Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson testified this week before Congress that in the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy, when air transportation came to a standstill and the flow of checks slowed dramatically, the Federal Reserve Banks’ daily check float, which is normally a few hundred million dollars, ballooned to more than $47 billion. Ferguson says that this problem would been eliminated if the proposed Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act were in effect. Banks process the more than 40 billion checks that consumers, businesses, and the government write each year. Legal impediments have prevented the banking industry from fully using new electronic technologies, such as digital imaging. For example, existing law requires that the original paper checks be presented for payment unless the banks involved agree otherwise. The proposed legislation, H.R. 5414, allows check truncation early in the check collection or return process without mandating that banks accept checks in electronic form. Meanwhile, NACHA reported earlier this week that during the first six months of this year, more then 200 million e-check payments were made by consumers. In 2001 there were 88.7 million e-checks originated at the point-of-sale, 74.6 million originated on the Internet, and 8.7 million originated via the telephone. (CF Library 9/24/02)Details
National Processing Company, a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and a wholly owned subsidiary of National Processing, Inc., announced the signing of a multi-year agreement with Wild Oats Markets, Inc. to provide processing of credit, debit and EBT transactions. Under the terms of the agreement, NPC will provide authorization and settlement services for all VISA and MasterCard transactions, as well as act as the single point of settlement for debit cards accepted at the company’s stores across the United States.
Headquartered in Boulder, Colo., Wild Oats Markets, Inc. is a leading national natural and organic foods retailer that was founded in 1987 with the vision of enhancing the lives of customers with products and education that support health and well-being. The company is committed to providing the highest quality, organic and natural health and wellness products in vibrant stores staffed with friendly and knowledgeable people. The company’s stores offer a one-stop shop with a product selection process designed to ensure items meet a rigorous criteria for being “natural,” which excludes artificial colors, flavors and additives, and that includes consideration to the supplier’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
“We are excited about the enhancements that our technology will deliver to Wild Oats Markets,” said Tim Munto, senior vice president of Retail Sales for NPC. “Wild Oats’ commitment and dedication to enhancing the way consumers shop for natural and organic foods has revolutionized the natural products industry. We look forward to working with Wild Oats as their merchant processor and playing an important role in fulfilling their vision and dedication to customer satisfaction.”
“As part of our strategic initiatives to enhance our operations, we are identifying opportunities to improve our delivery systems without sacrificing the quality of the service we provide to our customers,” said Ed Dunlap, chief financial officer at Wild Oats. “We listen to our customers and implement new products and programs that benefit their overall experience in our stores. We chose NPC because they listened to our needs and provided us innovative merchant processing solutions to manage our electronic payments platform.”
About Wild Oats Markets, Inc.
Wild Oats Markets, Inc. is a nationwide chain of natural and organic markets in the United States and Canada. With annual sales of nearly $900 million the company operates a total of 101 stores in 23 states and British Columbia. The Company’s natural food stores include Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, Henry’s Marketplace, Nature’s – a Wild Oats Market, Sun Harvest and Capers Community Markets. For more information please visit the company’s website: . About National Processing, Inc.
National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, National Processing Company (NPC(R)) is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. National Processing is 85 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ( ), a Cleveland based $99 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 645,000 merchant locations, representing nearly one out of every five VISA(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering their total cost of card acceptance through world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be obtained at .Details
Citibank has begun accepting the Discover Card for cash advances at its approximately 450 Financial Centers and more than 2,000 ATM locations nationwide. Discover has more than 50 million cardholders and approximately 4 million merchant and cash access locations. As of August 31st, Discover had 46.2 million accounts and 22.8 million active accounts, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com]). (CF Library 9/20/02)
Arcot Systems, Inc., a leading provider of solutions for securing electronic identities, announced that it is Identrus Compliant with its ArcotID software smart card for secure authentication and digital signing. This solution, which is available today, is the first Identrus Compliant form of private key protection done exclusively in software. Identrus standards can now be met through a software-based solution that is simpler and less expensive to deploy than the currently available hardware-based alternatives.
The ArcotID software smart card has been certified as Identrus Compliant based on its universal signing capability that accepts industry standard smart cards and digital certificates. To obtain Identrus certification, Arcot met Identrus requirements and was certified for secure authentication and signing. This provides Identrus customers with the opportunity to deploy flexible software-based certificates in addition to hardware-based smart cards.
