Citi Delivers Another $1B Quarter for US Cards

Citigroup reported that 4Q/06 profits for its U.S. Cards unit rose 125% year-on-year to $1001 million driven by growth in non-interest revenue, lower charge-offs and the absence of an accounting charge for customer rewards. Revenues increased 31% to $3.57 billion, driven by higher results from previously securitized receivables and increased fee revenue. However, bank credit card outstandings for the U.S. were down 1.8% to $111.6 billion compared to one-year ago. However, private label card outstandings increased 16.1% to $32.4 billion. Purchase volume for the fourth quarter rose 6.8% to $81.0 billion. Citi’s account base at the end of the fourth quarter rose 16.8% to 153.2 million accounts. Citi’s charge-offs for bankcard and private label cards rose to 4.45% compared to 4.26% in the prior quarter and 6.68% one-year ago. Overall delinquency (90+ days) rose slightly from 1.60% for 3Q/06 to 1.62% for the fourth quarter 2006. For complete details on Citigroup’s 4Q/06 performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

CITIGROUP
U.S. Credit Card Net Income
3Q/05: $ 797 million
4Q/05: $ 444 million
1Q/06: $ 926 million
2Q/06: $ 878 million
3Q/06: $1085 million
4Q/06: $1001 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

Details

Experian Becomes CIFAS Accredited

Experian has achieved an industry first by becoming an accredited CIFAS member. The company is one of just 14 out of 255 members with this accreditation following three separate compliance reviews by CIFAS over three years. To attain the accreditation, the fraud team had to demonstrate best practice in all areas, with all its procedures being thoroughly examined by independent consultants employed by CIFAS. The review also covered staff training and the handling of complaints.

Details

GE Money Fourth Quarter Profits Rise 14% Y/Y

GE reported that profit for its Consumer Finance unit, now known as GE Money, climbed 13.6% in the fourth quarter to $875 million as revenues rose 18.9% $5.8 billion, compared to one-year ago. During the fourth quarter GE Money entered the agent bank market for general purpose credit cards as Hancock Bank will issue a “Platinum VISA” credit card product through GE Money to its customers in Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and Alabama. Also, GE Consumer Finance’s Retail Sales Finance unit changed its name to GE Money – Sales Finance and Houston-based Finger Furniture Company renewed its agreement with GE Money for consumer financing services including the “Finger Five-Star Card.” For complete details on GE’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 10/17/06; 11/9/06; 11/27/06)

GE CONSUMER FINANCIAL TRACK RECORD
Income Revenues
4Q/05: $770 million $4886 million
1Q/06: $836 million $5090 million
2Q/06: $880 million $5268 million
3Q/06: $916 million $5590 million
4Q/06: $875 million $5811 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

Details

GPN Inks 13 Casinos for VIP LightSpeed

Global Payments has entered into agreements with 13 U.S. and Canadian gaming establishments to provide its VIP LightSpeed suite of cash access products. VIP LightSpeed is an Internet-accessible, PC-based platform that provides cash access services for traditional and electronic check cashing, ATM check cashing, and credit and debit card cash advances. In addition, VIP LightSpeed provides high-speed processing of cash access transactions, reduces risk associated with check-cashing and cash advance services, and offers a full spectrum of management reporting tools.

Details

RocketBux and ViVOtech Team for M-Marketing

Bend, OR-based RocketBux has partnered with ViVOtech to offer its mobile phone-based marketing services. Under terms of the agreement, RocketBux will be utilizing ViVOtech’s ViVOplatform version 3.1 to deliver its mobile advertising services to consumers. RocketBux provides targeted retail offers and coupons as well as enhanced loyalty programs from merchants to participating mobile phone users. The ViVOplatform software is designed to work with the magnetic and contactless payment cards and to integrate with ViVOtech’s contactless readers, Near Field Communication (NFC) and Over-the-Air (OTA) payment provisioning technologies. A recent report by data group eMarketer predicts global spending on mobile advertising at over $900 million in 2007. RocketBux, Inc. specializes in the distribution of coupons via mobile phones and location-based text advertising and rewards. ViVOtech is the market leader in contactless/NFC payment software, transaction processing and over-the-air (OTA) management systems and readers.

