Parcxmart Card Enters Fort Lauderdale

Parcxmart electronic payments has signed a 5-year contract with the City of Fort Lauderdale to issue the “Fort Lauderdale City Parcxmart Card.” The card will be issued by Parcxmart beginning August 2008, streamlines operating expenses and increases revenues for municipal parking operations. The “Fort Lauderdale City Card”, additionally, will generate revenue for local participating merchants and provides the commuting public with a convenient one card solution for all types of parking meters. Based on the Federal ACH payment system, the card uses smart card technology for security purposes, provides users with its “Instant Cool Rewards” loyalty program and the ability to load up to $300 of value onto the card at each participating merchant.

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Pipeline Data to Acquire COCARD Marketing

MA-based Pipeline Data inked a “Definitive Merger Agreement” with TN-based COCARD Marketing Group last week. Pipeline will pay $79.5 million in cash for COCARD plus future considerations based on performance. COCARD processes over $3 billion of credit card transactions annually from its base of over 26,000 merchants. At this time, Pipeline has elected to defer its previously announced merger with Innovative Resource Alliance. Pipeline Data has received a senior secured debt proposal of $90 million for the funding of the transaction led by a Fortune 10 financial institution, of which approximately $70 million will be available to support the purchase. Pipeline has also received a proposal for the equity component of the transaction in the amount of approximately $50 million.

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Credit Card ABS Charge-Offs Breach a High

U.S. credit card charge-offs continued to grow in 1Q/08, which averaged a quarterly rate of 4.54%, reached a total rate of over 5.71%- 125 basis points higher than that of the year ago rate – and breached the 5.5% historic high. The charge-off rate is now at its highest level since the 1Q/04 with projections of peaking in 2009 at over 7%, given the percentage cardholders now pay each month fell to 18.10% in 1Q/08 from 19.27% in 1Q/07. These dismal figures, however, are met with findings that credit card debt is generating robust, healthy excess spreads of a 7.65% average-up from a 7.57% average in 1Q/07- and a yield increase of 0.02% in 2007 to 18.77%. Moody’s Credit Card Indexes track key performance metrics on the $440 billion of US bank credit card loans backing securities.

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FrontStream Payments Acquires Direct Tech

Payment solution provider FrontStream Payments has acquired Direct Technology Innovations. DTI is a recognized industry leader in providing advanced technology solutions and services. DTI has also cultivated numerous and substantial preferred vendor relationships, as well as a solid Agent/ISO sales channel. Their three primary business offerings are “Swipe N’ Go”, DTI’s exclusive program that speeds up transaction time at the register by allowing the merchant to process credit cards without the need of a customer signature for any purchase under $25. There is also no liability to the merchant for any transaction under $25; “Mobile Ticketing Solutions” which delivers Real Time Inventory Control and Payments capability, enhanced customer loyalty and reductions in fraud and theft with more than 100,000+ transactions per month in the ground transportation segment and “Click to Go” online ordering that enables customers, via a laptop, PDA or cell phone, to place orders for pick-up at a select time and at a specific location. This capability enables a restaurant to maximize its efficiency & capacity while increasing the accuracy of orders and improving customer loyalty.

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FDC 1Q/08

First Data reported first quarter consolidated revenues of $2.13 billion, a 16% increase as EBITDA rose 8% to $586 million, over 1Q/07. Effective January 1st, FDC revised its segment reporting structure into Merchant Services, Financial Services, International, Prepaid Services and Integrated Payment Systems. Card Services revenue rose 10% to $506.5 million, compared to 1Q/07. Merchant Services generated revenues of $926 million, a 10% gain over the prior year quarter. Financial Services revenue inched up by 1% to $706 million. International revenues rose 23% to $445 million. International revenue growth on a constant currency basis, excluding acquisitions and divestitures, was 5%, negatively impacted by price compression and lost contracts primarily in its Western European and Asia Pacific businesses. Prepaid Services was flat at $46 million. Integrated Payment Systems soared 139% to $45 million, compared to the year ago quarter. On April 28th FDC reached an agreement to acquire prepaid card specialist InComm for $980 million, plus contingent future payments of up to $250 million over a three year performance period. The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of this year. For complete details on First Data’s first quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com) (CF Library 4/28/08)

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TRINTECH & MICROSOFT

Trintech has been awarded Microsoft Competency in ISV/Software
Solutions, achieving “Gold Certified Partner” status in the Microsoft
“Partner Program”, declaring a Microsoft “ISV/Software Solutions”
Competency. With this recognition comes Trintech’s confirmed expertise
with Microsoft technologies, access, training and support for a
competitive advantage in the “ISV/Software” channel. Additionally, the
company’s declaration of an “ISV/Software Solutions” competency helps
differentiate its capabilities among others for customers seeking
particular solutions. Trintech provides over 600 global organizations
with financial governance and performance management using configurable,
scalable solutions while the Microsoft Partner Program was launched in
October 2003 representing Microsoft’s commitment to the success of
partners worldwide.

