SCA Acquires Card Portfolio of a High-End Women’s Apparel Retailer

NJ-based Shoppers Charge Accounts Co. has acquired the private label credit card receivables of Coplon’s, a seven-store, high-end women’s apparel retailer, and will now manage all facets of the private label program on an ongoing basis. Under terms of the agreement, SCA acquired the receivables in the Naples, Fla.-based chain’s portfolio and will manage all facets of the private label program on an ongoing basis. Coplon’s card currently accounts for in excess of 30% of total sales. SCA is a division of Hudson United Bank is ranked among the nation’s largest private label credit card companies.

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MasterCard to Offer Exclusive Dining Packages

MasterCard has partnered with iSeatz.com to provide cardholders with dining packages to some of the top restaurants in the country and to enable member issuers to develop exclusives for their markets such as special statement inserts. MasterCard also revealed it will work with its global travel partners, including Travelocity and Site59, to develop an expanding number of special travel and destination packages inclusive of travel, lodging and dining available exclusively to MasterCard cardholders. iSeatz.com and MasterCard have created special offers available immediately at restaurants coast-to-coast. MasterCard cardholders will benefit with exclusive dining packages and valuable benefits at more than 1,000 of the top restaurants across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe.

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Speedpay Links to NYCE Debit Cards

First Data’s E Commerce Group says its “Speedpay” electronic bill payment technology now enables billers to accept ATM and debit card payments from customers using NYCE-branded debit cards. Now that cardholders have debit card capabilities, participating financial institutions have the convenience of paying electricity, water, credit card and mortgage bills electronically by direct debit from their savings or checking account. Speedpay technology allows companies to receive, process and integrate bill payments from multiple sources including call centers, automated voice response units and the Internet. Speedpay is currently being used by over 1,200 of the nation’s leading billers in the utilities, telecommunications, financial services and retail industries.

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MAESTRO EUROPE

MasterCard Europe announced that Allied Irish Bank in Ireland and Danske Bank in Denmark will launch cards branded with “Maestro.” AIB is rolling out “Maestro” on its existing and future “Laser” cards and will eventually appear on all AIB cards by the time their EMV chip roll out is complete in 2005. Ninety percent of all merchants within Ireland have upgraded their terminals to EMV and opened for Maestro, with a decal marketing program for over 8,000 merchants in the larger towns and cities already underway. Danske Bank expects to roll-out 30,000 Maestro cards this year. Until recently Denmark has only had a domestic debit offering. Danske is targeting the 15-17 year old market who frequently travel independently.

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VISA and MasterCard Split the “E” in EMVCo

EMVCo, LLC is now equally owned by VISA and MasterCard, and is gearing up to increase communication within the payments industry after establishing a new structure and expanding its charter. As a result of the recent Europay/MasterCard merger, MasterCard International and VISA International each acquired 50% of Europay International’s interest in EMVCo and now co-own the company with equal shareholding. The firm, which maintains the “EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications for Payment Systems,” has also established a new Executive Committee that will include global and regional senior management representation from both MasterCard and VISA. EMVCo has also created a “Common Core Requirements Working Group” that will deal with the complexity of EMV implementation caused by differing scheme and domestic requirements.

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AMEX CARD CHIEF

American Express announced that Ed Gilligan, group president of Global Corporate Services, will take on the additional responsibility for leading the international consumer card business and International Operations. AmEx also announced that Jim Cracchiolo, group president of Global Financial Services will focus on growing the Company’s financial services business. The shakeup will take effect on July 14th. The changes come in advance of the Company’s acquisition of Threadneedle Asset Management Holding Ltd. from Zurich Financial Services Group AG. Threadneedle, a major UK fund manager, manages about $75 billion. Threadneedle will report directly to Cracchiolo when the transaction closes.

