GM announced yesterday that “The GM MasterCard” will become the official credit card of the “American Le Mans Series” for 2003. In addition to the official card status, “The GM Card” will be an associate sponsor of Corvette Racing in 2003. Under the terms of the agreement, highly visible GM Card decals will outfit two Corvette race cars, show cars, team transporters, team uniforms, crew team uniforms and fire suits. Earlier this month, General Motors signed an endorsement agreement with PGA golfer J.J. Henry whereby he will carry a bag branded by “The GM Card” at all remaining 2003 PGA Tour events, and make a number of personal appearances on behalf of the co-branded card. As of January 2003, there were 6.9 million GM cardholders. (CF Library 4/3/03; 4/8/03)Details
Global Payment Technologies, Inc., a leading manufacturer and innovator of currency acceptance systems used in the worldwide gaming, beverage, and vending industries, announced that Edward Seidenberg has been appointed as a director and will be nominated for election to the Company’s Board of Directors at the annual meeting of shareholders on May 22, 2003.Details
U.S. credit card losses could go much higher if the economy slides back. Standard & Poor’s says the Iraq war has consumers and their lenders nervous and, in the near term, the war could send oil prices up while further terror attacks on the U.S. could damage consumer confidence. According to a new S&P report, consumer spending has recovered from its post-Sept. 11, 2001 drop, but employment is down sharply and the only real driver for the economy is federal spending. The economy has lost two million jobs since early 2001, which should also inhibit consumer spending. March may remain the monthly peak because of the concentration of losses, but charge-offs will remain above 7% in early 2003. Losses will then gradually slide back below 7% says S&P.Details
MBNA reported yesterday that delinquency and charge-offs declined again in March. The nation’s second largest issuer reported that charge-offs dropped to 5.05% last month, compared to 5.10% for February, and 5.15% for January. Delinquency declined from 4.85% in January to 4.62% for March. February’s delinquency rate was 4.91%. MBNA also reported that managed credit card outstandings for the end of March were $92.1 billion. MBNA also holds nearly $14 billion in other consumer loans. MBNA will release its first quarter earnings results on April 23rd.Details
Hypercom has been awarded a 12-month, multi-million dollar contract for 10,000 card payment terminals and technology by JRs POS Depot. JRs is a full service transaction equipment company provider of POS equipment and services based in Ft. Lauderdale, with sales representation in Chesterfield, MO. Earlier this month, IL-based ABANCO International awarded Hypercom a $16 million contract for payment technology and terminals. ABANCO is an ISO and a registered agent of EFS National Bank and Fleet National Bank. Also NJ-based MSI Merchant Services signed a one-year contract for 10,000 Hypercom “ICE” card payment terminals. MSI provides services to more than 25,000 businesses in the retail, hospitality and emerging market sectors. (CF Library 4/2/03)Details
Capital One Financial Corporation announced it has retained the services of McCann-Erickson Worldwide as its new advertising agency of record to handle all advertising responsibilities, effectively immediately.The agency will seek to leverage and evolve the company’s existing best-in-class campaign to improve upon its success, both in the U.S. and abroad.Details
WI-based Associated Card Services Bank reported a 26% jump in first quarter outstandings while MO-based Commerce Bancshares reported a 5% jump in credit card receivables. At the end of the first quarter, Associated reported $808.2 million in outstandings compared to $642.9 million for 1Q/02. Associateds’ gross accounts hit 103,448 from 100,822 at year-end 2002. Commerce outstandings increased from $479.5 million one year ago to $503.0 million for 1Q/03. Commerce also added new accounts during the first quarter, rising to 638,022 from 630,615 at year-end 2002, according to CardData’s first quarter portfolio survey ([www.carddata.com]).
JCB, Toppan Printing, and Maxell have teamed to launch the international brand certification process for the new “Convex Letter Card” technology for smart cards. The system produces convex letters in clear plastic on the face of the card plastic without causing depressions on the reverse of the card. As a result, the internal antenna and chip used in contactless smart cards are not damaged. This new technology will be used on JCB’s own new combined employee ID and credit card in May.
When brand certification is complete, JCB will be combining the technology with its existing solutions for the public transport, retailing and corporate markets, and at the same time deploying it into the international market through JCB brand card issuers.
Points International Ltd, operator of the leading loyalty currency exchange located at [www.points.com], announced the close of a previously announced transaction with USA Interactive. The $15.1 million investment also includes $2.7 million for warrants that will allow USA to purchase enough shares to increase its stake in Points to 55% at any time over the next three years.