VISA WAVE

VISA Asia Pacific has made a national roll-out of “VISA Wave” in
Malaysia after concluding a pilot launched in the Klang Valley last April. It is the world’s first commercial implementation of a contactless smart card program that builds on the global EMV smart card standard. Card issuers expect to issue as many as 500,000 “VISA Wave” cards in the next year within the country. Starting in June, “VISA Wave” cardholders will be able to make contactless payments at 4,000 merchant locations that will include convenience stores, quick-service restaurants, cinemas, petrol stations and supermarkets, among others. The “VISA Wave” pilot project involved over 4,000 cards issued by MBF Cards and 150 merchant locations.

Details

Baltimore County SB Chooses Fiserv VISION

Maryland-based Baltimore County Savings Bank chose the VISION unit of Fiserv, Inc. In anticipation of continued growth, BCSB with $765 million in assets and 15 offices in the Baltimore area, will convert its core account processing later this year to the Fiserv VISION system and will gain a Fiserv solution set that includes check processing, Fiserv EFT for electronic funds transfer, IPS-Sendero for risk management, the VISION Data Warehouse and document imaging. Fiserv, Inc. provides information management systems and services to the financial industry, including transaction processing, outsourcing, business process outsourcing and software and systems solutions. The company serves more than 15,500 clients worldwide.

Details

Jan Bankruptcy Filings Fall to a Four Year Low

Consumer bankruptcy filings during January fell to their lowest level in four years, reflecting a 13% decline in year-ago levels. Over the past year, bankruptcy is tracking nearly 4% below 2003 levels, ironically at a time when bankruptcy reforms may finally pass Congress. During January, 99,705 consumer Chapter 7 and 11 filings were made, compared to 114,737 for January 2004. During the fourth quarter, there were 364,313 consumer bankruptcy filings, compared to 393,348 for 4Q/03. Year-to-date bankruptcy filings were 1,552,967. The decline for full-year 2004 is the first drop in consumer bankruptcy filings since full-year 2000.

Monthly Filings Historical
Jan 04: 114,737
Feb 04: 124,719
Mar 04: 152,567
Apr 04: 145,543
May 04: 136,509
Jun 04: 127,742
Jul 04: 133,390
Aug 04: 125,783
Sep 04: 127,664
Oct 04: 133,404
Nov 04: 116,952
Dec 04: 113,957
Jan 05: 99,705
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Details

Federated and May Merger Creates a $4B Portfolio

The $11 billion merger of Federated Department Stores and The May Department Stores Company will create a private label credit card portfolio with more than $4 billion in outstandings, more than double the #2 ranked portfolio. Over the past four years, the Federated and May store credit card businesses have fallen 13.5% and 24.7%, respectively. However, the May portfolio picked up $600 million in outstandings last year with its acquisition of the Marshall Fields portfolio from Target during 2004. The Marshall Fields acquisition effectively wiped out the organic loss in the May private label portfolio. Federated is currently in the midst of its largest credit-mailing program ever with more than 14 million new Macy’s credit cards being issued with the “Star Rewards” loyalty program. Federated also has about $925 million in bank credit card outstandings through its FDS National Bank. (CF Library 11/12/04; 1/6/05)

STORE CARD HISTORICAL
Year Federated May
2000: $2.44b $2.19b
2001: $2.38b $2.09b
2002: $2.23b $1.76b
2003: $2.25b $1.71b
2004: $2.11b $2.25b
Source: CardData Diamond (www.carddata.com)

Details

PDS Enters the Telecommunications Industry

Texas-based Payment Data Systems has signed a multi-year agreement with NII Communications, its first entry into the telecommunications industry. PDS products include IPS*CSRView, a web based application which allows customer service reps to accept and enter ACH or credit card payments taken from their customer over the telephone, IPS*Re-Debit Express, a process for handling and recovering NSF checks and electronic returns, IPS*Credit Card Gateway, a web-based application which allows for uploading/processing and reporting of batch-loaded recurring credit card payments. The anticipated initial transactional value of the agreement is approximately $12 million per year based on current volumes. Payment Data Systems,Inc.,is an Integrated Payments Solution Provider for the processing and management of electronic payments via the Internet, point of sale, or payments taken by Customer Service Representatives or an Interactive Voice Response (IVR). PDS is the owner of the electronic bill payment portal, http://www.bills.com. providing transmittal of electronic payments to thousands of national billers. NII Communications, Ltd.,is a UNE-P CLEC offering local exchange, long distance and internet access services to small and medium business customers, residential subscribers and private payphone service providers throughout the South and West, representing over 73,000 access lines.

Details

RewardsNOW Nabs Heatherington as Chairman

New Hampshire-based RewardsNOW has named Gary Heatherington, former CEO at Cyota and seven-year veteran of MasterCard, as Chairman. Duane Kimball, president of RewardsNOW, said he looks for strong leadership from Heatherington as the company moves aggressively into loyalty program innovations. RewardsNOW is a premier provider of marketing services for the financial industry.

Details

OTI’s EasyPark Tops 160,000 Subscribers

On Track Innovations reports that its “EasyPark” parking payment system has reached more than 166,000 subscribers in 25 cities in Israel. OTI says about 5,000 new “EasyPark” devices are being sold monthly, with 60,000 new “EasyPark” devices sold in 2004, an increase of 82% over the 33,000 devices sold in 2003. Transaction fees from “EasyPark” in 2004 were $325,000, up 78% from $183,000 collected in 2003. With “EasyPark,” drivers park their car, turn on the contactless in-vehicle parking device and display it in their window; when they return to the car, they simply turn off the device.

Details

U.S. Bank and Boston University Launch a Card

U.S. Bank and Boston University have launched a new affinity credit card for the University’s 300,000 alumni, parents and friends. The new Boston University card rewards users with points, low rates and will help fund alumni, student and athletic programs. Boston University is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States, with an enrollment of more than 29,000 students. U.S. Bancorp, with assets of $195 billion, is the 6th largest financial services holding company in the United States.

Details

Exxon-Mobil SpeedPass Renews First Data

The Speedpass Network, a venture of Exxon Mobil, has renewed its relationship with First Data for customer processing services. First Data will continue to provide behind-the-scenes database processing that gives Speedpass Network customers flexibility to manage their accounts and will also provide Speedpass Network with Web hosting services. First Data Corp with global headquarters in Denver, serves approximately 4.1 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers. Speedpass is a touchless payment system that allows customers to make purchases fast, simply and conveniently by linking to a credit or check card of their choice.

Details

VISA Officially Approved in Vietnam

The State Bank of Vietnam has presented VISA International with a license to set up a representative office in the country. Since the first merchant in Vietnam began accepting VISA cards in 1991, annual transaction volume by VISA cardholders visiting the country has grown to reach US$237 million in 2004. The total number of Visa credit and debit cards issued in Vietnam reached 62,000 in the same year, generating US$72 million in transaction volume – a 78% increase over 2003. VISA has launched various initiatives in the last six months to help expand electronic payments in Vietnam.

Details

Tesco Deploys FastLane Self-Checkout

Tesco has installed 285 NCR “FastLane” self-checkout units in 96 UK
stores, the largest deployment of self-checkout in Europe to date.
Self-checkout, which enables shoppers to scan, bag and pay for their
purchases themselves, is being used in Tesco’s Metro (compact stores
located in busy areas), Superstore and Extra (hypermarkets) locations in
England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Details