AmEx Launches the Business Savings Program

American Express has launched a new business expense savings program for smaller merchants that accept the American Express card. The new ‘Business Savings” program offers discounts from partners such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car; IBM; McAfee; Nextel; Office Depot and Welcome Wagon. For example, Office Depot offers a 3% instant rebate on purchases made in its stores or call centers, plus, up to 10% back with quarterly “Advantage Rewards” for qualifying purchases made in store, over the phone or online. Enterprise Rent-A-Car is offering up to 25% off through the AmEx program. “Business Savings” is free and open to all merchants in the American Express network. There is no enrollment process.

Details

Hypercom Lands a Major Order in the Baltics

Hypercom has landed an order for nearly 5,000 “ICE5500Plus” and “S9” card payment devices from MKS in the Baltic States. After acquiring the point-of-sale network of Vilniaus Bank, the leading Lithuanian bank, MKS conducted a thorough search for new card payment terminal technology to fit their exact requirements, and ultimately chose Hypercom for its EMV-certified stable technology, TermMaster® Suite and terminal choices that are loaded with desirable features and high security. MKS is the leading payment cards processing centre in Lithuania. Hypercom Corporation is a leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers, and yield increased profitability for its customers.

Details

MKS Orders 5,000 Hypercom ICE Terminals

Mokejimo Korteliu Sistemos has ordered nearly 5,000 “ICE 5500Plus” and “S9” card payment devices. Hypercom says this new contract marks the largest one-time order ever for Hypercom Russia whose territory includes the Baltic States. After acquiring the point-of-sale network of Vilniaus Bank, MKS selected Hypercom for its EMV-certified stable technology, “TermMaster Suite” and terminal choices. Set up in 1995, MKS provides banks with the services of processing and transfer of data of operations with international and local payment cards, also, with services of certification of the issue of payment cards with international payment card organizations, ensures access to VISA and MasterCard payment cards networks.

Details

New POS Public Access Product Launched

FL-based Moonrise Systems and PA-based E-Time System have partnered to introduce a new software solution for Windows-based public computer stations and touch-screen terminals that integrates E-Time’s “Self-Serve,” a real-time e-commerce payment solution, and Moonrise’s Internet kiosk browser, “NetStop”. Under the exclusive marketing agreement the two companies will jointly develop and sell NetStop ETS, which is the integration of E-Time System’s proprietary Self-Serve payment software with Moonrise Systems’ NetStop PRO Internet kiosk software. E-Time System, Inc. is a solutions company providing the technology for e-PIN electronic transactions. Moonrise Systems, Inc. publishes the leading public Internet kiosk software suite, NetStop.

Details

DW’s Ovation POS Dispenser Gets More Octane

TX-based Dresser Wayne is enhancing the digital media capabilities of its “Ovation” POS fuel dispensers through a partnership with EK3 Technologies. EK3 Technologies, an engineering company based in London, Ontario, Canada, is a leading provider of enterprise-class digital media business solutions. EK3 has developed intelligent software, hardware, and networking products and services that deliver high-resolution multimedia images and full-motion video for display on various high-impact digital signage media. Dresser Inc. is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of highly engineered equipment and services sold primarily to customers in the flow control, measurement systems, and compression and power systems segments of the energy industry.

Details

SCA Lands a Card Program for a SW FL Jeweler

Sanibel Island, FL-based Congress Jewelers has inked a deal with NJ-based Shoppers Charge Accounts to develop and administer its private label credit card program. Congress Jewelers today operates four locations on the west coast of Florida in Sanibel Island, Bonita Springs, Naples and Key West. The company offers world-renowned designer jewelry, luxury Swiss timepieces and Sealife Jewelry, a special line manufactured by Congress which has become their signature trademark. Hudson United Bancorp is a $7.8 billion asset company with over 200 branch offices in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Details

VISA MINI

Since introducing a miniature-sized payment card eighteen months ago, the “VISA MIni” card has topped 18 million cards worldwide, with more than 11 million issued within the USA. This month, VISA International introduced the card into Indonesia, following successful roll-outs in India, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. “VISA Mini” can be issued as a “VISA Debit” or “VISA Electron” card, or as a “Platinum,” “Gold” or “Classic” card. The card is 43% smaller than the regular-sized VISA card. It can be used at most POS terminals with swipe readers, but cannot be used at some traditional acceptance devices such as ATMs and terminals with deep magnetic stripe readers, and for transactions that require a manual card imprint. Bank of America launched its “VISA Mini” credit card in October 2002 in the USA. The major U.S. issuer also launched a debit card version of the “VISA Mini” in January 2003. United Overseas Bank launched a “VISA Mini” credit card in Singapore in September 2003. In India, Standard Chartered Bank and ICICI Bank introduced “VISA Mini” cards in December 2003. Versatile Card Technology, manufacturer of the card, reported in September 2003 it had produced more than 15 million “VISA Mini” cards to-date. There are currently 203 million VISA-branded cards in Asia Pacific.

