Egg Finds a Buyer for Some of its French Operations

France’s Banque Accord has made an offer to acquire some of the assets of Egg France. In July, Prudential, majority owner of Egg, announced it was exiting the credit card business in France after racking up nearly $178 million on losses for its “la Carte Egg VISA” in the last five quarters. The partial disposal with Banque Accord will result in the re-deployment of approximately 100 of Egg France’s 450 workforce. Banque Accord has 3.5 million clients in Europe including more than 2 million in France, and employs more than 700 people in France, Warsaw, and Lisbon. Banque Accord has a call center in Tours. The Banque Accord and Egg deal involves Egg’s unsecured lending business, which includes 66,000 credit card customers. For the second quarter, Egg produced an operating profit for its British “Egg VISA” card of $35 million versus an operating loss of $29 million for its French “Egg VISA.”

Details

Carnegie Cooke/NetBooth Introduce a Virtual Wallet

NetBooth Corporation, a subsidiary of Brazilian-based Carnegie Cooke, has introduced a system that enables a user to load value onto a card or ticket and utilize it as a virtual wallet. The system accepts cash, credit cards, and other account cards. The “virtual wallet” is designed to enable users and operators to create and manage account based loyalty systems. Other products and systems currently being previewed include Kiosk systems and Instructional Kiosks which permit Internet Vending and Tournament Play Games. NetBooth has developed a number of industrial platforms with some products focusing primarily on Gaming, Hospitality, and Leisure. NetBooth creates and implements quality content and distribution systems to various industries including media and entertainment, sports, gaming, and leisure and lodging industries. Carnegie Cooke is a media and distribution company that has obtained rights with the Brazilian Association of Jockey Clubs.

Details

Humboldt & SPS Ink a Broad Payment Deal

Secure Payment Systems has inked a deal with Humboldt Merchant Services to provide a package of check guarantee, check verification, check conversion, gift and loyalty card services, Web ACH, and payroll cards, to Humboldt sales agents and employees. Secure Payment Systems (SPS) is a leading provider of one of the largest suites of value added services. Humboldt Merchant Services (HMS)is one of the country’s leading providers of credit and debit card services. It is a subsidiary of the First Bank of Nevada in Reno, Nevada. SPS was founded in 1996 by Linden Fellerman, a former employee and President of the Telecredit/ Equifax Check Services subsidiaries.

Details

Terminal Manufacturer Lipman Acquires Dione

Payment card manufacturer, Lipman, has acquired privately-held, UK-based Dione Plc for $69 million. In addition, Lipman will pay up to $33.4 million to Dione if certain financial targets are met in 2005 and 2006. Dione is a supplier of smart card-based payment systems with applications and managed services, posting revenues for the first nine months of this year of approximately $46 million. Dione is expected to provide Lipman with new customer relationships that would add critical mass to its U.K. presence. Lipman says the deal will provide an immediate presence in the South African and Finnish markets as well as provide an easier way to establish a presence in other European markets. Dione is owned by Tamares Capital Foundation, GE Equity and others. Lipman produces card terminals under the “NURIT” brand name.

Details

VISA Doubles Southwest Rapid Rewards Credits

Southwest Airlines and VISA have teamed to offer double credit to “Rapid Rewards” members for using their VISA cards to purchase tickets directly from southwest.com from now through December 15th. Southwest Airlines features click-n-save fare email specials, and has 4 million weekly subscribers. Over half of Southwest airlines annual revenues come from flight bookings online. Southwest airlines is the nation’s greatest domestic carrier in regard to scheduled domestic departures. The airline performs 2,800 flights per day and employs 33,000. It recently received high honors in Inside Flyer magazine’s 16th annual Freddie Awards.

Details

CUs Lead Average Balances in the Second Quarter

In terms of average balance per active account, credit unions again scored first place among all other card segments with an average balance of $2,832. This compares to an ADB of $2,513 for low-rate card accounts, and $2,481 for co-branded accounts, during the second quarter. Sub-prime card issuers recorded a 2Q/03 average balance per active account of $1,755, while non-banks posted an average balance of $2,310 per active account, according to the September issue of RAM Research’s Bankcard Barometer. Low rate APR accounts posted the highest year-to-date volume level of $3,126.

