Target’s Q4 Credit Card Profits Rise 12%

Target reported that its pre-tax credit card profits for the quarter ending February 2nd increased 12% over the year-ago quarter. Credit card outstandings for the quarter increased 28% year-on-year, topping $8.62 billion. Target says Target’s fourth calendar quarter pre-tax credit card profits were $137 million, compared to $157 million in the prior quarter and $122 million one-year ago. Target reported that its total credit card receivables, which include its VISA and “Guest” cards, were $8.624 billion as of February 2nd, compared to $7.652 billion for 3Q/07 and $6.711 billion one-year ago. Delinquency (60 days+) for 4Q/07 increased to 4.0%, compared to 3.8% in the previous quarter and 3.5% one-year ago. Charge-offs, as a percentage of period-end receivables, decreased to 6.4% for 4Q/07, compared to 7.0% in the prior quarter, but up from 6.1% one-year ago. During the third quarter Target announced it began reviewing potential ownership alternatives for its credit card business. For complete details on Target’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

TARGET CARD LOAN HISTORICAL
4Q/06: $6.711 billion
1Q/07: $6.510 billion
2Q/07: $6.906 billion
3Q/07: $7.652 billion
4Q/07: $8.624 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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SenSage Joins the PCI Vendor Alliance

Event data warehouse solution provider SenSage has joined the PCI Security Vendor Alliance. SenSage’s EDW solution uses agent-less technology to collect data from any source where cardholder data exists or may be accessed. This includes network infrastructure devices, servers, applications, mainframes and the databases that store cardholder data. SenSage stores the data in a columnar database, and provides real-time alerts and transforms this data through built-in log data analysis. The SenSage for PCI DSS Compliance analytics package provides organizations with this actionable intelligence mapped to the specific PCI DSS requirements, addressing not only Requirement 10 but providing numerous reports aimed at addressing other PCI requirements. SenSage’s solution supports the breadth of log data sources where cardholder data exists and has the ability to store the data online for years.

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AmEx & Delta Introduce Pay with Miles

American Express and Delta launched “Pay with Miles,” an exclusive new built-in benefit for “American Express Gold” and “Platinum Delta SkyMiles” cardholders. “Pay with Miles” enables cardholders to book flights on delta.com and use “Miles” to pay for all or part of a Delta ticket, with no blackout dates or inventory restrictions. The “Pay with Miles” feature is an additional option that complements Delta’s existing award travel options. Cardholders can pay with “Miles” for any Delta seat, in any class of service, on any route. Cardholders can use all the “Miles” in their “SkyMiles” bank, not just those earned by spending on their credit card. There is no limit on the number of times the “Pay with Miles” benefit can be used, and there is no cap on the number of Miles that can be used. No enrollment is required, and there is no fee to use “Pay with Miles.”

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PPI Partners with RPOWER POS

Payment Processing Solutions has partnered with RPOWER to integrate PPI solutions into RPOWER restaurant POS software. This will enables restaurants to process credit and debit card payments quickly and cost effectively. PPI provides payment transaction by including all of the critical products and services that define a successful integrated payment solution which includes the PPI PayMover gateway with transaction processing that is seamless, secure, and reliable, offfering free, unlimited 24/7/365 technical and administrative support for all transaction processing issues and “Better-than-Bank” merchant account services. In 2007, PPI processed in excess of $4.1 billion in VISA and MasterCard payments.

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Australian Card Debt Sets a New Record

Credit card debt climbed again in December setting a new record of A$42.7 billion in Australia. Credit card volume also set a new high of A$19.2 billion after hitting a record in October. Year-on-year credit card debt has increased 9.5%, compared to December 2006. Card volume is up 12.3% compared to one-year ago. Credit card limits also reached a new high at A$114.4 billion, marking the 16th consecutive month of A$100+ billion. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia there are currently 13.9 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 13.2 million one-year ago.

