Canadian Homeowners Not Consolidating Debt

Nearly two-thirds of Canadian homeowners with household debt surveyed last
month say they have never consolidated what they owe, in contrast to a new
research study for Manulife Bank of Canada that confirms they could save
borrowing costs by combining their debts and short-term assets. More than
a third of those homeowners say they only make minimum payments on their
mortgages, credits cards and other loans, according
to the national poll conducted in late September. A typical Canadian
family, with a residential mortgage, loses an average of $1,000 per year
by not effectively managing their debts and short-term assets. Manulife
Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services with Cdn$364
billion (US$297 billion) funds under management.

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DRT Launches a Reloadable VISA Gift Card

Pittsburgh-based Direct Response Technologies and GiftCards.com division have launched a reloadable VISA gift card and five new specialty plastics that have a custom greeting card to match The GiftCards.com greeting card package is the first online Visa Debit Gift Card program to launch an “all inclusive plastic and greeting card in one.” Direct Response Technologies, Inc. is a media and technology firm that provides performance-based results and technology solutions to clients.

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Capital One U.S. Q3 Card Profits Rise 16%

Capital One’s third quarter U.S. credit card profits increased 16% year-over-year and rose 11% sequentially. U.S. managed card outstandings declined about $100 million from the second quarter and were essentially flat with the year-ago quarter. Cap One says a $44 million charge related to the Gulf Coast hurricanes and a $75 million loss related to the recent surge in bankruptcy filings dampened the quarter. Overall, Cap One’s earnings of $491.1 million were flat compared to 3Q/04. U.S. card net income was $481.8 million, compared to $432.4 million in the prior quarter and $414.4 million for 3Q/04. U.S. managed card outstandings were $46.3 billion for 3Q/05 compared to $46.1 billion one-year ago and $46.4 billion in the previous quarter. The managed delinquency rate (30+ days) for U.S. credit cards was 3.86% for the third quarter, compared to 3.60% for 2Q/05, and 4.14% for the third quarter of 2004. The net charge-off rate for U.S. credit cards was 4.69% for the third quarter, compared to 4.90% for the second quarter, and 4.86% one-year ago. Total managed loans for 3Q/05 grew 12% year-on-year to $84.8 billion. Capital One and its subsidiaries collectively had 49.2 million accounts as of September 30th. The Company is currently in the process of a merger with Hibernia Corporation which is scheduled to close on November 16. For complete details on Capital One’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

COF U.S. CARD NET INCOME
3Q/04: $414.4 million
4Q/04: $201.9 million
1Q/05: $458.2 million
2Q/05: $432.4 million
3Q/05: $481.8 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Wright Express Renews Gate Petroleum

Jacksonville-based Gate Petroleum has signed a three-year contract extension with Maine-based Wright Express for its fuel card. Gate, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, operates 150 service stations, many with convenience stores, in seven southeastern states. The sites also accept the Wright Express Universal fleet card. Wright Express is a leading provider of payment processing and information management services for more than 290,000 commercial and government fleets containing more than 4 million vehicles and offers a MasterCard-branded corporate card.

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TAIWANMONEY CARD

After ten months of planning, the Kaohsiung City Government Transportation Project is gearing up to launch the first card to combine transportation, shopping and e-purse with a contactless option. The new “TaiwanMoney MasterCard PayPass” card will be used in seven counties in Southern Taiwan. More than 2,000 cards were recently distributed by Kaohsiung City Government for a trial run.

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Retriever Payment Hires a BAMS SVP

Houston-based Retriever Payment Systems has hired Christine Lee, former SVP of Product Management at Bank of America Merchant Services, as SVP of Market Research and Product Development. Her responsibilities will include: product management, product development and oversight of all vendor management activities. Lee will focus on developing superior products and services to the point of sale, allowing Retriever to expand their market and provide their sales groups with many new options. Retriever provides credit card processing and other point-of-sale payment related services to more than 95,000 merchants processing approximately $8 billion in annual volume.

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First Data to Acquire 80% of KMPS

First Data has agreed to acquire approximately 80% interest in
Korea Mobile Payment Services, a provider of value-added
network services. The acquisition comes on the heels of a recently
announced long-term managed services agreement with DBS in Singapore
and complements First Data’s existing data center operations in
Shanghai. KMPS provides financial payment services including VAN and
terminal interface services to about 250,000 local
merchants with a focus on small and medium-size customers. The acquisition
is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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Welcome Opens London Office

Welcome has opened its new subsidiary in London, UK and has
appointed Michael Jensen as country manager for UK and
Ireland. Jensen has been working for 15 years in the software industry,
selling solutions to the finance industry. Throughout 2004, the value
of transactions made on all payment cards in the UK rose by 11%.
Convenience is driving the growing
popularity of plastic payment. However, the market is mature and highly
competitive. The increased commoditization of payment could soon be
costing UK banks up to GBP 2 billion a year, primarily through rate wars
and imminent fee reforms. The threat of fee reforms is pressuring banks to
reduce the transaction fees charged to merchants, which could result in
a loss of revenues estimated at another GBP 1 billion a year. Welcome
providers payment software that utilizes the full capabilities of the
EMV standard for chip credit and debit cards.

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Harvey Norman & GE Money Launch a MasterCard

Harvey Norman and GE Money have introduced the “GO Mastercard”, a new all-in-one credit card, designed to reward loyal customers. The new card carries no annual fee and offers a full grace period in addition to a rewards program. GE Money and Harvey Norman have a long-standing relationship. Harvey Norman
franchisees have been using in-store finance options to assist consumers
to make their purchases since the ’80s when Gerry Harvey first launched
interest free at Harvey Norman.

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Heartland Expands IN Service Center

Heartland Payment Systems is expanding its service center in Indiana, which currently employs 430, to house up to 1,000 employees. The Heartland Service Center is responsible for supporting all merchant servicing requirements including enrollment, installation, equipment supply, repair and downloading, fraud monitoring and chargeback dispute resolution assistance, and handles 98,000 Heartland sales and customer calls a month in the 24/7 facility. Heartland Payment Systems Inc. provides credit/debit card processing and payroll solutions to more than 106,000 small to medium-sized merchants throughout the United States.

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U.S. Bank Doubles Calif ATM Presence

U.S. Bank has installed 325 ATMs at Walgreens stores across 35 counties in California and in five cities in Nevada for a total of 656 ATMs in California and 116 in Nevada. The new ATMs operate on a Windows-based platform and feature vibrant, attractive graphics and screen designs, and audio-assisted capabilities via ‘text-to-speech’ technology. This platform, known as “ProdigyATM”, provides the foundation for new features such as allowing ATM users to customize and save their personal “fast cash” preferences and true one-to-one messaging and marketing capabilities. U.S. Bancorp, with $207 billion in assets, is the 6th largest financial holding company in the United States.

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