MasterCard has been selected by the PULSE EFT network to provide future switching and settlement services. Both firms signed a letter of intent this week covering the principal terms of a five-year contract for access to the ‘MasterCard Debit Switch’. MasterCard is expected to assume responsibility for operation of PULSE’s EFT switch when the Association’s current services contract with JPMorgan Chase expires in September 2003. PULSE will process approximately one billion transactions in 2002. MasterCard expects to process approximately 1.2 billion transactions on the ‘MasterCard Debit Switch’ in 2002. When PULSE transactions are migrated to MasterCard in late 2003, the ‘MasterCard Debit Switch’ is expected to process more than 2.2 billion transactions, on an annualized basis. MasterCard has nearly 150 people in three locations exclusively engaged in processing debit transactions. PULSE said the long-term agreement will position the network to continue to operate independently while taking advantage of technical resources of the payments company.Details
Drexler Technology Corporation has received a $1.6 million order for multi-biometric LaserCard ID cards for a new customer. The card order was received through a value-added reseller and systems integrator, Information Spectrum, Inc. (www.informationspectrum.com), of Annandale, Virginia.
The $1.6 million LaserCard order calls for deliveries of 70,000 optical memory ID cards per month for five months starting in June 2002.
Drexler Technology does not have authorization to publicly disclose the customer’s name or the specific customer application.
Headquartered in Mountain View, Drexler Technology Corporation ([www.lasercard.com]) develops and manufactures optical data storage products and systems, including LaserCard(R) optical memory cards and chip-ready Smart/Optical(TM) cards — a combination of optical memory card and smart card.
Drexler’s wholly owned subsidiary, LaserCard Systems Corporation, makes optical card read/write drives, develops optical card system software, and markets card-related data systems and peripherals. In addition to cards made for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and the U.S. Department of State, the Company also supplies optical memory cards to other customers, such as the U.S. Department of Defense, the Government of Italy, and a state government of India.
First Data Loan
Company, Canada (First Data Merchant Services Canada), one of Canada’s
MasterCard acquirers, has entered into a marketing agreement with VISA
Desjardins, the largest VISA issuer and acquirer in Que’bec, to provide
MasterCard acquiring to VISA Desjardins merchants. VISA Desjardins will
designate FDLCC as its partner provider of MasterCard processing for VISA
Desjardins-generated VISA merchants, and will promote the combined service
offering for acceptance of all card types throughout Desjardins’ network.
Under the arrangement, First Data will serve as the acquirer for all
payments and VISA Desjardins will provide VISA and Interac acquiring and
VISA Desjardins will provide all VISA and MasterCard customer service for
merchants in the joint program, leveraging both FDMS Canada and VISA
systems capabilities to provide top quality service. The parties have
to assign dedicated sales staffing to promote the program throughout Canada,
and to explore certain program enhancements for the benefit of small business
customers, including the use of FDMS Canada’s automation tools, technology,
With this new relationship, both FDMS Canada and VISA Desjardins anticipate
strengthening their positions in the Canadian marketplace. FDMS Canada will
continue to utilize the merchant processing capabilities of First Data
Services. VISA Desjardins will continue to utilize its merchant processing
capabilities. This agreement is just the beginning of an exciting new
relationship aimed at leveraging the strengths of both companies to provide
best possible service to their customers.
About First Data Loan Company, Canada
First Data Loan Company, Canada (First Data Merchant Services Canada) is a
subsidiary of First Data Corp. and the third largest merchant acquirer for
MasterCard transactions in Canada. FDMS CANADA provides the
technology, reliability and redundancy that merchants demand by providing
solutions to merchants to safely and securely accept electronic payments.