CREDIT CARD HISTORICAL
(A$ billions)
MONTH BALANCES VOLUME
Dec 06: 39.0 17.1
Jan 07: 37.3 15.3
Feb 07: 39.5 15.3
Mar 07: 39.5 16.6
Apr 07: 39.6 15.3
May 07: 40.2 17.4
Jun 07: 40.8 16.5
Jul 07: 41.0 17.5
Aug 07: 41.1 18.1
Sep 07: 41.2 16.2
Oct 07: 41.3 18.8
Nov 07: 41.9 18.3
Dec 07: 42.7 19.2
Source: Reserve Bank of Australia

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Brookstone Offers Sharper Image Card Promo

Specialty retailer Brookstone is now accepting bankrupt Sharper Image gift cards to offer a 25% discount on purchases. Brookstone is not honoring the value of the Sharper Image gift card but instead is providing the 25% Brookstone Store discount in exchange for receiving the Sharper Image gift card from the customer. Customers holding a valid Sharper Image gift card can visit any Brookstone Store and relinquish the card to a Brookstone Store Associate. Customers, in exchange for turning over the Sharper Image gift card to Brookstone, receive a one-time, 25 % discount off their entire Brookstone Store purchase. The customer must make the Brookstone purchase at the time of relinquishing the Sharper Image gift card.

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WaMu Passes 5 Years of Free FICO Scores

WaMu, the first, and currently the only, credit card issuer that provides its cardholders with free online access to their “FICO” credit score, is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the service this year. WaMu first partnered with credit bureau TransUnion and credit scoring pioneer Fair Isaac in 2003 to introduce the free consumer service. WaMu credit card customers simply have to set up online access to their account — also free. Not only can they then track their card usage and pay their bill, they also receive monthly updates of their TransUnion-derived “FICO” score along with the top reasons why they have that score. Normally, consumers would have to pay at least a one-time fee of $15.95 to purchase their “FICO” score, and close to $100 annually for ongoing monthly monitoring.

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S1 Corporation Names Jackson as VP

S1 Corporation has named Mike Jackson, formerly with Regions Financial, as VP/Product Strategy, Hosting and Managed Services. Jackson will have responsibility for corporate product strategy as well as the company’s data center hosting and managed services operations. Jackson served in a number of roles for Regions Financial Corporation, most recently as the President of Alternative Delivery. His extensive leadership experience in e- commerce and information systems includes responsibility for personal and small business Internet banking, ATMs, debit cards, credit cards, merchant services, and products and services delivered via the Internet.

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NET1 UEPS TECHNOLOGIES

International Smart Card LLC, Iraqi government and bank consortium,
has signed contracts with Net1 UEPS Technologies for the
implementation of its customized banking and payment system. In doing
so, the organization will assist International Smart Card in overcoming
challenges encountered with the payment and distribution of cash
disbursements for Iraqi citizens through an interoperability platform of
ATMs, POS devices and bank branches in other countries, in addition to
offline and online transaction processing. These disbursements include the
payment of social grants to war victims, employee salary/wage payments,
banking products and financial services. In turn, this will afford Net1
ongoing transaction and licensing fees resulting from the provision of
its outsourcing services.

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PC Lender Agrees to Settle FTC Charges

The FTC will collect up to $5 million in fines from BlueHippo Funding and Blue Hippo Capital for violating federal laws extending credit to consumers with poor or no credit. According to the FTC’s complaint, Blue Hippo offered to extend credit to consumers to finance purchases of personal computers and other consumer electronics with down payments of $99 to $124 and a year of weekly or bi-weekly payments ranging from $36 to $88. The defendants required consumers to agree to a series of automatic, periodic debits from their bank accounts to purchase their products, promising that they would deliver the product once the consumer made 13 weekly, or seven bi-weekly, payments. In many instances, the defendants debited consumers’ accounts without first disclosing that consumers could not get a refund even if they cancelled before delivery of the product, and regardless of the reason for cancellation. Many consumers did not receive the merchandise they ordered or refunds.

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Experian Rolls-Out Attribute Toolbox

Experian has introduced a data intelligence application that puts enhanced data access and attribute management capabilities directly into the hands of clients. Experian’s “Attribute Toolbox” allows institutions not only to connect to multiple data sources, but also to effectively build, fine tune and manage the attributes that are required to make informed decisions throughout the customer life cycle. “Attribute Toolbox” provides a service-based, platform-independent application that makes it easy to integrate with existing systems and allows a client to manage attributes with common tools across the enterprise. It also provides access to Experian’s industry leading library of more than 400 standard aggregated “STAGG” attributes.

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