London-based Egg plc, a pioneering online bank, announced it will launch an international VISA card in France this weekend. The “la Carte Egg” card will be the first VISA card in France to offer cashback. The new french Egg VISA will offer 1% cash back on all purchases, as well as a 12.99% APR. Consumers applying before the end of the year will have their annual fee waived for the first year (normally Euro 35) and 5% cash back on purchases up to the year-end. Egg says it will target an upmarket customer base, aged 25-49 with above average income. The “Egg France Index” shows that 32% of French adults (15 million) are using technology – be it Internet, Digital TV or WAP. About 26% of French consumers (12 million) are using the Internet, with the geographic majority of users residing in Paris. Approximately 24% of French Internet users are now banking online, and this is expected to grow to over 7 million by the end of 2004. The company will begin taking applications online, from France, on Saturday, November 2nd. Launched in October 1998, Egg is an e-commerce company created by Prudential.
St.George Bank, Australia, has gone live with “ChipPURSE,” the “VISA Cash”
electronic purse processing solution, which supports St.George’s existing
“VISA Cash” payment and Worldsmart Technologies loyalty program. Developed
by CardBASE, the “VISA Cash” modules are part of “MASCOT,” the company’s
multi-application smart card management solution, and provides St.George
with complete issuing, acquiring and local “VISA Cash” processing enabling
the bank to completely support the existing smart card products. The
solution, endorsed by VISA International, is a result of two years close
co-operation between VISA and CardBASE. CardBASE has delivered more than 45
smart card solutions and provides services to Wells Fargo Bank, VISA
International, Europay International, and ValuCard Nigeria.
NEXT IT Informasyon Billisim Teknolojileri ve Tic has signed a deal with
Ireland’s CardBASE Technologies to distribute “MASCOT” range of products in
Turkey and other Turkish speaking states. NEXT IT says it sees the market
for CardBASE enabled platforms in Turkey to be a $10 million business
within two years. CardBASE “MASCOT” is a GlobalPlatform compliant solution
for the management of multiple applications including, EMV, CEPS, PKI and
Loyalty. “MASCOT” delivers solutions for issuance, card life cycle
management, key management, personalization and post issuance.
Experian yesterday announced the formation of Experian Consumer Direct that combines the operations of CreditExpert and ConsumerInfo.com. The business of selling credit data to consumers has become a substantial business over the past twelve months. Equifax confirmed last week that its third quarter “Direct-to-Consumer” revenues increased 106% to $11 million. Experian’s consumer direct business took shape in April with the acquisition of ConsumerInfo.com from Homestore.com, Inc. for $130 million in cash. Since ConsumerInfo.com’s founding in 1995, the company has provided more than 5 million credit reports to U.S. consumers. Its Internet properties, which include CreditMatters.com, FreeCreditReport.com and QSpace.com, receive more than 10 million visitors monthly. ConsumerInfo was the first U.S. company to offer consumers online access to single-bureau credit reports, three-bureau credit reports and lender-style credit scores. The company recently announced that its “CreditCheck Monitoring Service” has reached 1 million members. About three-quarters of ConsumerInfo.com’s revenue is derived from membership subscriptions. For an annual subscription of $79.95, members can access their credit reports as often as desired, monitor their files monthly and receive advice on managing credit and debt levels. ConsumerInfo.com also sells individual credit reports, credit scores and other services at prices ranging from $9.95 to $44.95.
Egg Banking PLC is placing its VISA card receivables and, potentially,
MasterCard receivables on accounts its owns as collateral for new
securitization. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said that it assigned
its preliminary credit ratings to the sterling- and euro-denominated
asset-backed floating-rate notes to be issued by Pillar Funding Series
2002-1 Plc. Egg was launched in 1996 as a banking subsidiary of Prudential
PLC, the U.K.-based financial services group. Egg is primarily focused on
providing Internet-based financial services to its customers. Egg offers
deposit accounts, credit cards, personal loans, and mortgages via the
Internet and by telephone.
Experian has introduced its “Advanced Select for Prime Database”, a shared database designed for pre-approved credit offers that contains credit and demographic data information on more than 70 million creditworthy U.S. consumers.
YUM! Restaurants International has chosen Trintech’s “ReconNET 6.1” to
manage its reconciliation and cash management needs. YUM! runs the
operations of 30,000 restaurants in 100 countries around the
world. The installation of “ReconNET 6.1” by the international division of
YUM! Brands is part of the company’s on-going efforts to centralize daily
cash management and reconciliation processes and provide a standardized
methodology across its restaurants. Implementation will begin in the UK and
the Netherlands, and extend to other countries as additional language
versions of “ReconNET” become available. “ReconNET” facilitates much more
than a simple matching process; the real benefits are derived from
identifying and managing exceptions, i.e., the missing deposit, the
fraudulent check, or the unresolved chargeback.
Fitch Ratings has placed Household on “Rating Watch Negative” following its proposed settlement over bad sub-prime lending practices. The first charge, which could amount up to a sizeable $484 million pre-tax, is related to a proposed settlement between Household and state attorneys general and state banking regulatory agencies. This represents a nationwide resolution of issues related to Household’s real estate lending practices and the Household Finance Corp. and Beneficial Finance Corp.’s branch businesses. The second charge, expected to be taken in the fourth quarter of 2002, is related to the anticipated disposition of the assets and liabilities of Household’s thrift, Household Bank, FSB. The cost to Household for divesting the assets and liabilities could total between $250 million and $300 million after-tax.
TSYS Debt Management has inked a deal to utilize Experian’s “Portfolio Management Package for Post Charge-off Accounts”. This solution helps collection agencies and financial institutions to better prioritize their post charge-off inventories.
Trintech Group announced it remains committed to implementing its
previously announced program to buy-back up to $5 million of its shares and
will do so following approval of the Irish Takeover Panel. The company says
it is in the process of securing approval from the Panel to engage in a
buy-back of shares on the open market without triggering the requirement
for the largest shareholders to make a mandatory bid for the Company. One
such rule is that if the percentage ownership of a group of investors
acting in concert owning more than 30% of the share capital increases, the
connected investors may be required to make a mandatory bid for the
Company. John and Cyril McGuire, being brothers, are considered technically
to be acting in concert under the Takeover Panel rules and their relative
percentage ownership would increase as the Company bought back its own shares.
First Data reported 13% revenue growth in the third quarter, and a doubling of earnings per share compared to last year. However the company said yesterday it is paying very close attention to consumer behavior at the point of sale during the fourth quarter and its potential impact on revenue. The Payment Services unit produced $821 million in 3Q/02 revenue, a 19% gain and a 21% gain in profits compared with 2001 pro forma profits. The Card Issuing Services division produced operating profits of $97 million, a 4% from 2001 pro forma results. However, CIS revenue was down 3% to $485 million. The Merchant Services unit, comprised primarily of First Data Merchant Services and TeleCheck, generated $703 million in revenue, a 21% gain. Profits rose 10% on a pro forma basis to $196 million. Merchant processing transactions grew 18% for the third quarter to 2.6 billion. Emerging Payments, First Data’s eONE Global business, which accounts for 2% of First Data revenue, reported $38 million in revenue for the quarter. For complete details on FDC’s third quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
GE Consumer Finance reported this morning that profits for its Card Services unit fell 19% from $184 million for 3Q/01 to $149 million for 3Q/02.