First Data has hired Robert Murtagh, former Director of Credit Card Operations at ConocoPhillips, as VP/Vertical Market Specialist for the petroleum industry. Previously as Director, Credit Card Operations at ConocoPhillips, Murtagh was responsible for credit policy, fraud prevention, strategic planning and vendor management. First Data Corp.is a provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for 4.1 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers.Details
Three Sobeys-branded grocery stores, IGA and IGA extra grocery
stores in the province of Quebec, and Lawtons Drug Stores will all
continue as participating “Sponsors” in the Canadian “AIR MILES Reward Program.” Sobey’s signed a multi-year contract renewal with Alliance Data Systems, the program’s owner. Sobeys, an “AIR MILES Sponsor” since 2001, has 81 Sobeys-branded supermarkets across Atlantic Canada’s four provinces. A “Sponsor” since 2004, Lawtons Drug Stores has 60 locations also in Atlantic Canada, while IGA, a “Sponsor” in the program since 1999 has 251 grocery locations throughout Quebec. More than 70 percent of Canadian households actively collect “AIR MILES” reward miles at
more than 100 leading brand-name “Sponsors” representing over 14,000 retail and service locations across Canada.
Marriott and Carlson Hotels have expanded their participation in MasterCard’s hotel folio data program. With this addition, over 40% of corporate hotel transactions will now have folio data available. The enhanced data is available from approximately 8,000 properties in the U.S. and Canada. Other participants in MasterCard’s hotel folio data program include Hilton Hotels and Choice Hotels. MasterCard issuers currently offering hotel folio data to their customers include GE’s Corporate Payments Services unit, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. The program gives corporate customers access to room, tax, meal, telephone, business center fees and other itemized expense details at participating hotels. The transactions are presented back to the corporation electronically and can be reconciled to its monthly invoice.Details
Massachusettes-based Guardium, a database security specialist, has expanded its “SQL Guard” platform with the introduction of the “SQL Guard PCI Accelerator.” The PCI module delivers specific solutions for key requirements. These include security modules for planning/organizing, tracking/monitoring, ongoing assessment/validation, and monitoring policy violations. Guardium provides database security assessment, access policy control and enforcement, auditing, and regulatory compliance.Details
New York Community Bank, the fourth largest thrift in the nation, has installed Mosaic’s “Postilion” software (now referred to as “S1 Electronic Payment Management,” powered by “S1 Postilion”) to provide in-house ATM driving and transaction switching and routing for its network of ATMs. The solution is also 3DES and EMV compliant and provides advanced-function ATM driving capability. Detailed reporting as well as automated settlement and reconciliation for all networks and interfaces will be handled by the Postilion Office component of the system. New York Community Bancorp, Inc. has assets of $24.6 billion as of March 31, 2005 and serves its customers through a network of 143 banking offices. S1 Corporation is a global provider of integrated front-office applications.Details
Comcel has launched IN Switch’s “ePIN Topup” system in Guatemala. The service will also soon be available through Millicom’s operations in Honduras, El Salvador, Paraguay and Bolivia. “ePIN” electronically credits air time on prepaid cell phones, thus eliminating the need to purchase prepaid scratch cards. Air time credit is sold by the retailer by sending an SMS or by accessing a USSD or WAP options menu. The air time credit is applied instantaneously and both the retailer and customer receive a SMS confirmation message. “ePIN” also provides location services, administration and management of the air-time distribution channel, as well as a money transfer service.
Additionally, the “GIFT” service permits credit balance transfer from one customer to another. IN Switch is a private owned company incorporated in Miami.
Desjardins Group reports that credit cards and other loans to
individuals, the personal and commercial segment, saw its annual rate
improve slightly during second quarter. Loans outstanding grew by 7.7% (or $986 million) to reach $13.9 billion as at June 30th. As for loans to businesses and government, they experienced a revival as loans outstanding increased by 2.9% (or $538 million) during the same period, to stand at $19.2 billion as at June 30th. The personal and
commercial segment continued to boast an excellent loan portfolio. Gross
impaired loans outstanding stood at $317 million as of June 30th, down
$149 million or 32.0% compared to the previous year. For complete details on Desjardins Group latest results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).
Virginia-based Online Resources announced it has changed its operating policy for treatment of unclaimed bill payments and will restate its financial results for the 3Q/03 through 2Q/05 period. Under the revised policy, all unclaimed payments will either be returned to client financial institutions or contributed to the appropriate state escheat fund and the company will have no future liability for payment. Online Resources powers Internet financial services for over 700 firms nationwide, serving over three million consumer end-users and processes over $12 billion in payments annually.Details
The Rank Group has signed a multi-year agreement to use the products and services of Global Cash Access. Thirty-six Rank Group properties, including all Grosvenor and Hard Rock casinos, are under contract and will utilize GCA’s “QuikCash” cash advance kiosks. GCA’s customer base in the United Kingdom now includes 130 casinos.Details
SmartPay Jieyin has completed a strategic round of equity financing with RRE Ventures. Under the terms of the financing, RRE will take a minority equity stake in SmartPay. Additionally, current SmartPay shareholders, including Accel Partners, Icon Ventures Asia, Lunar Group and others, have exercised rights to invest additional capital in the Company. Smartpay operates a mobile payments service in China,
allowing consumers to purchase pre-paid credits, pay utility bills, transfer credit and make purchases where the use of the mobile phone as a payment terminal provides compelling convenience or is a unique necessity.
Egg reports that its UK credit card balances grew 5% during the first half and 22% year-on-year. However, operating profits for its UK business, mostly VISA cards, declined 35% in the second quarter to GBP13.1 million. During the second quarter, Egg opened 94,000 new credit card accounts in the UK, compared to 139,000 in the first quarter. Total outstandings for Egg credit cards increased 22% to GBP3.8 billion, compared to one-year ago. Net interest income in the second quarter was GBP75.3 million, compared to GBP70.8 million in 1Q/05. Operational and administrative costs declined slightly to GBP36.9 million for the quarter, versus GBP37.1 million on the first quarter. Egg is in the process of unloading its credit card business in France. For complete details on Egg’s second quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).Details
American Express Business Travel has expanded its “TrackPoint” global security solution and its “Preferred Extras” program. U.S.-based companies will now be able to use the Web-based “TrackPoint” to quickly and globally locate their business travelers beset by unexpected events and crisis . The “Preferred Extras” program has been expanded to cover nearly 10,000 hotel properties located in 3,400 cities and 140 countries worldwide. The program offers access to the best available unrestricted rates from 29 hotel chains. AmEx Business Travel also reported that during the twelve months ending July 31st, it recorded nearly 5 million online business travel transactions in the USA and that more than one-third of the Company’s total business travel reservations are now made online.Details