NACHA’s Electronic Check Council Names a VC

NACHA has named John Lucas, currently first VP and head of the electronic services product line for Mellon Global Cash Management, as the Vice Chairman of the Steering Committee of NACHA’s Electronic Check Council. Lucas has spent his entire career in the treasury services industry. He has been instrumental in the design and deployment of the extensive suite of electronic payments solutions at Mellon GCM, a treasury services business of Mellon Financial Corporation. NACHA is the leading organization in developing electronic solutions to improve the payments system.

Details

Key’s Agent Bank Program Tops 100

Key announced that it now has 100 partners in its agent bank program, offering surcharge-free access to Key’s ATM network. Through Key’s agent bank program, each institution gains access to Key’s ATM network without the significant financial and labor investment required to build, operate and maintain their own individual ATM systems. Institutions can access any or all of Key’s entire network of 2,200 ATMs across the country, including 716 located in ARCO am/pm retail locations along the West coast. KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $84 billion.

Details

ADS to Launch a Little Switzerland Card

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems has inked a five-year agreement to provide an integrated private label credit card program for Little Switzerland at its 22 retail locations in the Caribbean islands, Florida and Alaska. Little Switzerland operates primarily duty-free stores that sell fine jewelry, watches, giftware and other luxury items. Alliance Data Systems is a leading provider of transaction services, credit services and marketing services. Little Switzerland operates luxury retail stores specializing in jewelry, watches, china, crystal and giftware including many famous brand names and designers.

Details

Charge-Offs Continue to Improve Industry Wide

Credit card charge-offs continue to improve across-the-board, with the “sub-prime” segment improving significantly. Performance among credit card-backed securities in May shows charge-offs for “prime” portfolios dipped 20 basis points from the previous month, while “sub-prime” charge-offs fell 47 basis points. “Prime” charge-offs declined to 6.57%, compared to 6.77% in April, and 6.85% one-year ago. “Sub-Prime” charge-offs declined to 16.69%, compared to 17.16% in the prior month, and 17.32% one-year ago. According to Fitch’s latest credit card index, the 60-or-more-day delinquency ratio for “prime” portfolios fell 12 bps to 3.08%, its lowest level since July 2002, and 46 bps below the year-ago level. Late-stage delinquencies for “sub-prime” portfolios declined for the third straight month to 8.82%, the lowest level since August 2002. Bankruptcy filings reported for the month of May totaled 136,509. Year-to-date bankruptcy filings were 674,075, down 3.1% from the same time last year. Meanwhile, Fitch?s yield index registered its second consecutive monthly decline, sliding 75 bps to 16.21%. However, yield remained 16 bps above the year-ago level. Monthly payment rate fell 55 bps to 16.76% but remained 135 bps above the level a year ago.

Details

ACS Fires Up its Ultima Debit Cards

Orlando-based ACS has added a bill payment function to its “Ultima Card Twin Access Debit Card Pack” and has inked a joint marketing agreement with EmpaSys. “This greatly increases the ACS merchant base and gives the company the ability to support smaller merchants that do not have credit card terminals to load ACS’ products. For the vast majority of merchants that have credit card terminals, ACS products offer the unique ability to use the merchant’s existing credit card terminal to load its products,” stated Walter H. Roder, president &CEO of ACS Holdings Inc.

Details

Perfect Storm Produces Soaring Phishing Attacks

A perfect storm has been created for phishing attacks, MasterCard said yesterday at the second annual “Global Risk Management Symposium” in San Diego. The low risk of detection and inadequate law enforcement coupled with the anonymous nature of the Internet, and its relative low cost of distribution, has produced a “hockey stick” like graph of phishing attacks over the past two months. MasterCard said surveillance is the key to suppressing phishing since research has shown there is a period of eight days from the time an account is compromised before it turns into a phishing attack. MasterCard noted that response rates to phishing attacks currently run between 5% and 20%. On Tuesday, MasterCard announced a major partnership with NameProtect to disrupt phishing attacks in real-time.

