NCO Group Posts a Lackluster Third Quarter

PA-based NCO Group reported that third quarter revenue was up about 2% to $307.2 million. The Company also posted EBITDA of $44.5 million and a net loss of $3.1 million for the quarter. NCO noted that the ARM division operated slightly below its revenue and profitability targets primarily as a result of weaker than expected consumer payment patterns and lower than expected revenue derived from owned portfolio collections ARM generated $207.5 million in 3Q/07 revenues. During the third quarter, the CRM division also operated below its revenue and profitability targets primarily as a result of unanticipated client program changes and unanticipated ramp-up costs associated with several new client opportunities. CRM produced $83 million in revenues. During the quarter, the Portfolio Management division exceeded its revenue and profitability targets primarily due to ramp-up of newly acquired portfolios. Portfolio Management generated $45 million in third quarter revenues. For complete details on NCO Group’s latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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ACI Unveils Rules-Based Dispute Management

ACI Worldwide has released a rules-based solution that automates the resolution of cardholder disputes and processing of chargebacks. The new “ACI Dispute Management System” provides visibility to disputes at any stage during the lifecycle and enables the identification of repetitive cardholder disputes, multiple transactions associated with a cardholder dispute, and multiple transactions associated with a specific dispute arising from a particular fraud attack. ACI says its new system is unique in the marketplace in its singular focus on case management. Exception and dispute processing are based on electronic folders that represent individual customer cases. Multiple disputed transactions and the associated processing can be combined in each case, providing queue management via parameterized processes. The new ACI system also enables customers to generate comprehensive audit trails and stores all due dates and required customer notifications to maintain a complete historical file on each case.

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VISA Renews the RentPayment Contract

CA-based electronic payment processor RentPayment has renewed its agreement with VISA to offer an integrated payment solution to apartment landlords for their resident’s automatic monthly rent payments and for one-time rent and security deposit payments. By accepting VISA products through RentPayment, property managers benefit from reduced administrative expenses from software integration of the electronic payments and increased closing ratios when prospective residents can use their VISA card for security deposits for RentPayment’s over 2.5 million apartment units under management.

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Green Dot Hires a Chief Product Officer

Green Dot has announced that Chris Britt, previously manager of VISA’s General Purpose Prepaid Card product line, has joined the company as Chief Product Officer. In his new position, Britt is responsible for the product strategy, development and management of all Green Dot consumer-facing products and services including prepaid debit cards, credit cards, gift cards and Green Dot Network cash acceptance. Previously, Britt developed and managed VISA’s relationships with key prepaid issuers, processors and partners. His other achievements at Visa include co-developing and managing Visa ReadyLink and authorizing multiple patent-pending applications for the prepaid category. Britt began his career in strategy consulting with Accenture after graduating from Tulane University.

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GE Money Renews Thomasville Furniture Card

GE Money has renewed its consumer financing agreement with Thomasville Furniture. The no-annual fee Thomasville credit program provides various financing options that include the EasyPay, a low fixed interest program. With purchases of $1,500 or more, consumers can select a pre-payment plan for a period of 12, 24, 36, 48 or 60 months. In addition, the program provides dealers with a wide variety of revolving promotional offers to help meet the needs of their customers. Thomasville furniture is sold through more than 150 independently owned Thomasville Home Furnishings Stores as well as more than 400 leading independent retail stores.

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JCB & SERVICE BANK

JCB has signed agreements with Austria’s Service Bank to enhance its card
acceptance offering across the country, mostly to merchants in the
travel and
entertainment industries. This will provide Japanese nationals throughout
Austria with access to their JCB funds and accounts through its expanding
acceptance network. These developments are in conjunction with the
celebrations of the 140th year anniversary of diplomatic ties between
the two
countries to be marked by events, cultural and economic
interaction. Card complete Service Bank AG has over 1,000,000 card-
members with a network of nearly 100,000 merchants while JCB’s merchant
network includes 13.5 million merchants throughout 190 countries with 55.75
million cardmembers.

