Oct 20th is Get Smart About Credit Day

The American Bankers Association Education Foundation has set October 20th as the day for the 3rd annual “Get Smart About Credit Day.” Volunteer bankers across the country will teach students how to budget, use credit cards responsibly and build a positive payment history. A recent survey reveals that teenagers spent $169 billion last year, an average of $91 per week and a majority have had no class in personal finance. The ABA Education Foundation, a non-profit subsidiary of the American Bankers Association, is committed to developing and providing education programs that lead to financial literacy.

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Micro Issuers Rebound in the 2Q/05

After three consecutive down years, bank credit card issuers with less than $1 million in outstandings made a comeback in the second quarter. Since 2000, micro issuers have experienced a 7.1% decline in outstandings but rebounded in 2Q/05 with a 4.6% gain over 2Q/04. According to CardData’s second quarter portfolio survey, volume among micro issuers soared by more than 40% in the second quarter compared to one-year ago. The strong gain in volume, the rebound in receivables, was somewhat offset by a 2.5% decline in active accounts. According to R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers, micro portfolios with less than $1 million in assets currently carry a premium between 5% and 10% if sold. Next week, the top issuers will release their second quarter report. For the latest second quarter 2005 results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Mid-Level CU Issuers Climb 10% in Q2

Mid-level credit union bank credit card issuers, with at least $100 million in receivables but less than $300 million, posted a 10.2% gain in the second quarter compared to one-year ago. This is the fourth straight year of steady growth following the 2001-2002 recession. Since 2000, mid-level credit union portfolios have grown about 37%. According to CardData’s second quarter portfolio survey, volume among mid-level credit union issuers increased 8.4% in the second quarter compared to 2Q/04. Active account were up 1.2% year-over-year. Meanwhile, the nation’s largest credit union bank credit card issuer, Navy FCU, surged more than 15% in second quarter outstandings. For the latest second quarter 2005 results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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BNL Converts Entire ATM Network to Agilis Power

Banca Nazionale del Lavoro is deploying a custom application created by Diebold’s “Agilis Power” software toolkit as the standard for its more than 1,300 multivendor ATMs. The project covers the
bank’s entire network and is currently being rolled out. More than 500
of the bank’s ATMs are already operating with Diebold’s “Agilis Power.”
Diebold redesigned the bank’s self-service distribution
architecture with the help of its cross-vendor software platform. The platform enables the ATMs, which are supplied by three different vendors, to provide Web-based advanced functionalities in an integrated multichannel environment.

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WIZARD MASTERCARD

GE Money’s Wizard Home Loans, which it acquired in October, has
launched a new low cost credit card that carries a “Health Warning” on
debt. The new “Wizard Clear Advantage MasterCard” is a stripped-down
card without rewards but offers a 12.4% annual interest rate, a
six-month 0% interest rate on balance transfers and no fees for annual
membership, overseas purchases, cash advances and ATM withdrawals. The
card is Wizard’s third card program but GE Money’s first Wizard card
launch since the acquisition last year. Wizard currently offers two
credit cards linked to home loans: “The Wizard Fast Card” and the
“Wizard MasterCard.” Wizard Home Loans launched in the mortgage market
in 1996 and in eight years is now Australia’s leading non-bank lender
with over 250 branches across Australia and New Zealand. GE Money has
assets of over A$30billion and more than 3 million customers in
Australia and New Zealand.

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Metris Gets a Wells Notice; Pays-Off Debt

Metris Companies confirmed it has received a “Wells Notice” from the SEC. The SEC investigation, first disclosed by Metris in August 2003, concerns the company’s reporting and treatment of allowance for loan losses for 2001 and its valuation of retained interests in securitized loans. The “Wells Notice” covers the company’s current CEO and its controller. A “Wells Notice” indicates that the SEC staff plans to recommend that the SEC bring a civil injunction for possible violation of securities laws. Metris also announced yesterday, that it intends to prepay its remaining $49 million in corporate debt in mid-August. Over the last ten months, Metris will have prepaid all of its $450 million of corporate debt.

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Global Commercial Payments Solutions Expands

U.S. Bank, the first to offer a U.S. corporate bankcard, reports that
it now issues and services cards in 37 countries, with statements in the
local language and currency. The issuer recently inked deals with Banco
Uno in Nicaragua and National Bank of New Zealand. The U.S. Bank
expansion comes via London-based Global Commercial Payments Solutions, a
global joint venture between VISA and seven key VISA commercial card
issuers. GCPS also includes 16 partner banks that can issue commercial
cards in an additional 28 countries. More than a dozen U.S. Bank clients
have gone global in the last 12 months and more than 30 companies
worldwide have implemented programs through GCPS, representing an
overall charge volume in excess of $1.75 billion.

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GECF Seeks Happy Campers for its New Card

GE Consumer Finance is targeting 3,000 dealers in the $12 billion recreational vehicle industry with a new co-branded retail credit card. The new “MileMarker” card will have the dealership name embossed onto the card and provide RV owners a way to pay for items ranging from small pop-ups and campers to service, parts and accessories. For dealers the new card offers no processing fees along with the ability to offer special promotions and flexible payment options. Earlier this year, GECF launched the “Wal-Mart Dual Card,” which offers cash back, gasoline discounts and low rates to Wal-Mart shoppers via the Discover Network. GECF also launched “SAM’S CLUB Dual Cards” for consumers and businesses, with the business card being the first such card ever offered on the Discover Network. (CF Library 4/18/05)

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Microsoft & Chase to Offer Merchant Services

Microsoft plans to collaborate with acquirers, including Chase Merchant Services, to offer credit card processing for its “Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006” users. Microsoft plans to offer multiple bank options to ensure that customers have a choice of banks and is working with VeriSign Inc. to enable customers to transact in a security-enhanced online environment to help prevent disruption to their business. Chase Merchant Services processes over 4.6 billion transactions a year totaling over $335 billion in annual credit and debit card volume via card-not-present transactions, over the Internet and at the point of sale for more than 240,000 clients worldwide.

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U.S. Bank Now Issues Cards in 37 Countries

U.S. Bank, the first to offer a corporate bankcard, reports that it now issues and services cards in 37 countries, with statements in the local language and currency. The week, the issuer inked deals with Banco Uno in Nicaragua and National Bank of New Zealand. The U.S. Bank expansion comes via London-based Global Commercial Payments Solutions, a global joint venture between VISA and seven key VISA commercial card issuers. GCPS also includes 16 partner banks that can issue commercial cards in an additional 28 countries. More than a dozen U.S. Bank clients have gone global in the last 12 months, and more than 30 companies worldwide have implemented programs through GCPS, representing an overall charge volume in excess of $1.75 billion.

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SAS and HSBC Sign a Fraud-Detection Partnership

HSBC, with more than 100 million cards worldwide, and SAS announced a ten-year partnership to transform the payment card fraud-detection market. The new SAS solution will be implemented in all of HSBC’s major card businesses worldwide. In addition to reducing potential losses, the project will lower the operational costs of fighting fraud and will create a more flexible fraud platform so that HSBC can respond faster to new threats as they arise. SAS and HSBC are also cooperating on developing a strategy to extend the technology into other transaction monitoring applications. SAS is already working with a number of other institutions to build a broader consortium in conjunction with HSBC.

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