Capital One Cuts More Call Center Jobs

Capital One Financial is cutting 220 positions at its call center facility located in Irving, Texas and transition the vast majority of the work to its Richmond, Virginia facility. The company intends to close the Irving, Texas site by the end of the second quarter 2005. Cap One noted it will maintain its presence in Texas through the company’s Plano location, where more than 1,000 associates support its Capital One Auto Finance operations. In July, Cap One announced it is cutting 1,400 call center jobs, mostly in Tampa. Cap One says it is dropping 1,100 positions at its Tampa facility and approximately 160 positions in Dallas, and 120 positions in Richmond, Virginia. (CF Library 7/22/04)

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Kroger Co-Brand Stays Alive with RBS

A co-branded bank credit card with The Kroger Co. has been re-launched for the second time. Royal Bank of Scotland Group has become the new issuer of the card, following U.S. Bancorp which took over in 1999, and Fifth Third Bank which first launched the card in 1993. The new “1-2-3 REWARDS MasterCard” will be launched on October 3rd. The card offers two reward points for every $1 spent in participating Kroger-owned stores and supermarket fuel centers, and three extra points per $1 spent on our own family of quality brands, including “Private Selection” and Kroger brand products. Cardholders also earn one reward point for every $1 spent elsewhere. Every 1,000 points earns a $10 reward to spend in Kroger stores. The rewards will be mailed to customers quarterly. The new MasterCard also doubles as a “Kroger Plus” shoppers’ card. Kroger is supporting the card launch with full-page ads in local newspapers, TV and radio commercials, billboards, in-store promotions and direct mail to 275,000 households in Greater Cincinnati and Dayton. Kroger plans to expand the card program to other markets in 2005. Kroger operates 2,530 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 32 states under various banners. (CF Library 7/29/99)

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BofA Enables Customer-to-Customer Transfers

Bank of America is introducing a new feature to its Online Banking, enabling customers to transfer money instantaneously from their personal checking, savings, line of credit, or credit card accounts to other B of A personal deposit account customers. Bank of America executive Sanjay Gupta suggests that parents of college students will find the online transfers to be especially convenient as well as those who need to send money to family or friends within B of A’s coast to coast network. Bank of America serves 33 million consumers in 29 states as well as the District of Columbia. To access the new feature, consumers can register for free Online Banking at the Bank of America Web site (http://www.bankofamerica.com/) and select the “Transfer Funds” option. This service is currently available to customers who have accounts in the Southeast, Southwest, and Midwest. Bank of America has over 11.7 million active Online Banking customers, the most customers in the industry.

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Corillian Puts Stojak on its Board

OR-based Corillian has named James Stojak, former Citigroup EVP, to its board of directors. Mr. Stojak has over 30 years of experience with banking and operations. He has held many positions including executive vice president of Citigroup and senior vice president and chief operating officer of Citibank’s Europe and North America business. He was chairman of Citibank in South Dakota, and director of Citibank in Nevada. Mr. Stojak was also an executive for Continental Illinois National Bank and Wells Fargo Bank. Corillian has worked hard to become the chief provider of online banking solutions and Mr. Stojak says that he is looking forward to working with the Corillian management team. Alex Hart, president and CEO of Corillian feels that Jim will be an asset to their organization.

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Global Axcess Buys East Coast ATMs

FL-based Global Axcess has completed the acquisition of an independent ATM operator with 111 ATM locations along the east coast for $908,000 in cash. Global Axcess is expected to gain an estimated $ 1 million in annual revenue, $330,000 in annual EBITDA, and over $180,000 annual income from the acquisition. Global Axcess Corporation is an independent electronic financial transaction processing company. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Nationwide Money Services (NMS), EFT Integration Inc. (EFTI), and Electronic Payment and Transfer Corp., the company provides turnkey ATM management solutions, traditional certified transaction processing, terminal driving, and offers products intended for new ATM users.

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JCB AirPlus Travel Payment Solution Launched

JCB and AirPlus have partnered to launch the “JCB AirPlus Travel Payment Solution,” which provides a broad business travel management solution to AirPlus multinational clients with operations in Japan.
JCB created the new “JATPS” business model with AirPlus by combining two of its corporate solution products, the JCB international air ticket
purchasing system and the JCB corporate credit card. The first, the JCB
AirPlus Company Account provides a convenient, integrated payment
method for corporate purchases of air tickets and a wealth of data
including air carrier name, route and seat class as well as the usual
itemized information. The second solution product, the “JCB AirPlus Corporate Card,” allows employees to pay for their other business-related expenses. The new “JCB AirPlus Travel Payment Solution” offers AirPlus clients the benefit of JCB JACA/JACC information through the “AirPlus Information Manager” system, an intelligent cost analysis tool that provides detailed expense reports.

