Paymetric Gets a New CEO

Houston-based Paymetric has named Steven Putney, former SVP of Commercial Card Services at Bank One, as President and CEO. Prior to joining Paymetric, Mr. Putney was senior vice president of Commercial Card Services at Bank One. While at Bank One he led the business development efforts that increased the business size from $4 billion to $8 billion in less than three (3) years. Paymetric is the market leader in Enterprise Payment solutions with specific focus on SAP payment processing.

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Global Debit Card Usage Soars as a Payment Instrument

A new study on cumulative transaction volume growth shows that debit cards have a double digit growth whereas other instruments are declining or growing at single digit rates. The research found that global growth in debit card usage is being driven by three major factors: the adoption of debit in emerging markets, growth in everyday spending in developed markets, and the blurring lines between debit and credit acceptance. The report entitled “The Future of Debit Cards: A Global Perspective” by Celent, says the lack of risk management expertise and solid credit bureaus, as well as strict regulation on credit card lending limit banks’ ability to market credit cards in developing countries as aggressively as in wealthier economies. Celent says that in countries where the credit card has historically prevailed, marketers have discovered with surprise that consumers have a “bucket” approach to spending: the type of transactions consumers make determines the instrument they use. Celent also says excluding the U.S. and the recent Wal-Mart settlement, in consumers’ eyes across the world, the differences between credit and debit acceptance are running thin. The research firm points to the stunning growth of e-commerce transactions on debit cards and that domestic debit networks in many countries have turned its management over to the global card associations.

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ANT CARD

National Australia Bank and American Express have teamed to launch a rewards credit card that offers ATM linkage to NAB checking and savings accounts country-wide. 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. 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.

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Open Solutions Acquires re:Member Data Services

CT-based Open Solutions has acquired IN-based re:Member Data Services for $20 million in cash. RDS will become part of Open Solutions’ Core Systems Group and continue to be located and run operations from Indianapolis. Current RDS Chairman and CEO David Becker, who will be leaving RDS to pursue other interests, will be assisting with the transition and will remain an RDS client in his capacity as Chairman and CEO of First Internet Bank of Indiana. RDS is a core data processor for financial institutions. Open Solutions Inc. offers a fully featured strategic product platform that integrates core data processing applications, built on a single centralized Oracle(R) relational database, with Internet banking, cash management, CRM/business intelligence, financial accounting tools, Check 21, imaging, interactive voice response and loan origination solutions.

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Vijaya Bank Launches Another City Themed VISA Card

Vijaya Bank has launched its second city-specific international VISA card for the twin cities of Hyderabad-Secunderabad. The new “Hyderabad VISA” offers one point for every Rs100 spent on the card, free family cards for two years, and permits cash withdrawals up to Rs10,000 per month. Vijaya previously launched the “Bangalore VISA.” The bank indicated it has future plans to roll-out cards for Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Vijaya Bank has the highest number of branches in its home state, Karnataka and has principal membership in both VISA International and MasterCard International.

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Signature Captures the New Affluent Market

VISA’s six-year old “Signature” credit/charge card has quietly been stealing affluent cardholders from American Express, racking up approximately $80 billion in transaction volume, more than AmEx “Gold” and “Platinum” combined. VISA estimates it now has 16 million cardholders with annual incomes of more than $100,000, compared to 5 million for American Express. A recent study also showed that VISA has a 37% share of general purpose card dollars spent annually by “New Affluent” individuals, as compared with AmEx’s 19%. To bolster its efforts to capture more share in the affluent market segment, VISA kicked-off an extensive marketing program offering special “VISA Signature” events at select airports and restaurants, leading into a print, television and radio advertising campaign in August. The affluent segment is defined as individuals, 35 to 54, with household incomes of $125,000 and higher who typically are employed as professionals and managers. While the new affluent segment comprises only 7% of all U.S. households today, it accounts for 15% of U.S. spending. On average, these affluent cardholders spend 2.5 times more each month on their credit cards than average cardholders. VISA says the “Signature” card program represents less than 3% of VISA cards in U.S. circulation, but accounts for 17% of VISA USA’s total credit volume.

