The ABA and Travelex have launched a prepaid card program for ABA members featuring VISA products. The “ABA Travel Money and Gift Card Program,” covers “VISA TravelMoney” cards, “VISA Gift” cards, VISA travelers cheques, and foreign currency services. The ABA says it conducted a lengthy review of the key prepaid card providers before deciding on the Travelex/VISA deal. The ABA says VISA’s consumer protections and travel benefits were key factors in its decision.Details
Montreal-based Optimal Services Group has named Brian Sullivan as President of Optimal Services Group. Sullivan previously held
the position of President and CEO of NCR Canada, as part of a successful 17-year career within that organization. Optimal Group is a payments and services company with operations throughout North America and the United Kingdom.
Wells Fargo is pioneering a new personal financial management tool that gives customers a daily consolidated overview of their personal spending that they can access via the Internet. The new “My Spending Report,” which has a patent pending, combines spending transactions from a customer’s check card, credit card, checking account and bill pay in one convenient place, accessed through a secured online banking session and updated automatically each day. Electronic and bill payment transactions are organized by familiar categories such as gas/automotive, groceries, ATM withdrawals, etc. Wells Fargo customers can also save and print the report. The report also allows customers to view their current month spending along with two prior months of transactions and an average of their last two months’ spending.Details
As expected, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12 to 5 to approve the “S.256” bankruptcy reform legislation yesterday. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the bill’s sponsor, predicted a final vote of 80 to 20 in the full Senate. Debate by the full Senate will begin in 10 days. Three of eight Democrats on the committee voted yesterday to approve the legislation. Last week was the 11th Senate hearing since 1998 on the bill and the Senate Judiciary Committee has taken no action on it since 2001. Sen. Grassley first held a hearing in the Judiciary Administrative Oversight and the Courts Subcommittee in April 1997. Grassley said yesterday that it’s important to keep poison pill amendments off the bill or reopening issues or disrupting bipartisan compromises that have been reached with the House.Details
Interac has decided to migrate to chip technology for the delivery of “Interac Direct Payment,” the country’s national debit card
service and “Interac Shared Cash Dispensing Service” for cash withdrawals at ATMs. Plans call for the first chip transaction to take
place in early 2007. Interac Association has been implementing a chip readiness strategy, focusing on the business and technical requirements necessary for chip migration, for the past three years. The complete migration to chip is expected to take several years. The Interac Association is a not-for-profit organization composed of 95 members.
First Data has inked a deal with the National Restaurant Association to launch the “TakeCharge” payment program, offering exclusive rates for credit card processing to small and mid-size merchants in addition to national chains. TakeCharge reflects the results of a comprehensive development and thorough selection process by the National Restaurant Association, with recommendations and reviews by two committees of the Association’s Board of Directors, and an organization representing all the state restaurant associations. The National Restaurant Association, founded in 1919, is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which is comprised of 900,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a work force of 12.2 million employees – making it the cornerstone of the economy, career opportunities and community involvement. First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), with global headquarters in Denver, helps power the global economy.Details
National Bank of Abu Dhabi has signed a contract to migrate to Card Tech Limited’s “PRIME 3.0” card and merchant management system.
NBAD chose “PRIME 3.0” as its platform for future growth. The suite of systems now runs on the “Oracle 9i” database. National Bank of Abu Dhabi and CTL share a long history together, dating back to 1993. CTL implemented NBAD’s “VISA’s Smart Debit/Credit” program, as the first bank in the Gulf to be “VSDC Issuer” and “VSDC Acquirer” compliant.
More than 170 banking clients from 70 countries use CTL systems. National Bank of Abu Dhabi has the largest ATM network in the UAE.
Purchase transaction dollar volume on VISA and MasterCard credit cards increased 9.3% in the fourth quarter, versus a 17.9% gain for VISA and MasterCard debit cards. During 4Q/04, Americans charged purchases of $283.8 billion on VISA and MasterCard credit cards, and $125.8 billion on VISA and MasterCard signature debit cards. Overall, gross dollar credit card volume for the quarter, which includes cash advances, increased 8.3% to $342.1 billion. The number of credit card transactions rose 9.0% to 3.45 billion. At the end of 2004, there were 433.1 credit card accounts, versus 420.1 million one-year ago. The number of credit cards-in-force rose a mere 1.9% to 566.8 million. MasterCard continues to hold the lead in total credit card accounts with 217.6 million versus VISA’s 215.5 million, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
VISA & MASTERCARD CREDIT CARD STATS
4Q/04 4Q/03 CHANGE
Gross Volume: $342.1b $315.8b +8.3%
Purchase Volume: $283.8b $259.6b +9.3%
Transactions: 3449mm 3165mm +9.0%
Accounts: 433.1mm 420.1mm +3.1%
Cards: 566.8mm 556.3mm +1.9%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Asia Payment Systems announced that the Shenzhen Municipal Government has approved a Representative Office License for Asia
Payment Systems. Shenzhen is one of the most prosperous and modern cities in China and became the country’s first “Special Economic Zone” in 1980. Asia Pay is a credit card processing services company that provides growing network of credit card clearing services to merchants and financial institutions in China and other markets.
Digital Insight reported fourth quarter revenues of $48.9 million, a 16% increase from the quarter ending December 31, 2003. In the fourth quarter of 2003, net income was $35.5 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, which included a one-time tax benefit from the release of the Company’s deferred tax valuation allowance equivalent to $29.6 million, or $0.84 per diluted share. Digital Insight(R) Corporation is the leading online banking provider for financial institutions. Through its comprehensive portfolio of Internet-based financial products and services built upon the Company’s unique architecture, Digital Insight enables banks and credit unions to become the trusted transaction hub for their retail and commercial customers.Details
Gemplus International has launched “SafesITe Enterprise” and “SafesITe Corporate,” two new smart identity management systems for large enterprises and growing corporations based in North America.
The two systems are based-on Gemplus’s global smart card-based identity
management solution suite, “SafesITe,” and combine network and building access control on a single, smart badge for enablement of two-factor authentication and the consolidation of security infrastructures.
Beyond building and network access, “SafesITe Enterprise” also
manages applications for parking, vending, medical, and cafeteria payments.
NM-based Valley National Bank has signed agreements with Global Axcess for the outsourced management of their in-branch ATMs and to acquire exclusive marketing rights to eight Global ATMs. In addition, Valley National Bank will have exclusive marketing rights on eight Global Axcess ATMs throughout their market area under Global Axcess’ Branded Cash Program, providing more convenient services and surcharge-free ATM transactions for their bank customers. Global Axcess Corp. was founded in 2001 with a mission to emerge as one of the nation’s leading network-based electronic commerce and transaction processing companies.Details