Equifax Jacks Up Fees to Recover FACT Act Costs

Equifax announced that effective October 1st, it will assess a regulatory recovery fee of 11 cents for its business-to-business products to offset the costs required to implement the provisions of the federal FACT Act. The law mandates that the three nationwide credit reporting agencies build and maintain a centralized source that will enable a free annual consumer credit file disclosure to consumers upon their request beginning December 1, 2004. Equifax Inc. is a global leader in turning information into intelligence.

Details

Citi Card Revenues Decline; Performance Improves

Citigroup reported this morning that second quarter profits for its credit card business in North America increased 2% sequentially, and 31% year-over-year, to $850 million. Revenues for the second quarter declined nearly 4.5%, compared to the first quarter, but were up 37% from 2Q/03 due to its major acquisition of the Sears portfolio in 4Q/03. Credit card outstandings for North America increased 27% over 2Q/03 to $143.6 billion, which includes $28.6 billion in private label card outstandings. However, Citi only added $1.3 billion in total outstandings during the quarter, less than 1% since March 31st. Charge volume increased 24%, from $59.7 billion to $74.3 billion, year-on-year. Citi’s account base at the end of second quarter was 125.8 million accounts, a 48% gain over 2Q/03, but only 200,000 more than the previous quarter. Citi’s charge-offs dropped from 6.99% in the first quarter, to 6.61% for 2Q/04. Charge-offs for bank credit cards declined to 6.15%, compared to 6.60% in the first quarter, but up from 5.95% one-year ago. Charge-offs for private label credit cards also declined, from 8.70% in the first quarter and 10.77% for 2Q/03, to 8.61% for 2Q/04. Delinquency (90+ days) also declined from 2.10% for 1Q/04 to 1.85% for the second quarter 2004. Delinquency for bank credit cards dropped 22 basis points and 45 basis points for private label cards, quarter-to-quarter. For complete details on Citigroup’s 2Q/04 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

CITIGROUP
North American Credit Card Net Revenues
2Q/03: $649 million
3Q/03: $815 million
4Q/03: $1010 million
1Q/04: $832 million
2Q/04: $850 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

Details

ACE Cash Adds 39 Stories in Four Acquisitions

Dallas-based ACE Cash Express has acquired 39 stores in four transactions for $8.1 million. ACE acquired 21 stores in Memphis, 10 stores in western Arkansas, 5 stores in Louisiana, and 3 stores in Louisville. ACE Cash Express, Inc. is a leading retailer of financial services, including check cashing, short-term consumer loan and bill payment services, and the largest owner, operator and franchisor of check cashing stores in the United States.

Details

AmEx Launches Ant Cards in Australia

National Australia Bank and American Express have teamed to launch a rewards credit card that offers ATM linkage to NAB checking and savings accounts throughout Australia. The new “National Ant American Express Card with Rewards” offers one point per dollar spent on eligible purchases, no cap on points, no points expiry while the account remains open, and the ability to redeem for Qantas frequent flyer points at a rate of one for one. NAB is also offering double points on purchases made through July 2005, according to today’s issue of CardFlash International. The “Ant Card” carries an annual fee of $99 and $148 for the “Gold Ant Card.” The interest rate for both cards is 17.50%. The new card will be offered via direct mail to a select number of National credit card customers first, with a wider marketing campaign planned for later in the year. The name “Ant Card” was originally derived from the acronym – “American Express National Team.” NAB says its marketing will draw upon linkages with “ants” and benefits that come with the “Ant Card” and the benefits become embedded in the product name.

Details

Q Comm Raises Cash and Buys a Canadian Firm

UT-based Q Comm International has completed a $2.4 million private placement and has acquired Point De Vente, a distributor of prepaid wireless products based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Point de Vente shareholders will receive 12,127 shares of restricted Q Comm common stock with an aggregate value of $50,000. Pointe de Vente will become a Q Comm subsidiary with their assets and liabilities assumed by Q Comm. Q Comm will also provide a cash infusion of approximately $400,000 to Point de Vente. Q Comm International provides proprietary prepaid transaction processing and information management systems that facilitate electronic recharge or distribution of prepaid products from service providers or their distributors to retail points of sale.