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MERRILL+ VISA Offers a Mortgage Promotion

Merrill Lynch has launched a limited promotion to reward cardholders of its “MERRILL+ VISA” or “VISA Signature” with points if they finance or refinance their home through Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation. “MERRILL+ VISA” cardholders are eligible to earn up to 45,000 points and either a $250 or $500 credit toward closing costs when they complete a Merrill Lynch mortgage. “VISA Signature” cardholders are eligible to earn up to 15,000 points. The offer is valid on financing closed after July 1st and applications received by December 31st; closing must take place by February 28th. Merrill Lynch and MBNA launched their co-branded credit cards in April, offering rewards tiered to card volume. The new “Merrill+ VISA” offers a credit limit up to $250,000, free nights at The Ritz-Carlton, and free upgrades on international tickets with British Airways. The benefits are tiered with “+Benefits” available to all cardholders; “+2 Benefits” for those charging $20,000 or more annually; and, “+3 Benefits” for those charging $50,000 or more annually. (CF Library 4/27/04)

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CheckFree Wins the Wachovia EBP Contract

CheckFree has signed a five-year contract extension with Wachovia Corporation to provide fully outsourced electronic billing and payment services to Wachovia’s entire online banking customer base. With this agreement, Wachovia will leverage CheckFree’s high-quality electronic billing and payment processing capabilities and CheckFree Web, its consumer-centric user interface, to deliver industry- leading capabilities to Wachovia’s online customers. The contract includes provisions to ensure mutual success and provides access to the entire CheckFree infrastructure. CheckFree is a provider of financial electronic commerce services and products.

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PSECU Posts Strong Q2 Gain in Outstandings

The Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union posted a strong 7%+ gain in outstandings during the second quarter. Over the past five years the PSECU credit card portfolio has grown 27% and nearly 300% since 1994. MO-based Anheuser-Busch Employees Credit Union also posted a significant gain in the second quarter, growing more than 11% year-on-year. Since 1998, the ABECU credit card portfolio has had a loyal cardbase of approximately 26,000 accounts. TX-based Randolph Brooks FCU and CA-based Vista FCU also produced decent second quarter gains of 4.4% and 9.4%, respectively. CA-based Travis FCU posted a contraction in 2Q/04 outstandings as its account base shrunk by 3.4%. For complete details on second quarter results for the nation’s leading issuer visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

2Q/04 SNAPSHOT
ISSUER OUTSTANDINGS Y/Y ACCOUNTS Y/Y
PA State Emp CU (PA) $213,114,518 +7.1% 112,794 +1.1%
Randolph Brooks FCU (TX) $ 90,829,473 +4.4% 76,081 +10.3%
Travis FCU (CA) $ 74,886,665 -1.1% 40,653 -3.4%
Anheuser-Busch Emp CU (MO) $ 38,823,716 +11.1% 26,021 -1.9%
Vista FCU (CA) $ 31,402,304 +9.4% 14,468 +8.2%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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TNB Signs Four Processing Agreements

Dallas-based TNB Card Services has signed four more card processing partnerships, representing a total of 7,000 accounts. The new processing clients are University & Community Federal Credit Union, Southwest Oklahoma Federal Credit Union, and Western Sun Federal Credit Union, all in Oklahoma, and Community First Credit Union in California. TNB Card Services, owned and directed by credit unions since 1976, provides full-service credit and debit card processing, as well as an agent issuing solution for credit unions nationwide. Serving more than 400 credit unions and managing more than one million cards, Dallas-based TNB enables credit unions to enhance member loyalty through credit union-branded card products.

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BP Signs Dresser Wayne for POS Dispensers

TX-based Dresser Wayne has inked a five-year POS global dispenser sole supply agreement with BP. The relationship is intended to challenge both parties to develop innovative business solutions that will create significant improvement in overall performance and benefit both BP and Dresser Wayne. Dresser Wayne, a business unit of Dresser, Inc., is a technology leader in the manufacture, supply and service of retail and fleet petroleum fuel dispensers, dispenser control systems, credit/debit card processing terminals, and point-of-sale systems.

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