58% of College Students Pay Cards Off Each Month

A new survey has found that 72% of college students have at least one credit card, but, 58% report they are managing their debt wisely and 13% receive parental help for paying balances. The study, by Boston-based Experience also found that 23% of college students select a credit card based on interest rates; 22% look first at fees associated with the use of the card; 15% focus on the terms of the credit card; 11% select a credit card based on bank or creditor’s reputation; and 8% are interested first in the free gift or incentive for applying. The research determined that 38% of college students have only one credit card; 34% have two or more cards; 23% do not have any credit cards; and 5% use a parent’s card. Additionally, 58% of college students pay their credit card balance in full each month; 24% pay some of the balance each month; 13% have their parents pay the balance each month; and 5% only pay the minimum balance each month. The poll involved more than 4,800 students from colleges and universities nationwide.

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Euronet Inks a $500 Million Deal for RIA Envia

KS-based Euronet Worldwide has acquired Los Angeles-based RIA Envia, the third-largest global consumer-to-consumer remittance company. The deal involved $380 million in cash, $110 million in Euronet stock and certain contingent value and stock appreciation rights. Ria originates transactions through a network of over 10,000 sending agents and 98 company-owned stores located throughout 13 countries in North America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia and terminates transactions through a payer network of over 32,000 locations across 82 countries. Ria processed $4.5 billion in money transfers last year. Euronet has processing centers located in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and processes electronic top-up transactions at more than 265,000 point-of-sale terminals across approximately 157,000 retailers in Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the U.S. The deal is expected to close during the first or second quarter of 2007.

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Men Outspend Women During the Holidays

A recent survey shows that men spend more on gifts and entertaining over the holiday season than women. The VISA survey of credit and debit cardholders reveals that men spend an average of $1,288 for the holidays, which is over a hundred dollars more than women who report spending $1,186. Additional results from the survey found that 58% of cardholders who were surveyed say they spend $1,000 or less during the December holiday season. Over a quarter of those surveyed spend between $1,000 and $2,500. Two percent typically spend over $5,000 on gifts and entertaining while an equal number plan on spending nothing. Cardholders age 50 and over report spending an average of $1,130 for the holidays, $202 less than those ages 18- 49 who say they spend an average of $1,332. Not surprisingly, college graduates report spending more on average for the holidays ($1,380) than those who do not have a college degree ($1,115), the survey results found.

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Moneris Offers Card Processing for Microsoft POS Software

Moneris Solutions has launched debit and credit card payment processing for the Microsoft “Retail Management System.” Moneris is the country’s largest provider of payment services to more than
350,000 merchant locations, with more than one third representing small to midsized retailers. Moneris says with the explosion of broadband IP networks, retailers are increasingly turning to applications that are integrated and provide economies of scale across multiple checkouts and store locations; the “Microsoft Retail Management System” is
a powerful answer to this demand. Moneris processes more than two billion card transactions annually.

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Chase Closes on the Pier 1 Store Card Deal

TX-based Pier 1 Imports has completed the sale of its $140 million private-label credit card portfolio to Chase. In addition, the two companies entered into a long-term agreement in which Chase will provide credit and customer service benefits to Pier 1 cardholders and will offer special financing terms to Pier 1 customers. Pier 1 will receive future ongoing payments based on credit card sales, new account generation and other credit and account related activities. Pier 1 and Chase will work together on various marketing initiatives designed to increase Pier 1’s sales and further enhance credit growth and profitability. Pier 1 Imports, Inc. is North America’s largest specialty retailer of imported decorative home furnishings and gifts with Pier 1 Imports stores in 49 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico and Pier 1 kids stores in the United States.

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BB&T Introduces a VISA Gift Card

BB&T has introduced the “BB&T VISA Gift Card” to retail and business clients its fourth new prepaid product in the last two years. BB&T’s lineup of prepaid cards includes EasySend, an international money transfer card; the BB&T Payroll Card; and the BB&T Benefit Access Card for health savings and flexible spending accounts. BB&T operates more than 1,450 financial centers in 11 states and Washington, D.C. With $118.5 billion in assets, BB&T Corporation is the nation’s ninth largest financial holding company.

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Global Payments Europe Opens an Office in Kiev

Prague-based Global Payments Europe has opened an office in Kiev. Global Payments Europe currently serves Central, East, and
Southeast Europe and has offices strategically located in Prague,
Bratislava, Moscow, Warsaw, and Sarajevo. Global Payments Europe (formerly MUZO) serves financial institutions with a comprehensive package of payment services including credit and debit card transaction processing, installation and servicing of ATM and POS terminals, as well as card issuing services such as card database management and card personalization. The company also provides mCommerce and eCommerce services as well as credit bureau processing services.

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Network Solutions Joins AmEx Business Savings Program

Network Solutions has joined the American Express “Business Savings Program” to offer special deals on E-commerce, Web site design and online marketing products and services. Network Solutions offers members of the American Express Business Savings program special discounts on the full suite of Network Solutions products and services, including both “Do-It-For-Me” and “Do-It-Yourself” Web site design packages, E-commerce packages and online marketing services that help merchants drive traffic to their Web sites, and more. American Express Company is a leading global payments, network, travel and banking company founded in 1850. Network Solutions, a leading provider of Web solutions and the pioneer of the domain name registration service, offers a full range of Web-related services, including Web hosting, Web site design, e-commerce, search engine marketing, SSL certificates, e-mail and domain name registration services.

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Retail Decisions Deploys GoldenGate Solutions

Retail Decisions has deployed GoldenGate solutions to increase availability of data across ReD’s International platforms. GoldenGate’s solution ensures that Retail Decisions’ Oracle databases are available and identical, sharing transaction data in real time across international platforms. Retail Decisions selected GoldenGate because of its proven solution in an active/active configuration, in addition to scalability, heterogeneous database and platform support, and dedicated professional services. GoldenGate Software Inc. is the leader in transactional data management (TDM) solutions for maximizing the performance, accessibility, and availability of enterprise data.

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Sony and NXP Form a JV to Drive Contactless Payments

NXP Semiconductors and Sony Corporation have signed a MOU to establish by mid-year 2007 a joint venture that will drive global adoption of contactless smart card applications in mobile phones. The anticipated JV will plan, develop, produce and market a secure chip that will include both “MIFARE” and “FeliCa” operating systems and applications, as well as other contactless card operating systems and applications. “MIFARE” is the most widely installed contactless smart card technology in the world with about 1.2 billion smart card chips and more than seven million reader modules sold. Current shipments of “FeliCa” ICs stand at 170 million units and of these 30 million are mobile “FeliCa” chips for use in mobile phones in Japan.

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