Advanta’s Annual Business Card Profits Up 33%

Advanta posted a 14% increase in net income for its business cards during the fourth quarter, compared to the year ago period. However, full year net income was up 33%. The current quarter’s earnings of $13.2 million reflect a 127 basis point decline in net charge-offs on managed business credit card receivables. Managed charge-offs for 4Q/04 dipped to 6.04% on an annualized basis, as compared to 7.31% for 4Q/03. During the third quarter, Advanta’s charge-off rate was 6.48%. Over 30-day delinquencies on managed business credit card receivables declined 170 basis points to 4.12%, and over 90-day delinquencies decreased 94 basis points to 1.99%, each as compared to 4Q/03. In the prior quarter, Advanta’s over 30-day delinquency rate was 4.42% and the over 90-day delinquency rate was 2.13%. Managed card loans at the end of the fourth quarter were $3,294,630,000 compared to $2,981,787,000 one-year ago. Charge volume was $2,214,215,000 for 4Q/04 compared to $1,944,617,000 for 4Q/03. For complete details on Advanta’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

ADVANTA’S CARD PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
Period Card Loans
4Q/03: $2.98 billion
1Q/04: $3.08 billion
2Q/04: $3.12 billion
3Q/04: $3.22 billion
4Q/04: $3.29 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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eFunds Makes Organizational Changes

eFunds made several organizational changes including the formation of a new business unit. Jack Benton, previously head of eFunds’ International Division, will now lead a newly-formed Solutions Group which will focus on the structuring of significant commercial transactions and large-scale project management. The Solutions Group will continue developing eFunds’ “Enterprise Account Management” initiative, manage key strategic relationships such as the Company’s alliance with MasterCard International and oversee the development of eFunds’ consulting activities. Kathleen Flanagan, the former head of the Company’s Global Outsourcing Group, is being promoted to lead a consolidated Global Services Group responsible for Global Outsourcing, ATM Managed Services and the expansion of eFunds’ international business. eFunds also announced that George Gresham will be promoted to SVP/CFO, effective April 1st, following the planned retirement of Thomas Liston.

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AmEx Adds Nearly Two Million Cards in Q4

American Express Travel Related Services reported fourth quarter net income of $729 million, compared to $726 million in the previous quarter, and $606 million one-year ago. Nearly two million cards were added in the fourth quarter, boosting total U.S. cards to 39.9 million, about a 10% gain over one-year ago. The increase was driven by the introduction of the “MBNA American Express” card. AmEx says it is pleased with the quality of the accounts coming from MBNA. Charge volume for 4Q/04 in the U.S. increased 15% year-over-year, compared to 14% for the prior quarter. AmEx says record cardholder spending contributed to a 16% increase in discount revenue. Total expenses increased 10% while marketing, promotion, rewards and cardholder services expenses increased 24%. AmEx says the growth in rewards costs is attributable to a higher redemption rate, strong volume growth and the continued increase in cardholder loyalty program participation. The increase in marketing and promotion expenses is primarily due to the company’s new brand advertising campaign. For complete details on AmEx’s fourth quarter performance as well as prior quarters, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

American Express U.S. Card Portfolio Snapshot
4Q/04 3Q/04 2Q/04 1Q/04 4Q/03 Ann Chng
Volume $83.4b 75.6b 75.7b 70.1b 72.3b +15.4%
Cards 39.9m 38.0m 37.4m 37.0m 36.4m + 9.6%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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HIMC Launches MedCoPay

WA-based HIMC Corporation has launched “MedCoPay,” an electronic payment service which enables medical professionals to seamlessly process the co-payments for office visits or medical prescriptions. MedCoPay(TM) interfaces with the medical billing software used by a wide range of healthcare organizations and inexpensively transfers the co-pay amount directly from the patients’ bank account into the medical office’s bank account through the automated clearing house (ACH) network. Through MedCoPay(TM)’s technology, patients are authenticated using the company’s PersonaGUARD(R) biometric finger scanning hardware and software, which is included in the offering. HIMC Corporation (“HIMC”), through its wholly-owned subsidiary ITI Internet Services Inc. (“ITI”), has been a leading provider of payment services to over 25,000 customers.

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MBNA INTL 4Q/04

MBNA’s international loans increased 26% in the fourth quarter to $26.2 billion, compared to one-year ago. However, credit cards, consumer loans and business loans outside the USA rose by $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter due to the weakening of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies. In Europe, MBNA’s total managed loans reached $22.5 billion, a 31% increase from the fourth quarter of 2003. MBNA added approximately 610,000 new accounts in Europe during the fourth quarter. MBNA Europe also added 166 new affinity programs during the year. In the fourth quarter MBNA Europe signed the University of St. Andrews. In Canada, total managed loans were up 4% to $3.8 billion. MBNA added approximately 97,000 new accounts during 4Q/04. MBNA Canada also added 34 new affinity programs during 2004. In the fourth quarter MBNA Canada signed Harley Davidson.

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LexisNexis Beefs-Up its RiskWise Software

LexisNexis is integrating Verid’s identity authentication technology into its “RiskWise” product suite, which helps customers authenticate identity, assess risk and detect fraud. Using Verid technology, RiskWise will screen individuals with a series of personal questions derived from diverse data sources to authenticate identity within seconds. The RiskWise product portfolio will work with businesses that accept payments via credit or debit cards, checks, and other electronic payment methods. Verid (www.verid.com) is a leader in knowledge-based identity verification and authentication technologies, specializing in proving solutions for remote or faceless transactions where individuals are not present, such as the internet and telephone based transactions.

