Direct Debit Makes Strides in Europe

While the credit card remains the single most important payment method for UK consumers and for shoppers from outside Europe doing online purchases, electronic direct debit dominates the payment method in Germany and the rest of Europe. Last year, direct debit transactions made up nearly 61% of payments in Germany and 23% in the rest of Europe, excluding the UK and Non-European countries. According to a new report from Pago the growth in the percentage of telecommunications transactions has led to an increase in electronic direct debit transactions in Germany. Pago found that German consumers still buy predominantly in German shops while consumers from the rest of Europe prefer buying from British online merchants and Non-European consumers use German shops as seldom as German consumers shop at Non-German shops. Pago also found that male consumers made up 66.71% of online consumers and females accounted for 33.29%.

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Trintech Forms the Financial Services Group

Dallas and Dublin-based Trintech has formed the “Financial Services Group” to provide next-generation account reconciliation and enterprise-wide positive pay solutions to financial institutions for the provision of the same to their small business, middle market and large corporate clients. Trintech Group is a provider of transaction reconciliation and payment infrastructure solutions.

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HSBC to Deploy Experian-Scorex Globally

HSBC will use the “Strategy Management” business rules engine from “Experian-Scorex” to support lending decisions around the world.
“Strategy Management” is a software solution that provides the business
user with the ability to consistently deploy scoring models, portfolio
segmentation, decisions and actions to control and manage customer
relationships and improve risk management decisions. Initially, HSBC
will implement the “Strategy Management” business rules
engine into its new business processing environment for 22 countries,
replacing the existing decisioning technology, before extending it
across its global operations.

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Experian Intros a Prospecting Solution

Experian has introduced “Prospectvue”, a prospecting solution allowing multi-channel retailers to target and connect with their best customers and prospects by reducing campaign cycle times, providing greater insight to make more profitable selections and improving communications and accurate measurement of responsiveness across the campaign process. Prospectvue increases marketers’ effectiveness in targeting their most profitable customers and prospects by creating a greater understanding of consumer behaviors and responses. Prospectvue gives marketers direct access to Experian’s INSOURCE database housing more than 215 million consumer records.

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TransFirst and Gateway Integrate Solutions

Dallas-based TransFirst Health Services and St. Louis-based Gateway EDI have teamed to integrate the TransFirst “Transaction Central” system with the Gateway “EDI” portal to offer health care clients with a payment processing tool. The new service combines TransFirst’s processing capabilities for credit card and ACH, manual and automatic recurring payments, and custom reports with Gateway EDI’s web-based health care transaction processing and sophisticated new technology that flags rejected claims. The partners plan on working with Gateway EDI’s impressive list of vendor partners to arrange full integration into practice management systems.

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MC Unveils a New Priceless Spot Tonight

MasterCard is rolling-out a new “Priceless” TV spot tonight for its “World MasterCard” product, a hybrid credit card and charge card combo. The new 30-sec ad, entitled “Great Lady Golfer,” will debut during the season finale of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” Rather than showing a series of purchases that lead to a “Priceless” moment, the new spot opens with a “Priceless” moment and shows how it leads to a series of related purchases. The spot will run through the end of September and will include print executions later this year, and will be integrated into www.priceless.com. McCann Erickson New York is handling the creative for the new ad campaign. The new ad follows last year’s “Priceless” spot, entitled “Candy Store,” that focused on the unique rewards platform of “World MasterCard” that enables cardholders to choose their own rewards based on their own life priorities.

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Two-Month Old VantageScore Gets Traction

TransUnion has signed CGI-AMS and Magnum Communications as the first vendors to complete acceptance programming for “VantageScore.” The Company introduced the new product two months ago which leverages a consistent scoring methodology across all three national credit reporting companies. TransUnion says the score is unprecedented in that it looks at and analyzes data at the same point in time on the same consumer records from all three national credit reporting companies. “VantageScore” was developed using a national sample of anonymous credit information of approximately 15 million consumers. Using “VantageScore” in combination with a customer’s own portfolio and historical data from TransUnion’s proprietary database, TransUnion’s implementation team can “re-score” a customer’s entire portfolio and then track the results up to the current reporting period. Those results can then be compared against the results obtained from the incumbent model.

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Bankruptcy Concern Names a New President

The American Bankruptcy Institute has named Reginald Jackson of OH-based Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease as its President. Jackson has been an ABI member since 1992, has served on the 60-member ABI Board of Directors since 2002 and the Executive Committee since 2003. He has acted as the Executive Editor of the ABI Journal since March 2002. He is a member of the Columbus Bar Association, and served on the Board of Governors from 1998-2002 and as the chairman of its Bankruptcy Committee from 1990-92.

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Target’s Q1 Credit Card Profits Leap 59%

Target reported that its pre-tax credit card profits for the quarter ending April 29th increased 59% over the year-ago quarter. Credit card outstandings for the quarter increased 11% year-on-year, exceeding $5.8 billion. Target’s first calendar quarter pre-tax credit card profits were $162 million, compared to $192 million in the prior quarter and $102 million one-year ago. Target reported that its total credit card receivables, which include its VISA and “Guest” cards, were $5.844 billion as of April 29th, compared to $5.251 billion one-year ago. Delinquency (90 days+) for 1Q/06 increased to 3.0%, compared to 2.8% in the prior quarter, but level with one-year ago. Charge-offs were 4.3% for 1Q/06 compared to 6.5% in the prior quarter and 7.4% one-year ago. Target’s credit card unit had revenues of $259 million in 1Q/06, a 26% increase over 1Q/05. For complete details on Target’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

TARGET CARD LOAN HISTORICAL
(Excludes Mervyn’s & Marshall Field’s)
1Q/05: $5.251 billion
2Q/05: $5.421 billion
3Q/05: $5.544 billion
4Q/05: $6.177 billion
1Q/06: $5.844 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Major Company is Exploring GreenZap Options

San Diego-based GreenZap says a “Fortune 100” company is looking to acquire its proprietary electronic payment system. GreenZap and the Company have entered into mutual non-disclosure agreements, allowing both parties to share current and developmental system architecture plans, as well as other proprietary information regarding security applications, payment processing partners, and fraud prevention tools.GreenZap enables any business or individual with an email address to send and receive money securely and cost-effectively online and reports over 100 million users and a 2005 total dollar volume of payments of $27.5 billion.

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NBG Selects Welcome’s XLS for its GO NATIONAL Card

The National Bank of Greece has chosen Welcome’s
“XLS” solution to boost their “GO NATIONAL” payment card launch.
“GO NATIONAL” cardholders get instant cash back when they use
their card in the “GO NATIONAL” network of participating merchants. In
addition, the program will soon be enriched with merchant promotions
such as surprise gifts, frequent shopper offers and VIP Service
Vouchers. Welcome’s software combats fraud as well as fight commoditization, for essentially the same cost as fraud.

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CitiBusiness Adds Pharmacy Discount Benefit

Citibank has added a free prescription discount benefit program to its “CitiBusiness MasterCards” for small business. However, cardholders will be solicited to upgrade their prescription discount benefits at an additional cost, add other employees who are not cardholders for $10 per year and add a vision and dental discount program for about $9 per month. The basic program claims 10% to 60% savings on prescriptions from 48,000 pharmacies nationwide plus mail order pharmacies. Health Access Services and New Benefits, Ltd. are the firms providing the new card benefits. Citi says a recent survey showed that 65% of small businesses do not offer healthcare benefits.

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