AmEx Aeroplan

American Express Bank of Canada has been selected as the winning bidder to partner with Air Canada to offer “Aeroplan” frequent flyer points to its holders. Under the terms of the LOI, AmEx will prepay Air Canada for the “Aeroplan” points in the form of a cash advance, similiar to the deal it struck earlier with CIBC. The LOI gives Air Canada and AmEx the exclusive right to negotiate a deal until July 31st. Under the arrangement, “Aeroplan” will become a partner in American Express’ “Membership Rewards” program and the two companies will work together to develop a range of co-branded charge cards for consumers and corporations. The deal is subject to definitive agreements and approval of the court overseeing Air Canada’s restructuring. CIBC has been the exclusive credit card partner of Air Canada in Canada. Last month, Air Canada and CIBC agreed to extend their “Aeroplan” air miles contract from 2009 to 2013. Under terms of the deal, CIBC agreed to boost its prepayment to Air Canada for air miles from $200 million to $350 million, and agreed to pay Air Canada a 19% more per “Aeroplan” mile. CIBC also agreed to share the program with another credit card issuer.

Details

ACE CMO

ACE Cash Express has named Jake Schroepfer as chief marketing officer. Mr. Schroepfer has held leadership positions with leading Omnicom Group Inc. marketing communications agencies, including DDB Worldwide and Tracy-Locke in Dallas. ACE Cash Express, Inc. is headquartered in Irving, Texas and is the largest owner, operator and franchiser of check-cashing stores in the United States.

Details

VISA Debit

VISA’s “Check Card” segment was up 17.3% in the first quarter with total dollar volume of $100.2 billion. During the quarter VISA processed 2.1 billion debit card transactions versus 1.5 billion credit card transactions. VISA’s off-line debit card base was up 11.2% to 132.6 million cards. The number of “Check Card” accounts grew 13.4% to 100.9 million. Based on first quarter 2003 data, VISA’s average purchase on a debit card was about $39 compared to $85 for a credit card purchase transaction. For the first quarter of 2002, VISA’s average credit card purchase transaction was $81 while the average debit card purchase transaction was $39. For complete details on VISA’s 1Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

mbi CEO

MA-based mbi, a provider of health care debit cards for pre-tax benefits administration, has named Robert Natt as CEO. Mr. Natt was recently executive vice-president for the New England region of Oxford Health Plans. He also has more than 20 years of health care management and administration experience. mbi introduced the debit card to the healthcare industry for pre-tax benefit administration of FSAs, HRAs, TEAs, DCEAs and other defined contribution plans.

Details

EP2 & VERIFONE

VeriFone International Partner CCV-CardPay has successfully deployed its first VeriFone “Omni 3740” terminals and “SC 5000” programmable smart card PINpads at leading retailers in Zurich, where the “ep2” pilot is taking place. VeriFone is only the second terminal supplier to have its solutions integrated in the “ep2” pilot phase. The “ep2” system supports the full functionality of EMV, including offline authorization of transactions. A major result of the “ep2” pilot is the proof of much faster transaction processing times at the point of sale for off-line transactions. CCV, the Holland-based parent company of CCV-CardPay, developed the software for the terminals, which will be deployed throughout world-renowned brand outlets in the city, including restaurants Down Mexico Way and Churrasco Steakhouse, and the Central Plaza Hotel.

Details

Do-Not-Call

The Federal Trade Commission yesterday announced that telephone registration for the National “Do Not Call” Registry will be accelerated, and will be available to consumers coast-to-coast during July. Online registration will be available nationwide on or around July 1. Telephone registration will open for consumers in states west of the Mississippi River ­ including Minnesota and Louisiana ­ on the same date. Telephone registration will be available one week later to the entire country. Telemarketers will be required to access the registry to “scrub” their calling lists beginning in September. In October, the FTC and the States will begin enforcing the national “do not call” provisions of the Amended TSR. Violators will be subject to a fine of up to $11,000 per violation. (CF Library 3/26/03)

Details

EN-TOUCH RECORD

Ingenico has shipped its 200,000th “eN-Touch 1000” touch screen and signature capture terminal to major retailers in the USA. Customers benefiting from eN-Touch 1000 include Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Toys “R” Us, 7-Eleven, Safeway, Eckerd Drug, SAM’s, Orchard Supply, Kmart, Sports Authority, Office Depot, Cingular Wireless, NCR, Kyrus, and The Wiz. The “eN-Touch 1000’s” durable capacitive screen technology provides optimal finger touch sensitivity for customer PIN entry, complemented by proven electrostatic pen technology for electronic signature based transactions.

Details

Open Solutions Contracts

Open Solutions announced two new institutions will install “e-Commerce Banker for Internet Banking and Cash Management”. Verity Credit Union, $270 million, in Seattle, Wash. and Kennebec Federal, a $54 million bank in Waterville, Maine. In addition, four institutions already using the e-CB suite of products purchased add-on modules. Open Solution’s e-Commerce Banker(TM) is a secure and scalable Web banking solution that offers a financial institution’s business and retail customers convenient access to their account information and transaction initiation needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Details

ROYAL WEBSITE

The Royal Bank of Scotland reports it has seen an uptick in customers doing business over the Internet following the recent redesign of its Website. Online applications to open a “Direct Saver” account, the Bank’s Internet only savings account, rose by 47%. Online applications for loans also rose by 26%. The Website allows users to apply for savings accounts, loans, mortgages, stakeholder pensions, credit cards and insurance online, in addition to a range of interactive services including: loans, savings, mortgages and credit card calculators – visitors get the chance to check out repayment rates, interest and the savings they could make on a wide range of financial products offered by The Royal Bank.

Details

US Airways & Star Alliance

The Chief Executive Board of the Star Alliance yesterday approved US Airways’ application to join the “Star Alliance” which includes United Airlines and 16 other air carriers. The addition of US Airways will increase the number of airports served by the Star Alliance network from 700 to 771, while the number of countries served will grow to 133 from 128. While no firm date has been set for US Airways’ official entry into Star Alliance, it is anticipated that the carrier will become part of the world’s leading airline alliance within the next nine to 12 months.

Details

ALLIANCE & LEICESTER & MBNA

Alliance & Leicester has teamed with MBNA Europe to launch a business credit card. This is the first time MBNA Europe has offered a branded business credit card in conjunction with another provider. MBNA Europe currently issues Alliance & Leicester’s consumer credit cards. The new business credit card features a six month 7.9% interest rate followed by an on-going rate of 16.5%. The principal cardholder annual fee is £35 and is based on a credit limit of £7,000. Additional cardholders are charged an annual fee of £20. The new “Alliance & Leicester Business Credit Card” is only available to existing business banking customers.

Details