CSOB Bank in the Czech Republic and Kredyt Bank Poland are set to roll-out VISA cards based on the “Proton Prisma” smart card platform. Following the certification from VISA of the personalized “Proton Prisma” card, Kredyt Bank started in June to issue chip-based “VISA Classic” and “VISA Gold” credit cards. In a later phase, Kredyt Bank also plans to replace its present “VISA Electron” and “Maestro” debit cards by “Proton Prisma”-based EMV cards. CSOB Bank has also installed “Proton Prisma’s Matrix” card lifecycle management and personalization system and has started the migration of its “VISA Electron” debit card base to chip technology. Other CSOB card products will be gradually converted to the same “Proton Prisma” EMV multi-application platform such as CSOB’s Post Savings Bank debit cards. Proton World International was acquired by STMicroelectronics in April.Details
Miami-based GlobeTel Communications is launching its “Magic Money MasterCard.” The Magic Money Card is a prepaid calling card and MasterCard and Maestro Debit/Credit Card all rolled into one with a host of additional stored value services. As a MasterCard, the Magic Money Card enables the customer to shop in all the 20 million places that accept MasterCard and Maestro Debit/Credit Cards. Consumers will also have access to any of the 1 million ATMs worldwide that have the Maestro and Cirrus logos.Details
Montreal-based 8D Technologies’ “8D ECO” transactional module has been integrated into the parking payment terminals manufactured by its partner Cale Systems. The Cale Systems terminals featuring the “8D ECO” module have been selected by the SociÃ©tÃ© en commandite Stationnement de MontrÃ©al for Phase II of its pilot project to test the use of computerized parking terminals on city streets. The SCSM, which manages metered parking for the City of Montreal, will conduct tests during the summer and autumn of 2003 with the goal of replacing, if the experiment is successful, a significant number of parking meters with computerized terminals. Besides e-payment in real time, the “8D ECO” module also handles the management of the terminal, the optimization of electric power usage (in the wireless environment) while permitting the remote control of the automated parking terminals.Details
American Express announced the expansion of the pilot for its new contactless payment device. “ExpressPay from American Express” is being tested in the greater Phoenix area. The company began piloting the key fob last summer with its employees in Phoenix, is now available at more than 175 local merchants. Last Fall, “ExpressPay” was market tested with non-AmeEx employees in New Jersey, at a corporate cafeteria serving multiple tenants and, separately, for making purchases at a local New Jersey fitness center. Earlier this year, the company introduced “ExpressPay” to the cafeteria serving a major financial institution and at American Express’ headquarters cafeteria and convenience store in downtown New York. Consumers have the option of funding “ExpressPay” in two ways: either as a direct link for payment to an American Express card or as a pre-paid product linked to any major credit, charge or debit card. AmEx developed “ExpressPay” in conjunction with Texas Instruments RFid Systems.Details
First Data reported that second quarter earnings were up 18% to $353.8 million and that revenue grew 12% to $2.1 billion. Payment Services produced second quarter revenue of $896 million, up 15% from the same period last year. Card Issuing Services posted 2Q/03 revenue of $509 million, up 10% year-over-year primarily due to increased print, mail and plastics outsourcing business. Merchant Services grew revenue and operating profits 12% for the second quarter to $783 million and $217 million, respectively. Emerging Payments, First Data’s eONE Global business reported $38 million in revenue for the quarter. Merchant processing transactions grew 25%. Prepaid services transactions grew 34%. As of June 30, accounts on file were 316 million. For complete details on First Data’s 2Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Citigroup’s credit card chief, Robert Willumstad, will become COO by January 1, 2004. Charles Prince, will become Citigroup’s CEO also by January 1, 2004. Under the new leadership structure to take effect by January, Mr. Willumstad will work closely with Mr. Prince to see that each of the company’s businesses are ready to achieve new levels of growth and development. Mr. Willumstad will have direct responsibility for the Consumer business, as well as Smith Barney, the Global Investment Management business, Citigroup International, and Citigroup Global Investments. Citigroup is the preeminent global financial services company with some 200 million customer accounts in more than 100 countries.Details
