GE Money SBI VISA Tops 2MM Cards In India

The State Bank of India and GE Money credit card joint venture has topped the two million card customer milestone. The “SBI VISA” program includes the “LG Card,” “Hero Honda Card” and the “Lifestyle Card” according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International. SBI Card also offers a co-branded VISA with four NGOs including the National Association of the Blind, SOS Villages of India, World Wildlife Federation, and Cancer Patients Aid Association. SBI, India’s largest and most trusted bank, has over 14,000 branches nationwide and 6,000 ATMs – the largest ATM network of any bank in Asia outside Japan. The size of the Indian credit cards market is estimated to be about $4 billion and is growing at 35% per year.

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New Report Focuses on Card Growth in Asia

A new report titled “i-modes and Octopi:
Will Asia Reshape the World’s Payment Industry?” indicates the
expansion of payment cards will be concentrated in Japan and China.
A single technology, the “Felica” chip, has given birth to four payment
platforms that both cooperate and compete. They allow consumers to
transact using mobile phones, stored value cards, smart cards and credit
cards. The paper chronicles a “chicken and egg” problem in Asian
markets–where payments systems are beginning to emerge–and provides
insight into the decisions made by members of the Japanese payments
ecosystem, in particular, the decisions that drive both consumer and
merchant acceptance.

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SBI VISA

The State Bank of India and GE Money credit card joint venture has topped the two million card customer milestone. The “SBI VISA” program includes the “LG Card,” “Hero Honda Card” and the “Lifestyle Card.” SBI Card also offers a co-branded VISA with four NGOs including the National Association of the Blind, SOS Villages of India, World Wildlife Federation, and Cancer Patients Aid Association. SBI, India’s largest and most trusted bank, has over 14,000 branches nationwide and 6,000 ATMs – the largest ATM network of any bank in Asia outside Japan.
The size of the Indian credit cards market is estimated to be about $4
billion and is growing at 35% per year.

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EMC Acquires Acxiom’s Information Grid Software

Massachusetts-based EMC Corporation has acquired AR-based Acxiom’s information grid software for an aggregate $30 million and has signed a technology and distribution partnership deal. Under the terms of the agreement, EMC and Acxiom will jointly develop and market an information grid solution to customers as a hosted offering from Acxiom. Additionally, EMC has purchased information grid software from Acxiom, and over time, EMC and Acxiom plan to integrate relevant systems, software, services and data from both companies into a complete product-based information grid solution for customers to deploy within their own enterprise. Acxiom integrates data, services and technology to provide customer and information management solutions.

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EFMARK Premium Armored & Bantek West Merge

EFMARK Premium Armored is merging with Bantek West to create the nation’s largest provider of ATM services for financial institutions. Chicago-based The Edgewater Funds, a minority shareholder in Bantek, will help fund the merger and will become a minority shareholder in the combined company. The companies will operate as wholly owned subsidiaries of a newly formed holding company that will continue to be owned by current shareholders of the companies. The merged companies enhances EFMARK’s “Managed ATM Services” package by consolidating all services under a single provider.

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New Report Highlights Innovative Bank Cards

Paris-based Publi-News and Altenor Consulting have released a report presenting 240 bank or co-branded cards from across the world with innovative qualities that include loyalty systems such as reward programs, services linked to cards and targeted marketing benefit programs, materials used in card production and technological advances that aid in fraud prevention and identify consumer purchasing patterns.

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Chase to Deploy 1,300 Diebold Opteva ATMs

Chase plans to deploy more than 1,300 of Diebold’s “Opteva” ATMs in its network. The deal includes Diebold’s “Opteva” cash dispensers and advanced-function terminals. The ATMs will be used in new branch and off-premises locations, as well as for the replacement of existing ATMs. An associated service agreement is also included in the agreement. Chase recently launched a pilot of Diebold’s deposit automation technology — including Diebold’s “Intelligent Depository Module” and “Bulk Note Acceptor” — at its operations center in Columbus, Ohio. Chase has a network of more than 7,100 ATMs in 19 states.

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Prime ABS Charge-Offs Spike to 7.52% in Oct

The recent surge in bankruptcies drove charge-offs among credit card-backed securities higher during the October collection period for both prime and sub-prime portfolios. For October, charge-offs in the “prime” asset-backed credit card securities market increased 180 basis points to 7.52%. “Sub-prime” charge-offs rose by 161 basis points to 12.34%. One-year ago, “prime” charge-offs were 6.08% and “sub-prime” charge-offs stood at 14.94%. According to the latest “Fitch Credit Card Index,” “prime” delinquency (60+ days) declined to 2.54% in October. “Sub-prime” delinquency (60+days) for October rose 23 basis points to 6.76%, but continues to hover at the lowest level in four years. Fitch notes that personal bankruptcy filings remain at subnormal levels after spiking in mid-October. For the month of November, weekly filings were less than 5,000, whereas prior to the reform and spike, weekly median filings were about 35,000 in 2005.

ABS CHARGE-OFF HISTORICAL
Month Prime Sub-Prime
Oct 04: 6.08% 14.94%
Sep 05: 5.72% 10.73%
Oct 05: 7.52% 12.34%
Source: Fitch Ratings

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AutoZone Stores to Use TeleCheck Services

AutoZone’s 3,592 stores nationwide are now using the TeleCheck “Electronic Check Acceptance” service and the TeleCheck “Guarantee” service. The TeleCheck ECA service converts a paper check issued by the consumer into an electronic item, and settles funds using the same system many consumers trust with automatically deposited paychecks. By removing the paper from the transaction, the ECA service eliminates the back office support traditionally required by a merchant for deposits and returns.

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Credit Card Debt Falls to 3.7% of Total Credit

Research and Markets has released its first country specific report on the Australian cards market. Relative to total household credit, credit card debt has actually fallen in percentage terms. At the end of 2004 balances outstanding on credit and cards accounted for 3.7% of total household credit, down from 4.0% at the end of 2002. Additionally, MasterCard has increased its market share over the 2002-2004 period, from 28.9% in 2002. The report breaks down data on plastic card markets in Australia by scheme and by issuer. It also analyzes competitor strategies and presents a series of forecasts of plastic card markets in
Australia for the period 2005-2009.

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One in Five Interact With Bank via ATMs

A new survey has found that 80% of consumers indicate they visited their bank branch at least once a month and 43% visit a branch at least once a week. Twenty percent of consumers said they interact most frequently online and another 20% interact most frequently through ATMs. The research by Deloitte’s Banking practice also found that competitive fees/rates rank very high in importance to consumers (#2 after keeping account information secure and protected). The study says access to a “real person” is key to customer service: while the call center is not the primary point of contact for 96% of customers, it is a very important secondary channel of interaction with a bank – often for problems and questions.

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