Nearly three quarters of Americans are confident that a strong economy will return next year. About 75% say they are acting on President Bush’s request to return to normal and maintain their past spending patterns, and that they view this as part of their patriotic duty. The findings come from a post-Sept 11th survey conducted by BIGresearch. With regard to the holiday shopping season, 70% of the survey respondents plan to spend about the same as last year on their holiday purchases. However, the survey did find that respondents’ recent worries about the economy and their own financial situation appear to be impacting their store choices. Roughly one-third of respondents say they have spent less money in upscale specialty stores since September 11. About one in five are shopping less at the traditional types of department stores.Details
Baltimore Technologies announced the appointment of Bijan Khezri as the
Executive Officer, effective immediately. Bijan replaces Paul Sanders who
served as interim CEO from July 2001.
Bijan Khezri has a thorough understanding of Baltimore Technologies and
the security industry, having joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director in
1998, and he assumed executive responsibilities for corporate strategic
development from November 1999 until May 2000 and left the Board in November
2000. Bijan rejoined the Board in July 2001 as a Non-Executive Director.
Bijan brings substantial business leadership and corporate finance
expertise through his Board level positions. Bijan acted as strategic advisor
and Board member of Jetter AG, a technology Company listed on the Frankfurt
Stock Exchange, helping to build the company into one of the world’s leading
Ethernet-based industrial automation companies, converging IT technologies
with robot automation. He was also a Director on the Board of a Silicon
Valley-based network security company, VPNet Technologies, where he
successfully devised and implemented corporate strategy. In early 2000, he
co-founded UK-based Despatchbox, a PKI-centered application vendor for secure
communications and data sharing.
Commenting on today’s CEO appointment, Peter Morgan, Chairman of Baltimore
Technologies said, “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Bijan as
Chief Executive Officer of Baltimore Technologies. His thorough knowledge of
our industry and company-specific challenges, his proven leadership and
corporate development skills, make him an exceptional choice as CEO. Bijan
enjoys the trust and support of our senior management and has the required
experience, energy, drive and foresight to lead this company.”
Bijan Khezri, Chief Executive Officer of Baltimore Technologies commented,
“Our employees, technology and installed customer base are first class. Our
challenge is to successfully combine all three. We need to focus on both our
customers’ needs and our core competencies. Usability and return on
investment to the end-user and corporate profitability will determine the path
of our authentication and authorization businesses going forward.”
Mr. Khezri continued, “Technology and services related partnerships will
be critical to allow applications to drive demand for our infrastructure
products, more effectively leverage professional services and move towards a
variable cost model.
“Our restructuring programme, announced on August 22, is under way. We
are fully committed to it. Its completion should provide the Company with the
necessary resources to take it into the next growth phase.”
The Company also announced today that Paul Sanders has resigned as Acting
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer with immediate effect.
The Company has commenced a search for a new CFO and in the meantime, Bijan
will assume Board level responsibility for finance. Paul Sanders joined
Baltimore Technologies in December 2000 to financially manage the Company
through its aggressive merger and acquisition program. Subsequent
developments caused Baltimore Technologies to switch its strategic focus away
from acquisition activity. Paul has played a central role in developing this
restructuring program and now that the Company is focused on optimising the
business he feels that the time is right to move on.
“On behalf of the Board and the Company, I would like to wish Paul Sanders
every success in the future and thank him for his contribution to the
restructuring of Baltimore Technologies,” said Peter Morgan, Chairman of
Following Baltimore’s voluntary delisting from the NASDAQ market and
subsequent move to the OTC Bulletin Board, the Company will only be announcing
full financial results for the half year and year end. Today, Baltimore
Technologies announced financial highlights for Q3 2001, based on unaudited
* Total revenues for the period of Stg 15 million pounds sterling. Demand
for Baltimore’s security technology was underpinned by deals with
customers worldwide including Bundesamt fur Informatik und
Telekommunikation (Swiss Government), Australian Tax Office, Tradelink,
Verizon Communications and Chase Manhattan Bank.
* The cash balance as at 30 September 2001 was Stg 32.4 million pounds.Details
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York late yesterday ruled against VISA and MasterCard in the Government’s antitrust lawsuit regarding the card associations’ exclusionary rules which prohibit members from issuing American Express or Discover cards. However Judge Barbara Jones did not order the networks to change their dual governance structure. News of the decision immediately lifted AmEx stock in after hours trading Tuesday and pre-trading activity this morning. In a 157-page ruling, the judge said VISA’s bylaw ‘210(e)’ and MasterCard’s ‘Competitive Programs Policy’ weaken competition and harm consumers in a number of ways. The court ruled that debit cards were included in the prohibition of VISA and MasterCard’s exclusionary rules. However the ruling stated that including debit cards as a necessary part of the remedy does not put it in the same product market with general purpose payment cards. In discussing the dual governance issue, the judge said that with the exception of the associations’ failure to name each other directly in past advertising, the government’s examples failed to prove that dual governance has significantly diminished competition and innovation in the credit and charge card industry.Details
Amicus Financial, the electronic
banking division of CIBC, announced it has been awarded the opportunity
to solicit all of the Credit Card Center’s former merchant customers in
an effort to assume management of nearly 15,000 ATM terminals located
throughout the United States. Currently, Amicus Financial manages more than
8,000 ATMs in the U.S. and Canada.
