MC Officially Names Reeg as St. Louis President

MasterCard has named Rob Reeg as President of its St. Louis-based MasterCard Global Technology and Operations, a position Reeg has held on an interim basis since January. Reeg succeeds Roy Dunbar, who concluded his employment with MasterCard in January CEO to join a company outside the payments industry. Before joining MasterCard, Reeg held IT and business leadership positions at Sprint, Cleveland Pneumatic, Totco and Conoco. In addition, he holds several board memberships including the Unitech Systems Customer Advisory Board, the Washington University Professional Degree Programs Academic Advisory Board, the University of Missouri-St. Louis Leadership Council and the United Way-St. Louis Technology Committee. He has been recognized with the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Outstanding Business/Professional Graduate Award.

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CEEL Finds Americans Have Economic Illiteracy

The Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy has released the results a survey that indicates a large percentage of Americans are in the dark regarding the answers to basic questions about borrowing and interest rates. Nearly 70% of respondents did not identify the “FICO score” as the most important factor in obtaining a home loan; 69% of respondents do not know that you have to pay both the interest on your entire balance as well as a late fee when making a late credit card payment, and 97% of respondents cannot identify the percentage that service fees typically take out of a $20 ATM withdrawal. Over 90% either didn’t know how much the fee would be or thought it was less than it really is. In order to highlight this problem, CEEL is issuing a public service announcement that will be distributed to over 1000 local television channels across the country. The PSA features three children discussing what their loan options would be when purchasing a doll house. The ad illustrates how confusing getting a mortgage can be especially for those who haven’t been educated on the subject matter.

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MyECheck and ConsumerDirect Team

Alternative payment provider MyECheck has signed credit repairer ConsumerDirect to provided check processing services. MyECheck provides faster clearing and funds availability, substantially reduces charge-backs and risk and improves cash-flow; all at a much lower cost than credit or debit cards. eChecks processed on the MyECheck system are typically accepted in 1 to 3 seconds with check approval rates averaging over 90%, with many merchants exceeding over 95%. ConsumerDirect is linked to over 95% of creditors in the United States giving its clients a faster and more effective way to fix credit report problems.

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Chevy Chase Bank Partners with RouteOne

DC-based Chevy Chase Bank has joined with automotive credit application platform provider RouteOne as a financing resource. Chevy Chase Bank serves nearly 300 franchised and independent dealer partners, and is ranked within the top 100 auto finance lending institutions nationally. RouteOne was formed in 2002 by Chrysler Financial, Ford Motor Credit Company, GMAC, and Toyota Financial Services to create a more streamlined credit application for automobile dealers and their customers. Providing access to more than 21,500 dealers in North America, RouteOne’s web-based system allows automotive dealers to submit credit applications to the largest indirect lenders, request credit reports, and increase profitability with RouteOne’s free Dealer Reporting Suite.

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Kena Kai Unveils the DataSafe Wallet Line

CA-based Kena Kai has introduced the “DataSafe” wallet line to shield information stored on RFID cards from theft. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts have shown that they could access a credit card user’s name, the number and the expiration from more than twenty feet and claim that nearly 20+ million radio-frequency identification (RFID) credit cards in circulation today could be vulnerable to skimming attacks, which could harvest names and credit-card details from the cards of passersby. A skimming attack uses a normal reader, or one that has been enhanced to read cards from a greater distance, to grab unencrypted data from the card. Kena Kai has designed wallets with multiple layers of RF shielding material that completely blocks unwanted access to the user’s personal information. The new DataSafe Collection will retail between $50 and $200. The Collection will be available in fine Italian leathers and rugged ballistic nylons.

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Personal Bankruptcy Filings Tops 86K in April

Consumer bankruptcy filings jumped to 92,921 in April, compared to 86,185 in March. U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings increased 48% nationwide in April from the same period a year ago, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. The overall April consumer filing total of 92,291 also represented a 7.1% increase from the 86,165 filings in March. Chapter 13 filings constituted 31% of all consumer cases in April, a slight decrease from March. The sharp spike in consumer bankruptcies reflects the growing financial stress faced by American families, saddled with household debt and mortgage woes.

BANKRUPTCY FILINGS
Nov 07: 77,065
Dec 07: 78,181
Jan 08: 66,050
Feb 08: 76,120
Mar 08: 86,165
Apr 08: 92,291
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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TRINTECH 11Q/08

Trintech has reported a revenue of $9.64
million for the first calendar quarter of 2008, reflecting an increase of 31% over $7.4 million in revenue for
1Q/07, and an adjusted EBITDA net Income of $.4 million. Software
license revenue for the quarter was $4.9 million, a 40% over the
previous year 1Q thanks to EMEA and its acquiring Movaris, while service
revenue was up 22% to $4.7 million, thanks also to EMEA and Movaris
business revenue. Additional figures disclosed include Trintech’s
increased expenditure in research and development by 17% from 1Q/08 to
$1.5 million and increased expenditure in sales and marketing by 22%,
also from the corresponding quarter last year.

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Citi Banamex USA Credit Card is Launched

Citibank and Citi Microfinance have partnered with Citi Banamex USA to provide its co-branded “Citi Banamex USA Credit Card” through Citibank financial centers throughout the state of Texas. This will provide Citibank customers with the Banamex USA bi-national card program to share their Citi credit card line with friends/relatives in Mexico, which is complete with cash-back rewards, 24-hour account access, introductory APRs for 12 months and consumer-friendly options to help establish a credit history in the United States. The “Citi Banamex USA Credit Card” money transfer provides toll-free phone sending options through 1,600 Banamex branches, 4,500 commercial entities and 5,000 ATMs in Mexico.

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CARD ABS 1Q/08

Both the charge-off index and the delinquency index increased from their 4Q/07 values in the U.K. Having dropped to 5.9% in February, its lowest value for over two years, the ABS charge-off index increased again in March, to finish 1Q/08 at 6.6%, its highest value for six months. According to both the Fitch U.K. credit card indices
the impact of a change in the charge-off policy applied by the issuer
towards bankruptcies, IVAs and deceased accounts for the Cumbernauld
trust as of March 2008 increased the charge-offs for the trust by
approximately 2.7%. However, it had little overall impact on the monthly
“Fitch CI” which in March (and excluding the additional charge-offs for
Cumbernauld), would still have been 6.5%. On a more positive note, the Fitch YI and the Fitch MPRI both increased from 4Q/07 to 20.5% and 17.3%, from 19.1% and 16.6% respectively. Excess spread also improved across all the series included in the “Fitch Excess Spread Index” with only three series trapping excess spread in March 2008.

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BofA Dominates the U.S. Credit Card Market

Bank of America still rules the U.S. credit card market rising 8% Y/Y in the first quarter, compared to Chase at 3% and Citi at 4%. This is typically a seasonal low quarter but all big three credit card issuers posted positive increases. Bank of America’s credit card loans increased from $150.7 billion in 1Q/07 to $163.2 billion in 1Q/08. Chase’s credit card loans soared from $152.8 billion in 1Q/07 to $157.1 billion in 1Q/08. According to CardData, Citi reported $116.4 billion in credit card loans, compared to $111.6 billion in 1Q/07.

BIG THREE CARD OUTSTANDINGS
1Q/08 1Q/07
BofA $163.2 billion $150.7 billion
Chase $157.1 billion $152.8 billion
Citi $116.4 billion $111.6 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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