Providian confirmed yesterday that it has closed on the sale of a portfolio of approximately 435,000 credit card accounts with $859 million in outstanding balances to Atlanta-based CompuCredit. The loans were technically purchased by a joint venture formed by CompuCredit and Merrill Lynch. The Company expects to transfer servicing of the portfolio by mid-August. Providian disclosed the sale last week but did not identify the purchaser. One year ago, Providian dumped $2.6 billion in sub-prime card outstandings to two limited liability companies setup by Goldman Sachs, Salomon Smith Barney, CardWorks, and CompuCredit. (CF Library 4/16/02)Details
MN-based TCF Financial disclosed a letter from VISA to the Wall Street Journal which refers to a new VISA bylaw that will charge top debit card members a fee if they decide to drop or change brands. TCF has publicly disclosed its unhappiness with the recent debit card settlement. In May, TCF, the 16th largest issuer of VISA debit cards with more than one million cardholders, filed a “motion to intervene” with Federal district court Judge John Gleeson over the proposed debit card settlement. TCF wanted credit card issuers to share the burden of the settlement. Gleeson denied the motion in June. The bank reportedly subsequently explored the possibility of leaving VISA. According to the Wall Street Journal, TCF was notified by VISA of a new bylaw, passed in June, that requires an exit fee from any of the top 100 debit-card issuers if they decided to leave VISA. The fee calculated for TCF was $20 million. VISA reportedly says the fees are based on the banks’ share of VISA’s debit-card issuance. (CF Library 5/14/03; 6/17/03)Details
Showtime Networks is launching a subscription campaign next month that offers a $50 Toys “R” Us gift card good for each new account. The campaign begins September 1st and runs through December 31st. The incentive will mail to call centers in early September, and will include promotional displays to support awareness of the incentive in participating call centers. Hundreds of prizes, including $5,000 Visa Gift Cards and Vespa Scooters, will be awarded to winning CCP as part of the sweepstakes.Details
MA-based edocs has released “Focused Solutions” which includes a “Customer Self-Service for Credit Cards” solution that provides issuers with a complete end-to-end Web application that deflects customer calls by moving common customer inquiries to the company’s Web site. edocs is best known for developing and delivering comprehensive e-billing and online customer care systems for some of the leading companies in the world. Initially, edocs will offer three types of pre-packaged solutions: e-Statements, e-Billing, and Customer Self-Service. Solutions like e-Statements for Banking move transactional statements like those for checking/savings accounts, trade confirmations and tax documents online to improve customer access to account information and reduce paper and mailing costs.Details
EyeCashNetworks, formerly known as eConnect and the distributor of “BankEyesOnly” cash pads, acknowledged yesterday that the company was grossly mismanaged prior to the appointment of new senior officers and it is hopeful it can eliminate its liabilities. This settlement is consistent with the company’s policy to deal fairly with the existing creditors while giving the company a chance to get it’s business plan off the ground and to move forward. The company was grossly mismanaged prior to the appointment of Chris Jensen and Gilbert Serrano as head officers and it has been an uphill battle to turn the corner. However, EyeCashNetworks is working vigorously to eliminate all of their liabilities. If the company can continue on its current path of working with its creditors while simultaneously opening up new doors with its technology, management is very hopeful that it can make the company profitable.Details
A new survey has found that 70% of consumers believe debit cards are a better option for college students than credit cards. The research also found that seven out of ten Americans believe it is a bad idea for credit cards to be in the hands of college students. The survey of 1,200 Americans was conducted by the non-profit InCharge Institute of America which publishes the YOUNG MONEY magazine.Details
The CO-OP Network is now making “Verified by VISA” available to its 1,300 credit union members. Verified by VISA should help allay concerns about Internet fraud. Verified by VISA, which uses a series of identification measures to authenticate legitimate online purchases, allows cardholders to register their information through a link on a participating credit union’s Web site. When shopping at participating Verified by VISA Internet merchants, the cardholder’s registration information can be compared to the credit union file on that cardholder, which is held at eFunds.Details
Schlumberger’s “Easyflow” contactless smart cards will be used for London’s new transport ticketing and payment program, “Oyster.”
Annual and monthly season ticket holders are already using the “Oyster” service to travel across the U.K.’s capital city. “Oyster” cards are now available to annual and monthly “Travelcard” and “Annual Bus Pass” holders via the Internet. The rollout will be extended later to include 7-Day tickets and a pay-as-you-go facility, “Pre Pay.” “Oyster” is ultimately expected to handle five million daily transactions. The TranSys consortium, led by EDS and Cubic Transportation Systems, developed the “Oyster” system.
NH-based Brookwood Capital has hired Christopher O’Leary, a 15-year specialist of credit card agent relationships, to its senior management team. BROOKWOOD CAPITAL offers brokerage and advisory services to credit card issuers nationwide, specializing in establishing card relationships between bank and credit union credit card issuers and best-in-class issuing partners.Details
The plan by VISA EspaÃ±a financial entities to modify the current structure for representatives has been accepted by the VISA International EU board. The new structure means that Spanish entities will now be represented by three different Group Members: “ServiRed,” “EURO 6000” and “Sistema 4B.” For its 30 year history in Spain, VISA International has had two Member Groups: “Visa EspaÃ±a” and “Sistema 4B” around which the rest of the Spanish financial entities were grouped. “ServiRed” manages 27.3 million cards, 444,342 POS terminals and a total of 25,126 ATMs. “ServiRed” cardÂs business volume reached 70.747 billion euro of which 29.426 billion were purchases. “Euro 6000” is a Public Limited Company which manages the payment means networks and products jointly promoted by its 35 partners who have issued 13.1 million cards under different international brands. It also has 12,650 cash dispensers and 242,000 POS terminals, that during 2002 made 589 million transactions with a total business volume of 40,136 million euros.Details
Portland, OR-based TRM Corporation reported net income for the second quarter of $1.15 million compared to a net loss of $404,000 for the same period in 2002. Second quarter net sales grew to $20.22 million, an increase of 14.3% over 2Q/02, primarily due to unit expansion and higher pricing throughout the Company’s ATM network. ATM operations produced net sales of $8.76 million during the second quarter, an increase of 60.0% as compared to the same period in the prior year. At the end of June, the Company’s ATM network consisted of 3,273 revenue-generating machines deployed throughout the U.K. and USA, which represents an increase of 594 ATM machines when compared to the same date in 2002. For complete details on TRM’s second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
A new study has found that only 4% of U.K. consumers are not yet at ease with remembering and using a four digit PIN. The research, conducted for VISA by TNS, suggests that people in the U.K. will have no problem adopting new chip and PIN payment technology when it is rolled out nationally later this year. The introduction of chip and PIN is already underway in Northampton where 600 retailers are live with chip and PIN. More than 181,500 chip and PIN cards have been issued by participating banks. The research also found that 29% of U.K. consumers have no problem remembering a range of different four digit PINs for most purposes in everyday life. The study found that, on average, U.K. consumers have three personal identification numbers committed to memory for day to day use, such as withdrawing cash from ATMs, setting a burglar alarm or a security code on a mobile phone.Details