Delinquency among credit card-backed securities for November hit it highest level since April 2007, however charge-offs fell slightly. Following pressure from the government, credit card companies in the U.K. have recently agreed to not increase interest rates in the first 12 months of a card holderÃ¢ÂÂs contract and also not to do so more frequently than every six months after this initial period. On January 8th, the Bank of EnglandÃ¢ÂÂs Monetary Policy Committee voted to cut the bank base rate to 1.5%; a 50 basis point fall from the previous base rate value of 2.0%, set on December 4th, and an all time low since the bank was founded. The “Fitch Delinquency Index” (60 to 180 days) increased 20 basis points for November to 4.1%. Only the Cumbernauld trust reported a month-on-month fall in delinquencies. Having increased by 30 basis points from August through October, the “Fitch Chargeoff Index” declined 20 basis points in November to 6.4%. However, three of the trusts included in the “Index” registered an uptick in charge-offs from October. Fitch noted that the increasing delinquencies are a reflection of the more difficult economic environment and expects this to filter through to increases in charge-offs through 2009.Details
Korea Exchange Bank has completed a mainframe migration to IBM “System z10” for its credit card business. KEB Card installed three units of the “System z10 Enterprise Class” mainframe with the equivalent capacity of nearly 1,500 x86 servers, with an 85% smaller footprint, up to 85% lower energy costs. The new system creates an advanced and smarter IT environment to improve efficiency and customer service. KEB says that through the integrated service of IBM, it has optimized the main computer operations and cut down the total cost of ownership resulting from a reduction in operation and maintenance costs per million instructions per second.Details
TX-based Austin Ventures has acquired three payment processing companies to form Dallas-based Century Payments Inc. AV purchased Tampa-based ISO Symplicity Payment Solutions; Dallas-based Beta Payments; and Atlanta-based Novera II. The new company will be led by
Robert Wechsler, former EVP/Global Sales and Services at Chase Paymentech Solutions. Prior to the merger between Chase Merchant Services and Paymentech, he served as EVP/GM of the national and middle market business units of Chase Merchant Services. Century Payments will offer consulting services to other acquirers for managing their ISO operations; acquisition of ISOs; and ventures with acquirers for outsourced merchant-account acquisitions. AV says it has committed up to $50MM of equity capital to support managementâs strategy of additional acquisitions and organic growth.
Smart card provider Giesecke & Devrient has delivered
200,000 limited edition “SmarTrip” cards to the Washington Metropolitan
Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in order to commemorate the historic
occasion of President Obama’s inauguration with a permanent,
rechargeable farecard featuring an image of President Barack
Obama. “SmarTrip” is a contactless smart card that can be loaded with a value up
to $300 to pay for fares on Metrorail and Metrobus and for parking fees
at Metro-operated parking facilities. The commemorative Obama SmarTrip(R)
cards are available for purchase in two versions, for $10 each without
fare value, or for $20, which includes $10 fare value loaded onto the card. The cards can be purchased online from WMATA’s web site and at
specified locations across the metro area until supplies are exhausted.
The “Discover Information Security and Compliance” program has been streamlined to make the validation and reporting process easier for Discover merchants to communicate their compliance with DSS. Discoverâs merchant level framework enhancement is comprised of four levels: “Level 1” â all merchants processing more than 6 million Discover Network transactions per year; any merchant that Discover Network determines should meet “Level 1” compliance and reporting requirements; all merchants required by another payments network to validate and report as a “Level 1” merchant; “Level 2” â all merchants processing 1 million to 6 million Discover Network transactions per year; all merchants required by another payments network to report compliance as a “Level 2” merchant; “Level 3” â all merchants processing 20,000 to 1 million Discover Network card-not-present only transactions per year; all merchants required by another payments network to report as a level 3 merchant; and “Level 4” â all other merchants.Details
BMO has launched a promotion for cardholders of its debit cards for MasterCard in conjunction with the BMO “Canadian Figure Skating
Championships.” The “BMO Power of Blue” rewards program offers 200 “BMO
Power of Blue” VIP parking spots close to the arena entrance,
exclusively for BMO customers who flash their BMO debit cards or “BMO
MasterCard.” Also, BMO customers are greeted on the “blue carpet”
at the special BMO VIP arena entrance and have many chances to win
prizes when paying at the “Skate Canada Boutique” with a “BMO
MasterCard.” Prizes include $500 in cash, a 2009 BMO Canadians pin or a
personalized autographed card sent to them by a National Skate Canada
Giesecke & Devrient is delivering 200,000 limited edition “SmarTrip” cards to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to commemorate President Obamaâs inauguration. Meanwhile, The Home Depot has launched a collector’s edition Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Dream” gift card at all stores nationwide and online. The commemorative “Obama SmarTrip” cards are available for purchase in two versions, for $10 each without fare value, or for $20, which includes $10 fare value loaded onto the card. The special order card is a permanent, rechargeable farecard featuring an image of President Barack Obama. Since 2000, G&D has delivered over 5 million “SmarTrip” cards to the WMATA. Through February 28th, consumers can purchase the “Dream” gift card and The Home Depot will donate five percent of sales to the Center for Civil and Human Rights, up to $1 million. This donation will go toward building a permanent home for the personal papers of Dr. King and will be a critical part of the exhibition offering at the Center for Civil and
Liberty Tax Service has partnered with prepaid card provider NetSpend to
give customers the option of loading tax refunds onto a Visa-branded
“NetSpend All-Access Liberty Prepaid Card”
The All-Access Liberty Prepaid Card program is a streamlined
way for Liberty franchisee owners, employees and customers to manage
their finances beyond tax season. The multi-year agreement will
implement the exclusive All-Access Liberty
Prepaid Card that can be used for everyday purchases. The All-Access
Liberty Prepaid Card is a Liberty-branded general purpose reloadable
debit card issued by Texas-based Inter National Bank and marketed by
Retail management solution provider Tomax has rolled out the “Retail.net solution” at Pamida. Pamida, a regional retailer operating more
than 200 stores in 17 states in the Midwest United States.
