AZ-based Premier credit card processing provider, American Payment Solutions (APS) announced today the expansion of integrated credit card processing to add Sage 300 credit card processing. Sage 300 users will now have another choice when it comes to selecting a credit card processor in the United States and Canada with the same look and feel…
CardWeb.com’s CardPixes database of more than 7,000 images today features the Emirates NBD Titanium MasterCard.
Chase Card Services has officially introduced its new rewards cards targeted to households with at least $120,000 in annual income. The new affluent “Chase Sapphire” cards have no preset limit, offers personalized customer service and is linked Chaseâs “Ultimate Rewards” program. The card is available as “Sapphire” and for a $95 annual fee as the “Sapphire Preferred.” Both cards offer unrestricted benefits, including no annual spending caps, points that never expire and no travel restrictions or blackout dates on travel reward redemptions. “Sapphire Preferred” offers one-to-one point transfer to airline and hotel programs, points worth 25% more when redeeming for travel online, and a spend bonus of 10,000 points for customers spending $50,000 annually. The new cards are being promoted through an integrated marketing campaign across multiple channels including: television, print, newspaper, online, events, public relations, and direct marketing. Chase is also partnering with the Travel Channel on a multifaceted campaign to promote Chase Sapphire through numerous product integrations in Travel Channelâs signature shows and inclusion in Travel Channelâs new brand campaign â “Catch it.”
With Providian, CompuCredit, and NextCard temporarily out of sub-prime marketing, Capital One has seized the opportunity with a major direct mail push this week for its new ‘VISA Premier’ credit card. The sub-prime card is being offered with annual fees ranging from $39 to $72, and with interest rates between a fixed 14.9% and a prime +13.8% APR. Some of the offers require a $49 security deposit according to CardWeb.com’s ‘CardWatch’ service ([www.cardwatch.com]). Cap One is also offering a 0% APR on purchases through March on the secured card version, and a 0% APR on purchases and cash advances through June for the unsecured version. Providian announced in late October it was withdrawing from the sub-prime market following the release of a very weak 3Q earnings report. NextCard, said on Oct 30th it was ending its secured card program after regulators imposed new limitations on NextBank’s activities. NextCard, the pioneer of the Internet-centric credit card, has also largely shutdown its marketing activities since. CompuCredit, which has been actively purging inactive account to improve its risk profile, has pulled the plug on online applications for its sub-prime ‘Aspire VISA’ card until the first quarter. (CF Library 10/22/01; 10/30/01;10/31/01)
As Discover plows forward with a major direct mail and print campaign for its ‘American Flag Card’ in the wake of rising nationalism, other patriotic cards have emerged. 5Star Bank, formerly known AFBA Bank, has launched two ‘United We Stand’ bank credit cards. The 5Star patriotic cards offers applicants nationwide, the choice of a no-annual-fee card with go-to APRs ranging from 10.9%-16.9%, or a $35 annual fee card with APRs ranging from 8.9% to 14.9%. Either pricing choice carries a six-billing-cycle 5.9% promo APR for new purchases and balance transfers. 5Star does not charge fees for balance transfers or convenience checks. The ‘United We Stand’ VISA or MasterCards are available in both ‘Classic’ and ‘Platinum’ levels. The ‘Platinum Premier’ version offers $1 million in travel accident insurance. AFBA (Armed Forces Benefit Association), now known as AFBA – The 5Star Association, primarily offers life insurance to military personnel and government workers. The insurance programs do not carry war clauses or area restrictions. 5Star has approximately 175,000 bank credit cardholders according to CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Midwest Payment Systems has introduced a national stored value gift card program. ‘Premier Issue’is currently being piloted at Galyan’s, a national sporting goods retail outlet headquartered in Indianapolis. Galyan’s has 22 stores in 18 states. With ‘Premier Issue’, Fifth Third’s merchant clients have access to a toll-free interactive voice response unit and a dedicated Web site where account information is available 24 hours daily. Premier Issue also allows stores to track and display gift card balances as well as retrieve daily reporting on card use.
