BBVA to Buy Alabama’s Compass Bancshares

AL-based Compass Bancshares has signed a definitive agreement under which Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria will acquire Compass for a combination of cash and stock for $9.6 billion. Compass, the 36th largest U.S. bank credit card issuer, has about $550 million in credit card outstandings at year-end 2006. According to CardData (www.carddata.com), Compass has about 330,000 bank credit card accounts with 160,000 active customers. At the end of 2006, Compass had nearly 340,000 cardholders. BBVA, which operates in 35 countries, is based in Spain and has substantial banking interests in the Americas. Upon completion of the transaction, Compass will rank among the top 25 banks in the U.S. with approximately $47 billion in total assets, $32 billion in total loans and $33 billion in total deposits.

Details

Veritec and Datacard Group Integrate

Minneapolis-based Veritec has entered into a long-term value-added re-seller agreement with Datacard Group. Datacard “ID WorksIdentification” Software is now VSCode-enabled and Datacard products will play a vital role to enhance and expand Veritec’s “VSCard” technology in reference to both positive identification for ID card-holders as well as VISA debit-card security. Veritec is a provider of microprocessor-based encoding and decoding system products that utilize Matrix Symbology or 2-Dimensional Barcode technology.

Details

VISA Signature Gets Special Golf Access

VISA USA has entered into an agreement to give VISA Signature cardholders special access to Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, known as the “Cradle of American Golf” and one of the top ten U.S. golf destinations and the historic Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. Pinehurst is comprised of eight championship golf courses and has been the site of more single championships than any other course in the United States. VISA Signature cardholders can enjoy tee time access on Pinehurst No.2, site of the 2005 U.S. Open Championship each time they stay at the resort. Through Pinehurst’s special relationship with St. Andrews and The Old Course Experience, VISA Signature cardholders also have access to a round on the fabled Old Course, site of the 2007 British Open Championship.

Details

TNB Acquires A+ FCU Credit Card Portfolio

Austin-based A+ FCU has teamed with TNB Card Services to issue credit cards. Through the issuing partnership, TNB acquires the $16 million card portfolio of A+, which includes more than 9,000 cardholders. The 76,000-member, education-based credit union has eight branches covering 10 counties in central Texas. TNB Card Services serves more than 450 financial institutions and manages more than 1.6 million cards. TNB Card Services recently reported it acquired 21 credit card portfolios from credit unions in the U.S. last year. TNB, or Town North Bank, has nearly an estimated $1 billion in credit card outstandings and approximately 900,000 accounts at the end of 2006. NH-based Brookwood Capital brought the two parties together. (CF Library 1/22/07)

Details

Chase Issues the Orvis Rewards VISA Card

VT-based Orvis Company and Chase have launched a co-branded credit card. The new “Orvis Rewards VISA” offers five points per dollar spent on all purchases at Orvis and one point per dollar for all other card purchases. Once cardholders have accumulated 2,500 points, they automatically receive $25 in “Orvis Rewards,” which can be used towards their next Orvis purchase. Card. Cardholders also get free regular shipping on all “Orvis Rewards VISA” purchases. Orvis operates a chain of retail stores in the U.S. and England including its Flagship store in Manchester, Vermont; and maintains a network of over 400 dealers worldwide. Orvis donates five percent of pre-tax profits each year to environmental programs.

Details

VISA INC

VISA’s decision to become a global public company is taking shape as it
names a transition leader. Industry veteran Joseph Saunders will become
Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of VISA Inc. later this
year after VISA Canada, VISA USA and VISA International complete their
mergers. Initially, Saunders will serve as a designated appointee of
VISA Inc. wherein he will help recruit a CEO and board members for the
new VISA Inc. Saunders will report directly to VISA Inc.’s “Transition
Governance Committee,” which has authority over the restructuring
process and is comprised of representatives from all of the VISA
regions, Inovant and VISA International. As a result of his appointment
to this position, Saunders relinquished his role as a member of the boards
of directors for VISA USA and VISA International. Saunders has served as
the top card executive at Household, Fleet, Providian, and Washington
Mutual. In October, VISA confirmed its IPO plans and said it would take
between 12 to 18 months to complete. Under the new structure, the public
will own a majority of the new company and the majority of the directors
will be independent. VISA Europe will remain a membership association
owned and governed by its 4,500 European banks. It will become a
licensee of VISA Inc. (CF Library 10/11/06)

Details

Upaid Launches Membership-Based Payment Club

Upaid has launched a new payment club, “ValU”, specifically designed
for the online and m-commerce markets. These markets have been estimated
to be worth over $54.3 billion in 2007. “ValU” was designed in
response to demands of these sectors that have been expressing
difficulty with supportive banks and high premiums for acceptance card
payments. These factors impact the company’s profitability. Because of
strong bank relationships and experience with on-demand payment
solutions, “ValU” is capable of providing a free, dependable and
receptive service, tailored to the needs of each content sector. Upaid
holds a portfolio of over 1,000 granted patents in the arena of e-and
m-commerce. The company has a user base of over 50 million consumers,
processing 2 million transactions per month.

Details

Payless Telecom Buys GRID Merchant Processing

FL-based Payless Telecom Solutions has completed its definitive agreement to acquire 51% of FL-based GRID Merchant Processing for an undisclosed amount. GRID is an internet based (IP) credit card processing and electronic check processing (ACH) for internet, mail order/phone order, and brick and mortar retail businesses. Payless Telecom Solutions provides local and long distance phone service, voiceover internet protocol, WiFi/WiMax technology, and internet protocol television.

Details

Aeroplan Reports Increases In 4Q/06

Aeroplan has announced increases in gross billing of $226.7 million,
operating income of $37.3 million, adjusted EBITDA of $57 million, and
distributable cash by $53 million for the fourth quarter of 2006. Also
achieved in the final quarter of ’06 was the introduction of operational
achievements such as “ClassicPlus” Flight Rewards offered in October,
along side Aeroplan’s existing “ClassicFlight” Rewards. This program
offers members unrestricted access to available seat inventory across
the Air Canada networks for both economy and executive classes. Aeroplan
has a network of more than 60 world-class partners, representing more
than 100 brands in the financial, retail and travel sectors. Throughout
the year of 2006, more than 1.4 million round-trip flight rewards were
issued.

Details

Collis Joins GlobalPlatform Membership

Collis has joined GlobalPlatform’s expanding network of Systems
Compliance Test for Profile and Scripting. The compliance testing is to
develop faster and more efficient development processing for card
issuance systems. The membership allows Collis to closely track debates
& activities of all GlobalPlatform technical committees of the platform.
Collis is a Visa chip migration partner and has delivered significant
contributions to the EMV, e-Identification and 3G/GSM markets for over a
decade with high quality Testing Tools and expert consultancy and
training. GlobalPlatform is fundamental for smart card infrastructure
development. The platform is a member driven association with
cross-industry representation from all world continents.

Details

AmeriMerchant Expands Credit Card Factoring

NY-based AmeriMerchant, a specialist in merchant cash advances against credit card sales, has introduced the “2nd Chance Capital Program.” Under the program, merchants gain access to working capital up to $175,000 despite low cash flow or weak credit. AmeriMerchant buys a merchant’s future credit card sales at a discount and advances the merchant money for the right to buy back a percentage of future credit card sales. Requirements are very liberal as the merchant must be processing for only 60 days but cannot have any open bankruptcies and must have at least 12 months on a lease. AmeriMerchant says merchants can qualify with credit scores as low as 500.

Details