Card News Highlights: Mastercard Inc (MA)’s New Additions, Visa Inc (V)’s Partnership, American Express Company (AXP)’s Closures

Editor’s Note: Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA), Visa Inc (NYSE:V), American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), ICICI Bank Limited (ADR) (NYSE:IBN)

MasterCard Shows Off Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Commerce (Banktech)
Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) offered up a number of new additions intended to upgrade the shopping experience for consumers using MasterCard digital payments products at its Innovation Showcase yesterday in New York City. After PayPal last week added new shopping features to its digital wallet, MasterCard added a new service called ShopThis! to its MasterPass wallet. The service, which MasterCard is offering with Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and PhiSix Fashion Labs, offers online shoppers looking for fashion and clothing items a fully interactive 3D virtual fitting room through Intel’s Virtual Shopping Experience, MasterCard said in a statement. Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) also showed off its QkR payments application.

Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA)

ICICI Bank ties up with Visa (indiablooms)
ICICI Bank Limited (ADR) (NYSE:IBN), India’s largest private sector bank, on Thursday announced the launch of its next generation Credit Card – ICICI Bank Carbon. Developed in partnership with Visa Inc (NYSE:V), ICICI Bank Carbon is Asia’s first credit card powered by Visa CodeSure, which along with EMV chip technology, makes the card one of the safest for any usage, especially for online shopping. ICICI Bank Carbon brings unparalleled safety for online transactions through cutting edge technology, enabling card members to instantly generate a highly secure dynamic passcode on the card.

American Express to close owned stores (Travel Weekly)
By the end of the year, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) will close its 20 owned offices that sell leisure travel; agents in those offices will work from home. American Express spokeswoman Tracy Paurowski said that many of the agents have long-time relationships with clients and do a lot of repeat and referral business, for which a storefront location is not important. Customers will be able to visit agencies in the American Express Travel Representative Network, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP)’s franchise group.

Wal-Mart, Target Don’t Like This Credit Card Fee Settlement (Wall St. Cheat Sheet)
The fight between retailers and credit card companies over swipe fees, also known as transaction fees, has been raging since 2005, when Visa Inc (NYSE:V) and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) were accused of fixing the fees, preventing retailers from steering customers toward other forms of payment, and other anticompetitive behavior. Visa and MasterCard then tried to settle with retailers, but many of the stores did not agree to the terms of the settlement and chose not to accept it. Retailers including Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) opted out of the settlement, saying it didn’t ensure swipe fees would stop rising and adding that accepting the settlement would prevent retailers from taking legal action in the future.

American Express Travel Boosts Membership with ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents)
ASTA, the global advocates for travel, today welcomed more than a thousand new travel professionals to its member base. In a strong show of travel industry solidarity, Tony Gonchar, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) Travel Vice President drove membership registration of more than 1,000 U.S.-based consumer travel counselors and managers from American Express to ASTA. American Express was a charter member of ASTA’s Premium Membership in 2007, and is a longtime Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) member. “I have seen, first hand, how hard the ASTA team works, and how effectively they move the needle in driving results that positively impact our industry,” said Gonchar.

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