ORCC Hires a First Annapolis EVP and GM

Web based financial services provider Online Resources has hired Sheila Narayan, previously with First Annapolis, to serve as EVP and general manager of banking payments. At First Annapolis, Narayan spent more than 10 years developing business and market strategy, leading strategic technology and marketing partnerships, managing client relationships and advised senior banking and processing executives on new product development and strategic sourcing. Narayan will be responsible for Online Resources’ consumer service provider payments business, which serves large financial institutions and banking partnerships. The division provides bill payment and related services to 13 of the largest 50 U.S. banks. She is a graduate of Bryant College and holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Details

TNB Acquires Two Hawaii Card Portfolios

TNB Card Services has purchased the credit card portfolios of Hawaii Pacific FCU and Kaua’i Government Employees’ FCU, bringing the total number portfolios to 150. Hawaii Pacific Federal Credit Union has 8,000 members and assets of $48 million. 50 select employer groups, primarily small businesses. Kaua’i Government Employees’ Federal Credit Union currently has assets of $52 million. With the latest addition of the two card programs, TNB added more than $3.2 million in outstanding balances to its agent issuing portfolio.

Details

Hypercom Goes Forward with its Thales Deal

Hypercom says Ingenico’s offer to buy the terminal maker appears to be a “hostile overture” due to Ingenico’s lawsuit filed against Francisco Partners, which is financing Hypercom’s acquisition of Thales’ e-Transactions business, and in Ingenico’s effort to make private negotiations public. Hypercom says the potential harm to its shareholders of failing to pursue the acquisition of the e-Transactions business was significant. Yesterday, Thales informed Hypercom it may abort the transaction, retain Hypercom’s $10 million deposit and seek other remedies if it did not sign the “Stock Purchase Agreement” by tomorrow. Hypercom’s share price rose sharply yesterday on the merger proposal. Ingenico yesterday offered to buy Hypercom for $332 million, a 52% premium over last week’s share price, as well as an approximate 83% premium over Hypercom’s current enterprise value. (CF Library 2/11/08)

Details

Citi Invests in ViVOtech

Citi has made an investment into contactless and NFC specialist ViVOtech. To-date ViVOtech has received strategic investments from First Data, NCR and Motorola. All three companies use ViVOtech technologies and systems to enhance their contactless/NFC offerings. The Company has more than 360,000 units deployed in 29 countries, ViVOtech products are used at movie theaters, QSR, casual dining establishments, c-stores, gas stations, drug stores, grocery stores, buses, taxicabs, kiosks and vending machines, enabling a wide variety of businesses to accept contactless/NFC payments and promotions.

Details

Moodys’Issues Negative Credit Card Outlook

Moody’s Investors Service has issued a “Negative Outlook” for the U.S. credit card sector due to rising charge-offs. However, there was no immediate rating implications for credit card asset-backed securities. Moody’s expects other measures of credit card performance such as repayment levels and average yields to remain strong. Moody’s also notes that charge-off rates — at just under 5.0% in November, the latest month available-are still below their historic average of about 5.5%. The average yield on credit cards for the credit card companies has been stable-to-improving despite lowered interest rates, thanks to risk-based re-pricing, the discretion that many card issuers have to change rates, and also the increase in collected late fees as more borrowers are delinquent. In 2007, U.S. credit card ABS issuance volume reached a record $94.6 billion, the third consecutive year of increase.

Details

Online Card Processor Grows 27% in 2007

Online payment processor Billeo reports 27% in growth for transactions during 2007. Billeo users increased their reliance on the service, making $1,350 in transactions per month up 27% compared to 2006, making payments at more than 12,000 different online merchants and billing companies. These include utility companies, mobile phone providers, property management and mortgage companies. Billeo made important enhancements to its suite of online payment products consisting of its Bill Pay Assistant, Shopping Assistant, and Password Assistant. The company also introduced the Billeo Shopping Assistant over the summer to help consumers manage and track online purchases and has added a feature that automatically saves all online payment confirmation pages, extremely popular with Billeo users. Billeo Biller Directory has nearly 6,000 billing companies across 26 categories, including utility, cable and credit card companies — the largest Biller Directory available.

