A Class Act

MBNA continues to pump out about 100 affinity programs per quarter and an average of two million new accounts every ninety days according to data gathered by CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). MBNA reported yesterday that net income for the second quarter of 1999 rose 28.6% during the second quarter of this year compared to last year. The company says it has produced consistent earnings increases, averaging 25%, in each of the thirty-four quarters since it became a public company. Total managed loans grew $2.4 billion during the second quarter to end up at $64.5 billion for 2Q/99. MBNA has approx. $2.0 billion in non-card loans and about $5.0 billion in international card receivables. Delinquency on total managed loans was 4.64% at June 30, 1999 compared to 4.60% for 2Q/98. Managed charge-offs for the second quarter logged in at 4.41% compared to 4.42% last year. MBNA says 2Q/99 charge volume, which includes purchases and cash advances, tallied up to $25,929,706,000 compared to $19,764,469,000 for 2Q/98. The firm’s net interest margin surged to 7.70% for 2Q/99 from 7.45% for 2Q/98. For complete current and historical financials for MBNA visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][2]).


First Quarter 1998 110 1.7 million $149.4 million
Second Quarter 1998 111 2.5 million $172.0 million
Third Quarter 1998 121 2.4 million $216.6 million
Fourth Quarter 1998 133 2.7 million $238.3 million
First Quarter 1999 81 1.7 million* $186.0 million
Second Quarter 1999 99 1.4 million $227.2 million

*excludes 3.3 million accounts from PNC portfolio acquisition and
200,000 accounts from First Virginia portfolio acquisition.

Source: CardData
(http://www.carddata.com/) 301-631-9100

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


Paycheck Accept

Equifax unveiled Monday a new offensive to combat fraudulent cashing of payroll checks at supermarkets across the country. ‘PayCheck Accept’ reduces fraud by performing basic identification validation, monitoring prior check cashing experience and activity, validating Social Security numbers and comparing the check payee to identification information in the Equifax credit database. ‘PayCheck Accept’ will undergo extensive testing with two prominent grocery store chains in the US. Because of the sensitive nature of the information and because Equifax will check entered ID information against the ID information in the Equifax credit database, Equifax will operate PayCheck Accept under all the provisions of FCRA. Equifax will also provide a fully staffed consumer call center to assist consumers who are declined or referred for other action and will explain the reason for the decline or referral.



MBNA International yesterday signed up the Lawn Tennis Association, a governing body for tennis in the U.K. The Association, with over 55,000 members, will offer an MBNA affinity card to its membership. MBNA says it now has more than 650 affinity relationships in the U.K. MBNA International, which started operation in the U.K. in 1993, now has more than $5 billion in loans outstanding.


eFunds Wins

eFunds, a business unit of Deluxe Corporation, yesterday announced that it has won one of the 1998 STAR Annual Top Performing Processor awards. STAR is a national electronic funds transfer network. Its award recognizes eFunds as one of the best performing STAR ATM processors in the country with an average uptime of 99.96 percent.

“This award recognizes eFunds commitment to give customers the best service possible,” said Debra Janssen, president and CEO of eFunds. “We appreciate STAR recognizing our commitment to top-notch ATM processing and availability. In this time of increased convenience, its what consumers expect and deserve and its what we deliver.”

The STAR award is based on ATM transactions only and honors a total of eight processors in two categories. eFunds received its award in the class A category, which is given for processing more than 450,000 transactions each month with the highest uptime. In 1998, eFunds processed more than 11.2 million ATM transactions for its 83 financial institution customers and STAR with a 99.96 percent uptime.

“The STAR award is an incentive for ATM processors to perform at the best level possible,” said Ronald V. Congemi, president and CEO for Star Systems, Inc. “Some networks penalize processors for low uptime. We reward them for high uptime.”

Among the other honorees in class A category is the CO-OP Network. eFunds processes ATM transactions for the CO-OP Network. “It was gratifying to have one of our most valued processing clients also receive a STAR award,” said Janssen.

“We are delighted by the STAR award,” said Kevin Sarber, CO-OP Network senior vice president of network services and development. “Providing our credit union members with high-quality ATM processing services is a top priority. Our relationship with eFunds helps us do that.”

About eFunds

eFunds provides leading electronic payments solutions to providers and customers engaged in commerce, any time, any place. eFunds helps financial services customers and retailers manage, secure and process debit-related transactions while minimizing risk and optimizing customer opportunity. End-to-end solutions include customer and identity verification; and electronic transaction authorization, capture, conversion, processing and settlement.

About Deluxe

Deluxe Corporation (NYSE: DLX) is a holding company composed of four business units:

eFunds, Deluxe Paper Payment Systems, iDLX Technology Partners, and Deluxe Government Services. For more information about Deluxe, visit www.deluxe.com. About Star Systems, Inc.

Star Systems, Inc. serves more than 3,700 financial institution members and their 79 million ATM/debit cardholders via more than 70,000 ATMs and 400,000 merchant point-of-sale (POS) locations, processing an average of 200 million transactions per month. In addition to network services, Star Systems, Inc. offers financial institutions off-line debit processing, card production, ATM services and gateway access to home banking and national network services. For more information, visit the STAR Web site at www.star-system.com.

About CO-OP Network

CO-OP Network is a national EFT network and provides a broad array of electronic financial products and services for more than 400 member credit unions in 31 states. CO-OP Network members enjoy surcharge free access to more than 3,000 ATMs, of which more than 75 percent have deposit access. With more than 200 million annual transactions, CO-OP Network brings efficiency, economy, product diversity and outstanding client service to its members. CO-OP is owned and controlled by member credit unions. It is headquartered in Ontario, Calif.


