Nearly six million Canadians headed into retail stores on the day after Christmas, racking up $1.6 billion in total spending. Ontario led the shopping spree with $488 million in retail sales, followed by British Columbia at $377 million, and Quebec at $328 million. Clothing was the top item Canadians purchased, followed by electronics, and music items. VISA said it expected to process more than two million credit card transactions on December 26th, totaling approximately $290 million in sales volume. During the busiest hour, VISA will process more than 190,000 transactions, valued at approximately $28 million. Earlier this month, VISA revealed that 22 million Canadians expect to spend a total of $19.5 billion on holiday season gifts this year.Details
NY-based Universal Express has introduced a VISA payroll card, to be initially launched through a private postal store trade association. Universal Cash Express will initially launch its stored value payroll card program through its private postal store trade association which has been awaiting just such a program. Universal Express, Inc. owns and operates several subsidiaries including Universal Express Capital Corp.Details
iPayment and First Data have completed the acquisition of a portfolio of merchant contracts from First Data’s Merchant Services subsidiary for a sale price of $130 million in cash. The portfolio has approximately 25,000 small merchant locations representing approximately $9 billion to $10 billion in annual charge volume. The acquisition will become effective on December 31st. iPayment has expanded its revolving credit facility from $80 million to $180 million from Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase Bank to finance the purchase. iPayment is a provider of credit and debit card-based payment processing services to over 100,000 small merchants.Details
PTS has concluded the acquisition of all of the outstanding stock of Global Links Card Services from Global Links Corp. GLCS offers a suite of comprehensive electronic products to the retail, restaurant and hospitality industries in addition to various national associations.Details
CampMinder, an online management system used by camps across the country, has inked a processing contract with United Bank Card. CampMinder is an all encompassing web-based camp management system providing an integrated database management system for camper and staff recruitment, alumni management, financial, medical, scheduling, transportation, bunking, tracking forms, reporting, mass e-mailing and a wide variety of other services. United Bank Card, Inc. is a payment and transaction processor serving businesses nationwide.Details
Capital One has approved the 2005 annual compensation of its Chairman, CEO and President, granting options to buy 566,000 common shares for next year. The stock options have an exercise price of $82.385. Richard Fairbank accepted the options in lieu of any salary, annual cash incentive, other cash or equity-based long-term incentives, and retirement plan contributions. Fairbank’s options will become exercisable in full in five years will expire in ten years. The stock options also become exercisable in full upon the death, disability or retirement of Mr. Fairbank, or a change in control of the Company.Details
MN-based Cash Systems has named Michael Rumbolz as CEO replacing Craig Potts on January 1st. Michael D. Rumbolz has over 20 years of experience in the gaming industry. Mr. Rumbolz is the former Vice Chairman and board member of Casino Data Systems, prior to its acquisition by Aristocrat. Cash Systems, Inc., located in Minneapolis and Las Vegas, is a provider of cash access and related services to the retail and gaming industries.Details
Today is poised to be the single largest card volume day in 2004, as Americans will use credit and debit cards to pay for nearly $12 billion. This computes to an average of more than $8 million per minute, however it could easily top $20 million per minute during peak hours. December 23rd has historically been the peak spending day of the year. According to VISA’s data December 17th and December 18th rank first and second as the busiest shopping days of the holiday shopping season thus far. “Black Friday,” November 26th, ranked fifth in terms of the highest daily sales volume. MasterCard says the busiest day of the year will most likely occur today, but the busiest hour most likely will be from 2 to 3 p.m. CDT on Christmas Eve.Details
The International Card Manufacturers Association has added fourteen new members. The new members include ten principal members, or
card manufacturers; two associate members, or suppliers; and two
contributing members. Principal Members (Card Manufacturers)include
DIGIMARC ID Systems (Burlington, MA); Fastcom Technology (Lausanne, VD, Switzerland); GHP Card Systems AG (Bamberg, Germany); Institute of Applied Information Technologies (Kiev, Ukraine); LAWA Card Systems (Riyadh, Central Provinc, Saudi Arabia); PRINC D.O.O. (Sagreb, Croatia);
Quatro Security Printing (Markham, Ontario, Canada); S.A.E.T.I.C. (Barcelona, Spain); ST INCARD Srl (Marcianise (CE), Caserta, Italy); and, Znak, Ltd. (Kiev, Ukraine).
Metris Companies announced it is making a second optional prepayment on a term loan in the amount of $25 million. The Company also made a $50 million prepayment on Nov. 23, 2004. As a result of these prepayments, the amount remaining of the original term loan will be $225 million. Metris Companies Inc., based in Minnetonka, Minn., is one of the largest bankcard issuers in the United States.Details
PT Primrose Gantari Indonesia and Las Vegas-based e-Smart Technologies have teamed to form a joint venture. The partnership will provide e-Smart’s proprietary biometric systems for payment processing services in banking institutions and other corporate and government entities in Indonesia.
PT Primrose Indonesia was created by former principals of The
Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency. e-Smart is the exclusive supplier for Asia and the US of the “Biometric Verification Security System” or “BVS2”, featuring the “Super Smartcard,” which e-Smart believes to be the world’s only commercially available smartcard with a full on-card system for biometric ID verification.