Axalto posted a 17% gain in first-quarter revenue, to $ 237.3 million. The Cards segment revenue amounted to $216.5 million, a 13% increase over 1Q/04. During the period, Axalto delivered more than 93 million microprocessor cards, an increase of 28%. In financial cards, Axalto’s revenue fell 10% over the quarter to $44.5 million, a 14% drop at constant exchange rates. Axalto says the decline should be seen against the background of a very high basis of comparison in the first quarter of 2004, which marked the peak of the massive roll-out of EMV cards in the United Kingdom. For the same reason, the volume of microprocessor cards delivered fell 17% to 15.4 million. Point-of-sale terminals segment revenue jumped 78% to $20.8 million. For complete details on Axalto’s first quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).
Employees at the Discover Financial Services headquarters in Riverwoods, IL can now use Pay By Touch in the employee cafeteria. After a one-time enrollment, Discover employees can use a simple finger scan to make cafeteria purchases. Discover’s implementation of Pay By Touch is an extension of the two companies’ strategic marketing alliance announced in August 2004. Pay By Touch is a payment service free to consumers that allows shoppers to pay for purchases or cash checks using a finger scan. Discover Financial Services, a business unit of Morgan Stanley, operates the Discover Card with more than 50 million Cardmembers.
Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems and Blair Corporation have inked a purchase and sale deal wherein ADS’ industrial bank subsidiary will purchase Blair’s private label credit portfolio and will, under a 10-year agreement, provide a fully integrated private label credit program for Blair’s catalog and Web brands including Blair and Irvine Park. Blair’s credit portfolio currently consists of over 800,000 accounts and generates in excess of $200 million in annual credit sales. Blair Corporation has annual sales of approximately $500 million. Alliance Data Systems provides transaction services, credit services and marketing services, managing over 105 million consumer relationships.
Cygnus eTransactions Group has launched a new mobile ticketing system, marketed under the brand name “ceWireless”. Ticket reservations and credit card transactions are processed in real-time, with connectivity to Cygnus’ data center provided by WiFi, Bluetooth or GPRS. Consumers can collect their tickets immediately at one of 12 conveniently located ticketing kiosks marketed under the brand name ceOsk. Cygnus processes sales and payments for its customers’ wholesale and retail channels.
Transaction Systems Architects reported revenues of $75.6 million, operating income of $16.0 million, and net income of $11.2 million. During the quarter, ACI Worldwide signed seven new customers and Insession Technologies added six. Customer highlights included ACI Worldwide signing its first BASE24-es solution in the Asia-Pacific region, and two new BASE24 customers in Africa and the Middle East. Three new ACI Proactive Risk Manager customers were added in Canada, the Netherlands and Italy, which brings the Company’s PRM customer count to over eighty-five. ACI Worldwide licensed nineteen capacity upgrades. Insession Technologies, through its distributor relationship with GoldenGate, signed two new customers to its data movement and replication solution. IntraNet Worldwide signed two key services contracts and licensed one capacity upgrade during the quarter. For complete details on TSAI’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
American Express is offering a $30,000 organizational “Home Makeover” from Real Simple for the price of $2,500 in a new “My WishList” promotion. Until May 31, My WishList offers one-click opportunities to buy limited supplies of products for home furnishings, appliances and home entertainment items. Rebates are also being offered through national retailers. American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, network and financial services provider founded in 1850.
