American Express Middle East E.C. and Damas Jewelry have partnered to launch a new credit card billed in UAE Dirhams. The card features a 2% reward voucher on all purchases and special offers such as 30% off on diamond jewelery plus a 10% gift voucher for a future Damas purchase. In 1992, American Express became a joint venture company owned by Mawarid Investment Limited and American Express and now operates in 18 markets in the Middle East and North Africa region. Damas, established in 1907, specializes in gold, diamond and pearl wholesale trading and operates retail outlets in the U.S.A, Lebanon, Jordan, Maldives, India, and throughout all the GCC countries.Details
Capital One’s managed delinquency ratio has declined for four consecutive months and charge-offs have resumed a southerly trend. For April, Cap One reported that managed charge-offs decreased to 4.22%, compared to 4.35% in the prior month, and 4.70% one-year ago. In June 2003, Cap One’s managed charge-off ratio stood at 6.20%. Delinquency decreased to 3.37% in April compared to 3.455 for March, 3.65% for February and 3.84% in January. Delinquency one-year ago stood at 3.69%. At the end of April, Capital One had $82.5 billion in global outstandings, a $1 billion gain over March. At the end of the first quarter, U.S. card outstandings of $46.6 billion were up 3%, compared to one-year ago. For complete details on Capital One’s monthly metrics and 1Q/05 performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Month Charge-offs Delinquency
Apr 04 4.70% 3.69%
May 04 4.40% 3.73%
Jun 04 4.17% 3.76%
Jul 04 4.10% 3.77%
Aug 04 3.87% 3.80%
Sep 04 4.18% 3.90%
Oct 04 4.10% 3.94%
Nov 04 4.35% 3.87%
Dec 04 4.63% 3.92%
Jan 05 4.19% 3.84%
Feb 05 3.96% 3.65%
Mar 05 4.35% 3.45%
Apr 05 4.22% 3.37%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
VISA reported that U.S. consumer spending on “VISA Signature” cards is running about 19% above one-year ago, and hit $101.6 billion for 2004. VISA noted that the average “Signature” purchase was 34% larger than those on traditional VISA credit cards. During the first quarter, the number of “VISA Signature” cards increased more than 16% to 8.6 million cards for nearly 5.3 million accounts, a 17.3% increase. VISA says the “Signature” card is targeted at the “New Affluent” market segment, or those with average annual household income of more than $125,000. Currently, VISA accounts for 42% of “New Affluent” consumer credit card spending, and accounts for nearly 19% of VISA USA’s consumer credit sales volume last year. Mercedes-Benz and Lexus recently signed co-branded program deals for “VISA Signature” cards. (CF Library 4/26/05; 4/29/05)Details
Morgan Beaumont has signed a LOI to acquire Kentucky-based Financial Services International for $600,000 in cash and stock. Closing of the acquisition is contingent upon successful completion of an audit of FSI financial statements as well as Morgan Beaumont’s board of directors’ approval. Morgan Beaumont, Inc. owns and operates the SIRE Network, a national network of stored value and debit card load stations located throughout the US. Financial Services International, Inc. specializes in membership services centered on stored value debit cards.Details
ActivCard reports revenue for the first quarter was $9.2 million, a 25% gain over one-year ago. Net loss was $25.4 million, compared to $9.1 million for 1Q/04. During the quarter, ActivCard
signed 162 new customers, including: Progressive Insurance, NY Life
Insurance, Nissan Europe, and the U.S. Institute of Defense and Analysis. The Company also announced that Frank Bishop, SVP Sales and Marketing, will be leaving. Ben Barnes, ActivCard’s CEO, will be acting head of worldwide sales and marketing until a replacement is hired. Additionally, ActivCard has appointed Craig Reichenbach as VP of its U.S. Government Division, replacing Greg Dicks. ActivCard also recently announced a reduction of approximately 10% of its workforce to
improve its cost structure. For complete details on ActivCard’s first quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).
