Combined, Visa and MasterCard hold total assets of nearly $50 billion as of the third quarter of last year. Visa reported total assets of $36 billion for Q3 while MasterCard reported total assets of $13.7 billion. One-year ago Visa’s total assets stood at $40 billion. The Visa decline was due to the release of cash in its litigation escrow account of $4.4 billion. MasterCard’s total assets have grown over the past year from $12.1 billion to $13.7 billion.
AT&T and Vantiv, Inc. announced the availability of new payment products that deliver highly secure, integrated and speedy on-the-spot mobile transactions to businesses of all sizes. Mobile payments represent a market opportunity with significant upside as businesses implement new, more integrated ways to manage their operations and sell to customers. In fact, Forrester Research projects that U.S. mobile payments will reach $90 billion in 2017, representing a 48 percent compound annual growth rate from the $12.8 billion spent in 2012.
Metro announced that the Authority will begin testing a new electronic payment program after awarding Accenture the contract to replace the existing fare collection systems for Metrorail, Metro-operated parking facilities, Metrobus and MetroAccess services. The $184 million contract was awarded on a best value basis, following a competitive procurement process that included an examination of the technical capabilities of the shortlisted companies and their proposals, historical performance, and value for money. The new system will be designed to provide a state of the art system for Metro customers that enables them to continue to use SmarTrip cards, while expanding fare payment to chip-enabled credit cards, federal government ID cards, and mobile phones using NFC.
Net Element, Inc. is pleased to announce today that Aptito, LLC (“Aptito”), has achieved Visa Ready status for their mPOS solution. Aptito is a next generation, cloud-based point of sale payments platform, operated through TOT Group, Inc. (“TOT”) the mobile payments and transaction processing subsidiary of Net Element. Aptito helps restaurants drive consumer engagement via tablet, mobile and all other cloud-connected devices. Aptito’s mPOS system provides hospitality merchants with tools to increase sales, productivity, and customer loyalty. The solution is a tablet-based POS that combines traditional POS functionality with mobile ordering, payments, social media, intelligent offers, mobile applications, loyalty, and transactional data all in one solution supported by Aptito’s cloud-based payments platform.
TD Bank has launched TD Go, a reloadable prepaid card for teenagers that can be used wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. Adults can open and fund the card for their teenagers online using a debit or credit card or via direct deposit. Once activated, parents can monitor spending online and receive email and text alerts on balances, transactions and adult-oriented purchases. The TD Go Card allows teenagers to spend only available funds unlike credit cards and if a card is lost or stolen it can quickly be cancelled and replaced unlike cash.
Vantiv, Inc. and Microsoft announced an agreement to deliver a new range of solutions for mobile POS and cloud-connected payments that can help businesses maximize their customer reach at any scale, end-to-end. From simple mobile payment collection in the field, to individual direct sales transactions, to retail store operations and more, the combination of Microsoft’s technology with Vantiv’s processing services and support will make it easier for businesses to take full advantage of their most important asset – their people – to offer seamless best-in-class experiences.
PassMarket, first launched in 2012, is a behind-the-scenes platform that allows businesses to interact with customers using passes stored in digital wallet applications like Apple’s PassBook. Formerly focused on loyalty and rewards programs, the addition of “empty hand” payments was announced on Monday at the National Retail Federation’s annual trade show in New York. When the customer makes a purchase at that retailer with a credit card, the payment information can be stored in a secure vault at the payment processor and “tokenized” ” that is, assigned a unique but meaningless code ” and the tokens added to the user’s pass profile. Subsequent charges by that user can be made by simply passing the tokens to the processor, rather than reacquiring the payment information with another swipe.
NearPay is a solution that can be integrated into Mobile Wallet applications for mobile payments, but it’s not a wallet application in itself. By using several features that are available on NearLogin, NearPay is a service that allows payment applications to perform transactions on mobile devices both online and offline, with all the safety features that are necessary in financial applications. The NearPay system includes a server and security structure, and by using the NearBytes technology, can be used on various POS devices, and in physical and online stores. With NearPay, transactions can be completed using smartphones, tablets and computers, while online or offline.
i2c, Inc. announced that it is partnering with CardFlex Japan, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tay Two Corporation and licensee of CardFlex, Inc., and Shinsei Bank to launch a new prepaid card in Japan. The card will bear the brand of Tay Two Corporation, a leading Japanese retailer of games, videos, music and books with more than 100 retail locations across the country. i2c will serve as prepaid processor, CardFlex Japan as program manager and Shinsei Bank, working closely with its holding company APLUS Co., Ltd., as BIN sponsor for the program. The Tay Two Visa prepaid card will provide Japanese consumers with a new payment option that combines the flexibility of cash with the convenience of card payments. Consumers will be able to load money onto the cards online and via mobile app and make payments online or in person anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
The number of MasterCard accounts in Europe topped the U.S. for the first time. As a September 30, 2013 there were 293 million MasterCard accounts in Europe, compared to 289 million in the U.S. market. For the year ago quarter, the U.S. market led the European market by 19 million MasterCard accounts. MasterCard’s European account-base is growing at annual rate of 18.1%, compared to 8.2% according to CardData. For the third quarter MasterCard reported gross dollar volume in Europe is growing 16.6% per annum, compared to 8.7% in the U.S.
Severe winter weather did not dampen December retail sales as shoppers took advantage of heavy promotions and last-minute deals. According to the National Retail Federation, December retail sales, which excludes automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 4.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Total holiday retail sales, which includes November and December sales, increased 3.8 percent to $601.8 billion, which was in line with NRF’s projected forecast of 3.9 percent and $602.1 billion. In addition, non-store holiday sales, which is an indicator of online and e-commerce sales, grew 9.3 percent to $95.7 billion. December retail sales, released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, which include categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants, increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 4.1 percent adjusted year-over-year.
JPMorgan Chase & Co reported net income for the 4th Quarter 2013 at $5.3 billion. This was a slight increase from 4th Q 2012 which was reported at $5.2 billion. Revenue for the quarter was down 1% to $24 billion compared to the same period in 2012. Legal costs associated with a number of issues was noted as a reason for the drop in profits. Adjusted for the significant items disclosed in our earnings press releases this quarter and in the fourth quarter of 2012, EPS would have been $1.40 this year compared with $1.35 in the prior year and ROTCE would have been 15% this year, flat compared with the prior year.