Charge-Offs Head Higher; Delinquencies Abate

Charge-offs, among “prime” credit card-backed securities, headed higher in May hitting a new sixteen month high. Although the figure is only 32 basis points above January’s peak, it is 105 basis points above the year-ago level. However, the 60+ day delinquency ratio, which is an indicator of future charge-offs, declined by three basis points in May. According to FitchRatings, “prime” charge-offs for May were 4.63% compared to 4.51% in the prior month and 3.58% for May 2006. The “prime” 60-plus day delinquency index for May was 2.61%, compared to 2.64% in April and 2.41% one-year ago.

CREDIT CARD ABS METRICS
CHARGE-OFFS DELINQUENCY*
Dec 06: 4.21% 2.59%
Jan 07: 4.31% 2.57%
Feb 07: 4.13% 2.66%
Mar 07: 4.36% 2.69%
Apr 07: 4.51% 2.64%
May 07: 4.63% 2.61%
* 60+ day
Source: Fitch Ratings

Details

Pipeline Data AIRCHARGE Aims for BlackBerry

Pipeline Data’s AIRCHARGE subsidiary has released a solution to Dobson Communications for mobile merchants to accept credit card payments over BlackBerry devices. The AIRCHARGE payment processing software can be loaded onto the customer’s BlackBerry over-the-air and is compatible with virtually any merchant processing account. AIRCHARGE credit card payment devices are used by merchants to accept payments in many types of mobile environments where access to standard phone lines is limited, expensive, or not convenient or available. Dobson is the largest independent rural wireless provider in the United States. Pipeline Data is a value-added provider of merchant payment processing services and other related software products.

Details

TransUnion & Experian Exploit Credit Reports

A new study shows that Web sites aggressively advertising “free” credit reports are charging consumers for services they are unlikely to need, while drawing attention away from the site created by law to provide consumers with free credit data every year. Consumer Reports WebWatch study found that of the 24 sites analyzed, nine were owned by or closely connected to TransUnion and eight were owned by or otherwise closely connected to Experian, the largest advertiser on the Web. This concentrated market structure has potentially negative consequences for competition and aspects of market performance. Credit monitoring services cost as much as $160 per year on these sites. Credit scores can cost as much as $75.

Details

Smith Barney Moves to the ThankYou Network

Smith Barney has joined Citi’s “ThankYou Network” rewards program as a sponsor, allowing Smith Barney clients to earn “ThankYou Points” for using products and services available from Smith Barney. Smith Barney joins Citi Cards, Citibank and Expedia.com as sponsors of ThankYou Network, which now includes more than 11 million members. Initially, Smith Barney will offer the no-fee rewards program to its clients with a Financial Management Account. Clients will receive one “ThankYou Point” per dollar spent on purchases made with their “Citi FMA MasterCard” linked to the FMA Account, with no limit on the points clients can earn and no expiration date. “ThankYou Network” replaces the Smith Barney “Travel and Rewards Program.” All unused points earned with the “FMA Card” were automatically transferred to the cardmembers’ new “ThankYou Member Accounts.”

Details

CPSB & VERIFONE

Citibank and AirAsia have launched the Citibank “AirAsia MasterCard”.
The new card offers cardholders an “evergreen rewards” program which
provides, discount prices, privileges and free flights when the customer
shops at over 25 million outlets around the world. When using the card
for purchases, consumers will earn one “AirAsia Point” for every one
“Ringgit” they spend on their card, which can be redeemed for an RM20
AirAsia voucher with as little as 3,400 “AirAsia Points.” In addition, when booking flights, cardholders have access 24-hour-priority booking ahead of the general public. In its 6th year, AirAsia has carried 33 million passengers and serves over 75 domestic and international routes with it’s fleet of 54 planes. Citi has over 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries.

Details

FreedomPay Meets Contactless Smartcard Specs

FreedomPay announced that its’ online hosted network integrates fully with the read/write capability of CA-based HID’s iCLASS 13.56 MHz contactless smart card technology. The combination of FreedomPay’s cashless network with HID’s iCLASS technology will provide convenience and security and create benefits for the enterprise, the employee and the merchants. FreedomPay is a provider of cashless transaction networks. HID Global is a provider of contactless smart card technologies.

