Rewards Network Heads North of the Border

Chicago-based Rewards Network has expanded its dining rewards program into Canada. Additionally, Rewards Network will expand its Hotel Rewards program into Canada by late summer. Rewards Network, headquartered in Chicago, provides loyalty and rewards programs for restaurants and hotels via its registered credit card platform. Incentives are offered through the Rewards Network branded program, airline frequent flyer dining programs, club memberships and other affinity organizations.


Canada Post Acquires the BCE Emergis’ webdoxs

Canada Post’s epost has acquired BCE Emergis’ online bill delivery
service. The acquisition of webdoxs cost epost $14.5 million.
epost will combine the existing epost and webdoxs business-to-consumer
services to provide Canadians with a single, EBPP service. Once
combined, the enhanced epost service will represent a single and
comprehensive electronic document delivery network that connects
Canadian businesses and consumers online. Available through the online
banking Websites of Canada’s top financial institutions, and epost’s
additional access channels, the combined service will have more than one
million registered consumer users, and will be available to the almost
10 million Canadians now banking online. The new combined service is
scheduled to be available to Canadian consumers in approximately six months.


KeyCorp Signs PEMCO Technology Services

Cleveland-based KeyCorp has signed an agent bank ATM reselling agreement with Seattle-based PEMCO Technology Services. Through Key’s agent bank program, financial services companies provide their customers and members surcharge-free or surcharge-reduced access to Key’s automated teller machine (ATM) network without the significant financial and labor investment required to build, operate and maintain their own individual systems. PEMCO Technology Services specializes in Visa and MasterCard credit, debit and ATM processing services for financial institutions. KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $84 billion.


GE Consumer Finance to Issue Linens’n Things Card

GE Consumer Finance has inked a deal with Linens’n Things to launch the first private-label credit card program for Linens’n Things Stores in Canada. Card benefits include 10% off the first purchase at any Linens’n Things store; special offers and discounts; no annual fee; and the chance to earn rewards for every $1 spent and a $10 reward certificate for every $250 spent. Under the agreement, GE Consumer Finance will provide marketing, risk management, customer service, collections and payment processing. GE will provide the services via offices in Edmonton and Toronto.


Wachovia Finances Global Axcess

FL-based processor, Global Axcess, has landed $1.75 million in credit facilities with Wachovia Bank The agreement provides for a revolving $500,000 Senior Secured Working Capital Credit Facility and a revolving $1.25 Million Leasing Credit Facility. 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.


Roloson Receives a MBNA/MasterCard Award

Dwayne Roloson of the Minnesota Wild has received the “2003-04 MBNA/MasterCard Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award.” The promotional award is given to the goaltender with the NHL’s best save percentage during the regular season. As part of the award, MBNA/MasterCard donated US$25,000 to the Norfolk Pros Foundation based in Simcoe, Ontario. Roloson compiled a .932728 save percentage (1,323 shots, 1,234
saves) in 48 games. The award is named for Roger Crozier, one of the League’s top goaltenders throughout his career. In 14 seasons, Crozier compiled a 206-197-70 record in 518 games, a 3.04 GAA, and 30 shutouts with the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, and Washington Capitals.


Bremer Financial Expands Kwik Trip ATMs

MN-based Bremer Financial has expanded its relationship with the c-store Kwik Trip, by placing ATMs in 129 stores across Minnesota and Wisconsin. The first Bremer ATMs are scheduled to begin opening inside Kwik Trip stores in late June. Bremer will install 20 more of the total 23 ATMs inside Kwik Trip locations in Southeastern Minnesota in July. The remaining ATMs will install later this year. Kwik Trip, Inc. has provided quality gasoline and other products at more than 350 company owned and operated locations throughout the Midwest. Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately-held $5.7 billion regional financial services company owned by the Otto Bremer Foundation and Bremer’s more than 1,800 employees.


VISA Auctions Off its Trump Check Card

VISA USA is auctioning off Donald Trump’s “VISA Check Card” used as a prop in a recent TV ad. Proceeds from the charity auction will benefit the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. Located at [][1], the VISA Trump card charity auction will run on eBay from July 12th through the 22nd. The card is autographed by Trump and comes with a picture taken from the commercial, as well as a letter of authenticity. Kompolt was retained to manage the listing for VISA. The ad, called “Rooftop,” features Trump learning about the security his “VISA Check Card” affords him. When a gust of wind blows Trump’s card out of his hand from atop Trump Tower, he rushes to a dumpster below to retrieve it. As Trump makes his way to the dumpster, a voiceover explains that VISA cardholders are not liable for fraudulent purchases made with their lost or stolen cards, regardless of their bank account balance. However, this information comes too late to save Trump from a passerby questioning his financial stability upon seeing him digging through a dumpster. (CF Library 5/20/04)



One Great Gift Card Launched in Calif

U.S. Bank and prepaid card specialist, WildCard Systems, have partnered to launch a prepaid VISA gift card that is being sold at Macerich mall locations. The new “One Great Gift Card,” is being launched gradually on a schedule of three to six malls per week through September. The first mall to launch the card was Pacific View Mall in Ventura, CA, which introduced the card on June 16th. The roll-out will continue through Southern California, then to the rest of its 60 mall locations. WildCard Systems is certified by VISA, MasterCard and Discover as an endpoint on their networks, authorized to be an issuing processor for cards bearing VISA, Electron, Interlink, PLUS, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus and Discover/NOVUS payment marks.


DC Group Launches a Conservative Check Card

Washington, DC-based Citizens Against Government Waste has introduced its “Conservative Check Card.” The wallet-sized cards, which are being distributed by the Republican Study Committee, contain six principles of sound government. They are targeted for use by members of Congress and their constituents to evaluate proposed legislation. Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) successfully promoted a similar card when he was the Speaker of the House in Florida.


May Flowers as Consumers Tack on More Debt

After three consecutive months of decline, Americans reversed course in May, adding $1.6 billion in revolving credit. At an annualized rate, consumer credit jumped nearly 3% during May perhaps impacted by a slowdown in consolidation financing via home mortgages. The increase is still significantly lower than one-year ago when consumers added more than $5 billion to revolving credit. According to revised figures released Thursday by the Federal Reserve, at the end of May 2004 Americans owed $742.8 billion in revolving credit, compared to $727.9 billion for May 2003. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the first quarter was $658.9 billion, or roughly 88% of total revolving credit, according to CardData ( At the end of May, Americans were $2031.2 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

May 04 Apr 04 Mar 04 Feb 04 Jan04 Dec03 Nov03
GRWTH: 2.6% -5.0 -2.1 -0.6 13.0 3.3 4.9
$OWED: $742.8 741.2 744.3 750.4 753.0 743.4 743.8

Oct 03 Sep03 Aug 03 Jul03 Jun03 May03 Apr03
GRWTH: 4.1% 6.8 3.4 1.4 2.7 7.7 3.4
$OWED: $740.5 737.3 729.1 726.8 729.7 727.9 722.8

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 7/08/04;
For complete historical data visit CardData (