Citibank has joined with several other top U.S. companies in a new college savings program officially announced yesterday by MA-based Upromise Inc. Citibank will contribute 1% of purchases made on certain enrolled Citi credit cards for a $24.95 annual fee. Other companies, including AT&T, Coca-Cola, CVS/pharmacy, ExxonMobil, General Motors, McDonald’s, Toys”R”Us, AOL, Borders, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, Countrywide Home Loans, Staples, and Starwood Hotels will also contribute a percentage of a customer’s spending to an Upromise college savings account. Anyone who enrolls in Upromise, via its Web site, will have a portion of his or her spending with contributing companies deposited in their Upromise college savings account. Families can multiply Upromise college contributions by building their own savings network of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends, all directing their contributions to a child’s account. The Upromise service also offers the option of investing the contributions in a “529” college savings plan managed by Salomon Smith Barney or Fidelity Investments. Citibank is offering the program on its ‘Citibank Gold’, ‘Platinum Select’; ‘Driver’s Edge’; ‘Dividend’; ‘Premier’; ‘Citimiles’; ‘Sony Card’; ‘Citibank Visa Signature’; ‘Jack Nicklaus Cards’; and ‘Click Citi Platinum Select. Cardholders may earn up to $300 per year for their Upromise savings accounts. The Citibank Upromise annual fee is required for each enrolled Citibank card.
Cardholders of the ‘First USA/United Mileage Plus VISA/MasterCard’ are set to receive a mileage bonus as a reward for their patience in regards to United Airlines recent scheduling problems. ‘Mileage Plus Premier’ members (flying 25,000+ miles per year) will receive an additional bonus for United flights between May 1 and December 31. ‘Premier’ members will receive an extra 25% bonus for flights, while ‘Premier Executive’ (flying 50,000 miles per year) and 1K members (flying 100,000 miles per year) will receive a 100% bonus. This extra bonus will be credited to accounts in January 2001. In addition, members who qualify for ‘Premier’ status in 2000 will also be eligible for these bonuses. United also announced yesterday it is waiving its $75 flight change fees in many cases.
Providian’s net income for the second quarter dropped to $63 million compared to $127 million for 2Q/99. The decline was largely due to a $273 million legal settlement over its past credit card practices. Nevertheless Providian’s total managed credit card loans increased by $1.8 billion during 2Q/00 due to its customer upgrading initiatives. Providian added 850,000 net new accounts during the second quarter to bring total customer accounts, which includes non-card loans, to 13.9 million. Providian says its E-commerce and UK credit card divisions posted strong gains. Also new card programs such as ‘Gold Premier’, Providian’s account upgrade vehicle, significantly drove the growth in accounts and receivables for the second half of the year. Providian’s E-commerce division includes Aria, GetSmart, and WebCard. For complete current and historical data on Providian’s credit card portfolio visit CardData (www.carddata.com).
Providian’s Bank Card Portfolio Snapshot
2Q/00 1Q/00 4Q/00
Receivables $21.8b $20.1b $19.0b
Chargeoffs 7.42% 7.18% 6.78%
Delinquency 6.48% 5.72% 5.66%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
! NextCard has been ranked as the second fastest growing domain on the Internet following a 178% surge in the number of unique visitors during May. Meanwhile Capital One has been ranked #1 on the list of top ad impressions delivered during May. According to Nielsen/NetRatings Internet audience measurement service NextCard’s audience grew from 1,459,728 visitors in April to 4,056,306 in May. NextCard beat popular Web destinations such as napster.com and victoriasecret.com. Rival Internet audience measurement service, Media Metrix, reported yesterday that Capital One remains the top online advertiser with 1.2 billion ad impressions served in May. Media Metrix says the Capital One ad figures are remarkable since the card issuer made a 62% cut in its online advertising in the last week of May. There are major discrepancies between the measurement services. Nielsen/NetRatings shows that during May, NextCard delivered 604 million ad impressions while Capital One delivered 402 million. While Capital One topped the Media Metrix list with more than one billion ad impressions, NextCard did not even make the list which cutoff at 119 million ad impressions. NextCard and Capital One are both ‘Premier’ level advertisers on CardWeb.com’s consumer channels.
