OPC to Handle Calif Tax Amnesty Payments

Official Payments has been selected to process credit card payments for California’s upcoming 2005 tax amnesty program. Under this program, available from February 1, 2005 through March 31, 2005, eligible taxpayers may pay past-due individual and business income and franchise taxes free of most penalties and fees and the fear of prosecution. Tier is a leading provider of transaction processing and packaged software and systems integration services for public sector clients.

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Retriever and Iron Triangle Have Merged

TX-based Retriever Payment Systems and KY-based Iron Triangle Payment Systems have merged as of January 1st. As a result of the combination, Retriever will become a subsidiary of ITPS. Retriever’s existing investors, including CEO Bill Higgins and other members of management, have converted their ownership of Retriever into securities of ITPS. Retriever is one of the fastest growing U.S. merchant acquirers and transaction processors, providing payment processing and other related services to small- and medium-sized merchants for credit card, debit card and other payment transactions. Iron Triangle Payment Systems, LLC was formed in 2003 to pursue growth and acquisition opportunities in the transaction processing and payment services industry.

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Cap One’s Metrics March North in Dec

Capital One’s charge-off ratio jumped sharply in December, posting its highest level in eight months. Delinquency also increased, albeit slowly, by five basis points. The uptick came at a time when total loans increased more than $2 billion over the previous month. For December, Cap One reported that managed charge-offs increased to 4.63%, compared to 4.35% in November, and 5.10% one-year ago. In June 2003, Cap One’s managed charge-off ratio stood at 6.20%. Delinquency increased to 3.92% for December, compared to 3.87% for November, 3.94% in October, 3.90% for September, 3.80% in August, 3.77% in July, 3.76% in June, 3.73% in May, and 3.69% in April. Delinquency one-year ago stood at 4.46%. At the end of December, Capital One had $79.9 billion in global outstandings. At the end of the fourth quarter, U.S. card outstandings of $48.6 billion were up 5%, compared to one-year ago, and to the previous quarter. For complete details on Capital One’s monthly metrics and 4Q/04 performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Capital One 2003-2004
Month Charge-offs Delinquency
Dec 03 5.10% 4.46%
Jan 04 5.00% 4.39%
Feb 04 4.75% 4.14%
Mar 04 4.74% 3.80%
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%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Certegy Renews its Manny, Moe & Jack Contract

Certegy has renewed its check risk management and loss prevention contract with The Pep Boys. Pep Boys has 595 stores and over 6,000 service bays in 36 states and Puerto Rico. Along with its vehicle repair and maintenance capabilities, the company also serves the commercial auto parts delivery market and is one of the leading sellers of replacement tires in the United States. Certegy (NYSE: CEY) provides credit and debit processing, check risk management and check cashing services, merchant processing and e-banking services to over 6,500 financial institutions, 117,000 retailers and 100 million consumers worldwide.

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VISA International Offers the CCE Index

VISA International announced the first standardized metric to track business and government spending globally, the “Commercial Consumption Expenditure”. Using CCE, Visa International estimates that total business and government spending in 2004 amounted to US$54.8 trillion, compared to US$41.5 trillion five years ago, a 32 percent increase. For 2005, global CCE is predicted to be US$58.5 trillion, a 6.7 percent increase over 2004. Visa is the world’s leading payment brand generating more than US$3 trillion in annual card sales volume.

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PayPal 04 Volume Soars by 55% Y/Y

eBay reported that gross payment volume for its PayPal business increased 58% year-on-year during the fourth quarter, and 13% sequentially. The payment service also signed up 7.1 million net new accounts and the number of active accounts posted its highest level to-date. During the fourth quarter, PayPal handled $5.61 billion of gross payment volume, compared to $4.64 billion in the prior quarter, and $3.71 billion for 4Q/03. PayPal produced $200.2 million in transaction fees for 4Q/04, a 53% jump over the year-ago quarter. At the end of the fourth quarter, PayPal had 63.8 million accounts, compared to 56.7 million in 3Q/04, and compared to 40.3 million one-year ago. During the fourth quarter, PayPal handled 99.6 million payments, a 19% increase over the prior quarter, and up 46% from 4Q/03. PayPal captured 57% of eBay’s total $9.8 billion in total sales volume during the quarter. PayPal’s 4Q/04 transaction revenue rate was 3.57%, compared to 3.52% one-year ago. The processing expense rate for the fourth quarter was 1.27%, compared to 1.23% for 4Q/03. PayPal’s transaction loss rate came in at 31 basis points, the same as one-year ago. For complete details on eBay/PayPal’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

PAYPAL HISTORICAL
$VOLUME #ACCOUNTS
4Q/03 $3.7 billion 40.3 million
1Q/04 $4.3 billion 45.6 million
2Q/04 $4.3 billion 50.4 million
3Q/04 $4.6 billion 56.7 million
4Q/04 $5.6 billion 63.8 million
SOURCE: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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MasterCard’s PayPass to Invade Taiwan

The Kaohsiung City Government of Taiwan has decided to employ MasterCard’s dual interface smart card for its new transportation project. Cathay United Bank, E.Sun Bank and Bank of Kaohsiung will issue the “MasterCard OneSMART PayPass Chip Combi Card,” according to CardFlash International. The card combines MasterCard credit, debit, and “Mondex” stored value functions, as well as provide access to the “Cirrus” global ATM network. The Transportation Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government, on behalf of seven cities in Southern Taiwan, is the official project owner. MasterCard, in collaboration with Mondex Taiwan, will provide a combined payment and e-purse solution for issuers and acquirers. Acer will be the systems integrator, device provider and project manager, while China Engineering Consultants, Inc. will be in charge of programming the electronic transportation terminals.

