KBC Introduces Serverside Personalized Banking Cards

KBC is the latest issuer to enable customers to design the
front of their payment cards with a favorite photo. The cards are free until November, at which point KBC intends to start charging for them. The exact amount hasn’t yet been confirmed, but is likely to be around EUR 10. However, KBC says that under certain conditions, people below the age of 25 will continue to get the card for free. The personalized feature is powered by London-based Serverside Group. Currently, 22 financial institutions globally have taken advantage of Serverside’s technology and many more will be announced in the months
ahead.

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Heartland Payment’s Q2 Profits Leap 70%

NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems posted record revenues of $278 million for the second quarter, a 33% increase compared 2Q/05. Net income for the three months was $7.4 million an increase of 70%, compared to one-year ago. HPS says record merchant processing volumes, which grew 29% over the year ago period and reached almost $11 billion in the second quarter drove the growth. The Company says 78% of new merchants installed and 62% of total transactions processed during the quarter were on HPS Exchange. The Company’s active card processing merchant count rose to 124,800 at mid-year, a 23% increase over the past twelve months. However, same store sales at its installed base rose 4.8%, below the level of growth the company has experienced in recent years. For the year, HPS is raising its guidance, and now expects net revenue (total revenue less interchange, dues and assessments) to grow by 28% to 30%. HPS serves nearly 128,000 small to medium-sized merchants throughout the USA. For complete details on Heartland Payment Systems latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Jean Coutu Group Renews AIR MILES Reward Program

The Jean Coutu Group has signed a renewal agreement as a sponsor in Alliance Data’s Canadian “AIR MILES Reward Program.” The program has approximately two-thirds of Canadian households actively collecting reward miles. “AIR MILES” collectors earn reward miles at more
than 100 sponsors and miles can be redeemed for more than 800 different rewards, such as travel, movie passes, entertainment attractions, electronic merchandise and more. The Jean Coutu Group operates 320 PJC Jean Coutu franchised drugstores in the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario.

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Kabira Hires a Customer Services Executive

CA-based Kabira Technologies has hired Sanjay Saini, formerly with Mercury Interactive, as VP/Global Customer Services. Saini has been leading professional services operations at large software companies for more than 10 years. He is currently responsible for mission-critical engagements at Fortune 1000 companies within Kabira’s core vertical markets of telecommunications, financial services, and online exchanges. Kabira provides high performance transaction processing software for global enterprises to manage high volumes at a substantially lower cost.

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DBS Bank Deploys VeriFone Vx for its ComPass VISA

DBS Bank has chosen and has begun implementing the VeriFone “Vx 510” payment solution for the enhanced “ComPass VISA” card, a co-branded credit card jointly offered with Hutchison Whampoa. The upgraded “ComPass” smart card was launched last month. The “ComPass VISA” card program recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. About 5,000 “Vx 510” payment systems have been deployed across the Hong Kong SAR, including in mega-retail chains such as Park N Shop. “ComPass VISA” has approximately 500,000 cards in circulation, the largest customer base for chip cards in Hong Kong.

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Cards Capture Back-to-School Spending

A new poll reveals that 74% of parents are expected to rely on payment cards for back-to-school shopping. The MasterCard Worldwide/Harris Interactive “Back to School Spending Index” found that 58% of parents of U.S. students college age or younger plan to use debit cards for back-to-school purchases, increasing from 26% last year. Parents of U.S. students college age and younger expect to spend, on average, $424 this year on back-to-school items. Sixteen percent anticipate 2006 back-to-school expenses for books, clothes, and supplies to exceed $500. Two-thirds claimed that clothing will be their highest expense, followed by books (13%) and supplies (9%).

