GE reported that revenues for its GE Money unit grew 22% in the fourth quarter to $6.6 billion. Profits grew by 7% to $957 million, compared to one-year ago, but down from the prior quarter’s year-on-year growth rate of 13%. In December GE indicated it was looking to sell or form a partnership for some of its GE Money services including its U.S. private-label credit-card business. Overall, GE is reviewing between $30 billion and $50 billion in financial assets to sell or share. The Company cites a slowing U.S. consumer and a challenging housing market as reasons to reevaluate its financial services business. GE Money’s credit card business contributes about 16% of its $4 billion+ annual net income. During the quarter, GE Money and the National Tour Association established a five-year extension of the GE Money Travel Finance Program available through NTA’s more than 600 tour operators globally; established a relationship with FL-based decoupled ACH debit card provider National Payment Card to link National Payment Card’s ACH-based alternate payment system with the GE Motor Club; extended its consumer financing agreement with FL-based City Furniture; renewed its consumer financing agreement with Thomasville Furniture; and signed a multi-year agreement with Wood-Mizer for revolving and installment financing. For complete details on GE’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).
Yandex has selected PayByCash to process its “Money E-Wallet” Internet
payment solution. The payment solution serves merchants around the world
while Yandex provides consumers with an option to conduct payment
transactions over the Internet without the need for a credit card.
The Russian payment portal is now among the 70 existing PayByCash
payment providers with access to the expanding Internet consumer base in
230 different nations, provides over 70 different payment methods and
handles all foreign currency while Yandex Russian Internet firm was
founded in 2002.
NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems has signed a deal that enables merchants to accept American Express cards on its merchant processing platform. Merchants who are new to American Express Card acceptance will have a single source for statements, settlement and customer service. Heartland will provide these merchants with payment processing services on behalf of American Express, while American Express will retain the Card acceptance contract with participating merchants, continue to establish merchant pricing, and receive the same transactional information it does today. The program will be available in the second half of 2008.
Given the more economical prices of retail goods and services
in Southeast Asia, the local economy has seen a recent influx of
purchases from South Korean consumers, according to the Korea
Times and BC Credit Cards. Japan and China have also seen an
increase in South Korean tourists due to the close proximities of these
countries. These tourists spent the most in the Philippines, 51.8 billion
won, on BC credit cards in 2007 accounting for 3.7% of the total
overseas spending, 35.2 billion won on BC cards in Singapore,
followed by China Japan and Hong Kong, respectively. Additionally,
Korean cardholders spent 420 billion won in the United States in
Experian has appointed 2 new members to its Latin American senior
management team, including Francisco Valim as COO and Elcio Anibal de
Lucca as President of Corporate Affairs. Valim will be responsible for
regional business developments and as the acting Manager of the Board.
Previously, he was CFO at Oi (Telemar) and vice president at Groupo RBS
with an advanced education composed of a masters degree in Business
Administration from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
and an MBA from the University of Southern California. Elcio Anibal de
Lucca’s new role will assume responsibilities in Board Management, the
supervision of regional corporate citizenship activities and the management
of government relations with special attention to the adoption of new
legislation. Previously, Lucca was a member of Serasa’s Board of Directors
and is a graduate in Administration by Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV) of
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has ascertained banks follow
certain ATM card guidelines, effective April 1st, 2008. The guidelines
stipulate in the event of ATM card retention or disablement, banks are
to change program and/or system software to provide cardholders with
requisite information for card recovery. The guidelines further require
acquiring bank branches to check ATMs daily for card captures, the
provision of an ATM message disclosing card capture and to arrange
for customer card return by the following business day, unless under
suspicious circumstances. Cards retained under suspicious
circumstances should be reported to SBP each quarter and may
be surrendered to law enforcement agencies for investigation.
