Accesspoint 1H/03 Revenues Up 8%

Los Angeles-based credit card processor Accesspoint reported that revenues for the first six months of 2003 were $6.8 million compared to $6.3 million for the first half of 2002. Since new management assumed operational control of the Company in January 2002, the Company continues to report strong operating results. The second quarter of 2003 continues the trend of growing revenue, lowered expenses, increased EBITDA and improved cashflow.

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Laurentian Bank Cuts Branches, Focuses on ABM to Reach Consumers

Struggling Laurentian Bank is unloading 57 branches and shrinking its market footprint to the Quebec area. However, the Bank said it will now maximize its efforts to reach the entire Canadian market through its ABM network, “Telebanking Centre,” and, its “VISA Card” program.
Based on the number of branches in Quebec, Laurentian Bank is the third largest financial institution. The Bank is also a leader in the indirect sales field. As such, it offers independent merchants a broad range of financing products for their clients. Doing business with more than 7,632 merchants across Canada, the Bank says it is very active in this field and intends to continue its efforts to expand the point-of-sale network it serves. Laurentian Bank is selling 57 branches and a loan portfolio valued approximately at CDN $2.0 billion and a deposit portfolio valued approximately at CDN $1.9 billion to TD Bank Financial Group.

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CompuCredit’s Jefferson Capital Pays-Off

CompuCredit’s new collection subsidiary is paying off, as the business produced nearly 18% of the issuer’s second quarter net income. Late last year, CompuCredit formed Jefferson Capital Systems to target the defaulted receivables recovery area. The issuer says it entered the business because it believes many charged off credit card receivables are undervalued and because of the firm’s excess servicing capacity resulting from the declines in managed receivables. Through Jefferson Capital, CompuCredit acquired defaulted accounts with an aggregate face value amount of approximately $302 million at a cost of $9.4 million during the second quarter, and these activities generated pre-tax net income of $5.8 million during this same period. For the first six months of this year, the firm acquired defaulted accounts with an aggregate face value amount of $1.8 billion at a cost of $24.3 million, and these activities generated pre-tax net income of $10.2 million during this same period. All but one of the Company’s acquisitions of previously charged off credit card receivables during the first two quarters of 2003 were from the securitization trusts underlying the Company’s retained interests investments ($23.9 million in purchase price). For complete details on CompuCredit’s 2Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Card Late Fees Drive Electronic Checking

According to a new survey, the most common reason cited for choosing electronic checking was to avoid late payment fees. The survey, commissioned by payment processor Paymentech, also found that only half of 18-34 year olds pay bills with a paper check and that households with incomes of more than $75K a year are twice as likely to pay bills online. Other key findings: half of households with 6-8 people have used e-checking in the last year; Hispanics are more likely to use e-checking than Caucasians and African Americans; and, 45% of Americans who e-checked four to 10 times in the last year did so to avoid late charges. Electronic checking allows consumers to provide their bank account information to have a bill debited from their account – either on a one-time or recurring basis.

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Providian’s Charge-Offs Rise, But Stay Lower

Providian reported Friday that charge-offs for its securitized card loans headed north during July to 17.39%, but remain substantially lower than levels posted for the first five months of this year. However, Providian’s delinquency rate resumed its downward trend during July, after a one-month uptick in June. Providian’s securitized delinquency rate for July dropped 2 basis points to 11.96%, compared to 11.98% in June, and 13.26% in January. On a reported basis, Providian’s charge-offs dropped to 12.05% for July, compared to 12.85% in June, and 15.16% for May. Reported delinquency declined to 7.70% in July, from 8.31% in June and 8.68% in May. On August 1st, Providian sold approximately $824 million in credit card receivables, representing about 435,000 credit card accounts, to CompuCredit and Merrill Lynch. (CF Library 8/14/03)

SECURITIZED PVN 2003
Month Charge-offs Delinquency
Jan 03 19.38% 13.26%
Feb 03 18.23% 12.89%
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%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Bankrate Back on Nasdaq National Markets

FL-based Bankrate will resume trading on the Nasdaq National Market today after it was delisted in early 2001. Bankrate, Inc. (Nasdaq: RATE) owns and operates Bankrate.com, the Internet’s leading consumer banking marketplace. Bankrate.com averages 4 million unique visitors per month. Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in more than 180 markets in 50 states.

