Shell Adds Some Nitro to its MasterCard

Shell Oil and Citibank are launching a new promotion this weekend to attract new cardholders to the “Shell MasterCard.” Consumers applying for the card between October 15th and January 15th will earn triple rebates on their “Shell MasterCard” purchases. The triple Shell rebates will apply for the first 60 days. Additionally, new cardholders will earn triple rebates on the first $100 spent at Jiffy Lube locations per day, as well as all other purchases. The program currently rewards cardholders with a 5% rebate on Shell gas and Jiffy Lube purchases over $100, and 1% on all other purchases. The promotional campaign includes a national advertising campaign utilizing cable TV, Internet and radio advertisements. Shell stations will also use pump toppers, pole signs, register signs and other signage to promote the triple-triple-triple offer. The “Shell MasterCard” was originally launched by Chemical Bank (now Chase) in October 1993, and has grown to become the largest gasoline co-branded card in the USA. Citibank took over the program in 2003. (CF Library 1/27/03)

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GECF Q3 Profit Growth Slows but Up 19% Y/Y

GE reported that profit for its Consumer Finance unit climbed 19% in the third quarter to $810 million as GECF revenues hit a record $4.9 billion, a 22% increase over 3Q/04. During the quarter, GE signed an agreement to acquire 43% of Korea’s Hyundai Card and reached an agreement to acquire 25.5% of Turkey’s Garanti Bank. The Company also entered into an agreement with Ikea to offer private label credit cards to its customers in the U.S. and signed an agreement to acquire the RV and Marine Financing unit of E*TRADE. Additionally, GECF launched India’s first consumer appliance co-branded card with State Bank of India and LG Electronics and signed a deal with eBay in Germany to provide financial services to eBay’s 15 million German users. In late August, GE applied to Canada’s Minister of Finance to set up a bank under the name GE Money Bank Canada. For complete details on GE’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 8/30/05)

GE CONSUMER FINANCIAL TRACK RECORD
Income Revenues
3Q/04: $681 million $4011 million
4Q/04: $637 million $4304 million
1Q/05: $735 million $4689 million
2Q/05: $735 million $4928 million
3Q/05: $810 million $4913 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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DeluxeCard VISA Offers In-Branch Purchase

Minnesota-based Deluxe Financial Services has added an in-branch purchase option for its open-system “DeluxeCard VISA” gift card program. The gift card, issued by MetaBank, can be used to make purchases everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Previously available only through online and telephone channels, in-branch expansion adds personalized contact with a bank employee and gives consumers the confidence that their card is activated at the time of purchase. As an added safeguard, Visa’s Zero Liability policy serves to prevent unauthorized transactions if a card is lost or stolen. Deluxe Financial Services is a business unit of Deluxe Corporation check printing.

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Wow! Card Links Up to Genpass’ MoneyPass

Wow! Card Services has signed an agreement with Genpass to offer its customers surcharge-free ATM access at any “MoneyPass” ATM nationwide . Wow! Card Services is a privately held provider of pre-paid stored value cards. Genpass is a provider of EFT and stored value card services. Along with its sister company, Elan Financial Services, Genpass and Elan provide processing services for over 31,000 ATMs nationwide. Genpass is a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Bank.

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TransUnion Signs Up 40K for Monitoring

TransUnion’s TrueCredit said it has signed up more than 40,000 consumers for its new “3-Bureau Credit Monitoring” service. The service was launched six weeks ago when all the bureaus were required to offer free reports nationwide. The free reports were mandated by Congress in “The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.” All three credit bureaus have introduced additional fee-based services to offset the cost of the free report service. TrueCredit’s “3-Bureau Credit Monitoring” offers unlimited access to reports and scores for $9.95 per month. In late August CardFlash reported that the TransUnion monitoring service was suspended after staff members trying to purchase the service were notified that “credit monitoring services were currently unavailable.” However, TransUnion insists the technical problems with the service affected a very small percentage of cardholders. Yesterday, TransUnion says it estimates that 99% of its customers will be able to enroll with the “Credit Monitoring” without a problem. The credit bureau says there will be a tiny number who will be unable to use the service for one reason or another–such as difficulties authenticating their identity.

