The Supreme Court this week decided not to take up a merchant-filed appeal challenging the Federal Reserve’s 2011 rule-making on “reasonable and proportional” debit card fees.
The American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor shows just 20 percent believe economic conditions are the biggest barrier to growth (compared to 23% in the fall of 2011), fewer have cash flow concerns (53%, versus 58% in the spring) and fewer are stressed out by the economy (59%, versus 64% in the spring). Small business owners’ top priority, is maintaining their current business and sources of revenue (32%) and as a result they have adopted a “wait and see” approach for growth plans. Only 29% of businesses surveyed have plans to hire new employees, down from 35% in the spring.
Only 16% of entrepreneurs say the economy has caused them to lay off employees versus 21% six months ago. The Success Index, profiling High achievers, strivers, sustainers and strugglers, shows high achievers represent 6% of the total survey sample, and on average, have spent twenty-six years in business, employ eighteen people in their firms and have attained business growth of thirty-four percent over the last three years (versus 10% growth for the total survey population). The Success Index was developed based on self-reported responses to questions regarding business growth and characteristics correlated with high-performing entrepreneurs.
Diebold posted 2Q/10 income from continuing operations of $30.4 million, compared to $24.9 million last quarter, while revenue was $665.2 million, down 4% from 2Q/09. Total revenue was down 4%, including a net positive currency impact of 3% while total gross margin was 26.8%, an increase of 2.4 percentage points from the year ago period. Operating profit was 7.0% of net sales in the second quarter 2010, an increase of 0.3 percentage points from the second quarter 2009. Included in operating profit in both periods were restructuring charges and non-routine income, as well as an impairment charge in the second quarter 2010. Excluding these items from both periods, non-GAAP operating profit margin* was 7.8% in the second quarter 2010 and 7.1% in the second quarter 2009. Income from continuing operations was $30.4 million, or 4.6% of revenue in the second quarter 2010, a decrease of 4.9%, or 0.1 percentage points from the second quarter 2009.
American Express has launched “Business Insights”, a new analytics and consulting
organization to help business customers develop better-informed strategies.
“Business Insights” combines aggregate trend analysis to provide unique business planning and
marketing expertise and will identify strategic
opportunities drawn from the aggregate spending patterns on
approximately 90 million cards in force across 127 markets. It will work
with business clients to provide data-driven insights focused on
specific customer segments that will help them to develop customized
marketing and growth strategies. “Business Insights” will be housed within the American Express Global
Merchant Services unit. In keeping with American Expressâ privacy
principles, all data analysis is done only on an aggregate level and
does not disclose any personally identifiable information to merchants
or partners for marketing purposes. In addition to
large-scale, global consulting projects, Business Insights also offers a
suite of quarterly benchmarking reports that provide spending trend
analysis among various customer segments, vertical industry trends, and
specific merchantsâ market share and customer mix.
Identity thieves are just as attracted to perfect credit scores as are
lenders, according to data recently released by Experian. It turns out
there is a strong correlation between consumers with high credit scores
and their propensity for identity fraud victimization. Compiled using
800,000 consumer records originating from 2007â2008, statistics show
those with a credit score of over 926 experienced 16% of all identity
fraud while those with a score of between 501 and 556 experienced only
4% of fraud. Additionally, those with a score of between 815 and 990-
the top 20%- accounted for 48% of all fraud victims. Among the reasons
for this phenomenon, Experian points to the current state of lending
criteria and that an application for credit is more likely to be
approved with a high credit score rather than a low credit score.
Subsequently, Experian recommends all consumers actively protect
themselves from identity fraud by never giving personal info out over
the phone, regularly monitoring credit reports and safeguarding all
New research reveals that consumer confidence and spending began slowing about eighteen months ago. The analysis, based on data from Experian’s ‘”Simmons” and “Hitwise,” found that from Spring 2007 to Summer 2008, the percentage of U.S. adults who felt they would be financially better off in the next year dropped from 46% to 37%. Not only did the percentage of confident consumers slump, but the number of adults who felt they would be worse off in the coming year grew by 9% to 22%. Other findings: between October 2006 and October 2008, overall visits to retail Web sites declined 4% year-over-year; overall visits to Web sites in the travel category dropped 10%; and online searches for major electronic items saw significant, year-over-year decreases, with “televisions” down 33%, “laptops” down 48% and “computers” down 57%. Experian also found that households earning $250,000 or more were the fastest to abandon the notion they would be somewhat or significantly better off in the coming year, dropping by 40% from Spring 2007 to Summer 2008.
