Newtek Gets Endorsement from CUBS

NYC-based Newtek Merchant Solutions has been endorsed by Credit Union Business Services, managed by the Alabama Credit Union League, to provide electronic merchant payment processing solutions to CUBS’s 176 credit unions. CUBS provides credit unions with services such as SBA lending, merchant processing, core deposits, payroll processing, group insurance products, and many more value-added services, all of which represent substantial opportunities for credit unions. The objective of CUBS is to help credit unions strengthen existing financial relations with members who own or are employed by small business, through the delivery of convenient, high-touch, competitively priced small business services, and to create long-term deposit resources, increase loan volume and fee income while increasing new members through small business employee groups. Newtek Business Services, Inc. is a premier provider of business services and financial products to the small to medium-sized business market

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MBNA SCOUTING

MBNA is probing the Chinese market following the opening of an office in Shanghai. The affinity credit card king currently holds more than $21 billion in total managed loans in the U.K., Canada and Spain. MBNA says the new office in China will be used to conduct market research, to further develop relationships with Chinese regulators and the banking community in China, and to design long-term strategies for entering China’s credit card market. At the end of 2003, MBNA had approximately 1,400 total international affinity contracts in place. In Europe, total managed loans reached $17.2 billion last year. In Canada, total managed loans for 2003 reached $3.6 billion.

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Secure Deposit Prepaid MasterCard Launched

Los Angeles-based Direct Response Financial Services has begun marketing its “SDC Secure Deposit Card Prepaid MasterCard” for $79.95. The debit cards offer access to the entire MasterCard financial network, including ATMs, and are accepted anywhere MasterCard is accepted. The cards are being offered in conjunction with an agreement with EdebitPay. Direct Response Financial Services, Inc. makes it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services, using virtually any form of payment: credit, debit, smart card, stored-value card, electronic check at the point-of-sale, or over the Internet.

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Charity Debit Card Affinity Program Launched

OH-based Charter One Financial has introduced a unique debit card affinity program that supports eight charities. Each of the eight charities will have a distinctive card bearing the philanthropic organization’s respective logos and images. Charter One is also making two additional cards available: a generic “Make-A-Difference MasterCard”, for those who wish to give anonymously without displaying the choice charity logo; and a special card called “ONE FOR ALL” that supports all of the charity organizations within the program. Charter One will also allow existing customers to convert to a “Make-A-Difference” card from the “MegaRewards MasterCard” debit card. The participating charitable groups include: Make-A-Wish Foundation, March of Dimes, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Cure Search – National Childhood Cancer Foundation, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

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GO Software Spruces Up Corporate Image

GA-based GO Software has launched a new brand image with the help of Atlanta-based marketing agency Nolen & Associates. The new image reflects GO Software’s growth and aims to appeal to a broader customer market, as the company surpasses 125,000 product installations and moves forward with development plans to complete its product portfolio. GO Software, a subsidiary of Return On Investment Corporation, is a leading provider of POS payment processing software. More than 125,000 businesses use GO Software’s solutions to process payments at high speed, expand tender types and lower credit card costs.

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Providian’s Delinquency Nose Dives in March

Providian reported that delinquency for its securitized card loans dropped significantly during March to 9.56%, compared to 11.07% in February, and 12.46% for March 2003. The issuer says 47 basis points of the March drop was due to the reaging of some accounts. In February 2003, Providian modified its loan reaging practices to reage accounts from delinquent status to current status if a customer makes a partial payment that qualifies under its standards and applicable regulatory requirements. Accounts are eligible for reaging not more than once in any 12-month period, and not more than twice within 60 months, which is within the guidance provided by the FFIEC. In March, Providian reaged certain accounts of customers who had opened their accounts prior to February 16, 1999, but whose reaging history had not been tracked prior to February 16, 1999. While delinquency dropped in March, charge-offs edged up. For March, Providian posted a charge-off rate of 17.17%, compared to 16.08% for February, and 19.89% one-year ago. For complete details on Providian’s latest performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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PROVIDIAN SECURITIZED
Month Charge-offs Delinquency
Mar 03 19.89% 12.46%
Apr 03 19.80% 12.27%
May 03 20.40% 11.92%
Jun 03 16.76% 11.98%
Jul 03 17.39% 11.96%
Aug 03 17.04% 12.12%
Sep 03 15.65% 12.17%
Oct 03 17.19% 12.38%
Nov 03 16.16% 12.27%
Dec 03 17.55% 11.94%
Jan 04 17.36% 11.48%
Feb 04 16.08% 11.07%
Mar 04 17.17% 9.56%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.cardweb.com/images/c/charts1/prov_mar04.jpg

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BofA Expands Corporate Purchasing Card

Bank of America Global Treasury Services has upgraded its corporate purchasing card to connect an enterprise’s pre-approval workflows straight through to the card network. Bank of America can now connect an enterprise’s pre-approval workflows straight through to the card network, enabling purchasing cards to become the payment vehicle of choice in business- to-business transactions. While previous credit card programs mandated intense interaction between banks and corporate program administrators, the Payment Manager technology simplifies that process and offers clients faster and more accurate service. The Global Treasury Services division of Bank of America provides integrated working capital management and treasury solutions to clients that include multi-nationals, correspondent banks, governments and global 1000 businesses.

