AUG DEBT

Credit card debt soared to a new record, slightly topping A$37.0 billion in August. Credit card volume hit its second high for the year after declining for two consecutive months. Card volume hit A$16.5 billion during August, compared to A$15.4 billion in July. During the past twelve months, credit card debt has increased 16% in Australia. For August, credit card balances increased A$300 million from the previous month. One-year ago credit card debt stood at A$31.8 billion. Gross dollar volume on credit card and charge cards was A$15.3 billion one-year ago. Year-on-year credit card volume has increased 8% in Australia. Card credit limits reached A$99.8 billion at the end of August, compared to A$88.4 billion for August 2005. There are currently 13.1 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 12.2 million one-year ago.

Discover Launches a Cashback Bonus Promo

Discover has launched the “Make the Holidays More Entertaining” “Get More” program offering a 5% “Cashback Bonus” for purchases made at restaurants, movie theatres and movie rental stores, and at Amazon.com, Borders, and other participating retailers through the end of the year. The Get More program is free to Discover Cardmembers. It offers the opportunity to earn 5% Cashback Bonus all year long in over 15 different categories that align with consumers’ top seasonal shopping needs. Just as their shopping needs change, so do the categories – four times a year – so Cardmembers earn the most cash based on where they want to shop and use credit. Discover Financial Services LLC, a business unit of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), operates the Discover Card with more than 50 million Cardmembers, and the Discover Network with more than 4 million merchant and cash access locations.

Cash Systems Signs a Deal with TSYS

Cash Systems has signed a deal with TSYS Acquiring Solutions to enable the Company to begin processing it own credit card transactions. TSYS Acquiring Solutions is the preeminent supplier of acquiring solutions, related systems and integrated support services to the acquiring industry and its customers. Cash Systems, Inc., located in Las Vegas, with additional offices in San Diego and Minneapolis, is a provider of cash-access and related services to the retail and gaming industries.

Obopay Goes Live on Amp’d Mobile Devices

Obopay has delivered the first operator-supported mobile payments service in the USA. The service went live on all Amp’d Mobile devices this week. As part of the service, Amp’d Mobile device users will be able to send money to any mobile phone number and instantly receive money from any Obopay user. The service also comes with an Obopay companion prepaid debit MasterCard. Amp’d Mobile is the first integrated mobile entertainment company for youth, young professionals and early adopters, and the only third generation (3G) carrier in the U.S. specifically targeting that demographic. Obopay, found last year, has a management team comprised of former executives from VISA, Microsoft, Yahoo, Expedia, AT&T Wireless, Western Union, First Data, Norwest Bank and Chordiant Software.

Citi Credit Card Profits Top $1.0 Billion

Citigroup reported that 3Q/06 profits for its U.S. Cards unit rose 36% year-on-year to $1085 million driven by growth in non-interest revenue, lower operating expenses, and a significant decline in credit costs. Revenues increased 2% to $3.45 billion, driven by a 14% increase in non-interest revenue, which was partially offset by lower net interest revenue due to net interest margin compression. Bank credit card outstandings for the U.S. were up 1% at $110.3 billion compared to one-year ago. But, private label card outstandings increased 19% to $30.5 billion. Purchase volume for the third quarter rose 9% to $77.0 billion. Citi’s account base at the end of the third quarter rose 27% to 151.1 million accounts. Citi’s charge-offs for bankcard and private label cards rose to 4.26% compared to 4.11% in the prior quarter, and 5.66% one-year ago. Overall delinquency (90+ days) rose slightly from 1.58% for 2Q/06 to 1.60% for the third quarter 2006. For complete details on Citigroup’s 3Q/06 performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

CITIGROUP
U.S. Credit Card Net Income
3Q/05: $ 797 million
4Q/05: $ 444 million
1Q/06: $ 926 million
2Q/06: $ 878 million
3Q/06: $1085 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

95% of Adults Purchased/Received Gift Cards

A new survey has found that 95% of adult survey respondents stated that they had either received or purchased a gift card, a 24% gain over the prior year. Comdata’s fourth annual survey of adult gift card purchasers also found 27% of adult consumers say that they have purchased gift cards over the Internet. Additionally, 22% of adult consumers say that they have purchased gift cards at gift card malls. More than three in ten adult consumers report purchasing gift cards for themselves this year which is an increase from the 12% of shoppers who said they had bought gift cards for themselves in past surveys. Adult purchasers load each gift card they purchase with an average of $46 — up 21% versus the average load in 2003. About 24% of consumers received gifts cards from employers as a bonus, incentive or reward.

