MBNA has inked a deal to acquire MO-based Nexstar Financial Corporation. Nexstar’s platform for originating and processing home finance products will enable MBNA to offer private label and co-branded home equity loans through its more than 5,000 affinity partners. Under the agreement, MBNA will acquire all of Nexstar’s assets and the management team and all existing employees will join MBNA. The business will operate as a MBNA subsidiary and will retain the Nexstar name. MBNA is currently downsizing its credit card operations and is looking to diversify its lending operations. The Company also unleashed its first advertising campaign this year.Details
Banco Popular has installed seven ATM machines at The New York Mets stadium, marking the largest sports marketing partnership in the Bank’s 112-year history. Popular, Inc, a financial holding company with over $44 billion in assets is the parent company to Banco Popular.Details
Cubic Transportation Systems will provide central computer and clearinghouse integration for the Universal Fare System, a smart card-based fare collection system to connect transportation systems across Los Angeles County. Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc. is a full-service systems integrator of automated fare collection systems and has delivered over 400 projects in 40 major markets worldwide.Details
VISA has decided to permit its members to continue using the PULSE EFT debit network. The network was acquired by Discover earlier this year. MasterCard is still reviewing its policy in regard to the use of the PULSE logo on its cards. MasterCard said it will determine whether the new “Discover/PULSE” organization may continue as a principal debit licensee and as a sponsor of financial institutions into “Debit MasterCard,” “Maestro,” and “Cirrus” programs. MasterCard will also examine whether the new entity’s network logo may continue to reside on the “Debit MasterCard” card. In November, Discover agreed to acquire the PULSE for $311 million. The merger joins “PULSE” and its 4,100 member banks, credit unions and savings institutions with the “Discover Network” and its 4 million merchant and cash access locations. (CF Library 11/15/04; 1/13/05; 1/20/05)Details
The Amateur Softball Association of America has partnered with U.S. Bank to create an affinity credit card program designed to support the ASA and the sport of softball. Supporters can access a variety of cards, which include a rewards program with points that can be redeemed for gift certificates, merchandise, cash, travel and college rewards. The Amateur Softball Association was founded in 1933. U.S. Bancorp is the 6th largest financial holding company in the United States with assets of $195 billion.Details
PassMark Security has completed a $7.7 million investment round led by Menlo Ventures, to allow PassMark Security to expand its technical and marketing teams in order to meet demand for PassMark, an online security solution that addresses “phishing” and fraud scams. PassMark Security develops anti-fraud and authentication solutions for consumer ecommerce with PassMark’s Two-Factor Two-Way Authentication.Details
A new report from the Smart Card Alliance reveals that market forces and technical advances is driving increased interest in using mobile phones for payment at point-of-sale. The report details mobile payment implementations that have been deployed worldwide and the opportunities and challenges for implementing mobile payment in the U.S. The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to accelerate the acceptance of smart card technology.Details
First Data reported this morning that first quarter net income nose-dived by 23% due to the cost associated with the merger of Concord EFS. However, overall 1Q/05 revenues increased 10% to $2.480 billion, compared to one-year ago. Payment Services operating profits fell 4% to $314 million during the first quarter on revenues that grew 7% to $1025 million. Revenue for the Merchant Services segment was up 26% to $935 million with operating profit of $185 million, a 20% gain over the year ago quarter. Card Issuing Services’ revenue was $603 million and operating profit was $109 million, an 8% and 11% gain, respectively. As of March 31st, accounts on file were 409 million domestic and 31 million international. Of the 441 million card accounts on file, 112 million were bank card accounts, 237 million were retail accounts and 92 million were debit accounts. For complete details on FDC’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
FDC NET INCOME
4Q/03: $401.6 million
1Q/04: $483.5 million
2Q/04: $466.0 million
3Q/04: $460.6 million
4Q/04: $465.1 million
1Q/05: $374.5 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Axalto has teamed with Al Kharafi Group of Kuwait to build a smart card plant in Cairo by 2005. Under the deal, Axalto will contribute its know-how in smart card technology and manufacturing
process to enable MAK to manufacture the cards and run the plant in
compliance with the highest quality standards. Al Kharafi manufacturing areas cover a diverse range of products from pre-fabricated homes to brakes on mobility and plastic products. Axalto has 4,500 employees from 70 nationalities and serves customers in more than 100 countries.
Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient and US-based Wave Systems have
formed a strategic alliance to offer an enhanced security solution to
address the trusted computing market. The collaboration will address the organizations’ joint development activities in the fields of smart card technology and trusted computing software. The aim is to leverage the combination of smart card technology and TPM associated software to offer clients in industry and government a comprehensive, flexible and easy-to-use security solution. Both partners are members of the Trusted Computing Group.
Helsinki-based Rahaxi Processing Oy. has named Jyrki Matikainen to the position of Sales Director. Matikainen worked for Lancro Oy., and Akumiitti Oy. Rahaxi currently processes in excess of 1,000,000 card payments per month for an established client base comprised of companies such as Finnair, Ikea, and Stockman. Rahaxi Processing Oy is a subsidiary of FreeStar Technology Corporation.Details