Sao Paulo-based Lojas Americanas and Banco ITAU Holding Financiera announced the creation of a new financial institution which will broaden and improve the range of financial products and services currently available to customers of LASA such as private label cards, co-branded credit cards, consumer credit, personal loans, insurance, extended product warranties for customers of Lojas Americanas, Americanas Express and Americanas.com. The equity of the new company will be R$80 million, owned 50% by ITAU and 50% by LASA.
After agreeing to acquire all of Unibanco’s interest in Credicard, Citigroup and Banco Itau have no decided to divide equally the assets of Credicard, without any financial consideration paid by either party. As a result of this agreement Citibank Brazil will
add more than 3.8 million cards, bringing Citibank’s total number of
Brazilian credit cards to approximately 4.7 million. In November 2004, Citibank Brazil, Banco Itau and Unibanco announced the restructuring of the ownership of their jointly owned Credicard Group, including the purchase by Citibank and Itau of Unibanco’s interest in the Credicard card issuing business, and the purchase by Itau of Citibank’s and Unibanco’s shares in Orbitall, the card processing and servicing business. Redecard, the merchant acquiring business, maintained its ownership structure, with Citibank, Itau and Unibanco each owning 32%, and MasterCard owning 4%. After the transition is complete, which is expected to occur later in 2005, Citibank Brazil and Banco Itau will manage their respective credit card operations in the manner that best supports each company’s distinct business strategies.
The joint venture ownership of The Credicard Group, the country’s leading credit card company, is being restructured. Under the new arrangement, Citibank Brazil and Banco Itau will each increase their ownership to 50% by acquiring all of Unibanco’s interest in Credicard. Formerly, Banco Itau, Citibank Brazil, and Unibanco each owned equal shares of Credicard. Banco Itau also announced it will increase its ownership in Orbitall, the card processing and servicing business, to 100% by acquiring all of Citibank’s and Unibanco’s shares. Redecard, the merchant acquiring business, will maintain its current ownership structure, with Citibank, Itau and Unibanco each owning 32%, and MasterCard owning 4%. The Credicard Group has grown to serve more than 5 million clients, issuing 7 million credit cards, processing more than 13 million accounts, and maintaining important commercial relationships with 750,000 merchants.
Tecnologia Bancaria S.A. has selected eFunds’ “IST/Switch” to handle TecBan’s growing ATM/EFT network volume. eFunds'”IST/Switch” is an open platform solution designed to process multi-card payment transactions from any device or network. TecBan currently serves 53
financial institutions throughout Brazil and acquires transactions from
more than 84 million active bank cards. TecBan serves more than 350 Brazilian cities. eFunds’ “IST/Switch” has been successfully implemented at more than 150 customer sites in more than 70 countries.
Xoom has expanded its money transfer service to six South
American countries including Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia. The service is available, via local disbursement partner Latin Express. Xoom’s money transfer service allows individuals to send money from any
Internet-enabled computer to friends, family and businesses in 14
countries Worldwide. Senders can use PayPal, major credit cards or have
funds withdrawn directly from their bank account to fund the money
transfer. Recipients, receive cash in local currency or US Dollars. Xoom
also offers money transfer services to India, the Philippines, the
Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Bradesco, the country’s largest health insurer, has inked a deal with Transax International to install its POS solution
into medical provider’s offices, clinics and hospitals in major centers throughout Brazil. The deployment is part of Transax’s “Medlink” solution being introduced in the country. The POS solution developed by Transax allows, through the use of a magnetic stripe card or smart card containing critical patient information such as medical plan, a provider to undertake instantaneous eligibility, authorization and adjudication of medical claims to the health insurer. In addition to the 450 POS units currently installed in its network, Transax’s subsidiary in Brazil expect to install a further 3,000 POS units into medical providers in Brazil over the next 18 months for currently signed contracts and other PC, server and network solutions into medical facilities. Transax currently undertakes approximately 250,000 transactions per month, has contracts in place for in excess of 2,500,000 transactions per
month, and other potential contracts in various stages of negotiation.
