Less than ten days after losing its CFO, Hypercom will lose its top executive today. The payment card terminal manufacturer confirms that Chris Alexander, who served Hypercom for 12 years and most recently as chairman, president and CEO, is retiring, effective this morning. The Company has named William Keiper, a member of its Board since April 2000, to the positions of chairman, interim president and CEO. A search for a new president and CEO is underway. Alexander will continue to serve as a Board member and Special Assistant to the Board of Directors and the CEO. On March 21st, Hypercom announced the departure of John Smolak, who served as EVP, CFO and Administrative Officer. Grant Lyon was named as interim CFO. In February, Hypercom announced it needed to restate its financial results for the first three quarters of last year due to a lease accounting issue with its U.K. subsidiary. The leases were incorrectly accounted for as sales-type leases, resulting in an overstatement of net revenue for the first three quarters of 2004. Yesterday, the Company said it has concluded an investigation into its restatement. Hypercom says that based upon the investigation conducted during the past seven weeks by outside counsel and members of the Audit Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors, the Committee concluded that there was no misconduct with regard to the incorrect classification of such leases. (CF Library 2/4/05; 3/22/05)
Canada’s Desjardins Group this week announced it will migrate to smart cards between 2006 and 2008. Interac recently announced it will have the necessary infrastructure to process transactions using smart card technology by the end of 2006. Desjardins expects the first chip transactions to be made starting in 2008, according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International. Desjardins has been an active participant in a national committee created to define common Canadian chip card specifications. The company also tested the Mondex “ecash card” in Sherbrooke in 2000, which provided useful information on chip technology. Last year, more than 500 million direct payment and ATM withdrawal transactions were carried out by Desjardins cardholders in Quebec.
Budget Rent A Car System announced the launch of “Easy Money.” Customers who complete a qualifying weekly rental of five paid days or more and pay for the rental with MasterCard(R), will receive a $15 Prepaid MasterCard Gift Card. The promotion runs to May 15, 2005. Budget Rent A Car System, Inc. is the owner and franchiser of one of the world’s best-known car rental brands with nearly 1,900 car rental locations worldwide.
RBS National Bank has appointed Susie Gleeson Buffam as Vice President of Operations. Previously, Ms. Buffam was Vice President, Global Consumer Group Financial Control at Citigroup, where she was responsible for analysis and business planning for credit-card portfolios in 47 countries, generating more than $3 billion in annual net income. Ms. Buffam received her MBA from Columbia Graduate School of Business. RBS National Bank is the US credit-card arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. RBS Group had a market capitalization of 55.6 billion pounds Sterling at December 31, 2004, making it the fifth largest bank in the world.
Portland, OR-based TRM reported that fourth quarter net sales rose 30% to $26.6 million, driven by the addition of 15,700 ATMs from eFunds. For the full year of 2004, TRM had consolidated gross sales of $126.0 million, and net sales of $92.6 million, a 32.9% and 18.5% increase over 2003, respectively. ATM operations produced net sales of $50.5 million, an increase of 46%, as compared to 2003. Full year ATM gross profit increased 43% to $23.0 million. The addition of eFunds ATMs increased transactions by 200% in the fourth quarter. On November 19th, TRM acquired the ATM business of eFunds for $150 million cash. TRM also entered into a five-year agreement pursuant to which eFunds provides ongoing ATM management services for the acquired networks. TRM says that its average monthly withdrawals per ATM was 359 for 2004, compared to 393 in 2003. The average fee per withdrawal was $2.76 last year, compared to $2.55 in 2003. Therefore, the average sales per ATM increased 7% last year to $1,071. For complete details on TRM’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]). (CF Library 11/22/05)
Trycera Financial has launched the “Mi Dinero y Mis Suenos”(“My Money, My Dreams”) Prepaid MasterCard. The card is issued by Meta Payment Systems. The Mi Dinero y Mis Suenos card enables the cardholder to store money on the card for shopping worldwide wherever MasterCard Debit is accepted and for withdrawing cash via the MasterCard global ATM network. Trycera Financial is a publicly reporting financial services company specializing in customized and turnkey prepaid programs and partnerships that serve the needs of self-banked consumers. Meta Payment Systems, a division of MetaBank, offers card issuing and program support to banks, processors and third-party program managers.
