Mattress Firm Credit Card Gets Honored

Wells Fargo Financial Retail Services has honored Mattress Firm with a “Client Award” for success in its consumer private-label credit card program. The award is based on program participation and credit card sales volume. The dual-line Visa credit card program features one card with two distinct revolving lines of credit. One line is dedicated for purchases at participating Mattress Firm locations, the other for Visa card purchases and cash advance transactions worldwide.

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U.S. GDV Growth Hits a Five-Year High

Gross dollar volume during the first quarter grew at its fastest pace in more than five years. The four major U.S. card networks handled nearly $684 billion in purchase and cash advance volume from their credit and signature debit cards during 1Q/06, a 13.6% increase over the prior year. Testament to the current robust economy is that one-year ago, U.S. GDV in the first three months of the year increased only 11.5%. Among the major networks, American Express logged the largest increase over 1Q/05, growing 16.7% year-on-year, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). VISA came in second with a 14.4% annual increase in the first quarter.

Q1 GROSS DOLLAR CHARGE VOLUME
(VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover)
2002: $434.8 billion +10.3%
2003: $476.2 billion + 9.5%
2004: $539.8 billion +13.4%
2005: $602.1 billion +11.5%
2006: $683.8 billion +13.6%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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NetSpend & Domino’s Pizza Offer LA Cards

Domino’s Pizza and NetSpend have launched a Los Angeles promotion offering free “All-Access MasterCard” prepaid cards. Most of the winning game pieces will give customers an opportunity to collect a free soccer-themed All-Access MasterCard Prepaid Card, a reloadable prepaid card from NetSpend (retail value $9.99). Some lucky customers will win a prepaid card pre-loaded with up to $50. When winning customers call to activate their NetSpend All-Access MasterCard Prepaid Cards, they can enter a grand prize sweepstakes drawing for a chance to win one of three prepaid cards loaded with $10,000.

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GCA Signs 50+ Gaming Establishments

Global Cash Access has recently inked more than 50 gaming establishments for its “Casino Cash Plus 3-in-1” ATM, “QuikCash” cash advance terminals and “Central Credit” check warranty services. QuikCash cash advance terminals are customer-activated, touch screen terminals that provide casino patrons with POS debit card and credit card cash advance transaction options. Available in kiosk, countertop, wall-mount, free-standing and handheld models, QuikCash terminals can be installed virtually anywhere in a gaming establishment. Central Credit check warranty service is a service through which payment on certain types of patron checks is warranted, which allows casinos to eliminate the risk of nonpayment on such checks.

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NOVA Sues Over Inadvertent Transactions

Nova Information Systems has sued a Virginia businessman who allegedly received 96 inadvertent transactions between March 2004 and March 2005. The suit is seeking nearly $23,000 via Suffolk County Circuit Court. According to the The Virginian-Pilot, the businessman, a developer who ran a furniture store for 25 years in downtown Suffolk, denies ever receiving the funds in any bank account. The businessman says Nova approached him last year with complaints from people who said they weren’t receiving the items they had paid for with credit cards. However, the businessman says he didn’t even sell the items in question. NOVA offers integrated payment processing services to more than 1 million merchants worldwide.

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U.S. Consumer Confidence Deteriorates

Consumer confidence has been receding from a four-year high over the past two months. The Conference Board “Consumer Confidence Index,” which peaked in March, dipped 60 basis points in May following a 10 basis point decline in April. The Index now stands at 137.9 according to The CB. The largest negative contributors for May were initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted) and the index of consumer expectations. From November to May, the index fell by 20 basis points with declining housing permits made the largest negative contribution over this period. The CB says strength abroad may be one factor counteracting the loss of domestic momentum. The cumulative impact of higher gasoline prices, higher costs to run the air conditioner this spring, a slowing housing market, higher interest rates, a loss of confidence (both business and consumer), and even higher taxes in some localities, have all combined to slow the forward pace of economic activity.

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Shell Oil Gives Away 200,000 Gift Cards

Shell Oil has launched a $30 million marketing campaign that includes giving away 200,000 $10 “Shell Gift Cards.” The new campaign will include advertising, Point-of-Purchase (POP) materials and a “Million Gallon Giveaway” sweepstakes. Online and print advertising will also appear in general interest, lifestyle and automotive outlets such as Yahoo! and Car and Driver magazine. A comprehensive POP program, including pump toppers, column banners, in-store materials, and pole and yard signs will be on display at more than 13,000 Shell stations nationwide.

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PSCU Donates 10 Million Pennies for CUs

PSCU Financial Services has processed 10 million accounts for credit and debit cards and is donating 10 million pennies to organizations and projects designed to expand and improve the credit union industry Donations were made to: National Center for Member Trust, Biz Kid$ Financial Literacy Programming, and the underwriting of an intensive three-day course for senior credit union executives at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in conjunction with Callahan & Associates. As a non-profit cooperative, 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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Eastern Airways to Accept UATP Cards

Eastern Airways is now accepting all UATP corporate cards and is a part of the UATP global corporate travel payment network. Eastern
Airways will settle all UATP transactions through UATP Settlement Services, a low-cost, weekly settlement system that matches fees and air tickets electronically, allowing for easy reconciliation of accounts for UATP transactions for customers with non-clearinghouse transactions. Eastern Airways operates 40,000 flights a year to 18 airports in the UK and Europe. UATP accounts are accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel by airlines and travel agencies worldwide.

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eFunds to Use AEIS Prepaid STV Card System

eFunds Prepaid Solutions has expanded its relationship with American Express Incentive Services to offer focused-use stored-value cards to customer base. Focused-use card product applications include corporate incentive programs and consumer promotions, as well as flexible spending accounts and health care savings accounts. AEIS has a patented filtering process for such stored-value cards. For example last year AEIS introduced the “Agent Reward Card” for real estate agents which offers recipients rewards from their choice of 90 name-brand retail and travel merchants. AEIS also introduced “The Rebate Edition Card,” which is designed to incent home buyers and sellers and the “Housewarming Card Platinum Edition” card, which offers luxury homebuyers access to all of Williams-Sonoma’s stores and catalogs. AEIS is a joint venture between American Express Travel Related Services Company and Maritz. (CF 12/17/04; 6/15/05; 10/21/05)

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