ABS Card Charge-Offs Approach 3-Year Highs

Charge-offs, among “prime” credit card-backed securities, continued its upward path in March hitting a new eighteen month high. Not surprisingly, delinquency rates are also on the upward trend. According to FitchRatings, “prime” charge-offs for March were 5.73% compared to 5.55% in the prior month and 4.36% for March 2007. Although charge-offs and delinquencies are nearing their three-year highs, U.S. credit card ABS continue to generate robust levels of excess spread. Excess spread is a measurement of the extra cash flow generated by securitized credit card receivables and is a barometer for the health of credit card transactions. Fitch’s “Prime Credit Card Index” for March 2008, which aggregates trust performance through the end of February, reports three-month average excess spread at 7.56%. Excess spread has hovered around this 7.5% level since the second quarter of 2006; prior to that the excess spread level averaged approximately 6.5%.

ABS PRIME CHARGE-OFFS HISTORICAL
Mar 07: 4.36%
Apr 07: 4.51%
May 07: 4.63%
Apr 07: 4.51%
May 07: 4.63%
Jun 07: 4.60%
Jul 07: 4.52%
Aug 07: 4.88%
Sep 07: 4.75%
Oct 07: 4.50%
Nov 07: 5.11%
Dec 07: 5.21%
Jan 08: 5.44%
Feb 08: 5.55%
Mar 08: 5.73%
Source: FitchRatings

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Pipeline Data Acquires Mobileswipe Assets

MA-based Pipeline Data payment processor has acquired “Mobileswipe”, its national trademark, website and customer list from the Semtek Innovative Solutions Corporation. This development provides Pipeline’s AIRCHARGE division with an opportunity to expand its customer base, market presence and requires no changes for Mobileswipe hardware compatibility. Pipeline Data provides merchant payment processing services and payment card payment processing to merchants across the country.

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RBC VISA INFINITE

Advanced Payment Solutions and Metavante have signed agreements
stipulating the latter will be providing the former with prepaid card
processing. This development, concerning APS’ entire prepaid card
portfolio, is already being implemented and all portfolio transfers will
be complete by the end of April ’08-a migration representing over
200,000 account customers transitioning to Metavante Technologies
Ltd.’s platform. Since 2005, APS’ prepaid portfolio saw a total prepaid
loading volume of more than EUR200 million onto its cards. Additional
research providing a promising outlook on the future of this industry
reflects prepaid payment card spending in Europe is estimated to reach
$164 billion by 2010 and in the U.K. is projected to reach $34 billion
(USD) by 2010. Metavante Technologies debit and prepaid card payments
processor provides it s services to nearly 8,000 financial
organizations, processing for over 80 million cards worldwide.

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Fiserv & BankAtlantic Promote Green Initiatives

Fiserv has partnered with FL-based BankAtlantic to donate trees for every BankAtlantic customer that signs up for online bill pay to encourage more “green” payment methods. BankAtlantic provides customers with Fiserv’s online bill payment solution, “CheckFree Web RXP”, under an agreement with FundsXpress, a value-added reseller and provider of Internet-based solutions to financial institutions. Customers can register for BankAtlantic’s Totally Free Online Banking & Bill Pay at www.BankAtlantic.com or at any of its more than 100 locations throughout Florida. In addition to the environmental benefits, paying bills online rather than sending paper bills through the mail provides consumers with better security and control of their finances. Consumers can schedule payments on the date of their choosing and more easily monitor and manage account balances. Because recent studies show that identity fraud is more common offline than online, electronic bill pay also helps to reduce the risk of identity theft. According to a 2007 green banking study by Javelin Strategy and Research, if all U.S. households viewed and paid bills online it would save 16.5 million trees each year.

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FEB DEBT

Credit card debt hit a new record of A$43.3 billion after seasonally retrenching in January. Credit card volume regained ground in February rising to A$17.5 billion. Year-on-year credit card debt has increased 10%, compared to February 2007 while card volume is up 14% year-on-year. Credit card limits also reached a new high at A$116.1 billion, marking the 18th consecutive month of A$100+ billion. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia there are currently 14.0 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 13.3 million one-year ago.