Users of TransUnion’s “Revenue Manager” healthcare
solution will now have the option of using Aequitas Capital Management’s
“CarePayment” to improve hospital cash flow and receivable yields.
The CarePayment finance card is hospital branded and provides monthly
statements, inbound/outbound customer service calls, payment processing,
reporting, web access and late payment management. A CarePayment finance
card will be offered to patients during the TransUnion Revenue Manager
pre-qualifying process. TransUnion’s Revenue Manager instantaneously
verifies patient identity
and self-reported information at registration, and performs calculations
based on patient information and eligibility requirements to pre-qualify
applicants and their family members for optimal financial assistance
A new survey has found that 41% of teens consider themselves knowledgeable about how to budget money, 34% know how to pay bills, 26% know how credit card interest and fees work, 24% know whether a check cashing service is good to use and 14% know how income taxes work or what a 401(k) plan. More than half believe that “it is easier to buy things with a credit card than cash” and, given the choice, 29% would actually prefer using a credit card, a 61% increase in this stated preference over last year. The research by Charles Schwab also found that American teens confidently predict a future in which, based on the career that interests them most, they will be earning an average annual salary of $145,500 (boys expect $173,000 vs. girls, $114,200). The reality: Only five percent of the U.S. population currently earns a six-figure income, and the average national wage stands at approximately $40,000.
Alliance Data has reached an agreement to acquire ICOM Information and
Communication Inc., a provider of targeted list, marketing data
and communication solutions for the direct response, consumer packaged
goods and over-the-counter pharmaceutical industries in North
America. These include the AIR MILES Reward Program, Canada’s premiere
coalition loyalty marketing program, Epsilon, a leading provider of
integrated direct marketing solutions and COLLOQUY, a leading provider
of loyalty-marketing publishing, research, educational and consulting
services. ICOM will remain a distinct business within Alliance Data.
Alliance Data has reached an agreement to acquire Canada’s ICOM Information and Communication, a provider of targeted list, marketing data and communication solutions for the direct response, consumer packaged goods and over-the-counter pharmaceutical industries in North America. These include the AIR MILES Reward Program, Canada’s premiere coalition loyalty marketing program, Epsilon, a leading provider of integrated direct marketing solutions and COLLOQUY, a leading provider of loyalty-marketing publishing, research, educational and consulting services. ICOM will remain a distinct business within Alliance Data. Alliance Data is a provider of transaction, credit and marketing services.
A new survey shows that consumer spending for online content in the US grew to $1.8 billion in 2004, a 14% increase over 2003. Spending on “Entertainment/Lifestyles” grew 90%, to $413.5 million last year, while spending on “Business/Investment” content declined 6% over that same time period. According to the Online Publishers Association’s report, online “Personals/Dating” remained the leading paid content category in 2004, with spending at an all-time high of $469.5 million for the year, up 4% over 2003. According to the report, 19 million U.S. consumers paid for online content in the fourth quarter, up 2.6 million over the same period in 2003. With growth in paid content consumers outpacing growth in U.S. Internet users, paid content consumer penetration in the fourth quarter reached its highest point yet at 11.6%, while average consumer spending remained flat.
A new study by Accenture shows that American Express Business Travel clients report achieving 19% greater overall savings for their T&E investments as compared to clients of other TMCs. Accenture found that American Express customers achieve 19% greater savings on air travel globally, 13% greater savings on hotel spend globally, and 15% greater savings on car rental spend globally. Other findings show that AmEx clients reported 15% greater compliance to their air policies and that negotiated air discounts were 43% higher for AmEx clients than others studied. The Accenture study involved 89 travel managers.