Details

Intel Capital To Fund Clickandbuy

Clickandbuy, a payment system that supports both Internet retail sites and
retail customers, has announced it will receive funding from Intel Capital.
Intel Capital’s investment in Clickandbuy will support the companies’ plans
for global expansion and potential to reach over 100 million new customers.
3i, another investor, has funded Clickandbuy with 20million Euro.
More than 7,000 providers across Europe and in the United States
currently use ClickandBuy to process payments online and
more than 7 million end users pay for goods purchased on the Internet using
ClickandBuy.

Details

Cyphermint Enhances its M-Payment System

MA-based Cyphermint has introduced the “PayCash Mobile” platform, providing secure mobile banking and bill payment capabilities via cell phones and wireless devices. “PayCash Mobile” is designed to integrate credit, debit, stored value cards and bank accounts to facilitate payments and can also be linked to a stored value card, VISA, MC, AMEX and Discover or any merchant gift card that allows users to load funds into the account as well as withdraw money at an ATM. Transactions are protected by a user PIN. Cyphermint is a provider of electronic payment and e-commerce solutions.

Details

MAGENSA and CREDITZ Cards Team for Security

CEO America and MAGENSA will demonstrate its secure transaction technology in conjunction with CREDITZ Digital Currency cards at the National Retail “Big Show” at the Javits Center in New York this week. MAGENSA enables financial cards with magstripes to be used as unique security tokens as part of a comprehensive PCI DSS and FFIEC compliant multi- factor authentication and data encryption platform for securing both Internet e-commerce and online financial transactions. CREDITZ is a digital currency and rewards program.

Details

JCB International Expands Malaysian Operations

In agreement with MBF Credit Cards, JCB will expand operations in Malaysia. Expansion of operations
namely includes a larger merchant acquisition. The company hopes to
acquire 10,000 new merchants in Malaysia through out the year.
Furthermore, this expansion is going to increase convenience for JCB
customers who either visit or reside in Malaysia. MBF Cards is one of
the largest issuers of MasterCard since 1987 and is the only credit card
that gives access to instant discounts and rewards at 8,000 merchants
locally and 80,000. JCB began expanding its card business overseas in
1981. Its merchant network includes 14 million merchants and spans 190
countries and territories. JCB cards are now issued in 19 countries and
territories, with more than 59 million card members.

Details

Oberthur Cards Appoints NA Managing Director

Oberthur Card Systems has appointed a new regional managing director for
the North American market. Martin Ferenczi will replace Phillipe
Tartavull as
the companies’ American managing director. As one of the worlds’ leading
provider of card-based solutions, software and applications, Oberthur
had sales of
500.8 million Euros in 2005, 53% of which was revenue from card services &
payment. Close to its customers, the company benefits from an industrial
and
commercial presence across all five continents.

Details

Germans Outspend English and French Over Holidays

Comscore, a leader in measuring Internet statistics, has released
findings for the online habits of three European countries. During the holiday season, among France, Germany, and the U.K., the study shows that Germany spends the most time online. From October 30 to December 31, 2006, Germans spent 5.4 billion EUR shopping online. German spending was followed by U.K. consumers who spent an estimated 4.0 billion EUR online during the same period, and the French
spent an estimated 1.9 billion EUR. This compares to an estimated 18.8
billion EUR ($24.6 billion) spent in the U.S. during the holiday shopping period. More than 100 clients subscribe to comScore’s World Metrix service, including 8 of the top 10 interactive advertising agencies.

Details

Holiday Retail e-Commerce Spending Climbs 26%

Retail e-commerce spending, excluding travel, increased 26% this holiday season versus 2005 to a record $24.6 billion. comScore Media Metrix reports that “Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories” was the top gaining category in December, growing 21% for the second consecutive month to 21.9 million visitors. Other top gaining retail categories included: “Shipping,” up 19% to 34.6 million visitors; “Sports/Outdoor,” up 15% to 32.6 million visitors. “Retail-Food” was up 11% to 17.2 million visitors; “Computer Hardware” up 9% to 66 million visitors; and “Apparel,” up 8% overall to 61.9 million visitors. In December, Yahoo! Sites retained its number one ranking with more than 131 million unique visitors.

Details