Fair Isaac has signed a new, multi-year agreement with Cobra Tecnologia S.A. to integrate Fair Isaac’s “Falcon Fraud Manager” into one of the world’s largest electronic banking networks. Cobra is the
information technology services subsidiary of Banco do Brasil. Cobra Tecnologia’s network currently connects more than 9,000 terminals to state-owned banks, including Banco do Brasil. Cobra Tecnologia recently established a partnership with USA-based S2 Systems to develop in Brazil one of the largest e-banking networks in the world. In its agreement with S2 Systems, Cobra Tecnologia has adopted S2’s “OpeN/2” transaction management and payment system as its standard operation management platform. Known as the “Cobra Switch Project,” the new network will be capable of handling initially 100 million transactions per month and will be the first in Brazil to be present in more than 3,500 cities. Fair Isaac’s “Falcon Fraud Manager” will add significant value to the shared network by offering advanced fraud protection to participating financial institutions.
Banco Itau and MoneyGram Payment Systems have launched a money transfer services in more than 2,400 Banco Itau locations. There are nearly 4 million Brazilians living abroad who send money
home to their families in Brazil. Banco Itau is the largest privately owned bank in Brazil, with more than nine million customers and $40 billion in assets. MoneyGram has 68,000 agent locations (excluding Banco Itau) in 160 countries. It is a subsidiary of Travelers Express Company, which is a subsidiary of Viad Corp.
The “Falcon” has landed on debit cards in Brazil. HSBC Bank Brasil S.A.-Banco Multiplo is deploying Fair Isaac’s “Falcon Fraud Manager for Debit Cards” to cut losses related to debit card transactions. This represents the first installation of the debit card fraud management system in Brazil. HSBC Bank Brasil has 3.9 million customers. Brazil accounts for the majority of general-purpose cards issued in Latin America, generating more than half of the region’s purchase transactions in 2002. HSBC Bank Brasil also has 5,000 ATMs nationwide. Fair Isaac says that 20 of the top 25 financial institutions worldwide use its fraud detection solutions.
Sao Paulo Transporte S.A. has selected Gemplus’ “GemEasy8000” cards for the city’s new contactless ticketing system. Gemplus BankNote will initially deploy 2.5 million such cards in Sao Paulo to students, pensioners and employees that receive corporate-sponsored travel passes. Students and pensioners currently travel free under government regulations, and Brazilian
companies are also legally obliged to subsidize 100% of employees’ public transport costs. Approximately 16,000 vehicles in Sao Paulo are being equipped with smart card readers that will enable faster and more efficient fare checking. The public bus transportation system in Sao Paulo is one of the world’s busiest networks, serving over five million commuters every day. The system will go live in 2004.
Sao Paulo-based Banco Bradesco is acquiring Zogbi Institutions for R$650 million. The acquisition includes Promovel Empreendimentos e Servicos, Zogbi Leasing, Arrendamento Mercantil and Zogbi Distribuidora de Titulos e Valores Mobiliarios Ltda. As of September 30th, Zogbi had 1.5 million active customers, around 4 million registered customers, 1.2 million cards, and, 67 stores for consumer financing and more than 11 thousand affiliated establishments, enabled to operate in direct consumer credit and card products. Zogbi Institutions has total assets of R$833 million and a loan portfolio of R$520 million.
Companhia Brasileira de Meios de Pagamento has named the Bank of New York to act as trustee, registrar, and paying agent for its $500 million credit card securitization. This is the first credit card securitization issued out of Brazil. Companhia Brasileira de Meios de Pagamento (Visanet) was created in 1995 by VISA International and four Brazilian bank acquirers of VISA credit and debit cards to centralize certain aspects of the operation of the VISA program in Brazil. Visanet’s two largest shareholders, Banco do Brazil and Banco Bradesco, are participating in this securitization, each in the role of a “Designated Bank” acting through its Grand Cayman branch.