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

Capital One Cuts More Call Center Jobs

Capital One Financial is cutting 220 positions at its call center facility located in Irving, Texas and transition the vast majority of the work to its Richmond, Virginia facility. The company intends to close the Irving, Texas site by the end of the second quarter 2005. Cap One noted it will maintain its presence in Texas through the company’s Plano location, where more than 1,000 associates support its Capital One Auto Finance operations. In July, Cap One announced it is cutting 1,400 call center jobs, mostly in Tampa. Cap One says it is dropping 1,100 positions at its Tampa facility and approximately 160 positions in Dallas, and 120 positions in Richmond, Virginia. (CF Library 7/22/04)

Details

Kroger Co-Brand Stays Alive with RBS

A co-branded bank credit card with The Kroger Co. has been re-launched for the second time. Royal Bank of Scotland Group has become the new issuer of the card, following U.S. Bancorp which took over in 1999, and Fifth Third Bank which first launched the card in 1993. The new “1-2-3 REWARDS MasterCard” will be launched on October 3rd. The card offers two reward points for every $1 spent in participating Kroger-owned stores and supermarket fuel centers, and three extra points per $1 spent on our own family of quality brands, including “Private Selection” and Kroger brand products. Cardholders also earn one reward point for every $1 spent elsewhere. Every 1,000 points earns a $10 reward to spend in Kroger stores. The rewards will be mailed to customers quarterly. The new MasterCard also doubles as a “Kroger Plus” shoppers’ card. Kroger is supporting the card launch with full-page ads in local newspapers, TV and radio commercials, billboards, in-store promotions and direct mail to 275,000 households in Greater Cincinnati and Dayton. Kroger plans to expand the card program to other markets in 2005. Kroger operates 2,530 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 32 states under various banners. (CF Library 7/29/99)

Details

BofA Enables Customer-to-Customer Transfers

Bank of America is introducing a new feature to its Online Banking, enabling customers to transfer money instantaneously from their personal checking, savings, line of credit, or credit card accounts to other B of A personal deposit account customers. Bank of America executive Sanjay Gupta suggests that parents of college students will find the online transfers to be especially convenient as well as those who need to send money to family or friends within B of A’s coast to coast network. Bank of America serves 33 million consumers in 29 states as well as the District of Columbia. To access the new feature, consumers can register for free Online Banking at the Bank of America Web site (http://www.bankofamerica.com/) and select the “Transfer Funds” option. This service is currently available to customers who have accounts in the Southeast, Southwest, and Midwest. Bank of America has over 11.7 million active Online Banking customers, the most customers in the industry.

Details

Corillian Puts Stojak on its Board

OR-based Corillian has named James Stojak, former Citigroup EVP, to its board of directors. Mr. Stojak has over 30 years of experience with banking and operations. He has held many positions including executive vice president of Citigroup and senior vice president and chief operating officer of Citibank’s Europe and North America business. He was chairman of Citibank in South Dakota, and director of Citibank in Nevada. Mr. Stojak was also an executive for Continental Illinois National Bank and Wells Fargo Bank. Corillian has worked hard to become the chief provider of online banking solutions and Mr. Stojak says that he is looking forward to working with the Corillian management team. Alex Hart, president and CEO of Corillian feels that Jim will be an asset to their organization.

Details

Global Axcess Buys East Coast ATMs

FL-based Global Axcess has completed the acquisition of an independent ATM operator with 111 ATM locations along the east coast for $908,000 in cash. Global Axcess is expected to gain an estimated $ 1 million in annual revenue, $330,000 in annual EBITDA, and over $180,000 annual income from the acquisition. Global Axcess Corporation is an independent electronic financial transaction processing company. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Nationwide Money Services (NMS), EFT Integration Inc. (EFTI), and Electronic Payment and Transfer Corp., the company provides turnkey ATM management solutions, traditional certified transaction processing, terminal driving, and offers products intended for new ATM users.

Details