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Safeway’s Blackhawk Expands Gift Cards

Safeway’s Blackhawk Network subsidiary will expand its gift card business to the United Kingdom this year. The Company provides a turn-key gift card solution to a broad network of top North American grocery, drug and convenience store retailers, with a gift card offering of more than 100 brands from best-in-class retailers such as Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Best Buy, iTunes, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Home Depot, and Sears. Blackhawk Network also distributes prepaid debit and gift cards from American Express, MasterCard, VISA, and offers regional sports and entertainment gift cards for a range of venues and teams such as Universal Theme Parks, Paramount’s Great America, the Oakland A’s, the San Francisco Giants, the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago White Sox. Blackhawk Network’s new UK office will be run by Russell Atkinson.

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More QSRs Offer the MobileLime Alerts Club

Boston-based MobileLime reports that twelve Subway franchises in Buffalo, NY are now offering its “Mobile Alerts Club” via mobile phones to build one-to-one relationships with customers. With the Mobile Alerts Club, QSR Brands’ customers will opt-in to the preferred program at the location(s) they frequent, allowing them to receive periodic coupons, last minute specials and event alerts directly on their cell phones. For QSR Brands, the program automatically delivers a robust, accurate database of their frequent customer base, offering a better understanding of customer preferences and buying behaviors. MobileLime is the first U.S.-based company to turn the mobile phone into a marketing, loyalty and payment device, enabling merchants to build sales and loyalty in ways never before possible.

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ID Data Adds Top Communications Specialist

ID Data has hired Julie Roughton as Marketing
Communications Executive.ID Data provides a wide range of complete end-to-end card based solutions to financial service organizations, government and retail clients. Customers include Tesco, GE Capital, Nectar, and EDS, plus many banks, building societies, High Street retailers and local authorities. A new card manufacturing facility, based in Poland, has also significantly boosted ID Data’s capacity, from 70 millions cards to over 240 million cards per year. ID Data also owns “CardBASE” the Irish software business that provides sophisticated Card Application Management solutions to major corporate and government clients along with solutions for PKI and e-purse.

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MASTERCARD 2Q/06

Growth in MasterCard International’s gross dollar volume and purchase volume remained solidly in double digits during the second quarter. Gross dollar volume of $485 billion was up 16.4% year-on-year while purchase volume increased 17.5% to $351 billion. Purchase transactions for the second quarter hit 5.1 billion, an 18% increase, compared to 2Q/05. Globally, MasterCard has 796 million cards-in-force linked to 692 million accounts. The number of acceptance locations worldwide as of June 30th was 24.9 million. For complete details on MasterCard’s second quarter results, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Intersections’ Q2 Revenue Climbs 11%

VA-based Intersections reported that revenue for second quarter was $45.4 million, an increase of 11.3%. Net income for the quarter was $2.7 million, a decrease of 13.4%. The Company had total subscribers of 3.74 million at mid-year. Subscriber additions in the second quarter were approximately 843,000. Subscription revenue was $26.2 million for the second quarter compared to $29.5 million for the first quarter. The decline was due to the reallocation of marketing efforts toward its investment in consumer direct and the decline of American Express revenue. During the quarter the Company completed the acquisition of Chartered Marketing Services in July for $50 million. For complete details on Intersections’ latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Fifth Third Certifies Hypercom’s T4100

Fifth Third Processing Solutions has “Class A” certified Hypercom’s 32-bit “Optimum T4100” payment terminal for single-lane retailers. The T4100 for the first time gives the bank the flexibility to deliver one or more payment processing solutions on the same high-performance terminal platform. The terminal’s multiapplication architecture and configuration abilities allow Fifth Third Processing Solutions to deploy the bank’s credit/debit, electronic check, electronic benefits transfer (EBT) and gift card services singly or in any combination, enabling sales to merchants who do not want the complete package or cannot commit to the full suite because they are locked into contracts for select services with other providers. Fifth Third Processing Solutions is one of the nation’s largest providers of credit, debit, EBT, ACH and check acceptance services. Hypercom Corp. delivers a full suite of high-security, end-to-end electronic payment products and services.

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