Hammer Facilitates SCA/Marvin’s Card Sale

Approximately 49,000 credit card accounts owned by a private label issuer, Marvin’s Building Materials and Home Centers (AL), have been sold through the investment banking firm R.K. Hammer, to Shoppers Charge Accounts. In the first three quarters of 2004, over 827,000 card accounts had been sold through the Hammer firm. R.K. Hammer is a provider of card portfolio sale and purchase advisory services, valuations and fairness opinions, and expert witness testimony/reports. The firm has generated over $367,000,000 in pre-tax profits for clients.

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CITI INTL 3Q/04

Citigroup reported that its international cards business produced third quarter net income of $200 million, an increase of 21% over the year-ago quarter. During the quarter, the issuer added 100,000 net accounts to its customer base, outside North America, ending the quarter with 20.8 million accounts. Charge volume for international credit cards was up 31%, to $13.5 billion for the third quarter. Total outstandings for international cards were $15.1 billion as of September 30th, an 18% gain over one year ago. However, outstandings are down from the second quarter’s $15.7 billion. In Japan, average credit card loans were flat sequentially, but up 9% over year ago figures. In the rest of Asia, credit card loans grew 30% to $8.6 billion. Citigroup holds $5.4 billion in card loans for the EMEA region and $500 million in Latin America, which grew 17% and 25%, respectively. Charge-offs increased during the third quarter as delinquency remained flat for international cards, compared to the previous quarter. Delinquency (90+ days) remained at 1.55% for 3Q/04. Charge-offs increased from 4.24% in 2Q/04 to 5.08% for the third quarter. For complete detail’s on Citigroup’s international cards performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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2005 Poised to be a Banner Year for Biz Cards

A new survey has found that 39% of small businesses expect to increase business credit and debit card usage in 2005. The “Small Business Economic and Spend Outlook Survey” by MasterCard, also found that 70% of small businesses surveyed report holding one form of a business credit or debit card, although 20% report having only a business debit card. MasterCard says small businesses in the Northeast were most likely to use small-business credit and debit cards for more than 50% of business purchases. Small businesses in the West (30%) are more likely to have both a business debit card and a business credit card, while Midwestern companies are most likely to have neither (36%). The MasterCard research showed that, overall, small businesses expect 2005 to be a turning point, as many companies increase revenue, add staff, and grow.

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Experian Buys a Top Consumer Research Firm

Experian has acquired Simmons Research, a provider of syndicated research information on American consumers. Simmons recently ranked as the second fastest growing, privately held research company in America over the past five years. Simmons surveys more than 30,000 individuals annually to produce the “National Consumer Adults (English-speaking and Spanish-speaking), Teens, Kids, Adults and Household Studies.” Each of these reports provides individual and household information on approximately 8,000 brands in more than 450 data categories.

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Duetto VISA Lifts Starbucks Card Reloads by 40%

This week, Bank One/Chase and Starbucks are celebrating the first year anniversary of the “Starbucks Card Duetto VISA.” The card is the first to combine credit card functionality and rewards with a re-loadable stored-value card. Bank One/Chase says that 70% of “Duetto” cardholders use the “Starbucks Card” account, and that nearly 20% of “Duetto” cardholders use automatic reload. Also, the average amount that “Duetto Card” customers reload onto their “Starbucks Card” account is 40% higher than on the original “Starbucks Card.” Additionally, 61% of “Duetto Card” cardholders list the “Duetto Card” as their primary credit card. (CF Library 10/14/03)

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CheckFree’s APS and BillMatrix Partner

CheckFree’s American Payment Systems has extended its joint marketing agreement with Dallas-based BillMatrix. The agreement has enabled each company to offer clients a comprehensive range of payment offerings by providing referrals to the other company. The acquisition of APS by CheckFree Corporation was completed in June 2004. Sean Feeney, executive vice president of CheckFree and general manager of APS, says that the extension of the agreement allows clients to see how outsourcing multiple payment methods can reduce costs, increase cash flow, and improve customer satisfaction. American Payment Systems has over 10,000 retail locations and has been processing in-person payments for numerous billers since 1990. CheckFree Corporation provides financial electronic commerce services and products to organizations worldwide. BillMatrix Corporation provides outsourced payment services for the nation’s largest companies.

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VISA Cardholders Account for 25% of 03 Spending

Last year, international VISA cardholders spent S$1.7 billion in
Singapore, out of a total of S$6.9 billion spent by tourists in 2003.
According to the report, top spenders in Singapore in 2003 were VISA
cardholders from Australia who spent S$337 million, the United States
S$278 million, the United Kingdom S$250 million, Indonesia S$225
million, and, Japan S$169 million. According to a VISA-commissioned Network Economics Consulting Group report, international VISA cardholders spent most on computer products (S$240 million), followed by department stores (S$160 million), jewelry stores (S$138 million), clothing (S$127 million), household goods (S$69 million), and electronic stores (S$66 million).

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AssetExchange Facilitates 3 CU Portfolio Sales

OR-based AssetExchange has brokered the sale of three credit union credit card portfolios to two different buyers. North Jersey Federal Credit Union, an $8.3 million credit card portfolio, was sold to Inficorp and the New Horizons Community Credit Union and the California Preferred Credit Union, with $1.9 million and $1.1 million credit card portfolios respectively, were sold to Elan. AssetExchange is a leading credit card consulting and brokerage firm that offers credit card portfolio brokerage, performance assessments, market valuations, and best practices consulting services.

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Xoom Expands its Money Transfer Service

Xoom has expanded its money transfer service to six South
American countries including Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia. The service is available, via local disbursement partner Latin Express. Xoom’s money transfer service allows individuals to send money from any
Internet-enabled computer to friends, family and businesses in 14
countries Worldwide. Senders can use PayPal, major credit cards or have
funds withdrawn directly from their bank account to fund the money
transfer. Recipients, receive cash in local currency or US Dollars. Xoom
also offers money transfer services to India, the Philippines, the
Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

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Shoppers Charge Accounts Lands Hicks

NJ-based Shoppers Charge Accounts has hired Keith Hicks, formerly with Wells Fargo Financial Retail Services and American General Finance, as AVP for new business development for the private label credit company’s southeast and southwest regions, located in metro Atlanta. Hicks brings over 14 years of experience to SCA, a division of Hudson United Bank and a subsidiary of Hudson United Bancorp. Hudson United Bancorp has $7.8 billion assets and over 200 branch offices in the northeast.

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MasterCard & Shell Launch a Q4 Promotion

MasterCard has teamed with Shell Oil to launch a fourth quarter sweepstakes to drive traffic to Shell-branded gasoline stations and generate increased applications for the “Shell MasterCard from Citi Cards.” Each time a customer uses a MasterCard card at a participating Shell station now through December 31 will be entered automatically into the “MasterCard Sweepstakes at Shell.” Prizes include 2005 Chrysler Crossfires and $1,000 worth of premium gasoline. Shell says it expects to achieve a 50% increase in “Shell MasterCard” applications and booked accounts during the promotion. Shell ran a promotion in the second quarter for its private-label credit card, which netted 130,000 new applications. (CF Library 9/22/04)

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