CANADA offers point-of-sale processing via First Data Merchant Services. A
subsidiary of First Data Corp., First Data Merchant Services annually
and settles almost 9 billion transactions for more than $490 billion in sales
volume from 2.8 million merchant locations. First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC),
with global headquarters in Denver, Colorado, USA, powers the world economy,
serving over 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers worldwide. For more
information, please visit
About VISA Desjardins
VISA Desjardins, which is part of the Fe’de’ration des Caisses Desjardins du
Que’bec, is the largest VISA issuer and merchant acquirer in Que’bec. VISA
Desjardins has over 700 employees, serving more than 1.9 million cardholders
through its extensive Caisses Desjardins and Community VISA affiliated credit
unions throughout Canada. Desjardins also provides payment services to over
55,000 merchants. VISA Desjardins’ Merchant Acquiring sales volumes reached
$3.7 billion dollars in 2001. For more information, please visit
The November rebound in revolving debt was wiped out in December as consumers cut total revolving credit by more than $7 billion. The surprise news blew a hole in the consensus that consumers were returning to more normal credit patterns following September 11th. The decline was the sharpest one month drop in more than a decade. According to the monthly figures released by the Federal Reserve yesterday, revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, stands at $683.8 billion. During December 2000, Americans added nearly $2.8 billion to revolving credit. At the end of December 2001, American consumers were $1.645 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.
REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL
Dec 01 Nov 01 Oct01 Sep01 Aug01 Jul01 Jun01
GRWTH: -14.2% 9.7 -7.1 0.6 -2.2 -3.7 2.1
$OWED: $683.8 691.9 686.4 692.7 693.5 698.1 700.3
May 01 Apr01 Mar01 Feb01 Jan01 Dec00 Nov00
GRWTH: 4.5% 14.2 11.9 20.8 11.6 5.0 10.9
$OWED: $699.0 697.6 688.2 681.4 670.3 663.4 660.6
Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 02/07/02; For complete historical data visit [www.carddata.com].
Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a
subsidiary of First Data Corp. announced the launch of the
Western Union Money Transfer service in Uzbekistan.
Western Union, the first money transfer company to offer services in the
country, has established eight agent locations in the capital city of Tashkent
and surrounding areas. By the end of first quarter, Western Union will add
additional agent locations in the cities of Bukhara, Samarkand, Fergana and
Kokand. By the end of 2002, the company anticipates having up to 20 active
locations across Uzbekistan. Western Union’s new Uzbekistan agents —
Business Bank, Bank Khamkor and National Banks of Uzbekistan — have a
combined total of 42 locations throughout the country.
“Thanks to Western Union, thousands of Uzbek emigres in the U.S. will now
be able to send money legally, quickly and safely to their loved ones in
Uzbekistan,” said Mr. Ziyodilla Khodjimedov, Consul General of the Republic of
Uzbekistan in New York. “Western Union money transfers are going to make life
better for our relatives and friends in need,” Ziyodilla added, emphasizing
the importance of rapid money transfers in stimulating business growth and
developing the infrastructure of the country.
“Uzbek emigres have their own unique and proud heritage,” said Bill
Thomas, president, Western Union International. “Yet, they share one strong
characteristic with expatriates from around the world: the desire to become
active members of their adopted communities, while maintaining strong ties to
their homeland. One way they maintain those ties is by providing financial
support to loved ones back home. They trust Western Union to perform that
function, which is a responsibility we take very seriously.”
About Western Union Financial Services, Inc. and First Data
Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp.
(NYSE: FDC), is an international leader in consumer money transfer services.