“Today’s announcement about our growing remote banking network – one of
the largest in North America – is yet another milestone in our journey to grow
North America’s largest electronic bank,” said Brian Cassidy, chief executive
officer of Amicus. “Thanks to our thousands of bank machines, Amicus Financial
is offering unprecedented access and convenience to our nearly 800,000
customers across the continent.”
On Friday, Aug. 24, a federal bankruptcy court judge in Philadelphia
awarded XtraCash ATM, the ATM operating arm of Amicus Financial, the exclusive
rights to petition all of CCC’s former merchant customers with an incentive
program in an effort to convert nearly 15,000 already-installed ATMs. That a
reputable banking organization won this right is good news for merchants who
had contracted with CCC and for consumers who relied on the convenience of
“Amicus Financial’s long-term ATM strategy is to create North America’s
largest and most comprehensive bank machine network,” said Eugene DeSilva,
chief officer of Amicus Financial’s Remote Banking Division. “We want to
ensure that our ATMs provide fee-free access to funds for Amicus Financial
banking customers and reliable, convenient access to cash for the public.”
Amicus Financial’s Remote Banking Division manages three distinct
businesses: an owned ATM network, which includes private label bank machines
like those of Marketplace Bank and Safeway SELECT Bank; a managed ATM network
where Amicus Financial provides other ATM network owners with servicing and
maintenance; and an independent sales operator (ISO) network, managed by
XtraCash ATM, which provides service and back office processing to individual
ATM operators such as convenience stores and gas stations. Bank machines
formerly managed by CCC would fall under this last category.
Most Amicus Financial ATMs will provide a range of services, including
cash dispensing, deposit taking, and account access and management. Future
services and features may include online banking capability, check cashing,
advertising, money transfer, and access to web-based services.
About Amicus Financial
Amicus Financial, a division of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce,
provides electronic financial services for many great brands in North America
including President’s Choice Financial, Marketplace Bank and Safeway SELECT
Bank. Through its network of more than 350 banking pavilions, contact centers
open 24/7, and more than 8,000 ATMs, Amicus Financial currently services
almost 800,000 customers and is acquiring more than 30,000 new customers each
month. Amicus Financial offers a superior customer experience by combining
self-service with a new standard of friendly, helpful, and responsive customer
service, and with better rates and no fees on day-to-day banking.
Direct mail credit card solicitations continue to soar at a record pace as nearly 2.5 billion have hit mailboxes across the country during the first six months of this year. For the first half of 2000 the industry sent out 1.6 billion pieces. Although the number of solicitations have grown by more than 50% this year, response rates continue to drop. During the second quarter response rates to card solicitations hit a low of 0.4% according to data tracked by BAIGlobal. By contrast, credit card advertisers on CardWeb.com’s consumer channels experienced average on-line response rates last week of 2.42%.
DIRECT MAIL CREDIT CARD OFFERS
PERIOD MAIL VOLUME RESPONSE RATES
2Q/01 1265.4m 0.4%
1Q/01 1208.3m 0.7%
4Q/00 1033.8m 0.8%
3Q/00 888.0m 0.6%
2Q/00 991.8m 0.4%
1Q/00 629.4m 0.7%
4Q/99 510.2m 0.7%
3Q/99 710.3m 0.9%
m-millions Source: BAIGlobal, Inc.
ARM, the industry’s leading provider of 16/32-bit
embedded RISC microprocessor solutions, today announced that Samsung
Electronics Co. Limited has licensed the ARM SecurCore SC100
microprocessor core. Samsung will use ARM’s 32-bit secure technology to
address the next generation of 32-bit smart card applications.
In October 2000, Samsung announced the availability of its component for
high-performance smart cards that integrate an ARM7 family 32-bit RISC
processor with Samsung secure IC technology. Smart cards using this technology
are currently shipping in volume. As a result of the cooperation between ARM
and Samsung, this new agreement will enable Samsung to develop a number of
secure devices based on ARM SecurCore technology to address high-volume
markets such as SIM for 3G mobile phones, as well as banking, Pay-TV and
network access smart cards. As part of this agreement, Samsung has also
licensed the ARM cryptographic acceleration technology that provides one of
the fastest RSA cryptography performances on the market, performing 1024-bit
RSA in under 100ms within the power budget of a GSM SIM card.
