Latest news (24,867 items)

Credit card share climbs five per cent

One sidebar to BankWest's announcement about the "lite" home loan rate is that the bank asserts that it has increased its credit card market share in Western Australia with the "lite" MasterCard, by five percentage points, since the introduction of the product in mid 2002. read more

Housing loan write offs on the rise

Losses on housing loans in Australia may be very low, but the losses are not quite the historic lows portrayed by banks, and they are rising steadily. read more

OFT tackles UK's cards cartel

Britain's Office of Fair Trading has renewed its assertive stance in favour of reform of interchange fees on credit card transactions, and opening credit card networks to new entrants, publishing an analysis last week that foreshadows more intrusive regulation than that adopted by the Reserve Bank in Australia. read more

Kiwibank opts for low cost card

Kiwibank in New Zealand has finally introduced a credit card to its product portfolio. As expected, the credit card is MasterCard branded, and offers a low interest rate, by New Zealand's standards, of 12.9 per cent, and up to 55 days interest free credit. The card has an annual fee of NZ$38, paid in NZ$19 instalments each six months. read more

MasterCard the growth brand

When did any bank last introduce a new credit card product of any consequence with a Visa brand in Australia or New Zealand? Apologies if this list overlooks a Visa card initiative, but of all the notable new credit card programs in the last few years, all wear the MasterCard brand. read more

Five suitors for Sears cards

Five suitors have reportedly lodged offers to buy the credit card and store card business of US retailer Sears, Roebuck and Co. read more

‘Undervalued' Homeloans value drops further

Investors in mortgage manager Homeloans Ltd may not agree with the company's assessment of value in the business, knocking two cents off the share price yesterday, to 50 cents, after the company foreshadowed lower than expected profit for the half year to June 2003. read more

Visa NZ defers supermarket interchange reform

The flap over the planned increase in interchange fees, and thus merchant service fees, for supermarkets in New Zealand has led to a decision to defer the introduction of the higher rate for three months. The new rate was due to come into affect in July. read more

Reserve Bank talked of credit card warfare

The Reserve Bank adopted military analogies in its approach to dealing with the perceived problems in the credit card market in 2000, in a series of meetings between the bank and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that debated whether the RBA or the ACCC should take the lead in seeking to regulate the sector, and which at times envisaged very short time frames for consultation with the sector in regulation were to occur. read more

Banks promoted credit cards as payments systems

The Reserve Bank opened its response to Visa and MasterCard's complaints yesterday, with the bank's advocate, Tom Bathurst, rubbishing the narrow construction of the law adopted by the card schemes, and seeking to convince the court of the "remedial" nature of the 1998 legislation on payments system regulation, and the context of the 1997 Wallis committee inquiry into the financial system that identified shortcomings in the structure of the credit card market. read more

Visa NZ unifies interchange rate

Banks in New Zealand propose to introduce a unified interchange rate for Visa transactions of 93 basis points from July, replacing the current two tier rate, of 110 basis points for standard transactions, and a discounted interchange rate of 80 basis points on supermarket transactions. read more

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