Cashzone independent ATM provider will retain and add to the ATMs it operates at the First Motorways sites newly acquired by Roadchef Motorway Service Area (MSA) operators. Roadchef’s acquisition of First Motorways in August added the Magor MSA, at junction 23A of the M4, and the Symonds Yat trunk road site on the A40 to its portfolio of sites, increasing its motorway service area estate to 20 locations across the UK.
Charge-offs on U.S. credit cards finished at 11.08% in February, one basis point higher than the January rate of 11.07%, while delinquencies fell to 5.91% to its lowest level since August. This, according to Moody’s Investors Service’s” Credit Card Indices Report,” also shows the February yield index of 22.23%, representing the highest monthly rate in the history of Moody’s index. With Base case expectation for the unemployment rate – a plateau in the second half of the year between 10% and 10.5% – and the expectation delinquencies will continue to improve, the charge-off rate is expected to peak at slightly lower than its long-held forecast of 12%. The trailing three-month average charge-off rate reached 10.82% in February, the highest level since September 2009. Meanwhile, excess spreads continue to receive significant support from issuer discounting initiatives and the strong yields and steady charge-off rates help catapult the excess spread index back above the 8% mark in February.
ARTA Canada is condemning United Airlines initiatives to prohibit U.S.
travel agencies from continuing to report and remit sales via the
Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) through its credit card merchant
agreement. With the initiative, agencies no longer can process credit
card payment transactions by United reported via ARC, rather, will be
required to process transactions as a cash sale. In response, ARTA
Canada is proposing travel agents take a greater role in distribution
technology to keep costs for all stakeholders reasonable, imploring
carriers resist any change to the status quo and allow merchant
agreements used by agencies reporting through BSP Canada or through
direct sales via a GDS or web site. ARTA Canada non-profit federally
incorporated professional association of travel retailers in Canada is
the strategic partner in Canada of the U.S.-based Association of Retail
Travel Agents (ARTA).
Travel agents are flying off the handle over a pilot program launched by United Airlines to require them to process their own credit card payments. United Airlines informed a limited number of travel agencies that, effective July 20th, they would “no longer have continued access to United’s credit card merchant agreements.” If the agent continues to use United’s merchant facilities then a $75 fee would be assessed for each transaction. ASTA listed off six reasons why the new policy is headed for a mid-air collision: 1. About two thirds of travel agentsâ access to merchant services is limited to the “ARC TASF” program, which is designed to process service fees, not airline tickets; 2. United is requiring these agents to absorb Unitedâs cost of doing business; 3. United will save no credit costs if the result of the policy is that consumers, or agents on behalf of consumers, book on credit cards at United.com; 4. travel agents have been given insufficient time to prepare their systems and procedures to accommodate a process change of this magnitude; 5. Travel agentsâ cost of doing business will increase well beyond the agent absorbing the credit card merchant fees that United will avoid; 6. Consumers will be disadvantaged as costs shifted from United to travel agents will ultimately be borne by consumers in the form of higher service fees on top of the existing fare level.
Volvo has signed a multi-year agreement with GE Money to provide a new
no-fee consumer credit card that offers instant
financing on service, parts and accessories.
Volvo owners can apply for and use the credit program at participating
authorized Volvo service workshops throughout the U.S. GE Moneyâs
internet-based finance management system, “AdvanceDesk” provides Volvo
dealerships with an easy, secure way to offer instant credit to
customers for auto repair and services. Convenient online account
management is also available for cardholders.
A new survey has found that while rapid adoption of electronic
payments provide faster transactions, business-to-business payments are
keeping the practice of payment with paper checks alive. TowerGroup
transactions account for nearly 60% of the total U.S. check dollar value
and contribute to the reason average U.S. check values are increasing
faster than any other payment type, although the numbers of individual
checks written continue to decline. TowerGroup research suggests check
volumes will decline to 17.9 billion transactions by the end of 2009,
which shrunk from a 2003 46% share of total US payment volume to a 2006
share of 31%. These findings are in conjunction with online bill payment
having increased at an annual rate of 29.6% from 2005 to 2007, which
TowerGroup projects will continue to grow through 2012 at a compound
rate of 18.7%.
