Metris Profits Return; Marketing Begins

Metris Companies (Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank) returned to profitability in the third quarter after a $70 million loss in the second quarter. One-year ago, Metris posted a $75 million loss. Metris says that positive trends in delinquencies, default rates, payment rates, as well as improved cash and liquidity will enable the issuer to rev up its marketing and partnership engine. During the third quarter, Metris added 118,000 new accounts, ending the quarter with 2.2 million gross active accounts. The managed net charge-off rate for the third quarter was 14.6%, compared to 17.0% in the previous quarter, and 22.9% for 3Q/03. The managed delinquency rate was 9.7% as of September 30th, compared to 9.4% at the end of the second quarter, and 11.1% one-year ago. The Company’s managed credit card loans for 3Q/04 were $6.8 billion, compared to $7.1 billion in 2Q/04, and $8.1 billion as of December 31, 2003. For complete details on Metris’ third quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

Details

CompuCredit Partners with Black Universities

CompuCredit, J.C. Watts Companies, and three historically black colleges and universities have announced a strategic partnership for financial literacy. The memorandum of understanding outlines activities that focus on formulating initiatives that will educate consumer advocates, government officials, and the general public about financial services that are accessible to under-served consumers. The J.C. Watts Companies HBCU Collaborative has enlisted three of its member to conduct research projects and create a financial literacy program for elementary, high school, college, and freshman orientation programs. The partner colleges will receive resources to establish endowments to support continuing education in financial literacy. CompuCredit is also committed to create employment opportunities for college students and post-graduate job placement. The J.C. Watts HBCU Collaborative is a unique partnership formed to encourage and facilitate the use of HBCU faculty, staff, and student expertise to provide services to government agencies and private sector companies. CompuCredit Corporation provides financial services to under-served consumers.

Details

Citigroup Supports Get Smart About Credit Day

Citigroup has supplied 200 company volunteers to participate in the American Bankers Association Education Foundation’s “Get Smart About Credit Day”. Over 200 Citigroup volunteers will join thousands of other bank employees by visiting various colleges, schools, and youth groups to teach students how to manage their finances and build a positive payment history. Presentations will include videos, handouts, and exercises on budgeting, saving, credit use, and how to prevent identity theft. Teenage Research Unlimited has found that teenagers spent $175 billion last year. According to ABA president and CEO, Donald G. Ogilvie, that spending comes without having any financial literacy education. The ABA Education Foundation is a non-profit subsidiary of the American Bankers Association and is committed to providing programs to educate individuals on financial literacy. Citigroup is the preeminent global financial services company with 200 million customer accounts. Citigroup conducts business in over 100 countries, providing a broad range of financial products and services to consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions.

Details

Diebold ATM Product Revenues Climb 11%

Diebold reported third quarter net income of $48.3 million on revenues of $613.4 million. Financial self-service, largely ATMs, posted a 7% increase in revenues to $418.4 million. During the quarter, Diebold had total “Opteva” ATM orders of approximately $110 million, with orders from three major financial institutions in North America of $11.9 million. The Company also inked a financial self-service order from a bank in China totaling $11.7 million, a large financial self-service order in Mexico totaling $4.1 million, a financial self-service order in Brazil for $3.5 million, an “Opteva” order from an eastern European financial institution totaling $2.9 million, a $2.6 million order for “Opteva” from the Middle East, and an Opteva order in Italy for $2.3 million. For complete details on Diebold’s third quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

Details

SCA Announces the Outstanding Individual Award

The Smart Card Alliance presented its “Outstanding Individual OSCA” award to Dan Cunningham, the co-founder/CEO of Raak Technologies and former president/CEO of Gemplus Card International. Mr. Cunningham has demonstrated over 20 years of leadership, vision, support, and commitment to the smart card industry in North America. The alliance also rewarded the Department of Defense’s Defense Manpower Data Center as Outstanding End User Organization, and Axalto as Outstanding Supplier Organization. The DMDC team has bolstered the smart card industry by making great efforts to communicate with other departments and agencies of the federal government. Axalto, a major supplier to the DMDC, has demonstrated leadership in the smart card industry through market success as well as extensive support of the industry. The Smart Card Alliance is a non-profit, multi-industry association, committed to accelerate the acceptance of smart card technology.

