Online Auction Spending Rises by 14%

A new report has found a surge in online spending at auction sites in the U.K. with total purchases of GBP 2.8 billion. The figures from APACS shows that 14% of the 34 million adults who use the Internet (4.9 million) made their most recent purchase from an auction site in 2005. There were 79 million transactions over this period. In addition to the increase in the number of adults spending online, the number of purchases being made is growing – the average number of purchases made by online shoppers in the year rose from 13.6 in 2004 to 18.5 in 2005. This was reflected in total online card spending figures, which were up from 262 million transactions in 2004 to 310 million in 2005. The value of these transactions increased from GBP 16 billion in 2004 to GBP 22 billion last year.

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Commonwealth Bank Deploys Dye Packs

The Commonwealth Bank is enhancing its security
arrangements for its ATMs by introducing “Dye Packs.” The Bank’s move to place “Dye Packs” into its ATMs comes on top of the recent ABA initiative to offer a reward of $50,000 for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of criminals who commit ATM robberies and ram raids. The “Dye Packs” render the cash unusable and stains the criminals and their vehicles with indelible ink.

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MC & and BB&B Launch a College Sweepstakes

MasterCard and Bed Bath & Beyond have launched the “2006 MasterCard Back to College Sweepstakes” with Bed Bath & Beyond offering cardholders a chance to win $100,000 which may be used toward college tuition, as well as a $2,500 “Bed Bath & Beyond Gift Card” A recent MasterCard survey of parents of college-aged students commissioned by Survey Sampling International found that approximately 40% admit to waiting until the last minute before shopping for back to college supplies. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. is a nationwide chain of superstores selling predominantly better quality domestics merchandise and home furnishings. MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide.

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National Bank of Canada Acquires Cerdigy

National Bank of Canada has completed the purchase of a majority
interest in Credigy, a privately held purchaser of and service-provider
for distressed receivables. Credigy owns and manages portfolios focusing
mainly on U.S. based distressed consumer receivables, utilizing a
Web-based servicing and collection platform. National Bank Financial
received financial advice in this transaction from Putnam Lovell NBF
Securities.

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Discover Certifies ViVOtech’s Readers

Discover has certified ViVOtech’s “ViVOpay 4000” and “ViVOpay 3000” for use with Discover Network’s contactless payment application. By certifying these products, Discover Network ensures that its proprietary contactless payment solution is interoperable with ViVOtech’s reader technology. Contactless payment transactions utilize radio frequency (RF), enabling customers to simply wave their bankcard, key tag or other form of payment that contains RF capability, in front of an RF reader to pay for their purchases. Discover Financial Services LLC operates the Discover Card with more than 50 million Cardmembers, and the Discover Network, which is the largest proprietary credit card network in the U.S. with more than 4 million merchant and cash access locations. ViVOtech (www.vivotech.com) is the market leader in contactless/NFC payment software, transaction management systems and readers.

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Asian Americans Most Affluent Consumers

A new report has found that Asian Americans represent the single most affluent consumer group in the USA, trumping their Hispanic counterparts. The study by Packaged Facts says Asian Americans have $400 billion in total buying power. Also, Asian Americans have per capita income of $25,786 versus $14,007 for Hispanics, and a median-household income $56,161 versus $35,929 for Hispanics. Additionally, the Asian population of nearly 13 million has grown at a rate of only 1% less than that of Hispanics in the last five years. Packaged Facts says Asian Americans are big on family, designer items, technology, Internet shopping, and healthy living.

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Wright Express’ Q2 Revenue Jumps 33%

Fleet card specialist, Wright Express, reported second quarter revenue of $76.2 million, a 33% increase year-on-year. However, net income for the quarter was $9.9 million, compared with $15.0 million, for the comparable quarter last year, due to fuel-price derivative instruments issues. The Company reported that fuel transactions processed increased 8% to 61.1 million. Payment processing transactions increased 12% to 46 million, and transaction processing transactions decreased 5% to 15.1 million. Average expenditure per payment processing transaction grew to $57.45, an increase of 30% from the same period last year. Total MasterCard purchase volume grew 47% to $332.7 million. For the third quarter the Company expects revenue in the range of $75 million to $80 million. For complete details on Wright Express’ latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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SPC Card Introduces a Student Loyalty Program

Toronto-based SPC Card has introduced a student loyalty
program with over 500,000 members and 120 National retail chains such as
Aldo, Athlete’s World, Bluenotes, Buffalo, Guess, Esprit, Transit, Xcetera, Jack Astor’s and Burger King. Newly added retailers include Sport Chek, FCUK, Roots, Levi’s, Second Cup and GNC. Students can purchase SPC Card at various retailers, or through their campus bookstore or high school.

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William Schenck Leaves His Penna State Post

William Schenck, who previously led major card initiatives at PNC and WaMu, is resigning as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Banking. Since his appointment by Governor Rendell, Schenck has increased the number of professional examiners who ensure the safety and soundness of the state’s banking institutions and doubled the number who review the business practices of financial service providers, such as mortgage brokers, check cashers, and auto sales financers.

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Maybank Acquires AmEx Card Business in Malaysia

Malayan Banking has acquired American Express’ card business in Malaysia for RM80 million. The acquisition will increase Maybank’s credit cards number to 1.3 million with market share up to 25% from 21% before the deal. Since December 2003, Maybank has been issuing the Maybank American Express credit card under an existing arrangement with American Express in Malaysia.

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PSCU Financial Services Adds a Reloadable Card

FL-based PSCU Financial Services has added a reloadable card to its prepaid offerings and has produced turnkey marketing materials for credit unions including statement inserts, brochures, branch posters and other materials to promote its use as a “Travel Card,” “Student Card” and/or a general purpose card. This platform delivers all the benefits of a standard prepaid card, with the ability to add value as needed. This card also offers the same protection as a VISA debit card and is supported by the cooperative’s award-winning 24 x 7 Contact Center. PSCU Financial Services is owned by more than 500 member credit unions representing 10 million cardholder accounts and more than 345,000 online bill payment subscribers.

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