The PELORUS Group will host “Stored Value Spring’ 05”, dedicated to exploring how emerging stored value initiatives will impact prepaid debit card offerings, May 18 and 19,2005 in Atlanta, GA. The PELORUS Group produces authoritative analysis and research reports, provides custom business planning services, and offers timely industry conferences.Details
Bradesco and Rede Comper de Supermercados launched a private label credit card with rewards. The new “CompCard” enables Comper customers to take up to 40 days to make payments or in three installments. There is no annual fee but a minimum income of R$260 is required. Payments can be made through a bank, Comper stores or through Bradesco automatic debit. Comper currently has a 27-store network located mainly at Midwest and South Regions. Bradesco expects to issue about 250,000 cards.Details
Following the departure of other executives, Chicago-based Rewards Network lost its CEO yesterday and is projecting a net loss for the first quarter. The news follows a weak fourth quarter wherein operating revenues and sales dropped 8% driven by declines in restaurant merchant count, dining transactions and the average dining transaction amount. CEO and president George Wiedemann said the Company’s 2004 performance was less than satisfactory. He resigned yesterday. Rewards Network promptly named Ronald Blake as the new president, CEO and director. Blake was chairman and CEO of Willis Stein Telecom Acquisition and previously worked for Ameritech. The Company expects to report a net loss, in the range of $0.16 to $0.22 per share, for the first quarter. Rewards Network says the loss is the result of lower-than-expected revenues; a higher-than-expected provision for losses; and severance costs for executives. For the fourth quarter Rewards Network posted operating revenues of $22.6 million on $82.0 million in sales. As of year-end 2004, Rewards Network had 3.8 million active member accounts, 10,514 restaurants and 11,321 hotels participating in its rewards programs. For complete details on the Rewards Network fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
REWARDS NETWORK HISTORICAL
Sales Restaurants Transactions
2002: $271.8mm 9,681 2,349,000
2003: $320.1mm 10,836 2,746,000
2004: $320.6mm 10,514 2,641,000
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
VISA will become the official card of Hong Kong Disneyland. The park is expected to open in September. It is the first Disney theme park in China and is expected to attract 5.6 million visitors annually. The deal is part of existing global alliance between Disney and VISA that began in 2002. Under the alliance, an integrated marketing arrangement for Hong Kong Disneyland will be launched in the Asia-Pacific region.
There are 7.3 million VISA cardholders in Hong Kong.
Minneapolis-based Digital River has launched a PIN debit card for the global clients of its hosted e-commerce sites. The new “Digital River VISA Electron Card” is targeted at small- to mid-sized clients operating where credit card acceptance is low or withdrawing cash from banks is difficult. The card can be used for making off-line PIN purchases, withdrawing cash, and receiving payments from the company for revenue they generate on their Digital River-hosted e-commerce sites. The card also is accompanied by a “Virtual VISA” card, which can be used to make online purchases. The “Digital River VISA Electron Card” is powered by ePassporte. Digital River has more than 40,000 software publishers, manufacturers, distributors and online retailers as clients. are trademarks, registrations or copyrights of their respective owners.Details
Asia Payment Systems reported that transaction dollar volume increased 16% in February versus January. In terms of the number of transactions, February showed a 9% increase over January. Asia Pay is developing a credit card processing network that provides clearing services to merchants, oil companies, and financial institutions in China, Japan, and other markets of interest in Asia.Details
Charge-offs among card-backed securities dropped again in February and remain well below year-ago levels. However, delinquency (60+ days) slipped upwards for prime ABS card portfolios. Sub-prime delinquency (60+ days) dropped for the fourth consecutive month. Prime charge-offs declined 49 basis points from January and are now 69 basis points below February 2004. Sub-prime charge-offs dropped 52 bps in February and are now 269 bps below one-year ago. According to the “Fitch Credit Card Index,” prime delinquency (60+ days) edged up to 2.96% in February but remain 42 bps lower than February 2004. Sub-prime delinquency (60+days) declined to 7.73%, the lowest level since October 2001. The monthly payment rate declined slightly in February to 17.64% and the yield declined 37 bps from January to 16.27%.