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Two New Optimum Terminals Hit the Market

Hypercom has rolled-out its third and fourth terminal in the “Optimum” series this year. The countertop “Optimum T4100” and the handheld, wireless “Optimum M2100” are designed for speed and performance.

The “Optimum T4100” offers credit/debit card authorization and value-added services such as gift cards, cash and promotion/loyalty cards, prepaid, age and/or ID verification, and payroll or government check cashing.

The terminal is PED and EMV certified, and is powered by Intel “XScale” technology. It also features magnetic stripe and smart card readers, a high contrast LED backlit display, one-touch shortcut keys, a 35 key-full keyboard or optional 19 key keyboard, Ethernet connectivity to the Internet with built-in modem for dial back-up, standard 200 MHz processing speed and multiple high speed communications options. The “Optimum M2100” supports Bluetooth, GPRS and GSM. The GPRS version is designed with an ‘always online’ communication link that shortens transaction times to a fraction of the time of PSTN. It features 32-bit architecture, a vertical magnetic stripe reader, smart card reader and high contrast LED backlit display and function keys. The new handheld, wireless terminal also features a long-life battery enabling up to 100 transactions and an ‘always on’ GPRS wireless modem. The new “M2100” is now in certification with all major gateways.

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TSYS Realigns Business Units, Promotes 8

TSYS has created a new management committee, realigned many of its business units, and is promoting eight executives to lead the change. Four group executives were promoted to EVP including Gaylon Jowers, Connie Cartledge Dudley, Stephen Humber, and Colleen Kynard. The Company also named three new SVPs including Kenneth Tye, William Pruett, and James Lipham. Additionally, Dorenda Weaver has been promoted from group executive to chief accounting officer. Jowers will be responsible for sales, strategy and emerging markets; Cartledge Dudley will be responsible for product and client development. Humber has also been named CTO for software development. Kynard will be responsible for customer care. Yesterday, TSYS reported that its first quarter revenues increased 13.5% to $285.2 million, as net income rose 2.6% to $32.6 million. Separately, TSYS bid for the NYCE network has reportedly been rejected by First Data.

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ePort Sales Set a Record in the First Quarter

PA-based USA Technologies says its quarterly sales for the “e-Port” cashless transaction solution increased 125% in the first quarter as it shipped product to 19 separate “e-Port” customers. The aggressive program aims to bring wireless data connectivity and cashless vending to the entertainment, travel and hospitality industries across America. USA Technologies is a leader in the networking of distributed assets, wireless non-cash transactions, associated financial/network services and interactive media technology and energy management.

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Comdata First Quarter Revenues Climb 3.8%

Ceridian Corporation reported that its Comdata business posted first quarter revenues of $81.5 million, a 3.8% gain over last year. Net income the TN-based Comdata subsidiary was $26.8 million for the first quarter, an 11% increase over 1Q/03. During the quarter, Comdata launched the first business payment card in the USA to offer both credit and debit functionality. The new “BusinessLink Corporate MasterCard” is also the first in the transportation industry to offer virtual card capability as part of its fleet solution. The “BusinessLink” card offers corporate credit card functionality as well as PIN-based debit capabilities, providing, for the first time, a one-card, B2B payment system, that allows employers to distribute company-provided personal funds to employees for access at ATMs and via purchases at point-of-sale debit terminals. Comdata is a payment processor and issuer of credit cards, debit cards and stored value cards, primarily for the trucking and retail industries in the USA. For complete details on Ceridian’s first quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Singapore Bans Unsecured Cards for the Poor

The Monetary Authority of Singapore this week amended the country’s credit card regulations to prohibit issuers from issuing unsecured credit cards to consumers who do not meet the minimum income requirement of $18,000 and who have less than $6,000 in savings deposits. The new rules, which take effect April 15th, also continue to limit credit lines to no more than two times monthly income in order to discourage Singaporeans from spending beyond their means, according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International (cardflashinternational.com). However, the MAS ended the requirement for an issuer to perform income verification checks before issuing additional cards to an existing cardholder. In such cases, no additional credit is made available since the regulations already require an issuer to aggregate the credit limits under all cards issued to a cardholder, and ensure that the total does not exceed two months income. The MAS credit card and charge card regulations represent amendments to the Banking Regulations issued on January 19th. Under current regulations, consumers over the age of 55 must have an annual income of at least $9,000 to qualify for an unsecured credit card. Card issuers who violate the MAS rules face a fine up to $15,000 and, in the case of a continuing offense, an additional fine not exceeding $1,500 for every day or part thereof during which the offense continues.

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