VISA card spending in Sri Lanka and Thailand continued growth for 1H07
due to tourism recovery. In 2007, Bali VISA spending grew 27% and Phuket
spending grew by 21% since the same period in 2006. Bali saw a 47%
drop in tourism after terrorism in 2002, an area which accounted for 37%
of all tourism in the area. However, compared with 1H06, VISA spending
is up by 39%. Phuket saw an 89% drop in tourist arrivals since the 2004
tsunami, down 23% between January 2004 and January 2005. Visa
generates over $4.8 trillion in sales volume worldwide with an ATM
network that offers cash access in more than 170 countries.
MasterCard reported that more than 66,000 businesses and over 70 issuers in 26 countries around the world are now using its proprietary Web-based reporting and expense management solutions, “MasterCard Smart Data OnLine” and “MasterCard Smart Data Express.” Businesses have utilized “MasterCard Smart Data” solutions since 1995 and now nearly 50 million transactions go through “Smart Data” each year.
One week before a West Virginia trial over its credit card and collection practices, Cross Country Bank and Applied Card Systems agreed to settle with the State’s Attorney General. The $1.5 million settlement will be used to fund consumer credit education and conflict resolution programs. While both firms did not acknowledge that any of the lawsuit’s claims were valid, the settlement prohibits Cross Country and Applied from debiting customers’ bank accounts without their authorization or to engage in aggressive collection tactics. The West Virginia lawsuit was filed in March 2004 and charged that Cross Country engaged in deceptive marketing of credit cards, offering low credit limits and charging exorbitant hidden fees to consumers who already had bad credit. The suit contends that Applied Card Systems used a wide range of abusive collection practices to coerce consumers into making payments if they contested the fees or defaulted on the account. The lawsuit alleged that Applied called consumers during the night, used obscene language and threatened cardholders with arrest to collect on a credit card account. Six other lawsuits are pending with the state Attorneys General of Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. (CF Library 6/4/04; 6/25/04)
A new study has found that PIN debit purchasers are the most satisfied with their chosen payment method, followed closely by credit card users and signature debit users. According to the research, when consumers choose debit over other payment methods, it is chiefly because they believe it is faster and easier. The second most frequently cited reason for choosing debit is avoiding credit balances and interest. The option to receive cash back was rated much lower, and sweepstakes and promotions have little impact on the choice of payment among debit users. The study, commissioned by PULSE EFT Association and conducted by Analytica, found that when asked how they would respond if a merchant stopped accepting their debit card, 81.4% of participants said they would be “very unhappy,” and 29.7% said they would stop using the merchant. If merchants began charging to accept debit cards, 79.2% of respondents would be unhappy, and of those, 37.4% said they would switch to a different payment method and 21.2% said they would stop using the merchant. Similarly, if financial institutions began charging a fee for debit card payments, 85.3% of respondents reported they would be “extremely dissatisfied,” and 43.7% said they would change institutions.
Discover said yesterday it looks forward to the “additional consumer choice that will result from the elimination of all VISA and MasterCard anti-competitive rules and practices, which have been selectively applied only to Discover and American Express but not to each other or to Citibank’s ‘Diners Club'”. Melvin Schwarz, who was lead trial counsel in the antitrust case before re-joining the Dechert law firm, says the ruling is a “significant and groundbreaking decision because the court condemns the use of market power by owners of nominally not-for-profit joint venture associations to tilt the competitive playing field against their competitors, regardless of whether those competitors are corporate, for-profit ventures or those competitors have some other means of sales distribution to consumers.” Schwarz also noted that the Court’s rejection of the Government’s effort to end dual governance was now of far less competitive concern because, as Judge Jones noted, dual governance has been virtually ended as result of steps taken by the associations since the Government’s suit was filed.
The South Korean government is reportedly considering lifting the long-held ban
on conglomerates issuing credit cards. The restriction on new credit card
business licenses went into effect in 1988. Since then the control of the South
Korean credit card market has been in the hands of only three issuers. The
Financial Supervisory Service said three domestic business groups, namely SK,
Lotte and Hyundai have indicated an interest in issuing cards. Japan’s
Mitsubishi and the U.K.’s HSBC have also reportedly shown interest in credit
card licenses. Twenty-six companies are in the credit card business, including
seven exclusive credit card operators BC, LG Capital, Samsung, Kookmin, Korea
Exchange, Diners and Tongyang Amex.