Nevada-based Chimera Technology has announced an agreement to issue privately branded debit cards to clients of licensees under the “724Pay ” program, resulting in the reduction of 75% of operating costs to licensees. Chimera Technology Corp. is an I-gaming software and e-commerce services company.
The PELORUS Group will host “Stored Value Spring’ 05”, dedicated to exploring how emerging stored value initiatives will impact prepaid debit card offerings, May 18 and 19,2005 in Atlanta, GA. The PELORUS Group produces authoritative analysis and research reports, provides custom business planning services, and offers timely industry conferences.
Retail sales volume on VISA cards in the Asia-Pacific region increased nearly 13% to US$326 billion during 2004. The total number of VISA-branded cards issued rose to 238 million, compared to 152 million five years ago. VISA’s largest market in the Asia-Pacific is Korea which saw an increase of 13% in RSV to US$94.3 billion. Second place Japan increased 10% to US$91.7 billion. Among other major Asia-Pacific markets, RSV rose 63% in India to nearly US$3 billion, 21% in Taiwan to US$22.3 billion, 22% in Hong Kong to US$16.4 billion, 17% in New Zealand to US$7.9 billion and nearly four percent in Australia to US$68 billion. Growth in spending on debit cards continued to outpace that of credit in Asia-Pacific. Last year marked the first time that
global VISA debit volume surpassed credit card volume. VISA debit RSV in
the Asia-Pacific region was nearly US$10 billion, up 23% over 2003.
The number of VISA-branded cards on issue increased in every Asia
Pacific market in 2004. Japan led the way with more than 77 million
cards, an increase of nearly three percent over 2003, but the fastest
percentage growth was in India where the number of cards on issue
increased by 72 percent to 27.8 million.
The first JCB-branded credit card in China has been launched through Bank of China. The new “BOC JCB Card” is targeted at Chinese business travelers, tourists, students and expects to sign-up at least 100,000 cardholders in the first year. The BOC-JCB partnership began in 1982 with cash advance services and merchant services. In 2002, BOC opened its ATM network to JCB cards. Last year, BOC was granted a JCB license. Recently, the Chinese government granted permission to BOC to issue credit cards in advance of the “Beijing Olympics” in 2008. The new “BOC JCB Card” is denominated in both renminbi and Japanese yen, and is available as a “Standard” and “Gold” card. The card design features motifs of the two country’s traditional performing arts, China’s Beijing opera and Japan’s kabuki. JCB is currently working with other Japanese partners in China to develop new services for JCB cardholders in China such as special deals on mobile phone rental in Japan from NTT DoCoMo. JCB cards are now issued in 18 countries and territories, with 51.6 million cards-in-force.
Calgary-based DirectCash Income Fund reports that annual revenues and gross profits increased 46% and 40%, respectively, compared to 2003. The growth is attributable to organic growth in the ATM, debit terminal and prepaid cash card businesses, as well as acquisitions, particularly the addition of 447 ATM’s and 127 debit terminals in June 2003. Growth in 2004 was primarily organic in nature, with organic growth being responsible for 552 new ATM contracts and acquisitions accounting for an additional 30 contracts. The prepaid cash card business grew rapidly in 2004, with a 312% increase in the number of prepaid cash cards loaded. DirectCash raised $56 million in a December IPO. For complete detail on DirectCash’s latest results, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).
NY-based Intelli-Check reported that revenues declined last year from $1.2 million to $1.1 million. However, the Company reported a 22% increase in year-over-year sales to $1.4 million. Net loss increased to $6.9 million from $6.5 million in 2003. The net loss in 2004 included $2.2 million in non-cash expenses and approximately $1.3 million in patent-litigation expenses. Intelli-Check offers authentication technology. Its flagship product is “ID-CHECK.” For complete details on the Intelli-Check’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).