I.C.E. to Process for the Sweet Factory

CA-based International Card Establishment has signed an agreement to process credit card purchases at 111 Sweet Factory stores in 23 states. The agreement calls for I.C.E. to install credit card terminals at each Sweet Factory location and process credit card purchases; the rollout is substantially complete. Neos Merchant Solutions is full service payment processing company offering a turnkey solution to today’s retail merchants. I.C.E. is a rapidly growing provider of diversified products and services to the electronic transaction processing industry.

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Under $25 Ticket Volume Rises 17% This Year

VISA reported that its volume on U.S. purchases less than $25 in targeted small ticket segments totaled $27.3 billion in the first six months of the year, an increase of 17% over the same period in 2005. VISA also released a new survey that show Generation “P”, referring to consumers ages 18-25, is leading the trend of increased use of payment cards for everyday purchases. Sixty percent of Generation “P” prefers payment cards for purchases less than $25, particularly in new and emerging segments such as digital content, vending machines, public transportation, parking and newspapers. VISA says the “No Signature Required” program and the “Small Ticket Payment Service” have been key drivers of the increased volume. The “Small Ticket Payment Service” offers acquirers decreased credit and debit interchange rates on consumer card transactions of $15 or less in 14 merchant categories.

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Discover Card to Launch a New Ad Campaign

Discover is unveiling a new national advertising campaign this weekend. The campaign will focus on Discover Card’s commitment to clarity, control, rewards and service for its 50+ million cardholders. The new campaign will include integrated broadcast, print and online advertisements that begin by asking a series of “What if” questions that encourage consumers to consider what it would be like to have a credit card from a company that understands their needs and is committed to giving them more of what they want and less of what they don’t. The advertisements will feature animated scissors cutting up credit cards tossed to them by consumers who are relieved to get rid of them and move to a new relationship that puts them first. The advertising was developed in collaboration with The Martin Agency, and represents Discover Card’s first project with the firm since the agency’s selection in April.

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PNC to Rebate ATM Fees Worldwide

Pittsburgh-based PNC has become the first major bank to rebate both fees charged for using another provider’s cash machine — the ATM fee previously charged by PNC plus the surcharge levied by the machine’s owner. The new program will offer access to free ATMs worldwide. For customers who choose “Performance Checking” or “Performance Select Checking,” and “Free Checking” customers who maintain an average monthly balance of $2,500 or more, PNC will automatically reimburse withdrawal fees charged by other ATM owners. PNC’s small business customers will be offered free ATMs and rewards in select accounts, including “Basic Checking” and “Enterprise Checking”. The free ATM program begins September 1st.

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AmEx Launches a Free Cardholder NYC Promotion

American Express has kicked-off a five-week promotion of free activities in New York City for its cardholders. The “Membership Changes Everything” promotion is offering more than 50,000 free tickets to concerts, sports, theater, film and dining. Kanye West will kick-off the free cardholder program on August 29th for a private AmEx concert for more than 1,600 people. Over the following five weeks, AmEx will give away 1,000 tickets for the 2006 “US Open Tennis Championships,” 6,000 tickets across 16 Broadway shows, and 50,000 tickets for any feature film at select movie theaters. The final week, AmEx will pick up the check for more than 1,400 diners at some top NYC restaurants. To qualify cardholders have to register online for each giveaway.

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Wincor Nixdorf Names a U.S. Banking Head

TX-based Wincor Nixdorf has promoted Alan Walsh as VP of banking, overseeing all aspects of the company’s banking solutions business in the USA. As vice president of banking for the U.S, Walsh will work to strengthen existing relationships with both customers and strategic business partners. Prior to his new position at Wincor Nixdorf, Walsh served as managing director for Wincor Nixdorf Ireland. Wincor Nixdorf is one of the world’s leading suppliers of IT solutions to the retail and banking industries.

