Asia Pay Hits Record Volume in January

Seattle-based Asia Payment Systems says that Asia Pay reached a major milestone by processing a total of $6.6 million in net retail transactions during January. The company’s proprietary system processes domestic and international debit cards and credit cards using a combination of advanced technologies and rigorous security procedures. Asia Pay is a USA public company with offices in: Seattle, Washington; Beijing and Shenzhen, China; and Hong Kong.


HSBC’s Bank Card Portfolio Tops $22B in Q4

HSBC Finance (formerly known as Household International), reported that its VISA and MasterCard portfolio grew 5.1% during the fourth quarter to $22.2 billion. However, charge-offs hit 7.54% in the final three months of last year, compared to 6.92% in the prior quarter, and 7.03% for 4Q/03. About 10 basis points of charge-offs was attributed to the adoption of the new FFIEC rules in December. HSBC’s 60+ day delinquency rate for its VISA/MasterCard segment dropped to 3.98% from 4.44% in the third quarter and 4.16% for 4Q/03. During December, HSBC Finance sold its $15.6 billion private label portfolio to HSBC Bank. HSBC Finance issues the “General Motors MasterCard,” the “Union Privilege” cards, and the sub-prime “Orchard Bank MasterCard.” For complete details on HSBC’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([][1]).



Sharp Launches a New Restaurant POS System

Sharp has introduced a new POS system for restaurants that offers advanced table management, order tracking, liquor dispensing and an EFT connection without needing to connect a PC. The new “UP-X300” uses a LCD touch-screen and has real-time client/server functionality. The new system is intended for configurations with up to six “UP-X300” terminals. The system can also interface with key hospitality peripherals including Ethernet printers, credit card EFT, scales, kitchen video monitors and barcode scanners. The new Sharp terminal will be available in late April.


Pipeline Data Processing Adds a New Exec

Atlanta-based Pipeline Data Processing has hired Jeffry Beene, formerly with BPS and Genpass Technologies, as Chief Compliance Officer. In this capacity, Beene will be responsible for all operational risk management functions including security, collection and credit underwriting and brings fifteen years of security experience in the transaction processing industry. Mr. Beene is currently the Vice Chairman of the Electronic Transaction Association’s “ETA” Risk and Fraud Management Committee, and is a founding member of the Merchant Acquirers Committee. Pipeline Data Inc. provides integrated transaction processing services for all major credit cards. The Company offers card processing services in three key areas: wireless mobile payment, e-commerce solutions and retail merchant payment. Pipeline Data currently serves over 15,000 accounts.


Credit Manager’s Index Posts a Strong Gain

NACM’s “Credit Manager’s Index” for February shows that the manufacturing sector posted its single largest increase since March 2003, while the service sector showed modest growth, compared to January results. The CMI, a monthly survey of the business economy from the standpoint of commercial credit and collections, was launched in January 2003 to provide financial analysts with another strong economic indicator. The CMI survey asks credit managers to rate favorable and unfavorable factors in their monthly business cycle. The National Association of Credit Management (NACM), headquartered in Columbia, Maryland supports more than 25,000 business credit and financial professionals worldwide with industry services, tools and information.


TNS Expands into Japanese Retail POS

Transaction Network Services has expanded into the Japanese retail POS transactions market with a five-year deal with Japan Card Network. TNS will transport dial-up transactions from terminals in retail outlets, enabling CARDNET to accommodate expanding credit and debit card transaction volumes. The transactions will be transported from CARDNET terminals across Japan to CARDNET’s server at its headquarters in Tokyo. TNS’ secure and private network will route transactions that CARDNET’s network currently cannot process. CARDNET was formed in 1995 by the major Japanese credit card organizations as a credit card authorization data service providing support and services for credit card companies and member stores.


Moneris Card-Enables Six U.S. Universities

Moneris Solutions has inked agreements to provide credit card processing services to six universities in the US. Gonzaga University, Regis University, Temple University, University of Pittsburgh, University of San Diego and University of St. Thomas are now using the Moneris Solutions and infiNET Service Charge Program to allow students and third-party payers to pay tuition and fees with their credit cards. The payer will be assessed a service charge but the student and parents will still have the flexibility to directly pay the university via other no-cost payment options. A joint investment of the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montreal, which have assets in excess of $700 billion, Moneris Solutions serves more than 350,000 North American merchant locations. infiNET’s QuikPAY(R) suite of automated billing, payment processing and eCommerce services are utilized by colleges and universities to improve student services and create efficiencies. In addition, the company’s LoanPAY(TM) suite of automated billing, payment processing and collection automation services are currently used by education finance organizations to serve over 5 million borrowers.


Cards-in-Force May Top 1.5 Trillion This Year

At the end of 2004, Americans carried 657 million bank credit cards, 228 million debit cards, and 550 million retail credit cards in their wallets. At the current rate of growth, the number of payment cards in the U.S. should hit 1.5 trillion by the end of this year. Based on the number of total households, there are now 6.3 bank credit cards, 2.2 debit cards, and 6.4 retail credit cards per household. Fifteen years ago, each household had 3.4 bank credit cards, 0.1 debit cards, and 4.1 retail credit cards.

Year Credit Debit Retail Total
1990: 320 9 350 679 million
1995: 501 40 448 989 million
2000: 538 136 477 1151 million
2005: 672 263 565 1500 million
Source: CardData (



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.


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.


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 (


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)

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 (