Genpass, which operates the MoneyPass, Moneymaker and MONEY BELT EFT Networks, has been sold to U.S. Bank for an undisclosed price. The deal adds 30,000 ATMs to U.S. Bank’s portfolio, making it the second-largest, third-party ATM processor in the USA, next to First Data. U.S. Bancorp currently operates 4,654 ATMs and supports more than 7,700 ATMs through its Elan Financial Services subsidiary. PA-based Genpass has 360 employees and serves more than 1,000 financial institutions and ISOs. The Company was formed in July 2000 by GTCR Golder Rauner and Bipin Shah, a driving force behind the MAC ATM network. The business started with the acquisition of the ATM business of Affiliated Computer Services for $180 million. GTCR also has investments in TNS, VeriFone, Syniverse, TransFirst and Retriever Payment Systems. Citigroup Global Markets served as financial advisor to Genpass and Kirkland & Ellis provided legal counsel. (CF Library 7/5/00)Details
NY-based Cyota has introduced a pioneering solution designed to fight pharming, also known as DNS poisoning or spoofing, a new type of online fraud attack. Thirteen of Cyota’s existing anti-phishing clients have already deployed the anti-pharming solution over the past eight weeks, including one major British bank, two large U.S. banks, three U.S.-based credit unions and several major global banks. The anti-pharming solution is part of Cyota’s “Fraud Action” service, launched in January 2004. Cyota says its Anti-Fraud Command Center has shut down more than 7,000 spoofed sites in 65 countries, and lowered the typical lifespan of an attack to five hours from an industry average of six days.Details
AOL Latino has launched the “AOL Latino Internet Prepagado” prepaid card via 7-Eleven stores nationwide. The starter kit includes a CD to install AOL Latino and gives 400 minutes of Internet access for only $9.99. The Tarjeta de Recarga (Bilingual Refill Card) is available for only $8.99 and members get up to 375 minutes to access the AOL service. 7-Eleven, Inc. operates or franchises approximately 5,800 stores in the US and Canada and licenses approximately 22,000 stores worldwide, with total sales of more than $41 billion in 2004. AOL Latino is the only bilingual Internet service provider for U.S. Hispanics.Details
Samsung Card Co. has closed a US$300 million securitization
of credit card receivables. It is the first Korean cross-border credit card ABS deal in 2005. The Notes are rated “AA-” by Standard and Poor’s and “Aa3” by Moody’s Investors Service Limited. ING Wholesale Banking’s Asian Securitization Group is the sole arranger, structuring agent and lead manager of the transaction. Samsung Card is one of the two largest
credit card companies in Korea.
American Express is now making a $0.01 donation per transaction to the Ronald McDonald House Charities for transactions between May 8th and June 19th. The “Make Room to Heal” campaign aims to raise up to $600,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities. RMHC has more than 245 Houses with 6,000 bedrooms available around the world for seriously ill children and their families. Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit, 501(c)(3), have awarded more than $400 million in grants and program services to support children around the world. American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, network and financial services provider founded in 1850.Details
Provident Bank & Trust has signed a payment processing agreement
with First Data. FDC operates Processing Center, S.A. in Panama. PROCESA uses First Data’s “VisionPLUS” transaction processing platform
to provide a wide range of payment services for credit, prepaid, gift
and corporate cards. PBTBL is a principal member of VISA and MasterCard International since 2000.
The latest Bloomberg Eurozone “Retail Purchasing Managers’ Index” indicates that month-on-month sales at Eurozone retailers continued to fall in April. Last month, the Eurozone “Retail PMI” registered 48.7 and remained below the no-change mark of 50.0 for the fourth month running and for the eighth time in the past nine months. Of the three major Eurozone nations that comprise the survey, France and
Italy remained the worst performers. The Italian retail sector
registered the sharpest drop in sales and French retail sales also declined. Meanwhile, German retail sales grew for the fifth time in the past six months. The index, compiled exclusively for Bloomberg by NTC Research Ltd, questions more than 1,000 retail executives in Germany, France and Italy.