The 1999 holiday shopping season is going down as a banner year for brick & mortar retailers, Internet retailers, and payment processors. Based on purchases made with checks, overall same-store holiday sales are up 5.8%, according to data released last night by TeleCheck Services. The gain is the strongest since TeleCheck began producing the national retail sales index in 1991. Saturday, December 18, was the busiest shopping day of the season so far. Internet shopping continued to break online retail records. Last week, consumers spent over $1.2 billion, an increase of more than 38% from the previous week according to PC Data Online. This is more than twice the amount spent online during the week of Thanksgiving. Many e-tailers are reporting increases of 60% to 100% over last year’s volume. Internet retail purchases for the US will likely exceed the projected $7 billion figure. Total Internet holiday spending (retail, travel, business, etc) is also set to break the projected milestone of $15 billion. Among the most active online shopping sites are toy retailers. NextCard’s ‘Top Ten eHoliday Retailers Index’ shows the ToysRUs.com web site logged the most traffic during the first two weeks of December. However, in terms of purchase volume and average price-per-sale, eToys came out on top. NextCard says the average purchase at ToysRUs.com was $45 compared to $65 at eToys. Finally, a study released this morning by CT-based Greenfield Online says fewer online shoppers indicated they worried about credit card security, returnability and shipping charges than those surveyed during the summer. In July, 43% of those surveyed refused to shop online due to concerns about credit card security. In December, the figure dropped to 35%.
Same-store sales for the first 17 shopping days of the season rose 4.2 percent over the same period last year, according to TeleCheck Services, Inc., the world’s leading check acceptance company. The data are based on a same-store comparison of the dollar volume of authorized checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleCheck’s 210,000 subscribing locations. Checks account for about one-third of retail spending. TeleCheck is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based First Data Corp.
“During the past week, shoppers moderated the brisk pace of holiday spending from earlier in the season, which follows the pattern of consumer spending over the past few years. With a healthy economy and no political distractions in sight, TeleCheck anticipates a surge of spending during the final 12 days of the season,” said Dr. William Ford, TeleCheck’s Senior Economic Advisor.
Data includes sales from Friday, November 26 through Sunday, December 12. By region, the Southwest led the nation, followed by the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast (tied), the Midwest, and the Southeast and West (tied).
The Southwest’s sales were up 4.7 percent, with Oklahoma up 5.0 percent, Texas up 4.8 percent and Missouri up 4.4 percent. Oklahoma City’s sales climbed 5.2 percent and Tulsa’s rose 4.8 percent. Sales increased 5.0 percent in San Antonio, 4.7 percent in Dallas/Fort Worth, 4.6 percent in Austin and 4.4 percent in Houston. Kansas City’s sales grew 4.5 percent and St. Louis’ rose 4.3 percent.
Sales rose 4.5 percent in the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. In the Mid- Atlantic, Maryland was up 4.8 percent, Pennsylvania and Virginia rose 4.5 percent and New Jersey grew 4.3 percent. Sales rose 4.6 percent in the District of Columbia, 4.5 percent in Baltimore, 4.6 percent in Philadelphia and 4.4 percent in Pittsburgh.
In the Northeast, New York’s sales climbed 5.6 percent and Massachusetts’ grew 3.1 percent. New York City jumped 5.5 percent and Boston increased 3.2 percent.
The Midwest’s sales increased 4.4 percent. Sales were up 4.8 percent in Illinois, 4.7 percent in Minnesota, 4.4 percent in Wisconsin, 4.2 percent in Michigan and 4.0 percent in Ohio. Sales rose by 5.0 percent in Chicago, 4.7 percent in Minneapolis/St. Paul, 4.5 percent in Milwaukee, 4.7 percent in Detroit and 4.5 percent in Cleveland.
The Southeast sales increased 3.8 percent. Sales were up 4.2 percent in The Carolinas, 3.7 percent in Tennessee, 3.4 percent in Louisiana, 3.7 percent in Florida and 4.0 percent in Georgia. Sales increased 4.0 percent in Nashville, 3.5 percent in Memphis and 3.3 percent in New Orleans. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale’s sales climbed 3.6 percent, Orlando’s rose 4.1 percent, Tampa’s grew 3.7 percent and Atlanta’s rose 3.7 percent.
Sales in the West rose 3.8 percent. Hawaii’s sales climbed 5.8 percent, Colorado’s increased 4.1 percent, California’s gained 3.3 percent, Oregon’s grew 3.8 percent, Arizona’s rose 3.4 percent and Washington’s grew 2.9 percent. Sales were up 4.1 percent in Denver, 3.6 percent in the Bay Area, 3.1 percent in Los Angeles and 3.2 percent in San Diego. Seattle’s sales rose 2.2 percent, Phoenix’s increased 3.1 percent and Portland’s grew 3.7 percent.
