JALCARD Deploys MicroStrategy Platform

JALCARD has deployed the MicroStrategy “Business Intelligence Platform” to enhance service to its approximately 1.35 million
customers. JALCARD will use MicroStrategy for customer analysis applications such as customer segmentation and customer behavior and purchase analysis, which will enable JALCARD to enhance current services and offer targeted new services to customers. In addition to offering mileage to customers’ Japan Airlines “Mileage Bank” accounts, JALCARD provides value-added offerings such as shopping, insurance and travel services. JALCARD offers credit cards in conjunction with VISA, MasterCard, JCB and Diners Club.

Details

Paymetric Names a Chief Financial Officer

Houston-based Paymetric has landed Dan Lensgraf, previously with St. Louis-based Xspedius Communications, as CFO. During his five years at Xspedius, Lensgraf oversaw the company’s financial operations and played a key role in acquisition and capital formation activities. Lensgraf earned an MBA from Duke University and a BBA in Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma. Paymetric is a solution provider enabling clients using payment cards to integrate buying and selling functions directly into their ERP-enabled business operations.

Details

DoCoMo Delays Adding Payments Technology to Phones

NTT DoCoMo says it will delay adding e-payment technology to its less expensive “3G” mobile phones. However, the company will offer Sony’s “FeliCa” payment chip on higher priced phones. NTT DoCoMo says it might add the “FeliCa” payment chip to cheaper phones next year.
NTT DoCoMo recently acquired a 34% interest in Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company. The two firms recent launched a smart credit card, which can be used by a “FeliCa” mobile handset. Nakamura is also buying a stake in Sumitomo Mitsui Card to launch a credit card business with added services. The “FeliCa” chip will also be offered on Vodafone’s mobile phones later this year.

Details

Debit Outpaces Credit P-Transactions in Q1

For the first time in the industry’s history, VISA and MasterCard off-line debit card purchase transactions have outnumbered credit card purchase transactions. During the first quarter, VISA and MasterCard processed 3.132 billion signature debit card purchase transactions versus 2.974 billion credit card purchase transactions. Over the past twelve months debit card purchase transactions have grown 18.5% compared to 6.9% for credit card purchase transactions. According to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]), VISA had 2.509 billion off-line debit card purchase transactions and 1.718 billion credit card purchase transactions in the first quarter. MasterCard had 622 million signature debit card purchase transactions and 1.257 billion credit card purchase transactions during the first quarter.

PURCHASE TRANSACTION HISTORICAL
(VISA & MASTERCARD – millions)
Debit* Credit
1Q/04: 2642.0 2782.3
2Q/04: 2857.8 3045.9
3Q/04: 2927.5 3150.8
4Q/04: 3136.5 3429.3
1Q/05: 3131.5 2974.3
* excludes PIN POS debit
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

Details

MBNA to Issue CIT Business MasterCards

MBNA has signed an agreement to issue two cobranded business MasterCards with CIT Small Business Lending Corporation. Two types of accounts will be offered, the Business Credit Card Account with no annual fee and a fixed rate and Business Rewards Credit Card Account with travel/merchandise reward enhancement for a $35 annual fee, along with a fixed rate. MBNA Corporation is an international financial services company with $116.6 billion in managed loans. CIT Group Inc.is a leading commercial and consumer finance company with nearly $60 billion in assets.

Details

Citi to Acquire Federated’s Card Portfolios

Citigroup has inked a deal to acquire $6.6 billion in credit card outstandings from Federated Department Stores for a premium of approximately 11.5%. Under terms of the agreement, Citi will initially acquire Federated’s $3.2 billion owned proprietary and VISA receivables, then in April 2006 acquire $1.2 billion in Federated card receivables currently owned by GECC and finally acquire the $2.2 billion credit card receivables portfolio of May Department Stores within one year following the merger with Federated, which is expected to close in 3Q/05. Additionally, Federated and Citigroup have signed a multi-year agreement for performance payments after the receivables sale is completed as well as engage in various joint marketing initiatives. The Federated and May credit card portfolios have about 17 million active accounts. The companies noted that Federated and May credit card customers will continue to be serviced through Federated’s service centers located in Mason, OH, Clearwater, FL and Tempe, AZ and May’s service centers in Lorain, OH and Earth City, MO. Federated was advised in the transactions by Credit Suisse First Boston, First Annapolis Consulting, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Jones Day and Sidley Austin Brown & Wood. At the end of the first quarter, Citigroup had $24.7 billion in private label credit card outstandings and $115.8 billion in bank credit card outstandings, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