“The SecurCore microprocessor core combines the traditional ARM benefits
of high-performance, low power and small die size with dedicated hardware
security features,” said Steve Evans, VP of Segment Marketing, ARM. “Samsung
has recognized that SecurCore technology is the most competitive architecture
to address next-generation, high-performance secure devices. This agreement
makes SecurCore technology the most widely available 32-bit RISC architecture
designed for smart cards and other secure applications.”
“As one of the fastest-growing smart card IC manufacturers, it is
important that we continue to drive our efforts forward through continued
product development,” said Dr. Chilhee Chung, VP of System LSI Division,
Samsung Electronics. “There are many emerging secure applications that are
demanding ever more processing capability, and Samsung is addressing this by
integrating ARM SecurCore technology into our smart card ICs according to our
secure chip design methodology. ARM’s SecurCore technology is ideally suited
to the next-generation of products that are demanding higher levels of
security, very high-performance cryptography and best-in-class support for
Java Card(TM) technology.”
About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co. Limited, with 1999 sales revenue of
US$22.8 billion is a world leader in the electronics industry. The Korea-based
concern has operations in about 50 countries with 54,000 employees worldwide.
The company consists of three main business units: Digital Media System,
Semiconductor, and Information and Communications businesses.
Samsung Electronics is emerging as a global enterprise through joint R&D
projects with leading overseas companies, along with technology transfer
arrangements and joint investments. Based on open management and the desire to
bring the world together as one, Samsung Electronics, along with overseas
companies which are leading the electronics business in the world, will make
products that help people have richer more abundant lives. For more
information, please visit Samsung’s website at
ARM is the industry’s leading provider of 16/32-bit embedded RISC
microprocessor solutions. The company licenses its high-performance, low-cost,
power-efficient RISC processors, peripherals and system-on-chip designs to
leading international electronics companies. ARM also provides comprehensive
support required in developing a complete system. ARM’s microprocessor cores
are rapidly becoming the volume RISC standard in such markets as portable
communications, handheld computing, multimedia and embedded solutions. More
information on ARM is available at http://www.arm.com/
Capital One Financial Corp. announced the appointment of Gregor S. Bailar to Chief Information Officer, reporting to President and Chief Operating Officer Nigel W. Morris. Bailar joins Capital One from The Nasdaq Stock Market, where he has served as Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President for Operations and Technology since 1998.
As Capital One’s CIO, Bailar will serve as the company’s technology strategist, focusing on the information architecture that supports the company’s Information Based Strategy, business technology planning, and the development of IT financial strategies to drive business solutions.
“Gregor is an extraordinary talent with more than 15 years in the technology industry and much of that experience has involved leading large and complex organizations,” Morris said. “His understanding of both the potential of new technologies and the power of well-designed, scalable architecture will help position Capital One for the next wave of growth as we continue to serve our more than 38 million customers and bring more value-add products to market.” At Nasdaq, Bailar has been responsible for all aspects of information technology market operations worldwide, and has worked closely with Nasdaq’s executive management team to develop innovative solutions to keep Nasdaq at the forefront of information technology.
Bailar joined Nasdaq after four years at Citicorp where he served as Managing Director and Vice President of Advanced Development for Global Corporate Banking. Before his tenure at Citicorp, Bailar served in various capacities at Perot System Corporation, Trirex Systems, Inc., Next Computer and Hewlett Packard.
Bailar currently sits on numerous advisory boards including DTCC, Dell, Tibco, NextSet and Microsoft and is a director for Red Oak Software and TotalAdvisor. A well-respected IT thought-leader, he serves as a judge for CIO Magazine’s Enterprise Value awards and was named by CIO and Computerworld as one of the Top 100 CIOs and IT Influencers of the next millennium.
Bailar earned a bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering from Dartmouth College. He currently lives with his family in McLean, Va.
Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation ([http://www.capitalone.com]) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 38.1 million customers and $35.3 billion in managed loans outstanding as of June 30, 2001. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 index.
