FEB 06 DEBT

Credit card debt took a strong upturn in February, hitting a new high of nearly A$35 billion. During the past twelve months, credit card debt has increased 15% while credit card volume rose 10%. For February, credit card balances increased to A$34.7 billion following a record high of A$34.3 billion in December. One-year ago credit card debt stood at A$30.3 billion. Gross dollar volume on credit card and charge cards in February was A$14.2 billion, compared to A$12.9 billion one-year ago. Card credit limits reached A$93.6 billion at the end of February, compared to A$83.0 billion for February 2005. There are currently 12.7 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 11.7 million one-year ago.

Details

ACI Introduces SEPA Wholesale Payments

ACI Worldwide has introduced the “ACI Wholesale Payments System” for SEPA, a global payments processing engine. The SEPA project not only aims to improve the efficiency of cross-border payments but also aims to develop common instruments, standards, procedures and infrastructures to foster substantial economies of scale. As the back office processing engine, the “Wholesale Payments System” supports payment capture, enrichment, routing and settlement of bulk and individual real-time payments in a variety of configurations.

Details

Comerica and Elan Launch a Card Suite

Detroit-based Comerica Bank, in association with Elan Financial Services, has launched seven new credit cards including the “VISA Platinum,” “Select Rewards VISA Platinum,” “Cash Rewards VISA Platinum,” “Travel Rewards VISA Platinum,” “College Rewards/Young Adult VISA,” “VISA Signature,” and “MasterCard Small Business Credit Card” Comerica Bank is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated and reported total assets of $56.4 billion at March 31, 2006.

Details

Roots and Ernex Launch a Gift Card

Roots has introduced its electronic gift card program and is available at 130 retail locations across the United States and Canada. Technology for the gift card solution is provided by Ernex. Ernex
works with merchant customers to enable real-time promotions within
their gift card solutions, including “swipe n’ win” sweepstakes
programs, custom receipt coupons and custom receipt messages. Roots
recently activated 50,000 gift cards as part of a recent promotion
for American Express. Roots is Canada’s leading lifestyle brand,
offering a wide range of clothing, leather goods and accessories for men
and women. Ernex is a division of Moneris Solutions.

Details

HYC Intros a Universal RFID PIN Pad

Hypercom rolled-out its third new product for the week with the release of the first universal RF-enabled multi-application PIN entry device that meets the PCI security standards. The new “P4100 PIN Pad” supports MasterCard “PayPass,” American Express “ExpressPay,” and VISA “Contactless.” The PIN pad offers a high contrast graphical display with 320×240 pixel 64K full-color or 16-grayscale screen. It also has large, hard-rubber keys with color-coded Cancel, Clear and Entry keys. The device also integrates with VeriFone and Ingenico card payment terminals.

Details

Kentucky Joins the Futuretrust Program

The Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust and Mothers Work have launched the “KESPT Futuretrust” cash rebate program wherein account owners receive cash rebates for purchases at more than 500 online stores. Account owners may also apply for a KESPT/Futuretrust MasterCard®, which may be used at millions of retail outlets to receive a minimum 1 percent cash rebate on all card purchases. KESPT is a state-sponsored, tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan administered by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA).

Details

Discover’s Get More has Great Timing

Discover’s new “Get More” program hit the nail on the head as gas prices climb above $3 per gallon in the U.S. The program, which is free to Discover cardholders, offers a 5% “Cashback Bonus” in over 15 different categories. During April, May and June cardholders earn 5% “Cashback Bonus” on purchases of gas, auto parts and services. Every three months the categories change so cardholders have the opportunity to earn additional rewards throughout the year. In July, August and September, cardholders get 5% “Cashback Bonus” on apparel, supplies and education expenses. In October, November and December, the “Get More” program features 5% “Cashback Bonus” on holiday shopping items such as music and books. To-date more than 10 million cardholders have signed-up for the free program.

Details

SellingSource & eCommLink Team for STV

SellingSource.com and eCommLink have teamed to become a provider in the open systems stored value payments marketplace. The open system, or multipurpose stored value payment marketplace, offers a variety of products that are functionally similar to debit cards. With their complementary strengths, both SellingSource.com and eCommLink will create and market many new stored value offers and features. SellingSource.com is a developer of technology-driven marketing solutions for the online specialty finance marketplace. eCommLink is a full-service next-generation transaction processing company.

Details

QI Brings in New Development VP

Stephen B. Riegel has joined QI Systems as Vice
President of Business Development. Riegel will oversee and direct
all of the Company’s international business development and sales
initiatives. Most recently, he was Vice President of Business
Development and Marketing for Integrian, a mobile digital video
solutions company. While at Integrian, he established key strategic
alliances and helped
raise $13 million for expanding operations into new markets.
From 2002 to 2004, Riegel served as Vice President, General Manager
of the French-based INSIDE Contactless, a contactless
technology provider.

Details

Experian Names a New B2B Marketing Director

Experian has named Nick Frazer as the new Director of its B2B Marketing division. In his new role, Frazer will be
responsible for the continued growth of the division, driving increased
use of advanced data segmentation and analysis tools to add value to B2B
businesses. Frazer has over 20 years experience in the business
information and marketing arenas. Prior to joining Experian, Frazer
held senior management positions at Dataforce, D&B and Equifax.

Details