A Ontario-based startup has launched a new program that enables sports fans to order and pay for food and beverages from their cell phones and have it all delivered right to their seats. CellBucks confirmed Friday it has sealed its first deal with the Bowie (Maryland) Baysox and Ovations Food Services, the concessionaire at Prince George’s Stadium in Maryland. The new CellBucks payment system is compatible with any type of cell phone on any cellular service provider’s network. The new service will be available for fans seated in reserved or field box seats of the stadium. Users need to visit the CellBucks Web site to register and provide some basic information and a credit card number. Members will instantly be given a personal pass code for immediate use of the service. CellBucks says it is partnering with major restaurant chains to provide efficient ordering for home delivery and drive-through. The service will enable consumers to access menus online and pay via cell phone. Patrick Bird is the founder, president and CEO of the new firm. Bird was the founder and former CEO of Isolation Systems Limited, and developed and deployed first commercial VPN in partnership with Cisco Systems.Details
The International Card Manufacturers Association has named the two recipients of the “Third Annual ICMA Technology Scholarship” which offers each recipient a $2,500 stipend for two years. David Cowan, a junior at McGill University in Montreal and Joe Vasquez a junior at the University of California.Details
Canadian Tire Financial Services reported that its “Project Accelerate” program to convert retail credit accounts to “Options MasterCard” continues to accelerate receivables growth. Approximately 230,000 new “Options MasterCards” have been issued so far this year. The number of Canadian Tire MasterCard accounts increased to 2 million by the end of the second quarter, up 57.3% from the end of the same period last year. Direct acquisition of MasterCard accounts has begun in most markets across the country. At the end of the second quarter, gross receivables at CTFS were $1,586 million, a 31.4% improvement over the comparable quarter last year. “Options MasterCard” receivables grew by 113.2% due primarily to higher sales and average balances from the conversion program. At the end of the second quarter, MasterCard receivables represented 78.4% of the total credit charge receivables. During the balance of 2002, the final group of qualifying retail card accounts will be converted to MasterCard and all in-store account acquisition
programs will be converted from retail card to MasterCard. In this wave of conversions, approximately 186,000 additional retail card accounts and $56 million of retail credit charge receivables are expected to be converted to MasterCard.
Montreal-based SureFire Commerce reported a second calendar quarter loss of $4.9 million, compared to net earnings of $1.0 million in same quarter one year ago. Revenue for the quarter was $11.7 million, compared to $25.8 million for the comparable period of the previous year. The decline in revenue was due to continued softness in its core business of transaction processing for the licensed online gaming industry.
SureFire Commerce adopted a restructuring plan in March, and is executing a strategic plan, announced in May, to accelerate its penetration into three additional niche markets. The restructuring and strategic plans called for a workforce reduction from approximately 275 employees as at March 31 to 175 by June 30. SureFire Commerce’s strategic plan emphasizes revenue diversification, by leveraging existing assets, into the niche markets of bill payments and MOTO, Internet payments processing, and check payments processing.
Toronto-based Mosaic Group reported second quarter revenue of $144.7 million compared to $213.0 million for the same quarter one year ago. Gross profit also declined from $58.3 million in 2Q/01 to $43.2 million. In the second quarter Mosaic continued to implement its restructuring plan announced in January. Key restructuring actions include the consolidation of a number of physical locations, the exit from various unprofitable customer accounts, divestiture of certain non-core businesses and a reduction in the work force. The Company ended the second quarter with total assets of $756.3 million, a decrease of 8% from the year ended December 31, 2001. The largest component of this decrease was goodwill, with a value of $521.3 million, a decrease of $68.4 million over last year. This decrease is primarily due to the impairment loss of $75 million taken on goodwill related to the UK and Marketing and Technology divisions as a result of the adoption by the Company, with effect from January 1, 2002, of the new accounting standards applied to
acquisition related goodwill and intangible assets.