The Arcot approach relies on the ArcotID software smart card to strongly authenticate users and digitally sign transactions, performing all the functions of a traditional, physical smart card but in a software format. Using Arcot’s patented camouflage approach to securing a private key, the Arcot ID securely protects a user’s credential in a tamper-proof software container, while providing the end user the maximum flexibility and convenience by virtue of its portability and roaming capability. Arcot’s solution offers a universal signing interface that provides strong authentication and digital signing for users whether they choose to use an industry standard hardware-based smart card and digital certificate or the ArcotID software smart card. This flexibility and interoperability is a great benefit to banks that need to support and add multiple authentication approaches across user groups and still administer and control them from a single platform.
“We are delighted that Identrus has certified the ArcotID software-based digital certificate solution” said Robert Ludlum VP, of ABN AMRO’s Working Capital eCommerce Group. “With Arcot, Identrus banks now have an additional option that is scalable, cost effective and easy to deploy. This gives our customers new choices to support their growing requirements for secure solutions that can be implemented with greater flexibility.”
“Strongly authenticated proof of identity and digital signatures are a requirement for global e-commerce. It is our goal to provide a range of options to meet the needs of Identrus banks and their commercial customers.” said Greg Worch, chief marketing officer of Identrus. “Our work with Arcot helps us achieve this goal.”
“Arcot and Identrus are working together to expand e-commerce by providing trusted services,” said Ram Varadarajan, President and CEO of Arcot. “Our unique software smart card approach will help accelerate e-business initiatives for Identrus banks. It solidifies Arcot’s position as the pre-eminent provider of digital authentication solutions for financial institutions.”
The ArcotID stores an individual’s digital credentials in a tamperproof software container that can only be activated using a PIN number known only to the user (much like an ATM card). The software container is protected by Arcot’s patented Cryptographic Camouflage technology, and is impervious to any direct or offline hacker attack. The ArcotID has a very small “footprint” and can be easily downloaded to any device the user chooses from their home PC to a PDA or a cell phone, and the user can keep multiple ArcotIDs on multiple devices without fear of compromise. In this way, the user can enter into a secure business transaction from anywhere, anytime.
Arcot Systems, Inc. is the leading provider for securing identity and payments in Internet-scale, transactional and wireless environments. Only Arcot provides cost-effective, scalable, software solutions based on the ArcotID(TM) Software Smart Card for strongly authenticating users and transactions for payment systems, Web-based email, Web portals and virtual private networks. Arcot solutions meet the business need for strong transactional security while providing the customer a user-friendly experience with anytime, anywhere convenience. Arcot serves over 3000 customers today including leaders in financial services, healthcare, and e-commerce that use Arcot solutions to protect their customers’ privacy and reduce fraud. For more information, visit [www.arcot.com].
Fitch Ratings has revised its “Rating Outlook” on Sears to “Negative” from “Stable.” The change reflects Sears’ weak sales trends, growing competition from the discounters, and disruptions from store remodeling activities. However, Fitch notes that Sears has begun to generate growth in its credit business, as receivable growth from the “Sears Gold MasterCard” has more than offset declines in the “Sears Card.” Fitch says a portion of the decline in the store card receivables is due to the substitution of the “Sears Gold MasterCard” for the “Sears Card.” While overall portfolio quality trends have been steady, Fitch foresees the potential that these trends could be pressured by prolonged economic weakness. According to CardData, Sears had $8.5 billion in MasterCard outstandings at mid-year and 22 million accounts.Details
Datacard Group is expanding the development staff in its Bangalore
software center from 40 to 60 engineers over the next 6 to 10 months. New
software developers will work on a variety of smart card projects,
including enhancements to the Datacard “Affina” life cycle management
solution for multi-application smart card programs. In addition to smart
card solutions, software engineers in Bangalore collaborate with Datacard
technical staff in United States and the United Kingdom on software
solutions for high-volume card operations and secure identity programs.
Datacard says it has completed ISO 9001:2000 certification in both the U.S.
and the U.K., and will complete the process in India in October.
Elan Financial Services, a single-source provider of transaction processing for financial institutions nationwide, has signed five new clients that will utilize ATM and debit card services offered through Elan.