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AAA & MetBank Launch a TravelMoney VISA Card

AAA has partnered with VISA and MetaBank to launch its “TravelMoney” VISA prepaid card. The new prepaid offering will provide users with payment and ATM card capabilities anywhere VISA is accepted around the world, providing currency respective to the country in which the transaction/withdrawal is being conducted. Additional products the “TravelMoney” VISA offers includes lost luggage reimbursement, loading capabilities from anywhere through phone/Internet, translation assistance 24 hours a day, medical and legal referrals, emergency trip arrangements, and emergency messages relayed to relatives. Established in 1902, AAA provides over 51 million automotive-related services across The U.S. while Visa Inc retail electronic payments network provides processing services and payment product platforms to merchants in 170 countries.

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Postilion Introduces its ATM Driving Solution

GA-based Postilion software solutions has introduced its “ATM Driving” solution, improving service performance levels through its active/active environment. This environment ensures two production systems are able to process the transactions across an institution’s ATM estate, routing some data to one Postilion system and other transactions to a second Postilion system for processing at the same time. Over this environment, financial institutions can distribute transaction loads across multiple systems, providing an EFT high availability solution for their ATM networks. Moreover, each channel is designed to handle 100% of the others’ processing during both planned and unplanned downtime. Postilion is a division of the S1 Corporation providing integrated solutions for self-service banking and payment processing to over 1,500 client customers in more than 50 countries through more than 100,000 ATMs and 500,000 POS terminals worldwide.

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ViVOtech Unveils its NFC ViVOpay Kiosk

CA-based ViVOtech NFC mobile phone payment provider has launched its “ViVOpay” Kiosk contactless Module allowing contactless payment transactions for outdoor and indoor environments. “ViVOpay” is certified for compatibility with all major contactless payment programs allowing third-party Kiosk host systems to accept contactless payments. Moreover, the recent contactless add-on payment module, 400,000 of which have been shipped to over 30 countries, bolts to existing and new, metallic and non-metallic Kiosk surfaces for compatibility with the programs. The payment module also features weather-proof construction for use in various industries, namely outdoors, and provides an ARM processor to optimize payment applications.

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Pipeline Data Introduces AIRCHARGE Bluetooth

MA-based Pipeline Payment Processor has made available its “AIRCHARGE Bluetooth” payment solution on Sprint cell phone networks, including the “Sprint Mobile Broadband Network” and the Nextel “National Network”, for use when conducting payment transactions with mobile merchants. Resulting from this development are payment compatibilities with “AIRCHARGE JavaME” software for wireless payment processing on 9 Bluetooth card swipe devices over a greater number of Motorola and Sanyo phones. The payment processing software can be loaded onto the customer’s phone over-the-air (OTA) and is compatible with virtually any merchant processing account. Pipeline Data provides merchant payment processing services allowing merchants to process various types of transactions.

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FDC FD50

First Data has introduced an affordable POS terminal featuring solid design and construction, easy operation and state-of-the-art security. The new “FD50” features touch-screen technology, five USB ports, 64 megabytes of memory, and is off-the-shelf multi-language capable. It is the latest addition to the expanding First Data proprietary terminal line, which already includes the “FD100.” The “FD50” terminal supports both dial-up and IP communications. With the addition of optional peripheral equipment, the “FD50” terminal can also accept contactless payments, and checks using TeleCheck ECA or paper solutions.

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CPI Card Group Lands a New Sales Exec

CO-based card manufacturer CPI Card Group has hired Bruce Bell as the Rocky Mountain Regional Sales Manager of Commercial Cards and Services. Bell brings more than 20 years of experience in the debit and prepaid card industry, with an impressive record of success in multiple payment card arenas. Throughout his career, he has excelled in client centric responsibilities, from Sales and Marketing to Customer Service and Operations management. CPI offers a single source for plastic cards from foil cards and holograms, to translucent and smart cards.

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PAPER CHALLENGE

The Desjardins Group has released the results of its “Paper Challenge”
and its “Eco-friendly Statement Challenge” initiatives. The success of
the initiatives demonstrate the “Eco-friendly Statement Challenge,” with
its goal of planting 100,000 trees between 2006 and 2009, has acquired
114,519 project members who will be planting 22,224 trees throughout
Quebec and Ontario. Meanwhile, the organization’s “Paper Challenge” is
focal on reducing printer and photocopier paper by 15% between 2005 and
2008, 21% within the Desjardins Group itself, to prevent 227 tons of
CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions and save 3,435 trees. The
Desjardins Group cooperative financial group has overall assets of $144
billion, employs 40,000 associates and provides its 5.8 million
customers with financial products and services.

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