Shell Gift Card Sales Double to $150MM

Shell Oil Products reported that its gasoline station network doubled sales of “Shell Gift Cards” last year to nearly $150 million. More than a third of 2004 sales came in December alone. The number of retail locations selling Shell Gift cards increased over 260% during 2004. Last year, “Shell Gift Card” sales were up 62% overall, which includes sales to other businesses, Shell’s Retail network, and retail sales through Safeway and Walgreens stores. Participation in the “Shell Gift Card” program is voluntary in the company’s network of approximately 13,000 independently managed Shell-branded U.S. sites. In 2003, the “Shell Gift Card” program generated more than $70 million in sales. Approximately 85% of those sales were categorized as “incremental volume.” (CF Library 4/20/04)

Details

Starbucks Activates 23MM STV Cards in 04

The number of Starbucks activated prepaid cards nearly doubled last year from 25 million to 48 million. Last week, Starbucks announced its first-ever collectible card bearing the image of Seattle Mariner superstar Ichiro Suzuki. Starbucks launched its stored value card in November, 2001 and signed up 2.3 million cardholders within the first two months. In October 2003, Starbucks and Bank One issued the “Starbucks Card Duetto VISA”, a card that combines a re-loadable stored value card with a general purpose credit card. The new Ichiro Suzuki card will generate funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Japan and the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation in the U.S. The new collectible Starbucks Card will be available at Starbucks stores in Japan, Washington State and Oregon beginning April 4th. (CF Library 2/27/04)

PREPAID CARDS ACTIVATED
2001: 2.3 million
2002: 10.8 million
2003: 24.7 million
2004: 48.1 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Details

CTFS Credit Card Average Balances Climb 31% in Q4

Canadian Tire Financial Services reported that its net managed credit card receivables, for the fourth quarter, increased 15% year-over-year to $2.79 billion. The average credit card balance in the fourth quarter hit $1525, up 31% from one-year ago, largely driven by its “Options MasterCard” product. For 2004, the average credit card balance came in at $1436. Fourth quarter pre-tax earnings for CTFS were up 7% to $46.5 million. Net credit losses for the quarter ended January 1st, were $39.5 million, compared to $32.0 million one-year ago. The Company said credit card write-offs for the fourth quarter and the total year were similar to prior year levels and remain within the targeted rate of 5% to 6% of managed receivables. This year CTFS is expanding its personal loans program, which was successfully test-marketed in 2004.
For complete details on Canadian Tire Financial Services’ fourth quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

Details

Federal FNS Okays SVS for a WIC Card Project

Comdata’s Stored Value Systems has been greenlighted by the federal Food and Nutrition Service to proceed with its “Online WIC” EBT card-based transaction service. WIC, a federally funded supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children, is traditionally executed using a paper voucher system. SVS’ online version will eliminate paper and replace it with a plastic card making checkout at the register faster as well as cheaper for merchants to implement since, unlike smart cards, it does not require investment in special reader equipment. Comdata Corporation (www.comdata.com) is redefining the movement of money and information through technology for businesses, their customers and employees.

Details

Consumers Sitting on $9B in Gift Card Value

A new study has found that consumers are holding $9 billion in unredeemed value on gift cards received during the holidays. The research also found that gift cards generated about $18 billion in retail sales during December and January. According to the report by Deloitte & Touche, adults received 3.2 gift cards during the holiday season just ended, compared to 2.5 one-year ago. This year’s 3.2 cards had a total face value of $142.98. More than six out of ten gift cards received by adults had been fully or partially redeemed by the end of January. General purpose, or bank-issued gift cards, were the type most likely to have been used by the end of January. Nearly three-quarters of these cards have already been fully or partially redeemed. Deloitte & Touche said that if consumers continue to spend unredeemed cards in a similar fashion as they did in December and January — that is, some consumers purchase more than the face value of their cards — then the unredeemed gift cards of $9 billion could have the potential to add as much as $13 billion to retail sales.

