Several changes are afoot in the credit card industry. Private retailer Neiman Marcus has stepped off the high horse. For years the high-end retailer accepted only Amex (NYSE:AXP) credit cards or, of course, cash. Effective Nov 1, Neiman Marcus will also accept Visa (NYSE:V) and MasterCard (NYSE:MA).
Targeted at younger, but maybe not so wealthy clientele, this move will likely stem lost sales due to its earlier policy of cash or Amex (NYSE:AXP). The move could also be the outcome of its not-so-hot profitability in the recent past. For the year ended on July 30, 2011, Neiman made a measly $31.6 million on sales of $4 billion. CEO Karen Katz said, “we’d love to invite new, affluent customers into Neiman Marcus, and this gives them the possibility of shopping with us.”
In the other big development, Huntington (NASDAQ:HBAN) has switched its debit cards serviced by Visa (NYSE:V) to MasterCard-branded (NYSE:MA) Platinum debit cards. As part of the partnership, Huntington (NASDAQ:HBAN) will also implement the world-class debit and ATM transaction processing capabilities of Mastercard Integrated Processing Solutions. Debit card usage remains free of fees for Huntington customers.
“We are excited to partner with MasterCard (NYSE:MA) to give all our customers a much better, value-enhanced platinum debit card making it part of our Fair Play Banking philosophy of bringing superior value to our customers”, said Huntington (NASDAQ:HBAN) CEO Steve Steinour. “This is an alliance of two strong financial brands with a shared commitment to their customers. This debit card is free to use and automatically comes with Asterisk-Free Checking, which Money Magazine cited in naming Huntington (NASDAQ:HBAN) Best Regional Bank Midwest in their September issue, or Huntington Plus Checking. These enhanced features will be very beneficial to our customers”.
- Mastercard (NYSE:MA) is trading at $341.01 today, up 3.63%. Shares are up 33.89% in one year. The stock’s trading range for the year is between $215.00 and $361.94.
Investing Insights: Visa and 2 Money Centric Stocks in Focus After Earnings.