VISA Olympic 2002

U.S. Olympic team partner Visa U.S.A., the longest-standing sponsor of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team, yesterday became the first corporate partner to extend its support of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team through the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Under this agreement, Visa will remain the “Official Card of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team” through June 30, 2003.  The partnership will be leveraged through a fully integrated marketing program consisting of national television and print advertising, ski industry retail promotions, event sponsorship and prominent signage on team uniforms.  In return, Visa plans to aid the team’s fund raising efforts with the ongoing “Give the U.S. Ski Team a Lift” cardholder usage campaign.  Visa will also support the development of the team by providing motivational seminars with past Olympic greats.Visa is finalizing plans to continue the “Give the U.S. Ski Team a Lift” campaign, a supplemental donation program for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team. Donations to the USSA from this program will be based on Visa card transactions. To date, Visa has committed nearly $2 million to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team, which is used to help cover the costs of training, sports- science programs and travel.

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Premiere Grows

Premiere Technologies, Inc. announced that earlier this week additional Bank of America (formerly NationsBank) customer service traffic was routed to Premiere’s platform. Bank of America selected Premiere over other bidders, including many of the industry’s largest telecommunications service providers, to provide these services for its Direct Banking Program beginning in 1997. Since that time, Premiere has provided these mission-critical interactive voice response (IVR) services on behalf of Bank of America, allowing its customers to access account information via the telephone.  This week’s increase will more than double the Direct Banking traffic handled by Premiere for Bank of America, which the company estimates will be in excess of 125 million calls per year, or approximately 25 percent of the bank’s total consumer volume. The company has recently announced several other key transactions within its Enhanced Calling Services unit. In early August, Premiere was selected by MasterCard International to be the exclusive vendor for MasterCard’s MasterPhone service outside the U.S. and a preferred provider domestically.

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For Sale

National Loan Exchange Corp., has been contracted to offer non-performing and charged-off financial assets for Toronto Dominion Bank as well as a second major Canadian Bank.  NLEX will sell approximately $50 million of charged-off credit card accounts in October, followed by a December sale for a third Canadian Bank.  Also being offered in 1998 are non-performing loans on behalf of Island Victoria Bank of Jamaica. Assets include commercial and real estate accounts.

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Chase Lenscard

Chase Manhattan Bank also announced the launch of the first credit card designed to help users make sense of the fine print — The Chase LensCard.  The LensCard has a built-in magnifying lens to make small print easier to read. The Chase LensCard provides a simple and practical solution to such inconveniences as reading the small print on restaurant receipts and bills, in telephone books and directories or anytime you forget your reading glasses! This added feature makes paying for all types of purchases with your Chase credit card even more convenient. The LensCard, which is available exclusively through Chase, offers quality resolution and magnifies print three and a half times its existing size.  The magnifying lens is in the center of the left side of the card and measures 1-1/8 by 3/8 of an inch in size, so it’s unobtrusive and doesn’t interfere with the cards operation.

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Discover Renamed

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter announced Wednesday that it would be renaming its credit services unit, formerly NOVUS Services, Inc., to Discover Financial Services, Inc.  In addition to the name change, all of the credit cards offered through Discover Financial Services, Inc. will have the Discover Card name and/or logo appear on the cards. The NOVUS Network name will not change but the acceptance logos will now consistently be Discover/NOVUS.

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3GI Growth

3-G International, Inc. (3GI) has been recognized as one of the fastest growing privately-held U.S. companies by Inc. Magazine.  3GI achieved a remarkable 1820% five-year sales growth, placing the company 134th in the 1998 Inc. 500 survey. 3GI joins an elite group of past Inc. 500 companies which includes Microsoft, Oracle, and Gateway 2000.  3GI develops and sells smart card software applications, smart card management systems, and software for smart card acceptance devices including personal computers. 3GI also provides comprehensive smart card integration services to industry and government customers.

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VERIPRINT

Biometric Identification Inc. (Bio ID) has announced the development and introduction of prototypes for the first complete Biometric Fingerprint Identification System that utilizes silicon sensor verification technology. This innovative product line, known as the Veriprint 1000/1100, represents the first time a silicon sensor-based technology has been implemented in a fingerprint identification product. Prior to the development of the V1000/1100, fingerprint solutions were based solely on optical imaging technology.

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VHS-NEO

VHS Network Inc., a publicly traded Florida corporation, announced Wednesday that it has executed a Letter of Intent to purchase 100% of all outstanding shares of NEO Products Pty. Ltd. NEO Products is in the ATM and Kiosk manufacturing design and software engineering business. NEO’s company base includes IBM, governments, Olympics, Tralstra National Telephone Co. and many other national brand names. In addition, proprietary software technology includes the pro-active “Smart Card” and financial transaction ability.

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Carnival VISA

The “World’s Best Way To Pay” is partnering and co-sponsoring “The World’s Leading Cruise Lines”.  Carnival Corp. announced Tuesday its first-ever corporate marketing effort for its family of six cruise companies: Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line-Westours, Seabourn Cruise Line and Windstar Cruises. VISA had previously been involved in marketing partnerships with Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line. The relationship will now expand to Carnival’s other brands and will feature exclusive offers for VISA cardholders.Carnival Corp.operates 42 ships under six brand names on worldwide itineraries.

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Check Card Regs

Several House legislators have formally asked Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to study whether or not the Federal Reserve has adequate powers to regulate off-line debit cards. In an October 9 letter to Greenspan, released yesterday, House Banking Committee Chairman James Leach, R-Iowa, asked for better disclosure regarding the risks of check cards and requested a $50 limit on consumer Check Cardholder liability. Among other House lawmakers signing the letter: John LaFalce, D-New York; Bruce Vento, D-Minnesota; Marge Roukema, R-New Jersey; and Thomas Barrett, D-Wisconsin.

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Strongest Quarter

Capital One said yesterday the third quarter was the strongest quarter in its history with record earnings, record growth in accounts and outstandings, record improvement in credit quality, and a record investment in marketing. Marketing investment increased in the third quarter to $126 million versus $86 million in the second quarter, and $61 million in the comparable period of the prior year. As a result Capital One’s managed consumer loan balances increased by a record $1.4 billion to $16.3 billion. Cap One also added a record 1.3 million net new accounts, bringing total accounts to 14.9 million.  The managed delinquency rate (30+ days) decreased to 4.90% as of Sept 30, compared with 5.14% as of June 30. The managed net charge-off rate decreased to 5.03% for the third quarter of 1998 compared with 5.91% in the second quarter of 1998. Cap One’s record third quarter earnings hit $70 million versus earnings of $67 million for the second quarter and $49 million for second quarter 1997. Cap One’s net interest margin also grew to 10.15%. The company also reported increased fee income due to increased annual membership fees, interchange, overlimit fees and other fees. For the complete earnings report for Capital One and other major card issuers dial [www.carddata.com][1]

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

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