Cruise Platinum VISA

MBNA has added another cruise line to its long list of co-branded cards. Royal Caribbean International yesterday announced it is launching a platinum VISA card with MBNA that offers cardholders one point for every dollar charged and double points for booking a Royal Caribbean cruise, or making purchases onboard any Royal Caribbean ship. The “Royal Caribbean Platinum Plus VISA” is also offering a 2,500 point bonus after the first qualifying transaction. Cardholders may redeem points for upgrades, discounts, special amenities, or free rooms. Upgrades from an inside to an outside stateroom start at 5,000 points, while a free cruise for two starts at 50,000 points. MBNA also issues the “Norwegian Cruise Line MasterCard” and “Orient Lines MasterCard” which offers travel agents a $25 commission for every credit card application they generate that is approved and activated. Meanwhile, Carnival Cruise Lines and Capital One offer a cobranded MasterCard that includes an installment plan option. Last year, MBNA acquired 405 new affinity/co-branded programs and renewed more than 1,100 group contracts, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1].) (CF Library 4/12/01; 8/23/02)

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

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VOLUME SLOWS

Credit card volume in January for the UK was pounds 8.2 billion,an
8.0% increase over January, 2002. According to data released by the
London-based Credit Card Research Group, credit card spending has more than
tripled since 1993, reaching pounds 101.8 billion last year, but has slowed
in the past two years. Meanwhile, debit card spending growth has slowed
from its peak in the mid-1990s, with pounds 8.7 billion expenditure in
January, representing a 14.3% increase over January 2002. Combined plastic
spending in January of pounds 16.9 billion was 11.2% up on January 2002
but, not surprisingly, 14.1% down on December. The CCRG also noted that
spending on credit and debit cards in the UK is equivalent to 20.3% of GDP,
compared with an EU average of 9.6%.

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Card Transponders

TI-RFid’s new “Multi-Function Reader Module”, based on the “ISO 14443 B” technology platform, will enable payment terminal manufacturers to support more than one transponder solution for contactless payment applications. The “Multi-Function Reader Module” accepts “ISO/IEC 14443” and “ISO/IEC 15693” standards-compliant radio frequency transponders. Texas Instruments’ new reader module supports “Speedpass” low frequency technology, used by more than six million MobilExxon consumers in North America, as well as TI’s 13.56 MHz ISO 15693 transponder family and new transponders built on TI’s recently announced ISO 14443 Type B platform. Texas Instruments is sampling the “Multi-Function Reader Module” with core customers and will be in full production this quarter. (CF Library 2/26/03)

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Equitex Payroll VISA

CO-based Equitex, the parent firm of Nova Financial Systems, Key Financial Systems, Chex Services, and Denaris Corporation, said this morning it has been approved by VISA to market a prepaid payroll card through West Suburban Bank. Nova and Key service credit card products. Chex Services provides comprehensive cash access services to casinos and other gaming facilities. Denaris was formed to provide stored value card services.

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VSDC & FeliCa

Sony, Infineon, and VISA International have teamed for the joint development of a single-chip “GlobalPlatform” multi-application chip product that supports both “VISA Smart Debit/Credit” payment and “FeliCa” contactless applications. According to tomorrow’s edition of The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com][1]), more than 60 million VISA smart cards based on EMV contact payment technology have been issued worldwide (9 million in Asia-Pacific) and over 35 million contactless cards employing Sony’s “FeliCa” operating system have been issued, mostly in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan. VISA plans to work with Sony and Infineon to jointly develop a single-chip “GlobalPlatform” product that supports all industry standard contact and contactless interfaces. VISA’s ultimate goal is the achievement of cross-platform interoperability across the “GlobalPlatform” and “FeliCa” operating environments, which would allow cardholders to use “FeliCa-based” applications to take advantage of special discounts or accumulate loyalty points when making purchases on their VISA cards and enable service providers to offer cardholders the convenience of using “VSDC” payment functionality to top-up the value on prepaid transit or e-purse applications in one simple transaction.

