Bill Matrix SVP Joins NACHA’s CEBP

Jerry Portocalis, BillMatrix SVP of Sales and Marketing, has been named the Marketing/Education chair of the Steering Committee for NACHA’s Council for Electronic Billing and Payment. Mr. Portocalis will support the organization by holding educational meeting sessions that discuss recent industry developments, practitioner case studies, analyst presentations, and technology applications. An active participant with the national NACHA and the CEBP, Portocalis gathered more than 15 years of experience in the electronic financial services industry, with positions at Bank of America, Automatic Data Processing (ADP), and Ceridian. The Council for Electronic Billing and Payment (CEBP) promotes electronic consumer and business-to-business billing and payment programs and services. BillMatrix Corporation is a provider of outsourced payment services for the nation’s largest companies.

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I.C.E./Neos Lands a Juicy Card Deal

Oxnard, CA-based International Card Establishment and its Neos Merchant Solutions subsidiary have launched a gift and loyalty program for Juice It Up! Franchise Corporation. Juice It Up! Is a growing chain that offers smoothies and other nutritional beverages. Neos created a smart card based gift and loyalty program for Juice It Up! stores in 2003. The success of the program has led Juice It Up! to make it mandatory for new franchises to offer the program and to use the credit card processing services offered by Neos. Benefits to Juice It Up! franchise owners include improved cash flow, brand identity, brand loyalty, faster checkout lines, and increased security. Neos Merchant Solutions is a payment processing company that offers a turnkey solution to retail merchants. It is a subsidiary of International Card Establishment (I.C.E.), a growing provider of products and services to the electronic transaction processing industry.

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Canadians Get Cross-Border PIN POS Debit Access

Acxsys Corporation and NYCE have teamed to introduce the first ever cross-border PIN debit access to be launched in the USA. Millions of Canadian consumers who shop in the USA are now able to use their debit card to pay for purchases at nearly one million U.S. retail locations. The new cross-border service is now live, with the first PIN-debit by a Canadian consumer occurring at a Dean & DeLuca’s location in Charlotte, NC. RBC Royal Bank is the first major financial institution to offer the service to its cardholders according to CardFlash International. Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, National Bank of Canada and Desjardins Group will follow in the coming weeks. Acxsys Corporation is the architect of the “Interac” national PIN-debit service in Canada.

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Canadians Get POS PIN Debit Access in the USA

Acxsys Corporation and NYCE have teamed to introduce the first ever cross-border PIN debit access to be launched in the USA. Millions of Canadian consumers who shop in the USA are now able to use their debit card to pay for purchases at nearly one million U.S. retail locations. The new cross-border service is now live, with the first PIN-debit by a Canadian consumer occurring at a Dean & DeLuca’s location in Charlotte, NC. RBC Royal Bank is the first major financial institution to offer the service to its cardholders; Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, National Bank of Canada and Desjardins Group will follow in the coming weeks. Acxsys Corporation is the architect of the
“Interac” national PIN-debit service in Canada.

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VISA EUROPE Q2

VISA Europe reported that total cardholder spending increased by 12% to 878.9 billion euro, as card numbers climbed 9% to reach 240.4 million at mid-year. Expenditure on “VISA Debit” totaled over 613.2 billion euro with year-on-year growth of 12%. The number of transactions on all VISA cards in Europe surpassed 13 billion, up 10.5%. Card numbers for individual countries are as follows: UK (80.6 million cards, +7.2%);
Spain (35 million cards, +10.8%); France (25 million cards, +7.7%); Italy (16.6 million cards, +13.5%); Portugal (11.2 million cards, +1.3%); Germany (11.6 million cards, +8.2%); and, Greece (5.4 million cards, +8.6%). VISA Commercial products showed that total transactions were up 11.9%, with volumes of 32.3 billion euro.

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FDC to Process Peoples Trust Secured MC

Vancouver-based Peoples Trust has signed a long-term agreement in which First Data will provide card processing services for its secured card MasterCard accounts. First Data has provided card processing services in Canada since 1998 and is a leading merchant acquirer of MasterCard transactions in Canada, working with a wide range of merchants representing over 85,000 outlets. Peoples Trust is a provider of conventional and insured loans and also places and services mortgage products for institutional investors.