TeleCheck’s index is compiled on a calendar basis and is based on the total sales volume of check-writing consumers at a broad cross-section of retailers. Figures are not adjusted for inflation. In 1998, TeleCheck authorized over $112 billion in checks and processed more than 2.2 billion check inquiries.
Atlanta-based First Data Corp. helps move the world’s money. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data serves more than two million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services. For more information, please visit the company’s web site at [http://www.firstdatacorp.com].
Dr. William Ford holds the Weatherford Chair of Finance at Middle Tennessee State University. Earlier in his career he was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and served on former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s Federal Open Market Committee.
November 26 – December 12, 1999
December 13, 1999
SOUTHEAST 3.8% WEST 3.8% MIDWEST 4.4%
Florida 3.7% Arizona 3.4% Illinois 4.8%
Miami/Ft. Lauderdale 3.6% Phoenix 3.1% Chicago 5.0%
Orlando 4.1% California 3.3% Michigan 4.2%
Tampa 3.7% Bay Area 3.6% Detroit 4.7%
Louisiana 3.4% Los Angeles 3.1% Minnesota 4.7%
New Orleans 3.3% San Diego 3.2% Minneapolis/St. Paul4.7%
Georgia 4.0% Oregon 3.8% Wisconsin 4.4%
Atlanta 3.7% Portland 3.7% Milwaukee 4.5%
Tennessee 3.7% Washington 2.9% Ohio 4.0%
Memphis 3.5% Seattle 2.2% Cleveland 4.5%
Nashville 4.0% Colorado 4.1%
The Carolinas 4.2% Denver 4.1% MID-ATLANTIC 4.5%
Hawaii 5.8% District of Columbia 4.6%
SOUTHWEST 4.7% Pennsylvania 4.5%
Texas 4.8% NORTHEAST 4.5% Philadelphia 4.6%
Austin 4.6% Massachusetts 3.1% Pittsburgh 4.4%
Dallas/Ft. Worth 4.7% Boston 3.2% New Jersey 4.3%
Houston 4.4% New York 5.6% Virginia 4.5%
San Antonio 5.0% New York City 5.5% Maryland 4.8%
Missouri 4.4% Baltimore 4.5%
Kansas City 4.5%
St. Louis 4.3%
Oklahoma City 5.2%
SOURCE TeleCheck Services, Inc.
Web Site: http://www.telecheck.com
Reston, VA-based The .Com Group predicted this morning that holiday shopping will not be as successful as most e-tailers would like, due to usability issues on the web. The company anticipates that there will be $5-7 billion lost in e-commerce over the next four weeks. The .Com Group estimates that close to half of all e-sales won’t be executed due to navigational problems. The consulting concern says other sales will be lost due to issues with order fulfillment, shipping, and inventory control.
Metris Companies Inc., one of the fastest-growing direct marketing companies in the nation, has announced the appointment of Kevin Helmintoller as vice president-investor relations.
In his new role, Helmintoller has overall responsibility for developing, implementing and managing the company’s investor relations strategy. He reports to David Wesselink, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
“Kevin brings outstanding talent and a record of achievement to this position,” said Metris President and CEO Ronald N. Zebeck. “We’re pleased that Kevin has joined our team, and we’re excited about the knowledge and experience he brings to our fast-paced organization.”
Helmintoller most recently served as vice president of investor relations and communications for Magellan Health Services based in Maryland. Prior to Magellan, he served as second vice president, investor relations at AFLAC Inc. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. Helmintoller is a certified public accountant.
Metris Companies Inc. is an information-based direct marketer of consumer credit products and fee-based services, primarily to moderate-income consumers. Based in St. Louis Park, Minn, Metris also has operations in Phoenix, Ariz.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Champaign, Ill.; Baltimore, Md.; and Tulsa, Okla. Metris employs more than 3,000 people.
Visit Metris on the Internet at [www.metriscompanies.com]
TeleCheck says same-store sales for the three-day Thanksgiving shopping period rose 5.2% over the same days last year. The increase was the strongest since Thanksgiving weekend 1993. The data, which covers the Friday-through-Sunday shopping period, are based on a same-store comparison of the dollar volume of authorized checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleCheck’s 210,000 subscribing locations. By region, the Northeast led the nation, followed by the Mid-Atlantic, the West, the Midwest, the Southeast and the Southwest. The Northeast’s sales climbed 6.4%, with New York up 7.3% and Massachusetts up 5.7%. New York City jumped 7.7% and Boston increased 5.9%.
