ADS Net Income Rises 38%; Raises Guidance

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems posted record third quarter revenue of $384.8 million, a 29% increase over the year-ago quarter. Net income rose 38% to $35.9 million driven by accelerated organic growth. Transaction Services revenue increased 6% in the third quarter to $179.0 million, reversing the slightly negative growth trend of the first half of this year. Credit Services revenue rose 13% in the quarter to $137.0 million as credit sales increased 4% over 3Q/04. Marketing Services revenue increased 71% in the third quarter to $145.4 million compared to the third quarter 2004 due primarily to strong performances by Epsilon as well as the “AIR MILES” reward program. During the third quarter, ADS inked deals with CompUSA, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Carter Lumber, Gander Mountain and Gordmans. ADS increased its 2005 cash earnings per share estimate to $2.00-$2.02, versus the $1.92-$1.95 stated previously. Also, the Company is projecting 2006 revenue of $1.68 billion. For complete details on ADS’ third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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VISA Retail Sales Volume Rises 66%

VISA International reported that India continued to outperform most other markets in the Asia Pacific region, posting a 66% gain in Retail Sales Volume of US$3.8 billion in the twelve months ending June 30th. Card Sales Volume was up 76% to US$23.8 billion, and Total Card Numbers increased 42% to reach 30 million. VISA has introduced several new and unique services for Indian cardholders like “Visa Money Transfer,” “Visa Bill Pay,” “Visa Mobile” top-up, “Visa Gold Plus,” and Visa’s “Zero Liability” program which has contributed to expanding the reach of electronic payments in the country.

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MoneyGram Profits Up 21% in Third Quarter

Minneapolis-based MoneyGram International reported that third quarter revenues grew 14% to $246.4 million while net income increased 21% to $29.5 million. For the Global Funds Transfer segment, which consists of money transfer (including urgent bill payment) and retail money orders, revenue increased 22% to $167.5 million and operating income increased 29% to $35.2 million in the third quarter. Money transfer transaction volume grew 39% and money transfer revenue grew 29% to $132.8 million compared to 3Q/04. The Payment Systems segment, which includes “PrimeLink/Official Check” outsourcing services, financial money orders and controlled disbursement processing services, posted flat revenues year-over year of $78.9 million. MoneyGram says that diluted earnings per share from continuing operations for the full year 2005 is expected to be in the range of $1.22 – $1.25, up from previous guidance of $1.11 – $1.15. As of September 30th, MoneyGram has approximately 84,000 money transfer agent locations worldwide. MoneyGram was spun off from Viad Corp in mid-2004. For complete details on MoneyGram’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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SEPT DEBT

Credit card borrowing continues to be sluggish, as Brits added a modest GBP 108 million during September, compared to adding GBP 201 million in September 2004. Over the past six months credit card borrowing has grown, on average, a mere GBP 75 million per month. This year credit card borrowing fell in three separate months, dropping a record GBP 146 million in August. The British Bankers Association says credit card lending continues to be very subdued, consistent with the current picture of weak consumer spending. Meanwhile, The BBA found that total sterling lending to the UK private sector showed a net underlying increase of GBP 6.8 billion to GBP 1.141 billion. Net mortgage lending in September rose by an underlying GBP 5.0 billion. The BBA says September saw a stronger figure for mortgage lending than of late, maintaining the very stable trend it has seen throughout this year. The BBA collects data from Abbey National, Alliance & Leicester, Barclays, Bradford & Bingley, HBOS, HSBC Bank, Lloyds TSB, Northern Rock and The Royal Bank of Scotland.

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ORCC Posts 31% Increase in Q3 Profit

Virginia-based Online Resources Corporation reported a 31% increase in net income to $2.4 million on third quarter revenues of $15.3 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $3.5 million, a 34 percent increase compared to $2.6 million in the prior year. EBITDA per share was $0.13, unchanged from the prior year. Online Resources powers Internet financial services for over 800 firms nationwide.

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Card Manufacturing Tops $8 Billion in 2004

For the seventh consecutive year, the North American Region leads the world in the total number of cards manufactured but Europe continues to be the most lucrative market as measured in dollars. The “Seventh Annual Card Manufacturing Global Market Survey” by the International Card Manufacturers Association found that globally there were approximately 13.2 billion cards manufactured last year, a 13% gain over 2003. The global card marketing measure in U.S. dollars increased 33.2% to $8.2 billion. Traditional cards represented 83% of the units and 18% of the dollars, while smart cards increased to 18% in units and 82% in dollars. Financial hologram cards (including those with chips) represented 11.9% of the global card unit market. Non-secure units were up 13% driven by the loyalty and gift card segment.