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JCB Hires UFJ Card Executive as CEO

Tokyo-based JCB has named Hiroya Nobuhara, former President and CEO of UFJ Card, as President and CEO, according to today’s weekly issue of The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com][1]). He succeeds Isao Nakanishi who has served as JCB’s President and CEO for the past 5 years. Nakanishi also served as Chairman of the Japan Credit Card Association from 2002-2003. Nakanishi will continue with the company as special advisor. JCB International also named Nobuhara Chairman and CEO. Additionally, JCBI named Kunio Yoshizawa, formerly Deputy President, as President and COO, succeeding Atsushi Niimura who is retiring after 15 years with JCB. JCB’s merchant network includes 10.43 million merchants. The company has 42 million cardholders in 18 countries.

[1]: http://www.ramreport.com

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DEUTSCHE BASE24-ES

Deutsche Bank S.p.A has licensed ACI Worldwide’s “BASE24-es for Enhanced Authorization.” Deutsche Bank in Italy includes a business division, named BankAmericard, which specializes in electronic payments and credit cards. BankAmericard is the second largest card issuer in Italy with more than three million cards issued and a 20% market share. “BASE24-es for Enhanced Authorization” enables Deutsche Bank to quickly change authorization parameters for transactions received from regions targeted by fraud. It also permits the bank to consolidate authorization processing on a single ACI platform. Also, operating costs can be reduced to improve profitability. Bank staff can modify processing logic through scripts defined in an easy-to-use syntax similar to JavaScript. As new versions of product software are released by ACI, scripted rules can be applied to the updated version without costly or time-consuming retrofits.

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AmEx Taps Gilligan to Lead International Consumer Cards

American Express announced yesterday that Ed Gilligan, group president of Global Corporate Services, will take on the additional responsibility for leading the international consumer card business and International Operations. AmEx also announced that Jim Cracchiolo, group president of Global Financial Services will focus on growing the Company’s financial services business. The shakeup will take effect on July 14th. The changes come in advance of the Company’s acquisition of Threadneedle Asset Management Holding Ltd. from Zurich Financial Services Group AG. Threadneedle, a major UK fund manager, manages about $75 billion. Threadneedle will report directly to Cracchiolo when the transaction closes.

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ARBY

Arby’s restaurants will be accepting credit and debit cards following a deal between Triarc Restaurant Group and Moneris Solutions. Arby’s says that each of the 129 Canadian Arby’s locations are franchised and independently owned and operated, and therefore, needed a payment processor who could service each location on a one-on-one basis, while at the same time offer the benefits and cost savings appropriate to a single, nation-wide merchant. Moneris is Canada’s largest processor of debit and credit card payments.

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Coinstar Links Up with the Truth MasterCard

Coinstar, Synovus, and Next Estate Communications have launched a pilot that enables consumers to convert their loose change to a prepaid MasterCard. Coinstar operates nearly 11,000-networked self-service coin counting machines in supermarkets nationwide. The prepaid MasterCard pilot is being offered in Houston and Las Vegas. Under the program, consumers deposit coins or cash to a Coinstar machine, receive a printed receipt for the transaction, which includes an account activation number, and then contacts Next Estate by phone to set-up and activate their “Truth MasterCard.” Within five to ten business days, customers receive their personalized embossed prepaid MasterCard, at a denomination ranging from $20 to $500. The card can also be reloaded with additional funds at any participating Coinstar machine. Columbus Bank & Trust Company, an affiliate of Synovous, will issue the card.

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CyberSource Enables Cross-Border Sales

CyberSource has launched “Global Payment Suite” for cross-border credit card sales which offers eight services including locally-preferred electronic payment types, dynamic currency conversion, fraud prevention, export and tax compliance tools. The Global Payment Suite eliminates the need for merchants to establish multiple international banking relationships and provides consolidated reporting and reconciliation of multiple country and multiple currency sales. Among the top seven European countries, 63% of eCommerce customers prefer to pay for their online purchases with local payment methods other than bank cards. The Global Payment Suite also provies some of the world’s most advanced fraud prevention tools including fraud screen and payer authentication technology.

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