PSCU Selects GIS Platform for B2B

PSCU Financial Services has acquired Gentran Integration Suite (GIS) to become its business-to-business platform. The solution gives PSCU the ability to automatically handle a variety of multiple management credit and bill payment services in a variety of file formats and protocols on one centralized platform. GIS will also enable PSCU to optimize its data-transfer processes and improve service to the credit union community. GIS enables companies to extend processes to their customers, partners and suppliers while maximizing existing and future IT systems and technologies. PSCU Financial Services was formed by credit unions to provide products and services to credit unions.

Monthly Payment Rates Head Lower in July

Monthly payment rates continued to spiral downward during July, falling to its lowest level in two years. The MPR, or the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt each month, peaked in October of last year, reaching almost 21%. The higher payment rates were driven by new minimum payment standards. According to CardData, the MPR declined to 18.30% in July, compared to 18.40% in the prior month and 20.46% one-year ago. While the dip historically has been seasonal, it appears that many borrowers are increasingly pressured by current economic factors. The combination of higher interest rates and a cooling off of the real estate market diminished the attractiveness of “cash out” refinancing activity in which many borrowers reduced their more expensive credit card debt by drawing on the equity in their home — either by refinancing their mortgages or by accessing their home equity lines of credit.

MONTHLY PAYMENT RATES
Jul 06: 20.46%
Aug 06: 20.20%
Sep 06: 20.02%
Oct 06: 20.83%
Nov 06: 20.01%
Dec 06: 19.70%
Jan 07: 19.88%
Feb 07: 18.79%
Mar 07: 18.21%
Apr 07: 18.04%
May 07: 19.01%
Jun 07: 18.40%
Jul 07: 18.30%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Most Americans Are Worried About Finances

The sub-prime lending implosion and the volatility on Wall Street has most Americans worried. A new poll from Harris Interactive found that 56% of Americans say they are worried about their financial situation. Just under half of U.S. adults say the economy is declining. One-third of Americans say, compared to a year ago, their own personal finances have gotten worse. One-third of Americans say that paying down their own personal debt is a problem while 44% say it is not a problem. Over the last year, 33% say that paying down this personal debt has become harder while 28% say it is neither easier nor harder and 18% say it has become easier. Almost half of “Gen Xers” (those aged 31-42) say paying down debt has become a problem while 41% of this generation say it has become harder in the past year to pay down their personal debt. Just one-quarter of “Echo Boomers” (those aged 18-30) say paying down personal debt is a problem for them. Harris noted that “Echo Boomers” are also the ones with the least amount of personal debt as 39% say they have none.

GPN EMV CERTIFICATION

Global Payments has completed end-to-end Europay MasterCard
VISA (EMV) chip certification for MasterCard and Interac Direct
Payment cards. This development allows Global Payments to process
EMV chip transactions throughout the country. EMV cards contain a
microchip that stores encrypted data to identifies the card and
cardholder, can carry security programs and will require PIN entry
protecting against unauthorized use. Global Payments provides electronic
transaction processing services for consumers, merchants, Independent
Sales Organizations, financial institutions, government agencies and
multi- national corporations around the world.

ARM Index Picks Up Strong Momentum in Q2

An indicator of economic conditions affecting the accounts receivable management industry rose 3.7% during the second quarter. The “Kaulkin Ginsberg Index” also showed that the market cap of ARM companies grew 14% in 2Q/07. However, the “KGI” is down 5.0% from 1472.5 at the same time a year ago. The market cap data for ARM stocks in the second quarter reflect higher revenue for four of the five ARM companies assessed by the “Index” over results from the same quarter in the prior year. Second quarter cash collections were also up (as much as 20 percent) for all five companies over the same period in 2006, and are expected to remain strong following several large purchases of distressed debt portfolios by these firms earlier in 2007.

TNB Lands a Seasoned Card Executive

TNB Card Services has named Phil Davis, formerly with Citigroup, as first SVP . He will focus on cardholder operations, including credit underwriting, member servicing, fraud, collections and recovery, and compliance. Davis has played an integral role in the credit industry. He was a charter member of the Bankruptcy Issues Council, which spearheaded bankruptcy reform, has served as a member of the National Foundation for Consumer Credit Advisory Council, and on the Board of Directors for the Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Virginia. At Citigroup, where he was a senior vice president in the Citicorp Credit Services division, he was responsible for building and directing the team that supported The Home Depot’s commercial credit business. He has also held executive positions in the card services division of Bank of America and the outsourcing division of NCO Financial Systems. Davis has a degree in management economics from Hampden-Sydney College.

