VISA Creates a Dashboard for VisaNet Data

VISA yesterday unveiled a set of new monitoring tools that provides a real-time dashboard of critical and complex transaction information via graphical displays. “VISA Service Views” enables VISA to track every transaction running through “VisaNet,” and display the data in a myriad of formats, from red-yellow-green traffic indicators, to color graphs, to tickers crawling across the bottom of a desktop computer or PDA screen. VISA says the new tools have been under development for two years. “VISA Service Views” allows real-time alerts about any problems or bottlenecks in the payment network. The new tools have also enabled VISA to move from a reactive approach to system issues to a proactive one – even to the point of alerting members and other processing partners about impending issues with their own networks. In the first year of operation, the new system has enabled VISA to issue 44 proactive calls to member financial institutions alerting them to potential issues that could have affected their payments business. Over the next year, VISA will be extending some of these services directly to its member financial institutions, as well as large merchants and others with a direct connection into “VisaNet.” This will allow members to obtain real-time reporting that matches up with the metrics they choose to gauge their business, and measure how their products are performing in the marketplace.

Details

MBI Offers FSA OTC Electronic Substantiation

Massachusetts-based FSA specialist MBI has developed a payment processing system that works with participating retail chains to electronically substantiate eligible items. When purchasing prescriptions and/or over-the-counter FSA-eligible items, new special coding and MBI’s proprietary payment technology will match the items and automatically approve the transaction with no follow-up request. The “MBI Benefits Card” is currently used by more than 14,000 employers.

Details

Simon GiftCard and NY AG Resolve Disputes

Simon Property Group has inked a consent agreement with the New York Attorney General to resolve the dispute regarding its “VISA Giftcard” program. Simon agreed to modify its inactivity fees and make full disclosure of all fees on cards issued in New York. Attorneys General from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut have also filed lawsuits claiming the “Simon VISA” card program violates consumer protection laws. Simon announced other changes that became effective nationwide on March 1st including extension of the card’s expiration date from 12 months to 18 months; elimination of the 50 cents charge for calls to the customer service line; and the addition of an adhesive label to the front of the card that clearly spells out any charges that may be associated with the card. Simon reported that it sold 6.3 million cards with more than $400 million in load value last year, a 20% increase over 2003. Simon piloted its “VISA Giftcard” in 2002, taking the card nationwide in 2003. (CF Library 1/14/03; 11/17/04)

Details

EWI and PRE Solutions Settle a Patent Dispute

San Diego-based EWI Holdings and GA-based PRE Solutions have resolved their stored-value patent dispute. While the terms of the settlement remain confidential, the parties have jointly dismissed with prejudice all claims in the litigation. EWI is a leading provider of advanced payment processing services to the prepaid and cash payments sectors in the U.S. and Latin America. With EWI’s patented processing platform, the delivery of prepaid services are transacted and settle in real-time. EWI provides its services through its PayGo(R) payment- processing platform over an industry-leading number of POS terminals and other automated dispensing devices. PRE Solutions systems feature real-time product delivery, detailed transaction reporting and Point-of-Sale Activation products and currently serves more than 60,000 retailer locations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

Details

U.S. Bank Adds a Corporate Aviation Fuel Card

U.S. Bank is acquiring the corporate aviation fuel card business of Kansas-based Multi Service and absorbing 100 employees. Multi Service Corp. was established in 1978 to provide specialized credit-card services to the trucking industry, expanding to the aviation industry in 1980. U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems, a division of U.S. Bancorp, offers clients a full suite of solutions for commercial, fleet and B2B payment needs. U.S. Bank was the first to offer corporate bankcard, purchasing and relocation card programs, the first to offer a private-label fleet card and is one of the largest merchant acquirers in the world. Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, with $195 billion in assets, is the 6th largest financial services holding company in the United States.

Details

U.K. Card ABS Remains Stable in Q4

Delinquencies (60+ days) for card-backed bonds in the U.K. remained stable in the fourth quarter ending the year at approximately 2.5%. Thirty day delinquency ended 2004 at 3.9%, 20 basis points below the third quarter. According to Fitch’s “Credit Card Movers & Shakers,” charge-offs ended the year at 4.5%, its third consecutive quarterly decline. Fitch expects charge-offs to drop to 4.2% by mid-year. Unlike the U.S. card ABS, the monthly payment rate has been dropping. During the fourth quarter the MPR declined to 16.7% compared to 17.7% for the third quarter.

Details

Wells Fargo ATMs Now 100% Web-Enabled

Wells Fargo reports that its entire network of over 6,200 ATMs is now Web-enabled. The “webATM(R)” machines feature six language screen options; customizable fast-cash amounts and MyATM(R) receipt preferences; access to 22 financial accounts; the highest level of security; and colorful, large font touch-screens that make it easier to navigate from screen to screen. In addition, all ATM locations have a Talking WebATM(R) machine, offering voice instructions for the visually impaired in both English and Spanish. Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $428 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance to more than 23 million customers. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the United States to receive the highest possible credit rating, “Aaa,” from Moody’s Investors Service.

Details

Egg Profits Rise 27% in the Fourth Quarter

Egg reports that operating profits for its UK business, including the “Egg VISA” card, rose 26.7% to $39 million. The issuer also noted that its new MasterCard product launched in June has racked up more than $267.5 million in card balances to date. During the fourth quarter, Egg opened 119,000 new credit card accounts in the UK. Total outstandings for Egg credit cards increased 18.7% to $6.9 billion. Egg says exit costs from France are within its projected provision. For complete details on Egg’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

EGG 4Q/04

Egg reports that operating profits for its UK business, including the “Egg VISA” card, rose 26.7% to GBP20.4 million. The issuer also noted that its new MasterCard product launched in June has racked up more than GBP140 million in card balances to date. During the fourth quarter, Egg opened 119,000 new credit card accounts in the UK. Total outstandings for Egg credit cards increased 18.7% to GBP3.6 billion. Egg says exit costs from France are within its projected provision. For complete details on Egg’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

Details

Cap One Partners with Books From The Heart

The Heart of America Foundation, through its “Books From The Heart” program, and Capital One have formed a three-year partnership to provide access to reading material for about 200,000 children through its Literacy Celebration. Thirty-seven percent of American fourth-graders read at or below basic levels and are functionally illiterate, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Literacy Celebration will take place from March 1st through March 16th in several communities throughout the country. Books From The Heart(TM) is a national program of The Heart of America Foundation(R), a nonprofit humanitarian network located in Washington, D.C. This is the fifth year Capital One has been involved with Literacy Celebration and the third year it has joined with Heart of America. Over the past four years, Capital One has been responsible for placing nearly 350,000 books in the hands of almost 150,000 children. In addition, Capital One employees have spent more than 8,000 hours reading and distributing books to children. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world.

Details

Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index Launched

Experian and The Gallup Organization have teamed to launch the monthly “Personal Credit Index.” The new metric will monitor consumers’ perceptions of their credit status to include four key areas related to credit: level of debt, monthly payment burden, credit rating and debt extension capability. The baseline “PCI” score is 100 and suggests that people are considerably more optimistic about their future credit situation than they are about their current credit situation. The current “PCI” shows an index of 44 among consumers with annual incomes under $40,000 a year, 107 for consumers with incomes from $40,000 to less than $75,000 a year, and 171 for consumers with annual incomes of $75,000 or more. Experian and Gallup also found that three in four consumers have a credit card and 69% report having a fixed interest rate.

Details