WaMu/Providian Card Profits Up 16% in Q4

Seattle-based Washington Mutual reports that its acquisition of Providian added $166 million in net income for the fourth quarter. During the quarter, WaMu Card Services added $1.05 billion in managed receivables largely due to the cross-selling of cards to the company’s retail customer base. One year ago Providian posted about $145 million in net income for the quarter. At the end of the year Card Services managed receivables were $19.96 billion, which included a $365 million sell-off of higher risk loans. The 30+ day managed delinquency rate at December 31st was 5.07% of total managed receivables, up slightly from 5.00% at the end of the third quarter. At 7.28%, managed net credit losses as a percentage of average managed receivables were essentially flat with the third quarter. During the fourth quarter, Card Services added $313 million in revenue from sales and servicing of consumer loans and $139 million in credit card fees to the company’s total noninterest income. WaMu acquired Providian on October 1st. For complete details on WaMu’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Providian Net Income Track Record
2Q/04: $ 49.9 million
3Q/04: $ 93.1 million
4Q/04: $144.6 million
1Q/05: $133.0 million
2Q/05: $225.3 million
4Q/05: $166.0 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Elan Signs Bankers’ Bank of Kentucky

The Bankers’ Bank of Kentucky has entered into a marketing agreement for Elan to become the preferred provider of ATM, debit and credit card services. Elan Financial Services provides a complete range of products and services including credit card issuing, prepaid card solutions, ATM, debit card and merchant processing. Through the recent acquisition of Genpass, Elan offers processing services for more than 31,000 ATMs nationwide, supports more than 18 million ATM and debit cards and provides membership in the Fastbank ATM network, which includes deposit-sharing ATM locations.

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RCS Goes to Fiserv PLUS System

Illinois-based Retail Credit Solutions, a full-service provider of complementary solutions for retailers’ private-label credit card programs, has selected the Fiserv “PLUS System” to provide account management processing services. RCS focuses on small to mid-sized retailers that historically have been underserved by the major private-label servicers. Fiserv, Inc. provides information management systems and services to the financial and health benefits industries and reported $3.4 billion in processing and services revenues for 2004.

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New York Times Launches TimesPoints

The New York Times has launched “TimesPoints,” enabling members to register up to three of their credit or debit cards to earn points at thousands of merchants. Points can be redeemed to pay for the cost of a New York Times home delivery subscription, merchandise from The New York Times Store, or gift cards from select advertisers of The New York Times such as Bloomingdales, Apple iTunes Store and Barnes and Noble. The program utilizes two of the largest operators in the loyalty rewards industry, Rewards Network for dining and hotels, and Advantex Marketing International for online shops.

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Gemplus Tweaks 4Q/05 Projections Again

Smart card specialist Gemplus International says it now expects fourth quarter revenues to be about $316.2 million. The revised figure is attributed to a quality issue with a specific chip and overall pricing pressure. It is the second revision in six weeks as the Company seeks to merge with Axalto. Operating margin for the fiscal year 2005 is now expected to be around 7% versus 3% in 2004. This compares with the guidance previously provided of approximately 8%. Gemplus plans to announce its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2005 results on February 9th.

Gemplus Gross Sales Track Record
4Q/04: 242.5 million euros
1Q/05: 193.1 million euros
2Q/05: 236.2 million euros
3Q/05: 247.9 million euros
4Q/05: 262.0 million euros
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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ECHO Plans for a Rapid Bankcard Expansion

Camarillo-based Electronic Clearing House plans to add new personnel and launch a go-to-market strategy to ramp up sales. The changes are being led by ECHO’s new President and COO, Chuck Harris. The Company recently hired Bill Wied, formerly the Director of Software Technology for TransCore LP/Roper, as CIO. ECHO plans to hire four to five new direct salespeople to focus on the card-not-present business. A new SVP of Sales is also sought. ECHO also wants to build a robust third-party reseller network to bolster the Company’s card-present business. Last month, ECHO reported that third calendar quarter revenue grew 21.5% to $15.2 million. Revenue from bankcard processing and transactions grew 23.3% to $11.5 million in the quarter, as the result of growth within the Company’s current customer base as well as from new merchants acquired through enhanced marketing programs. (CF Library 12/8/05)

