Americans Pay $150B+ of Bills on Cards

Americans paid nearly $128 billion in household bills on credit and debit cards last year. The figure for this year, which includes insurance, rent, cable TV, home phone and mobile phone bills may top $161 billion, or about 26% higher than 2004. Americans also charged $22.5 billion to their credit and debit cards in quick service restaurants last year. QSR volume has been running about 60% higher than last year and may well top $36 billion for 2005. VISA reported that cardholders paid $69.9 billion in household bills with its debit and credit cards last year, a 25% increase over 2003. VISA also noted that its volume in the utilities segment increased 44% during the same period. (CF Library 6/14/05)

Consumer Bills on Cards
2000: $49.6 billion
2001: $60.4 billion
2002: $79.6 billion
2003: $98.4 billion
2004: $127.8 billion
2005: $161.1 billion
SOURCE: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Chase Field Official; Chase Tower Coming

As a result of the Bank One/Chase merger, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ home was renamed “Chase Field” on Friday and Arizona’s tallest building will become “Chase Tower” in December. JPMorgan Chase is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.2 trillion and operations in more than 50 countries. The Arizona Diamondbacks entered Major League Baseball on March 31, 1998.

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MasterCard and Joseph Sansone Partner

MasterCard and Joseph Sansone Company, a provider of business and tax solutions, have partnered to assist large corporations to optimize their purchasing card programs. The new alliance will combine audit recovery efforts that identify and recover supplier credits and customer overpayments with detailed spend analysis of purchasing card programs. The Joseph C. Sansone Company is a provider of business & tax solutions to medium and large companies throughout the United States and Canada.

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ViVOtech Unveils End-to-End NFC Solution

Contactless specialist ViVOtech announced its “ViVOnfc” solution, the industry’s first end-to-end “Near Field Communication” payment solution. The new ViVOnfc solution provides a secure infrastructure that will accelerate the adoption and usage of NFC enabled mobile phones. ViVOtech provides an end-to-end transaction platform that allows consumers to make contactless payments with radio frequency-enabled credit cards and devices.

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Contactless Payments & Compulsive Buying

The new PayPass card introduced by MasterCard sounds like another attempt to make the traditional debit card look and act more like a credit card, according to Dr. James Roberts, professor of Marketing at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business. Roberts is a well-known expert in the field of credit card use and compulsive buying. His research shows that credit card misuse is rampant among compulsive buyers and contributes to accelerating the epidemic of compulsive buying in America.

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Mileage Plus Katrina Promo is a Hit

The United Airlines “Mileage Plus” charity promotion for victims of Hurricane Katrina has been terminated following an overwhelming response. United offered 500 miles to members who contributed $50 or more to a designated charity partner. The airline awarded more than 19 million miles to members participating in the promotion. The airline also raised more than $3 million in cash via the promotion. Through “Charity Miles”, members donated 43 million miles to hurricane relief this month. United and Chase have the second largest co-branded airline credit card program in the US.

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Hypercom Hires a HR Executive

Hypercom has hired Diane Handley as VP/Global Human Resources and will be directly responsible for managing and directing the corporation’s global human resource function. Handley has over 20 years of business experience in human resource management working with companies in the financial, retail, healthcare, transportation, and public utility sectors. Immediately prior to joining Hypercom in March 2004,she was Manager of Pension Plans at CSX Corporation. Prior to this, Ms. Handley served as Compensation Consultant at Pinnacle West Capital Corporation. Hypercom provides complete card payment terminal, network access device, server and transaction networking solutions.

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MasterCard & Cardtronics Sign U.S. Pact

MasterCard has launched a surcharge-free ATM program in partnership with Cardtronics. The new program, which is open to all issuers of MasterCard, Maestro and/or Cirrus branded cards, does not require any brand changes, nor include ATM reciprocity requirements. Cardholders will be able to locate the nearest surcharge-free Cardtronics ATM via a free Web-based locator. Under terms of the deal, MasterCard will market the program to its members and Cardtronics will provide ATM services through its network, including processing, cash management, monitoring, and maintenance. Cardtronics is the world’s largest owner/operator of ATMs with a nationwide U.S. network of more than 25,000 locations operating in every major market and in all 50 states as well as 1,000 locations throughout the UK. The MasterCard ATM Network is the world’s largest with more than one million ATMs around the world and at 383,000 across the U.S.

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Survey Says Consumers Want Self-Checkout

A survey commissioned by NCR has revealed 88% of shoppers at the
METRO supermarket chain reported the self-checkout experience as
“very positive” and 86% said they will “definitely” or
“probably” use self-checkout again. Neither age nor gender had a
significant influence on consumers willingness to accept the new
technology. Real SB-Warenhaus GmbH, a division of the METRO Group,
operates hypermarkets under the brand of “Real” and supermarkets
under the brand of “Extra.” In fiscal year 2004, Real posted net
sales of 8.2 billion euros. The METRO Group is the third largest retail
trading corporation in Europe and number five in the world.

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Titanium Cards Come to Middle Earth

New Zealand’s Westpac has introduced Australasia’s first “Titanium” credit card and New Zealand’s first ever mini card. The new “Westpac Titanium MasterCard,” and its accompanying “Titanium SideCard,” targets high income earners and offers a minimum credit limit of $15,000, according to yesterday’s issue of CardFlash International. The mini card has a daily purchasing limit that can be set by the cardholder. Cardholders earn 1.5 “Hotpoints” for every dollar spent using the card and also receive exclusive offers such as accommodation packages at luxury resorts and various concierge services. Westpac says its new “Titanium” card is the only card in New Zealand to score 100% for card premium facilities using Cannex’s credit card star ratings methodology.

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