ABnote Acquires Arthur Blank & Company

NJ-based American Banknote has acquired Boston-based Arthur Blank & Company for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock. The acquisition of the oldest and largest plastic card companies nearly doubles ABnote’s U.S. operations. Stuart and Eric Blank will assume responsibility for ABnote’s entire North American plastic card operations, including the ongoing management of Arthur Blank’s existing operations. ABnote Group is a major secure document, systems, and fulfillment company. The combination represents sales of more than 2 billion cards annually. Arthur Blank has the capacity to print up to 1.4 billion cards per year. Blank is also a leader in green technologies, such as its corn-based cards and its recycled cards. During the first quarter Blank unveiled the “MirrorCard” and the”Scratch ‘N’ Sniff Card.” (CF Library 2/16/07; 3/21/07)

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Ambassador Bridge Takes the Comdata Card

TN-based Comdata Corporation has announced the “Comdata Card” is now accepted at the Ambassador Bridge. The international crossing located between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. Drivers can now swipe a Comdata Card to pay for tolls. Comdata provides custom solutions for a wide range of industries such as transportation, retail, government services, aviation, construction, service businesses, restaurants and hospitality. Comdata’s platforms support both its proprietary and branded card networks, as well as card processing for all card types. Ceridian Corporation is an information services company. In 2006 The Ambassador Bridge serviced more than 9.4 million vehicles, 3.5 million of which were trucks.

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Online Resources Q1 Revenues Soar by 85%

VA-based Online Resources Corporation reported revenue for the first quarter of $30.8 million, up 85% from the first quarter 2006. Net loss for the quarter was $9.5 million, compared to net income of $800,000 in 1Q/06. On the bank and credit union side of its business, billpay transactions grew 8% sequentially. On the e-commerce side of its business, payment transactions grew 17% sequentially, for an average of 9% total payments growth across the Company. Additionally, unique users of the Company’s services grew 8% sequentially, driven largely by an increase in users of biller-direct payments. During the first quarter the Company completed its debt refinancing and achieved the cost synergies it had targeted from the Princeton acquisition. ORCC serves over 9 million end-users and processes $100 billion in bill payments annually. For complete details on ORCC’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Global Cash Access Q1 Revenues Rise 15%

Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access reported a 15% increase in first quarter revenues to a record $148.7 million. The Company says same store surcharge revenue was up 9.9%, cash advance dollars disbursed rose 14.1%, and ATM transaction volume climbed 13.1%, compared to 1Q/06. Revenues from the “Arriva Card” in the first quarter were $600,000 and the operating loss from “Arriva” operations was $1.0 million. The “Arriva Card” now has 5,234 accounts and $21.5 million in transaction volume since its launch. “Arriva” charge-offs to date is $200,000 and the first quarter average cash advance transaction on the card was $871 versus $630 on non-“Arriva” cards. GCA also reported that “3-in-1 Enabled QuickJack Plus Redemption Kiosk” installations reached 467 at the end of the quarter. Additionally, the number of ATM transactions increased 13.1% from 16.7 million to 18.9 million. For complete details on GCA’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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New Bankruptcy Act Likely to Be Revised

The TowerGroup has released a new report, “Consumer Bankruptcy Reforms of 2005: Promises Kept, Unintended Consequences” indicating that “The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005” is not effective and expects the new Congress to review BAPCPA and revise the Act. While a reduction in total bankruptcy petitions since its passage in 2005 offers evidence of the Act’s success, TowerGroup found that initial optimism may need to be tempered in the face of growing criticism. While bankruptcy filings are down, recent bankruptcy volumes and consumer delinquencies are back on the rise. The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys met with legislators in February 2007 to share its point of view that BAPCPA is not working. Critics of BAPCPA point to the Act’s unintended negative consequences including higher costs to administer the bankruptcy process, longer time frames to resolve bankruptcy proceedings, and higher costs for consumers. TowerGroup is a research and advisory services firm focused exclusively on the financial services industry.

