VISA reported yesterday there were 16,826 winners in the ‘Magic Moments’ holiday promotion. All together the winners were awarded free purchases totaling more than $1.2 million. Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, VISA randomly selected, each day, a one-second magic moment when VISA card purchases were free. The moment with the most transactions occurred on Dec. 8 with 1,332 transactions. The largest free purchase was made at an auto repair shop in Virginia for about $6,000. The smallest free VISA purchase was made at the U.S. Post Office for 32 cents. Other free VISA purchases included jewelry, college tuition and cruise tickets. VISA says member support was extensive with nearly 100 million statement stuffers distributed.
SunTrust Bank Central Florida signed a contract yesterday to handle all merchant services banking for Discount Auto Parts. The bank will process all credit card and debit card transactions for the company’s 530-plus stores. DAP’s stores are located throughout Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida.
Portland, OR-based TRM Corp. announced yesterday it has signed a major agreement to be the exclusive ATM provider for The Pantry and Lil’ Champ convenience store chain. Once fully implemented, the seven-year agreement represents potential ATM installations at 1,100 locations and revenue for TRM of more than $10 million per year. The Pantry and Lil’ Champ is the fastest growing major convenient store chain in the country with heavy store concentrations in NC, SC and FL. The current brand names for the stores include “The Pantry,” “Lil’ Champ,” “Quick Stop,” “QS,” “Express Stop,” “Dash N,” “Smokers Express” and “Sprint.” In addition to its ATM services, TRM provides self-service convenience photocopy centers to a variety of retail establishments throughout North America and Europe, a total of 31,000 photocopy centers worldwide.
Capital One announced plans Wednesday to open the issuer’s first facility on the West Coast. Cap One plans to build a 130,000 square foot processing plant in Federal Way, just south of Seattle, Washington, to be operational in February 2000. Capital One will employ approximately 500 associates by 2001 at this facility. A temporary facility will be operational in May of this year.
3-G International, Inc. announced Wednesday the appointment of Mr. Woodrow “Sonny” Angle to Vice President of Sales.
Mr. Angle joins 3GI from NEC corporation, where he was Vice President of U.S. Sales. The move reflects 3GI’s growing focus on the PC OEM and commercial markets for network and desktop security applications.
“It is a very exciting time to join 3GI, given the company’s recent introduction of its Passage smart card PC and network security products into the market,” commented Mr. Angle. “3GI has had tremendous financial growth in the past several years, and I look forward to helping to take the company to the next level.” 3GI recently introduced its Passage family of multiple application smart card products and solutions for PC, enterprise, and government environments.
Prior to joining 3GI, Angle represented NEC-brand microcomputer products to the commercial, federal government, state government, educational and OEM marketplaces. He was with NEC from 1986 to 1998 in a variety of sales management roles, most recently as Vice President of U.S. Sales from 1995 to 1998. Angle is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in Marketing and is based in 3GI’s Springfield, VA office.
“There is no question that smart card technology is moving into mainstream IT markets. I am pleased that Sonny will be taking the lead in growing our global sales organization to keep 3GI at the forefront of this explosive growth,” commented Thomas Gregg, 3GI President.
3-G International, Inc. is the leading North American smart card solutions company and has provided multiple application smart card management and terminal software, smart card applications, and card system integration services to industry and government since 1991. 3GI offers a wide range of smart card applications and solutions including financial, internet security, electronic payments, and card system management. 3GI is based in Springfield, Virginia and has branch offices in Williamsburg, Honolulu, San Francisco, Raleigh, Edinburgh, and Shenzhen, China. 3GI was recently recognized as one of the fastest growing privately-held U.S. companies in the Inc. 500 survey. 3GI can be found on the World Wide Web at [www.3gi.com].
Capital One reported Tuesday that 1998 earnings were $275.2 million compared with 1997 earnings of $189.4 million, an increase of 41%. For the fourth quarter earnings were $72.7 million versus earnings of $58.2 million for 4Q/97. Cap One continues to make substantial investments into marketing. For the fourth quarter the firm spent $159 million to bring total 1998 marketing expense to $446 million. During the fourth quarter, Cap One increased its managed portfolio by $1.1 billion to $17.4 billion in outstanding receivables and added 1.8 million net new accounts, bringing the total number of accounts to 16.7 million. The managed delinquency rate as of Dec. 31, decreased to 4.70% versus 4.90% as of Sept. 30 and 6.20% as of Dec. 31, 1997. In the fourth quarter, the managed net charge-off rate was 4.51%, a decrease of 52 basis points from 5.03% in the third quarter of 1998. For Cap One’s complete 4Q/98 earnings report visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Capital One Financial Corporation today announced that Stephen P. Theobald has joined the Company as Director of Accounting and Reporting. In this capacity, Mr. Theobald will be responsible for the financial reporting, tax, and accounting operations of Capital One.
Mr. Theobald joins Capital One from the New York office of KPMG Peat Marwick LLP, where he was an audit partner in the financial services practice. Mr. Theobald’s fifteen-year career at KPMG included the delivery of audit and accounting services to some of that firm’s largest clients. He also worked in KPMG’s national office and as a Professional Accounting Fellow at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
“Steve’s experience and accounting knowledge will enable our accounting and finance function to keep pace with the tremendous growth of Capital One,” said David Willey, Senior Vice President of Finance and Accounting. “We are pleased to have someone of Steve’s caliber join our team.”
