Minnesota-based TCF Financial has launched a innovative program that ties a rewards VISA credit card with a checking account. The platinum VISA credit card is automatically paid-off each month. The new, free “TCF Miles Plus VISA” credit card is packaged with the high-yielding “TCF Premier Checking Plus” account. TCF says the program is uniquely suited for customers who maintain checking account balances of $5,000 or more and pay off their credit card balance each month. Cardholders of the new “TCF Miles Plus VISA” credit card earn one point for every dollar of purchases made with their card. The points can be used as miles for free air travel. TCF customers receive a combined account statement, which shows not only all checking account activity but also all of their credit card purchases made with their “Miles Plus” card during the same time period. Card purchases are then automatically deducted from the checking account 15 days after the statement is generated. TCF is also offering its new “Premier Checking Plus” customers 5,000 points to get their reward account started after their first card purchase.Details
VISA is showcasing a new TV spot today during the Olympic Ceremony for its “Check Card.” The new “Injury” commercial features the Yankees’ Joe Torre and George Steinbrenner. In the spot George Steinbrenner injures his arm by writing too many checks. The commercial then demonstrates the convenience of automatically paying bills with the VISA’s debit card. It was shot in the Yankee Stadium training room and was created by agency BBDO, New York. The commercial plays on the previous theme of two VISA ads which spoof the relationship between George Steinbrenner and Derek Jeter. Based on purchase volume, VISA USA has an 80% share of the U.S. off-line or signature debit card market, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Crane Merchandising Systems has added USA Technologies’ “e-Port” cashless transaction solution into its vending machines. The e-Port allows end users to purchase items from vending machines using a credit or debit card, whether the machines are connected to the Internet by land line or wireless. The cost is automatically charged to the consumer’s credit card or bank account. Crane plans to target vending machine owners and operators who sell their products for $1.00 or more, and to customers vending higher priced non-traditional items.Details
Advanta has signed Bill Rancic, a successful business owner and recent winner of the television series, “The Apprentice,” to serve as its corporate spokesperson.This is the first corporate spokesperson agreement for Rancic, an entrepreneur who launched a cigar business out of his studio apartment and grew it into a successful global company. Last spring, Rancic won the televised competition on “The Apprentice,” which was one of the highest-rated television series of the year. The hit series tapped into the entrepreneurial dreams of millions of young Americans and has sparked renewed interest in people who own their own businesses. Rancic will be an ambassador for Advanta in public appearances, media interviews, marketing and promotional campaigns. He will be promoting the features and benefits of the company’s credit card.Details
GE Consumer Finance is acquiring Moscow-based DeltaBank, a VISA issuer with more than 103,000 credit cards in-force. The acquisition is GECF’s third major acquisition in the past thirty days, following the purchase of the assets of Dillard National Bank and the Mervyn’s credit card portfolio from Target. Over the past year, GECF’s assets have grown more than 20%, from $97.1 billion to $116.9 billion. During the second quarter, GECF produced net income $600 million on revenues of $3.8 billion. DeltaBank was founded in 2000 and provides bank cards, personal loans, and sales finance through branches and more than 70 imbedded points of sale in established retail outlets, such as IKEA and other major retailers. The DeltaBank deal is GECF’s largest in Russia and is expected to close by year end.Details
Las Vegas-based CMKXTREME has launched a prepaid VISA card for its race fan affinity group and CMKX DIAMONDS Inc. shareholders. The VISA Pre-Paid Stored Value card is neither a credit card nor a debit card and does not require a banking account to be opened when applying. The card is signature based for point-of-sale transactions and PIN based for ATM transactions. Cardholders can securely add additional funds to their card through a free Web site or through a toll-free telephone system from an existing checking account or credit card.Details
Taiwan’s Macoto Bank and Japan Asia Airways, a subsidiary of Japan Airlines Corporation, have teamed to launch a co-branded JCB international credit card. The new “JAA/JCB Card” enables cardholders to earn mileage rewards that they may exchange for ticket awards with JAL Group and other partner airlines, upgrade awards on JAL Group flights, free hotel accommodation awards, a 10% discount for in-flight purchases on JAL Group international flights, and many other premiums. Macoto Bank says its target market for the new card is approximately 9 million in Taiwan, and it anticipates issuance of more than 30,000 cards in the first year, according to CardFlash International ([www.cardflashinternational.com]). JAA was established in 1975 to operate between Japan and Taiwan, after JAL agreed to stop its services to Taiwan in exchange for the right to fly to mainland China. JCB has formed alliances with more than 320 financial institutions globally to increase merchant coverage and cardholder base.
Canadian Tire Financial Services reported that its net managed credit card receivables increased 27% year-over-year to $2.5 billion, driven by a 24% increase in “Options MasterCard” average balances to $1,384. The “Canadian Tire Options MasterCard” currently makes up 96% of CTFS’ credit card portfolio. During the quarter, CTFS partnered with Bank of Montreal to launch the “Canadian Tire Commercial Link MasterCard” for business customers in the third quarter. The card will replace the existing commercial card that is held by more than 50,000 active Canadian Tire business customers. CTFS says estimates that its credit card portfolio will hit $2.8 billion by year end. For complete details on CTFS’ latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Retail Decisions has signed an agreement to offer the “Cardinal Centinel” service through its payment and risk management platforms. he agreement will enable Retail Decisions’ customers to access Cardinal’s merchant software platform for authenticating payments through the Verified by Visa, MasterCard(R) SecureCode(TM) and JCB J/Secure(TM) payment initiative programs. Retail Decisions (ReD) is an international electronic payment transaction services business that provides fraud prevention, enterprise-wide payment processing and value-added transaction and consulting services to the retail, finance, telecommunications and e-commerce sectors. CardinalCommerce Corporation is a leading provider of a technology-neutral authentication platform for securing electronic and wireless commerce, thus ensuring that individuals, businesses and government agencies can process electronic transactions and access confidential information safely, securely and privately.Details
FL-based Information Processing Corporation has named Olan Beard, former president of FFS Transaction Corporation, as president and CEO.. Mr. Beard has over 22 years experience in the banking industry, working for banks such as First State Bank of Abilene, NCNB, and Security State Bank. Most recently he served as President of FFS Transaction Corp., LLC, having been promoted to that position from Executive Vice President of Operations in the year 2000, and continued to serve in that capacity until accepting his current position with IPC. Information Architects Corporation has three (3) wholly owned subsidiaries whose prime focus is banking and financial products.Details
At mid-year, MasterCard continues to hold the lead in the number of U.S. credit card accounts, with 213 million accounts versus VISA’s 209 million. However, MasterCard’s purchase volume growth for the second quarter has slowed to an annual rate of 8.3% compared to VISA’s 13.6% second quarter growth. During the second quarter, the average purchase volume per VISA credit card account was $723 compared to MasterCard’s $501. The average VISA credit card purchase transaction is now $85.51 compared to MasterCard’s $83.49. Combined, VISA and MasterCard purchase volume is up approximately 11% year-on-year for the second quarter, and up 17% compared to 2Q/02. As of June 30th, there were 553.2 million VISA and MasterCard credit cards-in-force in the USA linked to 422.1 million accounts. For complete details on VISA and MasterCard’s second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).