Q2 Credit Card Losses Top $1B Says FDIC

The banking industry took it on all fronts in the second quarter. The aggregate net loss at commercial credit card banks with $463 billion in card loans hit $1.1 billion, following a $1.9 billion loss in the first quarter. One-year ago the same group posted net income of $2.5 billion. According to the FDIC’s “Quarterly Banking Profile” net charge-offs of credit card loans were $4.6 billion (84.5%), higher than a year earlier
and the annualized net charge-off rate on credit card loans reached a record 9.95% in the second quarter. Overall, FDIC-insured commercial banks and savings institutions reported an aggregate net loss of $3.7 billion in the second quarter. The industry’s reserves for loan losses increased by $16.8 billion (8.6%) during the second quarter, as loss provisions of $66.9 billion exceeded net charge-offs of $48.9 billion. Total assets declined by $238.1 billion (1.8%, following a $303.2-billion decline in the first quarter.

NET INCOME
(Commercial Credit Card Banks)
2Q/08: + $2497 million
3Q/08: + $ 377 million
4Q/08: – $ 195 million
1Q/09: – $1891 million
2Q/09: – $1087 million
Source: FDIC

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PAYWARE CMS

VeriFone has rolled out “PAYware CMS 8.0” comprehensive card management enterprise software for banks, financial institutions, processors and retailers to issue cards, accept electronic payments and merchant management. “PAYware CMS” enables issuers to easily set up and manage feature-rich card programs for both physical and virtual card payments. For acquirers, PAYware CMS supports individual merchant needs such as acquiring services contracts to accept, authorize and settle card transactions; it also offers multi-merchant support at all levels. PAYware CMS 8.0 supports all aspects of card and merchant management, payment authorization, clearing and settlement. It can also be used by telcos to issue pre-paid cards and by government agencies to issue and process electronic benefits. New security features include encryption of sensitive data, PAN masking, and detailed audit tracking of user activity. The software supports all major card association schemes and full EMV compliance for both issuing and acquiring organizations.

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Business Case for US EMV is Problematic

Shifting from magnetic stripe to EMV chip cards in the U.S. has potential to mitigate $16.6 billion in existing card fraud thanks to its multi-functional, security-adding chip as a repository. Of the $22 billion in existing card fraud, 43% is found to have been due to lost or stolen cards; 22% was accessed while making a purchase; and 11% was accessed by someone known to the victim. All of these factors are immediately eliminated thanks to the presence of the cardholder’s PIN embedded in the chip, which must match the entry on the pin pad at the POS. These findings, according to Javelin research, also estimate costs of POS terminal deployment at $3.75 billion; card issuance to cost around $1.4 billion; and ATM retrofitting is estimated to cost $400 million, all totaling $5.5 billion. This translates to $11.1 billion in potential fraud loss savings. Because of the legacy of the magnetic stripe infrastructure in the U.S., the status quo in the U.S. does not favor EMV and starting over is proving problematic. This is in part because losses attributed to PIN use at POS terminals are not as much of a problem in the U.S. as they have been elsewhere.

SOURCES OF FRAUD
Lost Card: 43%
Skimmer: 22%
Acquaintance: 11%
Data Breach: 10%
PC Hacker: 9%
Mailbox Thief:3%
Other: 2%
Source: Javelin

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TO GO STORES ATMS

Cardtronics has embarked on the Puerto Rican ATM market with its newest
client, To Go Stores. With this, Cardtronics is set to install ATMs in
11 of the 26 To Go Stores locations across the Island commonwealth and
expects to place ATMs in the remaining 15 To Go Stores before 2011. With
over 33,000 ATMs in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Mexico,
TX-based Cardtronics is the world’s largest non-bank ATM operator. Major
Cardtronics merchant-clients include 7-Eleven, Chevron, Costco, CVS
pharmacy, ExxonMobil, Hess Corporation, Rite Aid, Safeway, Sunoco,
Target and Walgreens. To Go Stores was founded in 2003 and is
headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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MasterCard Settlement Prepayment Approved

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
has approved the “Agreement To Prepay Future Payments At A Discount between Lead
Counsel and MasterCard International Incorporated”, dated July 1, 2009.
MasterCard will make a single payment
of $335 million in lieu of making its remaining four annual $100 million
payments due through 2012. Pursuant to the “Prepayment Agreement”,
Constantine Cannon LLP and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP expects
to receive MasterCard’s payment on September 30, 2009, and will thereafter be able
to make lump-sum distributions of the residual MasterCard payments instead of making
installment payments over the next four years of any residual amounts.