Consumers can quickly, safely and reliably pay bills and transfer money around
the globe using the company’s proprietary money transfer network. Western
Union and its subsidiary, Orlandi Valuta, together make up one of the world’s
largest money transfer networks with a total of approximately 120,000 Agent
locations in more than 185 countries and territories. Famous for its
pioneering telegraph service, the original Western Union dates back to
1851 and introduced electronic money transfer service in 1871. For more
information, please visit the company’s Web site at
First Data Corp., with global headquarters in Denver, helps power the
global economy. Serving approximately 2.8 million merchant locations,
1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data makes it easy, fast
and secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services, using
virtually any form of payment: credit, debit, smart card, stored-value card or
check at the point-of-sale, over the Internet or by money transfer. For more
information, please visit the company’s Web site at
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited reported that unaudited 2001 consolidated net earnings were up 19.3 percent to $176.7 million, or $2.25 per share, compared to $148.0 million or $1.89 per share recorded in 2000. Consolidated net earnings for the fourth quarter were up 28.8 percent, to $41.0 million or $0.53 per share compared to $31.9 million or $0.41 per share a year earlier. Retail sales in 2001 increased 6.9 percent and comparable store sales increased 2.2 percent. “During 2001 it became clear the retail sector would be impacted by economic uncertainty. Canadian Tire’s ability to increase sales by 6.9 percent in this environment demonstrated the strength of our position in the marketplace and the value we provide to our customers,” said Wayne C. Sales, president and CEO, Canadian Tire. While we are pleased with our financial performance, we are very excited with our opportunity to continue to accelerate our growth in earnings even further,” added Sales.
“While our 19.3 percent earnings per share growth benefited from certain one-time gains and year-over-year reductions in specific expenses, our earnings excluding these items exceeded the upper end of our previously released forecast. These results were delivered by a team totally focused on our operations, adjusting our plans and strategies to drive top-line growth, reduce costs and strengthen our balance sheet, ultimately increasing shareholder value,” added Sales.
Several factors enhanced the Corporation’s earnings before tax in 2001, including: $15.4 million from the sale of credit charge receivables; $8.0 million from the sale of Hamilton Discount Corporation, Limited (HDCL); and $11.8 million from the disposition of redundant real estate properties. Both the proceeds from the sale of redundant real estate properties and gains from the sale of credit charge receivables are expected to provide recurring earnings contributions during the outlook period of 2002-2005.
These positive contributions to earnings before tax were partially offset by several factors, including: $10.5 million in net expenses in
The Corporation also benefited from reduced effective tax rates due to working capital initiatives and lower rates associated with the mix of income.
Consolidated gross operating revenue increased 3.2 percent to $5.4 billion from the $5.2 billion reported in 2000. Fourth quarter consolidated gross operating revenue was $1.4 billion, up 4.2 percent from the fourth quarter in 2000. Canadian Tire Retail gross operating revenue was up 4.0 percent in 2001, while Canadian Tire Financial Services gross operating revenue rose 6.9 percent. Canadian Tire Petroleum’s gross operating revenue declined 1.8 percent.
“We continued to make progress during the year in improving Canadian Tire’s financial flexibility and strengthening our balance sheet,” noted Sales. “Cash generated from operations reached $362 million. In addition, our Treasury group undertook a series of successful financing activities that were well received by the capital markets. We closed the year with a cash position of $579 million.”
Total capital expenditures in 2001 were $358 million, down $70 million from the original plan. Canadian Tire’s capital expenditure plan for 2002 is approximately $300 million, a further reduction of about $60 million from the previous year. During the past several years Canadian Tire has invested in growth and in required infrastructure such as supply chain capacity and capability. Starting in 2002, a larger percentage of our capital investments will be deployed to areas of profitable growth as infrastructure investments are completed.
During the year, Canadian Tire made significant progress in a number of key areas, including:
– the development and implementation of the Corporation’s strategic agenda for the period of 2002 through 2005;
– driving top-line growth and performance of our core business. Retail sales increased 6.9 percent to reach a record $5.3 billion;
– making significant progress in our Customer Values initiative to improve customer service, including the roll-out of Canadian Tire’s proprietary eLearning online training. This system is focused on customer service and product knowledge training for front-line store team members. Significant improvement was also made to store in-stock position with record service levels for shipments to stores from the supply chain;
– opening of 37 new-format stores, including 9 incremental stores, for a total of 270 new-format stores opened since this program began in 1994, bringing Canadian Tire’s total store count to 450;
– implementing the Next Generation merchandising concept in 15 existing new-format stores opened prior to 2001;
– commissioning the 500,000 square foot distribution centre in Calgary, Alberta, which is now shipping to 140 Western Canadian stores as part of a broader supply chain improvement initiative;
– achieving status as one of Canada’s most-visited retail eCommerce sites, reaching 2 million visitors in the month of October: CTR’s online operations are targeted to break-even on an operational basis in 2002;
– converting 450,000 retail cards over to Canadian Tire’s Options MasterCard(R), now representing more than two-thirds of Financial Services’ outstanding receivables, bringing outstanding receivables in Financial Services to an all-time high of $1.4 billion;
– completing the integration of the Auto Village/Drivers banners under the PartSource format, bringing the total to 30 PartSource stores opened across Canada. PartSource achieved double-digit growth in comparable store sales in 2001;
– continuing to outperform the gasoline industry in sales volume per site, with record sales volume and continued marketshare gains in 2001.
