APR CARD DEBT

New borrowing on credit cards rose GBP 100 million in April, compared to a decline of GBP 200 million in the prior month. However, the figure was in-line with the six-month average of about GBP 100 million. The British Bankers Association says overall lending to the U.K. private sector showed a net underlying increase of GBP 16.7 billion (+1.4%) to GBP 1,206 billion. This was weaker than last month’s underlying rise of GBP 23.3 billion, but stronger than the average over the previous six months. The BBA says even though consumer credit increased in line with recent patterns, it followed the previous month’s net repayment. Looking at the two months together, it is clear that consumers were showing little appetite to take on additional unsecured borrowing. Last year, credit card borrowing fell in three separate months, dropping a record GBP 146 million in August. The BBA collects data from Abbey National, Alliance & Leicester, Barclays, Bradford & Bingley, HBOS, HSBC Bank, Lloyds TSB, Northern Rock and The Royal Bank of Scotland.

Details

Average CU Portfolio Sale Inches Upward

The average credit card portfolio sold by a credit union is up slightly this year to $7.5 million, the highest in at least five years. During the first quarter 13 credit unions with portfolios of more than $1 million in outstanding balances sold their portfolios, compared to 22 in 1Q/05. According to NH-based Brookwood Capital total balances sold during the quarter were approximately $97 million, compared to $147 million during the same period one-year ago. The brokerage firm says credit union portfolios are nearly always profitable, but many smaller issuers are trying to find ways to issue a stronger product set while lowering their institutional credit risk and fraud exposure while increasing the bottom line. Brookwood Capital specializes in credit union credit card deals.

CU PORTFOLIO SALES
Year Total Outstandings Average
2002 41 $285 million $7.0 million
2003 59 $419 million $7.1 million
2004 67 $459 million $6.9 million
2005 65 $481 million $7.4 million
1Q/06 13 $ 97 million $7.5 million
Source: Brookwood Capital

Details

Industry is a Silent Winner In Gas Prices

The Merchants Payments Coalition claims that credit card companies reaped millions in extra credit card fees this past holiday weekend due to the higher fuel prices. The MPC says the amount of credit card interchange fees collected has nearly doubled over the past 10 years despite the fact that the technology used to process credit card transactions has become more efficient and less expensive. The group of 20 trade associations says credit card interchange fees, now averaging 2%, unnecessarily cost American consumers billions of dollars every year, making the credit card companies silent winners when gas prices increase. The coalition’s member associations collectively represent about 2.7 million stores with approximately 50 million employees.

Details

Business Payment Systems Goes FASTLANE

Colorado-based FASTLANE has signed an agreement to do business with NY-based Business Payment Systems wherein BPS merchants will get access to add FASTLANE debit services. The alliance provides BPS merchants access to add FASTLANE Debit services to their existing methods of accepting payment as well as additional FASTLANE product offerings such as loyalty and gift card services at the point of sale. Business Payment Systems Inc. is the largest independent sales organization for National Processing Inc. and provides POS debit- or credit-card processing and e-commerce solutions. FASTLANE provides an identification system tied to a consumer’s drivers license.

Details

PayPal to Become Yahoo!’s Online Wallet

Yahoo! has selected eBay’s PayPal to become the exclusive third-party provider of its online wallet. The eBay/Yahoo! multi-year U.S. deal consists of four major components in the areas of search and graphical advertising, online payments, a co-branded toolbar, and the opportunity to explore “click-to-call” functionality. The initiatives will include a testing phase that will take place over the next several months, with a plan to achieve full implementation in 2007. PayPal has 73 million accounts in the U.S.

Details

GPT Names a SVP/Engineering and Operations

New York-based Global Payment Technologies has hired Hal Charych, formerly with Symbol Technologies as SVP/Engineering and Operations. Charych spent almost fourteen years at Symbol Technologies where he was responsible for leading multi-functional teams of engineers in all phases of new product technology development of laser scanning, mobile computing and RFID products, from inception to production. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering and has a Masters of Business Administration from Long Island University – C.W. Post.

Details

Pemco Technologies Inks Two Credit Unions

Seattle-based Pemco Technologies has signed MO-based United Credit Union for card processing and credit/debit awards programs and has signed Illinois Community Credit Union for VISA credit processing and an “Extra Awards” loyalty program. United Credit Union has assets of more than $87 million and 14,600 members. Illinois Community Credit Union holds assets of more than $43 million and 7,900 members.

Details

Word of Mouth Drives Biz Card Applications

A new study has concluded that when it comes to marketing business credit cards the card industry needs to be focused on generating positive word of mouth. Toronto-based The Warrillow & Co. research found that business owners prefer to rely on recommendations from fellow business owners before making any buying decision. Using methodology made famous by Bain consultant Frederick Reichheld, Warrillow calculated each company’s “Net Promoter Score”, which is the percentage of a company’s customers who would be very willing to recommend them subtracted by the percentage of the company’s customers who would be unlikely to recommend them. The second-highest-ranking category on the “Index” is the business credit card with an overall “Net Promoter Score” of 29%. Topping the list was shipping companies.

Details

First Data Healthcare to Use Edifecs

Washington-based Edifecs has entered into an agreement to license its “SpecBuilder,” “XEngine,” “Healthcare Transaction Repository” and “Transaction Manager” solutions to First Data Healthcare Services to enable real-time transaction processing for provider and payer customers. The Edifecs Healthcare Suite, which provides mission-critical solutions for reducing friction in the transaction lifecycle for healthcare and healthcare-affiliated organizations. Edifecs helps organizations achieve interoperability and return on investment by enabling, managing and deriving business value from standard electronic transactions within trading partner communities.

Details

Fifth Third Intros a Private Client Card

OH-based Fifth Third Bank has introduced the “Private Client Group World MasterCard” for its clients in Private Banking, Trust, Wealth Planning, Investment Services, High-Net-Worth Insurance and PCG Brokerage groups. As of March 31, 2006, the Investment Advisors division of Fifth Third Bank, which includes the Private Banking Group, had $33 billion in assets under management, $203 billion in assets under care and $12 billion in Fifth Third Fund Assets.

Details

Travelocity Offers MasterCard SecureCode

MasterCard reported that as of this month, there were more than 3,000 financial institutions enrolled in the MasterCard “SecureCode” program on a global basis. In addition, more than 77,000 merchants are now participating in the program. MasterCard also announced this morning that Travelocity has made “SecureCode” available on its consumer Web site. “SecureCode” requires cardholders to enter their personal code in a pop-up or inline window on their PC before their online payment can be completed.

Details