95% of Chinese Americans Have Credit Cards

New research shows that credit card ownership among Chinese Americans is 95%, compared to a U.S. average of 68%. Also, about 44% of the ethnic group banked online at least twice a week. The survey conducted by Global Advertising Strategies and Chinese Media Net also found that 69% reported a post-graduate degree and a median annual household income of $56,000. Additionally, the research found that 40% of Chinese Americans are frequent domestic travelers; 80% own their car; over half remit money back to China; and Chinese language Websites accounted for over 70% of preferred content but Chinese search engines accounted for less than half of search engine usage.

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Wells Card Outstandings Rise 28% Y/Y

Wells Fargo reported that charge-offs hit 5.01% for the fourth quarter, compared to 4.30% in the prior quarter. The issuer also reported that credit card outstandings rose nearly 10% sequentially and are now up 28% year-on-year. Wells noted that about one-third of the $47 million increase in charge-offs was due to growth, but the rest reflected rising consumer stress. Total credit card charge-offs for the quarter were $253 million, compared to $154 million for the fourth quarter of last year. Outstandings topped $18.8 billion for 4Q/07, compared to $17.1 billion in the prior quarter and $14.7 billion for 4Q/06. Wells also reported that debit and credit card fees rose 22% to $588 million in the fourth quarter. For complete details on Wells Fargo’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

WELLS FARGO CARD OUTSTANDINGS
4Q/06: $14.7 billion
1Q/07: $14.6 billion
2Q/07: $15.6 billion
3Q/07: $17.1 billion
4Q/07: $18.8 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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TNB Card Services Adds Two Sales Executives

TNB Card Services has hired Doug Farrell, formerly with Remitpro, and Andy Bowers, formerly with Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions, as VPs of regional sales Farrell will focus on the south central and western regions. He previously held positions with a variety of companies in the electronic payments market, including First Data Resources and Eastman Kodak. He has had extensive experience in selling outsourced software applications and technology solutions to Fortune 1000 companies. He has a degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Andy Bowers, who focuses on the northeastern region, previously worked in sales with Muzak Corporation. He has a degree in business administration/organizational communication from Ohio University.

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Ingenico Lands a Former Hypercom Sales Exec

Ingenico has hired Lisa Shipley, previously with Hypercom North America, as SVP, Sales and Marketing, Ingenico North America. Shipley will focus on growing Ingenico North America’s banking channel and multi-lane retail business to maximize on opportunities in both the USA and Canada. Prior to serving as SVP of National Sales at Hypercom, Shipley spent 10 years with NationsBank, and its predecessor, in both card issuing and merchant acquiring groups. As President of Terminal Management Services, Inc. (TMS), a wholly owned subsidiary of NationsBank, she was responsible for all facets of terminal management sales, support and leasing, including product deployment.

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SCALA BOARD

The Smart Card Alliance Latin American Chapter has announced the
contributers to its 2008/09 executive committee. The newly elected
committee is composed of Chair, Marcelo Bellini Garcia, Chair,
Humberto de la Vega, Vice Chair, Ismael Dykman, and Secretary,
Luis Cohen. The new members were chosen by their peers based on
each individual’s leadership qualities and commitment to supporting
efforts in developing the smart card market in Latin America.
The Smart Card Alliance Latin American is focal on stimulating the
understanding, adoption, use and application of smart cards throughout
the region.

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EASYJET MASTERCARD

Citi Cards has teamed with easyJet Airlines to launch the “easyJet MasterCard”, complete with the “easyJet 1-2-3” rewards program. The rewards program allows users to earn “easyJet Miles” on all purchases made using the card at a rate of 1 mile per GBP 1 spent. Travelers can take free flights earned with the credit card from any easyJet U.K. airport to various destinations throughout Europe and Northern Africa. Additional features include an interest-free period of up to 56 days, a free additional card, no annual fee, “easyJet Card” Alerts and a typical 16.9% APR (variable) on purchases. easyJet flys to 89 destinations on 360 routes throughout Europe and Northern Africa.

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E-HEALTH100

SCM Microsystems’ eHealth100 health card terminal has been certified
as a multifunction terminal by GEMATIK, which runs the German
electronic health card program. With this certification, the card
terminals can
be used to read health insurance and health care cards,
ensure that personnel are able to read older memory and processor-based
cards, can be used to read the personnel’s own ID cards and as an SICCT
terminal (Secure Interoperable Chip Card Terminal) to ensure data
communication within Germany’s “telematics” infrastructure. SCM
Microsystems develops, markets and sells smart card reader technology
for various facets and has headquarters in Ismaning, Germany.

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NOV ABS

Credit card delinquency (60+ days) dropped slightly in November and charge-offs among credit card-backed securities also declined. For November, delinquency in the U.K. dipped to 3.3%, compared to 3.4% in the prior month. Charge-offs declined by 50 basis points from October to 6.3% for November. According to FitchRatings, delinquency reached a historical high in April 2007 of 4.1% in the U.K. The Fitch monthly payment rate index fell to 17.9% in November, a month-on-month decrease of 90 basis points. The Bank of England cut the the Bank base rate by 25 basis points to 5.5% in December and decided to maintain the same rate in January.

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ATM:AD & RBS

The Royal Bank of Scotland has signed an agreement with i-design
for the deployment of its “ATM:ad” advertising campaign for 2Q08.
With RBS owning the largest volume of ATMs in the UK, this agreement
represents i-design’s largest “ATM:ad” contract and marks 14,800
ATMs software licenses sold, representing 44% of the UK’s ATMs.
Additional financial institutions running the “ATM:ad” campaign
include Nationwide Building Society, HSBC plc and Alliance &
Leicester plc.

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Online 2007 Holiday Sales Rose 29%

Holiday sales volume among the largest U.S. retail Web sites rose 29% year-on-year. The “Chase Paymentech Pulse Index” found that the December 11th to 14th period was the busiest sustained activity of the 2007 online holiday season. The “Index” also found that the highest single day was December 18th; the highest single-day average ticket order was $62.57 on November 28th; and the busiest online shopping day of the week was Wednesday, with Sunday as the least-busiest day of the week. The “Chase Paymentech Pulse Index” tracks more than one million payment transactions daily at 10 of the top 30 U.S. retail Websites. For the full holiday season the “Index eRetailers” realized $5.482 billion in net sales.

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