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ViVOtech Gets a New CEO

Santa Clara, CA-based ViVOtech has named Michael Mullagh as CEO replacing ViVOtech co-founder Jorge Fernandes who now becomes Chairman. Mullagh has served as President and CEO of early and growth stage start-ups, Telephia and Whisper Communications, and as President and COO of two large Canadian wireless carriers. While at Telephia, Mullagh led the company through three years of extremely rapid growth in revenues and margins. Previously he helped drive Rogers Wireless (then known as Cantel, AT&T) to become Canada’s largest wireless service provider. ViVOtech, a leader in lifestyle payment transactions, provides breakthrough software technology that allows consumers to make contactless payments in a style that best fits their needs — with a radio frequency (RF) enabled credit or debit card in various form factors, an infrared/RF enabled cell phone, PDA or an access card at existing point-of-sale (POS) systems.

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MBNA’s Loan Metrics Improve in December

MBNA’s managed consumer credit card delinquency ratio edged down as charge-offs dropped 21 basis points during December. The nation’s third largest issuer posted managed credit card outstandings in December of $101.9 billion, about $2.0 billion more than November, but down $1.2 billion since the start of the year. MBNA’s consumer credit card outstandings peaked in December. Delinquency for consumer credit cards decreased to 4.20% during December, compared to 4.33% during November, and compared to a 2004 high of 4.49% in February. Charge-offs dipped to 4.12% in December, compared to 4.33% for November. In May, MBNA’s charge-off rate was 4.88%, the high for the year. MBNA recently reported that domestic credit card loans declined 4.6% from one-year ago to $80.2 billion. For complete details on MBNA’s fourth quarter results and monthly metrics, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

MBNA CONSUMER CREDIT CARD SNAPSHOT
Month Outstandings Charge-offs Delinquency
Jan 04 $103.1b 4.77% 4.34%
Feb 04 $ 99.6b 4.71% 4.49%
Mar 04 $ 99.1b 4.79% 4.27%
Apr 04 $ 98.0b 4.70% 4.21%
May 04 $ 98.5b 4.88% 4.15%
Jun 04 $ 99.4b 4.64% 4.10%
Jul 04 $ 99.5b 4.52% 4.00%
Aug 04 $ 99.7b 4.52% 4.01%
Sep 04 $ 98.8b 4.22% 4.15%
Oct 04 $ 98.5b 4.36% 4.18%
Nov 04 $ 99.9b 4.33% 4.21%
Dec 04 $101.9b 4.12% 4.20%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Wells Fargo’s Ellis to Chair NACHA

NACHA members have elected Steve Ellis, EVP of Wells Fargo’s Wholesale Banking Group, as the Chairman of NACHA’s Board of Directors. Steve Ellis manages Wells Fargo’s Wholesale Services Group, that combines treasury management and sales, wholesale delivery, customer service, marketing and loan operations. A 17-year veteran of Wells Fargo, Ellis’ previous responsibilities included starting up and running the Wholesale Internet Solutions group that launched the Commercial Electronic Office(R) (CEO(R)) in 2000. NACHA is the leading organization in developing electronic solutions to improve the payments system.

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GenPass & Money Centers of America Ink a Deal

GenPass has signed an agreement to provide Money Centers of America with ATM driving and monitoring, transaction switching and settlement, dedicated support for installations and conversions and up to $40 million in vault cash to meet MCAM’s ATM needs. Money Centers of America, Inc. provides cash access services and transaction management systems for the Gaming Industry. The company has combined state-of-the-art technology with personalized customer services to deliver ATM, credit card advance, POS debit, check cashing services, CreditPlus outsourced marker services, and merchant card processing. Genpass, Inc., manager and operator of the MoneyPass(R) EFT network through its Irving, Texas-based subsidiary Genpass Technologies(R), LLC, is also a leading provider of PayCards.

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Citi’s International Card Profits Double

Citigroup reported that its international card business produced fourth quarter net income of $251 million, more than double the year-ago quarter, largely driven by the performance in the EMEA region. During the final quarter of 2004, Citi posted a 22% gain in card loans, and a 31% increase in sales volume. For the full year, Citi’s profits for its international card business were up 53%, from $498 million to $761 million. Credit card loans at the end of 2004 stood at $17.9 billion, compared to $14.7 billion one-year ago. Charge volume for the fourth quarter was $15.3 billion, compared to $11.7 billion for 4Q/03. The account base was flat at 20.8 million accounts compared to the previous quarter, but up 32% compared to year end 2003. In Japan, average credit card loans were up 7% sequentially, and 12% year-over-year. In the rest of Asia, credit card loans grew 33% to $9.3 billion. Citigroup holds $5.8 billion in card loans for the EMEA region and $600 million in Latin America, which grew 12% and 20%, respectively. Charge-offs dropped sharply during the fourth quarter as delinquency remained flat for international cards, compared to the previous quarter. Delinquency (90+ days) remained at 1.55% for 4Q/04. Charge-offs decreased from 5.08% in 3Q/04 to 3.89% for the fourth quarter. For complete detail’s on Citigroup’s international cards performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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