GIFT CARD TYPE RECEIVED
Store: 80%
Restaurant: 33%
Mall: 14%
General Purpose: 10%
Personal Service: 5%
Internet Site: 5%
Source: Deloitte & Touche

Details

ECHO’s Revenue Rises 11% in 4Q/04

Electronic Clearing House reported that revenues for the fourth quarter increased 11.1% to $12.8 million. Bankcard and transaction processing revenue increased 4.9% to $9.2 million, compared to one-year ago. The increase was primarily due to the organic growth in bankcard processing volume from ECHO’s existing and new merchants. Gross margins from processing and transaction revenue was 35.4% for the quarter, as compared to 38.5% for the same period last year. Check-related revenue increased 31.0% to $3.6 million with continued success in the “Visa POS Check” program. For complete details on ECHO’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

Details

Top 5 Charge-Offs Decline 25 BPS in 2004

Average charge-offs, net of recoveries, declined 25 basis points last year, for the top five issuers with aggregate managed U.S. credit card outstandings of $444 billion. Charge-offs peaked in the second quarter at 5.60%, dipped to 5.06% in the third quarter, before ending the year at 5.22%. Bank of America was the only top five issuer to post an uptick in charge-offs between 4Q/03 and 4Q/04. BofA’s charge-offs for fourth quarter of 2004 were 5.90%, compared to 5.14% one-year ago. The largest improvement was reported by Citibank where charge-offs fell 58 bps to 5.59%. MBNA and Chase posted a 54 bps and 52 bps improvement, respectively, during 2004, while Capital One knocked 30 bps off its average charge-offs. For complete details on delinquency and charge-offs by the top ten issuers visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

TOP FIVE CHARGE-OFF HISTORICAL
4Q/03: 5.47%
1Q/04: 5.57%
2Q/04: 5.60%
3Q/04: 5.06%
4Q/04: 5.22%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

Details

Over-Limit Fees Increased 3.8% in 2004

The growth in fees for exceeding the credit limit slowed down last year as the average crossed the $30 milestone. However, more top issuers, such as MBNA and Chase, are now charging fees for exceeding the credit limit at any time during the billing cycle instead of just the billing cycle closing data. During 2004, the average over-limit fee increased 3.8%, compared to 4.8% in 2003, and 32.3% in 1997. Between 1994 and 1999, over-limit fees grew 96%, from $12.75 to $24.96. During 2004, the most common over-limit fee among major issuers was $35, although some issuers charge $39 for accounts with higher balances.

OVER-LIMIT FEE HISTORICAL
Year Average Y/Y CNHG
1994: $12.75 +2.6%
1995: $13.20 +3.5%
1996: $13.94 +5.6%
1997: $18.44 +32.3%
1998: $21.14 +14.4%
1999: $24.96 +18.1%
2000: $25.99 + 4.1%
2001: $26.88 + 3.4%
2002: $27.89 + 3.8%
2003: $29.23 + 4.8%
2004: $30.35 + 3.8%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Details

MicroBilt to Offer FICO Expansion

MicroBilt has signed a deal to become the first reseller of Fair Isaac’s “FICO Expansion” score to the financial services industry. FICO Expansion score taps non-traditional sources of consumer data to help lenders assess credit risk for the estimated 50 million U.S. adults who cannot receive a traditional FICO score because they have little or no credit history on file at traditional credit bureaus. MicroBilt, a division of Bristol Investments, Ltd., is the leader in credit bureau data access and retrieval, providing credit, collection and data sources. Fair Isaac Corporation (NYSE:FIC) is the preeminent provider of creative analytics that unlock value for people, businesses and industries.

Details

Dresser Wayne Gets a New N.A. President

TX-based Dresser has promoted Neil Thomas to President of Dresser Wayne — North America. Prior to joining Dresser Wayne, Mr. Thomas held the position of Vice President Marketing and Strategy for Tokheim Corporation. He also spent several years consulting to companies in the retail petroleum and energy industries with the consulting firm of Arthur D. Little and before that worked for Gulf Oil/Chevron Corporation in various Sales and Marketing management positions. Dresser Wayne is a technology leader in the manufacture, supply and service of retail and fleet petroleum fuel dispensers, dispenser control systems, credit/debit card processing terminals, and point-of-sale systems.

Details

CreditXpert Detective Launched for Consumers

MD-based CreditXpert has launched “CreditXpert Detective” which scans an individual’s credit data to reveal potential inaccuracies and recommend specific updates that will most significantly improve the person’s credit score. By putting expert knowledge and analytical intelligence at the fingertips of loan officers and consumers, CreditXpert Detective saves time and improves success rates. Identifying inaccurate, outdated, or missing information and determining the correct value is complicated and time consuming. CreditXpert Inc. provides highly personalized credit management tools to help lenders more effectively originate loans and manage customer relationships, and to help consumers understand, manage, and improve their credit and the credit decision process.

Details