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S1 Corp’s Postilion Q1 Segment Revenue Flat

Atlanta-based S1 Corporation reported that revenue for the first quarter rose 9% to $47.6 million. However, “Postilion” segment revenue was essentially flat, while the “Enterprise” segment revenue increased 19%. During the quarter Retalix formed an alliance with “Postilion” to deliver an integrated commercial fueling solution for travel centers and an open-systems payment switch for credit and debit transactions for convenience stores. Last month, NCR announced it will install “Postilion” payment processing software at its NCR Toronto, Ontario data center and “Postilion” announced an alliance naming Metavante a strategic provider of electronic presentment and payment services. S1 projects 2007 full year revenues of between $200 million and $206 million. For complete details on S1 Corp’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 2/1/07; 4/4/07; 4/19/07)

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

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EFD Draws Merger Interest as Income Rises 10%

EFD, f/k/a eFunds, says it has received interest for a potential merger and has formed a special committee to explore its strategic options. The Company reported that first quarter revenues declined 4% year-on-year to $134 million however, operating income grew 10% to $17 million compared to 1Q/06. The Company posted a 9% year-on-year decline in its U.S. Payments segment with $67.6 million in revenue but income rose 64% to $8.95 million. The International segment soared by 27% to $19.3 million in revenue but lost $4.0 million for the quarter. The U.S. Risk Management segment revenue dipped 6% to $47.1 million with flat income. EFD also reported that it now expects full year 2007 net revenues to fall within its previously published ranges of $591 million to $613 million of total revenue. During the quarter EFD launched its “Integrated Fraud Platform” solution. In March, the Company introduced its new global corporate brand: EFD. For complete details on eFunds’ first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 3/7/07)

EFD/eFunds Revenue Historical
1Q/05: $114.2 million
2Q/05: $116.3 million
3Q/05: $133.2 million
4Q/05: $138.0 million
1Q/06: $139.7 million
2Q/06: $132.4 million
3Q/06: $139.4 million
4Q/06: $140.9 million
1Q/07: $134.0 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Medical-Billing.com Offers Card Factoring

Los Angeles-based Medical-Billing.com has introduced a Below-Prime line of credit to physicians based on their receivables. The company also offers physicians an 8% debit card available to any physician immediately upon execution of an agreement. Medical-Billing.com will offer this line of credit exclusively to physicians nationwide through its finance arm, Medical-Finance.com.

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MasterCard PayPass Watch Comes to Europe

Europe’s first watch equipped with “MasterCard PayPass” contactless technology has been launched by Garanti Bank. The news follows the launch in June 2006 of the world’s first watch equipped with “PayPass” in Asia, to coincide with the “2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.” Garanti Bank first launched its “PayPass” program in June of last year with the introduction of the “Garanti Bonus Trink” card. More than 600 merchant locations in Turkey accept “PayPass” including Burger King, Starbucks, Cinebonus, TAV and the I.stanbul Ferry. As of March 31st, there are more than 14 million “MasterCard PayPass” cards and devices in the market that are accepted at more than 51,000 merchant locations globally.

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Jack Henry’s Q1 Net Income Increases by 12%

MO-based Jack Henry & Associates reported that first calendar quarter revenues rose 16% while gross profit rose 13% and net income 12% over the year-ago period. For the quarter ended March 31st, the company generated total revenue of $168.9 million, gross profit of $71.7 million and net income of $26.4 million. The Company says license fees were below expected levels, increases in support and service revenue more than offset any shortfall. Meanwhile, electronic payments increased 34% for the quarter and 41% year to date compared to last year and its electronic payments now represent 15% of the Company’s total revenue. EFT Support, which includes ATM/debit card processing, bill pay, remote capture and Check 21 transaction processing services, was the largest contributor with growth of $7.1 million or 34% in the quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The bank systems and services segment revenue increased 18% to $141.9 million. Last month, Jack Henry & Associates founder, acting Vice Chairman and SVP, John W. Henry, died of natural causes. For complete details on Jack Henry’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 4/16/07)

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

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Americans Skeptical of Lower Merchant Fees

While merchants promise they’ll lower prices if credit card interchange fees are reduced, consumers are not buying it. A new study has found that 56% of Americans believe merchants would do nothing and that prices would remain the same if card fees were lowered. The report by Javelin Strategy & Research found that two-thirds of consumers over 55 are skeptical about the impact on lower interchange fees. In fact, only 19% of Americans believe that merchants would actually lower prices overall. The study also concludes that large merchants looking for sympathy from consumers regarding interchange will not receive it, and efforts to make interchange a consumer issue using large merchants are fruitless. The fight for the hearts and minds of consumers rests with portraying smaller, locally owned businesses as victims. Large merchants and merchant organizations who represent them are attempting to politicize the issue by indicating that interchange is a “hidden tax” that consumers actually pay. As long as large merchants lead this fight, it is an ineffective strategy. Two-thirds of consumers state that they know that there are fees charged to merchants for each card transaction, and an overwhelming 84% believe it affects the prices that merchants charge for goods and services. But few consumers are willing to change their choice of payment method at large chain retailers because of this issue. Only 23% would use “the cheapest method for the merchant” at a large chain retailer.

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