A new survey reveals that 26% of consumers are “extremely satisfied” by the overall telephone customer service with credit card companies. Credit card companies also recorded the second shortest wait time at 1.79 minutes. The research for Discover by Creative & Response Research Services found that reaching knowledgeable customer service representatives is “extremely important” to 65% of respondents, followed closely on the heels (64%) of the ease of reaching a “live” person on the phone, and resolving their issues in a single phone call (61%). The survey revealed that 65% of consumers consider a wait time “reasonable” as long as it is less than two minutes. About 73% prefer to contact customer service using a toll-free number. Additionally, 18-34 year old respondents were the most demanding age group across half of the categories that were surveyed.Details
The largest specialty retailer of fabrics and crafts has teamed with Barclays Bank Delaware (f/k/a Juniper Bank) to launch a cobranded “Platinum MasterCard.” The new card offers cardholders five points for every $1 spent at Jo-Ann and one point per $1 spent elsewhere. Once a customer earns 1,000 points a $10 “creative cash” card is issued. For every 500 points earned above 1,000 points, customers receive an additional $5 in “creative cash.” For the first purchase or balance transfer, cardholders receive a $10 “creative cash” card. Jo-Ann operates more than 800 stores in 47 states. Barclays has about 40 existing card partnerships in the USA.Details
Toronto-based Dexit, a pioneer in contactless small transactions, has hired Kirchner and Company to review its strategic options. KCI is a boutique, U.S. based investment bank specializing in advising small to mid sized technology based companies on M&A and turnarounds. Dexit Inc., based in Toronto, has pioneered an “instead of cash” electronic payment facilitation service for small transactions (generally under $25).Details
OR-based ATM specialist TRM reported that gross sales for the second quarter rose 2% from the prior quarter to $52.8 million, but down 12% from 2Q/05. The Company says reduced attrition rates and increased withdrawal transactions in the ATM business drove revenues higher. Net loss for the quarter was $4.5 million, compared to a net loss of $1.5 million in the first quarter, and compared to net income of $2.9 million in 2Q/05. TRM says ATM sales increased 1% from the prior quarter to $44.2 million. Withdrawal transactions per unit per month increased 6%, transaction based sales per unit per month increased 7%, and total withdrawals increased 4%. For complete details on TRM’s second quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
TRM GROSS SALES
2Q/05: $60.1 million
3Q/05: $59.2 million
4Q/05: $54.5 million
1Q/06: $51.9 million
2Q/06: $52.8 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Frontier Airlines and Rainbow Rewards Colorado have teamed to add more rewards for cardholders of the “Frontier Airline EarlyReturns MasterCard” credit cards. Rainbow Rewards allows cardholders to earn cash back rewards from hundreds of participating merchants. In addition, every transaction provides a contribution to dozens of local charities through local chapters of United Way. As a result of Frontier’s participation, all Rainbow Rewards members, including Frontier MasterCard holders, can choose to exchange their earned cash for Frontier Airlines “EarlyReturns” miles. With the addition of Frontier Airlines cardholders, Rainbow Rewards will have over 200,000 credit and debit cards in the program. The program currently has over 1,000 local businesses and online national retailers.Details
HSBC Finance reported that second quarter profits for its U.S. credit card business rose 88% to $310 million compared to one-year ago. Managed outstandings of $25.8 billion rose 3% sequentially and 32% year-on-year. HSBC says the increase in net income was primarily due to higher net interest income, higher fee and other income and higher securitization related revenue partially offset by higher provision for credit losses and higher costs and expenses. The issuer noted that its Metris portfolio contributed $38 million of net income during the second quarter. For complete details on HSBC’s second quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).Details
