Chase responded this morning to the new “Citibank Shell MasterCard” will the unveiling of the “Chase Freedom Card” that offers rebates on all gasoline purchases at any gas station, plus a smaller rebate on all other purchases. The new card, targeted at Chase’s current “Shell MasterCard” customers, will offer an automatic 3% rebate on all gasoline purchases, regardless of the brand, and a 1% rebate on all other purchases. For a 90-day introductory period, the new “Chase Freedom” card offers a 6% rebate on all gasoline purchases. There is no annual fee for the first year. The $19 annual fee is waived thereafter if the cardholder makes at least nine purchases in the prior year. The card will carry a prime +9.99% APR for most customers, but a prime +11.99% or prime +15.24% rate will be charged to higher risk consumers. The defensive move by Chase to introduce a replacement card for a co-branded card is reminiscent of Citibank’s 1997 decision to end its co-branded program with Ford Motor Company. Six months later, in early 1998, Citibank introduced the “Driver’s Edge VISA/MasterCard” that offered rebates toward the purchase or lease of any new vehicle, regardless of make or model. (CardTrak 6/30/97; 1/7/98)Details
Lipman has signed a deal to sell more than 6,000 POS terminals to Infinity Data Corporation. The contract is valued at $1.8 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Infinity will purchase and deploy “NURIT” POS terminals over the next 14 months. Infinity is an ISO providing “Class A” support for “NURIT” POS Solutions. Infinity’s primary focus is the “NURIT 2085” card payment terminal and the “NURIT 3000” series countertop payment solutions. Infinity will also sell and support “NURIT” wireless POS solutions.Details
Discover Bank of Delaware has joined NACHA, becoming the 15th financial institution member. NACHA now has 36 members consisting of 21 payments associations and 15 financial institutions. The other financial institution members of NACHA are American Express Centurion Bank, Bank of America, Bank One, BB&T Corporation, Capital One, Citibank, Commerce Bank of New Jersey, FleetBoston Financial, J.P. Morgan Chase, Mellon, National City, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, and Wells Fargo.Details
Boston-based Compete, a predictive analytics services firm, has named Donald McLagan, formerly CEO of NewsEdge Corp., as CEO. McLagan is an information industry entrepreneur who has been an innovator of business information services for more than 30 years. From 1988 to 2000, he was the founder, Chairman and CEO of NewsEdge Corporation, a public company subsequently acquired by Thomson Corporation. Previously, he was Vice President and General Manager of the Information Services Division of Lotus Development Corporation from 1985 to 1988, and a founding employee and Executive Vice President of Data Resources, Inc. from 1969 to 1984. In the late 1960s, he started the Advanced Computer Techniques Group within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Comptroller.Details
First Data reported Thursday that fourth quarter revenues grew 18% over last year, exceeding $2 billion for the first time in the company’s history. Fourth quarter revenue for the Payment Services segment grew 19% over last year, as annual profits exceeded $1.0 billion for the first time. Card Issuing Services grew revenues by 5% in the fourth quarter. Card Issuing Services ended the year with 325 million accounts on file, up 4% from last year. Merchant Services achieved a 22% increase in quarterly revenue to $736 million. Merchant transactions grew 16% for the year and 19% for the quarter. Emerging Payments, First Data’s eONE Global business, reported $147 million in revenue for the year. For complete details on First Data’s 4Q/02 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Brylane has signed a 10-year contract extension with Alliance Data Systems for private label credit services for its catalog brands, including: Chadwick’s of Boston, Lane Bryant Catalog, Roaman’s, Brylane Home, Brylane Home Kitchen, Lerner Catalog, King Size, Jessica London and La Redoute. Alliance Data will continue providing a full array of services, including receivables funding, credit card marketing, billing and remittance processing, and e-business services that complement Brylane’s e-commerce efforts.Details
Starbucks Coffee Japan has selected First Data’s “ValueLink” service to assist in the development and implementation of the “Starbucks Card” program in the coffee company’s 400 Japanese stores. The Starbucks Japan card program mirrors Starbucks one-year old U.S. program, which has been widely accepted by millions of consumers throughout the United States for its convenience and speed of transactions, and which, like other Starbucks merchandise, makes a great gift. ValueLink, a service of a First Data Corp. subsidiary, is an industry leader in gift and spending card programs, offering a wide range of transaction processing, card acquisition, card fulfillment and customer service capabilities.Details
Equifax reported fourth quarter revenue of $293 million, a 4% increase. Net income for the quarter was $49.9 million, up slightly from 4Q/01’s $49.2 million. Equifax’s Direct-to-Consumer revenues doubled to $12 million during 4Q/02. For all of 2002, Equifax’s Consumer Direct business produced revenues of $39 million, an 80% increase over 2001. During the fourth quarter, Equifax acquired affiliate assets from CBC Companies for $95 million. Equifax expects revenue growth for 2003 to fall between 4% and 7%. For complete details on Equifax’s 4Q/02 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
KeyCorp has signed an agreement with WA.-based Fort Lewis Community FCU to provide credit union members with fee-free access to Key’s 2,200 ATM network, including those located in ARCO AM/PM Mini Mart convenience stores along the West Coast. Through the partnership with Key, Fort Lewis Community FCU significantly raised the level of convenience and accessibility it offers its membership, which includes members (and their relatives) of the United States Armed Forces, civilian personnel at Fort Lewis and retired U.S. Department of Defense civilians. At the same time, the credit union is able to provide this service without the sizeable capital, time and labor investments required to build and maintain its own ATM system and necessary transaction processing infrastructure.Details
Billserv has successfully transmitted billing information over the ACH test network. With broader industry participation, this capability effectively allows all banks to offer Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment directly, using their existing ACH connections, and adds an alternative to contracting with bill aggregation providers. This industry-changing movement paves the way for more cost-effective, least-cost routing of both electronic billing information and payments.Details
NCR reported yesterday that its ATM division generated fourth quarter revenue of $346 million, a 1% gain from the comparable period in 2001. The increase in revenue is primarily due to growth in the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions offsetting economic weakness and competitive pressures in the European marketplace. NCR’s Retail Store Automation business recorded fourth quarter revenue of $233 million, up 3% from the fourth quarter of 2001. The Retail Store Automation segment saw an operating loss of $1 million, down from operating income of $11 million in the fourth quarter of 2001. Operating margin declined largely due to competitive pressures and increased costs associated with the company’s supply chain. NCR says revenues for its ATM unit is anticipated to be up 5-10% in the first quarter of 2003. In the first quarter of 2003, Retail Store Automation revenue is expected to be up 20-25% versus the first quarter of 2002 due to strong order backlog. For complete details on NCR’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
The U.S. prepaid calling card industry will grow at a 9.7% CAGR to reach $6.4 billion by 2008. According to a new research report from ATLANTIC-ACM, gross margins for service providers have stabilized, with nearly 44% of phone card providers achieving gross margins (on sales) of 25% or higher. Retail breakage (the amount of unused time on a prepaid card when it expires or is discarded) has declined from 12%, on average, in 1998 to 10% in 2002 ATLANTIC-ACM also found that 74% of service providers expect to add POS activation features by 2005. Sixty-nine percent of service providers expect to include foreign-language options on their prepaid card offerings by 2005.Details