The five new clients range in asset size from $20 million to $714 million and include:
— First State Bank Shannon-Polo, based in Polo, Ill.,
— Home Federal Savings Bank, based in Rochester, Minn.,
— Saginaw Automotive Employees Federal Credit Union, based in Saginaw, Mich.,
— Hoosier Hills Credit Union, based in Bedford, Ind., and
— Illinois Community Credit Union, based in Sycamore, Ill.
“Elan has enabled First State Bank Shannon-Polo to improve customer service by providing our transaction files prior to nightly processing. Elan continues to excel in their customer service phone support to quickly resolve any issues and questions which arise,” Perry Byers, vice president with First State Bank Shannon-Polo.
“These five new signings are important to Elan as we continue to grow our ATM and debit services,” said Jan Estep, executive vice president of Elan Financial Services. “More and more financial institutions are looking to trusted outsource providers to efficiently manage the services that their customers have come to expect from their financial institution. We’re honored that these five institution have chosen to partner with Elan.” ATM solutions from Elan offer a full range of authorization processing, terminal driving and switching services through a wide array of network options, along with all the necessary card management and support functions. Likewise, Elan bolsters debit programs for financial institutions by offering their customers the ability to perform PIN-based and signature-based transactions, a payment option that’s safer and more flexible and convenient than checks or cash. For the financial institution client, that means increased revenues, decreased expenses and reliable delivery. For their cardholders, it means world-wide acceptance that provides for maximum convenience and flexibility.
Elan Financial Services, as part of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), supports more than 7,000 ATMs, 14 million ATM/POS cards, and 8 million credit cardholders with a complete range of products and services including credit card issuing, ATM, debit card, and merchant processing. Elan provides full-service support and management tools, which are secured with a unique Service Guarantee, to more than 3,000 financial institutions.
For more information call 1-800-343-7064 or visit [www.elanfinancialservices.com]. With assets in excess of $173 billion, U.S. Bancorp is the 8th largest financial services holding company in the United States and operates the third largest bank-owned ATM network.
Credit card delinquencies rose to 3.91% in the second quarter from 3.88% in the first quarter, according to data gathered by the American Bankers Association. Second quarter credit card delinquencies based on total dollars outstanding fell to 4.08% from the previous quarter’s 4.50% level but below the 4.13% level reported one year ago. The ABA says that even though delinquent credit card accounts edged up slightly, the good news is that the balances on those accounts dropped sharply and are at their lowest level in nearly two years. The composite ratio of closed-end installment loans 30 days or more past due also rose, to 2.17% of all accounts from 2.10% in the first quarter. The composite ratio tracks eight closed-end consumer installment loans including auto, home equity and personal loans. Late payments on home equity lines of credit decreased from 0.64% in the first quarter to 0.58% in the second quarter.
2Q CREDIT CARD DELINQUENCY HISTORY (based on total dollars outstanding)
2002: 4.08% 1998: 4.57% 1994: 3.06% 1990: 3.46% 1986: 3.83% 1982: 3.03%
2001: 4.13% 1997: 5.24% 1993: 3.86% 1989: 3.06% 1985: 2.88% 1981: 2.86%
2000: 3.54% 1996: 4.61% 1992: 4.19% 1988: 3.44% 1984: 2.80% 1980: 3.25%
1999: 4.10% 1995: 3.58% 1991: 4.48% 1987: 3.28% 1983: 2.81%
Source: American Bankers Association Delinquency Bulletin
Genpass Service Solutions, the largest independent ATM maintenance and servicing company in the U.S., announced a three-year servicing contract renewal for Whitney National Bank’s more than 200 ATMs.
Whitney National is a subsidiary of Whitney Holding Company (NASDAQ:WTNY). Genpass Service Solutions is a subsidiary of Genpass Inc., the second largest network ATM driver in the U.S. and owner and operator of the MoneyMaker(SM) and MONEY BELT(R)EFT networks.
Whitney National Bank is the oldest continuously operating bank in New Orleans and a banking industry leader in the Gulf South with $6 billion in assets. The bank maintains 120 branches along the Gulf in the states of Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas, plus a branch on Grand Cayman.
