Houston-based Retriever Payment Systems has hired Christine Lee, former SVP of Product Management at Bank of America Merchant Services, as SVP of Market Research and Product Development. Her responsibilities will include: product management, product development and oversight of all vendor management activities. Lee will focus on developing superior products and services to the point of sale, allowing Retriever to expand their market and provide their sales groups with many new options. Retriever provides credit card processing and other point-of-sale payment related services to more than 95,000 merchants processing approximately $8 billion in annual volume.Details
First Data has agreed to acquire approximately 80% interest in
Korea Mobile Payment Services, a provider of value-added
network services. The acquisition comes on the heels of a recently
announced long-term managed services agreement with DBS in Singapore
and complements First Data’s existing data center operations in
Shanghai. KMPS provides financial payment services including VAN and
terminal interface services to about 250,000 local
merchants with a focus on small and medium-size customers. The acquisition
is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Welcome has opened its new subsidiary in London, UK and has
appointed Michael Jensen as country manager for UK and
Ireland. Jensen has been working for 15 years in the software industry,
selling solutions to the finance industry. Throughout 2004, the value
of transactions made on all payment cards in the UK rose by 11%.
Convenience is driving the growing
popularity of plastic payment. However, the market is mature and highly
competitive. The increased commoditization of payment could soon be
costing UK banks up to GBP 2 billion a year, primarily through rate wars
and imminent fee reforms. The threat of fee reforms is pressuring banks to
reduce the transaction fees charged to merchants, which could result in
a loss of revenues estimated at another GBP 1 billion a year. Welcome
providers payment software that utilizes the full capabilities of the
EMV standard for chip credit and debit cards.
Harvey Norman and GE Money have introduced the “GO Mastercard”, a new all-in-one credit card, designed to reward loyal customers. The new card carries no annual fee and offers a full grace period in addition to a rewards program. GE Money and Harvey Norman have a long-standing relationship. Harvey Norman
franchisees have been using in-store finance options to assist consumers
to make their purchases since the ’80s when Gerry Harvey first launched
interest free at Harvey Norman.
Heartland Payment Systems is expanding its service center in Indiana, which currently employs 430, to house up to 1,000 employees. The Heartland Service Center is responsible for supporting all merchant servicing requirements including enrollment, installation, equipment supply, repair and downloading, fraud monitoring and chargeback dispute resolution assistance, and handles 98,000 Heartland sales and customer calls a month in the 24/7 facility. Heartland Payment Systems Inc. provides credit/debit card processing and payroll solutions to more than 106,000 small to medium-sized merchants throughout the United States.Details
U.S. Bank has installed 325 ATMs at Walgreens stores across 35 counties in California and in five cities in Nevada for a total of 656 ATMs in California and 116 in Nevada. The new ATMs operate on a Windows-based platform and feature vibrant, attractive graphics and screen designs, and audio-assisted capabilities via ‘text-to-speech’ technology. This platform, known as “ProdigyATM”, provides the foundation for new features such as allowing ATM users to customize and save their personal “fast cash” preferences and true one-to-one messaging and marketing capabilities. U.S. Bancorp, with $207 billion in assets, is the 6th largest financial holding company in the United States.Details
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]).
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.Details
Cub Foods is launching the Pay By Touch option in all 24 of its Chicago stores by November 10th. The new technology is free to shoppers and will allow them to pay for their groceries with a finger scan that is linked to an electronic wallet. Signing up is simple and consists of providing identification, a voided check or EBT (electronic benefit transfer) card and a finger scan. The Pay By Touch technology does not use actual fingerprints. It creates a set of 40 data points that cannot be reverse engineered into a fingerprint.Details
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]).
Houston-based PreCash has ranked #18 on Deloitte & Touche’s “Technology Fast 500 List.”PreCash operates the nation’s most comprehensive network for prepaid refill, bill payment and prepaid debit products aimed at the cash-centric consumer segment, which includes more than 65 million people in the United States. Rankings are based on percentage revenue growth over five years, from 2000-2004. PreCash grew 14,887 percent during this period. To qualify for the Fast 500, entrants must have had 2000 operating revenues of at least $50,000 USD or $75,000 CD for the United States and Canada, respectively, and 2004 operating revenues of at least $1 million USD or CD.Details
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.Details