Last week, Starwood Preferred Guest was once again voted “Program of the Year” in both America and Internationally during the “16th Annual Freddie Awards.” The loyalty program also took top honors as “Best Website,” “Best Award” Redemption, “Best Customer Service” and “Best Elite Level.” Starwood has a co-branding credit card relationship with American Express. The “Starwood Preferred Guest” program was born in February 1999. Starwood owns the St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Westin, Sheraton, W Hotels and Four Points by Sheraton.Details
Prudential’s Egg credit card and personal loan business in Europe cut its losses substantially in the first quarter from $27.8 million one-year ago to $8.7 million. The issuer says it managed discretionary expenditures tightly and is still in the process of unloading its credit card business. CardFlash International this morning reported that MBNA and Egg and close to signing a deal. In the UK, Egg posted first quarter profits of $26.6 million, and in France the loss for the quarter reduced to $28.3 million. Egg says it added 148,000 net new customers in the UK during the first quarter. Unsecured lending balances in the UK grew by $421 million to quarter end balances of $8.9 billion. In France, card balances increased $222 million, up 9% on the prior quarter. At the end of the quarter, Egg France had 71,000 cards in issue with 85% of card balances revolving. For complete details on Egg’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Miami-based GlobeTel Communications has hired Anton Romulo, former Philippines Country Manager for VISA International, as their new Philippines Country Manager. Prior to joining GlobeTel, Mr. Romulo was with Visa International as their Philippines Country Manager where he oversaw a portfolio of 1.9 million credit cards and 2 million debit cards issued by 8 member banks. Mr. Romulo will report to GlobeTel’s President, Mr. Leigh Coleman. GlobeTel is an IP solutions/applications based company. Although international carrier termination business is the base and the beginning of the Company’s services, GlobeTel’s goal is to provide strategic advantages to commodity telecommunications based products.Details
VISA Asia Pacific introduced “VISA Wave,” the first-ever VISA contactless
smart card that is fully compatible with global EMV smart card standard.
The first 2,000 “VISA Wave” cards will be issued by MBF Cards in Malaysia
in a trial that runs until August 31st. The pilot involves more than 150
merchant locations in Kuala Lumpur. ‘VISA Wave” is a combi chip card with
both contact and contactless interfaces. Since last year, VISA has
conducted extensive focus group research among consumers between the ages
of 20 and 35 in Malaysia to test the appeal of contactless card products.
The majority of consumers in the research find the concept of contactless
payment appealing. Consumers surveyed expressed an interest in using the
contactless interface of the card for quick and easy payment of
low-ticket purchases. Supermarkets and fast food chains are among the top
retail locations that consumers will use for contactless payments,
according to VISA’s research.
Global Payments has renewed its processing contract with CyberTrans, providing authorization, capture, settlement and BIN sponsorship for credit, debit, and EBT payment card processing. In addition, Global will provide ICT access to its leading-edge, proprietary POS systems for numerous vertical markets, and also to hundreds of its Certified Application Providers for integrated payment services. ICT provides merchant acquiring solutions to the small to mid-tier markets nationwide and specializes in providing merchants and sales channels with superior customer service through a dedicated staff of industry professionals. Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to consumers, merchants, Independent Sales Organizations, financial institutions, government agencies and multi- national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe.Details
MBNA, which has been under criticism for the closeness of its Board to management, announced two new directors this morning. The issuer says the appointments will make seven of its nine Board members “independent” and comes one business day before Monday’s shareholders? meeting. Mary Boies, a partner at the law firm of Boies & McInnis, and Laura Unger, former Acting Chairman of the SEC, have been appointed to the MBNA Board , effective June 1st. Ms. Boies is also the founder and CEO of Mary Boies Software, a publisher of educational software. Ms. Unger, was the former Acting Chairman of the SEC between 2001 and 2002. She also served as Commissioner of the SEC between 1997 and 2001. She currently serves as the independent consultant for independent research at JPMorgan. Earlier this month the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund released a letter to shareholders of MBNA asking them to support its proxy resolution seeking greater board independence. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System also announced this week it would withhold votes from directors at MBNA. (CF Library 4/12/04)Details
Diebold’s “Opteva” bulk note acceptor module is being supported by S2 Systems’ “OpeN/2” platform. S2 Systems’ OpeN/2 platform provides the infrastructure framework for enterprise payments to help transform the customer’s multi-channel experience by leveraging the next generation of self-service technologies. S2 Systems, Inc. is a leading global provider of mission-critical enterprise payment and transaction management solutions for the banking, financial services, retail, telecommunications, utilities and travel & hospitality industries. Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self- service delivery systems, security and services.Details
BellSouth has been selected by Atlanta-based Lynk Systems to provide toll-free long distance services to facilitate dial-in credit card transactions for its customers. Lynk processes transactions initiated by credit and debit cards, checks, and other access cards from merchant point-of-sale terminals, automated teller machines and Web sites. Lynk Systems, Inc. is a proven leader in electronic payment, cash dispensing and e-commerce services. BellSouth Corporation is a Fortune 100 communications company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and a parent company of Cingular Wireless, the nation’s second largest wireless voice and data provider.Details
Delinquency among credit card-backed bonds headed south in March, dropping 20 basis points, however charge-offs headed slightly north by 10 basis points. The overall trend for 30-plus delinquencies continues to be relatively stable, and the 60- and 90-plus delinquency buckets continue to move down to more modest levels. According to Standard & Poor’s latest “Credit Card Quality Index,” the March delinquency average was 4.8%, compared to 5.0% in the previous month, and 5.4% one-year ago. Charge-offs hit 7.0% in March, compared to 6.9% in February, and 7.5% one-year ago. Charge-offs in January dipped to the lowest level reported by the index since September 2002. Charge-offs are expected to decline throughout this year as the economy picks up steam and as delinquency improves further.