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Safeway to Offer VISA TravelMoney Nationwide

VISA USA announced that its reloadable prepaid travel card will now be available in more than 1,550 Safeway store locations nationwide. “VISA TravelMoney” is currently available through AAA and National City Bank, as well as 1,200 community banks that are members of the ICBA, the ABA and participating credit unions through CUNA Strategic Services. NetSpend will market the cards through Safeway and process transactions for Inter National Bank, the issuer. Later this year, “VISA TravelMoney” will be offered in thousands of additional locations nationwide, including BankFirst, MetaBank, U.S. Bank, and West Suburban Bank, as well as select Travelex foreign exchange locations. The card will also be offered on college campuses through Ecount’s “Trip Plus” program.

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EchoStar Sends More Payments to REMITCO

First Data’s REMITCO has been awarded additional business from EchoStar Communication Corporation. REMITCO will begin processing an additional one million payments per month received from EchoStar’s DISH Network users. First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses and consumers worldwide. EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) serves more than 12.2 million satellite TV customers through its DISH Network(TM), the fastest growing U.S. provider of advanced digital television services in the last five years.

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Debt Resolve Board Lands a MC Executive

NY-based Debt Resolve has landed former MasterCard executive Jeff Bernstein for its Board of Directors. Bernstein has 27 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry, most recently as Global Solutions Leader in the MasterCard Advisors Performance Management Practice, and prior to that as a Senior Consultant with Fair Isaacs Corporation in their Professional Services Practice. He was also Senior Vice President at Fleet Financial Group, overseeing risk management and collections for Fleet’s consumer and credit card portfolios. Debt Resolve, Inc. provides lenders, collection agencies, debt buyers and utilities a patented online bidding system for the resolution and settlement of consumer debt which can be used at all stages of collection and recovery.

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PULSE Cardholders Get U.K. ATM Access

LINK Interchange Network, the operator of the “UK Cash Machine Network,” has signed a reciprocal agreement with PULSE that will allow the 4,200 financial institution participants in the PULSE ATM/debit network to offer their cardholders access to all but a handful of the more than 58,000 cash machines across the U.K. The deal will also allow LINK to offer its 38 participating financial institution members access to an additional 250,000 PULSE cash machines in the USA. PULSE and LINK are working to enable the first live transactions early in 2007. The agreement allows PULSE and LINK issuers to opt into the program.

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Discover Cards to Be Accepted in Japan

Discover and the largest card issuer and acquirer in Japan have inked a deal to expand card acceptance. The two parties have agreed to an arrangement that will facilitate acceptance of JCB cards on the Discover Network in the USA, and of Discover Network cards on the JCB network in Japan, and acceptance of “PULSE” cards at targeted ATMs in Japan at the option of the card issuer. In 2007, Discover Network will begin enabling its systems so JCB cardholders will be able to use their JCB cards at Discover Network merchant locations throughout the USA. Upon completion of a JCB system enhancement, Discover Network cardholders will be able to use their cards for purchases at JCB merchant locations and for cash advances at targeted ATMs throughout Japan beginning in 2008. Last year Discover inked a partnership with China UnionPay to facilitate the acceptance of Discover cards in China and CUP cards in the USA. Under terms of the deal, Discover cards will be accepted at China UnionPay ATMs and POS terminals in China while China UnionPay cards will be accepted on Discover’s “PULSE” network in the USA. Discover says both companies will also pursue ways to enable acceptance of CUP cards on Discover’s POS network in the USA. (CF Library 5/26/05)

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Saudi British Bank Implements Global FICO

The Saudi British Bank has implemented a “Global
FICO” score. The score applies Fair Isaac’s “FICO” credit risk scoring technology to rank-order consumers according to their credit risk.
Credit bureau data is now readily available in Saudi Arabia. PIC Solutions, the Fair Isaac alliance partner for the Middle East
Africa region, implemented the new scoring solution for The Saudi
British Bank. In addition to Saudi Arabia, “Global FICO” score is currently live or is being implemented in Turkey, Poland, Sweden, Ireland, Panama, Jamaica, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

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