Details

HSBC North America Names a Marketing Head

HSBC North America has hired Brian Hughes, formerly with Booz Allen Hamilton, as national director of marketing for HSBC’s retail services business. Hughes will be responsible for the strategy, execution and measurement of marketing programs to support merchant business growth. Prior to joining HSBC in 2004, Hughes worked primarily in strategy consulting and was a principal with Booz Allen Hamilton, developing marketing and growth strategies. HSBC – North America has more than $300 billion in assets and serves more than 60 million customers.

Details

GE Secures a Third Patent for vPayment

GE has been awarded a patent covering aspects of the account pool feature of its “vPayment” electronic settlement tool. This is GE’s third patent associated with “vPayment,” a payment automation tool that integrates with corporate procurement and accounts payable systems and processes. With “vPayment,” an organization requests a “vPayment” account to pay an invoice or purchase order. The GE-hosted “vPayment” server selects a unique MasterCard account number from an account pool and provides it to the organization via a secure Web site or encrypted link to the organization’s procurement or AP system. The account number selected has dollar- and date-range controls specific to the transaction in question. The supplier given the “vPayment” account number cannot subsequently charge to the account once the specified amount is settled. If the merchant attempts to charge above the dollar amount or beyond the date range specified, the transaction is declined. When fully used, the account number returns to the account pool and remains inactive until selected at a later date, usually for a different amount with a different supplier.

Details

Small Business Good, Except in Ohio

Six out of ten small businesses have expressed a high level of optimism about prospects for their business in the next three months, except for small-business owners in the Midwest. The finding comes from a recent survey for the National Federation of Independent Business and VISA USA. VISA says its payment card data shows retail spending in the Midwest continues to gain momentum, but still trails the national average. VISA data show strong consumer spending continues throughout the U.S. with 17.7% growth, while consumer spending in the Midwest grew 13.3%. Card spending in retail sectors shows a disparity with retail spending in the Midwest lagging behind the rest of the nation by 5%.

Details

GreenZap Positions to Take On PayPal

La Jolla, CA-based GreenZap has launched a new consumer-based, online payment service. Since accepting account pre-registrations on April 2nd, the firm has signed up 200,000 members. “GreenZap” is similar to eBay’s payment processor PayPal, but offers lower transactions fees. “GreenZap” also unveiled its interactive, community tracking system, the “ZapMap.” “ZapMap” enables users to dynamically view their friends and family that have opened accounts. In fact, “GreenZap” rewards account holders for telling their friends and family about the service. Account holders are rewarded anywhere from $5 to $30 and receive their earnings as a combination of cash and “WebCash.” GreenZap offers two types of accounts, a basic “GreenZap” account and an upgraded “Gold” account. The “Gold” account offers reduced transaction fees, increased rewards and a “GreenZap Stored Value MasterCard/VISA” for off-line spending.

Details

Government Officials Want Efficient Payments

A survey of 50 government officials from Japan, Korea, South Africa, Thailand, U.K., and the U.S. found that 68% believe that there is further opportunity for improving their procure-to-pay process. The VISA survey also found that 22% of government officials expect that improving process automation will be the most important benefit their organization will derive by implementing a commercial card program, followed by replacing cash (18%) and increasing procurement transparency (18%). Almost all government services agencies surveyed report that within the next five years they plan to implement a variety of new measures, including new technologies, such as enterprise resource planning systems, centralized processes and outsourcing to third parties. All of these measures support e-purchasing and expense management initiatives and translate to improved efficiency and cost savings. The survey was released in conjunction with the 7th annual “VISA International Government Services Conference.”

Details