Cash Systems Signs Wild Horss and Cruise Boat

MN-based Cash Systems has inked casino cash access/ATM deals with CO-based Wild Horse Casino and with a stationary cruise vessel owed by Titan Cruise Lines that will be located in the Caribbean. Finally, the company obtained contracts to provide credit and debit card cash advance services at Golden Dollar, Inc. d/b/a Rounders and Four Sevens Corp. d/b/a Bootleg Benny’s, both located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cash Systems, Inc. has grown from a regional ATM provider to one of four cash access companies serving the gaming industry. Cash Systems’ products include its proprietary cash advance systems, ATMs and check cashing solutions.

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Biometric e-Commerce Portal Contracted

Secured Digital Applications has been awarded its first contract, valued at $921,000, by SNC Associates to develop, implement and maintain a secure business-to-consumer e-commerce portal using the Company’s biometric security technology. In addition to the contract fee of $921,000, the Company will generate annual recurring revenue by receiving a transaction fee for each completed online transaction and from a five-year contract to provide software and hardware upgrades plus system maintenance. The Company’s biometric security technology is based on both fingerprint and face recognition. Secured Digital Applications, Inc. (formerly known as Digital Broadband Networks, Inc.) and its subsidiaries are involved in the development, integration and provision of secured shipping and supply chain management service, sale of biometrics security systems and the development of Web based interactive multimedia content.

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Equifax Launches Credit Watch Alerts

Equifax has launched the first-of-its-kind credit card fraud detection features to its “Credit Watch” credit monitoring product. All current Equifax “Credit Watch” now receive additional email alerts notifying them of balance changes and activity on their credit cards. Alerts also are available wirelessly via text message to user cell phones. One feature, the balance change alert, notifies customers within 24 hours when charge card balances have increased by a specified dollar amount. Users select the dollar amount or percentage increase that when exceeded triggers an alert. Another credit management tool informs “Credit Watch” customers when charge card activity occurs on their credit file after a self-selected period of inactivity.

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Microsoft Signs GlobalCollect in Europe

The Netherlands-based GlobalCollect has signed a contract with Microsoft to provide online non-credit card payment processing services, such as direct debit processing, as well as online bank account validation services for the Microsoft MSN platform in Germany, the United Kingdom and France. GlobalCollect is the only payment service provider able to offer an online real time bank account validity check. This check is performed against continuously updated account information databases and is particularly useful for alternative payments to credit cards such as bank transfers and direct debit transactions. Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. GlobalCollect provides international payment services for non face-to-face businesses including Internet, mail and telephone order.

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Liquid Coated Plastic Coupon Cards Introduced

Arthur Blank & Co. has introduced a range of new, liquid coated plastic coupon cards with the high quality look and lasting value of gift or membership cards. “When consumers receive a plastic card instead of a paper coupon,” said Eric Blank, executive vice-president, Arthur Blank & Co, Inc. “They automatically attach value to the card and tend to save the card in their wallet or purse, therefore, dramatically improving the redemption rate of coupon promotions. Liquid coated cards offer the same look and feel as a credit card, but for a lower cost than the standard overlaminated finish.

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New Service Captures Rewards for Businesses

Portland, OR-based Zevez has launched “RewardWorks” to help businesses systematically earn credit card rewards. By moving invoice payments from checks to reward-rich credit cards, businesses are, for the first time, able to generate profits from their existing accounts payable departments on a major scale. Rewards have become common place for consumers, but used in a limited fashion in the business world. With Zevez, businesses can now capitalize on this untapped asset and produce a new source of earnings without making any major changes. Zevez is systematically capturing Credit Card Rewards for businesses on a massive new scale.

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Providian Rolls-Out a Reader’s Reward VISA

Providian and Bookspan have rolled-out a new co-branded card for members of Bookspan’s more than 35 book clubs. The new “Reader’s Reward” card enables individuals to earn points for dollars spent, which they can use toward the purchase of books and other Bookspan merchandise. Customers will also receive a $25 “free book” reward certificate the first time they use the card. Marketing will include Bookspan channels such as new member welcome packets and club catalogs, as well as direct mail. Bookspan has more than 8.5 million members, and its book clubs include Book-of-the-Month Club, The Literary Guild, Quality Paperback Book Club, Doubleday Book Club, and more than 35 others. Bookspan is a partnership between Doubleday Direct and Time’s Book-of-the-Month Club Holdings.

