JustGive Powers AmEx Cardholder Giving

JustGive, American Express and GuideStar have partnered to enable AmEx cardholders to donate dollars or “Membership Rewards” points and set up recurring donations to more than one million U.S. charities. Cardmembers can also donate to multiple organizations in a single transaction, and establish a convenient monthly or annual recurring monetary donation schedule. American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. JustGive is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to increase charitable giving across the United States by leveraging unique technology to connect people with more than one million 501(c)(3) charities representing the causes they care about most.


Average Over-Limit Fees Top $30 in 2004

The average over-limit fee increased 3.5% this year, ending the year with an average fee of $30.24. Between 1994 and 1999, over-limit fees grew 96%, from $12.75 to $24.96, according to CardTrak ([www.cardtrak.com][1]). After a huge run-up in 1997 and 1998, over-limit fees quickly downshifted, increasing just 17% over the past five years. During 2003, the most common over-limit fee among major issuers was $35, although some issuers charge $39 for accounts with higher balances.

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: $30.24 + 3.5%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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


Technology Spending to Climb 4.4% Next Year

TowerGroup projects that technology spending by the banking industry in 2005 will represent at least a 4.4% increase over 2004 levels. TowerGroup identified these as among the top business and technology drivers cutting across all major sectors of the global financial services industry, as part of its series of 2005 Perspectives research reports. TowerGroup is the leading advisory research and consulting firm focused on the global financial services industry.


CardSystems and USA.NET Team for Cross Marketing

Atlanta-based CardSystems Solutions has partnered with USA.NET to enable cross marketing of services and solutions. CardSystems Solutions Inc. is a leading provider of integrated payment solutions to associations, financial institutions, Independent Sales Organizations (ISO) and retail merchants. USA.NET, the global eMessaging service providerTM, is the largest exclusively-focused hosted eMessaging provider in North America, with over 5,000 customers of all sizes and complexities.


First Cash-Back Debit Card Hits the U.K.

The U.K.’s largest mortgage lender will launch, early next year, the first debit card that offers a cash-back feature. The new “Halifax Moneyback VISA” card will produce an annual, tax-free rebate of nearly $200 for the average U.K. household. Cardholders will receive 1% cashback on debit card purchases up to a total of $20,000 a year. The “Moneyback” program will be launched in February and customers will need to credit the account with at least $2000 per month. The first debit card was launched in the U.K. in 1987. Since then, the number of debit card transactions has risen to over 3.4 billion annually. Debit cards represent 65% of all plastic purchases in the U.K. worth at total of $252 billion in 2003.


MBNA Managed Loans Up But Delinquency Grows

MBNA’s managed consumer credit card delinquency slipped upward for the fourth consecutive month as charge-offs edged down. The nation’s third largest issuer posted managed credit card outstandings in November of $99.9 billion, about $1.4 billion more than October, but down $3.2 billion since the start of the year. MBNA’s consumer credit card outstandings peaked in December. Delinquency for consumer credit cards increased to 4.21% during November, compared to 4.18% during October, and compared to a 2004 high of 4.49% in February. Charge-offs dipped to 4.33% in November, compared to 4.36% for October. In May, MBNA’s charge-off rate was 4.88%, the high for the year. MBNA recently reported that domestic credit card loans for the third quarter were $79.7 billion, compared to $81.6 billion one-year ago. For complete details on MBNA’s third quarter results and monthly metrics, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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



Gross dollar volume for purchases on credit card and charge cards during October dipped sharply from the prior month. Total outstandings for October were up A$500 million compared to September, and up nearly 13% since October 2003. Revolving balances, or balances accruing interest, declined for the second consecutive month to A$19.3 billion during October, and up 10% from one-year ago, according to data released by the Reserve Bank of Australia. During October, Australians charged A$12.3 billion in purchases on credit/charge cards compared to A$11.9 billion one-year ago. At the end of October, consumers owed A$28.2 billion on credit cards versus A$25.0 billion for October 2003. Card credit limits reached A$75.9 billion at the end of October, compared to A$67.4 billion for October 2003. There are 11.3 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 10.6 million one-year ago.


Mellon to Offer the Benny HSA Debit Card

Evolution Benefits and Mellon Financial have signed a LOI to provide an integrated solution for health savings accounts that combines Mellon’s HSA account services with EB’s “Benny” debit card. Under the arrangement, Mellon will provide custodial, record keeping, investment, and reporting services. Evolution Benefits will provide debit card services and the technology link to the administrator. Evolution Benefits was founded in 2000 with a commitment to supporting the movement toward greater consumer choice in and responsibility for employee benefits. Mellon is one of the world’s leading providers of financial services for institutions, corporations and high net worth individuals, providing institutional asset management, mutual funds, private wealth management, asset servicing, human resources and investor solutions, and treasury services.


Consumer’s Choice MasterCard Gets a Distributor

Houston-based Consumer’s Choice Financial Services has entered into a joint venture with U.S. Debit Corporation to distribute MasterCard debit cards to Consumer’s Choice customers. The agreement calls for Consumer’s Choice to purchase up to 250,000 debit cards over a two-year period. The cards will be co-branded with US Debit Corporation and the MyBankCard MasterCard products. Consumer’s Choice is a start-up consumer financial services company with operations in consumer debt-acquisition and many areas of sub-prime consumer lending.


Walgreens Says AmEx Merchant Fees Not Justified

In a curious announcement, Walgreens said yesterday it will no longer accept American Express cards nationwide, effective January 14th. Walgreens said the higher merchant fees charged by American Express were not offset by the larger purchases anticipated by AmEx cardholders. The retailer, however, noted that AmEx has not raised its rates since Walgreens began accepting the card chainwide in 1996. Walgreen is the nation’s largest drugstore chain and operates 4,681 stores in 44 states.


AmEx ExpressPay Set to Go Nationwide in Mid-05

American Express’ contactless payment system is set to go nationwide as its first national merchant partner comes aboard. The CVS retail pharmacy chain has inked a deal to make a full roll-out of “ExpressPay” to its entire fleet of more than 5,300 stores by mid-2005. CVS has already “ExpressPay”-enabled POS terminals in 485 stores in Arizona, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas and Missouri. American Express is currently conducting “ExpressPay” pilots in Phoenix, New York and Singapore. The Phoenix pilot includes participating locations at CVS, Carls Jr., Frys (Kroger) supermarket, Blimpie Subs & Salads, ChevronTexaco, Dairy Queen, Cold Stone Creamery, Ritz Camera, Schlotzskys Deli locations and others. Consumers have the option of funding “ExpressPay” in two ways: either as a direct link for payment to an American Express card or as a prepaid product linked to any major credit, charge or debit card. AmEx developed “ExpressPay” in conjunction with Texas Instruments RFid Systems in 2003.