VISA USA has released “Financial Football,” a free cell phone game developed with the NFL and PLAYERS INC to help teens learn how to manage money wisely. “Financial Football” puts students’ fiscal knowledge to the test by combining the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. To score points, a player needs to answer various money management questions correctly. Wrong answers and penalties can cost a player yardage. “Financial Football” is part of “Practical Money Skills for Life”, a comprehensive financial literacy program that teaches young adults personal finance skills. The free, computer-based version of “Financial Football” has already been downloaded and played over 100,000 times.
Capital One’s fourth quarter U.S. credit card profits soared by 42% year-over-year but fell 27% sequentially to $337.2 million. Purchase volume in the U.S. was up 7.5% while U.S. managed card outstandings increased 8.3% from the year-ago quarter. The number of U.S. card accounts rose by about 150,000 during the quarter compared to about 300,000 in the prior quarter and total accounts remained flat year-on-year. U.S. card net income was $337.2 million, compared to $461.6 million in the prior quarter and $237.0 million for 4Q/05. U.S. managed card outstandings were $53.6 billion for 4Q/06 compared to $49.5 billion one-year ago and $51.1 billion in the previous quarter. Purchase volume hit $22.8 billion for 4Q/06, compared to $21.5 billion for 3Q/06 and $21.2 billion for 4Q/05. Capital One had 37.6 million accounts as of December 31st, compared to 37.5 million in the prior quarter and 37.6 million one-year ago. The managed delinquency rate (30+ days) for U.S. credit cards was 3.74% for the fourth quarter, compared to 3.53% for 3Q/06 and 3.44% for the fourth quarter of 2005. The net charge-off rate for U.S. credit cards was 3.82% for the fourth quarter, compared to 3.39% for the third quarter and 5.70% one-year ago. For complete details on Capital One’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
COF U.S. CARD NET INCOME
4Q/05: $237.0 million
1Q/06: $602.8 million
2Q/06: $421.8 million
3Q/06: $461.6 million
4Q/06: $337.2 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Global Payments has entered into agreements with 13 U.S. and Canadian gaming establishments to provide its VIP LightSpeed suite of cash access products. VIP LightSpeed is an Internet-accessible, PC-based platform that provides cash access services for traditional and electronic check cashing, ATM check cashing, and credit and debit card cash advances. In addition, VIP LightSpeed provides high-speed processing of cash access transactions, reduces risk associated with check-cashing and cash advance services, and offers a full spectrum of management reporting tools.
Payment processor Smart Payment Solutions (SPS), a payment processing company, has announced a merger with Automated Financial Group (AFG). The combined company, SPS LLC, offers payment services, including ACH processing, returned check processing, credit card merchant accounts, and check conversion. Clients include corporations of all sizes as well as non- profit organizations. AFG and SPS were founded in 1998 and 2002, respectively.
J.P. Morgan Chase reported this morning that fourth quarter credit card profits rose to $711 million, compared to $711 million in the prior quarter and $417 million in the year ago quarter. Managed card loans were up 7% to $152.8 billion year-on-year and up 6% sequentially. Compared with the prior year, both average managed and end-of-period managed loans continued to be affected negatively by higher customer payment rates due to the new minimum payment rules and a higher proportion of customers in rewards-based programs. The managed net charge-off rate for the quarter was 3.45%, down from 6.39% in the prior year and 3.58% in the prior quarter. The 30-day managed delinquency rate was 3.13%, up from 2.79% in the prior year, but down slightly from 3.17% in the prior quarter. During the fourth quarter, the net accounts opened were 14.4 million, including 9 million from the acquisitions of the BP and Pier 1 Imports, Inc. private label portfolios. Charge volume of $93.4 billion increased by $13.8 billion, or 17%, from the prior year. Merchant processing volume of $177.9 billion increased by $24.5 billion, or 16%, and total transactions of 5.0 billion increased by 653 million, or 15%, from the prior year. For complete details on Chase’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
JPM CHASE HISTORICAL ($billions)
4Q/05 1Q/06 2Q/06 3Q/06 4Q/06
EOP Outstandings: $142.3 134.3 139.3 143.8 152.8
Charge Volume: $ 79.6 74.3 84.4 87.5 93.4
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
VA-based Freedom First FCU reports it changed processors to TNB Card Services and launched an overhaul of its card program that has paid off in 9.5% growth in outstanding balances and a 15% increase in credit lines over the pre-conversion portfolio average. Freedom First FCU also uses TNB for its card activation program, card reissuing, and other administrative functions. Freedom First FCU has more than $190 million in assets and 36,000 members.
