Chockstone Meets VISA CISP

Stored value card processor, Chockstone, announced it has fully complied with “VISA CISP.” As Visa CISP compliant, Chockstone is certified under Visa to be up to date with the utmost security regulations assigned by 3rd-party assessors as well as Visa itself to ensure protection of sensitive cardholder information. Chockstone is the Technology Behind Stored Value(TM). As the leading stored value card processor, Chockstone focuses on integrated gift, loyalty, and marketing card programs for multi-unit QSR and retail organizations. Chockstone’s services enable retailers to strengthen their relationships with their customers and drive incremental profits.

Details

iGames Still Pursues a Deal with Equitex

After an acquisition deal between iGames and Equitex came apart last week, iGames followed up with a merger offer this morning after releasing its fourth quarter earnings report. This offer replaces the proposed acquisition by iGames of Chex Services, Inc. from Equitex under the November 3, 2003 stock purchase agreement with Equitex, Inc. that was terminated by iGames on March 12, 2004. iGames Entertainment, Inc. provides cash access and financial management systems for the gaming industry, focusing on specialty transactions in the cash access segment of the funds transfer industry through its Money Centers of America, Inc. and Available Money, Inc. subsidiaries.

Details

Card ABS Yield Hits a Record Low in January

Gross revenues, or yield, from securitized credit card portfolios continued to follow a long-term trend of decline and fell to a record low during January. According to Moody’s “Credit Card Credit Indexes” yield, the annualized percentage of income, primarily finance charges and fees, collected during the month as a percent of the total loans, fell to 16.29% during January compared to 17.23% one-year ago. On a year-over-year basis, the yield has fallen for 30 consecutive months. Most of the drop in yield is attributable to the low interest rate environment as well as issuers’ aggressive promotional and low, fixed rate offers. For the month of January, cardholders paid back, on average, 16.02% of their credit card debts, above the rate of 15.68% recorded in January 2003. The chargeoff rate fell to 6.54%, down from 6.59% a year ago, marking the second month in a row in which the charge-off rate improved after over a year of nearly uninterrupted deterioration. The January delinquency rate fell to 5.08% from 5.49% a year ago, the sixth consecutive month of improvement.

Details

British Cardholders Want Card T&C Clarity

The U.K. Office of Fair Trading yesterday released a report on credit card disclosure and found that three-quarters of British cardholders do not know what APR applies to their card, despite being aware that this is the key piece of comparative cost information. The research also revealed that 60% of consumers have a “very good understanding” or “understands a fair bit” as to credit card terms and conditions, but they couldn’t generally answer specific questions or extract key information. The OFT found that 21% of those surveyed who did not pay off the balance in full each month have credit card balances of £1,000 or more. Also, brand loyalty is an important factor, with many consumers simply taking cards from their own bank. Consumers say key financial information must be displayed prominently and separately from the general terms and conditions of agreement if consumers are to use it effectively.Additionally, consumers like the concept of a simple summary box, containing the APR charged, details of any additional charges, the interest rate, the minimum payment to be made, the interest free period, the period over which interest is charged and the credit limit. The research involved interviews with a representative sample of 1,890 consumers. Based on the responses, the survey found that over 70% of people surveyed have at least one credit card, with 37% of cardholders having two or more credit cards.

Details

Pipeline/SecurePay Offers WAY Systems

MA-based Pipeline Data’s SecurePay subsidiary has signed a deal to distribute WAY Systems’ mobile POS solution to the US market. The SecurePay / WAY Systems partnership provides the industry’s first truly turnkey mobile POS solution that includes a mobile transaction terminal “MTT,” mobile thermal printer, an activated wireless data plan and merchant payment processing using SecurePay’s payment gateway. The MTT solution is delivered to the merchant immediately ready for payment processing, with no additional hardware, software or activation required. Pipeline Data Inc. provides integrated transaction processing services for all major credit cards.

Details

Smart Transaction Systems Certifies Hyperware

CO-based Smart Transaction Systems has certified Hypercom’s “T7Plus” and “ICE” card payment terminals for gift and loyalty programs that run on “HyperWare 08A” transaction software solution. Hypercom’s modular, multi-function and multi-faceted HyperWare supports the STS turn-key gift card program which, when combined with a loyalty program, allows merchants to segment their customer base and manage different types of rewards programs for each type of customer. Smart Transaction Systems provides card-based payment systems, customer loyalty and CRM programs to a wide variety of companies throughout the United States. Hypercom Corporation is a leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point-of-transaction for consumers, merchants and acquirers, and yield increased profitability for its customers.

