Texans Check Card

Dallas-based Texans Credit Union said it has realized a significant increase in the number of members who use the “Texans Check Card” following the September introduction of the “RewardsNow” program offering members one point for each $1 in signature purchases. Members who choose to redeem their points for merchandise have a wide variety of items to choose from including luggage, televisions, camcorders and more. Texans has a catalog with pictures of the merchandise on its website ([www.texanscu.org][1]) members can see which items are available at various point levels.

[1]: http://www.texanscu.org

Details

Metris Downgrade

Even though Metris Companies moved closer to a breakeven point in the third quarter, following a significant second quarter loss, the firm had its senior debt rating cut yesterday. Metris stock dropped more than 9% and is trading around $2.00 per share. Metris hit its 52-week low in October when it touched $1.44 per share. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services yesterday lowered its long-term counterparty credit rating and senior debt rating on Metris to ‘B’ from ‘B+’. S&P also lowered the company’s subordinated debt rating to ‘CCC+’ from ‘B-‘. S&P says the downgrade reflects concerns that Metris’ funding alternatives are under increasing pressure, as management continues to shrink deposits in its bank subsidiary and the ratings of many of its ABS have been downgraded. However, Metris has maintained strong reserves against its retained interests in its securitizations, as well as a strong capital position. Metris’ Board of Directors fired its chairman and CEO, Ronald Zebeck, this past weekend. For the third quarter, Metris reported a net loss of $1.3 million, following a second quarter loss of $36.4 million, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 12/16/02).

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

Details

Bauer Buys Card Debt

NY-based Bauer Debt Purchasing Corp has acquired a $30 million bank and credit card debt portfolio from Zurich-based EH & P Investments for $2 million which is comprised of 19,000 US-based debtors. Industry leaders estimate that the face value of debt purchased grew from $50 billion in 1999 to $60 billion in 2000-an increase of 20 percent. Based on the assumption that an equal amount of debt is purchased in the primary, secondary and tertiary markets, Kaulkin Ginsberg, a leading Debt Broker, estimates the value of purchase debt at $2.4 billion.

Details

R2S & CoreCard

NC-based R2S Financial Group, a provider of private-label card management to small and medium businesses, has selected CoreCard Software’s “CoreISSUE” real-time, card management and payment processing system to power its “R2S Retail Solution.” R2S will be leveraging CoreISSUE’s next-generation capabilities such as unlimited hierarchies, real-time transaction processing, real-time reporting, flexible billing cycles and 100 percent Web-based user-interface to provide its merchants with an unlimited number of highly differentiated and unique card schemes that build customer loyalty and increase sales.

Details

Kmart STV Card

The first card-based, magnetic-striped gift card offered by a national mass merchandise retailer has extended its card contract on a long-term basis. TN-based Comdata’s Stored Value Systems subsidiary confirmed yesterday that Kmart, which first issued the card in 1995, has renewed its contract with SVS for the Kmart cash card. Kmart offers the card through its 1,800 domestic U.S. stores as well as online at Kmart’s Web site. This past summer, SVS launched the “Sears PayCard,” a card-based payroll product linked to MasterCard’s network. (CF Library 7/17/02)

Details

Skewed Scores

A new consumer study of the three major credit bureaus found that 29% of Americans have credit scores with a range of at least 50 points, while 4% of the consumers have score ranges of at least 100 points. The analysis of the scores in 502,623 merged credit files found the average range of the three scores was 41 points, and the median range was 35 points. The research conducted by the Consumer Federation of America and the National Credit Reporting Association,also discovered that in 43% of the files, reports on the same accounts conflicted in regard to how often consumers had been late by 30 days. In 29% of the files, there was conflicting information about how many times the consumer had been 60 days late. And in 24% of the files, conflicts existed about 90-day delinquencies. Seventy eight percent of files were missing a revolving account in good standing while one-third of the files were missing a mortgage account that had never been late.

Details

Conseco Bankruptcy

As long expected, Conseco Finance filed for a Chapter 11 reorganization and also announced it had reached an agreement in principle to sell its assets to CFN Investment Holdings. Green Tree Retail Services Bank was not included in the bankruptcy filing. CFC also reached an agreement in principle with an affiliate of the buyer and one of CFC’s existing lenders to provide up to $125 million of DIP financing. The company says it expects to continue without interruption pending the completion of the sale process.

Details

Hypercom & Cynergy

Credit card processor Cynergy Data has inked a major deal with Hypercom’s Golden Eagle Leasing subsidiary. The contract is expected to generate several thousand new leases per year and millions of dollars in revenues. CT-based Golden Eagle is a lessor engaged primarily in micro-ticket leasing (under $5,000) in the credit card transaction market. NY-based Cynergy offers credit, debit and EBT card processing, check conversion and guarantee, electronic gift certificate processing, and equipment leasing and sales. In October, Golden Eagle teamed with Creditdiscovery to develop a program that will for the first time allow ISOs, MSPs and acquirers to enable their merchants to simultaneously apply for merchant credit card processing and POS equipment lease financing via the Internet and receive a decision within seconds on both their acceptance for merchant processing and the terms for leasing their Payment Terminal/POS equipment. (CF Library 10/3/02)

Details

Rings Card

This holiday season, celebrate the legend of The Lord of the Rings with a collectible The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Electronic Gift Card from Borders Books and Music stores. The enchanting card, featuring Aragorn from the upcoming movie release, is customizable in amounts from $5 to $500 at over 400 Borders stores across the country, or online at [www.borders.com][1]. Borders inked the deal with The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc.

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

Details

Lockbox E-Checks

Mellon Global Cash Management launched a pilot this month with a large-scale consumer biller to convert consumer checks into electronic payments in a lockbox environment. Recent rules changes by NACHA — the Electronic Payments Association give billers the opportunity to facilitate the accounts receivable conversion (ARC) of most consumer checks to ACH debits within a lockbox environment. This approach allows companies that receive consumer payments to utilize processors like Mellon GCM with its six-site lockbox network, to originate an electronic debit using a signed paper check as a source document.

Details

BabyMint Partnership

Atlanta-based BabyMint and the National Scrip Center have agreed to combine their merchant networks. The expanded network will include more than 1,000 retailers including: Sears, Ace Hardware, Eddie Bauer, and Old Navy. BabyMint, a proprietary savings program that enables individual investors to save toward a child’s college tuition by directing rebates on everyday purchases into their “529” educational savings accounts. BabyMint partnered with MBNA in May to issue the “BabyMint MasterCard.” Under the MasterCard program, cardholders earn a 1% cash-back rebate on all purchases, and bonus rebates, up to 20% through select BabyMint network participants. BabyMint’s network includes more than 700 retailers and 127,000 grocery stores. Santa Rosa, CA-based National Scrip Center is a nonprofit organization that helps other nonprofit organizations raise necessary funds by providing a variety of fundraising products, programs and services. NSC program participants direct their rebates to any of the 10,000 participating local and national charities and schools. Together, the two programs will direct the retail spending of nearly 3 million individuals. (CF Library 5/2/02)

Details

RDM & NPC

Ontario-based RDM Corporation has inked an agreement with National
Processing Company. NPC has selected the “RDM EC5000i” series imager to
provide imaging solutions to its retailers across
the USA. RDM provides hardware, software and service solutions for
electronic check conversion, bill payment processing and other markets
where imaging is a critical business. NPC processes more than 4.0 billion
transactions annually and provides services to over 645,000 merchant
locations in the USA, making the company the second largest processor in
the world.

Details