Mr. Theobald earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame.
Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation ([www.capitalone.com]) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 14.9 million customers and $16.3 billion in managed loans outstanding as of September 30, 1998, and are among the largest providers of Master Card and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 Index.
Capital One Financial Corporation ranked 41 in Fortune’s second annual list of “100 Best Companies to Work for in America.” The Company was also the only Virginia-based company listed. Currently, Capital One employs more than 10,000 associates worldwide, from customer service to information technology to marketing and analysis.
“As one of the nation’s fastest growing companies, our number one business is to recruit and retain the best and brightest associates,” said Richard D. Fairbank, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As an information-based business, our success depends on the innovation and flexibility of our associates. We built an environment where our associates are empowered to fulfill their potential.”
Nigel Morris, President and Chief Operating Officer added, “At Capital One, we have built a truly entrepreneurial culture. Through our innovative compensation and benefits programs, we’ve built a company of owners who are committed to creating value for the Company and our stockholders.”
Fortune collaborated with best-selling authors Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz to compile the list, using methodology similar to that used for their books, The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. To be eligible, a company had to be at least ten years old and have a minimum of 500 employees. Levering and Moskowitz, who have been tracking the best companies since 1981, searched their database of more than 1,000 companies and selected 295 companies as the most viable candidates for this list.
To be eligible, Capital One associates completed the Great Place to Work Index designed to evaluate trust in management, pride in work and camaraderie, along with the Hewitt People Practices Inventory, a 31-page questionnaire developed by Hewitt Associates, a management consultant firm.
“We listen to our associates,” said Dennis Liberson, Senior Vice President for Human Resources. “Twice a year we survey our associates to determine how we can best meet their needs. We already knew that our associates think Capital One is a great place to work — being named to the Fortune 100 list confirms we’re providing unique employment opportunities for the people who come to work at Capital One.”
Capital One prides itself for continuously innovating human resources practices to benefit associates. Among the programs 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 entrepreneurial compensation. Capital One is one of only 28 companies that made the list that offers stock options to all associates. Additionally, Capital One has created an innovative orientation program that assimilates new associates into the culture of the Company.
Capital One has operations in Richmond, Fredericksburg and Falls Church, Virginia; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; Tampa, Florida and London and Nottingham, United Kingdom. Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation () is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 14.9 million customers and $16.3 billion in managed loans outstanding as of September 30, 1998, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and VISA credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 Index.
FDC’s TeleCheck Services said Tuesday that weak West Coast sales is one of several factors dampening holiday spending, with same-store sales for the first 24 days of the holiday shopping period up 0.7% over the same period last year. The data, which covers the period from Nov. 27 through Dec. 20, 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 200,000 subscribing locations. TeleCheck says the impeachment vote and the resulting fall-out in Washington, along with the Iraqi situation, undoubtedly diverted consumer attention and interest from shopping. Promotions and deep-discounts may have spurred sales, but reduced retailers’ total dollar sales volume. And sales on the West Coast, which is experiencing problems connected with the weak export market and low energy prices, held down the national number. The strongest area for sales so far has been the Midwest with sales up 3.1%. Wisconsin’s sales were up 3.3%, Illinois’ rose 3.2%, Michigan’s gained 2.9%, and both Minnesota’s and Ohio’s rose 2.6%.
Barclays Merchant Services selected CyberCash’s secure payment technology Monday as the foundation of Britain’s first bank-owned Internet payment system. Barclays, which handles the credit and debit card purchases at over 125,000 shops and businesses across the UK, will offer ‘ePDQ’, a virtual version of Barclays Merchant Services’ PDQ point-of-sale credit/debit terminals used by UK businesses. The ‘ePDQ’ service is similar to CyberCash’s ‘CashRegister’ Internet payment service already available to merchants in the U.S..
The pricing accuracy of electronic checkout scanners is improving, but, according to a national government study, 1 of 28 “sale” items are priced incorrectly. The survey, conducted at 1,033 retail stores by the FTC, NIST, and weights and measures offices in 36 states concluded that pricing accuracy has improved since the first study in 1996. Among its findings: 3.35% of 107,096 items scanned incorrectly – with half of these errors undercharges and half overcharges; each undercharge averaged $5.28, and each overcharge averaged $3.20; and most stores have acceptable pricing accuracy as 71% “passed” with at least 98% of the items scanning correctly. In the 1996 study: 4.82% scanned items were mispriced; each undercharge averaged $2.96, and each overcharge averaged $3.02; and only 45% of the inspections “passed.”
WV-based One Valley Bank is installing the new ‘Merchant Banking Center’ from Diebold this month. The ‘MBC’ integrates Diebold’s ‘1062ix’ ATM, the ‘Securomatic After Hour Depository’ and a rolled coin dispenser module which together automate routine commercial banking transactions. Using a One Valley Bank debit card, retailers can enter a ‘Merchant Banking Center’ vestibule any time of day or night and access the self-service system to withdraw currency from the ATM, exchange larger bills for denominations of coins or cash, or deposit any combination of currency and checks from that day’s business. The system can also be configured in an off-line mode. In addition to providing currency exchange and deposit capabilities, it can provide batch data transactions to the bank’s host computer and calculate transaction fees as part of the statement cycle.