Austin Peay State University has chosen U.S. Bank to provide the banking functionality for the school’s multi-use “Govs Card” identification card, and will operate two ATMs on campus. This new partnership includes a variety of optional U.S. Bank financial products and services including checking accounts with no minimum balance and no monthly maintenance fee for students, faculty and staff. The Govs Card provides official campus identification and a variety of conveniences including use of the student recreation center, fitness center and vending machines, and admittance to residence halls for more than 9,700 APSU students, faculty and staff. U.S. Bank is one of the top student banking institutions in the nation, providing a comprehensive line of student banking products, including campus ID card programs, student loans, Internet banking, U.S. Bank student checking and savings, and Visa Buxx prepaid spending cards.Details
Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access posted second quarter revenues of $133.6 million, an 18.8% year-on-year increase. Adjusted net income was $8.6 million, an increase of 28.8% over 2Q/05. ATM revenues increased 20.7% to $54.6 million. The number of transactions increased 15.4% to 17.0 million. Cash disbursed was $3.01 billion compared to $2.45 billion one-year ago. Average revenue per transaction increased 4.9% to $3.22. During the quarter GCA launched the “Arriva Card” program and signed contracts with major new customers Sycuan Resort and Casino and Thunder Valley Casino. The Company also says that “3-in-1 Enabled QuickJack Plus Redemption Kiosk” installations reached 154 at mid-year. For complete details on GCA’s second quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
The seasonally adjusted Combined “Credit Manager’s Index” for July was virtually all good news with all three of the major indices up on both a month-to-month and a year-over-year basis. The CMI survey asks credit managers to rate favorable and unfavorable factors in their monthly business cycle. Favorable factors include sales, new credit applications, dollar collections and amount of credit extended. Unfavorable factors include rejections of credit applications, accounts placed for collections, dollar amounts of receivables beyond terms and filings for bankruptcies. The National Association of Credit Management (NACM), headquartered in Columbia, Maryland supports more than 25,000 business credit and financial professionals worldwide with premier industry services, tools and information.Details
Atlanta-based sub-prime card specialist, CompuCredit, reported net income for the second quarter of $28 million, down 8% from the prior quarter and less than half of the $66.5 million profit posted in 2Q/05. However, last year’s second quarter included a $44 million gain on the sale of previously charged-off receivables. The adjusted charge-off rate was 8.% in the second quarter, as compared to 8.0% for the second quarter of 2005 and 7.1% in the previous quarter. The 60+ day delinquency rate was 11.5%, as compared to 8.3% for 2Q/05 and 10.6% in the prior quarter. Total managed receivables for the second quarter were $2,669,120,000 a 13% increase compared to one-year ago. As of June 30th, CompuCredit had 3,989,000 accounts, compared to 3,092,000 in 2Q/05. For complete details on CompuCredit’s second quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
COMPUCREDIT NET INCOME SNAPSHOT
2Q/05: $66.5 million
3Q/05: $52.7 million
4Q/05: $ 3.0 million
1Q/06: $30.7 million
2Q/06: $28.3 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Virgin Mobile and NetSpend have teamed to launch the “Stash Prepaid VISA Debit Card” for the youth market. The new card is linked to a Virgin Mobile phone, enabling users to earn free airtime as well as money transfers and wireless text alerts. The new card will be issued by Inter National Bank. Cardholders can load funds onto their “Stash” cards at NetSpend partner retail locations across the country and maintain up to a $10,000 balance. Virgin Mobile phones are available at more than 25,000 stores in the U.S., with “Top-Up” cards available at more than 100,000 locations nationwide. The Company has about four million customers. Virgin Mobile is a joint venture between Virgin Group and Sprint Nextel.Details
New statistics show that the exceptional hot July affected spending patterns of British cardholders. Halifax Credit Cards found that the proportion of credit card expenditure on food and drink for home consumption increased by 7%, with expenditure on eating out
up by 3%. The proportion of credit card spending on home and garden improvement also rose by 5%. However, the level of credit card spending on holidays and travel reduced by 5%. Spending on household items using a credit card reduced as a proportion of overall credit card spending – by 15% and the amount spent on clothing was 7% less.