A new survey from Harris Interactive, conducted on behalf of lawyers.com, has found that 28% of consumers have transferred credit card balances to lower interest rate cards, and 13% have contacted creditors to negotiate reduced interest rates or payment plans, over the past eighteen months.
Euronet Worldwide’s subsidiary e-pay Australia has entered the New Zealand market launching electronic top-up service (e-top-up) with Vodafone New Zealand Limited, a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest mobile telecommunications company, Vodafone Group.
Experian announced the formation of Scorex, a new decision support and consulting business. Experian acquired the outstanding shareholdings in its prior joint venture with Scorex, one of the world’s foremost developers of application processing and customer management software.
Experian announced it has developed an XML (extensible markup language) interface to its Truvue Customer Data Integrating technology to permit easy integration with sales and marketing applications.
Household International, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc announced that its retail services business has signed an agreement to establish a new private label credit card program for Galyan’s Trading Company Inc. Through the agreement, Galyan’s and Household will develop the Experience Card for customers who are passionate about sports and the outdoors.
Vodafone New Zealand Limited has signed a contract with Euronet Worldwide’s e-pay Australia subsidiary for an electronic top-up service. Vodafone has approximately 1.2 million subscribers, representing 50% of mobile phone users in New Zealand. e-pay Australia has contracted with several major retailers, supporting more than 300 terminals throughout New Zealand to provide the e-top-up services. e-pay is the largest electronic payments processor of prepaid mobile airtime top-up services in the U.K. and Australia. Founded in 1999, e-pay, focuses on cash-based recharge, or the “top-up” market for processing electronic purchases of prepaid mobile airtime and long-distance calling cards. The company currently supports top-up purchases for mobile service providers at more than 50,000 POS terminals in approximately 18,000 retail locations.
Sainsbury’s has deployed Retalix’s “StoreLine POS” in more than 300 of its 485 stores across the UK. In addition, Sainsbury’s has installed “Storeline Fuel” in over 100 of its 230 fuel sites. Retalix, Accenture, and NCR have been working with Sainsbury’s in a front of store replacement program known as repos. Retalix “StoreLine” is the only grocery POS system with integrated fuel site functionality. Retalix Ltd has installations in more than 20,000 stores and quick service restaurants across 44 countries. J Sainsbury plc, one of the UK’s largest retailers, operates a supermarket chain and bank in the UK and a supermarket chain in the USA.
Retailer Saks Incorporated announced it has consummated the strategic alliance with the retail services business of Household International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, to operate Saks’ private label credit card business.
First Data this morning reported 15% revenue growth in the first quarter to $2.0 billion and a 20% increase in net income to $293 million. The Card Issuing Services division posted a 16% increase in revenues to $524 million, however, operating profits were off 10% to $76 million as a result of the decline in the sub-prime segment. The Merchant Services unit grew revenue 12% for the first quarter to $697 million. Operating profits rose 8% to $154 million. Merchant processing transactions grew 23%. The Payment Services business, comprised largely of Western Union, achieved first quarter revenue growth of 19% to $853 million. Profit margins improved to 33% from 32% a year ago, and operating profits were $281 million, a 22% increase over first quarter 2002. Prepaid services transactions grew 43%. For complete details on FDC’s 1Q/03 peformance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Experian announced that it has named Craig T. Smith to the position of chairman of Experian worldwide. Mr. Smith was also appointed to the Board of GUS plc, Experian’s parent company.
Retail Decisions, an international supplier of payment card fraud prevention and value added transaction services, announced the appointment of Xavier Kris to Managing Director for Retail Decisions, Inc. (ReD USA). Mr. Kris is responsible for the commercial development of ReD USA’s entire risk management and payment processing products and services throughout North America.
At the special meeting of stockholders of Household International, Inc. held Friday, the stockholders of Household voted to approve the proposed acquisition of Household by HSBC Holdings plc.