The Office of Fair Trading has submitted a formal request to credit card issuers to explain how they arrive at the fees they charge for going over-limit and for making a late payment. The OFT is also asking issuers to disclose the amount of revenues they collect from such fees. The OFT began an industry wide investigation into alleged unfair contract terms in March after Parliament’s “Treasury Select Committee” asked credit card issuers to stop overcharging and misleading customers. The “Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999” render unenforceable credit agreement terms relating to default charges to the extent they are disproportionately high in relation to their actual costs to the card issuer.Details
Providian has extended the employment agreement with its CEO, Joe Saunders, to December 31, 2007. In July, Providian entered into an amendment to Mr. Saunders’ Executive Employment Agreement, which extended the termination date of his current employment agreement from December 31, 2004 to December 31, 2005. On October 19, 2004, Providian extended the term for three years from the original termination date. The July amendment discussed various matters including Saunder’s base salary provision, which is to reflect his current $800,000 a year base salary, a revised target bonus provision, reflecting his 200% bonus, and modified termination provisions to conform the methods of calculating change-of-control payments and benefits to be consistent and applicable to other senior executives of Providian.Details
Advanta posted a 40% increase in net income for its business cards during the third quarter, compared to the year ago period. The current quarter’s earnings of $11.9 million reflect a 179 basis point decline in net charge-offs on managed business credit card receivables. Managed charge-offs for 3Q/04 dipped to 6.48% on an annualized basis, as compared to 8.27% for 3Q/03. During the second quarter, Advanta’s charge-off rate was 6.99%. Over 30-day delinquencies on managed business credit card receivables declined 173 basis points to 4.42%, and over 90-day delinquencies decreased 72 basis points to 2.13%, each as compared to 3Q/03. In the prior quarter, Advanta’s over 30-day delinquency rate was 4.80% and the over 90-day delinquency rate was 2.50%. Managed card loans at the end of the third quarter were $3,221,021,000 compared to $2,876,619,000 one-year ago. Charge volume was $2,125,757,000 for 3Q/04 compared to $1,816,195,000 for 3Q/03. For complete details on Advanta’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
ADVANTA’S CARD PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
Period Card Loans
3Q/03: $2.86 billion
4Q/03: $2.98 billion
1Q/04: $3.08 billion
2Q/04: $3.12 billion
3Q/04: $3.16 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
VISA reported that total “Verified by Visa” card volume for the first nine months of this year was $5.4 billion, as the number of transactions increased 200%, compared to one-year ago. More than four million cardholders have signed up for the transaction encryption service to-date. More than 17,000 U.S.-based Internet retailers accept “Verified by Visa.” For participating “Verified by Visa” merchants, nearly three out of every ten dollars spent on VISA cards come from “VbV” authenticated transactions. VISA says the average “VbV” transaction is now $175 compared to $90 for non-“Verified by Visa” transactions, indicating that cardholders who have activated the service feel more confident shopping online. “Verified by Visa” was introduced in 2001.Details
Ingenico announced that Florida-based SIVA Corporation has certified and integrated the “i7770” short-range wireless portable terminal with the “iSiVA” POS system. The “Ingenico i7770” enables
restaurant patrons to pay at the table using an on-line connection to the merchant’s authorization center. It is the first terminal to leverage commercially available “Bluetooth” connection capability in a portable POS device. Bluetooth provides outstanding communication quality, and significant range of approximately 1/2 mile between
the terminal and base. It operates at a very low power consumption rate,
allowing for a high number of transactions without recharging. SIVA markets its products to multi-unit restaurant owners.