Details

Certegy Signs Processing Deal with AA FCU

Certegy has inked a five-year agreement to provide American Airlines FCU credit card processing, card loyalty, business development and consulting services for AA Credit Union’s new VISA card program, which is scheduled to launch mid-year. With more than 200,000 members and $3.9 billion in assets, AA Credit Union is the largest credit union in Texas, and the seventh largest credit union in the United States. AA Credit Union was founded in 1936 by a small group of American Airlines employees at Midway Airport in Chicago. Certegy provides credit and debit processing, check risk management and check cashing services, merchant processing and e-banking services to nearly 7,000 financial institutions, 117,000 retailers and 100 million consumers worldwide.

Details

InterCept Merchant Services Attracts More Interest

Atlanta-based InterCept confirmed yesterday it is in discussions with two potential buyers for its merchant services division. The Company also reported that its overall fourth quarter revenues were flat at $65.1 million, however, revenues from its financial institution services segment rose 17% to $48.3 million. Last month, InterCept announced a pending sale of its entire merchant services division to an independent provider of merchant payment services for both traditional and Web-based merchants. But another independent bidder has entered the picture, and InterCept is now considering a separate sale of its iBill unit of the merchant services division. The Company says it believes breaking the sale into two pieces will boost the sales price for the entire division above the $37.4 million announced last month. During the fourth quarter, revenues from the merchant services division were $13.8 million, a 28.8% decrease compared with $19.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2002. Revenues from the merchant services division were $61.4 million for full-year 2003, as compared with $54.7 million for 2002. InterCept has rescheduled its quarterly conference call to March 23. For complete details on InterCept’s 4Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1].)

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

Details

TNS IPO Prices at the Top of its Range

Reston, VA-based TNS, Inc. d/b/a Transaction Network Services, raised $80 million yesterday in an IPO, and is now trading as “TNS” on the NYSE. The shares are being offered by an underwriting group managed by JPMorgan Securities, Inc. and Lehman Brothers Inc. and co-managed by Credit Suisse First Boston LLC, William Blair & Company L.L.C., and SunTrust Capital Markets, Inc. TNS, Inc. has granted the underwriters an option to purchase an additional 663,000 shares of common stock to cover over-allotments. TNS, Inc.’s common stock will begin trading today on the NYSE under the symbol “TNS”.

Details

OBERTHUR 2003

Smart card manufacturer Oberthur Card Systems reported yesterday that it delivered 127.8 million smart cards last year, a 29% increase compared with the prior year. The Company says smart payment cards represent its most important market, poised to take advantage of the coming huge renewal market in Europe. However, Oberthur remains in a difficult environment as the average selling prices of its products declined by 11.1% last year at constant exchange rates. Gross sales for the full year of 2003 hit 430.1 million euros, compared to 440.2 million euros in 2002, and 484.1 million euros in 2001. Smart payment card revenues climbed 9.4%, from 78.9 million euros in 2002, to 86.3 million euros in 2003. Smart payment cards revenues in 2001 were 43.9 million euros. During 2003, Oberthur Card Systems re-organized itself in order to better respond to its customers needs regardless of geographical location, market – Payment, Mobile Communications, Identity, Security, Transit and level of sophistication. The Company also transformed its industrial organization, making it more efficient and more flexible by homogenizing its different production processes. Oberthur Card Systems also increased its capacity with the expansion of its Chinese embedding and personalization site for mobile communications cards in Shenzhen.

Details

POS Terminal for Theatre Operators Unveiled

Atlanta-based Radiant Systems has introduced a rugged, small footprint POS terminal for theatre operators. The new “Radiant P1210” terminal is powered by the Intel “Celeron” processor and offers an open platform that runs virtually any POS software. The screen is a resistive touch screen, 12.1″ XGA, active matrix display. It has a three-track integrated magnetic stripe reader for credit, debit, loyalty, and employee ID cards. Radiant Systems provides store technology for the foodservice, petroleum and convenience store, and cinema industries.

Details

OFT Investigates Eight Card Issuers Over Penalty Fees

The Office of Fair Trading has confirmed it has made recent inquiry to eight card issuers for details on interest rates and fees triggered by default. The OFT is looking for revenue generated from penalties imposed on cardholders. The investigation came to light in response to a report by a parliamentary committee. In December, Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee ordered issuers to stop overcharging and misleading customers. Barclays 0% balance transfer credit card offer was criticized by the Committee as it requires cardholders to charge 50 pounds per month at a 17.9% rate, that cannot be repaid before the interest-free balance.

Details