Mio STAR Card Hits the U.S. Market

PRE Holdings has introduced two prepaid general purpose payment cards. The prepaid specialist is offering the “Mio Money Prepaid MasterCard” and the instantly-issued “Mio Now STAR Card.” Both cards offer online statements. The cards carry a $9.95 (average) fee and the reload fees of $4.95 (regardless of the load amount up to $500). The standard monthly account service fee plans range from $4.95 for low usage consumers to a $12 all-inclusive “Value Plan” for those who use their card more often. The “Value Plan” offers free, unlimited POS transactions (PIN or signature), and also includes four ATM transactions per month with no service fee (2 ATM transactions per card, per month). For $2.00 a month, cardholders can join the Allpoint surcharge free ATM network.

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Hypercom Hires a Global Marketing Executive

Hypercom has hired Neil Hudd, formerly with Way Systems, NBS Transaction Systems and NCR, as SVP/Global Product Marketing and brings more than 20 years of experience in the Point of Sale and ATM terminals business. Previously, Hudd held the dual positions of President, Americas Sales and Vice President, Strategic Initiatives for Way Systems Incorporated, a mobile phone-based point-of-sale company he co-founded and served as Founder and President of Veritop, Inc, a mobile payment POS vendor. Hypercom provides card payment terminal, network access device, server and transaction networking solutions.

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VISA’s Check Card Explodes in Ten Years

[Click Here For The Consumer Survey Highlights In PDF Format.][1]

[Click Here For The Stats Sheet In PDF Format.][2]

[Click Here For The Historical Backgrounder In PDF Format.][3]

[Click Here For The Timeline In PDF Format.][4]

[1]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/2005/september/28a1.pdf
[2]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/2005/september/28a2.pdf
[3]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/2005/september/28a3.pdf
[4]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/2005/september/28a4.pdf

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Fuel Prepaid VISA Re-Launched by Ecount

Pennsylvania-based Ecount has reintroduced its “Fuel Prepaid VISA” . The Fuel Prepaid Visa Card is perfect for companies looking to motivate consumers and reward employees. The Fuel Card is customizable, available in any denomination over $25, and can be used to make purchases at any gasoline retailer or other merchant that accepts Visa debit cards.At current gas prices, it is estimated that consumers will spend a minimum average of $1,850 on fuel for the year. Ecount provides customized stored value programs to deliver or receive electronic payments.

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Fair Isaac Acquires RulesPower Assets

Fair Isaac has acquired some assets of RulesPower, a provider of high-performance business rules management systems, to integrate into its “Blaze Advisor,” which will help organizations process and execute complex, high-volume business rules faster and more efficiently. At the core of RulesPower’s advanced business rules execution capabilities is a Business Logic Server driven by the company’s proprietary “RETE III” execution engine. The RETE III engine helps users manage large amounts of data and execute rules faster. RulesPower enables businesses to manage the creation and execution of business logic that drives applications. Fair Isaac provides predictive modeling, decision analysis, intelligence management, decision management systems and consulting services.

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Northwest and AmEx Quarrel Over Sales

Northwest Airlines has filed a lawsuit against American Express TRS seeking compensatory and punitive damages for withholding credit card payments on the day it filed for bankruptcy. The troubled airline says AmEx held more than $63 million in payments made for tickets. Bankruptcy Judge Allen Gropper has issued a temporary restraining order to force AmEx to release the funds. Approval of the TRO is set for early next week. Northwest says 30% of its revenues flow through the AmEx network. The airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 14th.

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Delinquent Accounts Hit a Record in Q2

Based on total dollars past-due, credit card delinquency declined in the second quarter to its lowest level since the second quarter of 2000. However, based on the number of accounts, the figure reached a record high of 4.81% for the April to June period. According to the American Bankers Association gas prices are the likely driver of increase in the number of delinquent accounts. In calculating its latest results, the ABA incorporated revised information on the first quarter delinquency rates. As a result, the credit card loan delinquency ratio based on accounts for the first quarter was revised upward to 4.76% of accounts from the previously reported 4.03%. Based on dollars past due the first quarter figure was revised from 3.83% to 3.76%. The ABA composite ratio of closed-end installment loans increased to 2.22% from 2.03% of all accounts (seasonally adjusted), and not 1.89% as previously reported.

2Q CREDIT CARD DELINQUENCY HISTORY
(based on total dollars outstanding)
1980: 3.25% 1990: 3.46% 2000: 3.54%
1981: 2.86% 1991: 4.48% 2001: 4.13%
1982: 3.03% 1992: 4.19% 2002: 4.08%
1983: 2.81% 1993: 3.86% 2003: 4.51%
1984: 2.80% 1994: 3.06% 2004: 4.33%
1985: 2.88% 1995: 3.58% 2005: 3.60%
1986: 3.83% 1996: 4.61%
1987: 3.28% 1997: 5.24%
1988: 3.44% 1998: 4.57%
1989: 3.06% 1999: 4.10%
Source: American Bankers Association

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VISA ATM NETWORK

VISA is set to celebrate its one millionth ATM at an event in China next month. Twenty years ago VISA had about 13,000 ATMs in six countries in the “VISA PLUS” network. By 1995, the number had increased to 254,000 ATMs in 90 countries. Today VISA has more than one million ATMs in 160 countries. The growth is especially notable in China where VISA will be hosting the “2008 Beijing Olympic Games.” Between March 2004 and March 2005, the number of ATMs accepting foreign VISA cards in China grew by 234% from 10,092 to 33,706 units. VISA also noted that the number of “VISA/PLUS” ATM transactions surpassed one billion for the
first time in 2004, representing more than $87.5 billion in cash withdrawals.

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Heartland Buys Back a Merchant Portfolio

New Jersey-based Heartland Payment Systems announced that it has repurchased a merchant portfolio consisting of approximately 2,400 accounts from Certegy for $3.0 million. The buyback of this portfolio will generate a $5.1 million one-time pre-tax gain during the third quarter. Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. provides credit/debit card processing and payroll solutions to over 100,000 small to medium-sized merchants throughout the United States.

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AE All-Access Pass Program Gets Sticky

Pennsylvania-based American Eagle Outfitters has launched the “AE All-Access Pass” loyalty program, which includes bar code membership number stickers to be attached to credit cards. The new program is free to all AE customers 13 years of age and older. Members start earning credits immediately on everything they buy at AE stores, ae.com and by phone. Every three months members get a reward certificate to spend on AE merchandise based on their prior spending. American Eagle Outfitters is a clothing retailer and currently operates more than 784 stores in 50 states.

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