Air2Web India

India’s ICICI Bank has inked a deal with Air2Web India to use their mobile Internet platform to provide ICICI Bank customers with wireless access to their banking and credit card accounts. Initially, ICICI Bank customers will be able to receive alerts via Air2Web’s “2Notify” technology on their “Short Message Service” phones, which will give them their checking account and credit card balances. The second phase of the project will allow ICICI Bank customers to access their checking account balance, receive a statement of their account, order check books, and access customer service agents. With credit card accounts, they will be able to pull up available credit, payment details, payment status, and request a mini statement, as well as access customer service representatives. ICICI launched its credit card programs in January 2000 with three offerings including the “Solid Gold,” “Sterling Silver,” and “True Blue.” The cards are now available in 36 cities across India and ICICI now has a cardbase of more than 6.5 million.

Details

VISA & PCE

VISA International reported yesterday that retail sales using a VISA card now account for 7% of global personal consumer expenditure. Today global PCE is at US$19 trillion and is comprised primarily of cash and check payments. VISA has seen an average annual increase in its share of global PCE of 12% over the past five years. In selected domestic economies, VISA’s share of PCE is particularly high. For example, including retail sales and cash withdrawals, 68% of PCE in Iceland is on VISA cards, in South Korea the figure is 57%, and in the UK it is 27%. Personal consumer expenditure represents the market value of all goods and services purchased by households and non-profit institutions, excluding house purchases. VISA also reported yesterday that its global sales volume has surpassed US$2.3 trillion for the year ending June 30th which includes more than $1 trillion in debit sales volume.

Details

FDC & CUETS

Saskatchewan-based CU Electronic Transaction Services and First Data have entered into several agreements in which the companies will work together to provide advanced card issuing, merchant processing, and acquiring services to the Canadian financial services market. Under terms of the deal, FDC will provide credit and off-line debit card processing services for CUETS’ 500 credit union and other card issuing clients throughout Canada. FDC has also acquired equity interests in CUETS’ merchant acquiring and merchant processing businesses and agreed to form an alliance which will assume responsibility for management, operations, risk and sales activities for the acquiring business. FDC will provide processing services to CUETS clients and the alliance, including authorizations, merchant support, settlement and disputes.

Details

Humboldt Deal Unravels

Humboldt Bancorp confirmed Monday that its deal to sell its proprietary merchant bankcard operations to Nashville-based iPayment Holdings has been terminated. Last week, the parties signed an amendment to the purchase agreement that provided for, among other things, the payment of $1 million to Humboldt as a non-refundable deposit toward the purchase price. Humboldt announced on September 13 that the transaction had not closed as scheduled on August 30 and that both parties were continuing efforts to complete the transaction. Following collapse of the proposed deal, Humboldt says it has received other expressions of interest. Humboldt’s proprietary merchant bankcard division provides services to over 10,000 merchants. For the six months ended June 30th, Humboldt recognized approximately $7.6 million in non-interest revenue from its proprietary merchant bankcard operation and incurred net fraud losses of $140,000.

Details

Rates Oct 02

Credit card interest rates have slowly but surely been nudging up this year despite the stable rate environment. APRs bottomed out in December of last year at 14.32% but have increased in 14.71% since then. The rate increase is driven largely by the punitive rate policies of many of the nation’s top issuers, including MBNA which now charges rates as high as 24.98%. Average rate for variable-rate cards now stands at 14.89% versus 14.57% for fixed-rate cards, according to CardTrak ([www.cardtrak.com][1]).

AVERAGE CREDIT CARD INTEREST RATES
Dec 00: 16.57%
Jan 01: 16.49%
Feb 01: 16.31%
Mar 01: 16.16%
Apr 01: 15.91%
May 01: 15.83%
Jun 01: 15.43%
Jul 01: 15.02%
Aug 01: 14.98%
Sep 01: 14.81%
Oct 01: 14.48%
Nov 01: 14.41%
Dec 01: 14.32%
Jan 02: 14.33%
Feb 02: 14.38%
Mar 02: 14.42%
Apr 02: 14.54%
May 02: 14.60%
Jun 02: 14.62%
Jul 02: 14.65%
Aug 02: 14.70%
Sep 02: 14.71%

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

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

Details

AMEX OPS

American Express has added 300 employees to its new Indian back-office operations on the outskirts of Delhi. The new operations center has 137,000-square-feet and offers financial processing and risk management services to AmEx. The firm also outsources back-office services from independent service providers in Delhi, the commercial hub of Bombay and the tech capital Bangalore. AmEx has operated from India since 1995. India offers a staff of lower paid individuals and excellent English skills.

Details

M/CHIP 4

MasterCard unveiled a new version of its “M/Chip” payment application which is based closely on the global EMV specifications for smart cards. “M/Chip 4” implements a new EMV defined session key algorithm, benefiting card issuers that want a single authorization process regardless of application provider, while providing additional protection from differential power analysis attacks. “M/Chip 4” also has the ability to store the last ten transactions, including information such as: transaction amount, transaction currency, transaction date, the card’s cumulative transaction counter and whether the transaction was approved, declined or went online for authorization. It can also be used to decline off line transactions at specific merchants. “M/Chip 4” is available in two programs, “MasterCard M/Chip Lite” and “MasterCard M/Chip Select.” The M/Chip payment application was first introduced in 1998, and to-date more than 200 MasterCard members have either issued or are implementing chip based credit or debit cards in Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.

Details

AEROPLAN STATUS

Destina.ca launched an “Aeroplan Status Mileage” offer that allows Aeroplan members to reach their “Aeroplan” top-tier status for 2003 faster than ever. Beginning today until December 12, by booking on Destina.ca, “Aeroplan” members will earn one “Aeroplan Status Mile” for every $1 online purchase on Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz, Tango by Air Canada and ZIP flights. This offer only applies to tickets booked through Destina.ca. The miles earned during the promotion are in addition to “Aeroplan Miles” awarded for using credit cards affiliated with “Aeroplan” for purchases, and for using “Aeroplan” partners for air travel, car rentals and hotel stays.

Details

Intelli-Check & ICTS 1994

Intelli-Check and ICTS 1994 (USA) have signed a one-year joint collaboration agreement to co-market the products and services of both companies in the USA. ICTS is currently in a trial phase of its IP@SS system at Newark airport, on certain Continental Airlines flights. The Newark pilot of the IP@SS project follows the IP@SS pilot being operated by ICTS since January 2002 at Gatwick airport in the UK, and is based on the same core know how and expertise of ICTS.

Details

INGENICO & CONCORD

Ingenico has signed an agreement with Concord EFS to manufacture the “Lavinna L100”, a proprietary compact hand-held terminal used for Concord’s “IDLogix” identification and age verification service. Under terms of the deal, Ingenico will supply 25,000 “Lavinna L100” terminals to Concord during the next twelve months. The “Lavinna L100,” with integrated magnetic stripe reader and optional bar code reader module, reads and logs all information from ID or driver license, saving up to 64,000 records in its memory.

Details