MO-based Visible Results reports that its loyalty card program for the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis has been a real hit. The stored value “Yard Card” rewards members for frequenting on-campus auxiliary restaurants and coffee concessions with items such as free coffee, $1 off coupons, free pizza and more. The rewritable face of the “Graphicard” “Yard Card” includes a gaming feature. Each purchase with the card represents an opportunity for the cardholder to play the classic naval combat game, “Battleship.” With each transaction, the “Yard Card” is swiped through the “Graphicard” terminal which erases and reprints the information and images on the face of the card. With each transaction, the face of the card is re-imaged and a new game graphic informs the cardholder of a ‘hit’ or ‘miss.’ When a ship is ‘sunk,’ an instant prize is awarded to the midshipman or staff member. Visible Results has clients worldwide.
Shinsei Bank and Seven Bank have jointly announced a collaboration
to share sales channels, product development and service development.
This collaboration would consist of the installation of Seven Bank ATMs
at Shinsei Bank’s unmanned sub-branches, with the intent of enhancing
ATM networks of both banks, and provide an important sales channel
for Shinsei Bank retail products at Seven Bank’s manned branches. With
more than 12,000 ATMs, Shinsei Bank can provide Seven Bank
customers to an expansive network while Shinsei Bank can market
products to a wider audience, namely consisting of Seven Bank
customers. For the consideration of the partnership, the banks have
signed a letter of intent to study the joint installation of ATMs, research
advances in ATM services and study benefits of cross-bank marketing.
Shinsei Bank has total assets of US$107 billion and 43 customer outlets
while Seven Bank ATMs are located across Japan and are operated in
cooperation with more than 550 financial institutions.
EDebitPay and ConveniaLoad have teamed to give EDebitPay prepaid
cardholders more than
10,000 bank loading locations including Wells Fargo, Bank One, U.S. Bank
and Wachovia. According to Forbes.com, approximately $117 billion in
transactions were anticipated to be made in 2007 using prepaid plastic
and this number could soar to $257 billion by the end of 2009. EDebitPay
is a performance-based marketing companies in the online interactive
marketing industry. ConveniaLoad is managed by Western Financial which
provides financial services that include ATMs, merchant processing
solutions, check cashing services and Stored Value Card technology
Jet Infosystems and Kabira Technologies have teamed to deploy the
“Beepay XP on the Kabira Transaction Platform at VimpelCom”
payment processing system, which will be operating under the Beeline
brand. VimpelCom’s “Beepay” system processes subscriber payments
over a modernized infrastructure to offer scalability, offers flexibility and
was developed on the Kabira Transaction Platform, “KTP”. This allows
“Beepay XP” to operate on the 64-bit memory Kabira Transaction
Platform and process over 6 million transactions on a daily basis through
various channels, including cash, ATM, credit cards and mobile devices.
The VimpelCom Group operates across Eastern Europe, serving a total
population of nearly 250 million, while Kabira Technologies provides
transaction processing software to over 70 organizations in 30 different
Circle K has chosen Cardtronics to process ATM transactions for Circle K owned and operated ATMs across the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. Cardtronics began developing its own proprietary ATM transaction processing network in 2006. In addition to the Circle K ATMs, Cardtronics currently processes transactions for 14,000 Cardtronics-operated ATMs. All remaining Cardtronics ATMs will transition to Cardtronics’ in-house processing network during 2008. Cardtronics operates over 31,600 ATMs across its portfolio with ATMs in every major U.S. market.
Gemalto has announced its Poland Personalization facility, the “Gemalto
Tczew facility”, has achieved certification from both MasterCard and
VISA payment card organizations. This certification concerns the issuance
of its EMV smart banking cards and allows the company to support bank
customers during the approaching chip-card migration. The “Gemalto
Tczew” expansion into the personalization of banking cards will address
EMV in Poland, is in addition to its existing SIM card personalization
across the country and is among similar Gemalto operations in 40 other
countries. Gemalto provides digital security around the world, had a 2006
annual revenue of EUR1.7 billion, employs nearly 10,000 and will be
issuing the EMV cards in response to the growing Polish market. The
number of credit cards issued in Poland is projected to grow from 4.1
million in 2006 to 11 million in 2010.