TNS Posts Q2 Loss; Off the Sale Block

VA-based transaction network provider, TNS, reported second quarter revenue of $72.7 million an 11% year-on-year increase, however, the company posted a $900,000 net loss for the quarter, compared to net income of $300,000 in 2Q/05. Following the second quarter report the Company yesterday announced it was ending its investigation of strategic alternatives including a possible sale or buyout by management. The Company also replaced CEO Jack McDonnell as Chairman with John Sponyoe. TNS also said McDonnell will be retiring with a successor named in the coming weeks. McDonnell lead a senior management buyout attempt at $22 per share which was rejected in May. The Company says it will now focus on substantial cost-saving initiatives in an effort to further enhance stockholder value. For complete details on TNS’ second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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OneBridge to Deploy ACI Fraud Software

Indianpolis-based card processor, OneBridge, has licensed ACI’s “Proactive Risk Manager” fraud detection software. Proactive Risk Manager is a complete fraud detection solution for credit and debit (on-line and offline) programs and is currently protecting financial institutions around the world. It uses a powerful combination of rules and neural technology that recognize the obvious and the complex in combating fraud. OneBridge, a CISP compliant card processor, provides financial institutions with complete, one-stop card processing solutions to help them maximize the value of their in-house credit, debit and ATM programs. Every second of every day, ACI solutions are at work processing electronic payments, managing risk, automating back office systems and providing application infrastructure services.

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AACC Cash Collections Up; Profits Down

MI-based consumer debt purchaser, Asset Acceptance Capital, posted a 2.9% decline in second quarter revenues to $66.8 million. Net income for the quarter was $12.4 million, compared with a net income of $16.3 million for 2Q/05. The Company noted that the year-over-year decline in revenue was primarily attributable to a $5.5 million net impairment charge compared to a $1.7 million net impairment charge in the second quarter a year ago. However, Asset Acceptance reported a 5.6% rise in cash collections to $89.6 million. During the quarter the Company spent $19.2 million to purchase consumer debt portfolios with a face value of $542.3 million, representing a blended rate of 3.53% of face value. Asset Acceptance says the purchasing environment remains highly competitive, characterized by elevated portfolio pricing. For complete details on Asset Acceptance Capital’s second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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U.K.’s OFT Ordered to Pay V/MC Fees

The U.K.’s Competition Appeal Tribunal has ordered the Office of Fair Trading to pay the legal expenses of VISA and MasterCard in a six-year probe of the networks’ interchange fee practices. According to today’s CardFlash International the OFT is facing about $9.5 million in reimbursements after the CAT annulled a previous OFT decision that VISA and MasterCard credit card interchange fees violated EU and UK competition law. The OFT ruled last September that the fees were illegal. Since then, the OFT began abandoning significant parts of its decision. In June the CAT annulled a September decision by the OFT which claimed that MasterCard’s pre-November 2004 UK credit card interchange fees violated EU and UK competition law. VISA was represented by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and MasterCard was represented by Lovells, Jones Day and Ashurst.

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Morgan Beaumont Expands its Financing

FL-based prepaid card specialist, Morgan Beaumont, has secured new financing of up to $3 million. The current loan of $1.1 million, which expires on August 4, 2006, is converting into the new financing for a total loan of up to $4.1 million. The new financing expires on February 2, 2007. Morgan Beaumont, Inc. is a Technology Solutions Company located in Bradenton, Florida, and is one of the premier providers of Stored Value and Prepaid Card Solutions in the United States.

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VISA Launches a Small Biz Promotion

A new VISA USA and SCORE survey has found that 35% of sole proprietors say their primary challenge in maintaining and growing a small business is an inability to focus on generating new business. Sole proprietors make up 75% of all small businesses in the USA. To assist small business VISA has launched its first national promotion targeting small businesses. The “Hired for You” promotion will run through September 30th and offers one small business the opportunity to win the services of a new employee for a year and $50,000 worth of merchandise and services. Ten first prize winners will also receive $2,500 worth of business essentials. Small business cardholders will be automatically entered into the contest every time they use their “VISA Business” card.

