Australian Merchants Plan to Start Surcharging

According to a new study, nearly half of Australia’s Corporate, Commercial and SME merchants are planning to start surcharging consumers for credit card transactions over the next six to 12 months. The East & Partners report shows that 6.9% of Corporates; 4.2% of Commercial companies; and 2.8% of SMEs currently apply a surcharge to credit card sales transactions. The East study finds that of those businesses that do currently surcharge, Corporates on average apply a 1.2% surcharge; Commercial enterprises add on 1.4%; and SMEs apply a 1.6% surcharge. However, 46.7% of Corporates; 44.5% of Commercial companies; and 41.0% of SMEs are actively considering applying a surcharge following the Reserve Bank of Australia’s re-regulation of interchange arrangements.

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Precidia’s POSLynx220 Certified by Vital

Ottawa-based Precidia Technologies announced the “Class B Certification” of its “POSLynx220” secure multiport IP converter by Vital Processing Services. The “POSLynx220” connects up to four existing dial or serial based POS devices, including payment terminals, ATMs, PC cash registers, and petroleum monitors to broadband networks.The unit also offers SSL security, split dial for greater application flexibility, and dial back-up for enhanced reliability. For the first
time, the “POSLynx220” will be released with “NetVu,” a network
configuration manager that streamlines deployment, eliminating the
cumbersome and costly installations typical of IP solutions.

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AmEx Corporate Card Erosion Turns the Corner

Despite inroads by VISA and MasterCard into corporate card spending, American Express insists it has turned the corner. AmEx says that after several years of modest decline in corporate card share it is now outpacing the competition. AmEx’s current corporate card growth of 13% outperformed the combined 11% growth of the top 10 corporate bankcard issuers. AmEx noted that its total corporate card spending is more than 50% greater than the next 10 issuers combined. Overall, the average annual amount spent per basic account on U.S. proprietary cards was $10,700 in 2004, up from $9,600 a year earlier. More than half of the Fortune 500 provide AmEx cards to their employees for business expenses.

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Off-Line Debit Q2 PDV Up 21%; VISA Tops $100B

Signature debit card purchase volume in the USA is now growing at an annual pace of 21%, hitting $138 billion in the second quarter. Year-over-year, MasterCard’s signature debit card purchase volume is growing 28%, compared to VISA’s 20%. However, VISA topped $100 billion in quarterly PDV for the first time during the second quarter. VISA posted $108.9 billion in second quarter signature debit card purchase volume, with $101.6 billion coming from consumer debit cards. MasterCard reported $29.1 billion on off-line PDV for 2Q/05. For complete current and historical statistics on the U.S. signature debit card market, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

U.S. SIGNATURE DEBIT SNAPSHOT
(Purchase Volume Only)
2Q/04 2Q/05 Y/Y CHANGE
VISA $90.9b $108.9b +20%
MasterCard $22.8b $ 29.1b +28%
TOTAL $113.7b $138.0b +21%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Personal Credit Index Finds ID Fraud Hits 18%

The latest “Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index” finds that 18% of consumers report being victims of identity theft, with 25% of consumers under age 30 having their financial information stolen. About two-thirds of consumers who have not experienced identity theft say it is unlikely to happen to them, however 62 percent are concerned that their financial information could be stolen online. The Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index is based on a monthly nationwide survey of households and measures four key areas related to credit: level of debt, monthly payment burden, credit rating and debt extension capability. The Gallup Organization has studied human nature and behavior for more than 70 years. Experian provides information, analytics, decision-making solutions and processing services.

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TAISHIN JCB CARD

Taishin International Bank is set to launch JCB-branded “Standard”
and “Platinum Cards.” Taishin currently has four million cardholders
and has been in partnership with JCB in merchant
acquiring operations since 2000. The deal makes the number of
JCB-issuing banks to 31 out of about 50 banks operating in Taiwan. The
new “Taishin JCB Card” will offer exclusive JCB offerings such as double
loyalty points for card use in Japan, discounts on tours in Japan and
promotional campaigns featuring a chance to win a free trip to Japan.
JCB’s merchant network includes 12.4 million merchants and spans 190
countries. JCB cards are now issued in 19 countries and territories,
with 55.14 million cardholders.

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123 Send Deploys MagIC X1000 GPRS Terminal

123 Send, a specialist supplier of completely wireless mobile payment solutions, began deploying Axalto’s “MagIC X1000 GPRS” terminals in May. Axalto is now supplying another 3,000 units. 123 Send offers merchants the opportunity to lease a terminal on a short-term basis – as little as a few days – for use at an exhibition or to rent for a number of years with a complete managed service offering including fixed air traffic packages. The “MagIC X1000 GPRS” is a very cost-effective
operational solution as users are charged per volume of data transmitted
rather than per time spent on-line.

