British Holiday Card Volume to be Up 20%

Britons are expected to spend GBP27 billion on plastic over the holidays this year, with approximately GBP15 billion on debit cards and GBP 12.3 billion on credit cards. Overall spending on plastic cards reached GBP23.8 billion in October, with GBP10.5 billion on credit cards and GBP13.3 billion on debit cards. October’s figures on plastic cards was the second highest figure recorded, after June 2004, and credit card monthly average expenditure topped GBP10 billion for the first time. The December period has historically been an active period as Britons charged GBP18.6 billion in 2001 and GBP5.3 billion in 1993 on both credit and debit cards, according to APACS.

DECEMBER CARD ACTIVITY
(GBP Billions)
Debit Credit
1993: 2.1 3.2
1995: 3.3 4.3
1997: 5.2 5.5
1999: 7.4 7.3
2001: 9.8 8.8
2003: 12.2 10.5
Source: APACS

Details

Global Links Inks a Major Prepaid MC Deal

NV-based Global Links has received a 100,000 card order from AZ-based Sharing Way for its prepaid MasterCard program. Sharing Way (www.sharingway.com) provides churches and charities a prepaid MasterCard to their members that when used will create contributions to these charities. Global Links Corp. is a diversified company now having operations in Nevada and Arizona, where it holds approximately 1,000 residential lots located in Kingman, Ariz., where it plans to build energy-efficient, affordable senior housing, and is developing affordable housing for the international community.

Details

HOLIDAY VOLUME

Britons are expected to spend GBP27 billion on plastic over the holidays this year, with approximately GBP15 billion on debit cards and GBP 12.3 billion on credit cards. Overall spending on plastic cards reached GBP23.8 billion in October, with GBP10.5 billion on credit cards and GBP13.3 billion on debit cards. October’s figures on plastic cards
was the second highest figure recorded, after June 2004, and credit card
monthly average expenditure topped GBP10 billion for the first time. The December period has historically been an active period as Britons charged GBP18.6 billion in 2001 and GBP5.3 billion in 1993 on both credit and debit cards, according to APACS.

Details

OTI Revenues Climb 34% in 3Q/04

NJ-based On Track Innovations reported that revenues for the third quarter rose to $5.5 million, up 34% from the same period last year, and up 19% sequentially. OTI’s operating loss decreased 26% to $1.1 million from 3Q/03. During the third quarter, OTI completed the acquisition of ASEC of Poland whose software and back office systems for mass transit ticketing and payment solutions enable OTI to provide end-to-end solutions and focus on higher margin products in the growing European emerging markets. Also, Sasol Oil, South Africa’s largest oil company, signed a long-term agreement to implement OTI’s petroleum payment solution in Sasol network to service both the oil company- contracted and bank-contracted fleet market and the private motorist sector. For complete details on OTI’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

PaymentOne Makes the Fast 50

PaymentOne Corporation has ranked as #11 on Deloitte & Touche’s “2004 Technology Fast 50” for Silicon Valley. This is the second consecutive year PaymentOne is recognized by the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50. Rankings are based on average percentage revenue growth over five years. PaymentOne was ranked based on its five-year percentage revenue growth of 9,338 percent. PaymentOne(R) Corporation is the leading online Payment Service Provider (PSP) for digital merchants, premium service providers and broadband operators. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a Swiss Verein, its member firms and their respective subsidiaries and affiliates.

Details

Monogram Settles Home Depot/Lowe’s Suit

Atlanta-based Home Depot, NC-based Lowe’s, and Monogram Credit Card Bank of Georgia, reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit over their credit card practices. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles McCoy gave preliminary approval to the settlement on November 17th. Under terms of the settlement the companies agreed to pay $4 million with $2.5 million going to cardholders through rebates. The lawsuit was filed over the way payments were applied to the outstanding balance. A promotion offered deferred interest for six months on major purchases over $200. However, the payments were applied to the deferred interest balance first instead of the interest accruing balance.

Details

Monthly Payment Rate Remains at 18%+

The average amount that consumers pay each month on their credit cards slipped somewhat in October but remains historically high. The monthly payment rate came in at 18.52% in October, compared to 17.93% one-year ago, 15.98% in October 2002, and 16.25% in October 2001. Bank credit card debt reached $662 billion in the quarter ending September 30th. The monthly payment rate reflects the average amount paid back by all cardholders including those who pay-off their entire balance each month. For complete details on monthly metrics visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

Axalto Joins Visa Smart Breakthrough

Axalto has joined the “Visa Smart Breakthrough” card program. Through the “VSB” program, Axalto will promote the “Palmera VSB Classic” and “Palmera VSB Protect Java” cards to VISA members globally and the “e-Galleon VSB Classic” static/native card to VISA members in Latin America, both competitively positioned. The agreement with Axalto is part of a major ongoing initiative to provide chip products and services that meet the needs of VISA members worldwide. In all, some 100 million issued EMV cards are VISA-branded, over 25 million smart cards have been issued through the “Visa Smart Breakthrough” card program.

Details

Rite Aid Offers the AmEx Gift Card

American Express has inked an agreement with Rite Aid drugstores to offer its customers the “American Express Gift Card.” The American Express Gift Card, available in $25, $50, and $100 denominations, is being sold at Rite Aid’s 3,400 stores nationwide. AmEx says its research shows that offering universal gift cards drives incremental customers into stores. In one survey, 29% of consumers told AmEx that they would consider making a separate trip to a store to purchase an “American Express Gift Card.”

Details

U.S. Cardbase Expands by 20MM in Q3

More than 20 million general purpose payment cards were added to the national cardbase during the third quarter. VISA, which holds a 52% share based on total U.S. cards-in-force, added more than nine million cards to end the quarter with 452.5 million credit and debit cards. MasterCard, with a 37.5% share, added more than eight million credit and debit cards in 3Q/04. American Express grew by 600,000 cards in the third quarter to 38 million. For complete details on card breakouts by network, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

3Q/04 CARDS-IN-FORCE
VISA: 452.5 million
MasterCard: 325.8 million
Discover: 53.7 million
American Express: 38.0 million
TOTAL: 870.0 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

Details

OTI’s Saturn 5000 Cleared for ExpressPay

NJ-based On Track Innovations'”Saturn 5000″ contactless reader has received certification from American Express to support its “ExpressPay” contactless payment program. ExpressPay is an easy-to-use alternative to cash for making purchases at merchants where speed and convenience are important — such as quick serve restaurants, supermarkets, drug stores, gas stations, and corporate cafeterias. The Saturn 5000 is built to allow quick upgrades of existing POS terminals to accept contactless payments, with the reader facing the customer for easier payment experience. OTI designs, develops and markets secure contactless microprocessor-based smart card technology to address the needs of a wide variety of markets.

Details