Details

Rewards Popular but Redemptions Weak

A survey has found that nearly half of U.S. cardholders enrolled in a credit card rewards program have never redeemed their points. However, 60% of consumers said rewards program influences their decision when deciding which credit card to use for a purchase. According to St. Louis-based Maritz Loyalty Marketing, the most popular rewards program is cash-back, with nearly three-fourths of Americans stating this as a preference. Other reward types favored by consumers: free merchandise (27%), free travel (26%), gift certificates (25%), special members only offers or discounts (12%), special benefit or upgrades (10%), and free tickets to events (7%). Martiz says more women (33%) prefer to redeem their rewards for merchandise compared to men (22%). Also, more women (29%) than men (21%) prefer gift certificates. Maritz found that 36% of consumers have been enrolled in a credit card rewards program for at least five years. Maritz Research conducted 407 interviews for the survey during October 2003.

Details

TSYS’ CardGuard Gets a New Fraud Tool

Experian-Scorex and TSYS announced a transaction fraud scoring model which is now embedded in the TSYS “CardGuard” fraud detection system. The scoring model is fully integrated into the CardGuard platform, which allows rules to be added that further enhance transaction fraud scores. Since the solution uses the freshest data, it is able to identify the latest fraud trends. TSYS brings integrity and innovation to the world of electronic payment services as the integral link between buyers and sellers in this rapidly evolving universe. Experian-Scorex provides solutions that enrich customer data and allow organizations around the world to proactively manage their relationships with their clients.

Details

Sony VISA Comes Alive Next Month in NYC

Three months after re-launching the “Sony VISA”, Bank One and Sony have organized a two-day experience in New York City including a free concert. “The Sony Card Entertainment and Technology Experience Like No Other” will be held June 16th and 17th. The event will feature an interactive tour and a multimedia exhibit of Sony products. The culmination of the event will be a concert by John Mayer, Dido and Ari Hest in Bryant Park. Consumers who apply for the “Sony Card” online from June 4-17 or by attending the Experience event June 16-17 at Union Square, will receive access to a premiere seating section for the June 17th concert. Current Sony cardholders will also receive special invitations to attend the concert. As part of the event, an advertising campaign in Rolling Stone, US Weekly and Men’s Journal will launch June 11th. The campaign will include a sweepstakes to win one of three themed weekends: “The Ultimate Rock N’ Roll Weekend”; “The Ultimate Hollywood Weekend”; and, “The Ultimate Adventure Weekend.” Bank One took over the Sony co-branded program this year. The card was originally launched by Citibank in September 1998 as the “Sony Citibank Card.” The new Bank One “Sony VISA” offers triple points for every dollar in card purchases spent on Sony products purchased directly from Sony or from authorized retailers, eight points for every dollar spent on the card for purchases at Sony’s Web site, and one point for every dollar spent elsewhere. (CF Library 9/25/98; 2/24/04)

Details

Circuit City Completes its Exit from the Card Biz

Circuit City Stores confirmed it has closed the sale of its private-label credit card operation, which included both its private-label Circuit City credit card accounts and its co-branded “Circuit City Plus VISA” credit card accounts, to Bank One. On the sale date of May 25th, the private-label operation included receivables and related cash reserves of approximately $1.8 billion and approximately 1.5 million active accounts. Circuit City anticipates that the net cash proceeds from the sale will total approximately $400 million and that the after-tax loss on the sale will total approximately $9 million. The two companies entered into a relationship in which Bank One purchased the portfolio, will offer new private-label and co-branded credit cards, and will provide credit card services to existing cardholders. The deal completes Circuit City’s exit from the card issuing business following the sale in November of its $1.5 billion VISA and MasterCard credit card portfolio to FleetBoston for $1.3 billion. (CF Library 1/21/04)

Details

SIBS Signs 3-Year Contract for Gemplus GemValue EMV Cards

Gemplus International has signed a contract for Portugal’s EMV migration with Sociedade Interbancária de Serviços. From May, Gemplus will provide EMV-enabled debit and credit cards to SIBS in a deal that will last 3 years and see the estimated delivery of six to eight million EMV cards. SIBS has already made its first order of 50,000 “GemValue” EMV cards from the smart card technology-based solutions provider, and production is currently underway in Gemplus’ facility. SIBS is a cooperative creation of the Portuguese banking industry.

Details