InfiCorp Buys a Tallahassee CU Card Portfolio

Florida Commerce CU has sold its credit card portfolio, consisting of 4700 accounts with $10.3 million of receivables, to InfiCorp, a specialty credit card company which partners with credit unions. InfiCorp has entered into an agent agreement with Florida Commerce to issue cards under Florida Commerce’s name. The transaction was arranged by Massachusetts-based Alliance Companies LLC.

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Cardtronics Attracts a $75MM TA Investment

Texas-based Cardtronics, Inc announced an investment of $75 million by TA Associates, a leading private equity and buyout firm. TA Associates joins The CapStreet Group as a private equity investor. Cardtronics is the nation’s largest independent owner/operator of ATMs with a nationwide network of approximately 25,000 locations. TA Associates manages $6 billion in capital and has invested in more than 350 companies. The CapStreet Group, formerly Summit Capital Group, is a private equity firm that manages investment funds totaling more than $400 million.

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Asta Funding Acquires Option Card

NJ-based Asta Funding has acquired Denver-based Option Card for $13.5 million. Asta says the deal includes portfolios of distressed consumer receivable debt of approximately $197 million, a facility in Denver with two experienced managers in debt buying and debt management, an established legal network, and a computer software system that will be incorporated into the Company’s existing computer system. In addition, the acquisition brings the Company the right to purchase a small monthly forward flow of high quality distressed consumer receivables with liquidation rates in line with the Company’s typical portfolio buys, from a new relationship with a major financial institution.

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CO-OP Network Offers Online Marketing Materials

CO-OP Network has launched a new service that enables member credit unions to customize and purchase an array of marketing materials. Available on the CO-OP Network Extranet, the “Credit Union Marketing Program” is designed to educate cardholders to recognize the CO-OP Network logo, which represents its 19,500 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. Through online ordering, credit unions can choose from more than a dozen items, including posters, brochures and tent cards. Additionally, the credit union can customize many of the pieces by placing their logo next to the CO-OP Network emblem and selecting the most appropriate layout for their branches.

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MasterCard Launches a Best Western Promotion

Best Western and MasterCard International have teamed up to put members of the Gold Crown Club International to quickly earn a free night’s stay. Between March 8 and May 15, 2005, GCCI guests who stay three times at any Best Western hotel worldwide can earn a free night toward a future stay. If members select MasterCard as their form of payment, they can earn a free night after just two separate qualified stays. Best Western International is the world’s largest hotel chain with more than 4,100 hotels. MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company and manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment card brands including MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R).

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Shell Says Q4 Promotion Boosted Card Volume

Shell Oil Products says its fourth quarter promotion with Citibank and MasterCard helped increase card usage by an average of 22% nationwide, compared to the same period last year. The results, which exceeded company expectations, were accomplished through a sweepstakes tied to MasterCard usage at Shell stations. More than 30 million people qualified for the sweepstakes and were entered for the chance to win one of 35 2005 “Chrysler Crossfires” and $1,000 worth of Shell premium-grade gasoline each time they used their MasterCard cards at Shell. The promotion helped increase total MasterCard transactions at Shell by 19%, which correlated to a 22% increase in total payment card transactions for Shell nationwide. A direct-mail offer was also sent to 5 million consumers with an incentive for applying for the “Citibank Shell MasterCard” during the promotion.

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RoboServer Announces a National Roll-Out

RoboServer Systems, developer of the Self-Serve Machine, enabling fast-food customers to process their own orders on a touch-screen kiosk, announced that it has begun the marketing process of the Self-Serve Machine for rollout to the Top 50 quick-service restaurant chains. RoboServer Systems has developed and deployed Point-of-Sale and Self-Serve software technology for the restaurant industry for more than three years.

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Asta Acquires $520 Million in Charge-Offs

New Jersey-based Asta Funding announced that the company has recently purchased distressed consumer receivable portfolios aggregating approximately $520 million, for approximately $20 million. Asta Funding, Inc., is a leading consumer receivables asset management company that specializes in the purchase, liquidation and management of performing and non-performing consumer receivables.

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MasterCard Measures Women’s Advancement in Asia

MasterCard has launched the “MasterIndex of Women’s Advancement in Asia/Pacific.” The survey found women were trailing their male counterparts overall, but were closing the gap in tertiary education and labor force participation. The report found that the “MasterIndex” score for each of the 13 markets ranged from 45.5 to 92.3. Thailand (92.3) and Malaysia (86.2) had the highest composite scores. The “MasterIndex” compares the socio-economic level of women to men in 13 markets using four key indicators: participation in the labor force, tertiary education, managerial positions and above median income.

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Peer Performance Sags for Issuers #11-20

The second tier of U.S. bank credit card issuers, ranking as #11 through #20, continued to erode in outstandings. Last year, the peer group, with a collective market share of 5.6%, posted about a 1% decline in outstandings, after dropping more than 4% in 2003. Within the segment, USAA posted the strongest growth in 2004 as outstandings rose 20%. Advanta was the second strongest portfolio, tacking on nearly 15% last year. Over the past five years, USAA and Advanta have grown 41% and 94%, respectively. Metris Companies led the four issuers posting declines. Metris’ outstandings dropped more than 19% last year, and are down 45% from its peak in 2001. Other top gainers over the past five years include CompuCredit and Navy FCU. Target, which ranks as #14, entered the card business in 2001.

Second U.S. Issuer Tier ($billions-outstanding)
RANK ISSUER EOY 04 2004/2003 2004/2000
#11 Metris $6.6 -19.1% -29%
#12 USAA $6.5 +20.0% +41%
#13 US Bancorp $6.3 +11.1% +21%
#14 Target $4.6 + 8.8% NA
#15 Frst Natl NE $4.0 -10.5% +24%
#16 Advanta $3.3 +14.7% +94%
#17 Natl City $2.5 – 1.6% + 9%
#18 Citizen’s $2.3 + 1.4% -26%
#19 CompuCredit $2.2 – 6.2% +53%
#20 Navy FCU $1.8 +10.7% +50%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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BAIDURI – AMEX

Baiduri Bank has launched its first “Classic” and “Gold” American Express cards. The new cards feature the “Extra Bonus Points Program” enabling cardholders to earn triple points on all local spending. There is also no expiration date for “Baiduri Bonus Points.” The card carries a 0% APR for balance transfers for the first six months and low minimum payments of 2.5% of the outstanding balance or BND 25, whichever is higher. Other benefits include free supplementary cards and travel insurance. Baiduri/AmEx cardholders receive complimentary travel accident coverage up to BND 100,000 on the “Classic” card, and up to BND 300,000 on the “Gold” card. The travel insurance will be available to cardholders who spend a minimum of BND 100 in the first three months upon receipt of the card. Additionally, the “Classic” card includes two free “Supplementary” cards, and the “Gold” card comes with four free “Supplementary” cards for family members or other persons of the applicants’ choice. Baiduri Bank is owned by Baiduri Holdings, Royal Brunei Airlines, Royal Brunei Technical Services and BNP Paribas.

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