MasterCard International has named Alexander Labak, President of MasterCard Europe, succeeding Peter Hoch, who will retire this July. Labak is currently Chief Marketing Officer of Deutsche Bank AG. He will join MasterCard on May 1. MasterCard Europe’s Board is now under the chairmanship of Norman McLuskie, who is also the chairman of the Retail Direct division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group in the UK. He takes over the position from Jean-Pierre Ledru who has served as chairman since the integration of MasterCard International and Europay International in 1992. At the end of the fourth quarter, MasterCard Europe had $316.1 billion in YTD gross dollar volume, a 13.5% gain over the same year-ago period.Details
FL-based Catalina Marketing has sold its loyalty card and data-entry services business located in Farmingdale, NJ to Capture Resource, which currently provides 99% of the data-entry services performed by the unit. As part of the agreement, Capture Resource will absorb the card and data-entry employees and the facility located in Farmingdale, New Jersey. Catalina Marketing’s card and data-entry services business provides application and data processing, card production and fulfillment services related to loyalty card programs for retailers. Catalina Marketing Corporation was founded 20 years ago based on the premise that targeting communications based on actual purchase behavior would generate more effective consumer response.Details
MasterCard International has named Alexander Labak, President of MasterCard Europe, succeeding Peter Hoch, who will retire this July. Labak is currently Chief Marketing Officer of Deutsche Bank AG. He will join MasterCard on May 1. MasterCard Europe’s Board is now under the chairmanship of Norman McLuskie, who is also the chairman of the Retail Direct division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group in the UK. He takes over the position from Jean-Pierre Ledru who has served as chairman since the integration of MasterCard International and Europay International in 1992. At the end of the fourth quarter, MasterCard Europe had $316.1 billion in YTD gross dollar volume, a 13.5% gain over the same year-ago period, according to CardFlash International ([www.cardflashinternational.com]).
Denver-based InfoNow reported fourth quarter revenues of $3 million, up 6% from the prior quarter. Net income soared to $385,000 for the fourth quarter compared to $78,000 in the third quarter. During 2003, InfoNow renewed or expanded the software and services it provides to approximately 70% of its existing clients, including companies such as ABN AMRO, Avaya, Bank of America, H&R Block, The Hartford, Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, Maytag, VISA and Wachovia. In the fourth quarter, the Company signed “Channel Insight” agreements with a number of new customers, including StorageTek, Enterasys Networks and a leading provider of mobile and wireless Internet solutions. “Channel Insight” consists of the “Channel Insight POS Platform and a suite of data modules that address specific business challenges of channel-focused companies. For complete details on InfoNow’s 4Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
KY-based Childers Oil Company has selected Visible Results USA’s “GraphiCard” card technology and CRM system as the base for a new rewards program to be implemented in its Double Kwik convenience stores. With the patented technology from Overland Park, Kan.-based Visible Results USA, program members’ cards are inserted into a smart point-of-sale terminal during each sales transaction. Childers Oil Company has grown to operate 40 convenience store/gasoline station sites throughout Eastern Kentucky and Virginia. The Visible Results Group of Companies has, since its inception in 1997, emerged as one of the world’s leading customer relationship firms, serving a growing client base across convenience, fast food, fuels and the general retail industry.Details
SAP AG and VISA International are teaming to integrate “SAP NetWeaver” with VISA’s “Commercial Format”, a standard data set containing enhanced spending data from all VISA Commercial payment products. The combination will provide unprecedented levels of data delivery to corporations that use VISA with SAP’s ERP systems. The transparent delivery and open technology of “SAP NetWeaver” will give shared clients better utilization of spending data without significant integration investments resulting in process improvements and lower operational costs on a variety of business processes. As a result, data from banks, airlines, hotels and other merchants, will flow directly to the clients’ ERP systems. “SAP NetWeaver” will enable continued secure automated delivery and integration of VISA-provided data to clients’ back-office systems and expense reporting software helping them to monitor volume and compliance, identify trends and patterns and view detailed spend data and analytics.Details
