VISA USA Hits 6K Transactions Per Second

VISA USA reports that on December 23rd, the payment network’s data centers cleared and settled a record $9.8 billion. Also, the payment network’s data centers processed a record 6,803 transactions per second, sustained over a one-hour period on December 22nd, a 7% increase from the previous year. VISA also says retail categories that experienced the strongest year-over-year sales increases during the holiday shopping season included drugstores/pharmacies, electronics and home furnishings stores and restaurants. VISA says its volume also showed that the holiday season turned out to be softer than many had predicted.

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Payment Data Systems Q4 Volume Up 143%

San Antonio-based Payment Data Systems reports that its November credit card processing dollar volume increased 119% from the comparable month one year ago, as transaction volume grew 95% year-over-year. December experienced similar gains with dollars processed gaining 114% over the comparable month one year ago and transaction volume growing 85% over December 2005. Volumes for the fourth quarter of 2006 outpaced those of the prior year quarter by 143% for dollars processed and 234% for transactions processed.

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Monthly Payment Rates Heading South in 07

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, headed north to 19.82% in November, but remain well below the average rate for the year. Payment rates reached nearly 22% during 2006 driven by increased minimum payments and a robust economy. However, the overall trend in payment rates is headed down for 2007 as borrowers are increasingly pressured by current economic factors. According to FitchRatings, the gross yield increased 39 basis points in November to 17.96%, and is seven basis points above year-ago levels. Fitch expects gross yield to remain stable as payment rates decline.

ABS METRICS
YIELD MPR
Apr 06: 18.81% 21.74%
May 06: 17.61% 19.14%
Jun 06: 17.97% 21.00%
Jul 06: 17.63% 20.71%
Aug 06: 17.86% 20.24%
Sep 06: 17.96% 21.06%
Oct 06: 17.58% 19.30%
Nov 06: 17.96% 19.82%
Source: FitchRatings

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OCT DEBT

Credit card debt soared to a new record, hitting A$37.3 billion in October. Credit card volume also regained strength, approaching the record high set in August. Additionally, credit card limits reached a new high, topping A$100 billion for the second consecutive month. Card volume increased to A$16.4 billion during October, compared to A$15.4 billion in September and a record A$16.5 billion in August. During the past twelve months, credit card debt has increased 15.5% in Australia. For October, credit card balances increased A$100 million from the previous month. One-year ago credit card debt stood at A$32.3 billion. Gross dollar volume on credit card and charge cards was A$14.5 billion one-year ago. Year-on-year credit card volume has increased 11% in Australia. Card credit limits reached A$101.8 billion at the end of October, compared to A$89.5 billion for October 2005. There are currently 13.2 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 12.4 million one-year ago.

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Kwik Trip Selected Ingenico’s PIN Pad

Kwik Trip has selected the “Ingenico i6550” as its next generation PIN pad, deploying over 1,100 of these terminals throughout its convenience store chain this year. Ingenico devices interface seamlessly to Kwik Trip’s point-of-sale system, Pinnacle’s Palm POS, to enable secure payment processing. Kwik Trip, Inc. (www.kwiktrip.com) is one of the nation’s leading convenience store chains, having 368 Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Hearty Platter, and Tobacco Outlet Plus stores throughout the Midwest. Ingenico products leverage proven technology, established standards and unparalleled ergonomics to provide optimal reliability, versatility and usability. The Pinnacle Corporation (www.pinncorp.com) is a leader in the automation technology industry focusing on the rapidly evolving convenience store and petroleum industries.

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ClickandBuy Adds More U.S. Online Stores

ClickandBuy continues to expands its U.S. presence with the addition of three independent online music stores. Globally, about 7 million consumers and more than 6,000 online merchants use the ePayment service. The service is available in 13 European countries and the U.S. The three new U.S. merchants include Icarus Music Store, Gambit Music Group and BeatRecords. ClickandBuy offers a hosted digital commerce system and provides different types of payment methods, including yearly subscriptions, micropayments or single downloads of songs.

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Credit Card Delinquencies Continue to Build

Credit card delinquencies of 60 days or more continued to build for the third consecutive month. Slowing income growth, declining home prices, and a weaker manufacturing environment are driving factors behind the recent rise. According to the latest “Fitch Credit Card Index,” “prime” delinquency, among credit card-backed securities increased to 2.50% in November, compared to 2.40% for October and 2.33% for September. One-year ago delinquency stood at 2.09%.

ABS HISTORICAL
Month Delinquency*
Nov 05: 2.09%
Dec 05: 2.54%
Jan 06: 2.26%
Feb 06: 2.09%
Mar 06: 2.34%
Apr 06: 2.37%
May 06: 2.41%
Jun 06: 2.28%
Jul 06: 2.30%
Aug 06: 2.36%
Sep 06: 2.33%
Oct 06: 2.40%
Nov 06: 2.50%
*60 days or more past due
Source: Fitch Ratings

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Driver’s License & Gas Pump Payment Merge

FL-based National Payment Card and Murphy Oil USA have teamed to introduce a system that enables consumers to pay at the pump or in-store using a driver’s license with a magnetic stripe that will be tied to their checking account. Murphy, which has approximately 984 stations located in 21 states, plans to offer the option to its customers in twelve states. The National Payment Card PIN-based payment system processes transactions through the ACH and also offers a self-funded loyalty program for immediate savings at the pump for consumers. National Payment Card’s charge to merchants is a flat-fee of 15 cents per transaction on a loyalty card and 17 cents on a sale to a third party card or driver’s license. Pinnacle has added National Payment Card to its product payment modules and Verifone has also certified the National Payment Card interface to work with its “Ruby/Sapphire POS.” National Payment Card says there are about 150 million Americans carrying driver’s licenses with magnetic stripes across 24 states.

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First Data Renews the First PREMIER Contract

SD-based First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard has renewed its credit card processing agreement with First Data for its 4.3 million cardholders. Under the terms of the long-term contract extension, First Data will continue to provide comprehensive card processing services, including statement production and mailing and plastics personalization. First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses worldwide. First PREMIER Bank, together with its sister organization PREMIER Bankcard, is headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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U.S. Dispute Over Debit Fund May Settle

NY-based Constantine Cannon, the lead counsel for the debit card litigation, which resulted in a $3 billion settlement with VISA and MasterCard, announced that a proposed settlement has been reached in a dispute between U.S. Government, merchants, and VISA and MasterCard. One year ago the U.S. filed a $10 million claim against the debit card “Settlement Fund” seeking fees it overpaid for accepting debit cards. Among other details of the proposed settlement, VISA and MasterCard will pay $3.5 million and the “Settlement Fund” will pay approximately $3.7 million, and the United States will forego $3.7 million of its claim.

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