ABS CHARGE-OFF HISTORICAL
Month Prime Sub-Prime
Feb 04: 6.45% 16.63%
Jan 05: 6.25% 14.46%
Feb 05: 5.76% 13.94%
Source: Fitch Ratings
Bank of Asia has teamed with VISA Asia Pacific to launch the first mobile payment service in Thailand using “Verified by Visa.”
Bank of Asia will be offering “Asia M-Pay” to all its VISA cardholders
who are AIS and DTAC mobile phone users. There are currently around
500,000 Bank of Asia VISA credit and “VISA Electron” debit cardholders in Thailand. “Asia M-Pay” users can make payments through their mobile phone at participating merchants including DTAC, ThaiTicketMaster.com,
Tohome.com; internet service providers such as CS Loxinfo, Internet
Thailand. Bank of Asia is targeting to extend the service to more than 50 merchants by end of this year. Bank of Asia is a member of United Overseas Bank, and has 127 branches in Thailand. There are currently 238 million VISA-branded cards in the Asia-Pacific region.
The first JCB-branded credit card in China has been launched through Bank of China. The new “BOC JCB Card” is targeted at Chinese business travelers, tourists, students and expects to sign-up at least 100,000 cardholders in the first year. The BOC-JCB partnership began in 1982 with cash advance services and merchant services. In 2002, BOC opened its ATM network to JCB cards. Last year, BOC was granted a JCB license. Recently, the Chinese government granted permission to BOC to issue credit cards in advance of the “Beijing Olympics” in 2008. The new “BOC JCB Card” is denominated in both renminbi and Japanese yen, and is available as a “Standard” and “Gold” card. The card design features motifs of the two country’s traditional performing arts, China’s Beijing opera and Japan’s kabuki. JCB is currently working with other Japanese partners in China to develop new services for JCB cardholders in China such as special deals on mobile phone rental in Japan from NTT DoCoMo. JCB cards are now issued in 18 countries and territories, with 51.6 million cards-in-force.Details
Calgary-based DirectCash Income Fund reports that annual revenues and gross profits increased 46% and 40%, respectively, compared to 2003. The growth is attributable to organic growth in the ATM, debit terminal and prepaid cash card businesses, as well as acquisitions, particularly the addition of 447 ATM’s and 127 debit terminals in June 2003. Growth in 2004 was primarily organic in nature, with organic growth being responsible for 552 new ATM contracts and acquisitions accounting for an additional 30 contracts. The prepaid cash card business grew rapidly in 2004, with a 312% increase in the number of prepaid cash cards loaded. DirectCash raised $56 million in a December IPO. For complete detail on DirectCash’s latest results, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).Details
NY-based Intelli-Check reported that revenues declined last year from $1.2 million to $1.1 million. However, the Company reported a 22% increase in year-over-year sales to $1.4 million. Net loss increased to $6.9 million from $6.5 million in 2003. The net loss in 2004 included $2.2 million in non-cash expenses and approximately $1.3 million in patent-litigation expenses. Intelli-Check offers authentication technology. Its flagship product is “ID-CHECK.” For complete details on the Intelli-Check’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
LG Electronics has adopted the “MasterCard Multinational
Corporate Program” and will covert all of its corporate
cards worldwide to MasterCards. JP Morgan and Scotia Bank will issue the new MasterCard corporate cards for LGE’s U.S. subsidiaries and its
Chile office, respectively. Prior to implementing the MasterCard program, LGE had no system in place to track expenses on a country-by-country basis. The Company has 74 office worldwide.
Other companies in “MasterCard Multinational Corporate Program” include
GE, Dell, Colgate Palmolive, Chevron Texaco, GlaxoSmithKline, and France Telecom.