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Discover Profits Steady as its Portfolio Contracts

Morgan Stanley reported this morning that its Credit Services division, including the “Discover Card,” posted $298 million in pre-tax profits for the quarter ending May 31st, compared to $302 million for the year-ago quarter. Merchant and cardholder fees declined 11% to $467 million, and interest revenue declined 9%. MS says the decline in fees reflected sharply lower credit card delinquencies. Managed credit card loans of $46.8 billion at quarter end were 8.1% lower than a year ago, mainly due to a decline in balance transfer volume and an increase in payment rates. However, MS says that managed net interest income decreased $69 million, as the interest rate spread widened 28 basis points to 9.06% from a year ago, as a lower cost of funds more than offset a lower yield. Total transaction volume increased 1.6% to $24.4 billion. The account base contracted during the second quarter by 0.9% year-over-year, down 400,000 accounts since the prior quarter. Active accounts declined nearly 9% from 2Q/03 to 19.9 million. The credit card net charge-off rate was 6.48%, 2 basis points lower than a year ago, but up 17 basis points from the prior quarter. The over-30-day-delinquency rate declined 133 basis points from 2Q/03 to 4.88%, and the over-90-day-delinquency rate declined 61 basis points over the same period to 2.40%. During the quarter, Discover enrolled 294,000 new merchants, a new quarterly record. For complete details on Discover’s second quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

DISCOVER CARD PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
2Q/03* 3Q/03* 4Q/03* 1Q/04* 2Q/04* Y/Y CHNG
Outstandings: $50.9b $50.0b $48.4b $47.3b $46.8b -8.1%
Volume: $24.0b $24.8b $23.0b $24.2b $24.4b +1.6%
Accounts: 46.4m 46.3m 46.1m 45.9m 46.0m -0.9%
Actives: 21.8m 21.3m 20.8m 20.3m 19.9m -8.7%
Chargeoffs: 6.50% 6.90% 6.87% 6.31% 6.48% – 2bps
Delinquency: 6.21% 6.05% 5.97% 5.80% 4.88% -133bps
Yield: 11.97% 11.94% 12.05% 12.20% 11.88% – 9bps
2Q/03 ended 5/31/03; 3Q/03 ended 8/31/03; 4Q/03 ended 11/30/03;
1Q/04 ended 2/29/04; 2Q/04 ended 5/31/04.
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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BofA and Choice Hotels Launch a Co-Branded VISA

Bank of America and Choice Hotels have teamed to launch the “Choice Privileges VISA Platinum” credit card. The new no annual fee card enables cardholders to earn bonus points at almost 3,000 Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion and MainStay Suites brand hotels throughout the U.S., as well as points for everyday spending. Cardholders can earn five points per dollar spent when they use their “Choice Privileges VISA” card to pay for stays at the company’s mid-scale brand hotels. These points are in addition to the 10 points per dollar spent for eligible stays, for a total of 15 points per dollar at Choice Hotels’ mid-scale brands. This enables members to earn enough points for a free night after staying just seven nights at most Choice Privileges locations. The new card also allows “Choice Privileges” members to earn two points per dollar spent for everyday retail purchases. In addition cardholders get 6,000 points when they use their card for the first tim e anywhere. In addition to free nights, “Choice Privileges” points may be redeemed for airline miles/credits with participating airline programs or for gift certificates from more than 100 national and 400 regional retailers and restaurants.

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OLYMPIC VISA

Chang Hwa Bank has unveiled a new VISA card to support the Chinese Taipei Olympics team. The new “Olympic Decathlete VISA” card offers a points-based rewards program. To boost the launch, Chang Hwa Bank is running a special promotion through July 20th. New cardholders will receive baseballs with signatures from the Chinese Taipei Olympic baseball team, plus 3,000 bonus points. Chang Hwa Bank also says cardholders may participate in the “Summer Joy Charge” raffles which offers top prizes of a new Mitsubishi van and NT$300,000 in cash.

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KeyBank Targets the Unbanked

KeyBank has unveiled the “Key Checkless Access” account to provide immediate access to direct deposit paychecks via Key’s nationwide ATM network. This electronic account is an alternative to costly check cashing facilities, providing customers with the convenience of a regular checking account without the hassles of writing checks and balancing a checkbook. Key Checkless Access accepts deposits of non-government payroll checks from employers who offer direct deposit. KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $84 billion.

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Q Comm Lands Tesmer on its Board

Thomas Tesmer, current SVP of ITC Financial Services and former EVP of Front End Systems for Heartland Payment Systems, as joined Q Comm’s board. Tesmer comes to Q Comm with over 25 years in the transaction processing industry and with in depth technical competence in all areas of transaction data processing. He has particular expertise in high-volume transaction applications relating to the electronic funds transfer industry and point-of-sale payments. Q Comm International provides proprietary prepaid transaction processing and information management systems that facilitate electronic recharge or distribution of prepaid products from service providers or their distributors to retail points of sale.

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