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FNDS3000 PPC

Currently introducing prepaid card programs to the South African market,
FNDS3000 financial transaction processing services has completed its
Pilot Test Phase of its latest prepaid card. Upon having completed this
phase, the organization will immediately commence the Market Test Phase
with the initial distribution of around 10,000 prepaid cards to
corporate clients and their cardholders. This final test will confirm
and validate the processes and systems required to handle the high
volume of prepaid cards. Assuming the results of the test are favorable,
the Company expects to initiate Roll-Out in late September 2009.
FNDS3000 focuses on the development and implementation of a variety of
prepaid card programs outside the United States.

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VIRGIN ZOOMPASS

Virgin Mobile Canada has joined the Zoompass network to enable its customers to transfer cash to each other. Customers can also make store purchases and conduct Internet transactions using the balance of their Zoompass account with the “Zoompass Prepaid MasterCard.” Virgin Mobile Canada customers can send money to anyone belonging to a participating Canadian wireless carrier, even if the recipient doesn’t have their own Zoompass account yet. People are instantly notified on their phone when they receive money and are asked to register at www.zoompass.com. Virgin Mobile phones are available at more than 4,000 locations with top-up cards available at more than 10,000 locations nationally. EnStream, which owns Zoompass, is a joint venture company owned by Canada’s Bell Mobility, Rogers Communications Inc., and TELUS Corporation.

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NCR Expands Blockbuster Express Kiosks

NCR will deploy the “Blockbuster Express” DVD rental kiosk in New
England-based Big Y grocery stores. No membership is required to rent a
DVD from Blockbuster Express, customers simply swipe their credit card
and are charged $1 per night until they return the DVD, which can then
can be returned at any Blockbuster
Express kiosk, not just the kiosk where they normally rent. NCR expects
to invest as much as $60 million in 2009 to build out its
DVD-rental kiosk operations. The company expects to deploy more than
2,500 kiosks in 2009 for a total of 10,000 kiosks by mid-year 2010.

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GLOBAL BUYING POWER

Comparing the purchasing power in 73 cities around the globe throughout
March and April, research shows New York, Oslo, Geneva and Tokyo as the
world’s most expensive cities. Based on a the same standardized basket
of 122 goods/services and rent prices used to measure the more expensive
global cities, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Delhi and Mumbai were found as the
most affordable. Employees in Zurich and Geneva, followed by Copenhagen
and New York, have the highest gross wages. Employees in Delhi, Manila,
Jakarta and Mumbai earns less than one-fifteenth of Swiss hourly wages
after taxes. This research, according to UBS’s “Prices and Earnings”
study, also found purchasing power of wages afforded an average
wage-earner in Zurich and New York to buy a nano from an Apple store
after nine hours of work while workers in Mumbai need to work 20
nine-hour days to purchase the same exact product. The implementation of
this specific, highly uniform product available everywhere with the same
quality clearly illustrates the differences in employee purchasing power
around the world. Additional UBS findings show the longest working hours
were seen in Asia and the Middle East, averaging 2,119 and 2,063 hours
per year respectively; 2,373 hours per year Cairo, the most in any
surveyed city; and the least were worked in Lyon, France with only 1,582
annual hours worked per employee.

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Nordstrom Renews Fifth Third Processing

OH-based Fifth Third Processing Solutions has extended merchant
processing services with Les Schwab Tire Centers and Nordstrom. Les
Schwab Tire Centers, among the leading independent tire dealers in the
United States with more than 7,000 employees & 400 store locations
throughout the West, has renewed its credit card processing agreement.
Nordstrom, among the nation’s leading fashion specialty retailers with
176 U.S. stores located in 28 states, has renewed both its credit and
debit card processing agreement with the processor. Fifth Third was just
awarded the MasterCard Worldwide “Best in Class” Gold Award for the
second consecutive year thanks to its excellence in operational
achievements. Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services
company with $116 billion in assets and operates 16 affiliates with
1,307 full-service Banking Centers(Cardflash Library 8/26/2009).

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CITI VIRTUAL CARD

Citi has introduced a new service for institutions that generates unique virtual card numbers for transactions, allowing administrators to dynamically set spending and reconciliation controls on each virtual card account. The new multicurrency “Citi Virtual Card Accounts” service is an electronic solution for post-invoice payments and card-not-present transactions made via the Internet, phone, or mail order. It also complements an organization’s existing commercial card program. Citi has teamed with MasterCard to integrate their “inControl” virtual card platform into its core commercial cards processing systems. Citi’s “Virtual Card Account” solution, which extends Citi’s “Procure to Pay” suite, is available globally, with local currency issuance and settlement in nearly 50 countries.

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