Pamida uses Retail.net “Merchandise Management”, “Store Operations” and
“Customer Management” to centralize applications and data, which
facilitate real-time transaction management and information collection. The Tomax Retail.net suite helps
retailers integrate people and processes and providing timely, relevant,
actionable information to improve retail results. The Tomax customer base
includes over 100 branded retailers including Air Terminal Gifts, The
Andersons, ALCO Stores, Coach House Gifts, EZ Lube, Kelly-Moore Paints,
Pamida, Party City, Raley’s Supermarkets, ShopRite, Snyders Drug Stores,
Sportsman’s Warehouse, Trader Joe’s, Travel Traders, Winn Dixie, and 24
Citigroup reported a $371 million fourth quarter loss for its North American Cards unit, compared to an $873 million loss in the prior quarter, and compared to a $322 million profit in the year ago quarter.
Fourth quarter revenues for North American cards dropped 28% year-on-year from $3.7 billion to $2.6 billion. The managed net charge-off ratio increased 294 basis points to 8.04% for North American cards from 4Q/07 and jumped 91 basis points from the prior quarter.
The 90-day delinquency ratio for North American cards increased 51 basis points from the prior quarter to 2.62%, and as compared to 1.77% for 4Q/07. Citi also reported 138.2 million open accounts at the end of the fourth quarter in North America, compared to 151.9 million one-year ago.
Purchase volume for North American cards dropped 15% to $75.7 billion, compared to $89.3 billion for 4Q/07. North American managed loans declined 1% year-on-year to $149.3 billion and down by nearly $1 billion from the prior quarter, due to lower purchase sales and balance transfer volumes, partially offset by a decline in payment rates across all portfolios. Citi also noted that North American Cards GAAP revenue declined due to lower securitization results and the impact of foreign exchange. For complete details on Citigroup’s 4Q/08 performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).
North American Credit Card Net Income
4Q/07: $322 million
1Q/08: $537 million
2Q/08: $178 million
3Q/08: (-$873 million)
4Q/08: (-$371 million)
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Magstar has released the ” Total Mobile POS” portable solution. The
“Total Mobile POS” has a powerful portable touch screen is capable of
real time lookup of items, pricing and customer loyalty (CRM)
information. It fully-integrates all sales activity to the powerful,
feature-rich Magstar Total POS solution, which automatically feeds data
to the Total Retail enterprise solution and scan bar codes, enter items
in by description, capture customer loyalty ID, handle full in-store or
remote sales transactions with credit and debit payment processing,
handle the return of goodsâ process, handle “lane busting” and is fully
interfaced with “Magstar Total POS” and “Magstar Total
Retail” enterprise retail solutions, including item lookup, pricing
consistency and end of day balancing.
CA-based Capture Technologies will provide a card identification system
for San Francisco residents using the “Datacard MX6000Card Issuance
System” , a fully
integrated platform for producing personalized cards. It produces a
secure card that is protected from forgery,
fraud, tampering or alteration. Cards produced from the
Datacard system are more secure than the California driverâs license.
The system was installed in City Hall, where it is anticipated that some
15,000 cards will be issued in the forthcoming months. The cards
will cost $15; seniors, very low income and childrenâs cards will cost less.
Captureâs contract also includes equipment maintenance, user training
and software. The ID cards can also serve as a âsmart cardâ at a later
and could include information such as medical conditions and emergency