Global Links and Alliance Card Partner

PTS subsidiary Global Links Card Services, Inc. has reached an agreement with Minnesota-based Alliance Card to provide the FastMax Rewards VISA Debit card to serve card users and merchants with technology that enables tracking of transactions and management of up to 250 currencies. Alliance Card Inc. provides development and deployment of an electronic debit card transaction-processing platform. PTS acquired GLCS in December, 2004, establishing it in the debit card distribution business.

Details

VISA A-P 2004

Retail sales volume on VISA cards in the Asia-Pacific region increased nearly 13% to US$326 billion during 2004. The total number of VISA-branded cards issued rose to 238 million, compared to 152 million five years ago. VISA’s largest market in the Asia-Pacific is Korea which saw an increase of 13% in RSV to US$94.3 billion. Second place Japan increased 10% to US$91.7 billion. Among other major Asia-Pacific markets, RSV rose 63% in India to nearly US$3 billion, 21% in Taiwan to US$22.3 billion, 22% in Hong Kong to US$16.4 billion, 17% in New Zealand to US$7.9 billion and nearly four percent in Australia to US$68 billion. Growth in spending on debit cards continued to outpace that of credit in Asia-Pacific. Last year marked the first time that
global VISA debit volume surpassed credit card volume. VISA debit RSV in
the Asia-Pacific region was nearly US$10 billion, up 23% over 2003.
The number of VISA-branded cards on issue increased in every Asia
Pacific market in 2004. Japan led the way with more than 77 million
cards, an increase of nearly three percent over 2003, but the fastest
percentage growth was in India where the number of cards on issue
increased by 72 percent to 27.8 million.

Details

Global Axcess 2004 Revenues Rise 36%

FL-based Global Axcess reported that revenues for 2004 rose 36% to $13.9 million. Net income increased by 268% to $1.1 million. The branded ATM cash program saw an increase in the number of financial institutions to 66, an increase of 32 in 2004. The number of branded ATM sites increased from 352 in 2003, to over 583 branded sites last year. During 2004, Global Axcess completed the acquisition and integration of three significant ATM portfolios, adding an additional 1670 ATMs to the Company’s network. The Company has also launched a prepaid debit card program known as the “Easy Green Cash Card” solution. For 2005, Global Axcess expects revenue to increase by 44% to $20 million and net income to increase to $1.2 million. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Nationwide Money Services, the company currently owns and operates over 3,500 ATMs in its national network spanning 39 states. For complete details on Global Axcess’ fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

ID Theft is Chief Online Consumer Concern

A new survey shows that 39% of Canadians consider
identity theft to be their primary security concern online.
However, 64% of Canadians surveyed were unable to accurately define the term “phishing.” The study conducted by Maritz Research for AOL Canada, also found that 12% of consumers admitted to clicking through an email link or URL to “confirm” their account information. Regionally, 44% of respondents in British Columbia reported they did not know what “phishing” meant, versus only 29% in Quebec. However, 15% of respondents in Ontario thought phishing was “just a cool way to refer to fishing,” as opposed to only 2% in B.C.

Details

DRFS Inks a Mexican Debit Card Agreement

Direct Response Financial Services, in conjunction with Optimum Pay USA, has entered into a purchase and sale agreement for delivery of 50,000 ATM/debit cards to Poder de Compra, Mexico, S.A. for an initial purchase price of $250,000 plus ongoing revenue share from card activity. Direct Response Financial Services, Inc. is a provider of payment card systems, including a variety of branded and co-branded stored value cards and provides payment solutions for the un-banked and under-banked Latino market. Optimum Pay USA, Inc. offers a simpler, less-expensive alternative to traditional payment process using the Internet to move payments and financial records quickly and cost-effectively.

