Siemens To Continue Support of Lloyds ATMs

Siemens Business Services has secured a two-year extension to its
current contract to manage the support of Lloyds TSB’s 4,200 ATM
machines located across the country. Siemens provides a dedicated “Incident Management Desk” which provides first line support and contributes to the
reduction in engineering calls to all of Lloyds TSB ATM machines
throughout the country. Siemens Business Services maintains 6,500 of the ATMs in the United Kingdom.

Details

Parliament Passes the Bank and Credit Cards Law

The Turkish Parliament has passed “The Bank and Credit Cards Law.”
Under the new rules credit card issuers would be required to base credit
limits on the consumer’s financial circumstances. The total credit card
line cannot exceed double the cardholder’s monthly average net income
for the first year and not to exceed four times the income for the
second year. Overlimit fees are prohibited. Automatic credit
increases are also prohibited. The new rules were driven by a sharp rise
in credit card borrowing and rising defaults. According to the Central
Bank, credit card loans recently hit 233.2 million euros. The number of
credit card holders has topped 23.2 million.

Details

Bi-Directional Cash ATM Introduced

Cardtronics and Info Touch Technologies unveiled a bi-directional cash ATM. The hybrid ATM unit combines a traditional cash-dispensing ATM with a cash-accepting financial services kiosk. A pilot program of the new ATM will be launched in select U.S. markets this spring. Cardtronics will own and operate the new hybrid ATMs with Info Touch providing processing services for all functions other than cash dispensing. All hybrid ATMs will be part of Info Touch’s “TIO Network” and will be branded with Info Touch’s “TIO” logo as well as the logos of Cardtronics and the merchant-retailer. Cardtronics has a nationwide network of more than 25,000 ATM locations as well as 1,000 locations throughout the UK.

Details

Monthly Payment Rates Soar in January

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, soared in January to a record level, approaching 20%. The big increase was primarily driven by higher minimum payments and to a lesser extent by rising interest rates. Among credit card-backed bonds, the monthly payment rate hit 19.97% in January, compared to 18.90% in the prior month and 17.70% one-year ago. According to FitchRatings, the payment rate averaged 18.6% during 2005. Five years ago the monthly payment rate hovered around 15%. FitchRatings also says a growing dependence on short-term teaser rates and low-rate balance transfer offers may also be contributing to the higher MPR.

Monthly Payment Rate
Jan 05: 17.70%
Apr 05: 18.52%
Jul 05: 18.47%
Oct 05: 18.65%
Jan 06: 19.97%
Source: FitchRatings

Details

Financial Data Security a Top Consumer Concern

A VISA Canada survey of consumer attitudes reveals that security of
personal or financial information is a top concern. The results
reveal that security of one’s personal information (59%) comes second
only to concerns about the environment (61%). However, while the safety
of personal information is a concern, the survey also
reveals that Canadians see the protection of personal information as a
shared responsibility. Canadians believe responsibility is
shared between banks that issue debit or credit cards (25 %), the
consumers themselves (18 %), the government (12 %), and payment
card companies (12 %). Compared to the global average (13 %),
Canadians are more likely to cite personal responsibility in protecting
their personal information. To help address some of those concerns,
VISA has joined with the Competition Bureau of Canada, law enforcement,
and other private sector organizations in naming March Fraud Prevention
Month.

Details

Esso and RBC Offer Speedpass with Debit

Customers of Esso and RBC Royal Bank now have “Speedpass” with debit capability to instantly pay for purchases at Esso retail outlets. They point the key tag at the pump or in the store, select the account and enter their PIN and the amount is automatically debited from their
chosen RBC account. Most “SpeedPass” customers link to a payment card. Different colored key tags help customers distinguish between
credit and debit – black for credit and blue for the new “Speedpass” linked to RBC client cards. Speedpass can be used at all participating
Esso-branded retail stations and On the Run stores across Canada.

Details

Hypercom Revenues Up 2% Sequentially

The gap between variable rate credit cards and fixed rate credit cards has widened to 164 basis points. Variable (go-to) rate cards have also saturated the market, now making up 82% of all cards-in-force. Less than five years ago, the number of fixed rate cards outnumbered variable rate cards, according to CardTrak (www.cardtrak.com). Today, variable rate cards carry an average go-to interest rate of 15.25% versus 14.11% for the average fixed rate cards. In February 2005, the average go-to variable interest rate was 12.84% versus 13.25% for fixed rate cards. (The averages do not include introductory or punitive interest rates.)

CREDIT CARD INTEREST RATES
Month Prime Fixed Variable
Feb 05 5.50% 13.25% 12.84%
Mar 05 5.75% 13.32% 13.08%
Apr 05 5.75% 13.39% 13.17%
May 05 6.00% 13.48% 13.45%
Jun 05 6.00% 13.59% 13.61%
Jul 05 6.25% 13.64% 13.84%
Aug 05 6.50% 13.76% 14.24%
Sep 05 6.75% 13.80% 14.49%
Oct 05 6.75% 13.87% 14.64%
Nov 05 7.00% 13.91% 14.89%
Dec 05 7.25% 13.93% 15.20%
Jan 06 7.50% 14.08% 15.53%
Feb 06 7.50% 14.11% 15.75%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com) .

Details

VISA & TORINO

VISA International reports it handled US$9.4 million in POS transaction
volume at the “Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games” venues, including
ticket sales and “Olympic Superstore” purchases. The average
purchase transaction during the seventeen day event was $107, about 40%
higher than that of the previous winter games in Salt Lake City. VISA
says 18% of all purchases were chip transactions and of these,
two-thirds utilized “chip and PIN.” VISA also says international
visitors to the “Games” accounted for 68% of purchases. Additionally,
VISA entered a multi-year global alliance with Turismo Torino to promote
the region as a key travel destination, creating unique programs to
benefit the city’s travel industry and a 7,000-strong merchant community.
At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, VISA posted sales volumes of
US$14.2 million. (CF Library 10/10/00)

Details

NCR Inks First Citizens Bank

North Carolina-based First Citizens Bank has signed a five-year agreement with NCR for exclusive ATM upgrades, replacements and services. The agreement also establishes NCR’s APTRA Edge multivendor software as the platform of choice across the entire First Citizens network. First Citizens Bank operates 339 branches in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Tennessee. Its parent company, First Citizens BancShares, has $14.6 billion in assets.

Details

HSBC North America Promotes Hammersley

HSBC North America Holdings has named Bruce Hammersley to managing director, business development for retail services. Hammersley began his career with the company in 1990 as manager, acquisitions and systems, for the former Household International’s mortgage services operation. He has also served as chief financial officer for Household’s Canada business. Hammersley, a certified public accountant, received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Miami University of Ohio and a master’s degree in finance, marketing and management strategy from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Details