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

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UK Volume Slows

Credit card volume in January for the UK was pounds 8.2 billion, an 8.0% increase over January, 2002. According to data released by the London-based Credit Card Research Group, credit card spending has more than tripled since 1993, reaching pounds 101.8 billion last year, but has slowed over the past two years. Meanwhile, debit card spending growth has slowed from its peak in the mid-1990s, with pounds 8.7 billion expenditure in January, representing a 14.3% increase over January 2002. Combined plastic spending in January of pounds 16.9 billion was 11.2% up on January 2002 but, not surprisingly, 14.1% down on December. The CCRG also noted that spending on credit and debit cards in the UK is equivalent to 20.3% of GDP, compared with an EU average of 9.6%.

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VISA Debit 2002

Growth in off-line debit card volume in the USA slowed last year to an 18% rate, after racking up an increase of 39% and 38%, in 2001 and 2000, respectively. VISA remained the king of the off-line debit card market with a market share of 76% at EOY 2002. More than 56% of VISA’s total 2002 transactions of 14.4 billion were “Check Card” transactions. In 2001, VISA’s off-line debit card transactions began outpacing credit card transactions. Last year, VISA’s debit card volume grew 17.2%, from $324.3 billion to $380.0 billion. MasterCard’s off-line debit card volume was $116.4 billion for 2002. At end of year 2002, VISA had 127,766,000 off-line debit cards in-force while MasterCard had 47,100,000 off-line debit cards in-force according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

VISA’S CHECK CARD SNAPSHOT
2001 2002 CHANGE
Purchase Volume: $205.5b $248.1b +20.7%
Cash Advances Volume: $118.7b $131.9b +11.1%
Purchase Transactions: 5.5m 6.5m +18.0%
Cash Transactions: 1.5m 1.6m + 9.3%
Total Accounts: 85.4m 97.0m +13.6%
Total Cards: 115.0m 127.8m +11.1%

Source: CardData ([www.carddata.com][2])

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

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Hypercom & Bridgeview

Bridgeview Bank & Trust and its Bridgeview Payment Solutions subsidiary, which provides services for more than 27,000 merchants nationwide, have signed a contract with Hypercom’s Golden Eagle Leasing unit to offer payment terminal leases. Bridgeview Payment Solutions is well known nationally as one of the top merchant bankcard processors in the U.S.  BPS has been processing credit card transactions as a subsidiary of Bridgeview Bank & Trust since 1993 and provides services for more than 27,000 merchants nationwide.

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InterCept Lawsuit

A shareholder lawsuit has been filed against InterCept, alleging the company made material misrepresentations that the adult pornography Internet portion of their merchant processing business was insignificant and failing to disclose that new VISA regulations, which were targeted specifically to address risks of Internet pornography card processing, had caused a material loss of business.  A shareholder lawsuit has been filed against InterCept, alleging the company made material misrepresentations that the adult pornography Internet portion of their merchant processing business was insignificant and failing to disclose that new VISA regulations, which were targeted specifically to address risks of Internet pornography card processing, had caused a material loss of business.

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VSDC & FELICA

Sony, Infineon, and VISA International have teamed for the joint
development of a single-chip “GlobalPlatform” multi-application chip
product that supports both “VISA Smart Debit/Credit” payment and “FeliCa”
contactless applications. More than 60 million VISA smart cards based on
EMV contact payment technology have been issued worldwide (9 million in
Asia-Pacific) and over 35 million contactless cards employing Sony’s
“FeliCa” operating system have been issued, mostly in Hong Kong, Singapore,
and Japan. VISA plans to work with Sony and Infineon to jointly develop a
single-chip “GlobalPlatform” product that supports all industry standard
contact and contactless interfaces. The alliance leverages VISA’s
leadership in the payment industry, Sony’s strength in contactless IC
technology, and Infineon’s expertise in the design of secure smart card
solutions. VISA’s ultimate goal is the achievement of cross-platform
interoperability across the “GlobalPlatform” and “FeliCa” operating
environments, which would allow cardholders to use “FeliCa-based”
applications to take advantage of special discounts or accumulate loyalty
points when making purchases on their VISA cards and enable service
providers to offer cardholders the convenience of using “VSDC” payment
functionality to top-up the value on prepaid transit or e-purse
applications in one simple transaction.

Details