STMicroelectronics semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and the world’s leading supplier of EEPROM memories for electronic equipment has introduced a new memory with a unique ultra-fast recording feature for storing important data during unexpected events. Its uses will include recovering system data when a sudden power failure occurs, and ‘black-box’ recorders that help identify the causes of equipment failures or accidents. A system using the M35B32 EEPROM is able to store a significant amount of vital information (2 Kbits) in less than one millisecond, and hence can react when the onset of a system failure or an accident is detected. In cases such as a power failure, this super-fast data storage can save the information needed to recover the system before the power supply voltage falls to an unusable level.
Down the long bumpy road that was April 2010, consumer confidence was shaken, but in the end remained flat on the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor. The discrepancy in the final numbers from March to April was practically nil, dropping only from 89.5 to 89.4. This was no indication, however, of variation throughout the month. From April 6 to April 20 alone, there was a near 10-point increase in consumers who felt the economy was worsening, from 46% to 56%, while the number of consumers rating their personal finances as poor shot from 20%-28%. Meanwhile, those who said their finances were getting worse exploded from 46 to 55% in conjunction with skyrocketing gas prices.
But when all was said and done, those feeling economic conditions were getting worse stood at 51%-the same as in March- as 18% feel conditions are the same, down 2 points from the previous month, and 26% feel the economy is improving, a 1-point increase from March. To blame: Gas Prices. This is clear to the 57% planning to change their summer vacation because of unmanageable fuel costs while 68% are forced to cut back on discretionary spending. Also throughout the month of April, only 34% described their finances as good or excellent, while 64% say their finances are fair or poor, 49% of whom disclosed they are only worsening-compared to the 48% in March. Only 21% say their finances are improving, compared to 22% in March, for a telling sign of the times.
World’s Foremost Bank, a subsidiary of Cabela’s Incorporated and the issuer of Cabela’s “CLUB Visa credit card,” has selected DocuLynx “Mercury” software solutions for its high-volume archiving and retrieval needs. This will let World’s Foremost Bank move to more cost effective business processes when it comes to managing and adding value to its high volume and transactional output. The software will also allow for reduced storage costs, quick and efficient access to archived data, and enhanced security features to protect customer sensitive information.
A new report from market researcher SYNERGISTICS reveals that one in
six US households have been turned down for credit in the past six
months, including those with income over $75K. The study, “Financial
Insights: The Consumer Credit Crisis” featuring a national online
survey of 1,010 consumers age 18 or older. The study examines consumer
usage of various credit products and lenders, as well as their
decision-making process and future demand. In addition, the impact of
the current economic environment and consumer response are evaluated.
A monthly survey reveals that consumer spending confidence is stuck in the mud, even though gas and food prices have eased a bit. The poll also found that more than 69% of consumers have cut back on entertainment expenses and 62% have changed their vacation plans during July. The latest “Discover U.S. Spending Monitor” rose a mere one-tenth of a point to 86.1 for August. The Monitor revealed for the first time that declining home values and investment portfolios are affecting consumer spending. Nearly half of consumers who expressed concern over decreasing home values said theyâve reduced spending. And 52% of consumers concerned over decreasing investment portfolios also cut back on their spending. Major purchases like a new car, vacations, computers or appliances were the first spending area to cut by consumers concerned about decreasing home values (42%) and decreasing investment assets (41%). Discover also noted that its “Monitor” would have declined to new low had it not been for the late drop in oil prices.
Better ATM Services has introduced “Better ATM Lights,” an electroluminescent signage involving the usage of extremely thin layers of conductive and non-conductive plastic and a layer of phosphor along with a flat light source joined together to create one paper-thin, lightweight, highly durable panel that becomes a print medium which lights up like a backlit sign. Because it uses one-tenth of the electricity of an incandescent bulb, it is so cool that panels can be used in any variety of ways without the risk of overheating or melting. These attention-grabbing panels don’t require any special hardware leaving users free to configure them in frames, displays, custom-designed fixtures, or even wrapped around hardware. Space and cost limitations are eliminated with the striking new signage.