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50% of Merchants Plan to Surcharge

According to a new study, nearly half of the country’s Corporate,
Commercial and SME merchants are planning to start surcharging on credit
card transactions over the next six to 12 months. East & Partners report
shows that 6.9% of Corporates; 4.2% of Commercial companies; and 2.8% of
SMEs currently apply a surcharge to credit card sales transactions.
East’s study finds that of those businesses that do currently surcharge,
Corporates on average apply a 1.2% surcharge; Commercial enterprises add
on 1.4%; and SMEs apply a 1.6% surcharge.
However, 46.7% of Corporates; 44.5% of Commercial companies; and 41.0% of
SMEs are actively considering applying a surcharge following the Reserve
Bank of Australias re-regulation of interchange arrangements.

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HSBC Asian Card Business Up 38% in Q2

HSBC reported that its cards businesses in Asia, outside of Hong Kong and the Middle East, generated income of $228 million, 38% up year-on-year. Cards-in-force reached five million compared to 1.6 million five years ago with card receivables and spending both achieving some 300% growth, a compound annual growth rate of more than 30%. Over the past five years card outstandings have risen 287%, according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International. HSBC is now largest credit card issuer in Hong Kong with an 8% rise in the number of cards in circulation to 3.6 million. HSBC Mexico increased the number of cards in circulation by 59% to 794,000. For complete details on HSBC’s second quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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CompuCredit’s Q2 Profits Rise Nearly 400%

Atlanta-based CompuCredit reported that profits for the second quarter rose nearly four-fold over the year-ago period to $66.5 million. The sub-prime specialist says the sale of a significant portfolio of previously charged-off receivables was a major contributor to its 2Q/05 results. Delinquency (60+ days) dropped to 8.3%, compared to 8.7% in the prior quarter and 9.6% for 2Q/04. Net charge-offs, based on average credit card loans, rose to 11.8% from 9.2% in 1Q/05 and 14.8% in the second quarter of last year. Total managed receivables for the second quarter were $2,359,903,000, a 20.4% increase compared to one-year ago. As of June 30th, CompuCredit had 3,092,000 accounts, compared to 2,276,000 at the end of 2004. The net interest margin was 22.7% in the second quarter, as compared to 20.8% for the first quarter and 20.2% one-year ago. For complete details on CompuCredit’s second quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

COMPUCREDIT NET INCOME SNAPSHOT
2Q/04: $13.8 million
3Q/04: $37.9 million
4Q/04: $27.0 million
1Q/05: $49.2 million
2Q/05: $66.5 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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iPayment’s Q2 Revenue Doubles Year-on-Year

Nashville-based iPayment reported that revenues increased 103% to $181.1 million for the second quarter compared to $89.4 million for the second quarter of 2004. Net income rose 36% to $7.7 million for 2Q/05. Results for the second quarter include pre-tax expenses of $496,000 related to its decision to explore strategic alternatives. The Company’s revenue growth for the quarter reflected an increase in charge volume to $6.6 billion from $3.2 billion for the second quarter last year. Last week, iPayment rejected a bid by its CEO to acquire the Company at $38 per share. iPayment provides payment card processing services to over 135,000 small merchants. For complete details on iPayment’s second quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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HSBC to Buy Metris for $1.6 Billion in Q4

The consolidation wave continues in the payment card industry with confirmation that HSBC Finance is buying Metris Companies for about $1.6 billion in cash. The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, will increase HSBC’s U.S. portfolio to nearly $28 billion with about 15 million active accounts. Metris was formed in 1994 and became a public company in 1996. The company issues credit cards primarily to the near-prime market through Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank. Metris will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Finance. HSBC Holdings purchased Household International in 2003, giving it a major foothold in the U.S. payment card market. Metris Companies reported net income of $32.5 million for the second quarter compared to a net loss of $70.3 million one-year ago. Metris also reported a sharp decline in its delinquency and charge-off ratios during 2Q/05. Also, during the second quarter Metris announced plans to eliminate all its corporate debt by August. At mid-year, Metris had $5.9 billion in credit card outstandings and 2.2 million active accounts. As of June 30th, HSBC had $22.2 billion in VISA and MasterCard outstandings and $18.0 billion in private label credit card accounts. For complete details on Metris’ and HSBC’s second quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]) (CF Library 7/21/05)

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

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