Bankruptcy filings have continued to surge this year running more than 60% over the year-ago levels. Momentum exploded in May with approximately 83,000 filings compared to 62,500 in April and 74,000 in March. If the current pace holds, it is likely the total filings for 2007 could approach one million. Also driving the momentum is the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market. According the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts the all-time quarterly record was set in the fourth quarter of 2005 when 667,431 bankruptcy filings were made. New bankruptcy laws took effect in late 2005.Details
The U.S. General Services Administration last week named four firms as winners of its “GSA SmartPay 2” charge-card service contracts that are worth up to $260 billion in total. The winners include Citibank, GE Capital, Chase and U.S. Bank. Valued at an estimated $26 billion each year for 10 years, the contracts continue government-wide purchase, travel, fleet and integrated charge card services currently provided by GSA’s “SmartPay” program. “GSA SmartPay 2” will expand product and service lines to include prepaid and contactless cards, as well as cards in foreign currencies and other separately priced, value-added items. “SmartPay 2” also gives federal agencies enhanced agency spend analyses, program control and oversight, and improved payment services through new technologies. GSA manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 205,000 vehicles.Details
FL-based Ocwen Financial Corporation has acquired, by reverse merger, NCI Holdings, Inc. and its operating subsidiary, Nationwide Credit, Inc. NCI will be combined with Ocwen Recovery Group’s operations. The consideration for the merger is $55 million in cash, subject to certain closing adjustments. NCI’s senior executives, Chief Executive Officer and President Patrick Carroll, Chief Financial Officer George Williams and Executive Vice President of Operations Dale Bissette, are remaining with the company. Ocwen Financial Corporation is a provider of servicing and origination processing solutions to the loan industry. NCI is a global call center and receivables management company.Details
First Data has completed its acquisition of online banking and bill payment service FundsXpress. FundsXpress has more than 500 financial institution customers, consisting primarily of community financial institutions. First Data currently serves thousands of similar institutions coast-to-coast. Both First Data and FundsXpress will provide a strong and broad suite of products for secure electronic commerce and Internet banking transactions. First Data is a provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses worldwide.Details
Flextronics Intl has announced plans to acquire Solectron for the
creation of an enhanced design and electronics manufacturing
services conglomerate. With broad EMS capabilities, the new solution
will be available in 35 countries with combined annual revenues to
exceed $30 billion. Shareholders of Solectron will receive a total
consideration valued at approximately $3.6 billion. By combining
resources and unique skill sets, Flextronics will be able to provide more
value and innovation to customers by leveraging global
economies of scale. The partnership has a combined workforce of
approximately 200,000 employees, including approximately 4,000 design
engineers. For 2007, Flextronics had revenues of $18.9 billion, and helps
customers design, build, ship, and service electronics products through a
network of facilities in over 30 countries. Solectron offers design and
product introduction, supply chain management, lean manufacturing
and aftermarket services in more than 20 countries and had sales of $10.6
billion in fiscal 2006.
For 4,000 of the bank’s ATMs, Banques Populaires will be implementing
Kalignite’s EMV software throughout France. Experts from both parties
say that transition to the new software is not only implemented with
ease, it will
also provide additional security for the bank’s ATMs. Banques Populaires
2,000 branches and 7,000,000 customers.
With Mobile Telecommunication Company, The National Bank of Kuwait
will be offering customers a free-of-charge text-massaging service through
cell phones. To encourage the use of their new credit card, for each KD 1
spent on the Visa “NBK-MTC” credit card, the bank will offer customers 2
text messages at no charge. In addition, Mobile Telecommunication Company
allows cardholders international calling and roaming facility without a
financial deposit. Other benefits offered to cardholders include free
insurance and the chance to gain points as a part of the Watani Gifts
The card is accepted at sell-points in more than 170 countries.
Barclaycard has launched three VISA cards that it hopes will propel it to be the number one card issuer in the UAE within the next three years. The new cards include the “Classic VISA,” “VISA Gold” and “VISA Platinum.” The cards are designed specifically for the UAE and for the first time in the region, customers will be able to choose the type of card they need, how much they pay, and the rewards they earn from using their cards. Barclays has more than 9 million cardholders in the UK, and another six million cardholders worldwide. Zeeshan Saleem is Barclays head of the cards business in the UAE. Ahmed Khan is the CEO Global Retail and Commercial Banking, Emerging Markets for Barclays.Details
First Atlantic Commerce (FAC) has introduced “Internet Protocol (IP)
Geolocation”. “IP Geolocation” allows merchants online to track the
location of customers and their Internet Service Providers. This allows
the merchant to adjust precision marketing tactics accordingly based on
typical culture and behavior of the geographic location.
China Merchants Bank (CMB) has joined with Happigo TV Shopping Co
to introduce, “HappiZhao”, an online installment payment solution.
will be interest free and available for CMB credit card holders. To
the program, consumers can either apply online, over the phone, or at
one of the bank’s
branches. The financing will be available for nearly 2000 items sold on
Gemalto will be implementing a restructuring project ending
manufacturing activity in the Orleans facility by the second half of 2008,
directly affecting 362 jobs in the facility and 47 elsewhere. This
development will also effect the redeployment of its production activity in
France and Western Europe and is focused on lessening the central industrial
costs and specializing manufacturing facilities. In doing so, the
(Normandy) site is to manage production of SIM cards for Western Europe
while Gemenos will gather industrialization and the embedding activities
French banking cards. Gemalto had 2006 annual revenues of EUR1.7 billion,
operations in about 100 countries and has over 10,000 employees.
The Company employs close to 3,500 people in France.
As a means of preventing skimming, ABN AMRO will be installing
equipment on 1200 outdoor ATMs. The company will soon be installing the
devices on all of its ATMs to prevent copying of the card’s magnetic strip.
This will save the bank money due to the fewer projected incidences of
to reimburse customers for the stolen funds. The bank processes 100
million withdrawals a year, over 97% of which take place through ATMs.