CANADIAN TIRE RETAIL (CTR)
Total retail sales for 2001 were $5.3 billion, a 6.9 percent increase over 2000. Comparable store sales increased by 2.2 percent. This sales performance reflects strong marketing programs and customer acceptance of our unique product assortment, offering basic goods for every day use. Retail sales for the fourth quarter were up 5.7 percent from the same quarter last year, with a resulting 1.7 percent increase in comparable store sales. “Our retail sales performance was encouraging, particularly in view of the strong, non-promotional sales growth we experienced in core, competitive categories such as hardware, housewares, automotive accessories, tires and lawn and garden. Throughout the year we continued to experience sales growth and market share gains in these key categories,” commented Sales. “Our retail sales momentum continued through January 2002,” he added.
CTR closed 2001 with gross operating revenue of $4.2 billion compared to the $4.0 billion recorded in 2000. The increase was due to the year-over-year 4.0 percent increase in shipments to Associate Dealers, highlighted by an 8.9 percent increase in the fourth quarter as Canadian Tire Retail enjoyed strong sales during the key holiday period. CTR earnings before taxes for the year were $171.7 million, equal to 2000. While the Corporation enjoyed strong retail sales in 2001, earnings were impacted as Associate Dealers focused on reducing excess store inventory resulting in shipments that lagged sales. Lower growth in shipments also reduced purchase discounts from vendors, impacting CTR earnings before taxes. While in the short-term this reduction in excess store inventory impacted CTR’s results, the reduction will enable CTR to exploit merchandising and marketing opportunities going forward. During 2001, significant improvements were made in the CTR supply chain, and service levels to stores reached a record 91.7 percent.
Fourth quarter CTR gross operating revenue totaled $1,154.1 million, up 8.9 percent from $1,060.2 million in 2000, reflecting an 8.9 percent rise in shipments. Earnings before taxes for the quarter were $47.3 million, compared to $34.6 million a year earlier. The primary reason for this performance was the increase in gross operating revenue. This increase was partially offset by higher net advertising and marketing program expenses resulting from a reduction in vendor contributions totaling $13 million. On a year-over-year comparative basis, 2000 results were negatively impacted by $10.9 million in product clearance costs for Christmas lights and $4.0 million in restructuring costs.
CANADIAN TIRE PETROLEUM (CTP)
Canadian Tire Petroleum reported 2001 gross operating revenue of $837.8 million, down 1.8 percent from $853.5 million recorded in 2000. Increased CTP gasoline litre volume was offset by lower prices at the pump, resulting in the revenue decline. In spite of reduced revenues, CTP continued to gain marketshare with a 1.3 percent increase in gasoline litre sales in an environment of limited industry volume growth.
Earnings before taxes for the year were $17.8 million, a 44.1 percent increase from the $12.4 million earned in 2000 due primarily to improved margins. Ancillary businesses in Petroleum such as car washes and propane experienced double-digit growth.
Petroleum’s fourth quarter gross operating revenue totaled $190.1 million, down 17.3 percent from the $229.8 million recorded in the fourth quarter of 2000. This reflected significantly lower pump prices and a decline in gasoline litre sales volume of 0.6 percent, due to 3 fewer CTP gasoline stations that were in the process of being redeveloped or replaced in the fourth quarter compared to 2000. Strong gross margins resulted in earnings before tax for the quarter of $4.7 million, 17.7 percent higher than the $4.0 million recorded in 2000.
