Adding to the woes of South Korean card issuers, a recent report from the Ministry of Health and Welfare indicates that 27.4% of homeless people in the country have been issued credit cards. According to the report, homeless consumers owe slightly less than $2 million of which 87% is past due. The Financial Supervisory Service recently reported that card payments, 30+ days overdue, increased 23% to $6.3 billion in January from $5.1 billion in December. The FSS wants credit card issuers in South Korea to raise $8 billion to cover the losses. Many of the country’s card issuers are cutting expenses and raising capital.Details
Bank of America reported this morning that its credit card income was up 18% to $681 million in the first quarter as outstandings grew by 9.4%. Charge-offs declined from 5.43% one year ago to 5.25% for 1Q/03. Delinquency (30+days) increased slightly, while 90+ day delinquency declined 4bps. For the first quarter BofA’s 30+ day delinquency rate was 4.18% compared to 4.16% one year ago. Delinquency (90+ days) declined from 1.95% one year ago to 1.91% for 1Q/03. At the end of the first quarter, BofA’s outstandings stood at $29.1 billion compared to $26.6 billion one year ago. For complete details on BofA’s 1Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Citigroup reported this morning that profits for its credit card business in North America increased 14% in the first quarter to $635 million. Credit card outstandings for North America increased 6% and charge volume was up 4% in the first quarter. At the end of March, Citigroup had $115.5 billion in credit card outstandings compared to $108.5 billion on year ago. Charge volume for 1Q/03 was $57.1 billion compared to $54.9 billion one year ago. However, Citi’s account base has declined 5% over the past year, ending 1Q/03 at 86.7 million open credit card accounts. Citi’s charge-offs declined from 6.33% one year ago to 6.04% for 1Q/03. Delinquency (90+ days) also declined from 2.13% for 1Q/02 to 1.91% for the first quarter 2003. For complete details on Citigroup’s 1Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Traverse Bay Entertainment has signed an agreement to use the innovative products and services of Global Cash Access, the leading supplier of cash access and customer relationship marketing technologies to the gaming industry. The contract includes Turtle Creek Casino in Williamsburg, Mich., and Leelanau Sands Casino in Peshawbestown, Mich..Details
The U.K.’s fourth grocery retailer has signed a contract with Euronet Worldwide’s e-pay subsidiary to launch electronic top-up services. Safeway, which supports approximately 8 million U.K. shoppers every week, will now enable consumers to add prepaid minutes to their mobile phone accounts at its more than 480 grocery outlets. The new e-pay service is fully integrated with Safeway’s own electronic point-of-sale system. With the Safeway deal, Euronet’s e-pay will now provide top-up services to four out of the five leading supermarket chains in the U.K. The company currently supports top-up purchases for mobile service providers at more than 50,000 POS terminals in approximately 18,000 retail locations. Euronet acquired e-pay in February.Details
Switch announced it will launch a smart card pilot in Northampton that will eventually reach 30 million “Switch” and “Solo” cardholders. Meanwhile, the migration of “Switch” cards to “Maestro” cards continues in the UK as more cards now display the “Maestro” symbol on the front of the card rather than on the back. MasterCard and Switch reached an agreement in August 2002 to migrate the “Switch” debit card brand to the “Maestro” brand in the UK. The migration will be completed by mid-2007. Also, as part of the deal, Switch has outsourced its transaction processing to MasterCard using EPS-Net, the telecommunications and data processing arm for MasterCard and Maestro transactions in Europe. EPS-Net will be responsible for the processing of all inter-member transactions performed domestically in the UK. Switch process 1.3 billion transactions a year and an annual spend of over Â£45 billion. The “Maestro” brand mark now appears on over 505 million cards worldwide and is accepted for purchases at over seven million merchant terminals in 93 countries and territories.Details
Advanta has expanded its presence in Utah with the opening of an office in Salt Lake City to administer certain capital raising programs.Â Advanta leverages direct marketing and information based expertise to identify potential customers and new target markets and to provide a high level of service tailored to the unique needs of small business.Details
Ingenico’s “eN-Touch 1000” touch-screen and signature terminals have been deployed in approximately 5,300 7-Eleven convenience stores in the USA. In addition, 7-Eleven has installed “eN-Concert Store” and “eN-Concert Insight” at all USA locations. This software helps manage store-level transactions and prompts customers for their PIN when a check card is tendered. Also included in the agreement is customer software development and “TotalCARE” services, which cover ongoing maintenance.Details
Intelli-Check announced that an arbitration panel has ruled against the Company in a dispute over a financial advisory and investment banking agreement involving an award of $920,000.Â Intelli-Check, Inc. is a developer and marketer of an advanced state-of-the-art document verification system for authenticating the validity of U.S. and Canadian driver licenses, state-issued identification cards and military IDs that comply with accepted standards used as proof of identity.Details
MasterCard is airing a new “Priceless” TV commercial, entitled “The Game,” in Japan. The new commercial depicts the excitement and anxiety that university graduates experience during the traditional hiring season in spring when corporations hire en masse. The storyline depicts real purchases that these new graduates will need as they enter the business world. The Priceless line, “The start of a dream and an adventure: priceless,” taps into the insight that this is a key turning point in these graduates lives as they enter a new world of business and new responsibilities. MasterCard’s “Priceless” campaign, launched in October 1997, has appeared in 98 countries and 46 languages.Details