University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has partnered with U.S. Bank to provide the banking function for the school’s multi-use identification card, the PointCard, and will also operate two ATMs on campus. The services, which include no minimum balance and no monthly maintenance fee, are optional to UWSP students and employees beginning in the fall of 2005. U.S. Bancorp with assets of $195 billion, is the 6th largest financial holding company in the United States.Details
While consumers over 50 tend to love rewards and avoid interest charges on credit cards, it is a hot group for other cross-sell financial services. A report from Scarborough Research shows that while the 50+ are 33% less likely than all consumers to pay their bills online, they are 51% more likely to use a full service stockbroker and 23% more likely to use a financial planner. Sixty percent of consumers who have CDs in their household are 50+. Approximately half of persons with IRAs and Money Market accounts in their households are in this age group as well. To reach this group, Scarborough found that 64% read a daily newspaper and 58% are avid television viewers.Details
Ottawa-based Precidia Technologies’ “POSLynx400” retail router has been certified for the First Data Merchant Services CARDnet/North and Telecheck hosts. This is a significant milestone for “POSLynx,” a series of devices that provide IP conversion via four dial or two dial/two serial ports for legacy POS equipment. Precidia designs and
manufacture IP access devices for a wide range of industries,
including retail payments and building automation and has customers in
over 75 countries.
Since it is very likely that new bankruptcy laws will go into effect by the end of the year, there is a consensus that a short-term spike in personal filings will occur over the next six months. However, the long-term impact on credit card-backed bonds will be “moderately positive.” Fitch Ratings says the results will be lower chargeoffs and higher recoveries, but there is also a possibility of lower payment rates. Fitch notes that the bill materially reduces the limitations for the non-dischargeability of charges and cash advances for luxury goods. This provision helps prevent consumers from ‘loading up’ on luxury items or cash advances prior to declaring bankruptcy. Fitch says that since charge-offs have improved approximately 13% from recessionary peaks and excess spread remains healthy, no rating actions are anticipated, though it will monitor this area closely.Details
More than 31 million MasterCard branded smart cards are now in use in Asia/Pacific, compared 17.5 million in 2003. Since 2000, the number of MasterCard smart cards in the region has grown ten fold. MasterCard says over 90% of its current smart cards are EMV-compliant.
More than 67 card issuers and acquirers adopted MasterCard’s smart
card programs last year, a 30% increase over the prior year. During 2004, MasterCard launched Taiwan’s first chip combo card with Land Bank and Taiwan Cooperative Bank in January 2004. Since then Anshin Card Service, Bank of Overseas Chinese, Cathay United Bank, Chin Fon Bank, Far Easter International Bank, International Commercial Bank of China, International Bank of Taipei, Taiwan Bank, Taiwan Business Bank have joined the program. More than one million cards have been issued to-date. MasterCard also launched two “PayPass” pilot programs with the Orient Corporation for Japan and BPI for the Philippines.
Smart Transaction Systems has announced its gift and loyalty programs are now compatible with the latest technology in smart cards. The cards can access both a cash value and a loyalty/reward point balance at the same time. STS’ open-systems approach supports contactless readers from multiple manufacturers and customers may choose between the new contactless cards or traditional magnetic-strip cards. Smart Transaction Systems provides card-based payment systems, customer loyalty and customer relationship management (CRM) programs to a wide variety of companies throughout the US.Details
The Financial Supervisory Service is notifying card issuers to prevent their cardholders from using credit cards for gambling in overseas casinos. The new orders, which go into effect next week, is targeted to slow the movement of capital out of the country. The order also applies to online gambling. South Koreans has always been banned from using credit cards in the country’s only casino. According to the Korean Times, the total amount of money spent on gambling last year was 7.1 billion won, or US$7.1 million. Shinhan Card says it posted 580 million won or US$577,000 in overseas credit card use for gambling last year. Some Korean issuers currently limit casino use of credit cards to $300 to $1,000, while other issuers have no restrictions.Details
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee students and alumni can show off their Panther pride and at the same time benefit the university when they use a new UWM credit card from U.S. Bank. The affinity program is designed to support the UWM alumni association’s programs, special events, scholarships and more. U.S. Bancorp, with assets of $195 billion, is the 6th largest financial holding company in the United States.Details
Dallas-based TNB Card Services has purchased the credit card portfolios of Best of Iowa CU, Advantage Plus FCU in Idaho, and Bluebonnet FCU and Texas FCU, both in Texas. TNB has bought more than 55 portfolios since it began the agent issuer program in late 2002. TNB Card Services, provides full-service credit and debit card processing, as well as an agent issuing solution for credit unions nationwide, serving more than 450 financial institutions and managing more than 1.6 million cards.Details
American Express’ Compensation and Benefits Committee has approved a cash annual incentive award for its CEO, Kenneth Chenault, of $6.0 million for 2004. In the previous year, Chenault’s bonus was $3.5 million. A restricted stock award of 17,213 shares vesting in equal installments over four years was also approved contingent on continuous employment and performance goals. Chenault’s annual base salary last year was $1 million. Other senior executive bonuses included James Cracchiolo, Group President of Global Financial Services, receiving $1.8 million compared to $1.1 million in 2003. Alfred Kelly, Group President of U.S. Consumer and Small Business Services, receiving $3.1 million compared to $1.1 million in 2003. Gary Crittenden, EVP/CFO, receiving $1.4 million compared to $0.9 million in 2003. Edward Gilligan, Group President of Global Corporate Services and International Payments, also receiving $1.4 million compared to $0.9 million in 2003.Details
Lightbridge, which acquired Authorize.Net one year ago for $82 million from InfoSpace, announced several developments this week. The Company has completed an initial beta release of its new “Virtual POS” product to help physical merchants to use the its payment gateway. The firm recently completed a successful “Multi-Card Compliance Program” conducted by Ambiron and says its list of third-party solution providers integrating their products to the Authorize.Net gateway has been growing. Authorize.Net also launched a new corporate Web site and its president, Roy Banks, has been elected to the Electronic Transactions Association Board of Directors.Details
Dallas-based TransFirst announced that Andrew Phillips has been named SVP TransFirst Holdings, Inc. and President for TransFirst’s Independent Sales Services Division. Phillips is a 20-year veteran of the payment processing industry. His technology expertise has led him to develop some of the industry’s top processing technologies, including TransFirst’s proprietary product, Transaction Central, a Web-based centralized payment processing system. TransFirst provides transaction processing services and payment enabling technologies and processes $20 billion in annual sales volume for more than 150,000 merchants and 760 financial institutions.Details