AmbironTrustWave Hires a GPN Executive

Data security specialist, AmbironTrustWave has hired Gene Distler, formerly of Global Payments, as VP of Strategic Relationships. In this capacity, Distler will be responsible for managing key AmbironTrustWave relationships including the card associations, select ISOs and other industry organizations. In addition, he will manage key business development projects as the company continues its expansion into international markets such as the Asia Pacific region. AmbironTrustWave currently provides data security and compliance services to several federal agencies. AmbironTrustWave is a leading provider of information security and compliance management solutions to Fortune 2000 businesses and the public sector.

Details

U.K. Card Debt Growth Rate Erodes

Driven by holiday spending, credit card outstandings neared the GBP 57 billion level during January. The figure is GBP 700 million above the prior month and GBP 2.9 billion higher than year-ago levels. The Bank of England says, however, that the annual growth rate of overall consumer credit continued to fall, to 8.7% in January. The annual growth rate of consumer credit was 9.3% in December. The increase in total net lending to individuals in January was GBP 700 million stronger than the increase in December and GBP 1.4 billion higher than the previous six month average. The twelve-month growth rate remained unchanged, at 10.3%.

U.K. CREDIT CARD OUTSTANDINGS
(GBP Billions)
Jan 05: 54.1
Feb 05: 54.2
Mar 05: 55.0
Apr 05: 55.0
May 05: 55.7
Jun 05: 55.8
Jul 05: 55.9
Aug 05: 56.2
Sep 05: 56.4
Oct 05: 56.3
Nov 05: 56.4
Dec 05: 56.3
Jan 06: 57.0
SOURCE: Bank of England

Details

Wireless Check/Card Terminal Introduced

Houston-based Commerciant is launching a wireless handheld device that processes checks and credit cards in a single, integrated device. The new “Mobilescape 5000” weights 1 lb 4.1 oz. without paper, has a 6000 transaction storage capacity, onboard thermal printer and a Lithium-ion battery with a runtime of 10 hours with intermittent use. The new terminal will be commercially available in mid-April, and will retail for $899.

Details

DCS Introduces a Technology Refresh Lease

CO-based Dynamic Card Solutions has launched the “Technology Refresh Lease”, designed to allow financial institutions the option of refreshing DCS-leased hardware (embossers, encoders, etc.) at any time during the lease term. The program offers standard 24- or 36-month lease plans but custom terms can be provided as well. At any point during the lease term, DCS customers can trade-in, upgrade or replace their old technology. Alternatively, if a company opts not to refresh with new technology, DCS provides them the option to extend their lease term or purchase the equipment at any time. Dynamic Card Solutions is an innovative developer of instant-issuance and PIN-selection solutions for banks, credit unions and retailers.

Details

MasterCard Names an European President

MasterCard has named Javier Perez as President of MasterCard Europe with responsibility for 53 countries in the region. Perez has been President of MasterCard’s Latin America and Caribbean Region since 2004. Prior to that, Perez was General Manager of the Customer Group for MasterCard Europe. Perez succeeds Alex Labak, who is leaving MasterCard. MasterCard is currently in the process of identifying a successor to head its Latin America and Caribbean region. In the interim, Ruth Ann Marshall, president of the Americas for MasterCard, will oversee the region.

Details

AmEx Business Travel Sets a New Record

American Express Business Travel reports it has topped $470 million in signings from North America headquartered clients for the months of January and February. Companies include ABB Optical, Air Transport International LLC, Aramco Services Company, Barry-Wehmiller, Eaton Corporation, Gaylord Entertainment, Indalex Inc., KTM North America, Inc., Manpower Inc. and RazorGator among other leading brands. In addition, American Express Business Travel added more than 120 new clients during the January through February period.

Details

MC SMART CARDS 05

More than 45 million MasterCard branded smart cards are now in use in Asia/Pacific, compared 31.0 million in 2004 and 17.5 million in 2003. Since 2000, the number of MasterCard smart cards in the region has grown fifteen fold. MasterCard says over 95% of its current smart cards are EMV-compliant. Momentum was also achieved by the introduction of
MasterCard’s contactless payment program, “PayPass” in Asia/Pacific. Last year, “PayPass” pilot programs were introduced in Japan, Taiwan
and Thailand, in addition to the introduction of “PayPass” merchant
acceptance in Taiwan and Thailand. MasterCard also last year teamed with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to launch the first EMV-compliant, chip-based card in China. The introduction of the “Peony MasterCard” card marked an important milestone in the Chinese credit card industry, as ICBC became the first local bank to pioneer the shift to chip-based cards. In October, MasterCard and Kaohsiung City
Transportation Bureau, together with the consortium of industry players
for the Kaohsiung City Government Transportation Project announced a
pilot rollout of the “TaiwanMoney” card in Southern Taiwan. MasterCard together with Bank of the Philippine Islands unveiled the “BPI Express Credit Gold MasterCard” with the “PaySafe System” last year. Additionally, MasterCard joined forces with BankWest, part of HBOS Australia, to launch the first MasterCard-branded debit card in Australia.

Details

MasterCard Launches its FIFA World Cup Spot

MasterCard International has launched its “FIFA World Cup”-themed “Priceless” advertising campaign, entitled “Fever.” The spot shows how people from all walks of life are engulfed by the passion of supporting their countries’ teams. McCann Erickson filmed all real fans (no actors) from over 30 different nationalities in four continents during the making of the commercial. The “Fever” campaign recently debuted in France and will subsequently run in multiple languages in more than 30 countries worldwide. In host-market Germany, “Fever” will be represented in a national promotion, in-stadium at the venues and at various high profile FIFA-supported events including “FIFA Fan Fest.” In the U.S., the “Fever” ad campaign will start on May 22nd in both English and Spanish. The estimated cumulative audience for the “2006 FIFA World Cup” is expected to be more than 30 billion in a total of 213 countries during the 64 tournament matches.

Details

U.S. DOJ Clears Axalto-Gemplus Merger

The U.S. Department of Justice has raised no objection to the proposed transaction between Axalto and Gemplus. The companies are now concentrating efforts to obtain the remaining approvals and conditions for the transaction. The transaction was previously unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies and the required shareholders resolutions relating to the transaction have been approved by a vast majority of the shareholders.

Details