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Spiegel Names New CIO

The Spiegel Group promoted Richard Mozack to VP/CIO, replacing David Kardesh who resigned to accept a position at another company. Mozack leads all of the information systems application development, technical services and network services for The Spiegel Group. Prior to joining The Spiegel Group, Mozack held a variety of hardware development and marketing positions at IBM, including development engineer, systems engineer, account systems engineer and advisory marketing specialist. The Spiegel Group is a leading international specialty retailer marketing fashionable apparel and home furnishings to customers through catalogs, specialty retail and outlet stores, and e-commerce sites, including eddiebauer.com, newport-news.com and spiegel.com.

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Roundy’s Hits the FastLane

Roundy’s, the nation’s eighth largest grocery wholesaler with 800 stores serving 12 states, announced last week it plans to install NCR’s “FastLane” self-checkout solution in two of its supermarket chains. According to a study conducted recently for NCR by premier global market intelligence and advisory firm IDC, nearly 80 percent of U.S. consumers said they would be likely or very likely to use self-checkout. More than 40 percent said they would be more likely to shop in a store that offered self-checkout than one that did not.

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Upromise Adds 10 More Brands to Program

MA-based Upromise has added ten more national brands to its program including CoverGirl, Folgers, Jimmy Dean breakfast sausages, Lucky Leaf and Musselmans Apple Sauce and Pie Filling, O-Cel-O Sponges, Olay skin care, as well as Peter Piper’s, Nally, Steinfield’s, Heifetz and Farman’s pickles and relishes. Upromise families now receive up to 5 percent of the product’s purchase price in their Upromise college savings account whenever they buy any of more than 6,000 items at more than 16,000 participating grocery and drug stores. Upromise also announced that several more grocery products would display the Upromise logo on their packaging, making it easier for members to save — and demonstrating the growing popularity of Upromise.

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Purchasing Card Spending Doubles

A new study has found that annual purchasing card spend doubled from $40 billion to $80 billion in the two-year period between January 2001 and January 2003. The research also found that purchasing cards have provided a 74% reduction in procurement cycle time; a 57% reduction in the number of petty cash accounts; and a 42% reduction in the number of suppliers in the maintenance, repair and operations supplier base. The “2003 Purchasing Card Benchmark Survey” conducted by Richard Palmer and Mahendra Gupta, revealed the importance of self-management tools and their significance to card performance. They found that businesses want transaction data that can be self-managed in real-time and provide a clear and comprehensive view of their payment cycles and also that organizations will increase overall transaction activity and the amount spent per transaction when their satisfaction with data transmission and data integration is high. Palmer/Gupta found that the main barriers to using purchasing cards for higher ticket goods and services are: the perceived inability to obtain detailed information about purchases of higher priced goods; and how card use will integrate into existing business processes. The study concluded that purchasing card use is generating transaction cost savings of more than $23 billion per year as a result of improved efficiencies.

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FHMS Complete Global Card Acquisition

First Tennessee’s First Horizon Merchant Services has completed the purchase of the existing stock of Orlando, FL-based Global Card Services, a firm offering services that process, collect and manage transaction data for high-end hospitality merchants. First Horizon Merchant Services is a member of the First Tennessee National Corp. family of companies and is one of the most successful processors of credit card payments for the travel industry. Global Card Services, Inc. will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of First Horizon Merchant Services, Inc. and will remain a separate company serving the hospitality industry. Global Card Services, Inc. is located in Orlando, FL, and was principally owned by its founder, William Marshall; its President and CEO Mark A. Silverman and Paul Noblett, a long-standing board member.

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