VISA USA Goes Outside to Hire a New CEO

VISA USA went outside the box to name a new CEO, giving the nation’s largest payment card network a fresh pair of eyes going into a challenging and possibly turbulent period. John Philip Coghlan, former top executive for 17 years at Charles Schwab, took over the job yesterday, replacing the retiring Carl Pascarella. VISA says Coghlan’s proficiency in crafting long-term strategies and leading short-term execution is what made him the Board’s overwhelming choice. While Coghlan admitted he has little experience in the payments industry he did note his experience as a merchant. Before joining Schwab, he was a founder and the COO of San Francisco Grocery Express. Coghlan says he intends to reach out to merchants as he gets up to speed. Pascarella leaves VISA after 22 years, serving as US president/CEO for 12 years.

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Issuers Rated on Seller/Servicer Operations

A credit rating service has ranked five issuers, representing $103 billion in credit card-backed outstandings, for their seller/servicer operations. To-date, MBNA has earned the highest rating while Metris was rated the lowest. Fitch was the first agency to publish a formal rating criteria methodology for U.S. ABS seller/servicers. Fitch uses a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest rating. Within each of these rating levels, Fitch further differentiates ratings by plus and minus as well as the flat rating. In February the firm rated First National Bank of Omaha and InfiCorp Holdings. This week four more were added including HSBC, MBNA, Metris, and Providian.

SELLER/SERVICER RATINGS
MBNA 1-
HSBC 2+
INFI 3+
PROV 3
FNBO 3
METRIS 3-
Source: FitchRatings

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Certegy to Use Parsam Technologies’ uMonitor

Certegy has partnered with Parsam Technologies to use “uMonitor” technologies to broaden its suite of e-payment and e-banking services. Through the new relationship, Certegy will offer online bill presentment, new account services and loan services to its clients through a private-label arrangement using the Certegy brand to allow consumers to pay bills directly through the biller’s website or have the bills presented online by their financial institution. Certegy Inc. provides transaction processing service to 6,500 financial institutions, 100,000 retailers and 100 million consumers worldwide and generated over $1.0 billion in revenue in 2004.

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Radiant Systems & RBS Lynk Team for Aloha

RBS Lynk has been selected as the preferred payment processor for Radiant Systems’s hospitality division “Aloha” suite of POS applications for restaurant operators and RBS will also provide an ACH component to the “Aloha eCard.” The Aloha suite of POS applications has more than 30,000 installed sites worldwide. Radiant Systems, Inc. provides point-of-sale, self-service kiosk, and back-office technology for the hospitality, petroleum and convenience retail and entertainment industries. RBS Lynk is a single-source provider of electronic payment processing services and is a member of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

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Fiserv Offers a Turnkey Merchant Acquiring Product

Fiserv Credit Processing Services has teamed with Primax Payment Systems to offer merchant acquiring services to its financial institution clients. Primax Payment Systems is a division of the T.K. Keith Co., a point-of-sale payment card processing company based in Wakefield, Mass. T. K. Keith Co. provides management services to New England Bankcard Association and provides comprehensive point-of-sale credit card processing services to businesses throughout the Americas. Fiserv, Inc. provides information management systems and services to more than 16,000 clients worldwide and reported $3.4 billion in processing and services revenues for 2004.

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SunTrust’s Outstandings Rise 43% in Q2

Orlando-based SunTrust Bank posted a 42.6% gain in second quarter outstandings to $214.5 million. According to CardData, SunTrust’s 2Q/05 volume more than doubled to $649.4 million. The issuer also added approximately 9,000 net new accounts during the quarter. About 52% of the gross accounts were active during the quarter. At the end of June, SunTrust had 184,290 cardholders. For complete details on SunTrust Bank’s second quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

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First Annapolis Makes Modesitt a Principal

First Annapolis Consulting has promoted Lee Modesitt, a seven-year employee, to Principal. Modesitt joined First Annapolis in 1998 and in 2000 joined the Electronic Banking practice area, where he has focused on serving clients in the debit industry. Modesitt earned his M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College and graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy. First Annapolis is a management consulting and M&A advisory firm with a focus on the consumer financial services and specializes in payment-related products, services, and delivery.

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Columbus B&T Outstandings Up 10%+ in Q2

GA-based Columbus Bank & Trust reported a 10.3% gain in second quarter outstandings to $246.3 million. According to CardData, CB&T’s 2Q/05 volume rose nearly 11% to $193.7 million. The issuer also added about 13,500 net new accounts during the quarter. About 53% of the gross accounts were active during the quarter. At the end of June, CB&T had 263,468 cardholders. For complete details on Columbus Bank & Trust’s second quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

[1]: http://cardweb.com

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TAYSEER AHLI VISA/MC

National Commercial Bank launched a new standard and gold credit card that is compliant with the Islamic “Shariah Law.” The new “Tayseer Ahli VISA/MasterCard” allows cardholders to complete money withdrawal up to the maximum limit and payment of the value of purchases through monthly installments at a minimum payment starting from 5% of the total fee, while still maintaining the advantages of international credit cards. The annual fee for the gold card is SR 400 and the client can acquire an additional card for any family members over 18 years of age for a nominal fee of SR 200. The annual fee for the silver card is SR 200 and the client can acquire an additional card for any family member over 18 years of age for a nominal fee of SR 100. He indicated that payment forms can be full payment or payment of the minimum requirement of the due amount and claim access to Tayseer Ahli, which employs the acquired amount to pay off the credit card debt. Customers can also avail themselves of additional cards, like Internet cards and insurance services for accidents while traveling for up to SR 56000.

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23% of Americans Use Cards for Summer Vacations

Cambridge Consumer Credit Index finds that 23% of Americans will be charging their vacations to credit cards this summer, up by 4 percentage points from a year ago. The Cambridge Consumer Credit Index is a forward-looking economic indicator gauging consumer spending and debt. It is released on the fifth business day of every month to coincide with the Federal Reserve Board’s G19 release of consumer credit outstanding data.

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