CANADIAN TIRE FINANCIAL SERVICES (CTFS)
Canadian Tire Financial Services reported 2001 gross operating revenue of $352.3 million, up 6.9 percent from the $329.6 million recorded a year earlier. Earnings before taxes in 2001 were $87.5 million, up 54.4 percent from $56.6 million recorded in 2000. Revenue and earnings were positively impacted by gains from the sale of credit charge receivables and from the sale of HDCL, in addition to the rapid growth of credit receivables due to the accelerated growth of Options MasterCard(R) accounts. Excluding earnings contributions from the sale of receivables and from the sale of HDCL earnings before taxes would have been $67.6 million, up 19.4 percent from 2000. Accelerating Options MasterCard(R) account growth resulted in an 8.9 percent increase in gross credit charge receivables to $1.4 billion, which more than offset the reduction in charge card receivables associated with the first quarter sale of all third-party charge card receivables including Hamilton Discount. Excluding third-party charge card receivables, the year- over-year value of the portfolio would have grown by 19.1 percent. As of the end of 2001, Financial Services managed over 1.7 million MasterCard(R) accounts, an increase of more than 30 percent from a year earlier.
The quality of CTFS’s portfolio remains strong, with an improvement in aging of accounts and write-down rates remaining virtually unchanged at year- end.
Fourth quarter gross operating revenue was up 4.6 percent to $93.9 million, reflecting continued credit charge receivables growth, partially offset by the loss of contributions from HDCL and third-party processing contracts. Earnings before taxes in the fourth quarter declined 13.8 percent from $13.2 million to $11.4 million, due to $3.8 million in expenses for the launch of Project Accelerate, a program designed to encourage the conversion of Canadian Tire retail cards to Options MasterCards(R).
Commenting on 2002, Sales said: “Our results in 2001 have set the stage for us to continue making excellent progress across our network of businesses to drive top-line sales and reduce costs in order to accelerate earnings growth. In addition to our existing businesses, the acquisition of Mark’s Work Wearhouse in February 2002 will create $500 million in incremental revenue growth and provide immediate accretion to our earnings.”
Sales added: “Mark’s is a very strong, growing business that is highly compatible with our corporate growth strategy, which includes the development of new businesses. Mark’s also offers opportunities to leverage Canadian Tire’s core strengths and assets. It has demonstrated strong financial performance, has in place a targeted growth strategy and is led by a talented management team.”
In 2002 the Corporation expects to achieve total earnings per share in the range of $2.39 to $2.44. This estimate includes a strong contribution from increased gross operating revenue as well as continuing revenues from the sale of redundant real estate assets and credit charge receivables. The sale of redundant real estate assets and credit charge receivables are associated with the Corporation’s major new-format store real estate program and its acceleration of the conversion of Canadian Tire Retail cards to Options Mastercard(R). These strategic initiatives are part of the Corporation’s ongoing operations and will continue to contribute to earnings at least throughout the outlook period of 2002-2005. Mark’s Work Wearhouse is expected to contribute $0.08 to $0.10 on a per share basis towards this earnings forecast, prior to the realization of operational synergies. The Corporation is currently completing an analysis on how much of the estimated $5-7 million in ongoing annualized savings can be captured in 2002 and will communicate the benefit of this expense reduction on the Corporation’s earnings forecast once that process is complete.
On December 6, 2001 the Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.10 per share on each Common and Class A Non-Voting share. The dividend is payable on March 1, 2002 to holders of record on January 31, 2002.
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSE: CTR.a, CTR) operates an inter- related network of businesses engaged in retail, financial services and petroleum. Canadian Tire Retail, with 450 stores across the country, is the country’s most-shopped retailer, offering a unique mix of products and services through three specialty categories in which the organization is the market leader — Automotive, Sports and Leisure, and Home Products. [www.canadiantire.ca] offers Canadians the opportunity to shop online.
