Metris Posts Two Straight Profitable Quarters

Metris Companies chalked up two consecutive profitable quarters as the sub-prime issuer posted first quarter net income of $42 million, compared to a net loss of $83 million for 1Q/03. The sub-prime specialist also reported that charge-offs and delinquency headed south during the quarter. The managed net charge-off rate for the first quarter was 17.8%, compared to 21.7% in the previous quarter, and 18.0% for the first quarter of 2003. The managed delinquency rate was 10.4% as of March 31st, compared to 11.1% at year-end, and 11.5% posted one-year ago. Revenues for the quarter were $178.6 million, a 59.7% increase over $111.8 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2003. The increase is primarily due to a $157.0 million increase in securitization income, reflecting improved performance in the Metris Master Trust. This increase was partially offset by a $42.6 million reduction in credit card loan interest and fee income due to a $624.7 million reduction in average credit cards loans, and a $36.0 million reduction in enhancement services income due to the sale of our membership club and warranty business in the third quarter of 2003. Total expenses were $114.3 million for the first quarter, a decrease of $125.0 million from $239.3 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2003. For complete details on Metris’ first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

METRIS INCOME SNAPSHOT
1Q/03: -$82.5 million
2Q/03: -$24.7 million
3Q/03: -$75.0 million
4Q/03: +35.0 million
1Q/04: +$41.6 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

Details

VISA DEBIT 03

For the first time, VISA’s global debit card volume has surpassed its credit card volume, as debit card volume reached US$1.48 trillion at the end of 2003. Yesterday, VISA commenced an ad campaign, titled “49% of the Story” touting that it is no longer a credit card company. During 2002, VISA’s debit card volume surpassed credit card volume in the USA. VISA reported that global VISA debit card volume increased 17% over the previous year. At the same time global Visa credit volume increased 5% from the previous year to US$1.45 trillion. Totally, VISA’s global card sales volume hit $2.9 trillion last year. VISA’s fastest growing region was Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, where annual volume grew 34%. In the USA, VISA grew 10% to $1.1 trillion.

Details

Triton Introduces a Through-The-Wall ATM for Retailers

MS-based Triton introduced its first through-the-wall ATM designed specifically for retail locations. The new “RT2000” incorporates the Intel “XScale” processing platform with dial-up communications and TCP/IP capabilities, an 80 mm thermal printer presenter, and a multi-lingual customer interface. Standard security features include a Triple DES-compliant EPP. Customer options for the “RT2000” include “Triton Waves,” a flexible package of revenue-generating functions that include Western Union Money Transfers, PaySpot prepaid wireless top-ups, and CashWorks check cashing. Options include a 6.5″ color display and a variety of single and multi-cassette dispensing options.

Details

Opteva Drives Diebold’s First Quarter Profits

Diebold reported record first quarter revenue of $498.3 and net income of $29.2 million. ATM revenue for the first quarter grew by 22.2%, led by strong demand for the new “Opteva” terminals. Total “Opteva” orders during the quarter exceeded $60 million including orders from two major financial institutions in North America totaling $13.3 million, four significant orders in Europe for financial self-service totaling approximately $6.3 million, a major “Opteva” order in Australia for $4.9 million, and three orders for “Opteva” units in Latin America totaling $1.9 million. For complete details on Diebold’s first quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

Details

ClearCommerce Unveils Hardened Commerce

ClearCommerce has introduced “Hardened Commerce,” a fully certified infrastructure for merchant acquirers and merchants that ensures security compliance throughout the entire transaction processing chain. Hardened Commerce provides a trusted platform that includes secure Web shopping carts, data transmission and fully certified gateway service. Hardened Commerce is a comprehensive services offering for acquirers that will ensure there are no weak links in the processing of payment data. It includes storefront applications that have been certified by ClearCommerce to ensure proper use, storage and transmission of card data and the fully CISP certified payment processing service, QuickStart. ClearCommerce is the leading provider of fraud prevention and payment processing solutions to merchants and service providers in the United States and Europe.

Details

Vital and Planet Payment Team

Vital Processing Services has inked a deal with Planet Payment to introduce dynamic currency conversion authorization and clearing services. Vital’s Dynamic Currency Conversion service will allow merchants to offer international cardholders in the United States the option at the point-of-sale to pay in their local currency rather than U.S. dollars. Vital Processing Services(R) (Vital(R)) is a leader in technology-based commerce enabling services. A specialty multi-currency payment processor since 1999, Planet Payment is a market leader in providing localized pricing solutions, including multi- currency processing and time-of-sale, or “dynamic”, currency conversion.

