As the payments world adjusts to the post-credit crunch
era, this year’s Cards and Payments Europe event will reflect the
reshaping of business models a new era demands. Nominations are now
welcome from Cards International readers who wish to highlight the
outstanding product launches and innovations from
2009.

 

Last year’s Cards and Payments Europe
event and awards were very much defined by the need to stay strong
in an unpredictable economic climate, as payment players around the
world shared strategies on reducing risk and preserving
profitability.

The need for a more cautious approach in the
short-term appears to have been the correct one, as many markets
are now firmly out of recession. Banks are beginning to lend and
invest again, mergers and acquisitions are starting to increase in
number and size, and payment players are reporting a much more
optimistic atmosphere.

New era of positivity

To reflect this new air of
positivity, this year’s Cards and Payments Europe event and awards
will be heading to Madrid in Spain on 18-19 May, where the world’s
leading cards and payment players will gather to share their
market-leading business insights and best practices, and how they
have reshaped their business models to adapt to this new era.

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Cards and Payments Europe 2010 has already
secured a high-profile line-up of speakers from around the globe,
who will discuss topics such as loyalty and co-branding;
collections and receivables in the current climate; leveraging
contactless payment and other new technologies; and the continued
growth of debit. VRL, publisher of Cards International, will also
present exclusive research on consumer attitudes to cards and
payments across the region.

As always, our Gala Awards dinner to be held
on the evening of 18 May is sure to be a highlight of the event, as
it is one of the few awards ceremonies that is truly global in
scope, acknowledging and rewarding outstanding product launches,
innovations and contributions in the cards and payments sector over
the last 12 months.

Awards will be determined on a global basis,
with specific criteria for each individual award. The award
categories will be applied for activities in the last 12 months,
not general category excellence.

As editor of Cards International, I would like
to ask our readers to submit their nominations for this year’s
awards. Full information on the awards categories and nomination
submissions can be found on www.vrl-financial-news.com.

Please email or post your nominations
to me, Victoria Conroy, at victoria.conroy@vrlfinancialnews.com.
The deadline for receipt of nominations is 26 March 2009.

The Cards International team and a panel of
esteemed judges drawn from the global cards and payments sector
will then draw up a shortlist of nominees, with the winners to be
announced at the Cards & Payments Europe Gala Awards
dinner.

On behalf of the Cards International team, I
hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be a highly
engaging and lively conference.

Awards
categories

Award 1: Best Merger &
Acquisition

Criteria:

• Acquisition or merger that
fundamentally changed the nature of the organisation’s business,
market position, market conditions or industry.

• Financially successful acquisition
(price, potential, etc).

• Significant future opportunities
to the business from the M & A activity.

Award 2: Best New Credit
Card Product Launch

Criteria:

• A new or re-launched credit card
product with significant unique features or marketing strategies or
programmes

• New to issuer, market or both

• Acquired significant number of new
accounts in six months following launch

Award 3: Best New Debit Card
Product Launch

Criteria:

• A new or re-launched debit card
product with significant unique features, or marketing strategies
or programmes

• New to issuer, market or both

• Acquired significant number of new
accounts in six months following launch

Award 4: Best New Prepaid
Card Product Launch

Criteria:

• A new prepaid card product with
significant unique features, or marketing strategies or
programmes

• New to issuer, market or both

• Acquired significant number of new
accounts in six months following launch

Award 5: Best New Co-branded
or Affinity Card Product Launch

Criteria:

• Acquired significant number of new
accounts in six months following launch

• A new co-branded or affinity card
product with unique partners, partnership strategy, features, or
marketing strategies or programmes

• New to issuer, market or both

Award 6: Best Loyalty
Programme Innovation

Criteria:

• The issuer that has developed a
truly new and unique innovation for its loyalty programme. This
could include a technology application, marketing programme,
partnership strategy, new loyalty programme design or other
significant facet of a loyalty programme.

Award 7: Best Commercial
Credit Card Issuer

Criteria:

• Issuer must have a significant
market share of at least one type of commercial card in at least
one market, and preferably multiple markets.

• Products or marketing programmes
should be unique or new to the market.

• In the last 12 months issuer has
introduced new product, significantly increased market share

Award 8: Best Card Processor
of the Year

Criteria:

• A processor that has made a major
change to the industry through new services, technological
advancements, acquisitions or other significant activities.

Award 9: Merchant Acquirer
of the Year

Criteria:

• A merchant acquirer that has made
a major change to the industry through expansion, technological
advancements, acquisitions or other significant activities.

Award 10: Most Promising New
Entrant

Criteria:

• A promising start-up which is set
to prosper in the years ahead and has brought creativity and
innovation to the cards & payments market.