First Union predicts holiday retail sales will grow 8.5% from 1998, with most of that gain coming at department and discount stores. First Union also says the Internet will get the headlines this holiday season, but traditional retailers should be very happy with sales this year. While sales are expected to be up solidly all across the nation certain areas of the country may see even stronger increases. The southeast United States, where jobs and income growth have consistently outpaced the rest of the country, is expected to see sales increase 10% this holiday season. Some of the biggest gains will be in Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Orlando metro areas. First Union notes that job growth in the Atlanta metro area topped 4% during 1999, and the metro area has added another 90,000 residents over the past year which should produce a 12% gain for Atlanta area merchants this year.
America Online and Intuit announced plans Tuesday to offer a comprehensive online bill payment service for American households. The service will roll-out during the first quarter 2000. Under the five-year agreement, Intuit will be the exclusive integrated provider of this bill tracking and payment service to AOL and AOL.COM. CheckFree will provide the routing, tracking and payment engine to support Intuit’s offering for CheckFree’s billers. Checkfree will also provide the payment engine for the “Pay Everyone” functionality that Intuit’s new service will offer to consumers. The new AOL feature will give consumers the ability to view, track, and pay all of their bills, whether they are issued electronically or in hard copy paper bills. Under the agreement, AOL and Intuit will provide utilities, credit card companies, and other billers with a way to present bills to their customers, complete with their brand and logo identity, at whatever level of detail they desire, using state-of-the-art encryption technology. Consumers can also direct billers who do not provide electronic billing to send paper bills to an Intuit address where they will be scanned into electronic format. A monthly fee, to be determined, will be charged for use of this feature.
SunTrust Banks, Inc. Thursday announced the completion of the previously announced sale of its $1.5 billion SunTrust BankCard credit card portfolio to MBNA America Bank, N.A. Under the terms of the agreement, SunTrust will continue to offer personal credit card products that will carry the SunTrust brand through MBNA.
SunTrust Banks, Inc., the nation’s 9th largest commercial banking organization, provides a wide range of financial services to meet the needs of its growing customer base in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Its primary businesses include traditional deposit and credit services as well as trust and investment services.
MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB), a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has $67.4 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposits, consumer loan and insurance products.
1ClickCharge, the pioneering single-click Internet payments service and a majority-owned operating company of CMGI, Inc., Tuesday announced the appointment of Wendy A. Teer as Vice President of Product Services and the promotion of Scott Samios to Vice President of Partner Development. Teer will be responsible for Product Management and Customer Support Services, which includes implementation services, account holder services, merchant support services, and compliance for bankcard and regulatory issues. Samios, formerly Business Development Director, joined 1ClickCharge in January 1999 to build a base of beta merchants and develop marketing alliances for the 1ClickCharge payment service. In his new role, Samios is charged with expanding distribution of 1ClickCharge’s services through co-marketing alliances and relationships with strategic partners, including managing OEM bundling, portal, and CMGI network relationships. CMGI is the world’s largest and most diverse network of Internet companies.
Teer brings a seasoned background to 1ClickCharge, with nine years of experience at MasterCard International and Global Payment Systems working in the bankcard, electronic payment and point-of-sale industries. Most recently, as Vice President Delivery at MasterCard Global Services, Teer managed a project to enhance the database that houses Global Service program instructions for MasterCard member institutions. The project included a complete re-design of the Graphic User Interface (GUI), simplification of set-up and change functions, and the addition of many new features and functions. In addition, she participated in the design and implementation of a Voice Response Unit (VRU) application to service domestic and international customer calls in four languages. Teer’s previous positions at MasterCard and Global Payment Systems included a variety of point-of-sale product management roles, where she played an integral role in developing core product lines. Prior to MasterCard, Teer was Point-of-Sale Project Manager at Deluxe Data Systems/GTE EFT Services and held various management positions at Bank One in Indianapolis, Indiana. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
“Wendy’s tremendous skills in the electronic payment industries will prove invaluable as we roll out the 1ClickCharge Internet payment service,” said Heidi R. Goff, President and CEO of 1ClickCharge. “We will count on her to effectively manage our first service as well as all future products and services.”
Over the past 10 years, Samios has focused on growing early-stage startups. He founded and sold two retail ventures, built AirMedia.com’s business development and distribution programs and led EarthWeb’s consulting division, generating a majority of the company’s pre-IPO revenues. Samios earned a B.A. from the University of Richmond, Virginia.
“Scott is a proven relationship builder,” said Brian Smiga, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at 1ClickCharge. “He will ensure that the right critical mass of partnerships are in place for the successful market launch of the 1ClickCharge payment service.”