Details

OFT & FINANCIAL INDUSTRY

The Office of Fair Trading has been informed that the banking industry
will be redesigning the delivering of a fast payments system and the
development of a transparent check clearing process. This development
is in response to tests of the original fast payments solution demonstrating
more complexity and time consumption than originally anticipated, thus
calling for a delay in its introduction until 2008. The check clearing
process,
however, is set to launch in November 2007 for the benefit
of customers who accept checks. With this solution, funds in the
check cashier’s account, six working days after initial deposit, cannot be
reclaimed, despite the citing of insufficient funds or a fraudulent check.

Details

NYC Endorses VeriFone Transportation Systems

VeriFone announced an agreement to be the preferred vendor of integrated payment solutions to the largest licensed leasing association in New York City, the Committee for Taxi Safety with 3,000 member taxis. VeriFone also announced that more than 5,000 New York City taxis are signed or committed to comprehensive multi-year agreements for in-taxi acceptance of credit cards. Last month, systems implemented by VeriFone’s US-based taxi business, VeriFone Transportation Systems, were the first authorized by the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission for the city’s more than 13,000 taxis. Beginning October 1st, upon their next scheduled inspection all New York taxis are mandated to have technology-based customer service improvements that will include credit/debit card acceptance and an interactive electronic passenger map and information screen. VeriFone Transportation Systems services over 8,000 of the taxi meters in the city cab fleet.

Details

Nationwide Voted Tops in Cardholder Satisfaction

Kroll and Data Marketing Center have signed agreements to
provide Canadians with Theft Restoration Services for the restoration of
identity theft victim’s status. DMC delivers services, such as these, to
the clients, employees, and members of sponsor organizations. The
Kroll theft recovery solution will be available to the clientèle of
sponsoring
organizations through voluntary or inclusive programs. Kroll began
providing identity theft solutions in 1999 and created its Fraud
practice in
2002. Clients have included Fortune 500 companies, non-profit
organizations, government entities and currently serves over 10,000
businesses and millions of individual consumers.

Details

AmEx Names an EVP/Merchant Services

American Express has appointed Kim Goodman, previously with Dell, EVP of Merchant Services North America. Goodman will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Company’s relationships with merchants that accept the American Express Card in the United States and Canada, including acquiring new merchants and deepening relationships across the American Express merchant network. As the head of Dell’s $5B Software & Peripherals business she had overall responsibility for product marketing, vendor management and pricing. Goodman holds a BA and MS from Stanford University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Details

Global Payments to Provide Processing to STARBANK

Hudson’s Bay Company and MasterCard Canada have signed
agreements to implement MasterCard’s chip card technology at Hbc retail
locations. For the preparation of this development, the companies’ will
launch
a trial in the Kitchener-Waterloo area to prepare for the nationwide
roll-out
of the chip cards, which holds information on a chip in an encrypted
form for
use with a PIN for security. Nationwide implementation is planned for 2011
for the Hbc stores which includes the Bay, Zellers, Designer Depot, Home
Outfitters and Fields stores. Established in 1670, Hbc is composed of over
580 stores and employs nearly 70,000 associates in Canadian province.
MasterCard Worldwide processes over 16 billion transactions each year.

Details

99BILL & CMB

99Bill Corporation has formed an alliance with China Merchant Bank
for the promotion of online payment and banking services in China. China
Merchant Bank(CMB) will also extend the 99Bill online payment service
to its customers. In turn, due to the increased competitiveness and
efficiency
of online service, this development will secure CMB high-end customers.
Only 20% of China’s Internet users use online banking services more than 3
times a week, in comparison to a global percentage of 32%, and 5% use the
service everyday, in comparison to 14% globally. China Banking Regulatory
Commission shows that China’s banks signed 75 million online banking
customers by the end of 2006 from 54 million in 2005. For 2007, the online
banking transactions volume is projected to exceed 118 trillion RMB with
online
banking users to increase to 117 million.

Details