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NCR Says Q4 Revenues to Dip by 4%

NCR says it expects to report fourth-quarter revenue of approximately $1.71 billion, a decrease of roughly 4% due to foreign currency fluctuations. The year-over-year revenue comparison includes the negative impact of 3 percentage points from foreign currency fluctuations. On a constant currency basis, total company revenue decreased approximately 1 percentage point from the fourth quarter of 2004. Revenue and profitability in the company’s Teradata Data Warehousing business was stronger than anticipated. Despite the negative effect of currency fluctuations, Teradata Data Warehousing and Financial Self Service revenues were only slightly lower than the record fourth-quarter revenue each generated in 2004.

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GOLF CARD

Standard Chartered has introduced the UAE’s first golf affinity credit card. The new “Golf Affinity Gold MasterCard” offers green fee vouchers, exclusive invites to golf events and tournaments in the UAE, complimentary golf tuitions, all year round discounts on golf merchandise and accessories, special golfer’s insurance packages, customized golf holidays and much more. The card, which brings with it a host of holder benefits, will come in two variants – with the first, available until February 28, being a limited edition and bearing the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship logo and the second being a generic Golf Affinity Card. Standard Chartered says about 7,000 people are now playing golf in the UAE.

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IRS Opens Biz Tax Card Payments via OPC

The IRS is now permitting “Form 940” and “Form 941” taxes to be paid this year with general purpose payment cards via Official Payments Corp. The IRS is now for the first time accepting card payments for certain business taxes. Additionally, the IRS has determined that the convenience fee paid or incurred by a business making a tax payment with a credit card can be deducted as a business expense. Official Payments provides electronic payment services for the Internal Revenue Service, 26 states, the District of Columbia and more than 2,000 local government clients nationwide. Official Payments charges citizens a convenience fee for the service. Citizens using credit or debit cards with bonus rewards programs may, depending on their card’s program, earn reward points, airline frequent flyer miles or cash back for paying their taxes and fees.

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TouchMedia Signs on with Peppercoin

TouchMedia has selected the the Peppercoin “Small Payment Suite” to process digital transactions for its 125 retailer locations nationwide. TouchMedia’s retail based multimedia platform allows consumers to preview, discover, download and purchase hundreds of thousands of physical and digital entertainment products. With the launch of paid digital products in 2006, consumers will soon be able to purchase and download songs to their flash drives, MP3 players and other digital devices, and also burn custom CDs and DVDs. Peppercoin offers pay-as- you-go, pre-paid, post-paid billing and subscription purchase plans, provides point-of-sale and online merchants tools to maximize profitability from small payments. TouchMedia is a technology and services company focused on creating, selling and supporting cutting-edge multimedia in-store marketing, promotions and sales systems.

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65% of Consumers Seek Card Debt Reduction

For the second month in a row, the “Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index” survey finds consumers have increased optimism regarding their overall credit situation. Now at 92, the index is up seven points from last month and 18 points from a low of 74 in November. Consistent with their expectations about reducing their debt, 65% of consumers say they are “very likely” to reduce their credit card debt in 2006. Another 19% say they are “somewhat” likely to do that. Other steps consumers are “very” or “somewhat likely” to take in 2006 include checking their credit score at one of the three major credit reporting companies (48%), cutting back on entertainment spending (45%), reading a book or taking a course on personal finances (36%) and among consumers with credit cards, cutting down on the number of credit cards they have (35%).

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Chase Renews and Expands BP Contract

BP has renewed its credit card marketing relationship with Chase including the BP co-brand card and the BP private-label card. Under the terms of the new agreement, Chase will continue to issue the BP co-brand card and will assume responsibility for the BP proprietary card. BP is of one of the world’s largest energy companies. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a global financial services firm with assets of $1.1 trillion and operations in more than 50 countries.

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