1ClickCharge’s web payment service, scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2000, makes credit cards perform like cash on the Internet. With its patented authentication technology, 1ClickCharge gives consumers the ability to easily purchase web content on a pay-per-use basis in small dollar amounts. Because 1ClickCharge is 100% outsourced, merchants will quickly realize profits without the technical hassles typically associated with setting up their own Internet payment service. 1ClickCharge’s mission is to lead the industry in single-click Internet payments under $20, a market space it calls Convenience e-Commerce(TM), beginning with the web content and information needs of business executives, IT professionals and online investors. The company is led by Heidi R. Goff, President and CEO, a 20-year senior management veteran of MasterCard, GlobalPay, ADP and IBM; and Brian Smiga, SVP of Marketing and Business Development, formerly co-founder of software companies Actioneer.com and DaytoDay. 1ClickCharge is a service of 1ClickBrands, LLC, a majority-owned operating company of CMGI, Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI). Visit the company’s Web site at [www.1clickcharge.com].
America Online and e-Visa announced a new sweepstakes that will make one online shopper an instant millionaire. Online shoppers who sign up for [email protected]’s Quick Checkout digital wallet with their VISA card will be automatically entered to win the million dollar prize. Eligible participants will receive one entry when they register for [email protected]’s Quick Checkout between now and December 13. One grand-prize winner will be chosen via a random drawing and awarded a $1 million ‘VISA Prize Card’ issued by First USA. AOL’s digital wallet enables customers to enter information from ten different credit cards, billing information and up to 50 shipping addresses. Discover is currently running a millionaire sweepstakes that will award $1 million to a Discover cardholder on New Year’s Eve.
Transaction Systems Architects, Inc. announced that current chief operating officer and board member David C. Russell has accepted the additional roles of president and chief executive officer.
Russell, 51, will lead TSA’s corporate and product strategy as chief executive officer in addition to continuing to oversee all of TSA’s day-to-day business operations. Russell will report to and continue to work closely with William E. Fisher who remains chairman of Transaction Systems Architects’ board of directors. Russell’s promotion marks the beginning of a new era at Transaction Systems Architects. A little more than one year ago (September 29, 1998), TSA put in place an Office of the Executive position in which Mr. Russell became Chief Operating Officer and Mr. Fisher spent more of his time on corporate strategy.
As chairman of TSA’s board of directors, Mr. Fisher will continue to focus on corporate strategy in cooperation with the board and executive management team. “My role as chairman will concentrate in two areas. First of all, we will continue to identify and acquire specific products and people expertise to fill out our product offerings and service capability around the world,” said William E. Fisher, chairman of Transaction Systems Architects. “In addition, I will focus more time on TSA’s relationship with other leaders in the payments industry to ensure TSA remains the premier software payments provider worldwide. Dave’s ability to fill the role of CEO gives me the time to execute these key parts of our overall strategy.
“David has done an excellent job as chief operating officer,” added Mr. Fisher, chairman of Transaction Systems Architects. “He has demonstrated strong leadership over his ten plus years and I feel confident that David is the right person to lead TSA into the next millennium, and help guide new product development that will sustain TSA’s position as the leader in electronic payments software.”
Russell joined Applied Communications Inc (ACI) in 1989 serving as Vice President of Strategic Planning, later serving as Vice President of Customer Support, Senior Vice President of Software and Services, Senior Vice President of EFT Product Company and President of ACI Worldwide. Russell was instrumental in the creation and expansion of TSA’s worldwide distribution network, and over the last year Mr. Russell has led TSA’s new Internet banking and e commerce initiatives. From 1984 to 1989, he held various sales, operations and planning positions at First Data Resources. He earned a B.S. and a MBA from Virginia Tech.
Transaction Systems Architects’ software facilitates electronic payments by providing consumers and companies access to their money. Its products are used to process transactions involving credit cards, debit cards, smart cards, home banking services, checks, wire transfers as well as automated clearing and settlement. Transaction Systems’ solutions are used on more than 3,550 product systems in 79 countries on six continents.
Tim McGough, formerly Managing Partners of Hewitt associates (a management consultant firm) , joined Capital One as Vice president of Human Resources . Mr. McGough will be responsible for managing Capital One’s compensation, benefits and human resources payroll and information systems. Dennis Liberson , Capital One’s Senior Vice President for Human Resources said, ‘At Capital One we recognize that to create a world-class organization, we need a world-class human resources team. The human resources department enables Capital One to continue recruiting and retaining the high calibar of associates we employ around the world. We’re pleased that Tim joined our team and we’re excited about the knowledge and experience he will bring to our fast paced organization’.
Capital One is ranked by Fortune magazine as the 41st best place to work in the country. Capital One credits its innovative and groundbreaking human resource strategies for propelling it as a leading employer. Among the program that differentiate the company from other employers are the associate selection process ; a number of ongoing training and development courses ; outstanding benefits, including three weeks vacation ; and performance-based compensation.
Headquartered in Fall Church , Virginia , Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a holding company whose principal whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer financial products and services to consumers. Capital one’s subsidiaries collectively had 20.8 million customers and $18.5 billion in managed loans outstanding at September 30, 1999, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the World. Capital One is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ‘COF’.