PartSource is an automotive parts specialty chain with 30 stores designed to meet the needs of major purchasers of automotive parts — professional automotive installers and serious do-it-yourselfers. Canadian Tire Financial Services manages related financial products and services for retail and petroleum customers, and also markets other value-added products to our customers. Canadian Tire Petroleum is one of the country’s largest and most productive independent retailers of gasoline, with 203 outlets. Mark’s Work Wearhouse Ltd. is a specialty retail organization that operates 325 stores in Canada. More than 40,000 Canadians work across the Canadian Tire organization from coast-to-coast in our corporate, retail, financial services and petroleum businesses.
For complete details on Canadian Tire’s 4Q/01 performance please visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Datacap Systems, Inc., a leading provider of integrated payment systems, announces the availability of Enterprise Server for NETePay, Datacap’s payment software that achieves 2-second authorizations via DSL or other ‘always on’ Internet and VPN connections. Enterprise Server accepts DES-encrypted authorization requests from remote locations running NETePay clients and forwards those requests to the bankcard processor for authorization and central settlement.
Most currently available payment systems require authorization and settlement of payment transactions at the individual store level. Store totals are then uploaded to headquarters for consolidation and reporting. Now chain stores can enjoy the operational benefits of managing all payment activity through a single headquarters server, while realizing fast 2-second authorizations. By managing and settling a single batch at headquarters, chains achieve significant savings by eliminating cashier and manager close procedures at the store level, while maintaining full accountability at headquarters. Substantial savings on processing fees can also be realized through a VPN connection to the merchant’s bankcard processor.
As brick-and-mortar retail and restaurant chains embrace the Internet for sending enterprise data, it’s only natural for them to take advantage of that same infrastructure for authorizing electronic payments. Because Datacap’s NETePay clients are triple DES-encrypted, merchants can safely send payment transactions over the open Internet to Enterprise Server, which is connected to the bankcard processor via the Internet or VPN, depending on the processor selected.
Systems developers that have already implemented Datacap’s latest Windows ActiveX controls for sending transactions to its dial-up server for DataTrana” can access NETePay Enterprise Server without any changes to their software.
For new developers, using Datacap’s client application and controls allows payment authorizations to be sent via dial-up or Internet/VPN, without any changes to their software. Purpose-built ECRs that use Datacap’s multi-lane LanTrana” system can also get these same fast payment authorizations via the Internet without changes to their ECRs.
Datacap Systems has successfully designed, manufactured and marketed integrated credit/debit/check verification systems for over 18 years. Datacap’s payment verification interfaces allow virtually any system, regardless of operating system or hardware platform, to get easy access to payment processing networks for credit, debit, check, EBT, house charge, gift card and loyalty program processing. Datacap products are typically used in retail, mail/telephone order, hospitality, quick service, retail petroleum, parking, auto rental, convenience, medical and government applications.
If you would like additional, more frequent notifications by email, send an email to Datacap sales admin at requesting email notification and indicating the Datacap products and partners’ products you currently use or re-sell.Details
UT-based ShopSite released version 6.0 of its e-commerce shopping cart application. ‘ShopSite Pro v6.0’ features two major upgrades, including United Parcel Service’s ‘Rates and Service Selection’ tool and National Processing Company’s processing credit card payment gateway. In addition, fraud prevention features, electronic couponing, digital downloads and improved performance capabilities have all been added to ‘Shop Site Pro v6.0’. Pricing for ShopSite Pro v.6.0 is $1,295 for a one-time/license fee. ‘ShopSite’ is available in three different applications: ‘ShopSite Pro’, ‘ShopSite Manager’ and ‘ShopSite Starter’. Pricing for ‘ShopSite Manager v6.0’ is $495 for a one-time licensing fee. ‘ShopSite Starter v6.0’ is only available through an ISP and is generally less than $5 per month and usually included in monthly hosting fees from an ISP.Details
Corporation, a leading global provider of wealth management and next
banking software, announced that its i-Wealthview Banking
running in production at American Express Bank in Singapore as of January 18,
2002. The Singapore production follows a similar implementation of
Banking at American Express Bank in Hong Kong in September 2001.