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Cards Capture 59% of Global Web Purchases

A large survey of 21,100 respondents in 38 markets worldwide has determined that more than 627 million people have shopped online, including over 325 million within the last month. The semi-annual global ACNielsen “Online Consumer Opinion Survey” also found that the world’s biggest online shoppers are in Germany and UK, averaging seven and six purchases respectively in the past month. For most of these online purchases, credit card (59%) or bank transfer (23%) was used to make the payment. In Europe, however, cash-on-delivery (COD) is the 2nd most used payment method following credit card, in markets like Portugal (35%), Greece (31%), Spain (29%) and Italy (28%), while almost half of online shoppers in UK used debit cards. Cash-on-delivery is also a popular payment method used in some Asia Pacific markets, ranking 2nd to credit card in India (29%) and Japan (25%). China is most unique with COD (34%) as the most used payment method, followed by Bank Transfer (31%). Credit card ranks only third (26%) in this market and is followed closely by Money Transfer (23%). Yet when asked about preferred methods, credit card (24%) actually comes second to COD (32%) in China.

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Caen Residents to Test Mobile NFC Payments

The city of Caen in Normandy, France is the setting for a test trial of
Royal Philips “Near Field Communication” technology. A group of 200
Caen residents will use “Samsung D500” mobile phones with an embedded
Philips NFC chip as a means of secure payment in selected retail stores,
parking facilities and famous tourist sites around town in a six-month
trial. Philips will work closely with France Telecom R&D, network
operator Orange, handset manufacturer Samsung and retailers
Groupe LaSer and Vinci Park during the trial. The Caen NFC trial is the
world’s first large scale trial of this emerging technology and will
enable direct feedback to be gathered from mobile operators, retailers
and consumers. NFC was jointly developed by Philips and Sony and is a
combination of contactless identification and interconnection
technologies that enables wireless short-range communication between
mobile devices, consumer electronics, PCs and smart objects. NFC is compatible with Sony’s “FeliCa” card and the broadly established
contactless smart card infrastructure based on “ISO 14443 A,” which is used in Philips’ “MIFARE” technology.

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UK’s OFT Says VISA Interchange is Unfair

The U.K.’s Office of Fair Trading has opined that VISA’s interchange system in the U.K. restricts competition and infringes on the “EC Treaty” and the “Competition Act.” The OFT says that, like the MasterCard domestic “Multilateral Interchange Fee” agreement, the VISA “MIF” agreement leads to an unduly high fee being paid to card issuing banks by merchant acquirers on every transaction. The OFT has dispatched notices to VISA and its U.K. members to solicit a response. Last month, the OFT notified MasterCard of its view on the “MIF” agreement. However, MasterCard took over from its UK members the responsibility for setting default interchange fees on November 18, 2004. The OFT has been deliberating on interchange fee agreements for nearly six years. (CF Library 9/6/05)

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PayPal’s Account Base Expands 53% in Q3

eBay reported that the number of PayPal accounts, excluding closed and locked accounts, rose 53% in the third quarter to a record 86.6 million. The dollar volume of payments initiated through the PayPal system, was a record $6.7 billion in the third quarter, a 44% year-on-year increase and a 3% sequential gain. The number of active accounts hit 24.5 million, its highest level to-date. During the third quarter, PayPal handled $6.67 billion of gross payment volume, compared to $6.47 billion in the prior quarter, and $4.63 billion for 3Q/04. PayPal produced $247.1 million in transaction fees for 3Q/05, a 44% jump over the year-ago quarter. At mid-year, PayPal had 78.9 million accounts, compared to 71.6 million in 1Q/05, and 56.7 million for 3Q/04. During the third quarter, PayPal handled 117.4 million payments, a 4% increase over the prior quarter, and up 41% from 2Q/04. PayPal captured 62% of eBay’s total $10.8 billion in total sales volume during the quarter. PayPal’s 3Q/05 transaction revenue rate was 3.60%, flat year-over-year. The processing expense rate for the third quarter was 1.11%, compared to 1.30% for 3Q/04. PayPal’s transaction loss rate came in at 24 basis points, up 2 basis points from one-year ago. For complete details on eBay/PayPal’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

PAYPAL HISTORICAL
$VOLUME #ACCOUNTS
3Q/04 $4.6 billion 56.7 million
4Q/04 $5.6 billion 63.8 million
1Q/05 $6.2 billion 71.6 million
2Q/05 $6.5 billion 78.9 million
3Q/05 $6.7 billion 86.6 million
SOURCE: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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