Fleet COO

Fleet Credit Card Services has named Richard Campbell, formerly of Bank of America and Federated Stores, as chief operations officer. Previously, Campbell spent ten years at Citibank’s credit card division and eleven years at American Express in a variety of positions of increasing responsibility in credit, customer service and operations. Campbell will report directly to Patrick J. Coll, chairman and chief executive officer, and is responsible for back-office operations, customer service and collections.

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BLOOD CARD

SmartSensor telemed Ltd has developed a smart card that will allow patients to perform blood tests at home. In the future, the smart card technology could even be used to test for prostate cancer or osteoporosis. Under the Smartsensor system, the patient carries out a test at home with the credit card-sized device. A microchip records the result and can then be removed and sent off for testing, removing the need to send blood in the post. The test results could then be entered directly to a patient’s electronic record.

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Over-limit Fees

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has issued an amended ruling that over-limit fees must be considered finance charges. In a 2-1 ruling, the court found that over-limit fees fall squarely within the statutory definition of a finance charge, “without ambiguity.” The decision came in a lawsuit filed by Sharon Pfennig against MBNA and Household. The court ruled in April that over-limit fees were finance charges, but re-issued a slightly different opinion this week that reaffirmed its position, which contradicts Federal Reserve Board regulations. The appeals court reconsidered the issue after requests for a rehearing were made by MBNA, Household, the Federal Reserve Board, and other credit card industry groups. The Pfennig lawsuit has also been cleared for class-action status. The lawsuit involved a Household credit card account which was later sold to MBNA.

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NECTAR

London-based Loyalty Management UK announced it has received a major investment for the upcoming launch of a new consumer loyalty program. Warburg Pincus has agreed to put up US$40 million in equity financing for LMUK’s “Nectar” program. Sainsbury’s, Barclaycard, BP, and Debenhams have joined with LMUK to create Nectar, which will launch in the fourth quarter. The program will offer consumers the ability to collect points from more than 1,800 Sainsbury’s, Debenhams and BP outlets and with all Barclaycard purchases. Points collected in the Nectar programme will be exchangeable for a wide range of rewards like grocery discounts, consumer goods, flights, holidays, restaurant meals, family days out and cinema tickets. Nectar will target the more than 12 million consumers who are members of points and rewards programmes currently operated by the four partners.

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Qxpress 200 Patents

UT-based Q Comm International announced it has several patents pending before the United States Patent and Trademark Office covering its Qxpress 200 POS technology. Features of their terminals include a Media Display which reads like an electronic billboard that consumers view at the checkout counter during purchases. The company has also built in the capability to handle unique account numbers. In concert with the real-time, host-to-host communications, this feature enables the system to perform real-time account crediting or recharge. The system also offers the capability to accept unique payment amounts–it can handle any amount up to two digits right of the decimal place.

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ISCAN

Seven smart card associations have joined together to create the International Smart Card Associations Network. The ISCAN founding Charter will be formally signed by all during CARTES, on November 4th in Paris. Eurosmart, the Brussel-based smart card association, initiated in CARTES 2001 the first informal joint meeting with other smart card associations where it was decided to set up new methods of cooperation between them. The representatives of the associations emphasized the necessity for a close and permanent exchange of views and results between national and regional associations. Hosted by CTST, the second meeting held on April 22nd in New Orleans, gathered seven main smart card associations: Eurosmart, Smart Card Alliance, ACT Canada, Smart Card Society of Southern Africa, Smart Card Forum of India, AFPC & Global Platform. Their representatives decided to strengthen this cooperation by launching a network: International Smart Card Associations Network. ISCAN will be a non-profit international group open to all smart card associations.

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1Q/02 Networks

Payment card volume for the top four U.S. brands, or networks, grew 7.6% during the first quarter, from $692.5 billion for 1Q/01 to $745.4 billion. The number of cards-in-force for VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover also grew, at an annual rate of 10.7%, during the first three months of this year. MasterCard was the only network that gained market share in the first quarter, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). MasterCard gained 270 bps over the past year for a U.S. market share, based on volume, of 30.5%. American Express gave up 170 bps in market share while Discover lost 70 bps, and VISA declined 40 bps. VISA continues to dominate the debit card market with 117.9 million cards-in-force at the end of 1Q/02, a 14% increase over the same quarter one year ago.

BRAND U.S. PERFORMANCE
Network 1Q/01 VOL 1Q/02 VOL CHNG SHARE
VISA $204.6b $225.0b +10% 51.5%
MASTERCARD $109.6b $133.1b +21% *30.5%
AMEX $ 55.6b $ 54.3b – 2% 12.4%
DISCOVER $ 24.4b $ 24.1b – 1% 5.5%
TOTAL $394.2b $436.5b +11%

*Based on data reported for 1Q/01 however MasterCard’s report shows an annual change of +16.75%

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

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

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Card Jobs

CardWeb.com has launched a new online channel to provide access to thousands of professional payment card industry jobs. The “JobLink” channel is the result of a partnership between jobsinthemoney.com and CardWeb.com. Employers and recruiters may post open positions, and job seekers may search jobs and post resumes. Postings include positions in finance, accounting, banking, investment, insurance and related fields. Jobsinthemoney.com is a Weddle’s Guide to Employment Site Selectee for 2002, and a CareerXRoads 2002, 500 Best. Fortune Technology Guide listed jobsinthemoney “as the place for financial job seekers.” CardWeb.com handles approximately 10,000 user sessions each day from industry professionals.

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TCS Signs Household

TCS America and Intelenet have inked a business process outsourcing deal with Household. Both firms will provide Household with 100 agents to enable collections from delinquent credit card customers. This facility will be ramped up to 2000 seats with multiple shifts over the next two years. Additional services will include customer acquisition, customer service, telemarketing, analytics and back office processing. These programs will utilize both inbound and outbound voice technology. TCS provides information technology and management consulting services to organizations in more than 50 countries including American Express, Citibank, and the Target Corporation.

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JADE-FAST

CyberNet has launched JADEFast, the fastest version of its successful counter-top POS model that accepts both magnetic stripe and smart card-based transactions. JADEFast complements the JADE counter-top product line by using a modem which is 14 times faster with its 33,600 bps, a patented RSA algorithm implementation which processes in less than a second with keys 1024 bit long (required in EMV2 transactions). The whole package is wrapped up in a tamper-resistant case which among other protections, erases the memory should the terminal be tampered with.

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PayEvent

VA-based PayEvent launched a turnkey event registration and e-payment processing service that provides event planners with credit card and online check acceptance without the need to establish a credit card merchant account. PayEvent can handle every registration and dues payment, via web, fax, phone or traditional mail or the organizers can split the responsibilities – for instance accepting mailed check payments and on-site payments directly, while outsourcing web payments to PayEvent. For online transactions, PayEvent handles the full process of payment acceptance and processing as well as refunds. All the reports are handled directly on the web and payment activity is available to the client online daily, Individuals receive instant confirmation, and the payments are deposited to the client’s account within a few days.

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LOGICA AIR MILES

Logica is providing a new call center and sales solution to the AIR MILES program. The Logica Integrated Sales System integrates the booking and selling of flights to Amadeus; the allocation and booking of ground products; the debiting of AIR MILES from customer accounts located on the
AIR MILES loyalty reward database system; a retail logic payments system providing collection of credit card transactions; and, a workflow capability to streamline AIR MILES back office fulfillment processes for ticketing, customer confirmation production, handling
special requests and dispatch of hotel/car hire/insurance documentation.

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