The latest “Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index” finds that 18% of consumers report being victims of identity theft, with 25% of consumers under age 30 having their financial information stolen. About two-thirds of consumers who have not experienced identity theft say it is unlikely to happen to them, however 62 percent are concerned that their financial information could be stolen online. The Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index is based on a monthly nationwide survey of households and measures four key areas related to credit: level of debt, monthly payment burden, credit rating and debt extension capability. The Gallup Organization has studied human nature and behavior for more than 70 years. Experian provides information, analytics, decision-making solutions and processing services.
The consolidation wave continues in the payment card industry with confirmation that HSBC Finance is buying Metris Companies for about $1.6 billion in cash. The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, will increase HSBC’s U.S. portfolio to nearly $28 billion with about 15 million active accounts. Metris was formed in 1994 and became a public company in 1996. The company issues credit cards primarily to the near-prime market through Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank. Metris will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Finance. HSBC Holdings purchased Household International in 2003, giving it a major foothold in the U.S. payment card market. Metris Companies reported net income of $32.5 million for the second quarter compared to a net loss of $70.3 million one-year ago. Metris also reported a sharp decline in its delinquency and charge-off ratios during 2Q/05. Also, during the second quarter Metris announced plans to eliminate all its corporate debt by August. At mid-year, Metris had $5.9 billion in credit card outstandings and 2.2 million active accounts. As of June 30th, HSBC had $22.2 billion in VISA and MasterCard outstandings and $18.0 billion in private label credit card accounts. For complete details on Metris’ and HSBC’s second quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]) (CF Library 7/21/05)
Barclays’ Juniper Bank has hired Joe Purzycki, former EVP of new business development/sales for Chase Card Services, as Managing Director-Customer Care and Operations. Purzycki, a 16-year industry veteran, will also serve on the Juniper Management Committee. Juniper Financial Corporation, a member of the Barclays Group, is a full-service credit card issuer and provides co-branded credit cards and credit card services.
Trintech Group has released the latest version of its flagship
reconciliation and account balancing application. “ReconNET ES”
incorporates major advances in technology that are designed to benefit
large multi-national enterprises, including high-volume processing power,
significantly strengthened security controls and support for multiple
languages through internationalization. “ReconNET ES” also includes
transaction archival capabilities and improved reporting
functionalities, which further reinforce its regulatory compliance
capabilities. Some of the new features include high volume processing
power for advanced exception management and resolution; multiple
language support through internationalization; improved and
multi-lingual, multi-country reporting through “Crystal Reports XI”; and
transaction archival, which enables the movement of data from the
production system into an archive system with a comprehensive audit trail.
A study by the Information Policy Institute and Experian has pegged the “credit under served” market in the U.S. at 35 million Americans with nearly 18 million consumers with credit files too thin to score and another 17 million that have no credit files at all. The study found that the majority engage in activities that can be thought of as “credit-like” such as payment of rent, utilities and auto insurance. While serious negative information from these transactions is often reported through collection agencies, positive information such as on-time payment is not. The Information Policy Institute focuses on all issues pertaining to the regulation of information. Experian provides information, analytics, decision-making solutions and processing services with more than 50,000 clients and annual sales exceeding $2.5 billion.
Barclays announced that Richard Sommers will take over as CFO of Juniper Bank. Sommers has spent 27 years with Barclays and for the past four years served as CFO for Barclaycard. Prior to that, he held CFO positions in its global retail financial services and Barclaycard’s Merchant Division. In late May, Barclays hired Kevin Sullivan, former SVP/National Sales at Chase Card Services, as senior director of business development for Juniper. (CF Library 5/31/05)
ID Data has received an extra GBP 4 million in cash to support its
smart-card-based transaction systems and services to the banking, retail
and government sectors. Investors also agreed to convert GBP 3.6 million
of long-term debt into equity. ID Data recently launched a new
production joint venture in Poland, with a manufacturing capacity of 150
million cards per year. ID Data’s new high-security site at
Petersfield, Hampshire, now has the capacity to personalize and mail one
million cards per week.
Direct mail credit card offers during the first quarter were up 11%, making it the highest quarter to-date. According to Synovate’s “Mail Monitor” there were 1.42 billion credit card offers mailed in the first three months of this year. The record high mailings coincide with increasing promotions of bankcards with issuer proprietary reward and rebate programs, which made up 27% of all bankcard mailings in the quarter, up from 16% in the prior year. Synovate says that during the first quarter, 43% of solicitations offered a low introductory APR, usually 0.0%, up from 21% the previous year. However, the response rate reached a record low of 0.4%. According to “Inside Track,” Synovate’s credit card owner behavior and communication tracking service, reward card holders spent more than twice as much as non-reward card holders in the first quarter.
HSBC, with more than 100 million cards worldwide, and SAS announced a ten-year partnership to transform the payment card fraud-detection market. The new SAS solution will be implemented in all of HSBC’s major card businesses worldwide. In addition to reducing potential losses, the project will lower the operational costs of fighting fraud and will create a more flexible fraud platform so that HSBC can respond faster to new threats as they arise. SAS and HSBC are also cooperating on developing a strategy to extend the technology into other transaction monitoring applications. SAS is already working with a number of other institutions to build a broader consortium in conjunction with HSBC.
HSBC Bank has just completed a successful UK trial of “Visa
Information Source” with one of its major corporate customers. “VIS” is
a comprehensive web-based reporting and expense management solution that
helps companies monitor expenditure and streamline administration.
Currently, about 12 million U.S. transactions each year go through “VIS.” “VIS” provides online reporting with 25 months of historical data, standard reporting and a user customizable file extract, cardholder statement reports, a supplier analysis solution, a cost allocation solution and an expense reporting solution.
Experian has launched the first commercial triggering solution that utilizes both credit and marketing data to maximize campaign results for credit card issuers targeting the SMB market. The new “B2B Marketing Triggers” assists users in identifying changes in a business’ demographic information as well as significant changes in its credit behaviors. Experian also delivers monthly changes in a business’ attributes such as business address, phone number or contact name so that users can update their lists in a more timely manner without having to wait for the long list processing cycle.
Dublin-based FireOne Group and Canadian-based Phantom Fiber have partnered to integrate FireOne’s stored value wallet, “FirePay,” with Phantom Fiber’s wireless platform. The first phase of the agreement will allow customers to download the mobile wallet application to their cellular device and fund their “FirePay” account virtually anywhere, anytime and still enjoy their mobile gaming with applications powered by Phantom Fiber. The ability to access account balance information and historical transactions will also be included. The companies expect that
deployment will be completed within the next month.