As promised last month MasterCard has posted its interchange rates that apply to U.S. merchants on its Web site. VISA USA posted its interchange rates on its Web site on October 17th. However, MasterCard went a step further to provide comprehensive information that merchants need to understand the rates and how they apply. The 72-page document, “MasterCard Worldwide U.S. and Interregional Interchange Rates,” and VISA’s 5-page document “Visa U.S.A. Interchange Reimbursement Fees” clearly explain that interchange fees are one component of the “Merchant Discount Rate” established by acquirers, which is paid by merchants to acquirers in consideration for card acceptance services. Beyond interchange rates, MasterCard offers, since last June, its operating rules to any merchant who wants to access them without restrictions. VISA’s operating regulations are available to all merchants who currently accept VISA and have a valid contractual agreement with an acquirer if they agree to sign a non-disclosure agreement. (CF Library 6/03/05; 10/05/05; 11/05/05; 9/6/06; 10/18/06)Details
After declining for four months, credit card outstandings edged up slightly in September by GBP 100 million. The GBP 55.6 billion figure remains well below December’s peak of GBP 59.0 billion. Year-on-year credit card outstandings (not seasonally adjusted) were down 4%. According to the The Bank of England, the increase in total net lending to individuals in September was higher than the increase in August, but in line with the previous six month average. The twelve-month growth rate and the three-month annualized growth rate fell by 10 basis points, to 10.3% and 10.0% respectively. However, the increase in consumer credit was higher than in August. The annual growth rate of consumer credit continued to fall, to 6.3% in September, but the three-month annualized growth rate increased by 30 percentage points to 5.3%.Details
VA-based Intersections, a major provider of branded and fully customized identity management solutions, reported third quarter revenue of $55.3 million, compared to $42.6 million for the year ago quarter. Net income for the quarter was $2.6 million, compared to $3.5 million for 3Q/05. Total subscribers increased to approximately 4.33 million as of September 30th, compared to approximately 3.66 million as of December 31, 2005, an increase of 18.2 percent. Subscriber additions in the third quarter were approximately 1.2 million. Intersections safeguards more than 5 million customers, who are primarily received through marketing partnerships and consumer-direct marketing of the company’s “Identity Guard” brand. For complete details on Intersection’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Tarjetas Cuscatlan has signed an agreement with First Data International. Processing Center (PROCESA), a First Data company offering payment processing solutions customized for its clients in Latin America and the Caribbean, will provide card issuing processing services to Tarjetas Cuscatlan de Guatemala to support the launch of several new card products. This agreement builds on PROCESA’s already established relationship with UBC International providing full service support to its Panama affiliate, Banco Cuscatlan de Panama. PROCESA, located in Panama City, Panama, offers payment processing support for credit, prepaid, gift and corporate cards.Details
VASCO Data Security International reported that revenues for the third quarter increased 41% to $18.7 million. Net income rose 88% to $3.3 million. The Company also reports that Approximately 2.9 million “Digipasses” were shipped in the third quarter, an increase of 60% from 3Q/05. VASCO also won 381 new customers in the quarter including 29 U.S. banks. The Company also launched “Digipass Smart Pack” and became the first company to receive full Belgian “EPCI Certification for Digipass 810.” The firm says revenue growth of 35% to 45% for the full-year 2006 over full-year 2005 is reaffirmed and remains unchanged from prior guidance. VASCO has delivered over 28 million “Digipass” worldwide. For complete details on VASCO’s third quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).Details
The “Debt Counselors Annual U.K. Debt Survey” reveals that credit card debt is the biggest contributory factor towards serious debt in the country. According to the survey, more than 91% of people seeking help for their debt problems owe money on credit cards. Store cards also take the blame, contributing to 41% of serious debt cases. Credit Action reports that total credit card debt in the U.K. stood at GBP 55.4 billion in August, and according to the British Bankers Association the proportion of credit card balances bearing interest in July was 74.6%.Details
The National Federation of SubPostmasters has joined with RBS and NatWest to install free-to-use cash machines in the UK’s poorest
communities. The Federation is approaching subpostmasters in deprived
areas to see if they would agree to have a free-to-use RBS or NatWest
machine installed. The RBS Group, which includes NatWest, has initially
earmarked 100 cash machines for sub post offices out of 300 planned in
total. The RBS Group is already the largest provider of free-to-use cash
machines in the UK, with a network of more than 6,500.
eFunds International is working with LINK Interchange Network to provide the core functionality for the new “Faster Payments Service,” that will deliver real-time funds transfer from one bank account to another. Due for completion in 2007, the “Faster Payments” implementation is being overseen by APACS, the UK payments association, which has been developing the specification in response to the Office of Fair Trading Payments Systems Task Force. LINK is developing the core infrastructure in partnership with Voca.Details
Wells Fargo has become the first major U.S. bank to offer
consumer remittance services to China and Vietnam and has expanded its
consumer remittance services to the Philippines. Wells Fargo and Agricultural Bank of China are offering an account-to-account
remittance program. Customers in the U.S. can send up to $1,000 a
day to China for $8. Recipients can claim their funds at more than
31,000 ABC branches and 12,500 ATMs throughout China. Wells Fargo and Industrial and Commercial Bank of Vietnam also are offering an account-to-account remittance program. Customers in the U.S. can send up to $3,000 a day to Vietnam for $8. Incombank gives recipients an opportunity to claim their funds at more than 700 branches and 400 ATMs throughout Vietnam. In addition to Wells Fargo’s Philippines “ATM
Remittance Account,” Wells Fargo and the Bank of Philippine Islands are
offering an account-to-account remittance program. Customers in the U.S. can send the Philippine Peso equivalent of up to $3,000 a day to the Philippines for $5. Recipients can claim their funds at more than 700 BPI branches and 1,300 ATMs throughout the Philippines.
APACS released its latest report into transparency and responsibility in the credit card industry. The “Sharing Best Practice” report says over the past year the industry has focused its efforts on improving the information available to customers to help them make responsible borrowing decisions. Industry initiatives over the last year include: extending the idea of the “Summary Box” first introduced in 2003 the introduction of standard terminology in the “Summary Box”; an agreement to increase data sharing; launch of the industry’s “Best Practice Guidelines”; and, launch of the APACS consumer advice series.Details
Citibank India released key findings of its latest seven-country Asia-Pacific credit card consumer research study. Among findings: almost 75% of cardholders in India have more than one card and a little
over a third have more than one plastic from the same institution. The average cardholder in India uses their credit card 3.1 times in the
average week. More than 55% of card users still use cash/debit cards more than credit cards. The top two types of purchases that credit cards are used for in India are clothing/shoes and restaurants/fine dining. Home electronics and travel/airfare or railway tickets are tied for third spot.
Amsterdam-based SMARTRAC announced that its “Pay Pass” inlays obtained a MasterCard “CQM-Certification.” SMARTRAC’s facility, process and products have successfully completed MasterCard’s “Card Quality Management” program audit. With the MasterCard “CQM Certification” and the VISA card certification as “Chip Embedder,” which was completed early this year, SMARTRAC is able to offer the full range of RFID inlay products for the secure payment industry.Details