Retail Decisions is teaming with TSYS to fight fraud in the corporate purchasing card market. Under terms of the deal, RD will collaborate with several U.S. card issuers including U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo to build a corporate card-specific fraud detection model. The new commercial card model will be available to TSYS clients in the first quarter of 2002. TSYS recently entered the UK market with a processing contract for Royal Bank of Scotland Group.Details
CIBC’s Amicus Financial has been awarded the opportunity to solicit all of PA-based Credit Card Center’s former merchant ATM customers in the USA. CCC has nearly 15,000 ATM terminals under management. In August a federal bankruptcy court judge in Philadelphia awarded XtraCash ATM, the ATM operating arm of Amicus Financial, the exclusive rights to petition all of CCC’s former merchant customers with an incentive program in an effort to convert nearly 15,000 already-installed ATMs. Last week Tidel and NCR received court approval to jointly acquire the entire inventory of ATMs owned by CCC for $8 million. The inventory consists of more than 4,000 ATMs, together with related parts and supplies, originally manufactured by Tidel, NCR and several other companies. (CF Library 9/27/01)Details
While VISA and MasterCard expressed relief that yesterday’s ruling did not dismantle their dual governance structure, American Express immediately declared a major victory in regard to the lifting of the exclusionary rules. AmEx says the ruling illustrates how VISA and MasterCard “have broken the law over a long period of time” and “is consistent with similar decisions from competition authorities around the world.” AmEx says it will promptly resume conversations with a number of banks about possible card-issuing ventures. There is a consensus among analysts that Tuesday’s decision could improve the prospects of a merger between AmEx and a major bank. MasterCard indicated last night it is strongly considering an appeal of the ruling against its ‘Competitive Programs Policy. Reportedly, attorneys for the plaintiffs in the Wal-Mart debit card antitrust lawsuit, also claimed victory in yesterday’s ruling saying it will bolster their claims that VISA and MasterCard used its market power to dominate the market for debit cards.Details
Bank credit card charge-off rates dropped 10 bps to 6.5% in August among credit card-backed securities. However the charge-off level is 140 bps higher than where it was a year ago, but down from the 6.9% peak figure posted in May according to Standard & Poor’s ‘Credit Card Quality Indexes’. Charge-offs tend to decline for many issuers in July and August due to seasonal patterns. This year, losses stayed flat during the summer rather than increasing. Nevertheless there are growing concerns over credit quality and the overall health of the economy following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. Sub-prime portfolios are expected to be the most impacted.
STANDARD & POOR’S CREDIT CARD QUALITY INDEXES
Performance month Aug 99 Aug 00 Jun 01 Jul 01 Aug 01
Yield (%) 19.8 19.9 19.3 20.0 20.0
Charge-offs (%) 5.7 5.1 6.5 6.6 6.5
Weighted base rate (%) 7.4 8.5 6.2 6.2 6.1
Excess spread (%) 6.7 6.3 6.7 7.1 7.5
Delinquencies (%) 4.6 4.2 4.9 5.0 5.1
Payment rate (%) 17.1 16.9 15.9 16.3 16.7
Cardtronics, a leading national provider of Automated Teller Machine products and services, has entered into a long-term agreement with SSP/Circle K to install and service 335 new ATM machines in Circle K convenience stores in Texas and Oklahoma. Under the terms of the agreement, SSP will purchase new Tidel IS 2000 ATM machines through Cardtronics, which will install the units and provide processing services.
Cardtronics, the nation’s largest distributor of Tidel ATMs, currently operates a network of more than 6,500 ATMs from coast to coast, handling approximately 91,000 transactions per day.
“We are delighted that SSP has chosen Cardtronics to serve their ATM needs,” said Ralph Clinard, President and CEO of Cardtronics. “This partnership builds on our success in attracting large, multi-location corporate customers who are beginning to recognize Cardtronics as an industry leader with real expertise in the ATM business.
Brian Archer, Executive Vice President of Cardtronics, added, “After 12 years in business, building our network one machine at a time, we have acquired the experience and knowledge to offer superior products and services to corporate customers. We have worked very hard at becoming one of the largest and most respected ATM networks in the nation, with an excellent track record of satisfying customers.”
“SSP is very excited about taking ownership of its ATM program through our partnership with Cardtronics,” said Lloyd Nobles, SSP’s Category Manager for electronics services. “This move will allow SSP to maximize our profitability and improve the quality of the financial services we provide to our customers.”
Founded in 1989, Cardtronics is a leading national provider of fully integrated Automated Teller Machine (ATM) products and services, headquartered in Houston, Texas with sales and service representatives in every major U.S. market. With a network of over 6,500 machines and growing, Cardtronics is one of the largest and fastest-growing independent ATM deployers in the U.S. For more information about Cardtronics, visit .
SSP Partners is a Corpus Christi, Texas based company, which directly operates 335 retail convenience stores in Texas and Oklahoma and over 300 branded dealer units through its wholesale fuel division. SSP is a licensee of the TMC Franchise Corporation and operates under the Circle K brand. Founded in 1938 by the Susser family, SSP has experienced dynamic growth and now is one of the Top 50 convenience store chains in the United States.Details