White Paper for CU Cards is Released

Dallas-based TNB Card Services has released its second white paper to assist credit unions with improving their card program’s financial performance. The paper, titled Six Habits of Highly Effective Card Programs: A Best Practices Approach to Effectively Marketing Credit Cards for Credit Unions is a 20-page report that addresses six major card marketing considerations, such as portfolio management, pricing, promotion, and loyalty and reward programs. The document examines each subject and gives solid, proven advice on how to improve the card program’s financial performance. TNB Card Services provides full-service credit and debit card processing and serves more than 450 financial institutions, managing more than 1.6 million cards.

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Payment Products Drive OTI’s Q1 Sales

Rosh Pina-based On Track Innovations reported that revenues for the first quarter rose 24%, driven by orders delivered in the payments market. The Company, a partner in the MasterCard “PayPass” program, says revenues from the payments market constituted 49% of its first quarter
revenues. Revenues for the quarter were $6.55 million compared to $5.30 million for 1Q/04. Net loss for the period decreased by 16% to $1.67 million from $1.99 million in the first quarter of last year. During the quarter, OTI’s “EasyPark” parking payment system reached more than 166,000 subscribers in 25 cities in Israel. Also, Hypercom ordered its first commercial quantities of OTI’s contactless reader solutions, which are compliant with MasterCard’s “PayPass” and American Express’ “ExpressPay.” OTI specializes in the three key vertical markets – payments for small ticket items, smart ID for verification of individuals, and petroleum payments. For complete details on OTI’s first quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com). (CFI Library 2/25/05; 3/1/05)

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Major Issuer Card 04 Profits Up 51%

A new report from SourceMedia’s (f/k/a Thomson Media) “Credit Card Management” (s/k/a Cards & Payments) magazine has found that large issuers posted a collective after-tax return on assets of 3.7% or $21.44 billion last year, up from 2.5% in 2003. Issuers had low funding costs, saw a greater consumer use of plastic and timelier payments from cardholders and sought to expand their markets, such as the $125 billion quick service restaurant arena. Credit Card Management is a monthly publication that reports on the electronic transactions industry and is published by SourceMedia, Inc., a provider of information, data and software tools for 750,000 clients and subscribers in financial services and related technologies markets worldwide.

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LYCOS Europe Picks GlobalCollect as a Partner

LYCOS Europe has selected GlobalCollect to process the payments for its Web hosting, communication, community and access services. LYCOS Europe has already implemented the GlobalCollect online payment platform in Germany and the Netherlands and will roll out France, The United Kingdom, Denmark, Spain, Sweden and Austria in the coming weeks. GlobalCollect is the international Payment Service Provider
offering the largest number of local payment options worldwide, enabling
among other options bank transfers in over 50 countries and Direct
Debits in 10 countries.

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Givex Targets Restaurants & Pizza Shops

Six-year old Givex continues to expands its gift card programs in the USA. Last week, the Company announced the integration of the its “Gift Card Program” into Dinerware’s “Easy System” software. Dinerware provides technology to independent restaurants and restaurant chains of all sizes. Givex also announced the integration between the its “Gift Card Program” and SpeedLine’s pizza-specific POS system. SpeedLine is the number one most recommended POS of the top 100 pizza companies. Givex offers gift cards, multi-merchant cards, coupons, e-gift certificates, prepaid/stored value cards, loyalty programs, payroll card programs as well as credit/debit card management services. The firm is privately held corporation with operating offices in the U.S., Canada, U.K, and the Bahamas.

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General Purpose Cards Top 900 MM in Q1

The number of credit and debit cards-in-force in the USA grew by 64.6 million over the past twelve months, surpassing the 900 million card mark in the first quarter. MasterCard lead the four U.S. networks posting a nearly 10% increase in its card base compared to 1Q/04. MasterCard had 346.9 million credit and off-line debit cards-in-force at the end of March, compared to 316.4 million one-year ago. American Express added 3.3 million cardholders in the USA since 1Q/04, for a 9% increase. VISA ended the first quarter with 463.4 million credit and offline debit cards-in-force, for a 7% gain. Discover was flat at 50.7 million. At the end of 1Q/05, there were 901.3 million credit and debit cards in use in the USA, compared to 836.7 million one-year ago. For complete details on network performance in the first quarter, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS-IN-FORCE (millions)
NETWORK 4Q/04 1Q/05 Y/Y CHNG
VISA 458.0 463.4 +7.0%
MasterCard 337.8 346.9 +9.6%
American Express 39.9 40.3 +8.9%
Discover 50.8 50.7 +0.4%
TOTAL 886.5 901.3 +7.7%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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CO-OP Supports Children’s Miracle Network

The CO-OP Network has signed to become the national presenting sponsor for “Champions Across America,” a Children’s Miracle Network program that honors youngsters who have triumphed despite severe medical challenges. CO-OP Network will be seeking at least one credit union/partner from every state to support a “champion” child who will serve as ambassadors for the 17 million kids treated each year at Children’s Miracle Network children’s hospitals. Children’s Miracle Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals across North America. The CO-OP Network is wholly-owned by its credit union shareholders with more than 1,770 credit union members, 19,500 surcharge-free ATMs, 80 million plus monthly transactions and 20 million cardholders.

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APR 05

Credit card outstandings took an unexpected dip in April dropping GBP 40 million compared to a GBP 400 million increase for April 2004. Over the past year, credit card outstandings have been flat at approximately GBP 54 billion. The British Bankers Association, which compiles statistics on major British banking groups, says there was a small net repayment of credit card borrowing in April and the six month average has declined steadily from GBP 500 million in August 2004 to GBP 200 million in April. The BBA data also show that credit card lending grew a modest GBP 50 million in February, GBP 134 million in March, and GBP 40 million in April. The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England decided May 9th to maintain its benchmark interest rate at 4.75%.

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FTC Shuts Down a Credit Card Scam

The FTC has shut down Frankly Speaking, Inc. and Plasticash, Inc. for posing as a nonprofit organization that billed tens of thousands of consumers’ credit cards without their consent. Both companies telemarketed to consumers offering “free” goods and services. The defendants are charged with violating the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule by billing consumers without their consent after making telemarketing calls; failing to inform consumers that their accounts would be charged; and violating the provisions of the National Do Not Call Registry.

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UK Card Outstandings Hits the Brakes

The British Bankers Association, which compiles statistics on major British banking groups, says there was a small net repayment of credit card borrowing in April and that the six month average has declined steadily from GBP 500 million in August 2004 to GBP 200 million in April. The BBA data also show that credit card lending grew a modest GBP 50 million in February, GBP 134 million in March and GBP 40 million in April. The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England decided May 9th to maintain its benchmark interest rate at 4.75%, according to CardFlash International.

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