Uno Chicago Grill has implemented Netifice “Retail Connect VPN” for credit card processing at its 125 restaurants throughout the USA. Uno Chicago Grill has deployed Netifice Retail Connect VPN to work in conjunction with its Point-of-Sale systems so that credit card and gift card transactions are reliable and securely directed to the appropriate processing centers via the Netifice MPLS network. Prior to Netifice, Uno Chicago Grill used dial up to support all of its transactions. By moving to broadband access, Uno Chicago Grill’s credit card processor no longer has to use costly dial-up infrastructure to support the company’s credit card transactions. As a result, the credit card processor extended Uno Chicago Grill a 30% reduction in its cost per credit card transaction. This savings was complemented by a decrease in transaction times from over 15 seconds with dial-up to only 3 seconds with broadband. Netifice’s nationwide broadband VPN offers Uno Chicago Grill seamless access to all of its credit card and gift card processors. For Uno’s gift cards, Netifice simply forwards Uno’s SSL encrypted transaction data directly to the processor over the Internet. For credit cards, Netifice has partnered with IP Merchant Solutions to manage the delivery of credit card data to Uno Chicago Grill’s processor.Details
While average charge-offs among the nation’s top issuers has declined 86 basis points since 2Q/03, the decrease has been driven by the dramatic drop in losses posted by sub-prime issuers Providian and Metris Companies. However, Citigroup, Bank One and Bank of America posted upticks in charge-offs for the second quarter of this year compared to one year ago. Citibank, the nation’s largest card issuer, posted 2Q/04 charge-offs for bank credit cards of 6.15%, compared to 5.95% one-year ago. Bank One, the #3 issuer, reported a managed net charge-off ratio of 5.44%, compared to 5.35% for 2Q/03. Bank of America, the #4 ranked issuer, posted second quarter charge-offs of 5.88%, compared to 5.74% one year ago. Capital One, with about 35% of its portfolio in sub-prime, posted a significant 190 basis point drop in charge-offs from 2Q/03, dropping from 6.32% to 4.42%. Cap One’s net charge-off rate for U.S. credit cards was 5.10% for the second quarter, compared to 7.63% one-year ago. For complete details on current and past charge-off data for the top issuers visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
TOP TEN ISSUER CHARGE-OFFS
(net of recoveries)
2Q/04 1Q/04 2Q/03 Y/Y CHNG
1. Citigroup: 6.15% 6.60% 5.95% +20 bps
2. MBNA: 4.95% 4.99% 5.35% -40 bps
3. Bank One: 5.44% 5.35% 5.21% +23 bps
4. BofA: 5.88% 5.08% 5.74% +14 bps
5. Chase: 5.84% 5.80% 6.02% -18 bps
6. Discover: 6.48% 6.31% 6.50% – 2 bps
7. Cap One: 4.42% 4.83% 6.32% -190 bps
8. Household: 7.62% 7.08% 7.90% -28 bps
9. Providian: 12.53% 13.88% 16.84% -431 bps
10. Metris/DM: 17.00% 17.80% 19.10% -210 bps
AVERAGE: 7.63% 7.77% 8.49% -86 bps
Note: excludes American Express
SOURCE: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Best Western has launched the “Racing Edition Travel Card,” a reloadable stored value card. The first in a special series, the card captures the spirit of the sport while offering guests a convenient method of payment wherever their travels may take them. It also makes a perfect gift for any occasion. The Racing Edition Travel Card can be used by guests to pay for both accommodations and related incidentals, such as room service and phone charges*, at more than 4,100 Best Western hotels worldwide. Available for purchase in U.S. and Canadian dollars, along with a variety of other currencies, it is offered in any denomination between $25 and $1,000 USD (or equivalent in other currencies). Other racing-themed cards will be released throughout the year. The collectible series is an extension of Best Western’s popular travel card program, which was launched in 2002. It is one of several innovative initiatives adopted by the company since becoming the Official Hotel of NASCAR in January 2004.Details
Equifax chairman and CEO, Tom Chapman, announced his plans to retire in late 2005 after a successor is named and the leadership transition is completed. Mr. Riddle further indicated that given today’s complex business environment and the demands of a public S&P 500 company, the Search Committee is seeking an experienced leader with a proven track record of performance.Details
Despite the fact that merchants eat the lion’s share of credit card fraud losses, BJ’s Wholesale Club is being asked to cough up $16 million in costs and losses related to an alleged breach of its computerized customer database. BJ’s says its credit card processor and about a dozen card issuers want approximately $6 million to cover actual losses and $10 million for certain card replacement and account monitoring costs. In March, BJ’s was notified by credit card issuers that credit and debit card accounts used legitimately at BJ’s were subsequently used in fraudulent transactions at non-BJ’s locations. In response, the Company retained a computer security firm to conduct a forensic analysis of its information technology systems which found no conclusive evidence of a breach. BJ’s said any breach would have likely occurred in a more decentralized fashion involving club-level systems. BJ’s took a pretax charge of $6.0 million in the second quarter to establish a reserve to settle the potential claims. BJ’s says it will defend itself in any potential litigation. VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express lost approximately $1 billion last year in U.S. fraud losses, about 5 basis points of total volume.Details