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ACE Cash Express Net Income Rises 57% in Q4

Dallas-based ACE Cash Express posted a 57% increase in net income in the just ended quarter. During the second quarter of fiscal 2005, ACE’s total revenue increased 9 percent to $64.7 million versus $59.2 million in the prior year period. This increase is primarily due to a 20 percent increase in loan fees and interest and a 19 percent increase in bill payment services. ACE Cash Express, Inc. is a leading retailer of financial services, including check cashing, short-term consumer loans and bill payment services, and the largest owner, operator and franchisor of check cashing stores in the United States.

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GECF Profits Climb 26% as Revenues Grow 22%

GE reported that profit for its Consumer Finance unit climbed 26% in the fourth quarter to $637 million, however, the figure was off more than 6% over the prior quarter. Fourth quarter revenues hit a record $4.3 billion, a 22% increase over 4Q/03. GECF posted third quarter revenues of $4.0 billion. During the quarter, GECF completed the purchase of substantially all the assets of Dillard’s National Bank, including its private label credit card business, comprising the sixth-largest in-house private label credit card program in the U.S.A and adding 5.5 million active card members to GECF’s customer base. GECF also launched a business card with SAM’S CLUB and extended a retail credit card program with The Men’s Wearhouse. For complete details on GE’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

GE CONSUMER FINANCIAL TRACK RECORD
Income Revenues
4Q/03: $506 million $3541 million
1Q/04: $602 million $3589 million
2Q/04: $600 million $3830 million
3Q/04: $681 million $4011 million
4Q/04: $637 million $4304 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Rahaxi Selects Transaction Network Services

Helsinki-based Rahaxi has signed a three-year deal with
Transaction Network Services to provide a high-speed data
communications network that enables Rhaxi to transport transactions from
5,000 point-of-sale terminals in retail outlets across Finland and Sweden. TNS will route debit, credit, smartcard and wireless transactions between Rahaxi’s payment processing engine in Helsinki
and acquirers and issuers. Rahaxi supports up to 1,000 retailers in
Northern Europe.

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MBNA’s Profit Gain Falls into Single Digits

MBNA’s quarterly growth in net income slipped into single digits for the first time as the issuer posted net income for the fourth quarter of $768.9 million, a 9% annual increase, compared to a 30% annual gain posted in the final quarter of 2003. As a result, the Company is accelerating its effort to cut expenses through employee reductions, and is launching its first national branding advertising campaign next month. For the full year of 2004, MBNA’s net income rose 15%, less than half of the 32% gain posted in full year 2003. MBNA says it will take a first quarter pre-tax charge of up to $350 million to cut its staffing by 3% through a voluntary early retirement program and a voluntary employee severance program. MBNA also indicated it may consolidate some of its facilities later this year. MBNA will kick-off its new advertising campaign with its first national TV commercial, airing on the upcoming “Super Bowl.” Managed loans for 4Q/04 were up 2.6% year-over-year to $121.6 billion. Domestic credit card loans declined 4.6% from one-year ago to $80.2 billion. Fourth quarter charge volume was up 8%, compared to 4Q/03, to $54 billion. Managed charge-offs continued to improve, declining to 4.43%, compared to 4.61% in the previous quarter, and 4.97%% one-year ago. Delinquency on managed loans increased slightly to 4.13%, compared to 4.11% in 3Q/04. For 4Q/03 delinquency stood at 4.39%. During the quarter, MBNA added 2.0 million new accounts. MBNA noted that hundreds of thousands of customers activated their American Express-branded MBNA cards in the fourth quarter. For complete details on MBNA’s fourth quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

MBNA TRACK RECORD
Profits Loans
4Q/03: $703.5 MM $118.5 B
1Q/04: $519.7 MM $117.6 B
2Q/04: $660.3 MM $118.2 B
3Q/04: $728.3 MM $117.8 B
4Q/04: $768.9 MM $121.6 B
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Global Axcess Renews Contract with an ATM Operator

FL-based Global Axcess has signed a five-year extension to its contract with Ronald Harman Associates for electronic transaction processing. Global Axcess’ subsidiaries, EFT Integration, Inc. (EFTI) and Nationwide Money Services, Inc. (NMS), will provide all transaction processing, cash management and branding services for the Harman ATMs with local community banks and credit unions. Global Axcess’ services will streamline the operation of the Harman system in a cost-effective manner. Global Axcess Corp was founded in 2001 with a mission to emerge as one of the nation’s leading network-based electronic commerce and transaction processing companies.

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