GE Consumer Finance is taking a 25.5% stake in Turkey’s Garanti Bank for about $1.5 billion. GECF is buying the shares from Dogus Holding which held 51% of the stock. During the second quarter, GECF formed an alliance with Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo in Spain and acquired a significant stake in BAC International Bank, a privately held retail bank and credit card issuer with 178 branches in six Central American countries. One-year ago GECF acquired Moscow-based DeltaBank, a VISA issuer with more than 103,000 credit cards in-force. During the second quarter, GECF posted a profit of $735 million, a 23% gain over the year- ago quarter. (CF Library 8/12/04; 7/15/05)Details
Visa Cal has completed the implementation of Magic Software’s “iBOLT” business integration platform. Using “iBOLT,” Cal has implemented the infrastructure that links applications in heterogeneous environments, deploying their “Service Oriented Architecture” throughout the organization. Magic Software Enterprises develops, markets and supports software development, deployment and integration technology that enables enterprises to accelerate the process of building and deploying applications that can be rapidly customized and integrated with existing systems. Visa Cal is one of the leading Israeli VISA credit card operators.Details
North Carolina -based Lowe’s Companies has launched an affinity card with Habitat for Humanity International. Launching in Texas, Oklahoma and Western Louisiana, the program will involve 135 Lowe’s stores and 120 Habitat affiliates. Lowe’s customers sign up for the affinity card at no cost, select which local Habitat for Humanity affiliate to credit. Habitat for Humanity International is dedicated to eliminate poverty housing and has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries. Lowe’s is a home improvement retailer with sales of $36.5 billion and has more than 1,125 stores in 49 states.Details
Plastic Now, Mint, and Peoples Trust have teamed to introduce the first co-branded, prepaid MasterCard to feature professional athletes in Canada. In association with the Canadian Football League Players’ Association, the companies will jointly launch eight prepaid MasterCard cards in their “Signature Series” featuring the image and autograph of a star quarterback. The CFLPA card also enables cardholders to accumulate points for every net retail dollar they spend. Points can be redeemed toward authentic autographed jerseys, helmets and official CFLA Pro Players footballs, and experiences with favorite players and contests.Details
The Office of Thrift Supervision has approved the acquisition of Providian by Washington Mutual. Providian Financial Corporation is holding a special shareholders’ meeting on August 31 to vote on the transaction. Assuming Providian receives shareholder approval at that meeting, the transaction should close on October 1, 2005. Washington Mutual is a retailer of financial services WITH assets of $323.53 billion.Details
Taipei-based Cathay United Bank will be the first financial institution in the country to use Fair Isaac’s “Global FICO” score. Last year, Cathay United became the first financial institution in Taiwan to implement Fair Isaac’s “TRIAD” adaptive control technology. “Global FICO” score applies Fair Isaac’s “FICO” credit risk scoring technology to rank-order consumers according to their credit risk. Designed to be consistently scaled across credit bureaus and across national borders, “Global FICO” score has established a global standard for consumer credit risk assessment.Details
Charles Drucker, president, Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions, has been elected to MasterCard International’s U.S. Region Board. Drucker began his career with Fifth Third in 2004, and is responsible for the strategy, sales, product development, relationship management and administration for the Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions division’s three business lines: Merchant Services; Financial Institution Services, which includes EFT Processing and Correspondent Banking; and Card Products. Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions processes over 12 billion ATM and POS transactions per year for more than 1,350 financial institutions. Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company with $102.7 billion in assets.Details
VISA credit and debit purchases for Latin America and the Caribbean increased 38% over the twelve-month period ending June 30th.
VISA’s total sales volume, including purchases and cash advances, surpassed US$258 billion, which is a 29% gain over last year. The number of cards-in-force approached 194 million, a 23% increase over the second quarter of 2004. Over the same period purchase volume with VISA debit cards registered a 48% record growth, surpassing the US$21 billion mark.
The number of VISA and “Visa Electron” debit cards grew to 139 million,
a 22% year-over-year increase for the same period ended June 2005.
TransUnion’s TrueCredit subsidiary has released a new survey showing that 63% of consumers thought it was unlikely they would be victims of identity theft in the next year, while only 35% viewed the threat as real. The survey also discovered 45 percent of respondents thought they would need to spend at least 50 hours or more to resolve the problems resulting from an incident of identity theft. TrueCredit helps consumers protect and improve their credit through a suite of secure and easy-to-use products.Details
IDEA Cellular and HDFC Bank have launched a co-branded credit card
program. The new “HDFC-IDEA VISA” offers up to 8% back on Idea postpaid
bill payment, three “Reward Points” on supermarket, grocery and
gasoline purchases and other value added services up to Rs. 1500 p.a.
Redemption of all reward points are against equivalent Idea talktime,
the Idea postpaid bill. The program will also offer special calling rate
benefits between the new co-branded connection availed of by the HDFC
bank creditcard holder and his existing mobile or landline thereby
facilitating telephony within the customers often called numbers.
IDEA Cellular has a customer base of over 5 million and currently covers
approximately 45% of India’s population. HDFC Bank has a network of 499
branches and over 1200 ATMs across 219 cities.
VISA USA has teamed with ID Analytics to launch an application fraud fighter early next year. VISA will provide to its members an empirically-derived risk assessment score that determines the likelihood of whether applicants are who they claim they are. The new service is a customized version of “ID Analytics ID Score” and will be delivered via VISA Advanced ID Solutions. A joint study by both firms found that Members using the “ID Score” in combination with Issuers’ Clearinghouse Service alerts could realize an incremental lift in identification of fraudulent applications of between 17% and 34%. The “ID Scores” are generated from ID Analytics’ real-time fraud prevention system that is continuously fed with cross-industry identity elements.Details
CCS Ceska spolecnost pro platebni karty a.s., a major provider of fuel cards and related fleet services for business in the Czech and Slovak Republics is being acquired by Advent International. CCS has terminals in nearly 100% of the fuel stations in the Czech Republic.
CCS, which currently employs over 200 people, is the largest single
client of all fuel suppliers in the Czech Republic. Advent International has invested in Oskar Mobil, Intercity, BTC and Synergon. Advent was also an early investor in EUNet, the leading regional automated telling machine network manager.