Brussels-based VASCO Data Security International reported the best quarter since it became a public company in 1998, in terms of net income. The company reported first quarter revenues of $5.6 million, 7% lower than the same quarter of the prior year. The Company reported net income for the first quarter of $481,000 compared with a net loss of $1,900,000 and $160,000 for the fourth quarter and first quarter of 2002, respectively. VASCO said it added 170 new customers during the quarter. VASCO designs, develops, markets and supports patented “Identity Authentication” products for e-business and e-commerce. VASCO’s Identity Authentication software is delivered via its Digipass security products, small “calculator” hardware devices carried by an end user, or in a software format on mobile phones, other portable devices, and PCs.Details
Vodafone New Zealand Limited has signed a contract with Euronet Worldwide’s e-pay Australia subsidiary for an electronic top-up service. Vodafone has approximately 1.2 million subscribers, representing 50% of mobile phone users in New Zealand. e-pay Australia has contracted with several major retailers, supporting more than 300 terminals throughout New Zealand to provide the e-top-up services. e-pay is the largest electronic payments processor of prepaid mobile airtime top-up services in the U.K. and Australia. Founded in 1999, e-pay, focuses on cash-based recharge, or the “top-up” market for processing electronic purchases of prepaid mobile airtime and long-distance calling cards. The company currently supports top-up purchases for mobile service providers at more than 50,000 POS terminals in approximately 18,000 retail locations.Details
Fitch Ratings is maintaining its negative rating outlook on U.S. consumer finance companies in 2003, although the pace of negative rating actions is expected to slow, as rating outlooks are becoming more stable, according to a new report published this week by the rating agency titled ‘U.S. Consumer Finance: A Light at the End of the Rating Tunnel in 2003’.Details
Fair Isaac has launched its next-generation fraud management solution. “Fraud Predictor with Merchant Profiles” combines the predictive power of a new pool of information — merchant data based on transaction and fraud history — with the core analytic power of Fair Isaac’s “Falcon Fraud Manager 4.5” solution. Fair Isaac says initial tests of the new fraud tool demonstrate as much as a 50% incremental improvement in fraud detection over the performance of “Falcon.” “Version 4.5” of “Falcon” is available immediately. “Fraud Predictor with Merchant Profiles” will be available to North American payment card issuers in June.Details
Tier Technologies said Thursday that based on the early results of the Official Payments’ federal tax season, and in light of the challenging market conditions in the government and commercial market segments, it is revising its outlook for the balance of the fiscal year. Tier expects revenue in the third fiscal quarter to be in the range of $46 million to $48 million, and fourth quarter revenue to be in the range of $36 million to $38 million. In the first and second quarters, Official Payments had shown growth in IRS income tax payment dollars processed of 65% and 37%, respectively. However, during the April 1st through April 15th federal tax seasons, Official Payments processed 21% more total federal tax transactions but was essentially flat in terms of total federal tax dollars processed as compared to the prior-year period. Based on preliminary IRS reports for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2002 through April 19, 2003, Official Payments processed 76% of total federal tax transactions and 82% of total federal tax dollars paid to the IRS through credit cards. For complete details on Tier Technologies’ 1Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Providian reported 1Q/03 net income of $4.7 million, compared to net income of $10.0 million in the first quarter of 2002. The issuer added approximately 600,000 new accounts in the first quarter, ending the quarter with approximately 11.7 million accounts. Managed loans for the first quarter were $18.47 billion, compared to $19.63 billion one year ago. Providian says the decline in managed loans was due to net credit losses and a seasonal increase in payments. Charge-offs for 1Q/03 were 17.61%, compared to 17.34% in the previous quarter, and 15.05% one year ago. Providian’s 30+ day delinquency rate at the end of the first quarter was 10.31%, compared to 11.11% at the end of the fourth quarter, and 10.22% at the end of 1Q/02. For complete details on Providian’s 1Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
American Express TRS reported first quarter profits of $584 million, a 25% increase over 1Q/02. The new “Green” and “Gold” rewards cards, and the “Cash Rebate Card,” introduced last year continued to drive U.S. portfolio expansion, adding 300,000 net new cards during the first three months of this year. AmEx’s U.S. gross dollar volume increased 10.5%, and credit card loans increased by more than 8% during the first quarter. Credit quality held steady during the first quarter as delinquency (30+ days) and charge-offs remained unchanged from the fourth quarter. Delinquency and charge-offs were both significantly down over year-ago levels. AmEx’s net interest yield increased 40 basis points over 4Q/02 and 20 basis points over 1Q/02. AmEx says total expenses increased 3% for 1Q/03. Marketing and promotion expenses rose 8% from year-ago levels, reflecting the continued expansion of card-acquisition programs. For complete details on AmEx’s fourth quarter performance as well as prior quarters visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
American Express U.S. Card Portfolio Snapshot
1Q/03 4Q/02 3Q/02 2Q/02 1Q/02 Ann Chng
Volume $58.9b 62.9b 58.2b 58.7b 54.3b +8.5%
Loans $34.6b 34.3b 32.2b 31.6b 31.3b +10.5%
Cards 35.4m 35.1m 34.8m 34.8m 34.8m +1.7%
Delinq* 3.1% 3.1% 3.2% 3.1% 3.4% -8.8%
Losses 5.5% 5.5% 5.6% 6.2% 6.5% -15.4%
Yield** 9.4% 9.8% 9.7% 9.8% 9.6% -2.1%
* 30+ days past due; ** net interest yield
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Wells Fargo, the nation’s #1 lender to small businesses, announced the new Wells Fargo Business Services packages, bundled financial services designed to address the unique needs of small business owners. The three new package options are available for businesses of all different sizes, and provides significant savings along with increased efficiency.Details
Merchant Services, Inc. (MSI), a leading provider of bankcard merchant services, launched 1-800-BANKCARD, a new marketing identity program for MSI and its network of ISOs. In addition, Hypercom named MSI’s New Jersey headquarters “ISO of the Year” for 2002 at the recently concluded ETA 2003 meeting.Details