Retail Cards Face Higher Charge-Offs

Charge-offs for U.S. retail credit cards are set to rise this year as losses for bankcards head higher. In December charge-offs for retail cards bit 6.11% compared to 4.21% for prime and 9.23% for sub-prime bank credit cards. According to Fitch Ratings’ new “Retail Index,” charge-offs are continuing to normalize from the bankruptcy reform implementation in October 2005. However, retail delinquencies are currently at 3.88%, above the current 2.59% level for prime and below the 5.68% level for sub-prime. The retail segment exhibited a yield of 26.37% comparable to the 25.82% yield in sub-prime but significantly higher than the prime yield at 17.78%. As a result, the retail and sub-prime sectors show higher three-month average excess spread levels of 12.33% and 9.93%, respectively, despite higher charge-off levels. The retail card ABS sector includes both store cards owned by individual retailers and private label programs administered on behalf of retailers.

Details

Trintech Releases AssureNET Express

Trintech Group announced the availability of “AssureNET Express”, which utilizes the capabilities of AssureNET GL to provide mid-market organizations with a process management and internal control system for GL reconciliation, review and certification. The web-based accounting compliance application leverages a best practices configuration to deliver many of the same benefits of Trintech’s enterprise software, but with reduced implementation effort and with minimal assistance required from IT and will help clients realize the benefits of this solution quickly and at a low monthly cost. Trintech’s infrastructure is SAS 70 Type II compliant. Trintech Group Plc is a global provider of financial software services specializing in reconciliation workflow, revenue enhancement, transaction risk management and compliance for commercial, financial, and healthcare markets.

Details

CPI Introduces Contactless Card Suite

CO-based CPI Card Group is rolling out a contactless payment card that can be used by multiple payment brands and includes support for both the “VISA MSD” payment specification version 1.4.2 and the “MasterCard PayPass” magnetic stripe version 3.1 applications. Based upon the “MicroPass L4-2G chip” developed by France-based INSIDE Contactless, the new solution meets all specifications in terms of functional and security requirements. The payment application will be selected and activated during the pre-personalization process within the CPI Card Group facility. CPI Card Group is a manufacturer of plastic cards. MicroPass provides hardware platforms designed to power open standard contactless and dual interface bank card payments. INSIDE is a fabless semiconductor company with a strategic emphasis in Contactless Payments and Near Field Communications.

Details

IRS Card Tax Payments Climb 35% in 2006

This year consumers and business owners have far more payment options than ever to pay their taxes. Using credit cards to pay taxes can be especially rewarding even though there is a convenience fee involved, according to CardTrak (www.cardtrak.com). Most credit card rewards programs offer between 1% and 5% back in the form of points, miles, rebates or cash. Plus, the IRS says businesses can deduct the fees as a business expense. The IRS reports that in 2006 it received approximately 2.1 million card payments, an increase of 35% from 2005. Starting this year, individuals can pay “Trust Fund Recovery Penalties” from prior years via credit cards. Also, businesses can pay prior years federal unemployment and Form 941 taxes with plastic. Additionally, taxpayers can use electronic payment options in most states and the District of Columbia for payment of taxes.

Details

CheckFree’s Revenue Climbs 11% in 4Q/06

Atlanta-based CheckFree reported quarterly revenue of $237.2 million, representing 11% growth over the same period last year. Net income for the quarter ending December 31st was $35.3 million, compared to net income of $33.8 million for the same quarter last year. During the quarter, the Company reported that the Electronic Commerce Division processed 322.0 million transactions. Consumer Service Provider transactions at banks, credit unions and other financial institutions increased 7% sequentially and non-CSP transactions declined 7%, reflecting an overall sequential transaction growth rate of 3%. During the quarter, the Company delivered 54.9 million electronic bills, a 6% sequential quarterly increase. For complete details on CheckFree’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

SHAZAM Beefs-Up with TriCipher’s TACS

CA-based TriCipher announced that “SHAZAM”, a provider of EFT products and services, has selected TriCipher’s “TACS” multifactor-authentication platform as the standard for authentication services for its 1,600 financial institution participants. The agreement equips “SHAZAM” with a solution to help protect against online security threats and phishing attacks. “SHAZAM” requires access and authorization capabilities that ensure that no single institution can access another institution’s data. Additionally, all users must have the appropriate level of authentication needed to access the applications and services to which they are entitled. TriCipher provides a unified authentication infrastructure to protect the B2B and B2C online channel against fraud and identity theft.

Details

Mexico City STC Goes Contactless

Mexico City metro operator, Sistema de Transporte Colectivo,
has decided to make contactless ticketing a standard feature.
Between now and November 2007, ACS will extend this technology across
the entire network, equip the 2,000 platform access gates with
contactless card readers and deploy manual and automatic ticket sales
points. ACS will also equip each metro station with a supervision system
and data concentrator, as well as an optical fiber intelligent
communication network linking all the equipment. This follows on from a
pilot experiment conducted from late 2005 to early 2006. ACS is the
first and only operator to use this dual technology on a single system.

Details

Consumers Demand Biometric Technology

Consumers now overwhelmingly favor the use of biometric technology to identify individuals through physical characteristics such as fingerprints, facial patterns and hand measurements and believe this will have the greatest impact to strengthen data and border security. A new survey from the “Unisys Trusted Enterprise Index” found that a large majority of consumers in the U.S. (63%) and United Kingdom (87%) believe that the rise in identity fraud and the insufficient protection of personal information will become a significant security threat in the future and feel that financial institutions and government are not doing enough to stop it. As a result, an even greater percent of U.S. consumers (69%) and U.K. consumers (92%) would prefer that banks, credit card companies, healthcare providers and government organizations adopt biometric technologies, as compared to other protection measures such as smart card readers, security tokens or passwords/PINs, to safely and quickly verify personal identities.

Details

Euronet Ranked a Super Growth Company

KS-based Euronet Worldwide was ranked number seven on Forbes’ annual list of the 25 fastest-growing technology companies, with a five-year annualized sales growth of 69 percent and a projected annual profit growth of 20 percent for the next three to five years. The 25 fastest-growing technology companies were selected out of 2,200 public U.S. technology stocks based on the following criteria: at least $25 million in sales, 10 percent annual sales growth for five consecutive years, profitability over the past 12 months and 10 percent estimated annual profit growth for the next three to five years. Euronet Worldwide processes secure electronic financial transactions.

Details

SKY PEARL MASTERCARD

China Southern Airlines has teamed with China Merchants
Bank to offer its second co-branded “Sky Pearl Club FFP MasterCard”
For more than four years, China Southern has also offered a co-branded
MasterCard and VISA credit card in conjunction with Guangdong
Development Bank. The new CMB card offers one mile for every 18 RMB or
$2 USD spent. Bonus points are also awarded for purchasing China
Southern air tickets or products and services from a China Southern
partner. The card also includes flight accident insurance – up to 2
billion RMB – insurance for delayed flights and lost luggage assistance.

Details