Dollar General to Accept Discover Nationwide

Discover has inked an exclusive acceptance agreement with Dollar General. The “Discover Card” will be the only credit card accepted for payment at more than 5,500 Dollar General stores in 27 states and will be accepted at all of Dollar General’s more than 7,000 stores chain wide. Previously, Dollar General accepted only cash and personal checks as forms of payment. Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions has been selected as the electronic card processor for all electronic payments.

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Metris Rolls-Out a Monthly Jackpot Card

A new MasterCard has been introduced that gives cardholders a chance to win a monthly cash jackpot of at least $25,000, every time they spend $1 on purchases. The new “American DreamCard Platinum MasterCard” awards one sweepstakes entry for every net $1.00 spent on the card, up to 1,000 entries per a $1,000 transaction. Consumers also receive 1,000 entries for applying during the promotional period which ends September 30th. If approved, cardholders will also earn 100 entries by enrolling in the online account servicing platform, and one hundred entries each time they pay their “American DreamCard” bill online. Monthly winners will receive 0.50% of the total amount of net dollars spent by the cumulative number of cardholders on their “American DreamCards” during each drawing period. The maximum monthly prize is expected to vary between $30,000 and $100,000. Metris/Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank is the issuer of the innovative card.

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Debit Cards Play a Major Role in School Purchases

A new survey shows that 70% of parents with children younger than college age said they plan to use their debit card for back-to-school purchases and that one in five parents, with children in college, plan to give their child a debit card to help the student manage spending while at school. The “Back to School Spending Index” survey, sponsored by MasterCard and conducted by Harris Interactive, found that on average, parents of U.S. students college age and younger expect to spend $412 this year on back-to-school items. More than one-third of parents expect to spend more this year than last and one-sixth anticipate 2004 back-to-school costs for books, clothes, and supplies to exceed $500. The MasterCard survey also revealed that households with children are more likely to have debit cards than those without (72% for those with children vs. 58% for those without children).

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Paymentech to Offer eFunds’ SCAN

Paymentech has negotiated a contract with eFunds’ Deposit Payment Protection Services to offer “SCAN” check authorization services to its top retail and e-commerce customers. By making SCAN available to all their merchant channels, Paymentech will provide retailers with the opportunity to leverage and contribute to multi-channel information to mitigate risk, protect their business and their bottom line.

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COUNTERFEIT LOSSES

New research suggests that America’s reluctance to adopt the
chip and PIN technology used in the UK and France will contribute to a sharp rise in counterfeit card fraud losses as organized crime is likely to turn to the U.S. where the protection against counterfeit is weaker.
The study says that counterfeit card fraud rose by 121% in the last
five years, from $95.6 million in 1999 to over $211 million in 2003.
According to London-based Datamonitor, one of the obstacles to the EMV implementation in the U.S. is the high cost of transition, estimated to be in the region of $13 billion. This compares to annual fraud losses of $1.5 billion in 2003. Given this imbalance it is difficult for card issuers to build a business case for investment in anti-fraud measures. However, Datamonitor forecasts the losses associated with counterfeit card fraud will show the strongest increases over the next five years.

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MBNA Kicks-Off an NFL Extra Points Card

MBNA yesterday rolled-out a new credit card offering football fans a variety of NFL and NFL TEAM experiences such as dinner with a coach, golf with former players, sideline passes, game tickets, etc. The new “MBNA NFL Extra Points” credit card is available with the team logo of any of the 32 NFL clubs, or the NFL shield. Cardholders receive one point for each dollar charged. “Extra Points” redemptions include VIP Draft Party Access for 8,000 points, two game tickets for 35,000 points, dinner with a coach for 80,000 points, and two “Super Bowl” tickets for 200,000 points. MBNA is the official credit card issuer of the NFL and all 32 NFL teams.

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AmeriCard Becomes OneBridge

Card processing company, AmeriCard, has changed the company name to OneBridge. This name change comes along with the announcement that they have also expanded their business focus with a new vision of specializing in making money move by providing comprehensive card processing solutions. The expansion includes offerings to enhance the card transaction process beginning with the recent introduction of its new proprietary system.

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Applied Card Systems Settles FTC Charges

Applied Card Systems, whose representatives allegedly harassed consumers with multiple phone calls and abusive language, agreed to settle FTC charges that their business practices violated federal law. The FTC alleges that third parties, including relatives, neighbors, and employers were continuously called by Applied Card Systems even after representatives were told that the consumer they are looking for does not reside or work with them.

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Global Payments Now Owns 100% of Cash & Win

Global Payments has acquired the remaining 49% interest in the “Cash & Win” service from Comerica Bank. “Cash & Win” provides credit and debit card cash advance service to patrons of the gaming industry. GPN originally obtained a 51% ownership interest in the “Cash & Win” service in 2001, when Comerica Bank sold the former Imperial Bank merchant portfolio to the Global Payments Comerica Alliance.

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