Shedding Debt Easier than Shedding Fat

A survey conducted for TrueCredit by Roper Public Affairs has found that 51% of Americans say that losing 10 pounds would be more difficult for them than paying off their credit card debt Respondents indicated that their number one resolution is being healthy (33%) or spending time with family (26%) than answer paying down their debt (20%). Additionally, 43% say they purchased less on credit this holiday season than the previous year and 48% report that they have the same level of credit card debt as the previous year. TrueCredit educates consumers about credit management and empowers them to improve their borrowing habits.

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bcgi Launches a Global Alliance Program

MA-based bcgi has launched a “Global Alliance Program” for resellers and systems integrators. The Program allows systems integrators and resellers to select the type and level of partnership involvement most appropriate for their business, giving them the opportunity to strengthen and broaden their product portfolios with bcgi’s proven products and solutions. bcgi offers a three-tiered independent agent program that allows systems integrators to begin to work and grow with bcgi in their market. bcgi provides prepaid and postpaid billing, payments and access management.

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STV Cards Drive Morgan Beaumont’s Q4 Results

Florida-based prepaid card specialist, Morgan Beaumont, reported revenue for the quarter ending December 31st of $1.49 million. The year over year revenue increase is primarily due to stored value products, including prepaid phone cards, and telecommunications services. The company reported a net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2006 of $2.0 million, or $0.03 loss per share, compared to a net loss of $1.5 million or $0.04 loss per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2005. Morgan Beaumont providers of stored value and prepaid card solutions.

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DUBAI MARATHON VISA

Dubai-based Standard Chartered Bank has launched another sports affinity credit card. The new “Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon 2006 VISA” offers cardholders free entry into the three kilometer fun race as well as fitness and health-related benefits. Special benefits accruing to cardholders include: a free HR2G06 Speed heart rate, calorie and fat burn monitor watch worth AED 500; a trial voucher for the Griffins Health Club at the JW Marriott Dubai as well as discounts at the health club and at the hotel’s Champions outlet; vouchers for complimentary classes and discounts at the Artistic Yoga Centre, great discounts at all Paris Gallery Day Spas throughout the UAE and a free “VISA Mini Supplementary Classic Credit Card.” A social benefit of the card is that for each one activated, Standard Chartered will donate AED25 to its “Seeing Is Believing” charity, which aims to restore the sight of one million blind people over the next three years. Other Standard Chartered credit cards include cards for golfers, soccer fans, the small-to-medium-business sector and the UAE’s huge cricket
following.

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American Express Cards Enter Cambodia

Cambodia Mekong Bank Public and American Express have launched the first “MekongBank American Express Gold Credit Card” for the Cambodian market. MekongBank will issue AmEx cards in US dollars. The new card will be targeted at the higher end of the market. The American Express Foundation made two recent grants totaling $115,000 to the World Monuments Fund to support preservation and planning initiatives for Phnom Bakheng at Angkor and the Banteay Chhmar Temple of Jayavarman VII. Under terms of the deal, MekongBank will be responsible for all operations in support of the new credit cards, including customer service, marketing, billing and accounting, credit management and charge authorizations. In addition, MekongBank will be responsible for providing services to local merchants accepting American Express Cards and for signing up new merchant partners.

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Life Takes VISA Ad Campaign to Launch

VISA USA this morning launched its first new brand campaign in 20 years. The “Life Takes VISA” campaign ads will premier on February 10th during the “Opening Ceremony” of the “XX Olympic Winter Games.” Beginning February 13th, six Olympic-themed television ads will be introduced during broadcast coverage of the “Games.” In the first three months of the campaign, VISA expects to generate more than 4 billion consumer impressions through national broadcast, magazines and newspapers, high-traffic Web sites, public transit media and billboards. In addition to national exposure, the campaign will be highlighted through outdoor ads in Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. In allocating spending for the ads, VISA says it is shifting the media mix to include more outdoor advertising, stronger emphasis in the Hispanic market and POS reminders. The “Life Takes VISA” platform will combine VISA’s updated brand mark and new card design announced last year. Los Angeles-based TBWAChiatDay helped VISA develop the ads and will serve as VISA’s new agency partner on the campaign. VISA says the new campaign reflects its evolution from a top credit card company to the leader in electronic payments. The new website [www.lifetakesvisa.com][1] will be available this Friday.

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

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NCR Names a New Financial Solutions SVP

NCR has named Malcolm Collins as SVP of its Financial Solutions Division and Chris Wallace as SVP of the company’s Worldwide Customer Services Division. Previously, Collins was president of Enterprise Networks at Nortel Networks. In that role, he had end-to-end responsibility for all elements of Nortel’s Enterprise business, including business development, products, marketing and sales. Wallace has served as senior vice president of NCR’s Human Resources since January 2004. Prior to that, Wallace was vice president of global customer services for Teradata, a division of NCR. In that position, she led the integration and expansion of the software support and services business model into the division.

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GECF Names a New Consumer Finance-Europe Exec

GE Consumer Finance has named William Cary to president and CEO, GE Consumer Finance-Europe, effective March 1st. A 20-year veteran of General Electric, Cary most recently served as vice president, Corporate Investor Communications, a role he held since 2004. In his new role Cary will be responsible for a region comprising 24 countries with more than 22,000 employees and approximately 20 million customers. With approximately $70 billion in assets, GE Consumer Finance-Europe earned more than $1.3 billion in net income in 2005.

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National Consumer Protection Week Begins

The Federal Trade Commission has launched the eighth annual “National Consumer Protection Week.” The FTC also unveiled the “Grand Scam Challenge,” online interactive games that teach consumers about topics such as identity theft, the “National Do Not Call Registry” and spam. In conjunction with “National Consumer Protection Week,” VISA USA issued a list of cardholder protections it offers. For example, VISA says the new VISA card design makes card counterfeiting even more difficult by moving the VISA dove hologram to the back and integrating it with the magnetic stripe. VISA also touted its “Verified by Visa” program as another way to fight fraud.

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