TSYS Heads South

Total System Services signed of a multi-year agreement with Bancahsa, the second-largest bank in Honduras, to process its ‘Honducard-VISA’ credit cards. The processing contract includes the combined portfolios of Bancahsa and subsidiaries, Bancahorro and Credihsa. TSYS will process the ‘Honducard-VISA’ accounts from its Columbus, Ga., headquarters and provide production and support from TSYS de Mexico’s facilities in Toluca, Mexico. Bancahsa is headquartered in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. Together with the subsidiary companies of El Ahorro Hondureno Group, S.A., Bancahsa represents the most complete financial services institution in Honduras, supported by a network of over 100 strategically located offices and more than 30 ATMs in the principal cities of Honduras.


Lockheed Deal

U.S. Bancorp has been selected by Lockheed Martin Corp. as their exclusive provider of VISA purchasing cards. The five-year agreement is expected to incur approximately $750 million in annual charges, resulting in nearly $4 billion over the term of the agreement. It is the largest commercial purchasing card program in the world. The program includes all 110 business units within Lockheed Martin and will create cost savings and synergies among 50 different accounting systems. U.S. Bancorp is the largest issuer of VISA corporate and purchasing cards in the world. Its client list includes 153 Fortune 500 companies, 248 of the Fortune 1000, several agencies of the Federal government and five state governments. U.S. Bancorp has also served as the company’s corporate T&E card provider since 1997. When the program is fully implemented, Lockheed estimates that it will eliminate approximately 700,000 accounts payable transactions annually. For current and historical data on U.S. Bancorp’s card portfolio visit CardData([www.carddata.com][1]).

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


MasterCard All-Star

[G2 RealVideo Format – Videos with Hank and Willie Priceless(All-Star Game)][1]

MasterCard will air its latest “Priceless” advertising spot in tonight’s FOX Network broadcast of the ‘1999 All-Star Game in Boston. The “All-Century Team” TV spot features four baseball legends including Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, George Brett, and Barry Bonds. MasterCard is also running a card usage sweepstakes which offers fans a chance to win a ‘Priceless Moment’ at the 1999 World Series. The ‘MasterCard All-Century Team Sweepstakes’ will award five winners an all expense paid trip for four to the 1999 World Series to sit with select living members of the ‘All-Century Team’. Visit CardTrak ([www.cardtrak.com][2]) for consumer details and click on CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com) to view the new spot.

[2]: http://www.cardtrak.com


BofA Debt Counseling

Bank of America’s Credit Card Group said yesterday it has selected NC-based American Credit Counselors Corp. to be a lead counselor to the bank’s customers with serious credit card debt. ACCC, a national non-profit organization that provides financial counseling and a debt management program for people who are experiencing financial difficulties, says it ranks among the top 12% nationally based on number of current clients. BofA says it has utilized ACCC for more than 18 months and has monitored and compared the performance of many other counseling agencies. BofA says ACCC’s exceptional reporting on key performance indicators was a factor in its decision to migrate more of its credit-counseling business to the company.


Hypercom Awarded

Frost & Sullivan has awarded Hypercom Corporation the 1998 Market Engineering Marketing Strategy Award for its strategic moves to shift the focus of the financial services industry to value-added solutions at the point-of-sale.

Hypercom’s prudent strategy came at a time when financial institutions began deploying new or updated POS transaction processing technology “in a desperate attempt to retain customers” amidst “fierce competition, cost-cutting and on-going consolidation plaguing the banking industry,” according to Frost & Sullivan. Frost & Sullivan is an internationally-recognized marketing consulting and training firm that monitors the information technology industry for market measurements, trends and strategies. Hypercom(R) is a global provider of electronic payment solutions.

Hypercom has introduced a number of solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers, including the ICE(TM) 5000 family of multi-function, touch-screen card payment systems with Hypercom’s networking solutions supporting the Hypercom FastPOS 9600(TM) bps modem technology, and Hypercom’s Ascedent(TM) client/server transaction software.

“Adding value at the point-of-sale is essential for financial institutions who want to survive and compete in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace,” said George Wallner, President and CEO, Hypercom Corporation. “Consumers want new programs, features and greater options. Merchants want improved efficiency, loyalty programs for repeat business and increased revenues, as well as support of new payment methods.”

“Acquirers and processors need to enhance existing revenue streams and create new ones. Overall, it has become essential to add value to the basic card transaction through functions such as electronic receipt capture, on-screen terminal advertising, customized receipts, electronic check handling, and the support of complex loyalty programs. Hypercom’s solutions address those needs, and we are gratified to receive Frost & Sullivan’s Market Engineering Marketing Strategy Award,” Wallner noted.

Hypercom Corporation is a global provider of electronic payment solutions, including multi-function point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, network products, Ascendent payment and transaction software and Internet-based and electronic commerce payment solutions.

On a global basis Hypercom delivers the services and technology infrastructure required to quickly integrate and deploy new payment applications. These applications provide competitive value-added programs, improved business performance and low total cost of ownership.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 70 countries through a global network of affiliates and offices in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [www.hypercom.com][1].

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



Atlanta-based InfiCorp Holdings Inc. confirmed Monday it has acquired the Internet, telephone marketing and credit application services division of NJ-based The BISYS Group Inc. The BISYS unit will continue to operate from Atlanta, however InfiCorp has renamed the unit: ‘InfiLink’. The new InfiCorp subsidiary will continue to serve its existing customer base of banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, thrifts and consumer services companies. InfiLink provides clients with automated services that enable them to generate consumer loan leads among customers and prospects. Consumers can apply for client-specific loan products anytime by phone or via the Internet. InfiLink applies client-supplied credit criteria and customer relationship data to respond real-time to consumer requests. InfiCorp provides specialized credit card portfolio management, decision support and card-issuing solutions. It also owns InfiBank, a GA-based credit card bank. David L. Strider has been named managing director of InfiLink.