Details

AirPlus Aims for Corporate Travel Payments

Germany’s AirPlus International has added a corporate card to its arsenal of corporate travel payment solutions targeting the U.S. market. The “AirPlus Corporate MasterCard” will issued by GE Capital Financial. AirPlus already offers an UATP-based “AirPlus Company Account” worldwide. The “Company Account” provides detailed data including company, traveler and trip-specific information. All data generated through the use of an AirPlus payment product, including the new “AirPlus Corporate MasterCard,” is available to the client via the Web-based “AirPlus Information Manager.” Airplus says the addition of the new “Corporate MasterCard” enables U.S. companies to manage all corporate travel purchasing through a single provider worldwide. AirPlus also offers a “VISA Corporate Card” in the UK. The Company has a 30% market share in Europe in the business travel management business.

Details

Corillian Introduces a Phishing Detector

OR-based Corillian has introduced a patent-pending Web log analysis solution and methodology providing financial institutions with an way to proactively address current phishing threats. The new “Corillian Fraud Detection System” identifies phishing behaviors before they turn into full-fledged attacks on a bank. In addition to providing preemptive attack identification, the “Corillian Fraud Detection System” enables financial institutions to rapidly identify and respond to those account holders who may have fallen victim to the phishing scam. The solution provides information as to which customers have visited the phishing site, allowing the financial institutions to adjust the security measures around the potentially compromised bank account, and provides an opportunity to follow up with each customer, to educate them on the threat of phishing and discuss how they can protect themselves in the future.

Details

MoneyGram Beefs-Up its Express Pay Service

CO-based MoneyGram has renamed its “ExpressPayment” service as “Payment Tracker” and has beefed-up the urgent bill payment service. Payment Tracker has added advanced search features including wild card and date range searches; strong password controls, plus tracking and audit features; cancelled transactions and account number updates are now viewable in real-time; transaction origin information has been enhanced; and reports are downloadable via .csv or .xml formats. MoneyGram is a subsidiary of MoneyGram International, which was recently spun-off of Viad.

Details

BofA Card Profts More Than Double in Q2

Bank of America officially became the fourth largest bank credit card issuer during the second quarter thanks to its merger with Fleet and its strong marketing efforts. The issuer opened 1.5 million new credit card accounts during the quarter, and added over $16 billion in card outstandings from Fleet. Pre-tax credit card income more than doubled to $641 million for the quarter. Managed card outstandings increased to $51.99 billion, compared to $30.8 billion one-year ago. Second quarter charge-offs were 5.88%, compared to 5.08% in the prior quarter, and 5.74% one year ago. Managed 30+ day delinquency was 3.86%, compared to 3.75% in the first quarter, and 3.99% for 2Q/03. Managed 90+ day delinquency was 1.76%, compared to 1.81% in the first quarter, and 1.80% for 2Q/03. BofA continues to dominate online banking with more than 11.2 million users, achieving a 48% penetration rate among all customers with a checking account. BofA says customers using online banking are 27% more profitable than those who do not use it. For complete details on Bank of America’s 2Q/04 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

BOFA CARD LOAN HISTORICAL
1Q/03 $29.1 billion
2Q/03: $30.8 billion
3Q/03: $33.6 billion
4Q/03: $36.6 billion
1Q/04: $37.3 billion
2Q/04: $52.0 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

Details

NIH FCU Deploys Summit Card and ATM Modules

MD-based NIH FCU has deployed Summit Information System’s “Spectrum” core processing system including the on-line credit card module with rebates/courtesy pay and the ATM management module. Summit Information Systems, a unit of Fiserv, Inc., provides both in-house and hosted advanced technology solutions to more than 300 North American credit unions. NIH FCU, based in Rockville, Maryland, has more than $370 million in assets and serves more than 46,000 members. Fiserv, Inc. provides industry leading information management systems and services to the financial industry, including transaction processing, outsourcing, business process outsourcing and software and systems solutions.

Details

Ultima Card Lands a Distribution Deal

American Card Services has inked an agreement with Empire Distributors for distribution of ACS’ proprietary stored value “Ultima Card.” Empire Distributors, with a customer base of approximately 7,500 locations, is one of the largest wholesale distributors of wine, spirits, beer and bar beverages in the southeastern United States. The distribution program will center on Empire Distributors’ 5,000 convenience and package store customers. American Card Services Inc. operates in the stored value card arena.

Details

An Online Merchant Collective Seeks Members

A Pebble Beach, CA startup, EmerchantsGroup, is seeking to build a collective of on-line merchants to obtain wholesale card processor pricing. EMG is also looking at parcel service rates. As group participation grows, shipping discounts are the next logical target. EMG membership is free and easily achieved by participating in the merchant account/credit card processing program.

Details