Major financial services companies may launch a bidding war to acquire the one-word Internet domain name Approved.com when it goes on the auction block March 28th. Based on the positive connotation of the word “approved,” and the relevance to banking, insurance, and credit card companies, domain name industry experts anticipate the URL will generate significant interest and should command a multi-million dollar price.
“With a built-in slogan like, “Get approved at Approved.com,” and the potential for an immediate `brand identity,’ this name definitely qualifies as a `premier’ property,” said Eric Harrington, Vice President of HitDomains.com, a web site devoted to the domain name industry.
“With the recent sale of `Loans.com,’ there are not many names left in the financial services market segment with as strong a brand identity as Approved.com. Businesses and consumers immediately recognize the value of the name as a place to go on the Internet to get an approval. The Approved.com name carries a positive image to the end-user applicants for any product or service,” said Harrington.
Any business that deals with processing applications can derive value from the name Approved.com, including insurance companies, issuers of credit and credit cards, banks, and mortgage companies. With minimal marketing, Approved.com can be positioned to attract a significant share of the multi-billion-dollar credit approval and insurance industries.
The on-line financial services market is expected to grow rapidly over the coming years. Independent research company Forrester estimates that Internet-sourced loans are expected to triple by 2004. Credit card loans should increase 1.4 million to 3.6 million; car loans are expected to increase by a multiple of more than 12.5 from 75,000 to 950,000; and mortgages may increase six-fold from 190,000 to 1.2 million.
“These kinds of fundamentals made Bank of America’s $3 million purchase of Loans.com a good investment. That’s why someone should easily pay at least a third of that for Approved.com,” according to Harrington. “We see many companies struggling to brand their domain names; this one comes in a shiny package with a built-in brand name.”
All offers and inquiries regarding the Approved.com domain name should be submitted through the HitDomains.com web site. Approved.com is featured on the HitDomains.com front page under the “Elite Domains” category. Additional information about the domain name is provided there, along with detailed bidding instructions for the pending auction date scheduled for March 28th. For information on the Auction, or to present a pre-auction offer, please contact HitDomains.com.
HitDomains.com (http://www.HitDomains.com) is a domain name, intellectual property and web site brokerage firm based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Since 1996, the company has been brokering Internet business transactions, as well as providing web hosting, web design and domain name registration. HitDomains.com incorporates a strategy of integrated capital investment and active involvement, creating a collaborative partnership with investment companies.
The pre-holiday battle to sign up new bank credit card accounts remains strong this year. Intro rates continue to dominate the market this year instead of the single digit, fixed go-to APR, according to CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com]). Among the best current offers for consumers is CT-based People’s Bank no-annual-fee ‘Premier Platinum VISA’ offer. People’s is offering a 2.9% fixed APR for new purchases and balance transfers until the first day of the April 2000 billing cycle. The go-to APR is a fixed 11.99% and the punitive APR is a fixed 25.99%. People’s is promoting the card as being free from balance transfer fees. Discover continues to promote a 2.9% intro rate for balance transfers for its new ‘Discover Platinum’. The intro rate expires during the February 2000 billing cycle. Discover is offering a 12.99% fixed, go-to rate and no-annual-fee. However Discover continues to employ the two-cycle ADB method of calculating interest. Meanwhile Fleet Bank continues to hammer away at mailboxes with its fixed, 7.99% go-to APR ‘Platinum MasterCard’. According to CardWatch, Fleet’s punitive pricing includes a 14.99% APR for accounts with two, 30-day lates in a six month period; a 21.99% APR for any account with a 60-day late; and a 24.99% APR for closed accounts. Other issuers offering intro rates this fall: First USA 1.9%; AmEx 0% and 2.9%; Citibank 3.9%; and National City 3.9%.