Cardholder Service Still Wanting

A recent survey has found that 48% of consumers think the customer service on their most frequently used credit card is outstanding, but 44% are less enthused, giving customer service only a neutral rating. Auriemma Consulting Group says its research discovered that 55% of consumers feel that the customer service representatives that they speak with are not well trained or able to help them with their question or issue. About 62% of consumers feel that they spend an unacceptable amount of time waiting on hold to speak with a customer service representative at their credit card company. ACG says approximately one-third of consumers say that they favor a particular credit card because they perceive the issuer’s customer service to be outstanding.

Details

Applied Card Settles with Texas AG

Cross Country Bank, now known as Applied Card Bank, and its affiliate Applied Card Systems, reached a settlement this week with the Texas Attorney General. Texas filed suit against the sub-prime issuer in June 2004. The bank agreed to make restitution to cardholders for the 2002-2004 period in regard to certain practices. Cross Country also agreed to contact credit reporting agencies to provide updated and corrected information for each eligible consumer. In addition to refunds and/or credits to eligible consumers, the companies agreed to pay $1.3 million in penalties and attorneys’ fees to the state. In June 2005, Cross Country Bank and Applied agreed to settle with West Virginia’s State’s Attorney General for $1.5 million. The lawsuits, filed by several state AGs charged that Cross Country engaged in deceptive marketing of credit cards, offering low credit limits and charging exorbitant hidden fees to consumers who already had bad credit. The suits also contended that Applied used a wide range of abusive collection practices to coerce consumers into making payments if they contested the fees or defaulted on the account. The lawsuits alleged that Applied called consumers during the night, used obscene language and threatened cardholders with arrest to collect on a credit card account. (CF Library 6/22/05)

Details

Charge-Offs & Delinquency March North

Charge-offs, among “prime” credit card-backed securities, broke through the 4.00% level in December, rising 33 basis points. This is the third consecutive month of increase even though bankruptcy filings are still running about 68% lower than 2005. The 60+ day delinquency ratio has also been edging up for the fourth straight month, rising nine basis points in December. According to FitchRatings, “prime” charge-offs for December were 4.21% compared to 3.88% in the prior month and 7.03% for December 2005. The “prime” 60-plus day delinquency index for December was 2.59%, compared to 2.50% in November. Fitch also reported that “sub-prime” 60+ day late payments increased slightly to 5.68%. “Sub-Prime” charge-offs increased 34 bps to 9.23%. Fitch says the recent increases in sub-prime charge-offs can be attributed to a delinquency bubble caused by changes made to the minimum payment calculation per OCC guidance.

ABS PRIME CHARGE-OFFS HISTORICAL
Jan 06: 6.88%
Feb 06: 3.29%
Mar 06: 3.10%
Apr 06: 3.19%
May 06: 3.58%
Jun 06: 3.58%
Jul 06: 3.44%
Aug 06: 3.94%
Sep 06: 3.88%
Oct 06: 3.78%
Nov 06: 3.88%
Dec 06: 4.21%
Source: FitchRatings

Details

Western Union Q4 C2C Revenue Rises 11%

Western Union reports a 10% increase in revenue for the fourth quarter to $1.2 billion. Consumer-to-consumer revenue was $990 million, up 11% driven by transaction growth of 16%. Transaction growth in the international business was up 23% year-on-year. The consumer-to-business segment grew revenue 7% to $162 million. The company reaffirmed the existing 2007 guidance of revenue growth of 10% to 12% excluding acquisitions and operating income growth in the range of 6% to 9% excluding the impact of incremental public company expenses. For complete details on Western Union’s fourth quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

Arriva Card Hits the Jackpot in 6 Mos

Global Cash Access reports that its “Arriva Card” subsidiary has completed more than $15 million in cash advance transactions. The new card was introduced about six months ago and is the first credit card designed for use in casinos. GCA says “Arriva Card” cash advance transactions at casino ATM machines are 115% larger and “signature-based” cash advance transactions are 72% larger than these kinds of transactions with other cards. The new card offers a true grace period on cash advances; gives reward points for cash advances; allows cash advances of the entire credit line; and charges lower fees and interest rates on cash advances than many credit cards. The “Arriva Card” can be used in the 800-plus casino locations in the U.S. and Caribbean that are GCA customers. CIT Bank is the issuer of the card.

Details

Credit Manager’s Index Rebounds in Jan

The “Credit Manager’s Index” rebounded in January, after slipping for five consecutive months in December. The latest “Index” shows a resilient economy that has so far weathered the headwinds of a tightening monetary policy and a decimated housing market. The National Association of Credit Management also notes that the unusually warm weather in the densely populated East gave an extra boost to the most recent economic indicators. The NACM says that all 10 of the combined index components rose in January. The seasonally adjusted “CMI” rose 2.5% from 54.7 in December to 57.2 in January. One-year ago the “Index” also stood at 57.2. On a year-over-year basis, the total CMI was flat as five components rose and five fell. The manufacturing sector rose 1.2%, outperforming the service sector, which fell 1.2%.

Credit Manager’s Index
Jan 06: 57.2
Feb 06: 57.3
Mar 06: 58.1
Apr 06: 57.5
May 06: 54.9
Jun 06: 57.2
Jul 06: 57.6
Aug 06: 57.3
Sep 06: 57.1
Oct 06: 55.3
Nov 06: 55.2
Dec 06: 54.7
Jan 07: 57.2
Source: National Association of Credit Management

Details