Target Posts a $135MM 4Q/08 Card Loss

Target reported that its credit card segment incurred a $135 million pre-tax loss in the fourth quarter, compared with a $189 million profit in fourth quarter 2007. Average receivables in the fourth quarter increased 9.6% to $9.1 billion in 2008. Average receivables directly funded by Target declined 36.2% in the fourth quarter to $3.6 billion from $5.6 billion in 2007, reflecting JPMorgan Chase’s investment in the receivables portfolio. Full year 2008 segment profit declined 80.5% to $155 million from $797 million in 2007. The company added $440 million to the allowance for doubtful accounts in 2008. Full year pre-tax return on the capital invested by Target in this segment was 3.7% in 2008, down from 16.3% in 2007. For complete details on Target’s latest performance, visit CardData ([](

4Q/07: $8.624 billion
1Q/08: $8.420 billion
2Q/08: $10.22 billion
3Q/08: $8.745 billion
4Q/08: $8.764 billion
Source: CardData (


CashEdge Reports $130 Million Losses Stopped

NY-based financial platform provider CashEdge has stopped over $130
million in client fraud losses. Through its comprehensive risk
management services in 2008, the fraud losses stopped reflect the dollar
value of potentially fraudulent transactions detected and prevented by
CashEdge’s risk monitoring services. CashEdge’s risk management services
proprietary technology and the insights gathered from managing risk for
the world’s largest financial institutions, to help its financial
institution clients mitigate risk and decrease fraud exposure. These
services prevent fraudulent transactions from being initiated, prevent
repeated fraud from disguised transactions and help in retrieval of
funds after a fraudulent transaction has been executed. CashEdge uses
statistical modeling to highlight patterns, practices, irregular
transactions, other discrepancies and specific activities that suggest
the existence of identity theft or unauthorized transactions.



Barclaycard US will open a customer contact center in Delaware and will
create 300 new jobs by April. Employees of the state-of-the-art
customer contact center, located in Newark, will work in a variety of
operational roles including customer care,
collections, technology, fraud management and human resources.
Barclaycard maintains customer contact centers in Wilmington, Del. and
Wilton, Maine that will remain fully operational. Some Barclaycard
colleagues who currently operate out of the Wilmington, Del. location
will work in the new Newark location. In November, Barclaycard
announced that it is expanding its increasingly
global operations by opening a new administrative office in Long Island
City, New York. Some 200 employees in this location will primarily focus
on credit risk with additional corporate finance and market analytics
functions and will support Barclaycard’s operations globally including
its U.S. card business headquartered in Wilmington.

Details and Team

PA-based is now offering discounted gift cards via The website allows customers to search for coupons to
their favorite stores. As a result of the new enhancement it also
provides a link on the coupon page that shows the discounted gift cards
that are available for that specific store. The goal of
remains the same – provide shoppers with numerous ways to save money via
coupons, coupon codes, and discounted gift cards.


Affinion Revenues Up 4.5% in 4Q/08

Affinion posted net revenues for the fourth quarter of $351.6 million, a 4.5% gain over 4Q/07. Membership products revenue increased $14.3 million, or 8.5% for the fourth quarter. Insurance and Package products revenue increased $3.6 million, or 4.0% for the fourth quarter.
Loyalty products revenue increased $3.2 million, or 18.4% for the quarter. International revenue declined $6.3 million, or 10.1%, over the fourth quarter of 2007. For complete details on Affinion’s fourth quarter performance visit CardData ([](

4Q/07: $336.6 million
1Q/08: $339.2 million
2Q/08: $354.3 million
3Q/08: $364.8 million
4Q/08: $351.6 million
Source: CardData (


Costco Deploys More Cardtronics ATMs

Warehouse club retailer Costco has extended its ATM placement agreement with TX-based Cardtronics. With this expansion Cardtronics ATMs will now
be available in 97% of the over 400 Costco warehouse locations in the
USA. Cardtronics, the world’s largest non-bank ATM operator, has enjoyed
a long-standing ATM placement agreement with Costco which currently
operates 550 warehouses.


