JEWEL CARDS

“Platinum MasterCards” went to a new level with the introduction of a series of “Jewel Cards.” The new “MasterCard Jewel Cards” are sleekly designed card cases encrusted with a variety of glittering precious and semi-precious stones in different settings. Each “Jewel
Card” case comes with a unique clip mechanism allowing cardholders to
insert their MasterCard cards into the case of their choice. There are
a total of 13 designs, two of which are designed for men. The new card cases were unveiled in in Bangkok.

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VISA Launches a Rewards-Based Platform

The competition between VISA and American Express turned-up a notch as VISA unveiled a new consumer rewards-focused credit platform. The new “VISA Traditional Rewards” program provides certain minimum rewards requirements for VISA consumer credit rewards products. Each card that qualifies for “VISA Traditional Rewards” will be required to offer a certain rewards value to cardholders – including at least airline flight rewards or cash equivalency. Issuers can differentiate their portfolios with additional types of rewards offerings. In conjunction with the new rewards platform, VISA announced a new fee structure for “VISA Traditional Rewards” and “VISA Signature” that will, on average, increase the interchange reimbursement fee for rewards-based VISA credit products by 6.5%. VISA also announced it will now permit certain merchants to enter the “CVV2” with a transaction when a terminal cannot read the magnetic stripe to provide the same charge-back protection as obtaining an imprint of the card.

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ABS Charge-Offs Trend Upward in September

Credit card charge-offs, among “prime” asset-backed securities, headed north during September, as the 60+ day delinquency remained at a four-year low. The monthly payment rate also climbed to its highest level in two years. “Prime” charge-offs increased to 6.13% in September, compared to 6.01% in August, and 6.77% one-year ago. The 60+ day delinquency index for “Prime” portfolios remained at 2.86% for the third month, its lowest point since August 2000. FitchRatings also reported that yield and payment rate indexes moved upward during September. Fitch’s yield index rose 113 bps sequentially to 17.50%, the highest level in two years. The monthly payment rate was up 23 bps above the prior month to 17.56%. According to Fitch’s latest issue of “Credit Card Movers & Shakers,” “sub-prime” charge-offs increased to 16.24% during September, compared to 15.58% in the prior month, and 16.64% one-year ago. Late-stage delinquencies for “sub-prime” card bonds (60+days) rose to 8.72%, its highest level since May.

ABS CHARGE-OFFS HISTORICAL
Prime Sub-Prime
Sep 03: 6.77% 16.64%
Aug 04: 6.01% 15.58%
Sep 04: 6.13% 16.24%
Source: FitchRatings

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InteliData Technologies Revenues Slip in Q3

VA-based InteliData Technologies reported revenues for the third quarter of $3.6 million, a decrease of $1.1 million from 3Q/03. Gross profit for the three-month period totaled $2.2 million compared to $2.8 million in the year ago period. The Company says it is continuing to explore strategic alternatives, including the generation of additional capital to sustain its development efforts to produce leading edge technologies and to increase customer confidence. InteliData provides online banking and electronic bill payment and presentment technologies and services to banks, credit unions, financial institution processors and credit card issuers. For complete details on InteliData’s 3Q/04 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Processor Fined for Handling Deceptive Offers

First American Payment Processing has been banned from processing any payments for outbound telemarketers as part of a settlement with the FTC. The company was also ordered to pay $1.6 million in redress. In January, the FTC filed a complaint in federal district court against First American Payment Processing, CET Corporation, and Check Processing Center, alleging that they knowingly processed electronic payments for telemarketers who deceptively sold advance-fee credit cards or who engaged in other deceptive or abusive telemarketing practices.

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iPayment Revenues Up 56% in the Third Quarter

Nashville-based iPayment reported third quarter revenues of $93.4 million an increase of 56% for the third quarter of 2003. Net income for the third quarter increased to $6.4 million, from $5.1 million for 3Q/03. Charge volume increased to $3.3 billion in the third quarter from $1.7 billion in the third quarter of last year. During September the Company purchased a small portfolio of approximately 1,000 retail merchants with annualized charge volume over $150 million. Processing costs per transaction have averaged $0.18 during 2004, down from $0.21 during 2003. iPayment is a provider of credit and debit card-based payment processing services to over 100,000 small merchants in the USA. For complete details on iPayment’s 3Q/04 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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