A new report has found that only about one-tenth of its survey respondents have used a mobile device such as a cell phone, PDA/Palm Pilot/BlackBerry/ organizer (PDA/organizer), or MP3 for conducting financial activities online. Three-quarters of the 1,000 respondents said they own one of these devices, but have not used it for online financial activities. The research by Atlanta-based Synergistics also found that slightly more than one-quarter of cell phone users say this is their primary method of performing banking transactions, while more than one-third say it is a secondary method and close to four in ten use it only in an emergency. Among those who have performed financial activities using a PDA or organizer, more than one-third say this is their primary method of performing banking transactions. More than four in ten of the PDA/organizer users say it is a secondary method, and close to one-fifth only use it for banking in an emergency.
MI-based Asset Acceptance Capital reported that first quarter revenues were essentially flat compared to one-year ago at $67.3 million. The purchaser and collector of charged-off consumer debt also reports that net income for the quarter dropped 21% to $9.9 million. However, first quarter cash collections of $95.9 million was the highest single-quarter cash collections in the 45 year history of the Company. Purchased receivable revenues declined by $0.5 million due to higher amortization rates on 2006 purchases and a $4.5 million net impairment charge on purchased receivables. During the first quarter, the Company invested $36.6 million to purchase charged-off consumer debt portfolios with a face value of $772.0 million, representing a blended rate of 4.74% of face value. This compares to the prior-year first quarter, when the Company invested $26.3 million to purchase consumer debt portfolios with a face value of $723.9 million, representing a blended rate of 3.63% of face value. All purchase data is adjusted for buybacks. For complete details on Asset Acceptance Capital’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
1Q/06: $67.4 million
2Q/06: $66.8 million
3Q/06: $59.2 million
4Q/06: $61.5 million
1Q/07: $67.3 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
American Express is launching a suite of “Source-to-Settle” electronic solutions to strengthen its commercial card business and procurement capabilities. The new “S2S” suite will be marketed to corporations in the U.S. beginning in January, with plans to expand on a global basis. To add the new service AmEx is acquiring Atlanta-based Harbor Payments, a technology provider that delivers e-invoice and e-payment capabilities. The product functionality helps companies eliminate paper processing and make their supply chain more efficient. Harbor Payments has approximately 200 clients. The acquisition is expected to close this month.
A new study has found that more than three out of four U.S. cardholders have received an interest rate reduction when they ask for it. However, the research revealed that only 44% of credit card customers that revolve have asked for a rate reduction. The report by Atlanta-based Synergistics Research found that 33% of card users report that they have at some point asked one of their credit card providers for a lower interest rate in order to keep them as customers. Surprisingly, 24% of convenience users have asked for a rate reduction. About one-tenth of all cardholders that did not get a lower rate when requested ended up canceling their card. Overall, 89% of those who asked for a lower rate either got a lower rate or canceled their card. The national Internet survey was conducted in September with 1,000 cardholders age 18 or older.
A new poll has concluded that credit card customers have gained the upper hand in negotiating rates. Atlanta-based Synergistics Research says one-third of card users report that they have at some point asked one of their credit card providers for a lower interest rate in order to keep them as customers. More than four in ten revolvers and about one-quarter of convenience users have asked for a rate reduction. Slightly more than three-fourths of those asking for a rate reduction report that they were successful. About one-tenth did not get a lower rate and canceled their card. Overall, 89% of those who asked for a lower rate either got a lower rate or canceled their card. The Company says card issuers have few choices — they either agree to lower rates or lose relationships.
According to call reports collected by the FDIC, credit card charge-offs spiked by 23% in the fourth quarter compared to 4Q/04. NJ-based A.M. Best Co. says its statistical study indicates the risk appetite of banks for new accounts and underwriting standards may be impacted this year by the recent charge-off spike. Best says that in the week before the deadline for bankruptcy filings under the old law, as many as 480,000 reported cases were filed and that as many as 2 million filings may have been recorded last year. In the month immediately following the Oct. 17 deadline date, the number of bankruptcy filings dropped to one-tenth the typical level.