Details

SUNCORP & CITIBANK

Valued at nearly A$230 million, Suncorp has sold its credit card
division to Citibank for undisclosed terms. Representatives from
Suncorp say this development will strengthen partnerships
with Citibank while adding nearly 100,000 cards to the latter’s
portfolio. Although the cards issued will maintain the Suncorp
brand, Citibank is now responsible for operational risk, credit risk,
technology platforms, issuance, back office processing, and
portfolio management.

Details

Comperemedia Reports a Sharp Decline in Mailings

Mintel Comperemedia reports that lenders sent approximately 2.6 billion direct mail pieces during 2007, down from 30% sent to consumers in 2006. Mortgage mailings dropped by over 34% in 2007 as lenders sent just 1.7 million offers, decline from the 2.6 million sent in 2006. Direct mail campaigns for adjustable-rate mortgages declined by 72% from 2006 to 2007. In contrast, safer fixed-rate mortgage offers increased 14% between years. Home equity lenders cut back offers for home equity lines and loans by 21% in 2007.

Details

CREDIT CARD COMPARISON

According to a recent Office of Fair Trading (OFT) report, consumers are
not given suitable resources with which to make informed decisions when
comparing credit cards and features. In response, the organization is
recommending the Financial Services Authority (FSA) launches an
independent credit card price comparison website, the standardization of
terminology used in credit card product literature and improvements made
to consumer education regarding benefits of shopping around for a card.
The OFT, however, does not place blame entirely on the lack of resources,
rather, holds the ultimate decision is in the hands of the
consumers and it
is up to them to conduct some research of their own. Supporting this, figures
shows 68% of card holders did not shop around before selecting their
current card. Furthermore, the APACS organization, with interest in how
consumers spend cash, on payment cards and other means of transactions,
is offering its full support to the OFT proposal in the hopes it will
convince
consumers to make more informed decisions. Additionally, APACS will
be working with the OFT and FSA to ensure these recommendations come
to fruition.

Details

NexTier Bank Picks DCS for Card Solutions

Dynamic Card Solutions has been selected by PA-based full service bank, NexTier, to supply DCS’ CardWizard instant card issuance software. CardWizard software expedites access to debit and ATM cards for bank customers. To integrate an additional level of security specific to its customers, the bank implemented the instant issuance software in each branch to capture account details and personal card information, keeping the systems’ card embossers in the bank’s main card operation building instead of in-branch. Moreover, NexTier customers can receive their cards the next day, rather than the industry’s typical wait of seven to 10 days.

Details

BANCO SABADELL & SERVERSIDE

Banco Sabadell has teamed with U.K.-based Serverside Graphics to
introduce custom-designed credit and debit cards. The new product called
dubbed “Instantcard” offers a chance to win a “Mini Cooper” with your
own personally designed roof and receive it live on TV. Future plans
include rolling it out across ActivoBank and Banco Urquijo,
its direct and private banking arms respectively. The card customisation
service is being promoted in five languages: Spanish, Catalan, English,
German and French. Banco Sabadell has run a direct mail teaser to more
than 10,000 employees comprising a photo frame in which they were
invited to “capture their most important moment.” A week later, they
received an email inviting them to capture the same moment, but this
time on a card. For Banco Sabadell, this campaign was of key strategic
importance, as its employees were effectively “ambassadors” of the new
product and would influence its success. Serverside currently has 60
signed clients in 20 countries covering more than 200 card programs
globally.

Details

Fitch Ratings Upgrades WaMu Servicer Ratings

Fitch Ratings has upgraded Washington Mutual Bank credit card seller/servicer rating to ‘Proficient Plus’ from ‘Proficient’. The rating is based on the management team’s extensive industry experience, improvements made to its collection strategies and the company’s ability to cross-sell general purpose credit cards to existing bank customers. WMB has a managed credit card portfolio of $27.2 billion and 12.4 million customers as of Dec. 31, 2007. Fitch expects to publish a full report detailing the qualities of WMB that support the assigned ratings.

Details