The U.S. GSA officially announced the award of a task order from its Smart Access Common ID Contract to issue the Electronic Treasury Enterprise Card or “E-TREC” card to U.S. Treasury employees. GSA’s FTS issued the $1.4 million task order to Maximus, one of four prime vendors selected under its multiple award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to develop smart card products and services. Approximately 9,000 employees are expected to receive “E-TREC” cards beginning in the fall of 2002. The Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Internal Revenue Service, and Treasury Departmental Offices will participate in the implementation.Details
Cambridge-based WorldPay has launched a global program using MasterCard’s “UCAF” authentication infrastructure which shifts the liability of online transactions away from the online merchant and its acquirer. The implementation of MasterCard UCAF will enable WorldPay’s 17,000-plus multi-currency merchants in 115 countries to accept cardholder authentication information from MasterCard issuers following successful verification of the cardholder’s identity by password, PIN, or other issuer approved authentication techniques. As a result, WorldPay merchants will benefit from MasterCard rule changes that shift liability for fraudulent transactions not authorized by the cardholder away back to the issuer. As WorldPay’s European-based merchants are enabled, they will benefit from this liability shift immediately for all intra-European MasterCard transactions. Subsequently, all of WorldPay’s merchants are positioned to benefit from a MasterCard global liability shift, planned for November for fully authenticated transactions. WorldPay’s Asia Pacific regional center is in Singapore. It also has operations in Germany and South Africa.Details
Credit card asset-backed securitization issuers may face new challenges in the wake of actions taken by the FDIC as receiver NextBank. The recent developments have impacted ABS bondholders and may result in higher credit enhancement levels and potential rating actions for certain credit card ABS issuers going forward. Fitch said Thursday that of the actions taken by the FDIC as receiver, its decision not to fund purchases during early amortization and effectively close charging privileges of the cardholder base has the broadest and most significant ramifications on credit card securitizations. Therefore, Fitch says the most obvious candidates for more severe purchase rate treatment are monoline credit card issuers with significant sub-prime exposure, regulated financial subsidiaries of retail issuers, and issuers currently operating under higher regulatory scrutiny including Providian, Metris, Capital One, and First Consumers.Details
National Processing Company has selected Oasis’ IST/Merchant Accounting System product as a component in its new merchant payment processing and settlement system. IST/MAS provides merchant processors a comprehensive solution for processing merchant credit and debit card transactions. MAS provides processors with the flexibility to manage an unlimited number of merchant business models with highly specific service requirements and processing fee relationships. In addition to financial processing charges for sales, authorizations and chargebacks, MAS provides the flexibility to price transactions according to non-financial services such as point-of-sale terminal rentals, as well as seasonal fees and discount rates. The flexibility of tiered transaction pricing also lets processors price transactions according to volume, and increase or decrease service charges in accordance with volume fluctuations. To facilitate revenue tracking, MAS also interfaces to general ledger systems so merchants can better track revenue and accounting processes.Details
Customers of Hibernia National Bank who make deposits through any of the bank’s New Orleans-area ATMs this month will have a chance to win gift cards from Blockbuster good for one free rental per week for 26 weeks. Starting Monday, and continuing for the next four weeks, Hibernia will randomly select 25 depositors and mail them the free gift cards to use at any of Blockbuster’s 22 area locations. Plus, Hibernia and Blockbuster will also give away one 52-week gift card for an entire year of free weekly rentals to one grand-prize winner. Hibernia says the number of ATM deposits per month has risen 89% since February 2001.Details
U.S. Bank says its secured VISA card program has been a successful part of its one-year old Hispanic market initiative. Launched in July 2001, U.S. Bank’s Hispanic initiative centers around three core objectives, which are to: increase the number of Spanish-speaking Hispanic employees in the branches and throughout the company; become more involved in Hispanic organizations locally and nationally and to develop financial products and services that meet the distinct needs of Hispanics, including bilingual financial education programs.Details
After rumors set Concord EFS stock on a wild ride yesterday, the company announced that it has filed sworn statements of its chairman, CEO, and CFO covering Concord’s historical financial results, as recently required by the SEC. The rumors indicated that Concord was under investigation by the SEC. The company says it has not been notified of any such investigation, nor has the SEC indicated to the firm an interest in gathering information about Concord. The certifications filed Thursday attest to the information contained in Concord’s 2001 Annual Report on Form 10-K and all subsequent periodic reports filed with the SEC on Form 10-Q, most recent Form 8-K, and all definitive proxy materials relating to Concord’s 2002 annual stockholder meeting. For complete details on Concord’s 2Q/02 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).