MOBILE VISA WAVE

VISA International, in collaboration with Maybank, Maxis Communications Berhad (Maxis) and Nokia, has launched the world’s first “Mobile VISA Wave Payment Pilot” in Malaysia. “Mobile VISA Wave Payment” combines Near Field Communications with “VISA Wave Contactless Card” technologies, building on the existing “VISA Wave” contactless card platform. “Mobile VISA Wave Payment” can be made across all merchants in Malaysia that have “VISA Wave”-supported terminals. No change to the current acceptance infrastructure is required. Cardholders selected for the pilot will be issued a phone pre-programmed with their regular Maybankard “VISA Wave” card information. The are currently 2,500 outlets in Malaysia that accept “VISA Wave” and more than 160,000 cards have issued.

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MC Intros 2 Authentication Solutions

MasterCard has unveiled two new authentication solutions for online banking and e-commerce transactions in the U.S. The two solutions offer two-factor authentication which combines PIN and a device. MasterCard’s “All-in-One Authentication Device” and “MasterCard Mobile Authentication” are based on MasterCard’s “OneSmart Chip Authentication Program.” The “All-in-One Authentication Device” is provided by XIRING. The “MasterCard Mobile Authentication” program is currently available through Cardinal Commerce.

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GPN to Provide Card Issuing Services to Orange

Prague-based Global Payments Europe is providing European mobile phone
operator Orange issuing services for its credit card program in
co-operation with GE Money Multiservis. To date, Global Payments Europe
has issued 750,000 cards for GE Money Multiservis and Orange. Global
Payments Europe will process authorizations for transactions using these
cards in Prague, Czech Republic. Global Payments Europe (formerly MUZO)
serves financial institutions with payment services including credit and debit card transaction processing, installation and servicing of ATM and POS terminals.

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Debit Card Reward Programs Spread

Another bank is loading rewards on its debit cards. NY-based First Niagara Bank is introducing “ScoreCard Rewards” for its MasterCard debit cards. Eligible checking customers will be automatically enrolled in “ScoreCard.” They will receive one point for every $3 in signature based debit card transactions, as well as bonus points for opening new savings accounts, home equity loans or lines of credit to reward loyalty. First Niagara has 120 branches across New York state.

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TNB Names a New Natl Sales Manager

Dallas-based TNB Card Services has hired Kenneth Bowers, formerly with CUNA Mutual Group, as SVP/National Sales Manager. Bowers comes to TNB from CUNA Mutual Group, where he was most recently a divisional vice president supporting credit union sales executives in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. He spent much of his tenure with CUNA Mutual working with financial services products such as financial planning, lending solutions, employee benefit plans, and insurance products for credit unions and their members.

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VISA Reveals Business Smart Spenders

A new research commissioned by VISA Europe shows a new breed of “smart
spending” businesses are emerging who shop around both
on-line and off-line, look for the best deals on low cost airlines,
encourage employees to use budget hotels and save on travel costs by using
conference calls when purchasing every day goods and services. One finding
was that the vast majority of businesses believe they are more in control
of their everyday spending than they were two years ago, with the internet
appearing to be one reason for this development. The research was conducted by Datamonitor.

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Card Sites Have Usability Problems

A new report has concluded that the Web sites run by Capital One, Bank of America and Discover are the best when it comes to shopping for a credit card online. Change Sciences Group reveals 54% of sites offering multiple cards do not provide a way for prospects to compare card offers and that 60% of the sites do not communicate clearly that credit card fraud protection is a top priority. The research group also says that 93% of credit card applications have well-understood usability problems. Change Sciences noted that 42% of sites reviewed do not provide a chance to transfer balances from other cards during the application process and that of those sites that do, 85% make transferring balances harder than it needs to be.

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Diners Club Wins its 9th Freddie

Diners Club “Club Rewards” has won “Best Affinity Charge/Credit Card Program” (Americas) for the ninth consecutive year as part of InsideFlyer’s “Freddie Awards”. The program offers a comprehensive selection of rewards in categories such as travel, merchandise, unique experiences, dining, shopping, financial options, and charitable contributions. In addition, the program includes “Personalized Rewards”, which allow Cardmembers to create their own rewards. In addition to offering frequent flyer miles with select airline partners, Club Rewards allows Cardmembers to travel anytime to anywhere with no blackouts or restrictions through its Tailored Tickets program.

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FDS Completes 2nd Transfer to Citi

Federated Department Stores has completed the sale of its credit card receivables that it repurchased from GE to Citigroup. Today’s transaction yielded a pre-tax gain of approximately $179 million ($112 million after tax). These proceeds will be used to repay short-term debt associated with Federated’s acquisition of May Company. Under the terms of an agreement announced in June 2005, Citigroup will purchase all Federated and May Company credit receivables in several separate transactions at a premium of approximately 11.5 percent. In total, these transactions are expected to produce after-tax proceeds of approximately $4.6 billion.

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Credit Manager’s Index Slips in Apr

The “Combined Credit Manager’s Index” fell a modest 0.6% for the month of April on a seasonally adjusted basis. The decline was comprised of a 1.8% fall in the service sector index and an offsetting rise of 0.5% in the manufacturing sector index. The CMI, a monthly survey of the business economy from the standpoint of commercial credit and collections, was launched in January 2003 to provide financial analysts with another strong economic indicator. The CMI survey asks credit managers to rate favorable and unfavorable factors in their monthly business cycle.

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