U.S. Cards

The number of general purpose payments cards in the U.S. is poised to cross the one billion milestone within the next twelve months. At the end of the first quarter there were 954.7 million credit and signature debit cards running on the four major U.S. networks, a 6% increase over the year-ago period. Among the…

Bankruptcy Rises

Bankruptcy filings have declined from about 35,000 per week in 2005 to approximately 10,000 per week this year. However, the number of monthly filings has been slowly increasing this year from 34,411 in January to 43,780 in May. In the first five months of this year a little more than 200,000 filings have been made…

Card Delinquents

Credit card delinquencies based on total dollars outstanding dipped to its lowest level for a first quarter since 1990. However, by all measures delinquency edged up since the prior quarter. Since the end of 2005, delinquent dollars have increased from 3.21% to 3.44% and based on the number of past-due credit card accounts rose from…

Coke & PayPass

MasterCard will announce this week that the “PayPass” contactless payment option is coming to 1,000 Coca-Cola vending machines in the Greater Philadelphia area. After a pilot in New York City and Atlanta, MasterCard, USA Technologies and The Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company have decided to make the largest roll-out of contactless technology in vending machines in…

Debit Rewards

Even though debit card rewards are less rewarding than their credit card counterparts, 57% of households are likely to use a debit card with rewards over a credit card with rewards. However, fewer than one in ten debit card users are using cards connected to a rewards program due to low availability. According to TNS’…

CITGO MasterCard

More gas is getting thrown on the competitive fire between issuers of credit cards with gas rebates. On August 1st CITGO and Citibank will launch a new card that offers a 20% rebate on CITGO purchases for the first 60 days and a 4% rebate thereafter. The 20% rebate offer is part of the 90-day…

MINI VISA

The car of individuality and self-expression has launched a card of individuality and self-expression. The new “MINI VISA” from BMW enables cardholders to design a credit card in their own car’s image plus earn up to $5,000 towards a future “MINI” purchase or lease. The patent-pending Web-based “Configurator” permits applicants to design their new card…

Debit blink

Chase has become the first VISA issuer to offer contactless payment capability on debit cards. “Blink” is being introduced to checking account customers as Chase reissues 1.8 million debit cards in the New York/Tri-State area, switching to the VISA mark. (All Chase debit cards, except the Chase Continental Airlines card, will now carry the VISA…

Reaching Out

Like the other U.S. payment card networks, Discover is reaching out to merchants and linking up to more issuers. Last week the Discover Network announced the establishment of a “Merchant Advisory Council” and that it has recently reached agreements with five new financial institutions to issue credit or prepaid cards on its network. Discover’s “Merchant…

Contactless Bandwagon

Wells Fargo has jumped on the contactless bandwagon with the upcoming launch of “VISA Contactless” for its “VISA Platinum” and “VISA Signature” cardholders. Wells joins other major issuers such as Chase and Citibank who have launched contactless cards. Chase is the market leader with its “blink” contactless cards with more than six million cards issued…