Whitney’s ATMs have been serviced and maintained by Genpass Service Solutions technical teams for the last three years. Walter G. Brunken, Jr., vice president, who arranged the contract for Whitney, had this to say about the renewal: “Our ATM program offers convenience and value-added services for our customers, so it is important to us to pick a service vendor that keeps these goals in mind. Genpass Service Solutions has provided consistently good service combined with a responsive management team.”
Tim Connor, president of Genpass Service Solutions, added his view: “Whitney has been our customer for several years during which we have built a consistent record of service and product reliability. Providing prompt, specialized, and cost-effective service is our commitment to Whitney. We are looking forward to our continued relationship with Whitney for many years to come.”
About Whitney Bank
Whitney National Bank, which has been in continuous operation since 1883, engages in community banking in its market areas in the five state Gulf Coast region, including Houston, Texas; southern Louisiana; the coastal region of Mississippi; central and south Alabama; and the panhandle of Florida. The bank also has a foreign branch on Grand Cayman in the British West Indies. Whitney has an active EFT program with over 200 ATMs throughout its 120-branch system.
About GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC, Genpass Inc., and Genpass Service Solutions
GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC, a leading private equity investment firm, owns and operates Genpass Inc., the parent company of Genpass Technologies, LLC, and its subsidiaries. GTCR currently manages more than $4 billion in equity capital invested in companies providing transaction processing, information technology services, financial services and marketing services. Genpass Inc., with headquarters in Pennsylvania, owns the MoneyMaker(SM) and MONEY BELT(R) EFT networks through its Irving, Texas-based subsidiary Genpass Technologies. Genpass Technologies is listed in The EFT Data Book (2002 edition) as the second largest ATM network processor and network ATM driver in the U.S., driving approximately 24,000 ATMs spanning the country. Genpass processes over 360 million transactions annually. The company also operates Genpass ATM Solutions — providing a strategic solution to ATM-owning and placement — and Genpass Card Solutions, offering specialized card services such as payroll and medical benefits card programs. Genpass Service Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Genpass Technologies, LLC, is the largest independent ATM servicing company in the U.S. The company serves over 500 financial institutions, independent sales organizations, and corporate customers providing monitoring, service dispatch, maintenance, cash replenishment, and operating supplies for virtually every model of ATM hardware.Details
Royal Philips Electronics this week introduced a multi-standard
single-chip reader IC for contactless smart cards. The “CL RC623 IC”
operates at 13.56 MHz and fully supports ISO 14443 and ISO 15693 or
Philips’ “MIFARE” and “I.CODE.” Philips’ single chip reader IC offers
system integrators the flexibility to develop interoperable RFID systems
for different high volume reader applications including public transport,
road tolling, access control schemes and supply chain management. The
design of the new reader IC is also pin-to-pin compatible with Philips’
existing reader ICs including the “MIFARE” smart card reader “IC MFRC 500”
and the “I.CODE” smart label reader “IC SLRC 400.” The CL RC632 is
available now and is priced at US $13.5/pcs at volumes of 100k.
First Data has signed a multi-year agreement to continue to provide processing services for debit cards issued by JPMorgan Chase Bank. In July, First Data announced that it would produce and mail statements and letters for several retail lines of business within JPMorgan Chase, including credit cards, home finance and auto finance. FDC also participates in a joint venture with JPMorgan Chase called Chase Merchant Services, the largest merchant acquirer in the payments industry. First Data also provides card processing and plastics production for Chase’s credit card business. First Data, which has worked with JPMorgan Chase and its predecessor firms since 1989. FDC processes more than 53 million debit cards for some of the world’s largest debit card issuers.Details
Household announced a new private label credit card partnership with GM Goodwrench. The GM Goodwrench card will offer a credit line for use in purchasing GM service, parts and accessories at GM Goodwrench Service Plus dealers nationwide. Household says the card will engage new and used vehicle owners at the point of sale, thus developing loyalty and long-term relationships with their dealers and customers. In 2003, the card will be made available to all GM dealers. Household announced the Toshiba private label credit card program earlier this week. (CF Library 9/25/02) The company also announced Wednesday the appointment of Frances Bedekovic, former Acting Secretary of Banking of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as VP, policy and compliance for the company’s consumer lending division.Details