The implementations at American Express Bank in Singapore and Hong Kong are
part of a global licensing and servicing agreement to implement Fincentric’s
i-Wealthview Banking software for American Express Bank, the international
banking subsidiary of American Express Company, in six countries.
“We are pleased to be meeting our commitments to American Express Bank on its
international banking initiative,” commented Mike Cardiff, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Fincentric. “Our software is designed to provide
customer-centricity and Customer Value Management(TM) capabilities that
strategies for increasing customer acquisition, retention and profitability.”
Fincentric is a leading developer of wealth management software solutions for
the global banking industry. Fincentric’s i-Wealthview(TM) wealth management
software products include ‘next generation’ core banking, Customer Value
Management(TM), data aggregation, Internet & wireless financial portals and
full multi-channel support. Its revolutionary Customer Value Management(TM)
capabilities provide profitability and relationship analysis that allow
financial institutions to recognize the value of each customer, and maximize
their profitability. Fincentric products enable financial institutions to
quickly deploy solutions for their converging financial service offerings,
while also supporting capabilities for increasing customer profitability,
customer acquisition, and retention. Fincentric has more than 300 customers
worldwide, and has strategic relationships with Microsoft, Compaq, and other
international partners. For more information, visit Fincentric’s home page at
http://www.fincentric.com, or call 604/278-6470.
While American Express has been hard hit by the collapse in travel spending, the shift to online travel bookings and its related business model have helped to offset the decline. Last year the company recorded a 500% increase in reservations made via corporate online booking tools, compared to the year earlier. Interactive travel bookings now represent over 6% of all American Express corporate travel reservations made in the U.S. In addition, American Express has shifted its business model to collect booking fees directly from users rather than relying on commissions paid by airlines. The lowest fees are charged to customers using AmEx online reservations. The move has also enabled AmEx to reduce the number of live agents as it beefs up is E-Fulfillment Center in Miami Lakes, FL. Since opening the new facility last year, AmEx has more than doubled its staff. In 1997, the company began fulfilling online bookings for small companies using its ‘RezPort’ online booking site through the ‘Small Business Interactive Travel Fulfillment’ center in Phoenix. From the two facilities, AmEx now fulfills interactive reservations for about 1,400 companies.Details
First Data said Wednesday it will release the ‘Statementlook’ service in April. The new service enables card issuers to provide consumers with an enhanced view of monthly statements with the option of making payments online. Issuers can present the information via a First Data-hosted or existing Web site and boost their branding/cross-selling efforts by using marketing banner ads. The new service also allows issuers to offer multiple payment options, including online transactions through their existing Web site, payments using the Western Union ‘MoneyZap’ service, or walk-in cash payments at any of over 40,000 Western Union agent locations in the U.S. FDC says the new service will further reduce issuers’ costs by offering various e-mail notification options for communicating with consumers as well as allowing consumers to make online account requests and updates.Details
Wells Fargo’s credit card unit posted a solid fourth quarter as receivables were up 4.4% over 3Q/01 and 8.7% over 4Q/00. Card volume also soared more than 19% during 2001, well above the growth rates of other major issuers. For complete details on Wells Fargo’s 4Q/01 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
WELLS FARGO TRACK RECORD
4Q/01 3Q/01 2Q/01 1Q/01 4Q/00 CHNG
RECV: $5.3b $5.1b $5.0b $5.1b $4.9b +8.7%
VOL: $3.2b $2.9b $2.8b $2.6b $2.7b +19.3%
ACCTS: 5.2m 5.2m 5.2m 5.1m 4.7m +9.9%
ACTIVES: 3.0m 2.9m 3.0m 2.9m 2.8m +9.1%
CARDS: 6.8m 6.8m 6.8m 6.4m 6.1m +10.7%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)