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Hypercom Unveils a New Multi-Lane Terminal

Hypercom has unveiled a new global payment terminal for multi-lane retailers that offers bandwidth-intensive interactive advertising at the POS. The new “Optimum L4150” also features a 64K color glass capacitive touch screen and a 200 MHz processor that can handle high-end graphics and animations as well as transactions without compromising performance. The new terminal is also “PCI PED”-approved. Other features include: an exclusive bi-directional, dual-sided magnetic stripe reader; configurable payment choices including an optional contactless RF reader for contactless payment cards, plus an optional integrated “EMV 1” and “EMV 2” approved smart card readers for global markets and “WIC” card acceptance in the U.S.; and is backward compatible with the “Optimum L4100,” Hypercom’s first-generation multi-lane color terminal. Hypercom says the “L4150” is now available for shipment globally.

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RBC & VISA

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) expects gains of nearly $325 million
before taxes for 4Q07. Experts say the bank has the VISA restructuring
of RBC’s membership interest exchange to thank for the reevaluation
and projected revenue gain. Additional sources of income expected to
come to fruition from 4Q07 includes $120 million, pre-tax, from
increased consumer credit card spending, due to increases and
improvements on card loyalty reward programs, and from RBC’s Capital
Markets segment. The Capital Markets segment is expected to generate
$360 million, pre-tax, based on subprime collateralized debt obligations
(CDOs) and subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).

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U.S. Bank Offers U.S. Figure Skating VISA

U.S. Bank has partnered with U.S. Figure Skating to offer the “U.S. Figure Skating VISA” card. Cardholders can choose from four card designs depicting the U.S. Figure Skating logo, figure skates or the U.S. Figure Skating mascot, Snowplow Sam. The card generates support for the mission and programs of U.S. Figure Skating each time a new card is activated and repeatedly thereafter each time the card is used. The U.S. Figure Skating card features no annual fee, a low introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers, 100% fraud protection and 24-hour cardmember service. U.S. Figure Skating is the national governing body for the sport of figure skating comprised of approximately 1,425 member clubs and Basic Skills programs representing nearly 184,000 members.

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ECO-LOGIQUE MASTERCARD

The first credit card program in Canada to earn points for carbon offset credits has been launched. MBNA Canada Bank has introduced the “Eco-Logique MasterCard.” Under the new program cardholders earn points with each eligible retail purchase. The funds generated through these points will be used by MBNA to purchase carbon offsets that support environmental projects. In March, Bank of America, the parent of MBNA Canada Bank, announced a $20 billion, 10-year initiative to support the growth of environmentally sustainable business activity to address global climate change. MBNA Canada Bank has more than 500 co-branded and affinity credit card programs and is the second largest MasterCard issuer in the country.

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Online Banking Users Will Embrace M-Banking

A new report projects that by year’s end, mobile banking customers will top one million and that more than 40 million U.S. consumers will adopt mobile banking by 2012. TowerGroup says the adoption of mobile banking will be fueled by two primary factors: consumers’ increasing preference for real time, self-service transactions and their growing adoption of mobile data services and applications. The research firm estimates that up to 30% of online banking users will adopt the mobile channel in the next five years. TowerGroup expects that by 2012, approximately one-fourth of all mobile banking users will come from outside the online banking channel. However, the growth of mobile banking still faces cultural, technical and business challenges. Chief among the technical challenges are information security and consumer privacy.

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COLLOQUY LOYALTY RESEARCH

According to research conducted by the COLLOQUY loyalty team,
Canadian consumers’ participation in loyalty programs far outranks
that of U.S. consumers. The research shows that 75% of Canadian
consumers partake in loyalty marketing programs, defined in this context
as a program that recognizes and rewards the company’s best customers,
while only 39.5% of American General Adults do the same. Additional
differentiations between the two markets reflect that Canadian consumers
are more willing to accumulate points and miles, thus, exhibiting
patience over
Americans, 69% of Canadian programs offer points rewards while 55% of
American programs provide cash-back rewards and Canadians are twice as
likely as U.S. consumers to redeem rewards for friends/family. The
COLLOQUY research was segmented into different Canadian consumer
segments reflecting 96% of Affluent consumers participated in a rewards
program of some type. Additionally, 95% of Core Women , 90% of Seniors,
86% of General Adult and 78% of Young Adults throughout Canada
collected card rewards. COLLOQUY’s Research concentrates and
examines developments in the rewards realm around the world, providing
over 28,000 marketers with consulting, news, editorial, educational and
research services.

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