Details

BIOMETRIC VISA

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi has launched a new credit card with biometric security and wireless technology. The “Super IC Card Tokyo-Mitsubishi VISA” uses hand recognition technology that allows
special ATM machines to compare blood vein patterns in the hand with the
user’s unique pattern. The new VISA card also contains Sony’s “EDY” wireless technology, which allows for non-contact, wireless transactions to be made at special terminals in subways, vending machines, and many retail stores. The “Super IC Card Tokyo-Mitsubishi VISA” is the first Japanese card that offers a revolving credit feature issued by a Japanese bank under its own name. BTM says it expects to issue one million cards each year with a goal of 200-300 billion yen within the first three years. The Brand Architect Group handled the card’s design.

Details

PRE Solutions Powers Prepaid Wi-Fi Access

Atlanta-based PRE Solutions powers Pilot Travel Centers’ Wi-Fi prepaid product. Pilot Travel Center reached an agreement with Truckstop.net to deploy Truckstop.net’s Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) network at all of its locations. The product would provide service through a broad range of universal wireless Internet access points. PRE Solutions customized a product transaction system that allowed Pilot to sell PINs through their POS terminals and other prepaid products. The new Truckstop.net products were added to the terminal’s menu, which provided an easy selling process for Pilot store clerks. PRE Solutions, Inc. is a chief provider of prepaid transaction processing solutions intended to provide retailers with opportunities for revenue in prepaid products and other services. Pilot Travel Centers, LLC, is the largest interstate travel center operation in the U.S. It operates 260 travel centers in 37 states and employs 14,000 people.

Details

NBS Acquires Cybernetix Microelectronique

Canada’s NBS Technologies has completed the closing of the purchase of
Marseille-based Cybernetix Microelectronique and some related assets
from parent company Cybernetix SA. The acquisition costs including cash
consideration, liabilities assumed and transaction costs is
approximately C$14.8 million. NBS will maintain an operational capacity
in France and a presence in China. NBS will provide a broad combined
portfolio of technology, solutions and expertise directly to our major
account customers and our established global dealer and distributor
network to secondary customers focusing on three main markets: Mobile
Telephony, Financial EMV (Europay MasterCard/Visa) and the Secure ID
markets.

Details

MasterCard Forms an Eastern Europe Region

MasterCard Europe is gearing up for Eastern Europe with a new regional manager and a restructure of the region. Twelve-year MasterCard veteran Bella Stavchansky has been promoted to head the Eastern Europe region. The Europe region has been restructured into four segments: the Central Region, the Northern Region, the Southern Region, and the Eastern Region. The are 18 countries in the Eastern Europe region. At present there are four million MasterCard credit cards and 32 million Maestro cards held throughout Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The MasterCard Europe president is Dr. Alex Labak.

Details

Best Western Travel Card Tops 80K Users

Best Western reported that sales for its pre-paid gift card will likely exceed $6 million by the end of the year. The card, launched in December 2002, has more than 80,000 cardholders. Best Western says the “Best Western Travel Card” has also guaranteed an increased market share for many of its hotels, who have sold more than $300,000 worth of product to their guests through September while earning 10% commission for their efforts. In May, Best Western unveiled the “Travel Card” to the corporate incentive marketplace. The card is accepted universally at 4,100 Best Western hotels in 80 countries. (CF Library 12/4/02)

Details

ASEC M4V Reader Integrates with VF’s Omni 3750

VeriFone is enabling new contactless card payment applications across Warsaw through the integration of a new MIFARE contactless reader into the “Omni 3750” terminal. The “M4V” internal reader module, based on Philips’ “MIFARE” contactless smart card technology, is being used in conjunction with the Omni 3750. The “Omni 3750” terminals are connected to a management centre through GSM and GPRS modems, so transaction data can be sent and authorized quickly and securely. About 400,000 “Warsaw City Card” transactions are currently made in this way each month. The M4V reader has been exclusively developed by ASEC.

Details