• Chilean retail and financial services group Ripley is planning
to grow its private-label credit card lending by 27 percent this
year in Chile and Peru compared to 2006…

• ClickandBuy, a US and European digital payments platform
operator, says it plans to move into Latin America during
2007…

• As part of celebrations to mark its 25th anniversary in
Brazil, American Express has donated $100,000 to the National
Museum of Quinta da Boa Vista in Rio de Janeiro…

Visa and Brazilian bank Bradesco have
begun consumer trials of powered cards, which are payment cards
with an embedded battery.

• Visa and Brazilian bank Bradesco have begun consumer trials of
powered cards, which are payment cards with an embedded battery.
Powered cards include a display which shows updated card account
balances as well as one-time passcodes for online authentication.
Visa says Bradesco is the first bank in the world to test powered
debit cards with its customers. The trial’s purpose is to ensure
that powered cards comply with Visa’s interoperability and security
standards. Bradesco says its customers will use their powered debit
cards to generate one-time passcodes for authenticating online and
telephone banking transactions as well as for e-commerce
payments.

• Chilean retail and financial services group Ripley is planning to
grow its private-label credit card lending by 27 percent this year
in Chile and Peru compared to 2006. Ripley expects to invest around
$200 million this year in expanding its credit card business. In a
presentation on its website, Ripley says it had 4.2 million Ripley
credit card customers in Chile and 1.6 million in Peru in September
2006. Chilean Ripley card transaction volumes grew by 63 percent
and Peruvian card transactions by 65 percent in the year to
September 2006. As at September 2006, Ripley card receivables
totalled $564 million in Chile and $181 million in Peru.

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By GlobalData

• ClickandBuy, a US and European digital payments platform
operator, says it plans to move into Latin America during 2007.
Switzerland-based ClickandBuy, which provides services to companies
such as Apple iTunes, the Financial Times group and internet
telephony network Skype, has 7,000 e-merchants using its platform
and 7 million consumer users. Earlier this month, ClickandBuy’s
holding company, Firstgate Holding, received an equity investment
from Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of US chip manufacturer
Intel.

• Scotiabank Peru, a subsidiary of Canada’s Scotiabank, says it
recently expanded its ATM network and now has 187 ATMs in
Peru.

• Euronet, a US-based international payments processor and ATM
network operator, has agreed to buy New York-based money transfer
firm Envios de Valores La Nacional Corporation (La Nacional). The
financial terms of the deal, which will close in the second quarter
of 2007, were not disclosed. La Nacional, which will become part of
Euronet’s Payments and Remittance services unit, provides money
transfer services between the US and Latin America, mainly to the
Dominican Republic. Euronet says that total remittances from the US
to the Dominican Republic in 2005 amounted to around $1.6
billion.

• First Data International has completed the acquisition of
Argencard, a cards processor in Argentina and Uruguay. The company,
which provides acquiring services for 150,000 merchants and issuing
services for 70 banks with 9 million cardholders, will operate
under the First Data International name. First Data originally
announced plans to buy Argencard in August 2006.

• NYCE Payments Network has signed an agreement with Evertec, a
Central American processor, to enable debit cardholders from Puerto
Rico and the US Virgin Islands to make PIN-debit payments at US
stores belonging to the NYCE network. The agreement applies to the
2.2 million holders of ATH-branded debit cards which are issued by
ATH Network-affiliated financial institutions in Puerto Rico and
the Virgin Islands. NYCE, which has 1.3 million US networks in its
PIN debit network, says it expects ATH debit cardholders to make 1
million transactions a year in the US following the deal.

• Xoom, a US-based online money transfer service, has expanded its
Latin American network through a deal with Bancomer Transfer
Services. As a result of the agreement with the subsidiary of
Mexico’s BBVA Bancomer, Xoom’s Latin American network has increased
from 2,500 locations in 11 countries to 12,500 in 16 countries.
Xoom’s Global Money Transfer website (www.xoom.com) allows
consumers to make international money transfers using credit or
debit cards, PayPal, or bank accounts. The firm also provides the
Xoom Web Agent service (www.xoomplatform.com) to financial
institutions that want to outsource their money transfer and
remittance services to a third-party operator.

• French card payments software company Welcome has appointed Rose
Del Col as its Latin America regional director. Based in São Paulo,
Brazil, Del Col will be responsible for developing all of Welcome’s
activities in Latin America. She previously worked for MasterCard
Brazil. Welcome’s Latin American clients include Bancomer and
VisaNet in Brazil, both of which are using Welcome’s XLS EMV
payments software, and Mexico’s BBVA Bancomer. The company says
there are now 293 million credit and debit cards in Latin America,
with the total number growing by 22.2 percent a year.

• BBVA Bancomer has reduced its internet card fraud losses by 80
percent since it started using Fair Isaac’s Falcon fraud detection
technology to protect online transactions last year. The Mexican
bank has been using Falcon to protect credit and debit card
transactions at the point of sale, bank branches and ATMs since the
mid-1990s.

• Interbank Peru, one of Peru’s top four banks, has installed 115
multi-function Wincor Nixdorf ATMs. Paderborn, Germany-based Wincor
Nixdorf says the ProCash 2100xe ATMs include an intelligent deposit
function, enabling customers to make cash and cheque deposits
without an envelope. Customers can also pay bills at the ATMs and
deposit cash and notes in both Peru’s nuevo sol currency and in US
dollars.

• As part of celebrations to mark its 25th anniversary in Brazil,
American Express has donated $100,000 to the National Museum of
Quinta da Boa Vista in Rio de Janeiro. The grant, which was made
through the American Express Partners in Preservation programme, is
to be used to restore the former quarters of Empresses Leopoldina
and Dona Tereza Cristina. The National Museum of Quinta da Boa
Vista was the residence of the Brazilian imperial family during the
19th century.

• Citigroup’s Brazilian credit card subsidiary CrediCard Citi has
opened a virtual branch on Second Life, the online community. The
third-largest issuer in Brazil, CrediCard Citi has around 4.4
million cardholders, representing 10 percent of the Brazilian
market. CrediCard says it opened the virtual branch in order to
market its brand to the community’s estimated 200,000 Brazilian
users.

• In November 2006, credit card lending by Mexican banks totalled
MXN207.6 million ($19 million), according to the latest monthly
bulletin from Banco Central de México. This represented a 45.4
percent increase on the MXN137.2 million in credit card lending in
November 2005.