TSYS Names a New ESC Loyalty President

TSYS has named Lars Holmquist, formerly with MasterCard, as president of ESC Loyalty after serving as ESC Loyalty’s EVP of business development and consulting since 2002. As vice president of Loyalty Consulting Services for MasterCard, he managed the U.S. business development and client management areas and consulted with many card issuers in designing and managing profitable reward programs. TSYS provides outsourced payment services.

Details

Asta Funding to Acquire VATIV Recovery

New Jersey-based Asta Funding has inked a deal to acquire TX-based VATIV Recovery Solutions, which provides nationwide bankruptcy and deceased account servicing. The acquisition is anticipated to close in the next two weeks. Financial terms were not disclosed. Asta Funding is a consumer receivable asset management company that specializes in the purchase, management and liquidation of performing and non-performing consumer receivables.

Details

MASTERCARD 4Q/05

Growth in MasterCard International’s gross dollar volume and purchase volume growth continued in double digits during the fourth quarter. Excluding online debit programs such as “Maestro,” the European region posted a 14.4% year-on-year increase in GDV as the South Asia/Middle East/Africa region soared by 57% and Latin America increased by 27%. Gross dollar volume of $445.8 billion was up 11.9% year-on-year while purchase volume increased 13.6% to $318.3 billion. Purchase transactions for the fourth quarter hit 4.50 billion, compared to 4.26 billion in the prior quarter. Globally, MasterCard has 749.3 million cards-in-force linked to 652.3 million accounts. The number of acceptance locations worldwide as of December 31st was 24.7 million compared to 23.9 million for the third quarter. For complete details on MasterCard’s fourth quarter results, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

Details

Card Balance Growth Sinks For the 5th Year

Growth in bank credit card outstandings continues to decline as the top ten issuers posted a paltry 2% gain for 2005, compared to 4% one-year ago and 11% five years ago. The steady decline has largely been attributed to the siphoning-off of balances from cards to home mortgage refinancing and a growing aversion to credit by consumers. During 2005, Citigroup, MBNA and Discover lost ground while American Express expanded U.S. card loans by 14%. Among the top issuers Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo posted the strongest organic growth rates of 2005, according to figures compiled by CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Top Ten U.S. Issuers
($ billions outstandings)
RANK/ISSUER 4Q/05 4Q/04 CHNG
1. Chase $142.3 $135.4 + 5.1%
2. Citi $113.7 $118.1 – 3.7%
3. MBNA $ 80.6 $ 82.1 – 1.8%
4. BofA $ 60.8 $ 58.6 + 3.8%
5. Cap One $ 49.5 $ 48.6 + 1.8%
6. AmEx* $ 45.7 $ 40.1 +14.0%
7. Disc** $ 44.3 $ 48.3 – 8.3%
8. HSBC $ 27.0 $ 22.2 +21.6%
9. WaMu $ 20.0 $ 18.5 + 8.1%
10. Wells $ 10.3 $ 9.8 + 5.1%
TOTAL $594.2 $581.7 + 2.1%
*AmEx excludes charge card (30-day credit) balances
** Discover figures for period ending 11/30/05
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

Details

PDS Signs a Card Deal with a Church Group

Texas-based Payment Data Systems has signed a contract with TN-based Shelby Systems, which serves over 8500 faith-based organizations, to offer credit card payment options for ancillary services. Within the agreement, a church contacts Shelby, the software provider, and indicates an interest in providing credit card payment capability to the congregation. After receiving this notice of interest, Payment Data completes a contract with the church. The church can then begin processing credit cards using Shelby’s “e-Give” or “e-Registrations” software. Payment Data Systems is an integrated payment solutions provider to merchants and billers. Shelby Systems provides software to over 8500 churches and other faith-based organizations in over 40 countries.

Details

Prudential Gobbles Up Egg Card

The UK’s Egg announced that Paul Gratton, its Chief Executive, will leave Egg following Egg’s delisting from the London Stock Exchange on February 20th. On January 23rd, Prudential announced that its share ownership of Egg had risen to 96% and that it had applied to delist Egg on February 20th. Mark Nancarrow has been appointed CEO and will assume executive responsibility effective immediately. Kieran Coleman has been appointed Chief Financial Officer.

Details

Google’s GBuy Payment Service Plugs Along

Google continues to explore and expand its beta online payment service. The Wall Street Journal reports that for the last nine months, Google has recruited online retailers to test “GBuy.” The new consumer payment option will feature an icon posted alongside the paid-search ads of merchants. The WSJ also says GBuy will let consumers store their credit-card information on Google. Meanwhile, The New Scotsman reports that Larry Page and Sergey Brin, billionaire founders of Google, had their credit card denied at the Gula Gula restaurant in Ipanema for a $50 lunch tab. They were reportedly able to come up with another card to settle the tab. The denied card was not identified.

Details

GCA Signs a Contract with Station Casinos

Nevada-based Global Cash Access has signed a multi-year agreement with Station Casinos to provide its products and services at 13 Station Casinos’ gaming establishments. Under the agreement, Station Casinos’ locations will utilize QuikCash cash advance terminals, QuikCash Plus (QCP) Web and Casino Cash Plus(R) 3-in-1 ATM, which offers patrons a quick way to access cash through ATM cash withdrawals, point-of-sale (POS) debit card transactions and credit card cash advances with patented 3-in-1 rollover functionality. One of GCA’s most popular ATMs, the Casino Cash Plus(R) 3-in-1 ATM provides convenience to casino patrons and revenue potential to casino operators. Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access is a provider of cash access products and related services to approximately 960 gaming properties.

Details

Best Present Becomes Springbok Services

Colorado-based The Best Present Company, a provider and processor of prepaid MasterCard products, has changed its name to Springbok Services Based on estimates from the Mercator Advisory Group, Inc., the total spending on open network prepaid cards will grow from $17.1 billion in 2005 to over $145 billion by 2008. Springbok Services, Inc. is a leading provider and processor of prepaid MasterCard programs issued through KeyCorp and provides a wide variety of solutions to over 4,000 clients.

Details

Canadian Bankruptcies Set a New Record

Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy reports that 101,192 Canadians filed a bankruptcy in 2005. This is the first time in Canadian history that more than 100,000 people have filed. Statistically, 4 out of every 1,000 adults declared themselves to be insolvent last year. The study also showed that the average consumer bankrupt had four credit cards with a total balance owing on the cards of C$35,960. That is an average balance of $9,625 per card compared to $2,329 for the average Canadian.

Details

NTT DATA Signs an Ingenico Terminal Deal

Ingenico has signed a deal to supply payment terminals to Japan’s NTT DATA Corporation. NTT DATA operates CAFIS / INFOX – NET, which is the largest financial transaction acquiring network in Japan. Currently approximately 300,000 terminals are installed in a number of merchant environments throughout Japan including department stores, various retailers and restaurants. INFOX – NET and NTT DATA are targeting to have a total of 400,000 terminals installed by the end of 2006.

Details