Budget Rent A Car System announced the launch of “Easy Money.” Customers who complete a qualifying weekly rental of five paid days or more and pay for the rental with MasterCard(R), will receive a $15 Prepaid MasterCard Gift Card. The promotion runs to May 15, 2005. Budget Rent A Car System, Inc. is the owner and franchiser of one of the world’s best-known car rental brands with nearly 1,900 car rental locations worldwide.Details
RBS National Bank has appointed Susie Gleeson Buffam as Vice President of Operations. Previously, Ms. Buffam was Vice President, Global Consumer Group Financial Control at Citigroup, where she was responsible for analysis and business planning for credit-card portfolios in 47 countries, generating more than $3 billion in annual net income. Ms. Buffam received her MBA from Columbia Graduate School of Business. RBS National Bank is the US credit-card arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. RBS Group had a market capitalization of 55.6 billion pounds Sterling at December 31, 2004, making it the fifth largest bank in the world.Details
Portland, OR-based TRM reported that fourth quarter net sales rose 30% to $26.6 million, driven by the addition of 15,700 ATMs from eFunds. For the full year of 2004, TRM had consolidated gross sales of $126.0 million, and net sales of $92.6 million, a 32.9% and 18.5% increase over 2003, respectively. ATM operations produced net sales of $50.5 million, an increase of 46%, as compared to 2003. Full year ATM gross profit increased 43% to $23.0 million. The addition of eFunds ATMs increased transactions by 200% in the fourth quarter. On November 19th, TRM acquired the ATM business of eFunds for $150 million cash. TRM also entered into a five-year agreement pursuant to which eFunds provides ongoing ATM management services for the acquired networks. TRM says that its average monthly withdrawals per ATM was 359 for 2004, compared to 393 in 2003. The average fee per withdrawal was $2.76 last year, compared to $2.55 in 2003. Therefore, the average sales per ATM increased 7% last year to $1,071. For complete details on TRM’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]). (CF Library 11/22/05)
Trycera Financial has launched the “Mi Dinero y Mis Suenos”(“My Money, My Dreams”) Prepaid MasterCard. The card is issued by Meta Payment Systems. The Mi Dinero y Mis Suenos card enables the cardholder to store money on the card for shopping worldwide wherever MasterCard Debit is accepted and for withdrawing cash via the MasterCard global ATM network. Trycera Financial is a publicly reporting financial services company specializing in customized and turnkey prepaid programs and partnerships that serve the needs of self-banked consumers. Meta Payment Systems, a division of MetaBank, offers card issuing and program support to banks, processors and third-party program managers.Details
Nevada-based Chimera Technology has announced an agreement to issue privately branded debit cards to clients of licensees under the “724Pay ” program, resulting in the reduction of 75% of operating costs to licensees. Chimera Technology Corp. is an I-gaming software and e-commerce services company.Details
The PELORUS Group will host “Stored Value Spring’ 05”, dedicated to exploring how emerging stored value initiatives will impact prepaid debit card offerings, May 18 and 19,2005 in Atlanta, GA. The PELORUS Group produces authoritative analysis and research reports, provides custom business planning services, and offers timely industry conferences.Details
Bradesco and Rede Comper de Supermercados launched a private label credit card with rewards. The new “CompCard” enables Comper customers to take up to 40 days to make payments or in three installments. There is no annual fee but a minimum income of R$260 is required. Payments can be made through a bank, Comper stores or through Bradesco automatic debit. Comper currently has a 27-store network located mainly at Midwest and South Regions. Bradesco expects to issue about 250,000 cards.Details
Following the departure of other executives, Chicago-based Rewards Network lost its CEO yesterday and is projecting a net loss for the first quarter. The news follows a weak fourth quarter wherein operating revenues and sales dropped 8% driven by declines in restaurant merchant count, dining transactions and the average dining transaction amount. CEO and president George Wiedemann said the Company’s 2004 performance was less than satisfactory. He resigned yesterday. Rewards Network promptly named Ronald Blake as the new president, CEO and director. Blake was chairman and CEO of Willis Stein Telecom Acquisition and previously worked for Ameritech. The Company expects to report a net loss, in the range of $0.16 to $0.22 per share, for the first quarter. Rewards Network says the loss is the result of lower-than-expected revenues; a higher-than-expected provision for losses; and severance costs for executives. For the fourth quarter Rewards Network posted operating revenues of $22.6 million on $82.0 million in sales. As of year-end 2004, Rewards Network had 3.8 million active member accounts, 10,514 restaurants and 11,321 hotels participating in its rewards programs. For complete details on the Rewards Network fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
REWARDS NETWORK HISTORICAL
Sales Restaurants Transactions
2002: $271.8mm 9,681 2,349,000
2003: $320.1mm 10,836 2,746,000
2004: $320.6mm 10,514 2,641,000
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
VISA will become the official card of Hong Kong Disneyland. The park is expected to open in September. It is the first Disney theme park in China and is expected to attract 5.6 million visitors annually. The deal is part of existing global alliance between Disney and VISA that began in 2002. Under the alliance, an integrated marketing arrangement for Hong Kong Disneyland will be launched in the Asia-Pacific region.
There are 7.3 million VISA cardholders in Hong Kong.
Minneapolis-based Digital River has launched a PIN debit card for the global clients of its hosted e-commerce sites. The new “Digital River VISA Electron Card” is targeted at small- to mid-sized clients operating where credit card acceptance is low or withdrawing cash from banks is difficult. The card can be used for making off-line PIN purchases, withdrawing cash, and receiving payments from the company for revenue they generate on their Digital River-hosted e-commerce sites. The card also is accompanied by a “Virtual VISA” card, which can be used to make online purchases. The “Digital River VISA Electron Card” is powered by ePassporte. Digital River has more than 40,000 software publishers, manufacturers, distributors and online retailers as clients. are trademarks, registrations or copyrights of their respective owners.Details
Asia Payment Systems reported that transaction dollar volume increased 16% in February versus January. In terms of the number of transactions, February showed a 9% increase over January. Asia Pay is developing a credit card processing network that provides clearing services to merchants, oil companies, and financial institutions in China, Japan, and other markets of interest in Asia.Details
Charge-offs among card-backed securities dropped again in February and remain well below year-ago levels. However, delinquency (60+ days) slipped upwards for prime ABS card portfolios. Sub-prime delinquency (60+ days) dropped for the fourth consecutive month. Prime charge-offs declined 49 basis points from January and are now 69 basis points below February 2004. Sub-prime charge-offs dropped 52 bps in February and are now 269 bps below one-year ago. According to the “Fitch Credit Card Index,” prime delinquency (60+ days) edged up to 2.96% in February but remain 42 bps lower than February 2004. Sub-prime delinquency (60+days) declined to 7.73%, the lowest level since October 2001. The monthly payment rate declined slightly in February to 17.64% and the yield declined 37 bps from January to 16.27%.
ABS CHARGE-OFF HISTORICAL
Month Prime Sub-Prime
Feb 04: 6.45% 16.63%
Jan 05: 6.25% 14.46%
Feb 05: 5.76% 13.94%
Source: Fitch Ratings