Washington State’s “Butch T. Cougar” has won the coveted title of Capital One’s “Mascot of the Year” during the halftime of the nationally televised “Capital One Bowl.” The highly anticipated announcement was made on air during halftime of the nationally televised Capital One Bowl. Butch bested 11 deeply talented (and oddly-proportioned) All-American mascots to bring glory (and $10,000) to Washington State University. Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company, with more than 693 locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas and Louisiana that offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients.
BB&T has selected Evolution Benefits to provide card services for its recently announced “Health Savings Account” product. Under the new relationship, BB&T will use Evolution Benefits’ prepaid benefits card services to power the Benefit Access card. The card is issued to consumers who establish individual HSAs through BB&T’s extensive network of more than 1,450 financial centers, as well as those who sign up for BB&T HSAs through their employer. Evolution Benefits, Inc. headquartered in Avon, Connecticut, began operation in 2002. Its primary product, the Benny prepaid benefits card, applies advanced payment and pioneering electronic substantiation technologies to FSAs, HSAs, HRAs and Qualified Transportation Accounts. BB&T Corporation and its subsidiaries offer full-service commercial and retail banking and additional financial services such as insurance, investments, retail brokerage, corporate finance, payment services, international banking, leasing and trust.
More than one-quarter of Canadians say they or someone they know has been a victim of identity theft. Nearly three in ten Canadians say that while they hear a lot about identity theft they are not sure what it means. The findings come from Capital One Canada’s second annual identity theft survey which also found that 36% of Canadians say they would not know who to call or what steps to take to restore their name and credit if they were a victim of identity theft. Concern over identity theft has led Canadians to be more guarded about their personal information. Over half say concern has led to the use or purchase of a shredder, while 92% of concerned Canadians say they now review, rather than toss away, their monthly financial statements and pay closer attention to the way merchants handle their credit and/or debit
card when shopping. In spite of increased vigilance, over half of
Canadians do not review their credit report at least once per year to check for errors or unfamiliar activity.
OH-based Fifth Third Processing Solutions has renewed three contracts for merchant processing services. The deals include: Abercrombie & Fitch; Belk Department Stores; and Stein Mart. Abercrombie & Fitch operates 357 Abercrombie & Fitch stores, 173 abercrombie stores, 377 Hollister Co. stores and 12 RUEHL stores in the U.S. NC-based Belk Department Stores has more than 275 stores in 16 states. Stein Mart operates 268 retail stores throughout the USA. Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions processes over 17 billion ATM and POS transactions per year for more than 1,500 financial institutions and over 137,000 retail locations worldwide.
VISA’s prepaid load network, “VISA ReadyLink, has signed a major client with 60,000 store alliances. Blackhawk Network says it will roll-out the service this month at more than 1,550 retail locations nationwide including participating Safeway, Carrs, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, Pak ‘n Save, Pavilions, Randalls, Vons, and Tom Thumb stores. Fifth Third Bank will serve as the acquiring financial institution. The new VisaNet service enables consumers, particularly unbanked consumers, to easily add funds to eligible VISA reloadable prepaid cards.
A new study says payday lenders pocket $4.2 billion in excessive fees each year from Americans who seek a two-week loan and end up trapped in debt. The Center for Responsible Lending says it calculates the cost of predatory payday lending state-by-state and also estimates that borrowers save $1.4 billion in states that enforce reasonable interest rate caps. The new report found that the average payday borrower pays back $793 for a $325 loan. CRL’s study, “Financial Quicksand” updates its 2003 estimate of the cost of payday lending.