New Citi Mobile Launches in California

Citibank has joined the mobile banking speed train with the launch of an m-banking application that can be quickly downloaded onto cell phones. The new “Citi Mobile” service is compatible with more than 100 popular mobile devices including the “Blackberry,” across major U.S. wireless carriers. “Citi Mobile” is scheduled to launch in California this week and by mid-year, all Citibank clients will be able to enroll in the service. Later this year, a Spanish language version of “Citi Mobile” will be released. Under the program Citi clients will be able to sign up online and in the near future via Citibank branches and by phone. Once enrolled, one click is all it takes to download “Citi Mobile”-a small application that takes just a minute or two to install. Once installed, clients simply select the Citi icon on their phone to access their accounts. The new service offers access to real-time balances; account activity; bill payment; payment scheduling; money transfers; ATM locations; and a contact mechanism to reach bank reps. In the U.K., Citi recently purchased Egg Banking and launched a Vodafone-branded mobile-based international money transfer service.

Details

Plastag and UV Color Agree to Merge

Plastag Holdings has reached an agreement to merge with Minneapolis/St.Paul-based UV Color, a manufacturer of gift cards, prepaid phone cards, secured card packaging, and collectible, trading and game cards. The consolidated organization will operate under the Plastag Holdings, LLC name. Dan Frederickson, UV Color’s current CEO, will lead the combined entity, serving as CEO of Plastag Holdings. Plastag is a manufacturer of printed plastic products.

Details

Global Payments 1Q/07 Revenues Rise 16%

Atlanta-based Global Payments reported that revenues for the quarter ended February 28th increased 16% to $260.4 million. Net income for the quarter jumped 14% to $34.3 million. GPN says the growth was driven by expansion in its domestic ISO channel, the Asia-Pacific joint venture with HSBC and card association incentives in Canada. However, GPN acknowledges that its consumer money transfer segment continues to reflect the unfavorable impact of a competitive domestic pricing environment. During the quarter, GPN extended its alliance relationship with Comerica Bank through January 2014; signed several agreements with casinos to provide its “VIP LightSpeed” cash access products and services; and in cooperation with the Czech Republic retail chain Globus, Global Payments Europe launched GP mobile. Also during the quarter Institutional Investor named Global Payments’ Chairman, President and CEO, Paul Garcia, one of “The Best CEOs in America” for the third year in a row. GPN updated its annual fiscal 2007 revenue guidance to a range of $1,050 million to $1,057 million or an expected 16% growth rate over fiscal 2006. For complete details on Global Payments latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 2/14/07; 2/21/07; 2/23/07)

GPN HISTORICAL
PERIOD REVENUES NET INCOME
1Q/06: $225.2mm $30.1mm
2Q/06: $238.8mm $34.1mm
3Q/06: $260.3mm $44.2mm
4Q/06: $260.7mm $34.0mm
1Q/07: $260.4mm $34.3mm
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

Details

WaMu Unveils the World Missions VISA

More than a million Catholics in the USA are being solicited this week for a new VISA card that benefits Catholic Church programs in more than 1,150 mission dioceses in the world’s poorest countries. The new “World Missions VISA” represents the joint efforts of Washington Mutual and Follieri Capital. A direct-mail campaign and print ad campaign in Catholic newspapers has been launched. One percent of card purchases are donated to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. WaMu says the new card offers full “Platinum VISA” benefits, free on-line “FICO” credit-score access, money saving coupons, online bill payment, zero fraud liability and no annual fee. Follieri Capital provides financial products and services to Roman Catholic Church organizations in the USA.

Details

Card Holographic Overcomes HoloMag Problems

NJ-based American Bank Note Holographics reported that sales in the fourth quarter were $7.6 million, a decrease of 25%. Net income for the fourth quarter was $900,000 versus a net loss of $2.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2005. The decrease in sales was primarily due to the previously reported cessation of the “VISA HoloMag” program. Nevertheless, the Company notes that it maintained a good relationship with VISA and supported their implementation of new card formats with the “Dove” and “Mini” hot stamp holograms that it supplies. For the full year, “HoloMag” sales totaled approximately $8.5 million versus $8.9 million in 2005. In January ABNH commenced shipping its “Generation Two HoloMag” product in limited quantities. For complete details on ABNH’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

VISA Offers Free Scores to College Students

VISA USA announced the national launch of its “What’s My Score program” for college students by giving away 5,000 free FICO credit scores for “Financial Literacy Month”. To receive their FICO score, students will first have to take a free 15-minute online financial education tutorial, designed to provide a crash course in responsible credit use. A recent survey of VISA credit and debit cardholders include: 64% of cardholders surveyed knew their credit score by the age of 40 and 15% of those cardholders surveyed never learned their score. In addition to “What’s My Score,” VISA also runs the award-winning “Practical Money Skills for Life” program, a free, multilingual educational resource complete with home, school and at work financial lesson plans. “Practical Money Skills for Life” is aimed primarily at teachers and students in elementary through high school, as well as adult consumers. The acquisition of “What’s My Score” allows VISA to dramatically expand the reach of the company’s financial education efforts to the nation’s 17.5 million college students.

Details

Biz Collections Signal Economic Contraction

For the seventh time in eight months, an index tracking business credit and collections has declined. The seasonally adjusted “Credit Manager’s Index” fell in March by 1.6%. A total of eight out of the 10 Index components fell making it widespread. The National Association of Credit Management says collections problems are now signaling economic contraction as more businesses encounter cash flow problems. With the median price of existing homes falling for seven consecutive months on a year-over-year basis, it would appear that the effects of the bursting housing market bubble will continue for some time. In the meantime, the plethora of negative data from the first two months of 2007, such as weak job growth, a dramatic fall in durable goods orders, slack retail sales and deteriorating conditions in the sub-prime mortgage market all reflect an economy sure to continue in slowing.

Details