Digital Insight has released “Funds Transfer 2.0” which now supports both risk and good funds models, includes an enhanced administrative tool to control application settings, and keeps records of transfer and payment activity. “Funds Transfer 2.0” enables customers or members to transfer money between accounts at their host institution and other institutions via the ACH network. It also enables those customers or members to send money to friends and family via the ACH network; in which case, the payment recipient receives an email notifying them to collect their payment once the funds have cleared. “Funds Transfer 2.0” integrates directly with “AXIS Internet Banking” for secure single sign-on, ensuring an easy experience for the end user.
VISA Canada reported that it processed more than 2 million credit card
transactions totalling approximately $232 million in sales volume on the
day after Christmas. During the busiest hour on “Boxing Day” VISA processed
267,000 transactions valued at $29.8 million. In early December, VISA
projected that Canadians will spend a total of $809 on holiday season gifts
this year versus $816 the previous year,
basically representing flat year-over-year spending. In total, Canadians
were expected to spend an estimated $18 billion on holiday season gifts
Credit card profits among monolines, banks, and credit unions rose across the board in 2002. Interestingly, profits among monolines remained below card profits by banks, presumably by the collapse of the sub-prime market. According to data compiled by R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers, pre-tax card profits at monolines last year came in at 3.83% compared to 4.28% for banks. Credit Unions delivered a pre-tax ROA of 1.10%, compared to 1.00% for 2001. In 2001, monolines pre-tax ROA was 3.23% and banks were 4.00%.
CREDIT CARD PRE-TAX ROA (%)
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Monolines: 4.61 5.59 4.56 3.23 3.83
Banks: 2.50 3.16 3.65 4.00 4.28
Credit Unions: 0.90 0.95 1.10 1.00 1.10
Source: R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers
CA-based TouchCredit Financial Services has named Bond Isaacson, currently Concord EFS President of Financial Services, to its board of advisors. Prior to joining Concord EFS, Isaacson was a payments executive for Bank of America Corporation, where he was charged with positioning Bank of America as a payments leader. In addition to profit and loss responsibility for the integrated payment services unit, his responsibilities included creating new payment products and revenue streams by leveraging the opportunities among merchant services, debit cards, stored value products, and ATMs.
Official Payments has expanded its existing relationship with the state of New York to enable New York State taxpayers who are eligible to participate in the state’s tax amnesty program to make credit card payments for a variety of personal and business taxes. The New York State Amnesty Eligible Assessments program allows eligible taxpayers to pay a variety of amnesty eligible assessments without penalty and reduced interest. The program covers taxes such as personal income, corporate income, sales and use, estate and various Article 9 corporation and utility taxes for taxpayers with outstanding liabilities through Dec. 31, 2000.
The UK’s fourth largest online retailer, Comet, reported that online sales
over the Christmas period have doubled compared to this time last year as
nearly half a million pounds were spent online on the busiest day. The
Comet survey shows that 57% of online shoppers spent over Â£100 this
Christmas, compared to just 33% in 2001. Items purchased over the Christmas
period include over 4,000 DVD players, over 2,000 wide-screen TVs, over
2,500 washing machines and 1,000 dishwashers. Customers are even splashing
out on top-of-the-range items such as plasma TVs which retail at around
Â£2,500 each. According to the Comet survey, 4 in 10 shoppers said that they
were doing at least half of their shopping online this year because they
found it easier, more comfortable and more convenient.
Bank of America said this week it expects more than 1.8 million consumers to pay their bills online this month, compared to about 900,000 customers during January 2002. Last year, BofA customers paid about 5.6 million bills online. In January 2003, customers are expected to pay about 11 million bills online. In January 2002, the amount of the bills that customers paid totaled $1.7 billion. In January 2003, the amount is expected to be about $3 billion. BofA has more than 4.6 million active subscribers to its online banking services, the most in the industry.
NJ-based Shoppers Charge Accounts Co. has signed an agreement to develop and administer a private label credit card program for WI-based Cascio Interstate Music. The company acquires retailers’ receivables or will develop private label credit card programs for merchants who currently don’t offer a house charge. In both situations, SCA assumes responsibility for generating customers’ billing statements; managing credit, collection, and lockbox functions; and creating customized marketing programs.
San Diego-based Filmagic Entertainment Inc. has changed its name to InstaPay Systems Inc. to reflect the company’s new focus in the transaction processing market. InstaPay’s licensed technology provides a gateway service that enables and delivers certain transactions to allow the use of the consumer’s bank-issued ATM card over the Internet. This service is the first and so far only gateway service to enable Internet merchants to accept ATM Card transactions where the consumer uses their PIN number to verify their identity and complete their transaction.
MasterCard Canada has inked a deal with Clear Channel Entertainment to
become the “Official Card of Clear Channel Entertainment Concerts Canada.”
In addition to on-site branding opportunities, the deal includes special
cardholder privileges for MasterCard users to purchase tickets to select
Canadian concerts in advance of the general public and receive other
special exclusive offers. MasterCard cardholders may also enjoy special,
“preceless” access to some live music concerts in Canada. Clear Channel
Entertainment Canada produces more than 250 music, comedy and special
events each year, reaching approximately one million Canadians. The firm
has produced events such as The Rolling Stones, U2, Paul McCartney and
The FTC announced a final settlement with TX-based Certified Merchant Services which requires the firm to stop their deceptive practices and provide consumer redress for defrauded merchants to whom CMS sold credit card processing services. The settlement requires the firm to sell its assets to provide money for consumer redress. The FTC complaint alleged that CMS violated the FTC Act by unfairly and deceptively: 1) modifying customer contracts; 2) debiting their accounts without authorization; 3) making misrepresentations regarding various goods or services offered; and 4) failing to disclose various charges or fees. The complaint alleged that in many instances, after merchants had signed applications (and without their knowledge), CMS altered contract terms, including fee and expense information. CMS allegedly then used these changes to justify debits made from the merchants’ deposit accounts without notification to the merchants. CMS then tried to disguise these debits, listing “H-Semi” and “H-Can,” instead of CMS, as the company that withdrew the fees. Finally, the complaint alleged that in many instances CMS deceptively failed to disclose, clearly and conspicuously, that they would charge merchants certain fees, including a minimum of $25 if the merchants did not achieve a certain level of card sales; a semi-annual fee of between $33 and $50; and a cancellation fee of between $300 and $400 for cancelling within three years of signing a service contract.
Trust levels among Internet users for online transactions have improved from a year ago (fourth quarter 2001). Now, more than 33% express trust that their online financial transactions are safe, up from 27.5% a year ago. According to the “The Consumer Internet Barometer”, produced jointly by NFO WorldGroup, Forrester Research and The Conference Board, overall Internet usage increased in the fourth quarter. Now, nearly 61% of consumers go online at least once a month. This is up from 58.7% a year ago. The “Consumer Internet Barometer” also finds the primary reason for using the Internet is personal communication (37.9%), followed by work-related activities (17.8%) and research (17.3%). Currently, 37.4% of users go online daily, up from 33.7% a year ago.