TotalDebtRelief Breaks Down Debt Relief

With credit cardholders trying to play catch up from the holiday
shopping season, TotalDebtRelief.net is advocating ways to manage,
reduce and eliminate credit card debit. In doing so, the consumer
advocate group is familiarizing consumers with various terminology such
as “Debt Relief,” programs and services designed to reduce and/or
eliminate credit card debt; “Debt Consolidation,” relief programs
combining multiple existing loan payments into a single, smaller monthly
loan payment; and “Debt Settlement,” debt relief through a debt
settlement firm negotiating on behalf of the consumer in debt with
creditors to reduce debt. There is also “Consumer Credit Counseling,”
consisting of credit counselors and financial planners determining and
executing a means to cut spending, increase savings, and pay down credit
card debt. These are all in place to avoid “Bankruptcy,” which brings a
host of negative consequences for the consumer who files bankruptcy.

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Elavon Acquires Citizens National Bank Processing

Elavon wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp and global payments provider has purchased the Citizens National Bank merchants processing portfolio community bank. Headquartered in Sevierville, Tenn. and operating locally in Sevier, Knox and Jefferson counties, Citizens National Bank merchant can now offer its customers Elavon’s expanded merchant service offerings including debit and credit card processing, a comprehensive PCI Compliance Program, a choice of POS devices and software, advanced e-commerce products, electronic check services, and enhanced reporting. Elavon will extend its full line of flexible payment solutions to the bank’s more than 300 existing merchant accounts, while also supporting a 10-year alliance agreement for new merchant services referred through the bank’s 18 community branches. Elavon’s Global Acquiring Solutions organization is a part of U.S. Bancorp, providing end-to-end payment processing services to more than one million merchants in the United States, Europe, Canada and Puerto Rico.

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MASTERCARD RELIEF

In response to the devastating earthquake earlier in the week, MasterCard Worldwide announced its intentions to waive interchange fees on Haitian relief donations made using U.S. issued MasterCard cards to The American Red Cross, AmeriCares, UNICEF, Save the Children and CARE USA. MasterCard has also made a corporate donation to the American Red Cross and is double-matching employee contributions to the Haitian disaster relief fund of the American Red Cross. MasterCard processes approximately 21 billion transactions each year for consumers in more than 210 countries and territories.

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U.S. Retail Card Defaults Hit 12.56% in Dec 09

U.S. consumers defaulted on store-branded credit cards in December 2009
at near record levels, having risen 122 basis points (bps) to 12.56%
from the previous month and charge-offs for the year shattering the
January 2005 record of 12.25% five different months with a peak of
12.81% in August. Throughout the year, retail chargeoffs averaged
11.88% (more than 42% above the historical average of 8.34%).
This, according to Fitch’s “Retail Credit Card Chargeoff Index,”
demonstrated near-record default levels during the holiday shopping
season with expectations to rise steadily, subsequent to both
delinquency trends and unemployment projections. For December, the
Index indicates more than one in every eight dollars of receivables was
written off as uncollectable during the November collection period on
an annualized basis. Late stage delinquencies measured by Fitch’s 60+
day retail delinquency index, fell 15 bps to 5.22%, which averaged
5.25% for the past three months and 5.09% for all of 2009 while,
similar to chargeoffs, its deterioration has slowed significantly from
the previous year, yet remain almost 48% higher than 2007.
Subsequently, revolving credit usage decreased at an annual rate of
18.5% in November – the largest dollar-value drop since 1968 and the
14th consecutive decline since October 2008. Credit delinquency having
shot up to 6.70% and 6.88% in October and November, respectively, from
6.43% in September indicate the 09 Holiday shopping season was going to
see a correlating rise in defaults.

2009 CARD DELINQUENCIES
Days +30 +60 +90 +120 Total
Jan. 2.86% 1.47% 0.87% 0.99% 6.19%
Feb. 2.99% 1.58% 0.93% 1.02% 6.52%
Mar. 3.08% 1.61% 0.95% 1.04% 6.68%
Apr. 3.05% 1.59% 0.93% 1.03% 6.60%
May. 3.00% 1.57% 0.92% 1.03% 6.52%
Jun. 2.98% 1.56% 0.92% 1.03% 6.49%
Jul. 2.90% 1.53% 0.90% 1.00% 6.33%
Aug. 2.99% 1.55% 0.94% 1.05% 6.53%
Sep. 2.91% 1.59% 0.91% 1.02% 6.43%
Oct. 3.04% 1.64% 0.93% 1.09% 6.70%
Nov. 3.14% 1.69% 0.95% 1.10% 6.88%
SOURCE: CARDDATA

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ASIAN SESAMES

In recognition of Asia’s rising pre-eminence in the innovation and
application of smart technologies, the inaugural CARTES in Asia will
debut “Asian SESAMES Award,” an Asian edition of its CARTES in Paris’
prestigious SESAMES Awards. The Asian SESAMES Award will honor an
enterprise that has successfully created a leading edge smart technology
application in Asia, which has become a key part of one of the
industry’s leading events, the annual CARTES smart card and
identification conference in Paris, which celebrates its 25th
anniversary in 2010. It will be presented to the best project from a
variety of smart technologies categories concerning cards, tokens,
chips, electronic components, terminals, automaton, readers,
manufacturing, printing material, and more in transport, payment,
security and identification applications. The ceremony will be held
March 16, 2010 in Hong Kong at the AsiaWorld-Expo.

