Swedbank (ForeningsSparbanken) and Barclays have inked a partnership to issue cards in the Nordic market. The joint venture will tap into a market that has a 10 million card and SEK 40 billion ($US5.7 billion) potential. The current credit card market in Sweden and Norway is estimated at two to three million cards. The JV will consist of ForeningsSparbanken’s Swedish credit cards operations and its subsidiary EnterCard AS in Norway. It will be jointly owned by ForeningsSparbanken and Barclays, with ForeningsSparbanken retaining a 60% share of the votes and Barclays 40%. The JV will be headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Sales will be handled by ForeningsSparbanken’s extensive distribution network in Sweden while EnterCard AS will serve Norwegian customers, among them many savings bank customers. Under terms of the deal, ForeningsSparbanken will sell its 500,000 account credit card operation to the new JV for approximately SEK 1.0 billion (US$142.7 million).
Barclays PLC has signed a GBP 45 million extension of its business process outsourcing contract with Siemens Business Services.
The contract also includes Barclaycard. Siemens has been running areas of Barclays’ retail banking back office since 2000 -including: account closures, transfer of funds and administrative processing for direct debit and standing order instructions. Back office operations have been transformed through improved operational efficiencies and the deployment of new technologies, using the Siemens global service delivery platform.
Siemens established an international business unit for BPO in October
2004 in the UK.
Fair Isaac reported revenues of $195.5 million for the quarter ending December 31st, a 15.5% gain over 4Q/03. However, net income for the quarter totaled $27.9 million, compared with net income of $28.8 million for the year ago quarter. The slightly reduced earnings were due to expenses related to the acquisition of London Bridge Software. Strategy Machine Solutions revenues increased 14% to $117.8 million, primarily due to revenues generated by its collections and recovery solutions and mortgage banking solutions associated with the acquisition of London Bridge, and increased revenues from its fraud solutions products. Scoring Solutions revenues increased 12% to $39.4 million, primarily due to an increase in revenues derived from risk scoring services at the credit reporting agencies. Professional Services revenues increased 31% to $29.5 million, due to the acquisition of London Bridge and Braun Consulting. Analytic Software Tools revenues increased 7% to $8.8 million, due to revenues generated by sales from the Enterprise Decision Management suite of products. For complete details on Fair Isaac’s latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com])
A survey shows that small business owners possess unique credit characteristics that set them apart from the rest of the consumer population. According to the Experian survey, small business owners have a 21% higher income than the general population, and are more likely to reside in higher-value homes. And, there is a significant positive correlation between the consumer credit score and the commercial credit score. Thus, positive changes in one score frequently are associated with positive changes in the other score. Conversely, negative changes in one score frequently are associated with negative changes in the other score.
NJ-based Retail Decisions has added two product enhancements for its fraud prevention service, “ebitGuard.” The enhancements will provide mass retailers in the card-not-present space access to neural technology to fight fraud. ReD’s “PRISM” neural technology and “Dynamic Data Validation” is being added to “ebitGuard.” “PRISM” is able to detect abnormal cardholder behavior, distinguish subtle differences manifested by fraudulent orders compared to superficially similar valid orders. Simultaneously, “PRISM” incrementally learns new purchasing behavior or pattern changes adapting its model and intelligence resulting in a dynamic system that detects emerging fraud schemes. “Dynamic Data Validation” matches a consumer’s billing and shipping information with multiple public records. Additionally, “Dynamic Data Validation” is able to find additional profitable sales opportunities in AVS and CVV failures.
Federated Department Stores is deploying Retail Decisions’ “ebitGuard” risk management service to prevent online fraud in the “Card Not Present” sector. The Federated account comes on the back of other recent client wins for ReD that include The Finish Line, Inc., T-Mobile and Odimo, Inc. Other blue- chip ReD clients also include Walmart.com, Travelocity, GSI Commerce, RealNetworks and Register.com. Retail Decisions is an international electronic payment transaction services business that provides fraud prevention, enterprise-wide payment processing and value-added transaction and consulting services to the retail, finance, telecommunications and e-commerce sectors.
Trintech Group has been granted a “Terminal Quality Management” label from MasterCard for its range of “Chip and PIN” terminals for POS
and unattended environments. MasterCard audited Trintech’s hardware development facility in Ireland and manufacturing facility in the UK. The audit covered the two IFMs which are implemented in Trintech’s range of “Chip and PIN” terminals – “Compact 950 PIN Pad,” “Smart 5000 PIN Pad” and the “OpenPay” series. MasterCard’s TQM program was created in 2002 to help ensure the quality and reliability of EMV-compliant terminals worldwide.
Standard Chartered has signed an agreement to acquire Korea First Bank for approximately US$3.3 billion in cash. Korea First Bank will also represent approximately 22% of Standard Chartered’s assets post acquisition, using pro forma data as at 30 June 2004, making it Standard Chartered’s second largest market, by assets, after Hong Kong.
Korea First Bank is the seventh largest banking group in Korea by
assets, with a market share of approximately 6% and over 3 million
retail customers. Korea First Bank has a strong track record of credit
quality with one of the lowest ratios of non-performing loans. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of April.
Carphone Warehouse Group has selected VeriFone to deliver a custom “Chip and PIN” upgrade solution based on the “SC 5000” programmable smart card device. The Carphone Warehouse required a dual function secure customer-facing device that, in addition to handling EMV-compliant card transactions, would facilitate the SIM card back-up application that all of its stores offer to customers. The “SC
5000” is protected by a comprehensive array of hardware and software-based security features and adheres to “3DES” encryption standards. Carphone Warehouse Group is rolling-out a total of 3,000 “Chip and PIN” “SC 5000s.”
According to a national survey 36% of Americans polled are focused on weight loss for 2005 as opposed to 31% who are concerned with eliminating outstanding debt. Roper/Bankrate says this is a significant change from the 2003 poll in which 37% of those polled were more concerned about their debt, while only 29% were concentrating on losing weight. The survey found that the average amount of debt Americans polled need to pay off is $11,288, which is slightly less than the 2004 survey result of $11,895.
Sterling Jewelers, the world’s largest specialty retail jeweler, has installed NCR “RealPOS” POS terminals in all of its 1,141 U.S. locations. Sterling Jewelers Inc., which operates Kay Jewelers, Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry and a number of well-established regional names, recently completed installation of the new terminals that began in July 2004. NCR Corporation is a leading global technology company helping businesses build stronger relationships with their customers.
UK-based Tesco is issuing a pack containing a newly redesigned “Clubcard,” which incorporates a magnetic stripe and barcode, but it will also carry two unique and durable keyfobs. ID Data spent 18 months researching and developing the keyfob to ensure it would be the best product of its kind in the marketplace. Keyfobs are manufactured from the advanced material Teslin and utilize a sub-surface bar code which gives the fob an extended life. In addition ID Data has installed a custom-built, three-way matching system for application which adds security and also maximizes the visual impact of the delivered pack. ID Data, who already supplies Tesco’s “Clubcard,” the leading UK retail loyalty scheme, has won in addition a deal worth approximately GBP1 million a year.