FTC Settles the CartManager Case

The FTC has settled a case involving an Internet company that provides shopping cart software to online merchants. The FTC says CartManager International rented personal information about merchants’ customers to marketers, knowing that such disclosure contradicted merchant privacy policies. The settlement bars disclosure of previously collected personal information and bars misrepresentations about the collection, use or disclosure of personally identifiable information. The settlement also requires that CartManager give up $9,101.63 it made by selling the information. CartManager International is a trade name of Vision I Properties, LLC.

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VISA White Paper on Financial Flows & Supply Chains

VISA International released a new white paper entitled: “Financial Flows & Supply Chain Efficiency.” The paper focuses on the current state of financial flows and supply chain efficiency, noting that the two systems have developed independently over time, with improvements in financial flows trailing behind those in supply chain management. Unrealized savings exist in the supply chain system because many current systems do not adequately address the financial flow, but instead focus on the flow of goods. The paper was authored by Professor Warren H. Hausman of Stanford University.

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Hudson’s Bay Card Portfolio Erodes

Toronto-based Hudson’s Bay Company reported that its credit card receivables declined for the second consecutive year. After peaking at $465 million in 2002, HBC’s card portfolio has declined to $355 million as of January 31st of this year, a 21% decline compared to one-year ago. Revenue from HBC’s Financial Services division was $263 million in 2004, compared with $278 million in the prior year. For the fourth quarter Financial Services revenue was $65.0 million or 10.6% below the year ago quarter. The decrease in revenue reflected the reduction in store sales, the lower credit card blend at the Bay and Zellers, and a higher level of customer payments. As of January 31st, there were 3.1 million active HBC customer accounts, including 1.7 million Bay cardholders and 1.4 million Zellers cardholders. Active accounts remained steady at 2.9 million. The average balance per active customer account was declined 4.9% to $368 and the average volume per active customer account dropped 3.1% to $701. For complete details on Hudson’s Bay performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

HUDSON’S BAY HISTORICAL
(credit card loans)
2000: C$500.3 million
2001: C$487.3 million
2002: C$559.2 million
2003: C$538.7 million
2004: C$427.4 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Banks Deploy Level Four’s ATM Software

Banque Saudi Fransi, SAMBA, Arab National Bank, National Commercial Bank, and National Bank of Dubai have deployed Level Four software for ATM testing and development. Countries across the Middle East are in the process of upgrading their banking and POS infrastructures to meet the EMV mandate for smart chip cards by January 2006. As part of this move, Saudi Arabia is also undertaking an industry-wide migration to SPAN 2, the second generation of the Saudi Payments Network, which will create a secure infrastructure
for electronic fund transfers, supporting the implementation of
electronic banking services across the country.

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Posera and Chockstone Launch the Maitre’D POS Platform

Posera Software and Chockstone have partnered to offer fully integrated gift, loyalty, and promotion card programs through the “Maitre’D POS” platform. The joint solution gives
restaurateurs the ability to offer gift cards with real-time promotions
based on customer behavior and history, as well as real-time loyalty;
all seamlessly integrated with debit and credit card processing. By enhancing the Maitre’D POS platform, restaurant marketing,
operations, and financial personnel will be able to finally identify
their best customers and reward their loyalty. Moreover, the new
technology will transform the traditional gift card into a gift, loyalty
and promotions card. Chockstone processes and analyzes all transaction
data in real-time to generate instant and customized rewards.
Chockstone’s clients have consistently posted bounce-back results
ranging from 23-38%. Restaurant decision makers track these results in
real-time via Chockstone’s Web-based reporting interface.

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SIVA and Moneris Team for Restaurants

Ernex has entered into partnership with Florida-based SIVA Corporation to integrate loyalty and gift card functionality and card interface into SIVA’s point-of-sale application. Ernex, a division of Moneris Solutions Corporation, is a provider of marketing solutions. SIVA Corporation distributes point-of-sale, inventory, labor and operations intelligence products. A joint investment of the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montreal, with assets of $700 billion, Moneris Solutions serves more than 350,000 North American merchant locations.

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HMV Issues One Million Gift Cards

HMV, the largest retailer of music, DVD and games in the UK has launched a gift card via TSYS and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Launched in October, the card has passed the one million gift card milestone. The
non-denominated, re-loadable cards are now available in HMV’s 200 stores
throughout the UK, and can be activated in amounts ranging from GBP1 to GBP500. The parent company, HMV Group plc, also owns 189 Waterstone’s specialist book stores in the UK and Ireland, and plans to offer a Waterstone’s gift card in 2005.

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Patent Sought for a Bill Pay via a STV Card

Payment Data Systems filed the final application for patent protection for the technology that will enable the industry’s first bill payment capability using the stored-value Secure Cash Network debit card. It does not require linkage to a traditional checking or savings account. Payment Data Systems, Inc. is an integrated payments solution provider for billers and retailers.

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MTV MASTERCARD

MTV Network Asia and GE Consumer Finance have teamed to launch a new MasterCard aimed at recent college graduates. The “MTV MasterCard” will offer discounts to certain merchants as well as access to the “MTV Music Awards” and “MTV Summer Summit Concerts” in the Asia-Pacific region. To qualify for the card, applicants must earn at least Rp 26 million per year (US$2776) and be at least 21 years old. MTV also has a partnership with United Overseas Bank Limited for a co-branded MasterCard in Singapore. Additionally, MTV partnered with Lippo Bank in Indonesia to offer a debit card to high school and college students.

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