Providian Approves WaMu Merger

Providian overwhelmingly approved the acquisition by Washington Mutual with 67% of the total outstanding shares. 83 percent of the 237,791,081 shares voted were in favor of the merger (67 percent of the total outstanding shares). A majority of the total outstanding shares were needed to approve the transaction. Washington Mutual operates more than 2,400 retail banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking and financial services offices with $323.53 billion in assets.

Details

VISA and USD Offer Courses for Teachers

VISA USA and the University of San Diego’s Division of Continuing Education have teamed to offer two online graduate level money management courses for elementary and secondary teachers designed to help them improve their financial literacy skills while earning graduate level extension credits. Both courses are taught online by an instructor and they can be taken simultaneously. Students have 60 days to complete the online portion of the course and are given up to six months to complete additional assignments. Visa USA is the nation’s leading payment brand and largest payment system. Cardholders in over 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume. The University of San Diego enrolls some 7,200 students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service.

Details

Q Comm’s 2Q/05 Revenues Quadruple Y/Y

UT-based Q Comm International reported second quarter revenues of $13.3 million, compared to $3.0 million in revenues (as restated) for 2Q/04. The Company’s net loss in the quarter increased to $3.3 million, compared to a loss of $883,000 in the second quarter of 2004. The Company reported that net activations of 623 terminals during the quarter raised its net activated terminals to 3,342 as of June 30th. Q Comm says expenses increased significantly during the second quarter as the Company accounted for asset impairment, legal settlement, bad debt expenses and legal and accounting expenses related to the SEC review of the Company’s recent “1934 Act” filings, while concurrently investing in personnel. For complete details on Q Comm’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

Details

PayPro Names a Chief Executive Officer

Texas-based PayPro has named Jack Brown, currently serving as Secretary of PayPro and Chairman/CEO of ChexCard, as the new CEO. Mr. Brown has been aggressively pursuing loan commitments for ChexCard to finance the Company’s long-term growth strategies. He is currently engaged in direct discussions with several Central and South American financial institutions that have shown significant interest in providing financing packages for ChexCard. PayPro stored value debit cards are sold under the brand names CHEXCARD and MYBANKCARD to businesses, governmental agencies and individuals.

Details

OPC Signs Cobb County, Georgia

Official Payments has signed an agreement with the Cobb County, Georgia Tax Commissioner’s Office to provide electronic tax payment processing services. Official Payments charges citizens a convenience fee for the service, however, taxpayers using credit or debit cards with bonus rewards programs may, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards. Tier is a leading provider of transaction processing and packaged software and systems integration services for public sector clients.

Details

Encore Buys a Bankruptcy Services Firm

San Diego-based consumer charge-off management specialist, Encore Capital Group announced the acquisition of Ascension Capital Group, a provider of bankruptcy services to the finance industry. The deal is comprised of $17.8 million in cash, $4.0 million in common stock and assumption of approximately $450,000 in debt. Last year, Ascension generated revenue of $12.3 million and is expected to hit $14.2 million this year. Ascension’s services include negotiating consumer bankruptcy plans; monitoring and managing the consumer’s compliance with bankruptcy plans; and recommending courses of action to clients when there is a deviation from a bankruptcy plan. Erich Ramsey, Ascension Capital Group’s founder and CEO, and other senior managers have signed employment agreements with Encore. Encore posted $53.8 million in second quarter revenues, a 23% increase over 2Q/04, according to CardData.

Details

U.S. ATM Annual Operating Costs to Rise

A new study estimates that U.S. financial institutions will spend over $3.3 billion this year in total operational costs (including asset depreciation) for their on-premise and off-premise ATM fleets. Montreal-based Celent projects the figure will reach $3.9 billion by 2008. In its report, “ATM: Strategies for Lowering Total Cost of Ownership,” Celent examines two frameworks that it believes to be key trends in ATM operations. The first is a trend of banks outsourcing significant portions of their ATM operations-driven by a desire for cost savings, cost certainty, and service consistency. The second framework reviewed is a trend toward branding of third-party ATMs by financial institutions.

Details

Citi Launches the Credit-ED Challenge

Citi has launched the “Credit-ED Challenge,” a one-hour, interactive, free financial education workshop to be delivered to campuses across the country. The Credit-ED Challenge helps students look at their spending habits and attitudes towards money, put a budget together, understand the importance of credit history and give guidance to use credit responsibly. Students can also take the Credit-ED Challenge on-line at their own pace. Citi has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing a broad range of financial products and services.

Details

MasterCard Launches Get Wired Campaign

MasterCard has launched its “Get Wired” sweepstakes for business cardholders. The sweepstakes is one component of a larger global “Get Wired” campaign that will run into 2006. To support the U.S. “Get Wired” campaign, MasterCard plans to roll-out new broadcast, print and online “priceless” advertising that highlights the difference technology can make for small businesses. A new television commercial titled “Flex” launches this week and will be featured during television broadcasts of this year’s World Series. The sweepstakes provides all “MasterCard BusinessCard” and “Debit MasterCard BusinessCard” cardholders with a chance to win one of three $50,000 technology makeovers for their small business, including a technology expert to help put it all together. Business cardholders will automatically be entered into the sweepstakes with each card transaction between September 1st and November 30th. Sweepstakes will also launch this year in the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Canada and extend to other countries in 2006.

Details

Hypercom Decides on its CEO and Chairman

Hypercom has named William Keiper as CEO and President, effective immediately. Keiper, a member of the Board since April 2000, had been serving as Chairman, interim CEO and President since March 30th. Christopher Alexander, the former Chairman and CEO of the Company, retired at the end of March. Hypercom also announced the election of Daniel Diethelm as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Diethelm has served as a director of the Company since January 2004 and currently serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Board. He also previously served as a Hypercom director from August 2001 to May 2003.

Details

Chase to Acquire Sears Canada Portfolio

Chase has inked an agreement to acquire Sears Canada’s US$2.1 billion credit card portfolio for an undisclosed amount. The deal includes both its private-label Sears credit card accounts (US$1.9 billion) and its co-branded “Sears MasterCard” (US$200 million) Totally, the Sears Canada portfolio has about 10 million gross accounts and four million active accounts. It is the third largest credit card portfolio in Canada. When the transaction closes, Chase will manage operating centers in four Canadian locations with approximately 1,000 employees. Sears Canada announced in June it was looking to unload its Credit and Financial Services unit. Goldman, Sachs advised Sears Canada on the sale. (CFI Library 6/14/05)

Details

EFMARK Premium Armored Joins NCR’s ASSP

EFMARK Premium Armored has joined NCR’s “Authorized Sales & Service Provider” program which gives EFMARK access to NCR’s authorized parts, diagnostic software tools and documentation, training programs and other NCR intellectual property required to service NCR machines. A particular area of focus for EFMARK is the move to Windows-based ATM software. EFMARK Premium Armored is the nation’s largest “ATM only” service company, providing financial institutions with a single-source solution for ATM equipment and overall ATM program management.

Details