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Egg France Continues to Break Up

UK-based Egg has received an offer for its savings and online brokerage business, which includes approximately 45,000 savings and investment accounts, from ING Direct France. If the deal goes through, up to 40 of Egg France’s 450 workforce would be re-deployed, according to CardFlash International. Last week, Egg received an offer for the consumer credit part of the French business from Banque Accord. In July, Prudential, majority owner of Egg, announced it was exiting the credit card business in France after racking up nearly GBP100 million on losses for its “la Carte Egg VISA” in the last five quarters. The partial disposal with Banque Accord will result in the re-deployment of approximately 100 of Egg France’s 450 workforce.

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VISA Desjardins Ignites a Canadian Rate War

Montreal-based VISA Desjardins declared war on rates after rolling-out a new credit card with the lowest go-to interest rate in Canada. The new “Desjardins VISA GOLD Modulo” offers a four-month 0% interest rate on all purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers, followed by an 8.4% on-going APR on unpaid balances. The card, which carries an annual fee of $50, also offers access to the Desjardins “BONUSDOLLARS” rewards program. The 8.4% rate is also being offered to holders of the new “VISA Desjardins Platinum” card, which also offers the Desjardins “BONUSDOLLAR” rewards program along with an annual cash-back program. The “Platinum” card carries an annual fee of $130, according to CardFlash International. VISA Desjardins has 2.6 million cardholders.

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TransOne’s Instant-Issue Prepaid VISA Takes Off

Las Vegas-based TransOne says it has shipped 100,000 instant-issue, prepaid VISA debit cards and expects to ship three million over the next three years. TransOne uses an electronic instant issue Visa ® debit card, a state-of –the art processing platform, and a web-based funds transfer system. Pre-paid stored value cards can be purchased, activated, loaded, and used over merchant POS terminal networks as well as ATM’s and the Internet worldwide. TransOne offers pre-paid payment solutions using a global pre-paid transaction management platform. This includes pre-paid phone, Internet, gas, music, games, and web subscriptions for non-credit market segments. TransOne customers are major players in the fast food, travel, software, and computer manufacturing industries. TransOne is affiliated with 21st Century Technologies, Inc. whose investments in TransOne hit $29,000,000 in June, 2004.

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AmEx Expands Private Jet Incentives & Options

To bolster its perks for the super affluent, American Express has added new discounts and options for the private jet set. “Platinum” and “Centurion” cardholders now can book private jet services via their cards plus receive service credits toward limousine and catering services, extra flight time, or frequent flyer bonus miles or points. AmEx has teamed with six new partners to expand its “Private Jet Services Program” including Bombardier Skyjet, CitationShares, Delta AirElite Business Jets, Le Bas International, Sentient Jet, and TAG Aviation. Bombardier Skyjet is offering “Platinum” cardholders a service credit ranging from $100-$400, and “Centurion” cardholders receive a service credit ranging from $150-$600. Le Bas International is offering double “Membership Rewards” points up to 20,000 points, and service credits ranging from $50 to $200. TAG Aviation is offering “Platinum” cardholders a service credit ranging from $50-$400, and “Centurion” cardholders receive a service credit ranging from $100-$500. CitationShares is offering “Platinum” cardholders one complimentary additional hour of occupied flight time for each 25 hour “Vector JetCard” purchased, and “Centurion” cardholders receive two complimentary additional hours. Delta AirElite Business Jets is offering “Platinum” cardholders 90,000 “Delta SkyMiles” for each “Fleet Membership” purchased, and “Centurion” cardholders receive 180,000 “SkyMiles.” Sentient Jet is offering a service credit for each “Sentient GiftCard” purchased, plus “Platinum” cardholders receive an additional 2.5% of the value of each “GiftCard” purchased and “Centurion” members receive a service credit of 5%. AmEx also announced that it is now offering its “Automatic Bill Payment Platform” to private jet users.

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