Bank One confirmed yesterday that William Campbell has become CEO of its credit card business. Campbell succeeds Philip Heasley, who Bank One says is leaving to pursue other opportunities. Heasley joined Bank One as head of credit card in January, 2001. Campbell has advised Bank One’s Planning Group for the last three years. Previously, he managed Citigroup’s Global Consumer Business, including the credit card business. Prior to joining Citicorp in 1995, he spent 28 years at Philip Morris, including five years as Chief Executive Officer of Philip Morris USA.Details
Visa USA and SafeCHECK are combining the “VISA POS Check Service” with the “SafeCHECK”. The new service, run by Visa, will form a bank-owned, integrated electronic check processing solution that can significantly reduce the billions of dollars of paper check handling costs incurred by merchants and financial institutions annually. Powered by VisaNet, the service will be enabled to potentially bridge to five million merchants across the country and reach 90 percent of the country’s demand deposit accounts. Point of sale check conversion protects merchants from potential fraud, and saves merchants billions in check processing and fraud costs each year.Details
Bank One’s credit card business reported a 6% decline in net income and a 2% decline in total revenue for the second quarter, compared to 2Q/02. The nation’s third largest bank credit card issuer reported card revenues of $2.0 billion and net income of $279 million for 2Q/03. Nevertheless, Bank One says it is optimistic about Card Services’ future results, although it expects pricing to remain competitive and credit to deteriorate modestly. Outstandings increased 11% over year-ago levels to $73 billion and charge volume was up 5% to $40.5 billion for the second quarter. Bank One also reported 1.8 million net accounts opened during the quarter, double the number opened in the year-ago period. At the end of 2Q/03, Bank One had 52 million cards-in-force. Net charge-offs for the second quarter were 5.21%, compared to 5.62% for 2Q/02. The 30-day delinquency ratio, however, increased to 3.95% from 3.83% in the prior year, and declined from 4.08% in the prior quarter. For complete details on Bank One’s 2Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Capital One reported a 35% increase in earnings for the second quarter as marketing expenses declined 16% over the year-ago period. For 2Q/03, Cap One reported earnings of $286.8 million, compared with earnings of $213.1 million for 2Q/02. Marketing expenses for the second quarter were $270.6 million compared to $320.4 million in the comparable period of the prior year. Compared to the first quarter of this year, Cap One’s earnings declined $22.3 million and marketing expenses increased $28.9 million. Domestic credit card outstandings increased 10% over year-ago levels to $47.2 billion. Net charge-offs for domestic credit cards for the second quarter were 6.95%, compared to 5.46% for 2Q/02. The 30-day delinquency rate for 2Q/03 was 4.83% compared to 4.51% one year ago. At the end of second quarter, Cap One had 45.8 million accounts and $60.7 billion in total loans, including domestic and international credit cards and auto loans. For complete details on Capital One’s 2Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Los Angeles-based Direct Response Financial Services has launched its “Personal Advantage Cash Card” which offers card-to-card transfer, and cash or USPS money order loading at major banks. The stored value card can be used at all merchant locations accepting VISA or MasterCard and over 800,000 ATM locations worldwide. Personal Advantage Cash Cards can be used as stored value cards, gifts cards, transmitter cards (linking two cards together), payroll cards, and more. The Company plans to begin marketing of the Personal Advantage Cash Card through retail outlets and television and radio advertising to the under-banked and un-banked consumer market in Q3 of 2003.Details
San Diego-based Secure Payment Systems has signed a marketing agreement with IL-based Central Bancard, a company founded by industry veterans Jerry Cain, Bill Brockaway, and Henry Harp. Secure Payment Systems is a leading check and gift card services processors, and the only U.S. company to provide a truly integrated check conversion and gift card program. Secure Payment Systems was founded in 1996 by Lin Fellerman, former 20 year employee and 10 year President of the Telecredit / Equifax Check Services subsidiaries. Central Bancard is a new merchant acquirer venture developed to provide superior payment processing services.Details