Atlanta-based Global Payments reported reported that net income for the first quarter grew 36% to $16.5 million compared to the prior year quarter. Revenue for the quarter was up 30% to $162.6 million. The performance was primarily driven by high-teen transaction growth in the Company’s ISO and domestic direct distribution channels. GPN also says it continues to gain operating leverage through greater economies of scale and the ongoing consolidation of operating functions. As a result, the Company raised its fiscal 2004 annual revenue guidance of $597 million to $617 million, to a range of $610 million to $620 million, reflecting growth of 18% to 20%. GPN noted that $18.3 million in first quarter revenues were due to recent acquisitions, which primarily consists of DolEx and, to a lesser extent, the MUZO acquisition which was announced on February 20th. The MUZO acquisition marked the Company’s official entrance into the European payments market. For complete details on Global Payments first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Capital One has named Susan McFarland to the post of Corporate Controller. McFarland will be responsible for overseeing corporate accounting and reporting functions for the company, as well as corporate tax and the financial control environment. In her previous two years at Capital One, McFarland has been serving as CFO for Capital One’s largest business line, US Card, and has provided support to the company’s various corporate infrastructure groups including IT and Human Resources. Capital One Financial Corporation is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries include: Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., which offer consumer lending products, and Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., which offers primarily automobile financing products.Details
Smart card manufacturer Oberthur Card Systems reported this week that its EBITDA increased 49% to $69.4 million last year, and that its EBIT was almost five times higher than the previous year, representing the Company’s best net profit since its creation. Oberthur also reported it delivered 127.8 million smart cards last year, a 29% increase compared with the prior year. The Company says smart payment cards represent its most important market, poised to take advantage of the coming huge renewal market in Europe. However, Oberthur remains in a difficult environment as the average selling prices of its products declined by 11.1% last year at constant exchange rates. Gross sales for the full year of 2003 hit $531 million, compared to $544 million in 2002, and $598 million in 2001. Smart payment card revenues climbed 9.4%, from $97.5 million in 2002, to $106.6 million in 2003. Smart payment cards revenues in 2001 were $54.2 million. For complete details on Oberthur’s 2003 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
American Express has made a $66 million settlement offer to settle class actions regarding its foreign currency conversion practices. The Company also agreed to make certain changes to the disclosures in its cardholder agreements and billing statements. The motion, filed in February, also asked the court to enjoin all other proceedings related to the matter. The motion was approved by the Court however, the proposed settlement remains subject to final approval which is expected to be considered by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida later this year. American Express also reported that a purported class action lawsuit filed during June 2003 in the Circuit Court for Davidson County, Tennessee was remanded to the State Court on plaintiff’s motion and was dismissed voluntarily without prejudice in January. The suit alleged an unlawful antitrust tying arrangements among the Company’s charge cards, credit cards and “debit cards”. AmEx has been named in a number of class actions in which the plaintiffs allege an unlawful antitrust tying arrangement between the Company’s charge cards, credit cards and debit cards in violation of various state and federal laws.Details
Providian reported that it is under investigation by the Civil Division of the U.S. DOJ and U.S. Postal Service over allegations it received discounted bulk mail postage rates on certain mailings between 1997 and 2001 that were not eligible for a discount. The issue has received a subpoena from the U.S. Postal Service. Providian says to the best of its knowledge, the allegations involve claims that such mailings were not eligible for bulk mail postage rates because requirements relating to the updating of mailing lists were not satisfied. The Company says if they were not entitled to receive the discounted rates, it could be subject to treble damages, penalties, and other relief. Providian also confirmed it has been sued California in January over its minimum payment calculation which, allegedly results in improper over-limit fees. The lawsuit also challenges Providian’s payment posting practices which result in alleged improper interest charges and late fees. Last month another lawsuit was filed in Orange County, California alleging that a cardholder’s APRs were increased improperly without proper notice. Providian also noted it is continuing to have settlement discussions with its former CEO, Shailesh Mehta.Details
Stored value card processor, Chockstone, announced it has fully complied with “VISA CISP.” As Visa CISP compliant, Chockstone is certified under Visa to be up to date with the utmost security regulations assigned by 3rd-party assessors as well as Visa itself to ensure protection of sensitive cardholder information. Chockstone is the Technology Behind Stored Value(TM). As the leading stored value card processor, Chockstone focuses on integrated gift, loyalty, and marketing card programs for multi-unit QSR and retail organizations. Chockstone’s services enable retailers to strengthen their relationships with their customers and drive incremental profits.Details