CREDIT CARD ABS PERFORMANCE
Oct 03 5.2% 6.9%
Nov 03 5.2% 7.0%
Dec 03 5.0% 7.0%
Jan 04 5.1% 6.8%
Feb 04 5.0% 6.9%
Mar 04 4.8% 7.0%
Source: Standard & Poor’s Credit Card Quality Index
Fair Isaac reported that revenues for the first calendar quarter increased 9% and net income jumped 20%. The Company says the soft growth in revenues was due to underperformance in its insurance segment partially offset by standout performances in the Consumer and Software Tools divisions. First quarter revenues were $173.2 million versus $158.6 million reported in the same year ago quarter. Net income for the quarter totaled $30.8 million, compared with net income of $25.6 million in the same quarter last year. Earlier this week, the Company announced it is acquiring London Bridge Software for about $299 million. London Bridge has more than 1,600 clients worldwide and provides a comprehensive portfolio of software and e-Commerce solutions including customer and enterprise management software, banking software, and credit management software. For complete details on Fair Isaac’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]). (CF Library 4/27/04)
FAIR ISAAC TRACK RECORD
Revenues Net Income
1Q/03 $158.6 million $25.6 million
2Q/03 $163.0 million $30.0 million
3Q/03 $161.0 million $31.7 million
4Q/03 $169.3 million $28.8 million
1Q/04 $173.2 million $30.8 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Smart card specialist, Gemplus, this week reported that payment microprocessor card shipments rose 125% year-on-year, and 11% compared to the previous quarter, driven by the migration from magnetic stripe to EMV cards in Europe and Asia. EMV shipments increased 38% quarter-on-quarter, marking the fifth consecutive quarter showing significant sequential revenue growth. Financial Services revenues for the first quarter were $48.3 million, compared to $43.4 million for the first quarter of 2003. The Financial Service segment produced a gross profit of $10.9 million, a 73% gain over the same period one-year ago. Overall, Gemplus International posted first quarter revenues of $235.7 million, a 27.9% increase over 1Q/03. The Company posted a first quarter profit of 300,000 euros compared to a loss of $33.2 million in the previous quarter, and a loss of $45.3 million one-year ago. During the first quarter, Gemplus deployed 3G cards for the launch of SK Telecom’s 3G network in Korea, which incorporated the “VISA Smart Debit Credit” application by VISA International for the world’s first mobile proximity payment service on a USIM card, called “MONETA.” For complete details on Gemplus’ first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
NCR Corporation reported that revenues for the first quarter were up 5% year-on-year to $1.29 billion, and that its net loss for the quarter declined to $5 million, versus a net loss of $27 million in 1Q/03. The Financial Self Service segment generated record first-quarter revenue of $251 million, up 11% from the year-ago period. First-quarter revenue growth included a year-over-year benefit of 7 percentage points from foreign currency fluctuations. Retail Store Automation generated $165 million in 1Q/04 revenue, up 11% from $149 million in the first quarter of 2003. First-quarter year-over-year revenue comparison for Retail Store Automation included a benefit of 5 percentage points from foreign currency fluctuations. NCR says Retail Store Automation reduced its operating loss for the seasonally weak first quarter to $8 million, a $15 million improvement from the prior-year period. Operating results in the first quarter improved due to cost and expense reductions, the favorable impact from foreign currency fluctuations and higher volume. NCR’s Data Warehousing segment reported record first-quarter revenue of $306 million, up 10% from the first quarter of 2003. For complete details on NCR’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).