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Toyota Motor Gears-Up for a Co-Brand

Toyota Motor is reportedly gearing-up for the launch of a “Toyota” co-branded credit card. Toyota Financial already has issued the “Lexus Pursuits VISA” card with about 50,000 cardholders. According to the Detroit News, Toyota hasn’t disclosed the terms of the new credit card, but said they would be similar to those of the Lexus card, which gives users 1.5 points per dollar spent in various transactions and 5 points per dollar spent at its dealerships. Customers can pay for up to 10 percent of a new Lexus with their accumulated points. While Toyota’s credit card is its first venture in the USA, the automaker does have branded credit cards in India, Italy and Japan. The company also has a retail bank in Poland and Russia and sells auto insurance in several European countries.

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U.S. Cards-in-Force Grows 6% in 2007

The number of general purpose credit cards in-force in the U.S. grew 6% last year and 15% over the past five years to 737.2 million. MasterCard gained ground in 2007 increasing its market share, based on credit cards in-force to 37.8% from 37.4% in 2006. VISA with 365 million credit cards-in-force slipped from a market share of 49.6% to 49.5%. Discover dropped from a 7.2% share to 6.7%, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). American Express held steady at a 5.9% share with 43.5 million U.S. cards. Five years ago there were 643 million general purpose credit cards in circulation in the U.S.

U.S. GENERAL PURPOSE CREDIT CARDS IN-FORCE
VISA MC AMEX DISC
2003 283.7 272.6 36.4 50.7
2004 295.3 271.5 39.9 50.8
2005 327.0 277.0 43.0 50.4
2006 345.0 260.0 40.7 49.9
2007 365.0 279.0 43.5 49.7
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Citibank Expands the ThankYou Network

New Citibank checking account customers will get 16,000 Thank You Points worth $150 in gift cards. When customers open a qualifying checking account, enroll in the ThankYou Network and perform qualifying activities they can also get triple ThankYou Points each month for a year, for everyday banking activities linked to their checking account. The ThankYou Network is a no-fee rewards program that allows members to accumulate points from a growing network of places, and pool points into one ThankYou Member Account. ThankYou Members get points for banking at Citibank with an eligible checking account, using participating Citi credit cards, and booking qualified travel on Expedia.com. Members can redeem their points for valuable rewards at http://www.thankyou.com — from travel, brand-name merchandise, and gift cards at favorite stores, to unique experiences and charitable donations. They can even create their own rewards with ThankYou Network’s exclusive Your Wish Fulfilled service.

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Visa Launches Go World Olympic Spots

Visa Inc has launched a U.S. advertising campaign that evokes the emotion and memories of unforgettable moments in Olympic history, featuring current Olympic and Paralympic athletes and Olympic legends. The new “Go World” creative sets itself apart from other recent advertising campaigns through the use of striking sepia tones combined with dramatic still photography and moving images from past Olympic competitions. “Come Together,” the first in a series of national television commercials debuts tonight on CBS during “How I Met Your Mother.” Four additional spots featuring six-time gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps, Paralympic track and field gold medalist Cheri Blauwet, gold medal gymnast Kerri Strug and sprinter Derek Redmond will premiere throughout the week. Subsequent television and online creative will include Visa sponsored athletes who are members of “Team Visa Beijing” including Bryan Clay and Allyson Felix, Paul Hamm and Nastia Liukin, Steven Lopez, Katie Hoff, Bubba Harris, Kerri Walsh as well as Paralympian Marlon Shirley. Visa’s Olympic television commercials will air leading up to and during NBC’s broadcast of the “Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.”

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Companies Use Procurement Strategies

Based on data from 215 respondents, 67% of companies save on travel when using procurement strategies. Additional findings show 83% of companies do not expect their travelers to travel less in the future, 62% are considering procurement activities for 5-15% travel savings and 67% credited procurement activities with creating savings over the past year. Also, 53% are using preferred suppliers, 51% are applying demand management principles and 73% of companies measuring KPIs tracked airline service success. American Express Business Travel has released these findings, the organization’s second annual “Strategic Sourcery” procurement practices survey, in conjunction with Business Travel News.

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