NJ-based On Track Innovations'”Saturn 5000″ contactless reader has received certification from American Express to support its “ExpressPay” contactless payment program. ExpressPay is an easy-to-use alternative to cash for making purchases at merchants where speed and convenience are important — such as quick serve restaurants, supermarkets, drug stores, gas stations, and corporate cafeterias. The Saturn 5000 is built to allow quick upgrades of existing POS terminals to accept contactless payments, with the reader facing the customer for easier payment experience. OTI designs, develops and markets secure contactless microprocessor-based smart card technology to address the needs of a wide variety of markets.Details
Alaska Airlines and Bank of America have rolled-out a new “VISA Platinum Card” in Canada. The Alaska Airlines Visa Platinum gives cardholders the opportunity to earn miles for credit card charges and other benefits including one $50 (USD) round-trip Companion Certificate upon approval, and each year thereafter. The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan network includes 11 airlines serving more than 700 destinations on six continents. Alaska and its sister carrier, Horizon Air, together serve more than 80 cities in Alaska, the Lower 48, Canada and Mexico.Details
Best Western has launched a promotion offering customers a 10% discount on all “Travel Card” purchases of $50 or more, along with free standard shipping on all orders, through the end of this year. For shoppers, that means a minimum savings of nearly $8 when giving the gift of travel. To receive this special offer, customers must purchase their Best Western Travel Card(s) online at http://www.travelcard.bestwestern.com by selecting the “Holiday Special” tab. Best Western International is THE WORLD’S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN(R) with more than 4,100 hotels in 80 countries and territories.Details
Oxnard, CA-based International Card Establishment reported net revenue of $3.7 million for third quarter, compared to net revenues of $230,615 for the year ago quarter. The growth was driven by the Company’s acquisition of Neos Merchant Solutions. I.C.E. says it is confident that pro-forma revenues for calendar 2004 will come in at between $18 and $23 million, while 2005 revenues are expected to reach between $30 million to $40 million. The Company expects to attain profitability in 2005. I.C.E. establishes merchant accounts for businesses that enable them to accept credit cards, debit cards and other forms of electronic payments; supplies point-of-sale systems; facilitates processing; and markets a proprietary smart card-based system — which allows gift and loyalty functions to be stored on one card — that enables merchants to offer store- branded gift and loyalty cards. For complete details on I.C.E.’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
IL-based Abanco International has introduced “In-Transit Terminal Services,” a solution for its transportation and supply chain partners that enables the tracking of ticketing, retail sales, inventory and revenue. ITTS consists of a customizable software application and a hand-held device, which enables the tracking of ticketing, retail sales, inventory and revenue. This all-in-one payment processing solution has the option of WIFI, GSM or CDMA making it a great alternative for on-the-go retailing. Abanco International, LLC, founded in 2002, is a leading provider of payment processing solutions that develops and markets a full suite of services to the automotive, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, retail and transportation industries.Details
Reston, VA-based Transaction Network Services announced that Metavante has renewed its contract to be the primary transaction network provider for the banking and payments technology solutions provider for dial ATM traffic and, to provide connectivity through TNS’ persistent-dial private network for telecommunications solutions. Transaction Network Services is one of the leading providers of business-critical, cost-effective data communications services for transaction-oriented applications. TNS provides rapid, reliable and secure transaction delivery platforms that enable transaction authorization and processing across several vertical markets and trading communities.Details
Sears has added a personalization feature to its gift cards. The card now doubles as a picture frame, enabling consumers to customize the card by inserting a family portrait or a picture of the gift intended for the recipient. Sears gift cards can be purchased in increments of $5-$500 and carry no fees or expiration dates. VISA International recently teamed with Serverside Graphics to enable issuers to offer cardholders the option of using their own photographic images from family and pets to children or personal artwork – to design and create their own tailor-made VISA credit, debit, pre-paid or gift cards. Taishin Bank in Taiwan was the first VISA member financial institution in Asia Pacific to issue the cards through its “imake” program. First National Bank of Omaha also offers the “One of a Card VISA” which enables users to personalize the entire face of the card with just about any kind of a photo. Users can then shrink or enlarge the photo, and customize the card using fun tools like artistic borders, etc. Images can also be rotated or flipped using the online tools. FNBO permits cardholders to change the image on the card up to four times a year. (CardFlash International Library 11/10/04 and CardTrak Library 9/24/04)Details
Paymentech has inked a deal to offer PayPal next year to its merchant clients. The processor is the first merchant acquirer to resell and fully integrate PayPal’s online payment service onto its proprietary processing platform. Paymentech processes more than half of all Internet transactions. Paymentech now gives Internet merchants a full range of payment options, including popular forms of payments such as electronic checking and gift cards in addition to PayPal. During the third quarter, PayPal handled $4.64 billion of gross payment volume for eBay and had 56.7 million accounts. PayPal handled 83.4 million payments in 3Q/04. (CF Library 10/22/04)Details
Credit card charge-offs, among “prime” asset-backed securities, dropped 40 basis points, as the 60+ day delinquency ratio inched up 7 basis points during October. Meanwhile, “sub-prime” ABS metrics show a dramatic one-month fall in charge-offs of 154 bps to 14.70%, the lowest level since March 2002, and 210 bps below year-ago levels. Late stage delinquencies among “sub-prime” borrowers rose for the second consecutive month to 8.93%, the highest level since February 2004, though 108 bps below year-ago levels. Fitchratings also reports that the monthly payment rate slipped 34 bps to 17.22%, though 67 bps above year-ago levels. “Prime” charge-offs for October were 5.73%, compared to 6.13% in September, and 6.40% one-year ago. Fitch’s 60-plus day delinquency index for October was 2.93%, 54 bps below year-ago levels. Fitch’s yield index tumbled 111 bps to 16.39%, 29 bps below year-ago levels.
ABS CHARGE-OFFS HISTORICAL
Oct 03: 6.40% 16.80%
Sep 04: 6.13% 16.24%
Oct 04: 5.73% 14.70%
Alliance Data Systems announced the signing of a renewal agreement to provide private label credit card services for New York & Company, a specialty retailer of fashion-oriented, moderately priced women’s apparel with annual sales of nearly $1 billion, through 2012. Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will continue its relationship with New York and Company, providing the retailer with an integrated private label credit card program for its 486 nationwide retail locations, as well as its website (http://www.nyandcompany.com). Alliance Data Systems is a leading provider of transaction services, credit services and marketing services. New York & Company, Inc., founded in 1918, is a leading specialty retailer of fashion-oriented, moderately-priced women’s apparel.Details
A Los Angeles-based law firm is cautioning issuers in regard to prepaid gift cards. Pillsbury Winthrop says there are significant risks involved both for issuers and redeemers as states endeavor to regulate the fast growing industry. Many of the laws do not differentiate a gift card from other prepaid cards, and it is not clear whether the laws applicable to gift certificates apply to prepaid cards in general. Issuers of cards are also under the scrutiny of the federal government, which has a long roster of regulatory laws and regulations that potentially apply to prepaid cards. Some were implemented to oversee terrorism concerns of money laundering, while others deal with issues such as consumer privacy issues, licensing, and special reporting and booking requirements. Pillsbury Winthrop also notes that the issue of “escheat” obligations is also in question for issuers of prepaid cards. Most states require those businesses selling gift certificates escheat a remaining balance and give the money to the state as unclaimed property. Approximately 15 states don’t make a claim on abandoned card funds and the timing of escheat of those funds varies from state to state.Details