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DYETRON & OBERTHUR

Oberthur smart card solutions has acquired the payment card personalization assets of Dyetron smart card-based technology solutions for the transportation, communications, government and financial sectors. Having already formed a partnership in June of 2009 to create a service center for Colombian migration to EMV, the two organizations agreed on terms under which Oberthur is to lease the Bogota-based, MasterCard and Visa certified service centers. The service center will operate under the name Oberthur Technologies to provide seamless migration for local banks and easy EMV deployment for international banks with customers. EMV is the global electronic transaction specification that outlines interaction between chip (smart) cards and merchant terminals to ensure worldwide inter-operability to reduce fraud on standard magnetic stripe debit cards.

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NCR Managed Outsourcing Services Gain Strong Following in Germany

GA-based NCR is becoming an increasingly popular source for German banks to outsource monitoring, analysis and repair of their self-service systems. Having attracted over 20 German banks in the past twelve months alone, the outsourcing increases availability of their self-service offering while creating additional room for improvement. Signing Incident Management agreements with NCR, the banks entrust NCR with more than 2,000 ATMs, cash recyclers and statement printers to help further develop the business and achieve a more economical operation of their self-service systems on a faster, more efficient model.

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Syphr Introduces New Credit Report and Loan-Savings Site

Syphr technology provider has introduced MoreThanACreditReport.com new credit report and loan-savings website. MoreThanACreditReport.com is the only place consumers can leverage the site’s loan analysis report “RateMatch,” disclosing to consumers where they can save money each month on their automobile or mortgage loans with a local, community-based bank or credit union. MoreThanACreditReport.com provides consumers with their credit report, credit score, and credit monitoring, in addition to Loan Rates Report powered by Syphr’s “RateTrac,” a Loans Monitor powered by Syphr’s “Payment Patrol,” and a payment savings guarantee, which averages each user is $239.

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MasterCard Waives Fees on Donations to Relief

In response to the devastating earthquake earlier in the week, MasterCard Worldwide announced its intentions to waive interchange fees on Haitian relief donations made using U.S. issued MasterCard cards to The American Red Cross, AmeriCares, UNICEF, Save the Children and CARE USA. MasterCard has also made a corporate donation to the American Red Cross and is double-matching employee contributions to the Haitian disaster relief fund of the American Red Cross. MasterCard processes approximately 21 billion transactions each year for consumers in more than 210 countries and territories.

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SunTrust Selects MasterCard for Debit Card Issuance

SunTrust Banks and MasterCard have announced SunTrust will convert the company’s debit card programs to MasterCard, expected to begin late this year. The bank will issue nearly five million MasterCard debit cards and expand its current commercial card offering in the future to include MasterCard branded commercial credit cards. SunTrust will continue to offer Visa branded cards as an option for various consumer and commercial credit products. GA-based SunTrust Banks has total assets of $172.7 billion and total deposits of $119.3 billion, serving clients in the selected markets nationally. Terms of the Bank’s agreements with Mastercard were not disclosed.

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RushCard Members Given Chance to Win Incentives for DD

With the 2010 tax season in full swing, RushCard announced the “Lunch with Russell” tax season sweepstakes, now in its second year, will reward one lucky cardholder for direct depositing their tax refund onto their Prepaid Visa “RushCard.” This incentive for direct deposit is in addition to being an all around safer, more convenient way to receive payments and receipt of tax refunds 2-4 weeks faster than they would a paper check. Those “RushCard” members who direct deposit their federal or state tax refunds of $100 or more will automatically be entered to win a shopping spree, a personal financial consultation on better money management and a trip for themselves and a friend to New York to have an exclusive lunch with Russell Simmons, philanthropist, entrepreneur and creator of the “RushCard.” OH-based UniRush was created to offer the over 48 million Americans unbanked services on a Prepaid Visa.

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Stored Value Card to Provide WWE Card

KY-based Stored Value Solutions will provide World Wrestling Entertainment with gift and promotional cards. The gift cards will be offered on the WWE’s website and will feature several of their most popular superstars. By partnering with SVS, the WWE will offer this gift card program as an additional option to engage their consumers and fans in the WWE experience. Stored Value Solutions provides custom gift card solutions for prepaid cards, loyalty and B2B applications for a diverse set of clients including retailers, airlines, casinos and e-tailers. As a leading provider of magnetic stripe gift cards, Stored Value Solutions serves six of the top ten U.S. retailers and annually processes over 1 billion transactions for 600 clients.

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