Auriemma Consulting Opens a London Office

Auriemma Consulting Group announced today that the firm will open its newest
office in London on June 5th. The management consulting firm caters primarily
to the payments and lending industry and has been doing an increasing amount of
international business over the past several years, particularly in the United
Kingdom. ACG Managing Director Michael Lenora, a long-time payments industry
executive with more than 25 years of international payments experience, will
run the day-to-day operations at the London office. The new ACG office will
have responsibilities for ACG client activity in Africa and the Middle East as
well as the UK and Continental Europe.

Details

High and Low Income Households Incur Debt

A recent study by UK CCCS indicates that clients with take home pay of
less than GBP 10,000 and those making more than GBP30,000 per year all
have debts beyond their control. Accepted wisdom suggests that a
take-home income of GBP30,000 per year is enough to allow most families to
be able to manage the demands on their incomes. But large mortgages,
rising school fees and the increasing availability of credit have made
debt a normal part of life for many of the middle class. For clients
earning less than GBP10,000 a year means that virtually all income is
spent on essentials such as housing, utilities, clothing and food. Credit
is used as a way of bridging the gap between income and essential
expenditure.

Details

Gemplus Selected for the Vitale 2 e-Healthcare Card

Gemplus International has been selected by G.I.E. SESAM-Vitale as one of the
main suppliers to issue e-Healthcare cards, known as “Vitale 2”. The new smart
cards will further enhance the possibilities of the system, in term of data
processing and secure applications. The scope of the contract includes the
supply of smart cards, graphical and electrical personalization and mailing
services to million of end users in France. The global market for the
personalized Vitale 2 cards represents a total of 50 million units divided
between 3 suppliers. The contract calls for the supply of a minimum of 8
million cards over two years, with possible extension over two more years.
SESAM-Vitale processes over 80 million electronic claims per month.

Details

CorporationCentre to Offer Aeroplan Miles

CorporationCentre.ca has started offering Aeroplan reward miles on select small
business start-up services to its online customer. CorporationCentre.ca
provides small business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs with incorporation,
corporate maintenance and governance services, corporate name searches and
reports, trademark services, logo design, credit card processing. Aeroplan
Miles has a network of more than 60 partners, representing more than 100
brands, in the financial, retail and travel sectors. Customers redeem those
miles towards travel to more than 700 destinations worldwide or for lifestyle
rewards.

Details

Obopay BREWs Some New Payment Options

California-based Obopay reports it will enable a new phone payment option for online retailers and “BREW” mobile application providers to allow consumers to initiate purchases from their mobile phones with a simple touch of the keypad. The Obopay BREW extension will consist of both a dynamic and static offering. The dynamic offering allows BREW developers to integrate a module within their application and back-end infrastructure without any additional development work. Obopay developed the first complete mobile payment service in the U.S.

Details

Auriemma Consulting Opens a UK Office

Auriemma Consulting Group is opening a London office next week. The management consulting firm, which caters primarily to the payments and lending industry, has been doing an increasing amount of international business over the past several years, particularly in the United Kingdom. ACG Managing Director Michael Lenora will run the day-to-day operations. Over the past several years, ACG has worked with many of the top U.S. and international credit card issuers, on projects as wide-ranging as value proposition development, portfolio analysis and valuation and alliance and partnership development.

Details

No ATM Fees VISA Card is Launched

ME-based TD Banknorth is rebating any fee charged by any bank in the world when customers use its new “No ATM Fees VISA Card.” The new card is being introduced in the New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Metro New York markets as part of the company’s “Bank Freely” launch. The “No ATM Fees” card is available with any TD Banknorth checking account for new or existing customers in these markets. The “Bank Freely” campaign includes extensive print, television, outdoor and online advertising. TD Banknorth serves more than 1.5 million households in the Northeast.

Details

Monthly Payment Rates Approach 22%

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, soared in April setting a new industry record. Driven by higher minimum payments, the monthly payment rate was nearly 100 basis points over the prior record set in February. Rising interest rates have also played a role in driving the MPR north. Among credit card-backed bonds, the monthly payment rate was 21.74% in April, compared to 19.10% in the prior month and 18.52% one-year ago. According to FitchRatings, the payment rate averaged 19.97% during the first quarter and averaged 18.60% for 2005. Five years ago the monthly payment rate hovered around 15%. FitchRatings also says that payment rates bounced back after a decline in Marchâ™s payment rate, which is a seasonal occurrence caused by fewer collection days in February.

Monthly Payment Rate
Nov 05: 18.78%
Dec 05: 18.90%
Jan 06: 19.97%
Feb 06: 20.85%
Mar 06: 19.10%
Apr 06: 21.74%
Source: FitchRatings

Details

ADS Renews Harlem Furniture Card Deal

Alliance Data Systems has signed a long-term renewal agreement to continue providing private label credit card services for IL-based The Room Place at Harlem Furniture and its 16 stores. Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will continue providing Harlem Furniture with private label credit card services including account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization; private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; customer service functions; and marketing services.

Details

Discover Wins a Brandweek Award

The “Discover Card” has been awarded top honors for the ninth consecutive year in the “2006 Brandweek Customer Loyalty Awards. Discover Card was recognized with a Gold Award in the credit card category. The Customer Loyalty Award builds upon the other best-in-class distinctions Discover has been awarded, including “Best in Class” for fraud information and protection services from the January 2006 Credit Card Monitor Report, as well as the number one ranking in online customer experience in a survey performed by Keynote Systems.

Details

ORCC eCollections Adds Best Offer Feature

Online Resources Corporation has added a “best offer” feature to its online collections service that enables creditors and consumers to agree on a settlement based on rules preset by the creditor or agency. Delinquent account holders can apply for payment programs, with rules specified by the creditor or agency, enabling them to privately and conveniently self-cure their delinquent status. Account holders sign on to the collections web site and opt to make their single “best offer” for a settlement plan. The system may accept this offer based on rules preset by the creditor or agency. If the offer is not accepted, the system counter-offers with a predetermined settlement amount. This ensures that the collector receives the maximum amount using this one-step process with the delinquent.

Details

Q1 Advertising Expenditures Rise 11%

Driven by credit card promotion, overall advertising for financial services rose 11% in the first quarter. This is the second consecutive quarter that the ad spend for financial services has topped $2 billion. According to TNS Media Intelligence, advertising expenditures for financial services for the first quarter was $2.15 billion, compared to $1.94 billion for 1Q/05. During the fourth quarter a record $2.6 billion was shelled-out. TNS says Internet display advertising led all media forms in percentage growth, rising 19.4% to $2.31 billion as leading blue chip advertisers continued to expand their online marketing programs. The top 10 advertisers in the first quarter spent $4.76 billion, a gain of 6.9% compared to the prior year period.

AD SPEND
1Q/05: $1.94 billion
2Q/05: $1.86 billion
3Q/05: $1.88 billion
4Q/05: $2.60 billion
1Q/06: $2.15 billion
Source: TNS Media Intelligence

Details