CARD SEGMENTS 2Q/04
ADB VOL
CUs $2832 $3100
Low APR $2513 $3126
Co-Branded $2481 $2753
Non-Bank $2310 $1744
Sub-Prime $1755 $ 948
ABD- average daily balance per active account;
VOL – year-to-date gross volume per active account
SOURCE: RAM Research’s Bankcard Barometer

Details

MasterCard Launches COMMUNITYcash for Non-Profits

MasterCard has partnered with Nietech to enable its cardholders to convert accumulated reward points into cash donations for the nonprofits and schools of their choice. “COMMUNITYcash” will be available immediately to all MasterCard credit card and debit card issuers in the USA. “COMMUNITYcash” utilizes the Nietech Administrative System, a patent-pending payment processing platform, to electronically disburse cash payments to designated and qualified 501(c)(3) beneficiaries and schools. Cardholders earn points when making everyday purchases with enrolled “COMMUNITYcash” MasterCard cards. The accumulated points can be redeemed as cash rewards and directed to up to three nonprofits and/or schools of the cardholder’s choice. “COMMUNITYcash” can be fully customized for any-sized financial institution, and fits with new or existing loyalty rewards platforms. It will be marketed through MasterCard Member Relations and the Loyalty Consulting and Rewards Services team of MasterCard Advisors.

Details

ActivCard Names a New Product SVP and CTO

ActivCard has hired Stacey Soper, formerly with Intraspect Software, as SVP of Products. Mr. Soper’s responsibilities will include managing all of the company’s product definition and development. Additional responsibilities include customer support, customer training, and hardware engineering, to name a few. ActivCard also recently promoted Dominic Fedronic to Chief Technology Officer and hired Dan Graham, an executive from IBM as director of Strategic Planning. ActivCard provides single sign-on and enterprise cards worldwide.

Details

MC Europe Names the 3 Best Co-Brands

The “Special Olympics Advantage Credit Card” from the Bank of Ireland, the “Statoil MasterCard” from SEB Kort of Sweden, and the “The Bonus Card” from Garanti Bank of Turkey, have been selected as winners in the MasterCard Europe “European Co-Brand Partner of the Year Awards.” The three award winners were selected from over 2,500 MasterCard co-brand programs in Europe, and were independently judged, according to CardFlash International. The “Special Olympics Advantage Credit Card” from the Bank of Ireland won as “Best Launch in 2003/4.” This card program raised over one million euros for the Games across the many program initiatives that were implemented, not only helping to contribute to a unique event but also resulting in one of the fastest growing and best known co-brand programs ever to be launched in Ireland. The “Statoil MasterCard” SEB Kort of Sweden, launched in 1997 and re-launched last year, won as “Best Usage/Expansion Program in 2003.” The “Bonus Card” from Garanti Bank of Turkey, introduced in 2000, won the “Long Term Achievement Award.” The card program is Turkey’s fastest growing card, with three million cardholders, 1,000 partner merchants and their 52,000 points of sale.

Details

MBNA Launches a Canadian Starwood Card

MBNA Canada and Starwood Hotels have teamed to launch a co-branded MasterCard next week. The new “MBNA/Starwood Preferred Guest MasterCard” is the first hotel affinity card offered in Canada, according to CardFlash International. In the USA, American Express holds the Starwood co-branding relationship and has also inked a deal for MBNA to issue AmEx cards next year in the USA. Under the “MBNA/Starwood Preferred Guest MasterCard” program, cardholders earn one “Starpoint” for every C$2.00 spent. A welcome bonus of 5,000 “Starpoints” will be awarded on the first retail usage of the card. Customers will earn an additional 5,000 bonus “Starpoints” for every C$10,000 in retail spend, up to 15,000 bonus “Starpoints” each year. Additionally, customers will earn another 5,000 bonus “Starpoints” the first time they charge a stay at one of the Starwood properties to their new credit card. The “Starwood Preferred Guest Program” debuted in 1999 and has been voted “Hotel Program of the Year” since its introduction.

Details

Bank of Louisiana Selects Certegy

Certegy announced a comprehensive agreement to provide credit, debit, and private label card processing, merchant processing, and e-banking services to the Bank of Louisiana. Certegy Inc. is a chief provider of credit card processing services to community banks nationwide. The Bank of Louisiana has an estimated record of 75,000 card accounts and has served most of New Orleans for over 40 years. John Mule, Vice President/Information Systems for the Bank of Louisiana, claims that the decision to establish a partnership with Certegy had to do with the opportunity to reduce costs as well as to improve overall card portfolio performance. Certegy provides numerous services ranging from credit and debit processing to e-banking services to 100 million consumers around the world. The Bank of Louisiana is a financial institution with assets totaling over $95 million.

Details