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AmEx Funds U.S. Performing Arts

American Express has given $1.3 million in grants to be awarded to 12 institutions nationwide from its “2006 Performing Arts Fund”. The 12 institutions were chosen through a highly competitive selection process. The American Express Performing Arts Fund was created in 1997 to assist performing arts institutions across the United States to attract broader audiences. Since then, American Express has given almost $11 million in 107 grants to 58 performing arts institutions throughout the country through this initiative. American Express Company (www.americanexpress.com) is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.

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TNB Promotion Produces High Open Rates

Dallas-based TNB Card Services’ says its 2006 spring card acquisition promotion produced open rates of 2.45% and 1.56% for two credit unions. In a little more than two months, the promotion generated 50% more new accounts than the credit union’s goal for the entire year. TNB Card Services, owned and directed by credit unions since 1976, provides electronic payments processing, as well as an agent issuing solution for credit unions nationwide.

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GE Money Names a Global Marketing Exec

GE Money has promoted the CEO of its Australia and New Zealand business to head its worldwide marketing. Thomas Gentile, a nine-year GE veteran who also formerly headed GE Money in France, has been named SVP/Global Marketing. During his tenure in Australia, Gentile generated double-digit growth creating $26 billion in assets, and an annual net income of more than $300 million. A new CEO of GE Money Australia and New Zealand will be named shortly. Last month GE Money reported a global profit of $880 million on revenues of $5.3 billion for the second quarter. For complete details on GE’s second quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

GE CONSUMER FINANCIAL TRACK RECORD
Income Revenues
2Q/05: $735 million $4928 million
3Q/05: $810 million $4913 million
4Q/05: $770 million $4886 million
1Q/06: $836 million $5090 million
2Q/06: $880 million $5268 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com

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Retail Sales Up for Fourth Straight Month

A monthly survey indicating economic conditions in the Eurozone retail sector has found a weaker rate of expansion during July than those indicated throughout the second quarter, but a solid increase nevertheless. However, it was the fourth-fastest in the survey’s thirty-one month history. The July “Bloomberg Eurozone Retail
Purchasing Managers’ Index” posted 53.8 in July. July data for the three major Eurozone economies that constitute the survey signaled that France recorded the sharpest growth in retail sales for the second month running (57.7). The rate of growth in German retail sales eased further from May’s high, but was solid nevertheless (54.2). Meanwhile, Italian retail sales declined for the sixth month running (47.6).

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AIR MILES Adds 20 Virtual Mall Partners

The Canadian “AIR MILES Reward Program” has added 20 new retail partners to its online shopping mall. New retailers include Disney
Shopping, Toys “R” Us Canada, Office Depot and HBC.com. The virtual mall offers merchandise from a total of 75 retailers. In 2003, the online shopping mall was created and launched in Canada. The “AIR MILES” program is owned by Alliance Data Systems.

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VISA Small Business PDV Climbs 32%

VISA USA reports that small business purchase dollar volume on its business cards is growing at a 32% annual rate, while total commercial spending on its business cards is increasing around 26%. VISA notes that this is the first time that small business PDV on “VISA Business” cards has topped $100 billion over a 12 month period. For the second quarter small business spending on “Business” cards hit $28.9 billion, a 29.9% increase over 2Q/05. Total commercial spending for VISA rose 24.8% to $43.9 billion in the USA. For the four quarters ended June 30th small businesses made $103.5 billion in purchases with their “VISA Business” cards, a 32.2% jump year-on-year. Total commercial spending for the same twelve-month period was $159.4 billion, a 26.2% annual increase.

VISA U.S. COMMERCIAL
(Purchase Dollar Volume)
2Q/05: $35.3 billion
3Q/05: $37.7 billion
4Q/05: $38.4 billion
1Q/06: $39.5 billion
2Q/06: $43.9 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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