RI-based Internet card processor, PSW, has filed a lawsuit in federal district court against VISA, MasterCard, and First Data seeking damages under state and federal anti-trust laws after it was forced out of business ten months ago due to holdbacks for potential charge-backs. The complaint alleges that the defendants used monopoly power to employ policies and practices that unreasonably excluded competition and restrained trade in the credit card and credit card processing markets. PSW alleges that as a result of this conduct, it was forced to pay higher prices for network services, pay excessive fees, fines and penalties, and comply with unknown, continuously changing, and commercially unreasonable rules and directives of the defendants, at significant expense. As a consequence, PSW claims that the defendants usurped PSW’s profits and good will and forced it out of business. The twelve-count complaint also alleges claims for interference with contractual relations, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, conversion, embezzlement, and breach of contract. First Data’s First Financial Bank continues to hold back over $1.6 million in PSW’s reserve account and has refused to release the funds, according to PSW.Details
Fujitsu Transaction Solutions is now working with SonicWALL to deliver comprehensive security with remote management options for VPN-based wide-area and in-store wireless networks. To provide secure VPN capabilities to its customers, Fujitsu will offer SonicWALL appliances and software. These include SonicWALL’s TZ and PRO series security gateways, the SOHO TZW, an integrated firewall, VPN and secure wireless access point for smaller networks. SonicWALL’s newly launched distributed wireless solution scales to accommodate larger store deployments. This package comprises a gateway security device, SonicPoint intelligent access points, power-over-Ethernet injectors and long-range wireless cards. Fujitsu will also deploy SonicWALL’s Global Management System to provide retailers with remote management options including monitoring, reporting and automatic downloading of code and policy updates from retail headquarters to branches.Details
Roundy’s, which operates 120 retail grocery stores in the Midwest under the Pick ‘n Save, Copps and Rainbow Foods banners, announced it will deploy the Pay By Touch biometric payment system. The new Pick ‘n Save Metro Market is joining the walletless world today by introducing its customers to Pay By Touch, a new payment service that lets users purchase groceries with the touch of a finger. The Pay By Touch finger scanning technology does not store actual fingerprints; instead, it creates a set of 40 data points that cannot be reverse engineered back to a fingerprint. Once enrolled — no matter what store or state they are in — customers can simply scan their finger and select a preferred payment method every time they pay.Details
Three list management companies that allegedly sell or rent lists of consumer information to telemarketers selling advance fee credit products have agreed to settle FTC charges that they violated the agency?s “Telemarketing Sales Rule.” The companies were ordered to pay nearly $200,000 combined, in consumer redress. The FTC says CA-based Guidestar Direct, FL-based ListData Computer Services, and, NC-based NeWorld Marketing, knew that some of the telemarketers they rented lists to were engaged in illegal practices because of the scripts the telemarketers provided them, and therefore knowingly aided in the unlawful marketing of advance fee credit products. Guidestar, ListData, and NeWorld were ordered to pay $25,000, $100,000, and $62,500, respectively, in consumer redress.Details
Barclaycard International has teamed with the Public Bank of
Malaysia to introduce the first Manchester United credit card in the Asia-Pacific region. The new “Public Bank Manchester United MasterCard” is targeted at an estimated 5 million United football fans in Malaysia. The card is linked to the “RedRewards” loyalty program and “Bonus Accumulator” team performance discount program. Cardholders also receive free “One United” membership for a year. Public Bank is launching a major TV and radio advertising campaign to support the launch, featuring Ryan Giggs. One year ago South Africa’s Standard Bank partnered with Barclays to form a new division to issue “Barclaycards.” The “Manchester United Barclaycard” was the first credit card product introduced from the alliance. There are approximately 3.8 million registered Manchester United supporters in South Africa. Earlier this year. Barclaycard took its Manchester United credit card into Ireland. Barclaycard has the global rights to issue “ManU” cards, except in Britain and Singapore.
MBNA also has a tie-up with Manchester United.
A three-day survey course on “Consumer Credit: Managing Risk and Reward” is scheduled for September 21-23, in New York City. Managing Risk and Reward is a three-day survey course which teaches the basics of the consumer credit cycle….planning products, acquiring and maintaining accounts, and sometimes collecting them. The program uses case studies, exercises, and a computer-based profit model to reinforce the subject matter and ensure active involvement.
San Antonio-based Payment Data Systems has received financing up to $10 million in an equity line of credit from Dutchess Advisors, a private equity capital firm. Dutchess Advisors, a private equity capital firm, has committed to financing up to $10 million in an equity line of credit for Payment Data Systems, available to the Company after completion of its SB-2 Stock Registration.Details