CSCU and FIS Team for COMPROMISE MANAGER

CSCU and FIS have joined forces to introduce FIS’ “COMPROMISE MANAGER” card fraud solution. COMPROMISE MANAGER is a complete package for managing accounts with features that include the ability to delay blocks or specify a date to begin blocking, communication and monitoring capabilities, provide online account access and automatic compromise notifications to cardholders. Fidelity National Information Services is a provider of core processing for financial institutions, card issuer and transaction processing services.

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Advanta Becomes a LinkShare Premium Partner

Marketing network LinkShare has identified Advanta’s affiliate marketing program as a “Premium Partner.” Advanta is the only credit card issuer and one of a select few out of hundreds of companies to meet the Premium Partner Program criteria. According to LinkShare, Advanta consistently meets or exceeds LinkShare’s Premium Partner criteria for selected affiliate management functions in areas such as average response times to transaction inquiries and accessibility of current and complete contact information. The Advanta Affiliate program, consisting of more than 500 affiliates, is a free, easy-to-use service that allows organizations and individuals to promote Advanta small business credit cards on their web site. Advanta is one of the nation’s largest credit card issuers in the small business market today.

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M-Banking Must Connect to Low-Income Consumers

Yankee Group reported that mobile banking must become available to a majority of mobile users including prepaid and low-income consumers if it is to succeed in North America. M-banking solution providers in North America can learn an important lesson on service adoption from international low-income initiatives as the global rise of the Anywhere Consumer takes hold. According to the recently published Yankee Group Report, “Mobile Banking Lessons” from International Low-Income Initiatives, there is a difference between the way m-banking solutions work overseas and in North America. In countries such as South Africa and the Philippines, m-banking keeps low-income consumers’ money safe; at the same time it reduces fees, which makes these services affordable. On the other hand, North American providers typically market m-banking to a more affluent and technologically advanced user as a convenience service. However, m-banking can also benefit low-income consumers in North America much as it has overseas.

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Western Union Fourth Quarter Revenues Up 12%

Western Union reported that revenue for the fourth was $1.3 billion, up 12%, or 10% excluding the December 6th acquisition of Pago Facil. Total consumer-to-consumer revenue in the quarter grew 12% to $1.1 billion on transaction growth of 14%. A significant portion of the growth was attributable to the continued strong performance within the international consumer-to-consumer business, which increased revenue 17% while growing transactions 19%. The international-to-international subset, those transactions that originate outside of the U.S., grew faster still, posting 25% revenue growth and 28% transaction growth. This international-to-international subset contributed 54% of Western Union’s fourth quarter total revenue. In January, the company signed an agreement with Penn Traffic. Additional notable new relationships include an agreement to offer money transfer services at over 300 China Everbright Bank branches in more than 30 cities in China, and a new relationship with the Bangladesh Post. For complete details on Western Union’s current and past performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com)

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NOVA Info Systems Buys Southern DataComm

NOVA Information Systems has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Southern DataComm, a payment software and gateway services provider based in Largo, FL. Southern DataComm was founded in 1985 by Gary Eng, president. The company has built a solid reputation in the U.S. payments industry, serving more than 50,000 merchants. Additionally, hundreds of value-added resellers have certified their systems to connect through Southern DataComm, supporting a strong one-to-many value proposition. Annually, more than $50 billion travels through its gateway switch, which supports 200 interface modules, helping connect merchants to their choice of acquirers and processors.

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Springbok Hires a New Marketing Exec

Prepaid Mastercard provider Springbok has hired Ellen Kramer, Founder of NOW what?, as its SVP of Marketing. Kramer’s background consists of leadership positions in powerful marketing organizations such as USA Today, Time Life, Inc. and America Online (AOL), where she initiated, developed and ran AOL’s direct marketing efforts. Kramer will provide that same knowledge and assistance to Springbok Services, and will serve as a powerful resource for Springbok Services customers who want to reduce employee turnover, enhance sales incentive programs or build winning consumer promotions. Springbok Services is PCI certified for card processing.

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PubliCARD Resurfaces as Chazak Value Corp

PubliCARD, Inc. has been reorganized as Chazak Value Corp., an entity currently controlled by PubliCARD’s CEO Joseph Sarachek. The new company will focus on building its existing smart card business as well as acquiring privately held businesses in the $10-100 million revenue range that are seeking to restructure or that have succession issues. Under PubliCARD’s Plan, Chazak Value Corp. will issue 5,133,352 shares of common stock, including the shares being issued to The 500 Group. All existing holders of PubliCARD common stock with more than 100 shares will receive a distribution.

