Providian Settles Shareholder Lawsuit

Providian Financial has reached a settlement in a 2001 shareholder class action lawsuit for $65 million. Providian Financial is a leading provider of credit cards to mainstream American customers throughout the U.S. By combining experience, analysis, technology and outstanding customer service, Providian seeks to build long-lasting relationships with its customers by providing products and services that meet their evolving financial needs.


Vital Hires Brown for Client Relations

Vital Processing Services has hired Angela Brown, formerly with VISA USA, as EVP/Client Relations and Business Development. Brown most recently served as executive vice president of Visa U.S.A.’s Acceptance division and represented Visa on Vital’s Board of Directors. In her role at Visa, Brown created an enhanced focus on the acceptance community and introduced key products and services addressing the specific needs of Visa’s acquirer, processor and merchant constituents. Vital Processing Services is a leader in technology-based commerce enabling services. Vital delivers comprehensive, end-to-end payment solutions to acquirers and their merchants to reliably process millions of credit, debit and other card transactions every day.


Centralized Source for CRA Reports Coming

The FTC issued its final rule regarding free annual credit reports under the “Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act” and the “Fair Credit Reporting Act.” “FACTA,” which was enacted on December 4, 2003, amends the FCRA and requires, among other things, that the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies provide to consumers, upon request, a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months. Under the final rule, the nationwide CRAs must establish a “centralized source” for accepting consumer requests for free credit reports (called annual file disclosures in the final rule). This centralized source must include a dedicated Internet Web site, a toll-free telephone number, and a postal address. In addition, like the proposed rule, the final rule provides nationwide CRAs with relief from the capacity requirements of the final rule during times of unusually heavy request volume. The final rule also limits the use and disclosure of personally identifiable information collected through the centralized source. In addition, the final rule requires nationwide specialty CRAs to maintain a toll-free telephone number through which consumers may request a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months.


Prepaid Musicmatch Cards Hit 7-Elevens

Six weeks after announcing it will “Musicmatch Music Download Cards” at retail outlets, Musicmatch and Vesta this morning announced the immediate availability of the prepaid card at thousands of 7-Eleven convenience stores across the country. The new cards are priced at $9.90 for 10 songs. Once purchased, the prepaid cards can be easily redeemed through the “Musicmatch Downloads” service, which currently offers more than 550,000 tracks and the industry’s most robust personalization and music discovery tools. Musicmatch is using AT&T the “Prepaid Web Cents” service. Dallas-based 7-Eleven operates approximately 5,800 7-Eleven stores in the USA and Canada. (CF Library 4/30/04)


New Model Builder Released by Fair Isaac

Fair Isaac Corporation has releases v2.1 of “Model Builder for Predictive Analytics” which lets clients create more accurate predictive scores with performance inference processing. Model Builder’s advanced modeling capabilities support the design and deployment of decision management applications that can be configured to meet the unique needs of different businesses. Clients can quickly define, test, and deploy models to production systems including mainframes without recoding by programmers. Fair Isaac Corporation is the preeminent provider of creative analytics that unlock value for people, businesses and industries.


Americans Slash Revolving Debt in April

Americans hit the breaks in April, paying-off $3.2 billion in revolving credit, the biggest one-month drop in eighteen months. At an annualized rate, consumer credit declined more than 5% during April. This is the second monthly decline this year, following a 60 basis point decline in February. According to revised figures released Monday by the Federal Reserve, at the end of April 2004, Americans owed $750.9 billion in revolving credit, compared to $722.8 billion for April 2003. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the first quarter was $658.9 billion, or roughly 88% of total revolving credit, according to CardData ([][1]). At the end of April, Americans were $2016.1 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

Apr 04 Mar 04 Feb 04 Jan04 Dec03 Nov03 Oct03
GRWTH: -5.1% 6.0 -0.6 13.0 3.3 4.9 4.1
$OWED: $750.9 754.1 750.4 753.0 743.4 743.8 740.5

Sep03 Aug 03 Jul03 Jun03 May03 Apr03 Mar03
GRWTH: 6.8% 3.4 1.4 2.7 7.7 3.4 4.5
$OWED: $737.3 729.1 726.8 729.7 727.9 722.8 724.8

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 6/07/04;
For complete historical data visit CardData (



Amex Opens Points for 850K Charities

American Express this morning announced that cardholders are now able to donate to more than 850,000 charitable organizations in the USA using their “Membership Rewards” points. In addition to redeeming points, cardholders can make a monetary donation on their Card to any of the charities offered through the site. They can also establish monthly or annual donations to their favorite charities through the site’s recurring billing capabilities and can donate to any number of charities at one time. When making a monetary donation through this site, cardholders earn one “Membership Rewards” point for virtually every dollar spent on an eligible, enrolled card.


MasterCard Names Canadian President

MasterCard officially named Kevin Stanton as president of MasterCard Canada. He has served as interim president of MasterCard Canada for the past two months. Prior to being named interim president, Stanton was SVP/Strategy and Market Development of MasterCard Canada. Previously, he spent seven years as VP/Senior Counsel and North America region counsel at MasterCard International. MasterCard’s gross dollar volume for credit cards and off-line debit cards rose more than 15% in Canada during the first quarter to $1.9 billion. MasterCard has 27.1 million cardholders in Canada linked to 20.8 million accounts.


New ClearCommerce Engine Adds More Punch

ClearCommerce has released “ClearCommerce Engine 5.5” which offers new tools to maximize fraud detection effectiveness, simplify solution integration, and strengthen security for sensitive payment data. A core component of the ClearCommerce fraud solution is “FraudShield,” a flexible rules engine that enables implementation of a customized order screening process. Other enhancements include a new user interface that allows system administrators to easily aggregate and apply master negative and positive lists to multiple stores, simplifying management of the solution for merchants with more than one online store and service providers hosting numerous merchant customers; redesigned API, standard integration templates for the leading scripting languages, and new online developers resource that includes complete documentation, sample code, and XML API tutorial to simplify the overall integration process with the company’s fraud prevention and payment processing software, and the “QuickStart” hosted service; and, support for HSM, a secure external hardware device that provides a higher level of data security and more efficient processing for encryption/decryption of sensitive credit card data. ClearCommerce software is used by 80,000 businesses worldwide.


Travelocity Deploying ReD1 Gateway

Travelocity is deploying ReD’s payment processing service, the “ReD1 Gateway”, for the global e-commerce transactions of its 41 million registered users. ReD’s payment gateway will enhance Travelocity’s ability to provide safe, reliable and secure payment methods. Blue-chip clients of ReD’s payment processing and fraud screening services include, GSI Commerce,, PaySystems, RealNetworks, ShopNBC and Netflix, among others. Travelocity’s industry-leading technology and straight-talking, honest information help travelers take more rewarding and more affordable trips.


Prepaid Rush VISA Adds Rush Pay

UniRush Financial Services has inked a deal with Metavante to offer “Rush Pay” to its unbanked “Prepaid VISA” cardholders. Starting today, Rush Prepaid Visa Card holders will have access to Rush Pay’s 24-hour on call accountant, over 20,000 electronic billers, and the ability to pay anyone any time of day with the Metavante electronic payment solution. Metavante Corporation delivers virtually all of the technology that an organization needs to offer financial services. UniRush LLC was created to offer the over 48 million Americans forced outside traditional banking institutions access to an array of basic financial services via the Rush Prepaid Visa Card.