Details

Hypercom on a Proverbial Roll this Year

Hypercom says the skyrocketing growth in debit cards, the U.S. move to electronic transactions from paper-based transactions, and smart card growth in Europe and Latin America, is helping to drive its revenues by 10% to 15% this year. Yesterday, the terminal manufacturer’s CEO said Hypercom is on a proverbial roll. This year Hypercom has introduced the “Optimum L4100” compact signature capture card payment terminal; the “Optimum T4100” a high speed card payment terminal using Intel “XScale” technology for smaller merchants; the “Optimum M2100” wireless, hand held terminal; the “IN-tact 1101” a low cost IP gateway device; and, the “S9” PED and EMV certified “Infoguard” tested payment device. Less than two months ago, the global payment technology leader also announced that it has entered the dial and IP POS transaction network business with its new high performance “HBNet” network that gives processors a competitive source for information delivery services. (CF Library 4/14/04)

Details

The CBL Mall Gift Card is Set to Launch

CBL & Associates Properties and American Express have launched a new “CBL Mall Gift Card. The new CBL Gift Card will be launched this fall in 31 locations (see attached for a list of initial mall participants) and will be available in amounts ranging from $10 to $300. The remaining malls in the CBL portfolio will roll out the program in 2005. CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. is one of the top five owners of shopping centers in North America and the largest owner of malls and shopping centers in the Southeast, ranked by GLA owned. American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, network, and financial services provider founded in 1850.

Details

Your Credit Card Companies Tackle Phishing

Capital One, Chase, Citigroup, Discover Card, MasterCard and MBNA and teamed to form Your Credit Card Companies. The group provides credit resources and a variety of tools that help consumers better understand how credit works, understand and protect their total credit picture and manage debt. Yesterday, the group took on phishing attacks, warning consumers to be alert for e-mail scams. The group’s Web site offers resources for consumers looking for ways to protect themselves against credit card fraud and identity theft. The group recommended that consumers communicate with credit card issuers electronically, using the issuer’s secure online Web site, have an updated anti-virus system and firewall, change passwords regularly, and deal only with companies that post their privacy policies on their Web site.

![][1]

[1]: http://www.cardweb.com/images/c/creditcardcompanies/creditcardcompanies.jpg

Details

MasterCard Eyeblaster Ads Win an Award

MasterCard’s “Cat in the Hat” campaign has won top honors in Web Marketing Association’s “2004 Internet Advertising Competition.” The banner campaign’s “Eyeblaster” unit received response rates over twice the industry average for floating “Eyeblaster” ads and nearly 21 times higher than the overall campaign response rates. IconNicholson’s approach compelled online users to use their MasterCard cards to enter the “Trip-a-Day Giveaway.” IconNicholson has partnered with MasterCard International since 2001 on numerous projects, including Web site development, online marketing campaigns and promotional programs, and has extended MasterCard’s integrated marketing and “Priceless” advertising strategies. IconNicholson is the NY office of LB Icon AB.

Details

MBNA Adds SouthTrust to its Huge Portfolio

MBNA is picking up more than $300 million in credit card loans due to the merger of Wachovia and SouthTrust. The move further strengthens the market share of the nation’s top three issuers, which collectively will control 54% of the U.S. market by the end of this year. Yesterday, MBNA signed a multi-year agent agreement to acquire SouthTrust’s 280,000 consumer and business credit card accounts. The acquisition includes a long-term agreement under which MBNA will market credit cards to SouthTrust’s customers through SouthTrust’s 700 branch operations throughout the southeastern states. According to CardData, SouthTrust had $337,654,266 in credit card outstandings at the end of the first quarter, with approximately $662 million in year-to-date gross dollar volume. The AL-based issuer had 271,449 accounts, 144,096 active accounts, and 274,118 cardholders as of March 31st. About 35,000 of the card accounts are business accounts. MBNA has issued Wachovia’s credit cards since 2000, and MBNA will issue the credit cards of the combined SouthTrust-Wachovia entity when the two banks complete their merger in the fourth quarter.

Details

CREDIT CARDS APR04

Consumer purchase volume on credit cards slowed during April to a 13% annual growth rate, as balances grew 12.6%, and credit lines edged up 12.0% per annum. During April, Australians charged A$11.2 billion in purchases on credit cards compared to A$9.9 billion one-year ago. At the end of the April, consumers owed A$26.9 billion on credit cards versus $23.9 billion for April 2003. The ratio of credit card balances to card credit limits increased slightly during April, from 37.4% to 37.5%, compared to one-year ago, according to data released by the Reserve Bank of Australia. One-year ago, consumers owed A$23.9 billion with total credit lines of A$64.0 billion. Card credit limits reached A$71.7 billion at the end of April.

Details