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Welcome’s CEO Authors an EMV Migration Book

Aneace Haddad, Chairman of Welcome, a payment software provider has
authored a new book called: “A New Way to Pay – Creating Competitive
Advantage Through the EMV Smart card Standard.” The world’s payment
infrastructure is going through a major upgrade to EMV, the smart card
standard mandated by Europay, Mastercard and Visa to combat fraud. But
EMV also offers significant opportunities for creating competitive
advantage. Haddad says UK banks are losing GBP 400 million a year through card fraud but they are losing far more than that due to commoditization, primarily through rate wars and imminent fee reforms. Rate wars cost UK banks GBP 1 billion a year from customers switching card companies, unable to see the difference between the cards other than the rates they offer. In addition, the threat of fee reforms is pressuring banks to reduce the transaction fees charged to merchants, which could result in a loss of revenues estimated at another GBP 1 billion a year. Commoditization may soon be costing UK banks GBP 2 billion a year, a problem at least five times as great as fraud.

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Diebold Names a New President and CFO

Diebold promoted Thomas Swidarski as President/COO and Kevin Krakora as VP and CFO. Swidarski will be responsible for the company’s global operations in financial self-service, security and election systems, including all related functions in sales, service, manufacturing and development. Most recently, Swidarski held the position of senior vice president, financial self-service group. As CFO, Krakora will be responsible for the company’s global financial systems and related processes. Prior to this appointment, he served as vice president, acting chief financial officer and corporate controller for Diebold.

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TowerGroup Hires Two Industry Veterans

MasterCard’s TowerGroup has hired Dennis Moroney, formerly with Citibank, USAA and Chevy Chase Bank, as a senior analyst in its “Bank Cards” service, and Bobbie Britting, formerly with Wells Fargo and Fair Issac, as a senior analyst in the “Consumer Lending” service. Moroney has over 25-years experience in the financial services industry, working in the consumer banking, retailing and consulting arenas. At Citibank, he held several leadership roles in the credit cards arena including vice president of service quality and product development, and supporting the role-out of the American Airlines Advantage card. Britting’s expertise, acquired during a 19-year career in financial services, includes product development, Internet lending, all facets of marketing, and partnership management. She was most recently vice president, Lender Services at Ellie Mae, a provider of mortgage broker software. At Wells Fargo Consumer Credit, she launched the first home equity instant online decision technology, managed Internet and other partnerships, and integrated marketing activities. TowerGroup is the leading advisory research and consulting firm focused on the global financial services industry.

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Debit Settlement Distribution Extended

Merchants will now have until December 28th to submit their claim form or to challenge their estimated cash payment amount in the settlement of the “VISA Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation” case. The judge overseeing the settlement extended the time for class members. Constantine Cannon, the lead counsel for merchants in the litigation, mailed claim forms last month to four million U.S. merchants class members that accepted VISA and MasterCard between October 25, 1992 and June 21, 2003. The VISA and MasterCard settlement provides $3.383 billion in compensatory relief and an injunction valued by the court in the range of $25-$87 billion to U.S. merchants and consumers over the next decade. The settlement became final May 31st.

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Welcome Names Three Board Members

Aix-en-Provence-based Welcome has appointed three new board members: Michael Keegan, Claude
Cosson and Rajiv Maliwal. Keegan is currently full time adviser to the
Royal Mail Group Inc UK Post Office on identity cards and biometric
passports. He was previously chief executive officer and continues as a
shareholder at Magex Limited, a leading P2P platform and prepaid card
provider to the
banking industry. Cosson is vice president Europe of FatWire Software, a
provider of strategic enterprise content management software and also
worked as global account manager at Oracle. Maliwal is managing director
and co-founder of SabreCapital, a private equity firm investing in
financial institutions in the emerging markets. Welcome is a provider of
payment software that utilizes the full capabilities of the EMV standard.

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