Sophia-Antipolis-based ASK has introduced a new universal contactless platform. The new “TanGO” operating system addresses the contact/contactless smart cards needs for mass transit, access control and banking. For mass transit it is adaptable to any regional standards, including Calypso, RIS, VDV Core, ITSO, and RKF. Security features combine an anti-tearing and fast cryptographic calculation based on a DES, DESX or 3DES mechanism. “TanGO” can also clone the legacy cards such as GTML, GTML2 and CD97 to perpetuate existing systems as well as provide the right path to new features. “TanGO” is already available for dual interface and contactless cards.Details
French global smart card specialist, Gemplus, reported that payment microprocessor card revenue for 3Q/04 rose 11% year-on-year, and 18% quarter-on-quarter. However, gross profit for the Company’s financial services unit declined 19%, from $16.1 million one-year ago to $12.9 million. Sequentially, gross profit for the Company’s financial services unit increased 14%. Financial services revenues for 3Q/04 was $67.7 million, compared to $61.2 million one-year ago, and $57.2 million in the prior quarter. Financial services revenue growth was primarily driven by the EMV migration. Microprocessor card revenue growth was partly offset by lower sales in magnetic stripe cards, due to the cannibalization by EMV cards. For complete details on Gemplus’ third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Revenues Gross Profit
3Q/03: $61.2 million $16.1 million
4Q/03: $69.1 million $12.9 million
1Q/04: $56.9 million $ 8.7 million
2Q/04: $57.2 million $11.3 million
3Q/04: $67.7 million $12.9 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Blue Bamboo has unveiled its first product, a GlobalPlatform standards-based, wireless terminal. The new “H50” is priced as low as US$199. The “H50” supports the Java-based “Small Terminal Interoperability Platform.” In addition to abiding by GlobalPlatform standards, the “H50” will be an EMV-compliant terminal. Blue Bamboo expects to achieve certification by Q1 2005. It also supports the “Visa Smart POS” application, and can be utilized in a broad range of solutions. Blue Bamboo’s terminal is portable, and powered continuously with two Lithium-ion cell batteries that are both re-chargeable and replaceable. Blue Bamboo is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shera International and affiliated with Shera Technology, an established
manufacturer of POS terminals and peripherals.
The CO-OP Network has renewed its relationship with First Data Debit Services for “STAR” PIN-secured debit services and expanded its ATM relationship. CO-OP selected STAR Network to complement its ATM network, which facilitates ATM access for CO-OP Network cardholders at terminals carrying the STAR brand. CO-OP will also process most of its PIN-debit point-of-sale volume through STAR. CO-OP Network is the top credit union EFT network in the U.S. financial services industry with over 1,700 credit union members, 19,000 surcharge-free ATMs, 80 million monthly transactions, and 19 million cardholders. First Data serves roughly 3.5 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers, and millions of consumers, making the purchase of goods and services using any form of payment fast, easy, and secure. The STAR Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at over 1.2 million ATM and retail locations across the nation.Details
Tecnologia Bancaria S.A. has selected eFunds’ “IST/Switch” to handle TecBan’s growing ATM/EFT network volume. eFunds'”IST/Switch” is an open platform solution designed to process multi-card payment transactions from any device or network. TecBan currently serves 53
financial institutions throughout Brazil and acquires transactions from
more than 84 million active bank cards. TecBan serves more than 350 Brazilian cities. eFunds’ “IST/Switch” has been successfully implemented at more than 150 customer sites in more than 70 countries.
UT-based iMergent reported that 3Q/04 revenue rose 26% year-on-year to $23.7 million. Compared to the same quarter of 2003, gross profit for the quarter rose 18% to $17.1 million. During the quarter, the company hosted 169 workshops, of which 29 were international. The Company also unveiled the “StoresOnline” product enhancement providing “UPS Online Tools” functionality. On August 16th, iMergent was listed on the American Stock Exchange. iMergent provides eCommerce solutions to entrepreneurs and small businesses, enabling them to market and sell their business product or idea via the Internet. For complete details on iMergent’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Tokyo-based Renesas Technology announced the availability of a trusted reader platform for “FINREAD” card readers. This architecture is based on the Renesas ePOS reference platform, which supports “Visa Smart POS,” the “GlobalPlatform” and EMV standards, and the “STIP,” “FINREAD,” and “JEFF” software and middleware. The Renesas ePOS platform provides a development environment that facilitates the creation and customization of applications that work across a diverse range of payment and identification products, including EFT/POS, terminals, PC-connected payment terminals, PIN pads and embedded readers. Renesas Technology is a joint venture between Hitachi and Mitsubishi Electric that was established in April 2004.Details