Study: Small Card Issuers Need to Outsource

A new research report has concluded that small credit card issuers can be segmented according to their strategic direction: committed issuers, portfolio sale/agent bank partners, and those re-evaluating their direction toward one of these approaches. The study says any issuer not in the top tier needs to be thinking about the optimal combination of in-house and outsourced capabilities that will deliver competitive product and a competitive return, while most importantly serving the needs and interests of the cardholders. The report from Boston-based Mercator Advisory Group determined there are more than six thousand institutions having credit card receivables less than $100 million on their balance sheets. Plus, there are perhaps an additional 2,000 institutions that have sold their portfolios and continue to function as agent banks.

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Points2U Comes to Online Bill Payment

Metavante has integrated its “Points2U” rewards program into its online bill payment service enabling financial institutions to award points for online bill payment activity, credit card and debit card use — all from one integrated rewards platform. “Points2U” is a points-based rewards program for credit card, debit card and online bill payment programs that features easy implementation, minimal upfront expense and a customizable rewards website that enables financial institutions to offer rewards their customers want, such as merchandise, gift cards and flexible travel certificates. Customers accumulating points through a “Points2U” rewards program can redeem them at either a bank-branded rewards website or 24/7 call center. Metavante is the banking and payments technology subsidiary of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation.

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HSBC To Launch New ATM Ad Campaign

i-design has announced that HSBC has signed to roll-out the company’s
ATM advertising solution. The advertising solution is called ATM:ad and
will be displayed on the bank’s ATMs across the UK. HSBC is also
given the option in the contract to utilize i-designs’ ATM screen
management product Builder. This campaign compliments the bank’
current self-service marketing strategy and network infrastructure.

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DOJ Nails a U.S. Internet Gambling Group

A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City last week returned a 34-count indictment charging seven individuals and four companies with conspiring to violate laws prohibiting Internet gambling. The indictment alleges the defendants operated a business that helped Internet gambling Websites to disguise credit card charges for gambling as charges for something else. The indictment also alleges the defendants’ businesses also assisted Internet gambling Websites by arranging fund transfers between bettors in the U.S. and various Internet gambling Websites using Western Union wire transfers. During the course of the conspiracy, the indictment alleges that the defendants facilitated the payment of more than $150 million to illegal Internet gambling Websites.

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MasterCard Sees Strong Return In APMEA

MasterCard International has reported strong 1Q07 results in the
Pacific,
Middle Eastern, and Africa (APMEA) regions. Gross dollar volume
increased by 18.1%, purchase volume increased by 21.5%, transactions
increased by 23.4%, card transactions increased by 27.1% and the
number of cards issued increased by 12.8% since 1Q06. Also reported was
nearly 187 million MasterCard cards have been issued by financial
institutions
across APMEA. The company also launched “Paypass”, Premium co-branded
cards, began e-commerce development, and started many other programs this
past year in APMEA. MasterCard processes over 16 billion transactions each
year and operates in over 210 countries and territories worldwide.

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iPayment First Quarter Revenues Rise 4%

TN-based iPayment reported revenues for the first quarter of $177.7 million compared with $170.9 million for 1Q/06. Revenues, net of interchange, were $74,078,000 for the first quarter compared with $72,788,000 for the first quarter of 2006. Net loss was $1,715,000 for the first quarter of 2007 compared to net income of $7,622,000 for the same period last year. For complete details on iPayments’ latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Saunders Named Chairman and CEO of VISA Inc.

VISA has officially named Joe Saunders as Chairman and CEO of VISA Inc. VISA’s regional boards of directors unanimously approved Saunders’s appointment after an extensive six-month search. Saunders previously had been named the designated Executive Chairman of VISA Inc.’s Board of Directors, a role he assumed in February. VISA plans to form VISA Inc. through a series of mergers involving VISA Canada, VISA USA and VISA International. VISA Europe will retain its member- owned association structure and will become a licensee of VISA Inc. Because VISA Inc. is not expected to be formed until later this year, Saunders is performing his duties as Chairman and CEO as a designated appointee of VISA Inc. Prior to becoming VISA Inc.’s Executive Chairman in February, Saunders served as President of Card Services for Washington Mutual. He joined Providian in 2001 as President and CEO, and was elected Chairman of its Board of Directors in 2002. From 1997 to 2001, he served as Chairman and CEO of Fleet Credit Card Services at FleetBoston.

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PayPal Allowed To Operate In Europe

Paypal has been granted a European Union banking license and can
now continue to offer services to online merchants throughout Europe.
Paypal hopes to eventually offer their service through most online
European retail sites. Currently, it has 35 million accounts and is offered
on more than 100,000 websites in Europe and supports payments
from 190 markets in 17 currencies. PayPal processed $8.4 billion of
total payment volume in Europe last year and research shows 23% of
European Internet shoppers prefer their service.

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Encore Capital Adds New Board Members

Encore Capital announced that Timothy J. Hanford, Co-Head of FPK Capital; Willem Mesdag, Managing Partner of Red Mountain Capital Partners; John J. Oros, Managing Director of J.C. Flowers & Co.; and J. Christopher Teets, Partner of Red Mountain Capital have joined Encore’s Board of Directors. These new members replace directors Raymond Fleming, Treasurer of Consolidated Press Holdings Limited, Eric D. Kogan, Partner of Clarion Capital Partners, and Peter W. May, President and Chief Operating Officer of Triarc Companies, who have resigned in connection with the previously announced acquisition of approximately 25% of Encore’s common stock by an investment vehicle jointly funded by affiliates of J.C. Flowers & Co. and FPK Capital in a transaction that closed on May 10, 2007. In addition, Mr. Hanford has been appointed to the Compensation Committee of Encore Capital Group’s Board. Encore Capital Group, Inc. is a purchaser and manager of charged-off consumer receivables portfolios.

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Experian Acquires Tallyman

Experian has acquired Tallyman debt collection to become part of the
company’s Decision Analytics division. Tallyman ensures that revenue
collection processes are aligned with company’s business’ objectives
and currently has over 40 clients using the solution to manage over 1.25
billion GBP in debt. The solution developed by the two companies
will allow organizations to add value by making the collections function
more efficient and impacting their overall profitability. Furthermore, the
new solution will improve the productivity of each action addressed to
individual customers.

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