Details

Bank One Card Profits Up 29% in the First Quarter

Bank One reported this morning that its credit card profits for the first quarter hit $319 million, a 29%% increase over one-year ago. The solid increase was primarily due to spread improvements and higher securitized loan balances. During the first quarter, Bank One reported that average owned loans were relatively flat, but average managed loans increased $1.3 billion, or 2%, and charge volume increased $3.7 billion, or 10%. Total managed card services revenue increased $293 million, or 15%, to $2.2 billion as managed net interest income increased $280 million, or 19%, to $1.8 billion and managed noninterest income increased $13 million, or 3%, to $436 million. The increase in managed noninterest income was primarily the result of a $3.7 billion, or 10%, increase in charge volume, which generated higher interchange income and a small gain from a portfolio sale, partially offset by higher volume-driven payments to partners and rewards expense. Paymentech, the Company’s merchant card processor, reported a 23% increase in total transactions and a 26% increase in total volume. The managed net charge-off ratio increased slightly to 5.35% from 5.29% in the prior year but decreased from 5.43% in the prior quarter. The 30-day managed delinquency ratio decreased to 3.75% from 4.08% in the prior year and 3.90% in the prior quarter. For complete details on Bank One’s 1Q/04 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

BANK ONE INCOME SNAPSHOT
1Q/03: $248 million
2Q/03: $279 million
3Q/03: $285 million
4Q/03: $347 million
1Q/04: $319 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

Details

Netopia and Precidia Join Hands

Netopia and Precidia have signed a pact to offer retailers an efficient and cost-saving POS solution. Netopia’s netOctopus(R) POS Manager, broadband routers and Precidia’s POSConnect Products, the EtherDial and Ether232Plus, allow retailers to migrate to IP, without replacing their terminals, at a significant cost savings. Precidia Technologies Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of IP access devices for a wide range of industries, including retail payments and building automation. Netopia, Inc. is a market leader in broadband and wireless products and services that simplify and enhance broadband delivery to residential and business-class customers.

Details

ViVOtech Launches ViVOpay 3000

ViVOtech launched the industry’s first interoperable contactless payment solution for MasterCard and American Express. ViVOtech’s ViVOpay 3000 provides merchants with a single reader that can accept MasterCard or American Express contactless payment cards regardless of form factor or technology. Therefore, when merchants install ViVOpay 3000 to accept one brand of a contactless payment program, they can download software at a later time for the other contactless card program, significantly reducing implementation costs. ViVOtech, a leader in lifestyle payment transactions, provides breakthrough software technology that allows consumers to make contactless payments in a style that best fits their needs — with a radio frequency (RF) enabled credit or debit card in various form factors, an infrared/RF enabled cell phone, PDA or an access card at existing point-of-sale (POS) systems.

Details

GO Software and Ingenico Buddy for IP Solutions

GO Software and Ingenico have partnered to work jointly to develop a superior and cost effective IP-based terminal solution. In developing new products with GO Software, Ingenico will build on its I5100 payment terminal with integrated TCP/IP connectivity and 32-bit microprocessor for real-time authorization. The partnership allows GO Software to continue optimizing its recently acquired IP gateway technology in conjunction with Ingenico’s terminal solutions. GO Software, Inc., a subsidiary of Return On Investment Corporation, is a leading provider of POS payment processing software. More than 125,000 businesses use GO Software’s solutions to process payments at high speed, expand tender types and lower credit card costs.

Details

Hypercom and Lightbridge Partner

Hypercom has signed an agreement to offer Lightbridge’s Authorize.Net IP-based payment gateway to retailers purchasing Hypercom’s new “Optimum T4100” POS terminal with Intel “XScale” technology. Hypercom’s countertop Optimum T4100 packs a powerful Intel processor based on Intel XScale technology to deliver unprecedented multi-application performance and the industry’s fastest transaction speeds using IP-based technology, built-in dial back-up capability and the secure Authorize.Net Payment Gateway is expected to complete transactions faster than before. Lightbridge, Inc. is a leading provider of technology services and software that manage customer transactions. Hypercom Corporation is a leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point of transaction for consumers, merchants, and acquirers, and yield increased profitability for its customers.

Details

Shell Beefs Up its Gift Card Program

Shell Oil has launched an enhanced gift card program. The new gasoline card has a new design, and the program will be promoted with new point-of-purchase materials. Other changes to the program also include two new vendors: SVM and Paymentech. SVM will be the Shell gift card provider and will handle production, distribution and marketing of the card. Paymentech will process the Shell gift cards at Shell locations across the USA and at other participating retail stores. Last year, the Shell gift card program generated more than $70 million in sales. Approximately 85% of those sales were categorized as incremental volume. With the new program, Shell expects gift card sales to increase by 12% to 15% in 2004.

Details