Details

Issuers Need to Learn from US Mistakes

A new research report says that U.K. card issuers should learn from U.S. issuers and their mistakes. The overriding lesson coming out of the U.S. market is to forget about outright retention and concentrate on securing top-of-wallet position. The Research and Markets report provides data and analysis to detail the size, progression and drivers of the U.S. credit and debit card markets and compares the U.S. market to others. It also explores the U.S. card market to profile innovative products developed to tackle problems facing U.S. issuers.

Details

FTC Settles with 3 Debt Services Scams

The FTC yesterday announced a settlement with three debt services operations that scammed consumers out of more than one hundred million dollars by falsely promising easy debt relief. The companies and their principals will pay more than $6 million combined in consumer redress. The three firms were the National Consumer Council, Debt Management Foundation Services, and Better Budget Financial Services. Complaints against the firms were filed in 2004. The FTC also recently announced a settlement with MD-based AmeriDebt, a credit counseling firm that collected nearly $200 million in hidden fees from consumers across the country. AmeriDebt will shut down its operation and transfer all existing accounts to a third party. (CF Library 3/22/05)

Details

Q Comm 4Q/04 Revenues Soar by 72%

UT-based Q Comm International posted fourth quarter revenues of $12.5 million, a 72% increase over 4Q/03. Total revenues for the full year increased 59% to $40.1 million. The gross profit increased 66% to $10.6 million for 2004. Active terminals increased 104% to 2,325 units and the revenue per active terminal increased 17% to $68 last year. During the fourth quarter, Q Comm entered into a manufacturing relationship with Shera Technology, signed a referral agreement with the McLane Company, and expanded its broker relationships to include Business Payment Systems. The Company expects revenue for the first quarter to be between $14.0 million and $15.0 million. For complete details on Q Comm’s fourth quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

Hypercom to Lose CEO Alexander Today

Less than ten days after losing its CFO, Hypercom will lose its top executive today. The payment card terminal manufacturer confirms that Chris Alexander, who served Hypercom for 12 years and most recently as chairman, president and CEO, is retiring, effective this morning. The Company has named William Keiper, a member of its Board since April 2000, to the positions of chairman, interim president and CEO. A search for a new president and CEO is underway. Alexander will continue to serve as a Board member and Special Assistant to the Board of Directors and the CEO. On March 21st, Hypercom announced the departure of John Smolak, who served as EVP, CFO and Administrative Officer. Grant Lyon was named as interim CFO. In February, Hypercom announced it needed to restate its financial results for the first three quarters of last year due to a lease accounting issue with its U.K. subsidiary. The leases were incorrectly accounted for as sales-type leases, resulting in an overstatement of net revenue for the first three quarters of 2004. Yesterday, the Company said it has concluded an investigation into its restatement. Hypercom says that based upon the investigation conducted during the past seven weeks by outside counsel and members of the Audit Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors, the Committee concluded that there was no misconduct with regard to the incorrect classification of such leases. (CF Library 2/4/05; 3/22/05)

Details

Canadian Smart Card Migration Takes Shape

Canada’s Desjardins Group this week announced it will migrate to smart cards between 2006 and 2008. Interac recently announced it will have the necessary infrastructure to process transactions using smart card technology by the end of 2006. Desjardins expects the first chip transactions to be made starting in 2008, according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International. Desjardins has been an active participant in a national committee created to define common Canadian chip card specifications. The company also tested the Mondex “ecash card” in Sherbrooke in 2000, which provided useful information on chip technology. Last year, more than 500 million direct payment and ATM withdrawal transactions were carried out by Desjardins cardholders in Quebec.

Details

Budget Launches a MasterCard Promotion

Budget Rent A Car System announced the launch of “Easy Money.” Customers who complete a qualifying weekly rental of five paid days or more and pay for the rental with MasterCard(R), will receive a $15 Prepaid MasterCard Gift Card. The promotion runs to May 15, 2005. Budget Rent A Car System, Inc. is the owner and franchiser of one of the world’s best-known car rental brands with nearly 1,900 car rental locations worldwide.

Details