Survey Says Teens: Financially Knowledgeable

A new survey from Mintel shows 79% of teens consider themselves
knowledgeable about financial matters. But the Federal Reserve’s 2008
test of high school seniors resulted in an average financial literacy
score of 48%, four percentage points lower than 2006’s average score of
52%. Eighty percent say they would like to learn more about investing.
Moreover, approximately half express favorable attitudes towards saving
and say they are careful about spending. Prepaid cards such as the “Visa
Buxx” or “MasterCard Myplash” are another hot item to market to teens,
reports Mintel Comperemedia. These cards work like credit cards but only
contain a fixed value, allowing parents to monitor spending.


Virgin Money Wants to Unlock Social Lending

Virgin Money has teamed with the campaign to raise awareness about available and alternative sources of credit for consumers and businesses. The campaign provides a platform where credit-worthy consumers can find lending alternatives with the help of two leading social lending networks, Virgin Money and Lending Club, and other consumer-friendly personal finance companies. Virgin Money is a pioneer in social lending – personal loans between people that know each other – and has originated close to $400 million in social loan volume. The role of Virgin Money is to formalize service and automate the loan process.



The MasterCard Foundation has invested $9 million for two new programs to expand savings initiatives in Tajikistan and
Rwanda with Aga Khan Foundation Canada and CARE Canada. These programs will strengthen and create
innovations within the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) model,
benefiting approximately 900,000 people in remote communities, many of whom
live on less than $2 a day. VSLAs are self-managed savings groups that receive no external funding.
The accumulated savings within each group is made available in small
loans to members. Each group sets its own rules about membership, savings and loans.
Over the next five years, Aga Khan Foundation Canada will adapt and
introduce VSLAs to the mountainous regions of Tajikistan, benefitting more
than 350,000 people. Concurrently, over the next three years, CARE will found new VSLAs in
Rwanda, where 37 percent of the population is too poor to meet even their
basic nutritional needs. This $4 million program – $2 million from The
MasterCard Foundation and $2 million from the Canadian International
Development Agency – will allow some 540,000 people to build sustainable
livelihoods with access to financial resources they never had before.


Credit Union Portfolio Sales Slip in 08

Credit card portfolio sales for credit unions have continued to decline
substantially. In 2008 about 22 portfolios with balances of about $100
million sold versus about 70 portfolios with $390 million in
outstandings in 2007, representing a roughly 75% reduction in portfolio
sales. OR-based AssetExchange says that fourth quarter data suggests
that only two credit unions with credit card portfolios larger than $1
million sold their portfolios during the quarter, with a combined
balance of roughly $3 million. In the fourth quarter of 2007, about 16
portfolios with about $110 million in combined balances were sold.
Outstanding balances grew 8.5% between December 2007 and December 2008
to $32.3 million. The firm says card accounts grew 2% over the same
period to 12.2 million and that credit card penetration remained
approximately flat in the fourth quarter of 2008 at 18%.


NBPCA Names a New President

Prepaid card trade association NBPCA has named Kristen Trusko as President and Executive Director.
The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association (NBPCA) is a non-profit,
inter-industry trade association that supports the growth and success of
network branded prepaid cards and represents the common interests of the
many players in this new and rapidly growing payment category. The
NBPCA’s members include financial institutions, card organizations,
processors, program managers, marketing and incentive companies, card
distributors and law firms. The NBPCA’s Working Groups drive the
activities of the Association for its more than 35 members.


EastPay Adds a New Board Member

Payment processing association EastPay has appointed Kenneth Richey,
currently with Synovus Financial, to serve on the Board of Directors.
EastPay’s Board of Directors has also elected its new officers for 2009
– 2010 to include Anthony “Tony” Gautney, CCM, EVP, First
Southern Bank, Boca Raton, Florida, has been elected Chairman; Peter
Hohenstein, CCM, SVP Bank of America,
Charlotte, North Carolina, has been elected Vice Chairman; Rick Rhoads,
SVP State Employees’ Credit
Union, Raleigh, North Carolina, has been elected Secretary; and Steve
Madden, CCM, SVP, First Citizens Bank and
Trust, Raleigh, North Carolina, has been elected Treasurer. Tom
Heinzmann, CCM, EVP, Compupay, Inc., Miramar,
Florida, serves on the Executive Committee as Past Chairman. Norman
Robinson, AAP, CTP, President and CEO of EastPay, also serves on the
Executive Committee. EastPay is the Southeast’s premier Regional Payments
Association, providing over 800 financial institutions and businesses in
Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida with electronic
payments consulting, education, publications, and ACH audit services, as
well as payments strategy support.