American Express Travel Related Services reported first quarter net income of $801 million, up 20% from 1Q/04. Discount revenue grew 13%, primarily reflecting a 15% increase in billed business. Spending on cards issued by the company’s network partners increased more than 35% from a year ago. Net finance charge revenue increased 6%, primarily reflecting higher net interest yields and 4% growth in average worldwide lending balances. Net card fees rose 6%, primarily as a result of 7% growth in cards-in-force. Marketing, promotion, rewards and cardholder services expenses increased 29%, reflecting both higher marketing and promotion expenses and greater rewards costs. Charge card interest expense increased 5% due to higher average receivable balances and increased funding costs. Other operating expenses decreased 24%, primarily reflecting lower expenses as a result of the third quarter 2004 sale of the ATM business. For complete details on AmEx’s first quarter performance as well as prior quarters, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
American Express U.S. Card Portfolio Snapshot
1Q/05 4Q/04 3Q/04 2Q/04 1Q/04 Ann Chng
Volume $79.6b 83.4 75.6b 75.7b 70.1b +13.6%
Cards 40.3m 39.9m 38.0m 37.4m 37.0m + 8.9%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Chicago-based Rewards Network reported first quarter sales of $74.8 million, a 15.7% decrease from the corresponding prior year’s first quarter sales. The decrease was caused primarily by a decline in the restaurant merchant count, the number of dining transactions and the average dining transaction amount. Lower sales yield as a result of changes in the Company’s products also slowed the rate of sales recognition. Net loss for the first quarter was $3.7 million, compared to net income of $3.3 million. As of March 31st, Rewards Network had 3.7 million active member accounts and 10,307 restaurants in its rewards programs. For complete details on Reward Network’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Advanta posted a 11% increase in net income for its business cards during the first quarter to $11.2 million, compared to the year ago period. The results for quarter reflect a 170 basis point decline in net principal charge-offs on average managed receivables to 5.49% on an annualized basis as compared to 7.19% for first quarter 2004. Over 30 day delinquencies on ending managed receivables declined 126 basis points to 4.11% and over 90 day delinquencies on ending managed receivables declined 77 basis points to 1.91%, each as compared to first quarter 2004. Managed receivables ended the quarter at approximately $3.35 billion as compared to $3.08 billion at March 31, 2004. For complete details on Advanta’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
ADVANTA’S CARD PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
Period Card Loans
1Q/04: $3.08 billion
2Q/04: $3.12 billion
3Q/04: $3.22 billion
4Q/04: $3.29 billion
1Q/05: $3.35 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Euronet Worldwide posted revenues of $117.2 million for the first quarter, compared to $81.1 million for 1Q/04. Net income for the first quarter was $4.8 million, compared to a net income of $3.3 million, for the first quarter 2004. The EFT Processing Segment posted first quarter revenues of $23.9 million, compared to $14.9 million reported for the first quarter of last year. The EFT Processing Segment processed 77.3 million transactions in the first quarter compared to 34.9 million transactions for the same period last year. The segment completed the quarter with 6,201 ATMs owned or operated, compared to 3,870 ATMs at the end of the first quarter 2004. The Prepaid Processing Segment reported first quarter revenues of $89.4 million, compared to $62.9 million reported for the first quarter 2004. Total transactions processed by the Prepaid Processing Segment in the first quarter were 67.2 million, compared to 48.5 million prepaid transactions processed in 1Q/04. The Prepaid Processing Segment processes electronic point-of-sale prepaid transactions at more than 205,000 point-of-sale terminals across more than 94,000 retailers in Europe, Asia Pacific and the USA. For complete details on Euronet’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
California based-CyberSource has introduced the “CyberSource PCI Compliance Service,” a comprehensive assessment and readiness program for eCommerce merchants seeking full compliance with the PCI data security standard. Most merchants will be required by their acquiring bank to certify to the PCI program no later than June 30th, 2005. Merchants not PCI certified could face fines as high as $500,000 or be permanently barred from the card acceptance program. CyberSource Corporation is a leading provider of electronic payment and risk management solutions.
Regal Entertainment Group will be the first movie theater circuit to accept MasterCard “PayPass” at Regal Cinemas, United Artist Theatres and Edwards Theatres throughout the USA. To purchase a ticket or concession, PayPass cardholders simply tap their card on a specially equipped terminal that utilizes a radio frequency chip to complete the transaction. Regal Entertainment Group is the largest motion picture exhibitor in the world, operating 6,273 screens in 558 locations in 40 states.