PREMIER MILES VISA

Citibank has launched the “PremierMiles VISA” credit card in the Asia-Pacific region which offers mileage redemption opportunities through four frequent flyer programs. Citi rewards 60,000 flyers miles to every
S$50,000 charged on the card, equating to 1.2 miles rewarded for
every S$1 spent. Furthermore, 5,000 bonus “Citi Miles” are awarded upon
the first purchase made, 10,000 upon renewal of the card and an
additional 10,000 upon renewal if at least S$50,000 is charged in the
previous year. The participating frequent flyer programs include Singapore Airlines’ “KrisFlyer”, NorthWest Airlines’ “WorldPerks”, Thai Airways’ “Royal Orchid Plus” and Cathay Pacific’s “Asia Miles”. The card also offers complimentary hotel room upgrades and discounts, “Priority Pass” membership granting access to more than 450 airport VIP lounges in
over 275 cities, travel assistance service and a first-year fee waiver.

Triton Names a New Top Executive

ATM manufacturer Triton has hired William Bill Johnson, previous EVP at Hill PHOENIX, as CEO. Johnson, who has more than 22 years experience in leadership roles, comes to Triton from Hill PHOENIX, where he served as Executive Vice President with responsibility for the Case and Refrigeration Systems divisions. Prior to joining Hill PHOENIX, Johnson was President and CEO of Graham Corporation. In addition, he was with ESAB Welding and Cutting Equipment, a global welding and cutting equipment manufacturer, where he served as Vice President and General Manager. Johnson has a Bachelor of Science degree in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University in Alfred, New York and an MBA from Rollins College in Lake Mary, Florida. Triton has expanded into the banking sector and into 22 countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, as well as countries throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.

FAMILY FIRST FIGHTS FEES

Family First is pushing for legislation to stop excessive bank fees with its
“Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Fair Bank and Credit
Card Fees) Amendment Bill 2007”. The bill has been referred to the Senate
Economics Committee and is modeled after policy in the UK to restrain
fees. The potential legislation cites statistics that show that, over
the last five
years, late payment fees on credit cards have risen more than 50%,
Westpac’s credit card penalties have increased by 16-40% over the last
two years, and St George credit card penalties increased by 40-50% in the
last two years. The legislation is aiming to stop excessive bank penalty
fees
by ensuring penalty fees are for cost recovery only, boosting the powers of
the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) fee monitoring,
and giving customers the right to sue banks for damages if they breach the
Act.

i2c Hires a New Account Advocate

i2c, a specialist in transaction processing and stored value card management solutions, announced that Monica Hoang has joined as an Account Advocate. Prior to joining i2c, Hoang worked in account coordination and management for a Financial and Health Care organization. Hoang’s primary role is to develop the relationship with senior decision-makers within our client’s organization and to maintain an understanding of their business in terms of current performance and future strategies. The position also involves, ensuring the client is constantly driving maximum value from our products for business benefit and competitive advantage. She holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and Biological Sciences from California University of Hayward. i2c is a global technology provider of electronic payment processing solutions.

Small Biz Card Users Want Gas Discounts

New research shows that about 75% of small business credit card users have some type of reward associated with their business or corporate credit card. However, the survey revealed there is a gap between card rewards that are valued by small businesses and those that are actually used or held on small business credit cards. Atlanta-based Synergistics Research found that slightly more than one-quarter say they receive cash rebates through their small business credit card, while about two-thirds indicate this would be a valuable reward for them. Less than one-fifth receive gasoline discounts of any kind, while almost six in ten say this would be valuable. One-quarter say they receive travel discounts, but almost six in ten cite this reward as valuable. Likewise, one-quarter say they have travel discounts on their small business credit card, while more than half value this reward.

AmEx Inks Another U.S. Biz Card Agent

American Express announced another agent bank marketing agreement, this time in the Chicago area. Harris Bank will jointly market with the AmEx “OPEN” team small business charge and credit cards beginning in late September. The three new co-branded business cards will offered through more than 230 Harris branches in Chicago and Indiana. The “SimplyCash Business Card” offers up to 5% cash back annually on gas, office supplies, and wireless purchases and 1% on most other purchases. The “Business Gold Rewards Card” and “Business Platinum Card” offers automatic enrollment in the “Membership Rewards.” All three cards include access to the “OPEN Savings” program.