ADS’ Third Quarter Net Income Soars 36%

Alliance Data Systems reported that third-quarter revenue increased 32% to a record $506.6 million and net income rose 36% to $48.8 million, compared to the year ago quarter. Transaction Services segment revenue increased 9% to $195.6 million. The vast majority of this segment consists of two growth engines, private label and utility services. Credit Services segment revenue increased 32% in the third quarter to $181.4 million. Credit sales increased 17% year-on-year, the largest percentage increase in over two and a half years. Marketing Services segment revenue increased 50% to $218.6 million. Results were driven by stronger-than-expected performance in the “AIR MILES” reward program. ADS is now projecting 2007 revenue of at least $2.1 billion and an adjusted EBITDA of at least $575.0 million. For complete details on ADS’ third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

Garden Fresh Restaurants Uses Peppercoin

Garden Fresh Restaurants, which operates 98 salad buffet-style restaurants across the western, southern, and eastern portions of the U.S. is using Peppercoin’s “Small Payment Suite.” Peppercoin’s credit and debit card-based loyalty solution enables merchants to reward customers for returning more frequently and spending more when they do. Merchants deploying the solution have reported significant increases in repeat business and lifetime customer value. Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes was founded in 1978 in San Diego, California and currently operates 98 salad buffet-style restaurants across the western, southern, and eastern portions of the United States. Peppercoin is a small payments technology company transforming routine card transactions into new revenue opportunities.

Wal-Mart Offers Southwest Airlines Card

Southwest Airlines and SmartClixx are now distributing the “southwestgiftcard” via Wal-Mart, Albertsons, Kroger, Safeway, and SAM’S CLUB locations. n addition to the newest retail locations, the southwestgiftcard can always be purchased on the airline’s web site at http://www.southwest.com/gift_cards and may be redeemed at any Southwest Airlines location, such as southwest.com, Southwest airport ticket counters, or by calling Southwest’s toll-free Reservations line. SmartClixx LLC works with some of the world’s largest retailers providing unique in-house Stored Value Card/Gift Card application software and services without charging per-transaction fees. Southwest Airlines continues to offer the best value in airline travel.

Capital One Card Profits Rise 9% from Q2

Capital One’s third quarter U.S. credit card profits fell 4% year-over-year but rose 9% sequentially to $461.6 million. Purchase volume in the U.S. was up 13% to $21.5 billion while U.S. managed card outstandings increased 10% from the year-ago quarter. The number of U.S. card accounts rose by about 300,000 during the quarter to 37.5 million. U.S. card net income was $461.6 million, compared to $421.8 million in the prior quarter and $481.8 million for 3Q/05. U.S. managed card outstandings were $51.1 billion for 3Q/06 compared to $46.3 billion one-year ago and $48.7 billion in the previous quarter. The managed delinquency rate (30+ days) for U.S. credit cards was 3.53% for the third quarter, compared to 3.30% for 2Q/06 and 3.86% for the third quarter of 2005. The net charge-off rate for U.S. credit cards was 3.39% for the third quarter, compared to 3.29% for the second quarter and 4.69% one-year ago. For complete details on Capital One’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

COF U.S. CARD NET INCOME
3Q/05: $481.8 million
4Q/05: $237.0 million
1Q/06: $602.8 million
2Q/06: $421.8 million
3Q/06: $461.6 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

Nashville Predators Get blinked

Chase and the Nashville Predators of the NHL have launched the “Nashville Predators blink MasterCard from Chase”. The credit card program offers cardmembers exclusive Predator memorabilia, team and arena experiences simply by using their Nashville Predators blink MasterCard. From an autographed puck to ticket vouchers to the ultimate experiences such as front-row seats, being a “Predator for the Day” or a luxury suite for 16 guests, this is the credit card Predator fans must have in their wallets. Cardmembers will earn one point for every dollar spent on their Nashville Predators blink MasterCard. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.3 trillion and operations in more than 50 countries.

Doba Introduces a Pre-Payment Option

UT-based Doba, a Web retail specialist, has introduced a pre-payment option offering its retail customers 4% off on the wholesale price of each transaction with the company. Doba offers access to 250,000 wholesale-priced products for its retail customers to resale. Only the Doba PrePay option will eliminate the 4% transaction fee on wholesale cost. To receive the savings, a Doba customer must first establish a Doba PrePay account and make regular deposits by mail. A leading product sourcing solution, Doba streamlines product sourcing for the emerging market of web-based entrepreneurs starting and growing a retail business.