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Cardware Systems Signs a BPO Deal with EDS

Cardware Systems has signed a 10-year, $54 million business process outsourcing services agreement with EDS to support its prepaid stored value card programs. The agreement requires that EDS deliver a full range of card processing and customer service management activities for various programs offered by Cardware Systems. Cardware will be able to provide the pre-paid stored value platform to financial institutions worldwide. Greg Stimson, COO of Cardware Systems, says that the alliance between Cardware and EDS will enable Cardware to connect with EDS’s customer management service and BPO services. EDS is a provider of broad portfolio of business and technology solutions, helping clients improve business performance. Cardware Systems, LLC provides a pre-paid stored value platform and markets pre-paid store value card products.

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DINERS MASTERCARD

Diners Club has inked the final agreements to link up with the MasterCard network in North America. Beginning in November, corporate and personal “Diners Club” cards in Canada will be re-issued with a new design showing the “MasterCard” brand mark and hologram on the front of the card. Diners Club also plans to offer cards enhanced with MasterCard acceptance to new U.S. corporate customers by the end of this year. Phase two of the implementation will include distribution of the enhanced cards to existing “Diners Club” cardholders in the USA. “Diners Club” cards issued by Diners Club International franchises (outside the USA and Canada) will include the MasterCard brand on the back of the card, enabling these cards to be accepted at MasterCard merchants in the U.S. and Canada and processed as MasterCard credit card transactions. When these cards are used outside of the USA or Canada, they will continue to be accepted and processed by “Diners Club” as they are today.

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Bankruptcy Filings Down 9% in August

The momentum in bankruptcy filings continues to slow as filings in August declined 9.0% year-on-year, and 5.7% sequentially. During August, 125,783 filings were made compared to 138,266 for August 2003. Year-to-date bankruptcy filings were 1.06 million, down 3.8% from the same time last year. The total number of bankruptcies filed in the 12-month period ending June 30th, was 1,635,725, down 0.9% from a year ago. For the second quarter of this year total filings were down 0.4% to 421,100. The decline for the first half of this year is the first drop in consumer bankruptcy filings since 2000.

Monthly Filings Historical
Aug 03: 138,266
Sep 03: 127,079
Oct 03: 148,044
Nov 03: 131,921
Dec 03: 113,383
Jan 04: 114,737
Feb 04: 124,719
Mar 04: 152,567
Apr 04: 145,543
May 04: 136,509
Jun 04: 127,742
Jul 04: 133,390
Aug 04: 125,783
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Experian Tackles CNP Fraud Prevention

Experian has introduced a new suite of fraud prevention solutions for on-line merchants, call centers and payment processors who deal with card-not-present transactions. The new “Cardholder Verification” service identifies high-risk transactions in real-time, in an online process that utilizes Experian’s credit and noncredit verification databases with information on 215 million consumers. The information verified includes identification information, as well as bill to/ship-to, e-mail address and IP addresses. Alerts are sent for high risk cardholders, closed accounts, and lost or stolen credit cards. In a single, instant inquiry that is transparent to the consumer, “Cardholder Verification” clients can choose several automated options including: consumer verification only; credit card verification only; consumer verification along with credit card verification; and, online interactive challenge questions with the consumer.

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PayPal Expands Buyer Protection Program

PayPal is expanding its “Buyer Protection” coverage from $500 to $1,000, effective November 8th. PayPal Buyer is a free program that offers increased security for buyers on eBay.com. eBay sellers in the U.S., Canada, Germany, and the UK, can provide PayPal Buyer Protection by keeping a 98% positive feedback rating and having a minimum of 50 feedback points. Matt Bannick, senior vice president of global payments and general manger of PayPal, claims that PayPal Buyer Protection has been very successful in increasing confidence in buyers who shop on eBay. PayPal is an eBay company that provides individuals and businesses with an email address to send and receive payments online. eBay has a strong platform for the sale of goods and services and is The World’s Online Marketplace (R)

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Radiant Outdoor Kiosks Get Deployed

Sheetz is deploying Radiant’s outdoor kiosks, which are designed to allow added features such as debit pin pads and magnetic stripe readers for credit, debit, loyalty, and gift card processing. The Radiant outdoor kiosks operates the Sheetz Order-at-the-Pole program, which enables customers to order sandwiches and Espresso Bar items as they fill up their gas tanks. The kiosks have touch screens to enable customers to order their food. They are supported by Intel(R) processors and chipsets as well as the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Embedded operating system. Radiant Systems, Inc. provides innovative store technology for foodservice, petroleum/convenience store, and cinema industries. It has distributed solutions to more than 50,000 sites around the world. Sheetz, Inc. is one of the nation’s fastest growing convenience store chains with over 300 locations along the east coast. The company’s 2003 revenue exceeded $2.3 billion and ranks 109th on the Forbes list of top privately held U.S. companies.

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