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MasterCard’s 4Q/07 GDV Grows 15% to $634B

MasterCard posted fourth quarter net income of $304 million. Net revenues for the quarter were more than $1 billion, a 28% increase over 4Q/06. MasterCard’s gross dollar volume, which increased 15%, on a local currency basis, rose to $634 billion; also, a 17% increase was posted in the number of transactions processed to 5.2 billion; and, an increase in cross-border volumes of ramped-up to 28%. Total operating expenses increased 13.5%, to $901 million, during the fourth quarter compared to the same period in 2006. Currency fluctuations contributed 3.3% of the increase in expenses for the fourth quarter. During the quarter, the company made a $10 million cash contribution to the MasterCard Foundation, completing MasterCard’s previously disclosed intention to contribute up to $40 million in cash to the Foundation within four years following MasterCard’s May 2006 initial public offering. For complete details on MasterCard’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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TIO Prepaid MasterCard Gains U.S. Traction

The “TIO Prepaid MasterCard” program offered to 75 EWIZ stores has met the pilot criteria and will be rolling out to all 400 EWIZ stores across the United States and another 300 stores scheduled for future deployment. TIO also announced a new initiative to make NetSpend’s National Savings Program available to TIO prepaid MasterCard cardholders. NetSpend cardholders can earn up to 5.00 percent interest on an annualized basis by linking their MetaBank-issued prepaid cards to an interest-bearing savings account. There is no minimum deposit to enroll in the program, no minimum monthly balance to maintain and no additional monthly service fees. NetSpend Corporation is one of the premier providers of innovative, accessible prepaid debit cards that enable financial freedom for under-banked consumers.

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American Express Fashion Network is Launched

American Express has announced plans to launch the “American Express Fashion Network” to provide exclusive, never-before-seen, live access to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The Network launches on Friday, February 1st and will stream live throughout the duration of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and capture archived video footage for fashion fans to enjoy in the weeks to follow. In addition, American Express will drive further attention to the designers’ shows and will promote the Network by syndicating video clips to targeted fashion, lifestyle and news websites. Also launching is Fashion 360 Presented by American Express, the first dedicated fashion channel on YouTube that will have highlights from the American Express Fashion Network including live runway shows and insider-interviews as well as content from fashion partners and publishers that will include daily party and trend fashion reports.

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Alliance Data Systems’ Q4 Up 15% to $603B

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems reported that fourth quarter revenue increased 15% to $603 million. The “AIR MILES Reward Program” in Canada continued its over-performance, driven by strong double-digit growth in “AIR MILES” reward miles issued and solid operating leverage. U.S. Marketing Services (Epsilon) posted the Company’s highest growth rates. Marketing spend continues to shift away from traditional media channels and into specific, highly targeted ROI-based efforts. Additionally, the Company’s private label business also continued to post solid results with better than expected new wins further driving growth. Epsilon, ADS’s U.S. platform for Marketing Services, had another outstanding quarter, posting double-digit growth fueled by escalating global demand from new and existing clients. During the quarter Epsilon announced it had signed a multi-year agreement with Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary Helzberg Diamonds, a fine jewelry retailer operating 269 stores throughout the United States, pursuant to which the Company will manage Helzberg Diamonds’ marketing database and provide data and analytical support for customer cross-sell and acquisition marketing efforts. In addition, during the quarter Epsilon announced it had signed a multi-year agreement to provide loyalty marketing and database services, analytics, permission-based email communications and strategic consulting.

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Advanta’s Q4 Charge-Offs & Delinquency Rise

Business credit card specialist Advanta posted a 22% rise in managed outstandings during the fourth quarter to $6.35 billion. During the fourth quarter, the issuer opened more than 22,000 net new business card accounts and ended the quarter with a record 1,316,523 gross accounts. Advanta’s Business Card unit earned net income of $12.2 million as compared to $22.1 million in the prior quarter due to VISA Inc. litigation and rising loan-loss reserves. Transaction volume increased 8% to $3.76 billion during the fourth quarter. Charge-offs, on averaged managed receivables, increased from 4.13% in the fourth quarter to 3.87% for the third quarter and are higher than 4Q/06’s 3.40% figure. Over 30-day delinquencies on managed receivables rose 114 basis points to 4.29% from the prior quarter. Over 90-day delinquencies on managed receivables also rose by 56 basis points to 1.97%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. For complete details on Advanta’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

ADVANTA’S CARD PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
Period Card Loans
4Q/06: $5.21 billion
1Q/07: $5.59 billion
2Q/07: $5.99 billion
3Q/07: $6.21 billion
4Q/07: $6.35 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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