Microsoft has signed a deal to link visitors of MSN Money to the Equifax “Credit Profile,” “Score Power,” and Equifax “Credit Watch” services. As part of the expanded relationship, visitors to MSN Money will have access to additional links to the Equifax Web site which features Equifax’s comprehensive suite of personal credit solutions that enlighten, enable and empower consumers to better manage and protect their financial health.Details
MBNA Europe Bank Limited has acquired the $1.2 billion credit card portfolio of Alliance & Leicester plc. Under terms of the deal, MBNA will market credit cards to A&L’s 5.5 million customers through A&L’s
310 branches in the UK and also will develop products and services for A&L’s 1.34 million existing cardholders. Inclusive of the A&L portfolio, MBNA has more than a 14% market share of all credit card receivables in the United Kingdom and a 19% share in Ireland. Prior to the acquisition, MBNA had approximately 8.0 million cardholders in the U.K., Ireland, Canada, and Spain. MBNA will manage the A&L card portfolio from its administrative and operations facilities in Chester, England. The bank also has facilities in London and in Carrick-on-Shannon and Dublin, Ireland.
Q Comm International has entered into an agreement with Access ATM of Houston, and Financial Services Authority of Dallas, to distribute Q Comm’s “Qxpress 200” POSA terminals. The two companies will utilize their current distribution and marketing network consisting of more than 100 distributors nationwide to promote Qxpress 200 to the more than 10,000 retailers that they currently serve.Details
CIM, a card printers and embossing products manufacturer, announced its quality systems registration as compliant with ISO 9002:1994 standards. Quality requirements have been met in the realm of manufacturing and servicing of metal plate embossing and plastic card personalization machines as well as trade of thermal print machines for plastic card personalization. CIM has a worldwide presence with subsidiaries covering the Asia/Pacific region, and since 1999 is covering the Americas through its subsidiary CIM USA Inc located in Miami, Florida.Details
FL-based Bankrate reported net income of $1 million for the second quarter, compared to a net loss of $249,000 in 2Q/01. Despite a tough online advertising market, total revenue for the quarter was $6.2 million, 48% higher than the same quarter in 2001. The company, which was considered a “dot bomb” in 2000, has increased its cash from $6.5 million at March 31st to $7.3 million at June 30th. Bankrate says it is now virtually debt-free. Bankrate averages four million online visitors per month. For complete details on Bankrate’s 2Q/02 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
The Switch debit card brand will migrate to the Maestro brand following an agreement in principle between the U.K.’s Switch Card Scheme Board and MasterCard Europe. Upon completion of the agreement, the brand switch-over will begin immediately and completed by mid-2007. In the early stages, most cards and shop windows in Britian will carry both the Switch and Maestro logos, and then gradually the Switch brand will be withdrawn. As well as agreeing in principle on the brand migration, the Switch Scheme will also outsource 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 US$47 billion. Launched in 1987, Switch is accepted by 580,000 outlets in the U.K.. More than 21 million cards currently carry the Switch brand, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com]). The Maestro brand mark now appears on 445 million cards issued in 87 countries.
TX-based Dibz has signed a group of extreme sports athletes to promote its recently announced prepaid interactive pro athlete card targeted to Generation Y’ers. The Dibz cards are prepaid accounts that are collectable, tradeable, and can be used immediately upon purchase to view online exclusive video, tricks, tips and related merchandise from their favorite extreme sports athletes or used as a pre-paid phone card.Details
Smart card manufacturer Gemplus reported a second quarter operating loss, before restructuring charges, of US$25.1 million, almost half the losses posted in 2Q/01. The company also confirmed that its interim CEO, Ron Mackintosh, has decided to step down as of August 15th, with no apparent successor named till then. 2Q/02 revenue was up 19% to US$217.9 million, and gross profit was up 34% to US$50.3 million compared to 1Q/02. However revenue for 2Q/01 was US$261.9 million and gross profit was US$96.3 million, significantly above current quarter levels. Since February, the company has gone through a restructuring that has reduced its operating costs by US$69.6 million annually. The company is seeking to cut $114.2 million from its costs by year-end, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com]). Gemplus also noted that it decided to include in its consolidated accounts for the second quarter a provision to cover the risk of possible non-reimbursement of a loan granted to Dr Marc Lassus, former Chairman and a current Board member, in the amount of US$69.5 million. For complete details on Gemplus’ 2Q/02 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
MBNA Europe Bank Limited has acquired the $1.2 billion credit card portfolio of Britain’s Alliance & Leicester plc. Under terms of the deal, MBNA will market credit cards to A&L’s 5.5 million customers through A&L’s 310 branches in the UK and also will develop products and services for A&L’s 1.34 million existing cardholders. Inclusive of the A&L portfolio, MBNA has more than a 14% market share of all credit card receivables in the United Kingdom and a 19% share in Ireland. Prior to the acquisition, MBNA had approximately 8.0 million cardholders in the U.K., Ireland, Canada, and Spain, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com]). MBNA will manage the A&L card portfolio from its administrative and operations facilities in Chester, England. The bank also has facilities in London and in Carrick-on-Shannon and Dublin, Ireland. In May, the Bank of Spain approved MBNA’s application for a branch license that will allow MBNA to market credit cards and related products in Spain. MBNA expects to begin operations in Spain during the 3Q/02. In mid-April, MBNA Europe Bank Limited received clearance from the Financial Services Authority in the U.K. to apply to the Bank of Spain for a branch license to operate in Spain. Spain will become the fourth international market that MBNA has entered. (CF Library 4/12/02; 5/14/02)
CT-based MemberWorks has named Scott Flanders, Chairman and CEO of Columbia House to its Board of Directors. MemberWorks also announced today that Mr. Stephen Clearman retired from the Memberworks Board. Mr. Clearman, General Partner of GEO Capital, served as a Board member and a member of the Board’s Audit Committee since 1989.Details
American Express has promoted Valerie Soranno Keating, a nine-year company executive, to the position of President, Global Travelers Cheque Group. American Express Travelers Cheques have provided peace of mind to travelers across the globe for more than 100 years. Just last month the company announced a new service free to all American Express Travelers Cheque customers to help to replace their lost or stolen passports and credit cards anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.Details
American Savings Discount Club and its two principals reached an agreement with the FTC yesterday to establish a redress fund of nearly $3 million after generating nearly $50 million from consumers over a five-year period in an advance-fee loan program. ASDC has agreed to these provisions in order to settle a complaint that the Federal Trade Commission filed jointly with the Attorney General’s Offices of Virginia, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. The complaint alleged that the company pitched a fraudulent advance-fee loan promotion to hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide.Details