchandise and collectibles, as well as traditional travel, dining and retail rewards. The no annual fee card carries risk-based interest rate from 9.99% to 23.99%.Details
VISA International this week reported that global small business spend hit $190 billion for the 12-month period ending June 30th. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 32%. However, it took 10 years for VISA to reach the $100 billion milestone for “VISA Commercial” purchases and cash withdrawals and just three years to achieve $200 billion in total annual commercial volume in 2005. Using the “Commercial Consumption Expenditure” index, VISA International estimates that global business and government spending, excluding payroll and certain other capital expenditures, totaled nearly $61 trillion in 2005. Small business “CC” can represent upwards of 25% of total CC. VISA recently published the “VISA Business Expedition Pack,” a 10-step program that offers advice on how to manage small business credit risk. VISA also recently held six member workshop sessions in the sub-Saharan Africa Region to promote small and medium-sized enterprise payment programs.Details
Citibank “Clear Card” users can drop a demo tape or CD to staff
at the Aksara bookstore or Hard Rock Cafe Jakarta for a chance to play at a monthly “new talent” night at the Hard Rock Cafe Jakarta. Every month, a judging panel comprising representatives from Citibank,
Aksara Records, Trax FM and Hard Rock Cafe Jakarta will listen to the
latest demo tapes and CDs. Based on these recordings they will select
and ask the best performers to play. More than 100 requests for entry forms were received in the first week.
Experian-Scorex has released the “Global Bureau Scoring Solutions suite.” The suite is comprised of four distinct
components: “Smart Start Bureau Scores,” “Global Bureau Gateway,” “Global Portfolio Quality Assessment” and “Value-Added Bureau Solutions.” “Smart Start Bureau Scores” provides lenders and/or credit bureaus with a fast track to introducing credit bureau scores that are as relevant and predictive as possible into markets where no scores currently exist. The “Global Bureau Gateway” allows an organization to calibrate a local bureau score to a standard scale. The “Global Portfolio Quality Assessment” solution enables lenders to implement a risk rating system that can be used to compare the quality and performance of all their credit portfolios. The “Value-Added Bureau Solutions” enable both consumer and commercial credit bureaus to extract significantly more value from their databases by turning their raw data into valuable customer intelligence.
American Express is looking to expand its card acceptance to include down-payments for luxury condominiums. The Moinian Group, which holds more than 20 million square feet of real estate will be the first to roll out the new program as a pilot for AmEx. Three years ago, AmEx launched a program of card acceptance for recurring payments at luxury rental properties. The Atelier, a 46-story, 478-unit condominium development under construction on Manhattan’s Far West Side, has already begun to accept the AmEx cards for down-payments.Details
Global Payments Europe has reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Diginet d.o.o., an indirect payment processor for both POS
and ATM transactions based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Under terms of the deal Diginet will serve as Global Payments Europe’s Balkan region headquarters. Based in Prague, Global Payments Europe provides
credit and debit card transaction processing, installation and
servicing of ATM and POS terminals, as well as card issuing services such as card database management and card personalization. Diginet was founded in 1996. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
INSIDE Contactless has named Christian Janin as its new Chief Financial Officer, and the appointment of Patrick Jones as non-executive Director of its Managing Board. Janin was most recently Group Chief Financial Officer for SMARTTRUST, a major Swedish independent “Mobile Device Management” software developer/system integrator. Patrick Jones is currently the Chairman of the Board of Lattice Semiconductor, a fabless semiconductor company.Details
Geneva-based Incard has been awarded the “DUET Award 2006” in the “Smart Partner” category by Austrian company “BGS Smartcard Systems.” The “DUET” payment application is a system that is used
to implement domestic payment schemes and has a number of advantages in
emerging markets, where traditional payment systems can sometimes be
unsuitable. Incard’s smart card application for the “DUET” system offers advanced features and a high degree of flexibility and allows direct payment transactions both in on- or offline mode without requiring a third-party authentication. The application is broadly used in Russia and the interest for this product is rapidly growing in other countries such as Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Oman, Iran, Nigeria, India and Vietnam. Incard is part of STMicroelectronics.
A new poll shows that 41% of Americans use their spare cash to pay off credit card debt and that 38% use spare cash to put in savings. The new AC Nielsen study of consumers in 40 markets worldwide also found the U.S. has lost its usual top spot among countries whose consumers have no cash to spare. The year Portugal led the list. About 22% of U.S. respondents said that once they have covered their basic living expenses, they have no money left over. The percentage of American consumers who say they have no spare cash remains the same from the last survey, conducted in November 2005, after dropping from 28% in the May 2005 survey.Details