Kansas-based Wirca has introduced the first software application that allows consumers to complete mobile-phone-initiated, cashless payments at retail stores and restaurants equipped with Hypercom’s ICE card payment terminals. Wirca’s PocketChange application is running in test markets on Hypercom’s 5500 and ICE 5500/5700Plus terminals. The mobile payment functionality can be added to the Hypercom terminals via a simple software download. The Learning Tree store chain is currently testing PocketChange. Hypercom’s ICE 5500Plus and ICE 5700Plus are high performance, high speed, touch screen card payment terminals that incorporate Hypercom’s new SureLoad clamshell printing technology and ePOS-infocommerce framework.Details
UPS and PayPal have partnered to completely integrate the online payment process with digital shipping tools. This is the first time that UPS has integrated its shipping API into a third party’s branded product. The “PayPal Shipping With UPS” enables customer shipping information to be populated into the shipping label as a one-step process. Any PayPal user may utilize the new feature, enabling sellers to pay shipping charges via a PayPal virtual debit card. UPS bills sellers directly for shipping charges. As a result, sellers do not need to worry about collecting additional money for shipping and buyers are not overcharged. The PayPal service automatically sends payment to the seller at the close of a transaction. Since going public in February, PayPal has formed a number of strategic alliances and is in the process of switching its U.S. credit card processing services from InterCept’s Electronic Payment Exchange to Wells Fargo. PayPal also offers a co-branded MasterCard debit card which is linked to PayPal’s interest earning “Money Market Reserve Fund” which holds funds pending PayPal transactions. (CF Library 12/22/00; 6/13/02)Details
While Morgan Stanley experienced sharply lower profits from its securities business during the second quarter, its Credit Services division, which includes Discover Card, posted a 15% increase in earnings to $196 million. Although credit card receivables and volume declined in fiscal 2Q/02, higher net interest, cardholder late fee revenues, and lower marketing expenses produced the strong profits. The interest rate spread widened 123 basis points compared to 2Q/01, driven by a decline in credit services cost of funds. Merchant and cardholder fees rose 8% to $552 million as a result of higher cardholder fees, especially late charges, and an increase in the merchant discount rate. The credit card net charge-off rate rose to 6.30%, 132 basis points higher than a year ago, a 26.5% increase. Discover says this is due to continued weakness in the U.S. economy and the adverse impact of the seasoning of cardholder accounts. The over-30 day delinquency rate improved to 5.63%, the lowest level in the last seven quarters. Discover add 200,000 net new accounts during the quarter, but the number of active accounts declined by 400,000 compared to the previous quarter. For complete details on Morgan Stanley/Discover’s second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
DISCOVER CARD PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
2Q/01* 3Q/01* 4Q/01* 1Q/02* 2Q/02* Y/Y CHNG
Receivables: $50.2b $49.7b $49.3b $49.6b $49.4b -1.6%
Volume: $23.5b $23.3b $22.1b $24.1b $23.5b NC
Accounts: 44.7m 45.4m 45.7m 46.0m 46.2m +3.4%
Actives: 24.3m 24.0m 24.0m 23.8m 23.4m -3.7%
Chargeoffs: 4.98% 5.79% 5.85% 6.49% 6.30% +26.5%
Delinquency: 5.84% 6.31% 6.85% 6.75% 5.63% -3.6%
Yield: 13.34% 13.34% 13.48% 12.63% 12.64% -5.2%
2Q/01 fiscal quarter ended 5/31/01; 3Q/01 fiscal quarter ended 8/31/01;
4Q/01 fiscal quarter ended 11/30/01; 1Q/02 ended 2/28/02; 2Q/02 ended 5/31/02.
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
TX-based Dibz has signed Fabiola Da Silva, one of the most prominent in-line skaters in the world, to promote its new Dibz Powered Card for teens. Da Silva will provide exclusive online videos, images, and skating tips for purchase with a Dibz Powered Card. As a major player in the world of action sports, Fabiola Da Silva is a well-known name among young people.Details
Cleveland-based Datavantage has become a certified VAR for @pos’ POS signature capture and payment terminals in the specialty retail market. Datavantage will sell the full line of @pos signature capture and PIN-based debit products, including PenWare 1500, iPOS 3100, TX.C, and iPOS TC terminals, and its Crossvue receipt and signature storage services. The combined @pos and Datavantage solution offers retailers opportunities to lower payment processing costs and chargebacks while encouraging customer interaction at the point-of-sale.Details
Paris-based SAGEM intends to purchase the MONETEL Electronic Transactions Business Unit from the Swiss ASCOM Group within the next few months. SAGEM is a world leader in cordless payment terminals. ASCOM MONETEL is one of EuropeÂs leaders in payment terminals, terminals for healthcare applications, and vending machines, as well as security keyboards.The ASCOM MONETEL Electronic Transactions Business Unit registered sales of around Âm 60 in 2001 with a staff of approximately 180 people (R&D engineers and technicians, sales and marketing forces). Production capacities remaining with ASCOM, a manufacturing subcontracting agreement is planned to be signed. The deal is expected to close during the third quarter.Details
MasterCard International and Datacard Group have signed a multi-year strategic alliance to support the deployment and management of smart card programs by MasterCard members including smart card security consulting services, training and education programs. The multi-year agreement will provide MasterCardâs members with Datacardâs solutions for developing, testing, personalizing and managing smart cards. The solutions are specifically designed to simplify the migration from traditional magnetic stripe cards to smart cards by creating and collecting new smart card data and personalizing the data needed on the chip.Details
Budapest-based Vodafone Hungary announced the deployment of Euronet ATM Recharge, which enables Vodafone subscribers to purchase prepaid airtime at 371 Euronet-branded ATMs throughout Hungary.
Hungary has more than 5 million mobile phone subscribers with approximately 78% as a prepaid market. Euronet Worldwide provides this service to all three GSM mobile operators in Hungary including Pannon GSM and Westel. Euronet also enables customers of all three mobile operators in Poland including Plus GSM, ERA GSM, and Centertel, to recharge their airtime at Euronet ATMs. Electronic recharge service is also available via POS terminals and directly from the mobile phone. This service is live for mobile operator customers in the Czech Republic, Poland, Croatia, Curacao and Indonesia.
The National Consumers League launched a new Web campaign this morning to fight identity theft thanks to an unrestricted educational grant from Bank of America. The new “Invasion of the ID Snatchers” Web pages present common scenarios of how thieves steal personal information and what they can do with it, tips for consumers on how to avoid ID theft, and information on how to report the crime. It also provides tips for businesses on how to secure the personal information they collect from consumers. NCL says Bank of America found itself a victim of ID fraud earlier this year when consumers received an email from someone pretending to be from the bank.Details
The Republic of Tajikistan has signed a deal with Western Union Financial Services to joins its international money transfer network. Agreements with the Post of Tajikistan, Orienbank, Amonatbank and
Sohibkorbank will create an estimated 50 Western Union agent locations throughout Tajikistan by year-end. The companies anticipate increasing the number of agent locations to approximately 400 by the year 2006.
With the addition of Tajikistan, Western Union services are now available in all of the former Soviet Republics.
Rumors that Wells Fargo will no longer be using CheckFree’s EBPP services by the end of this year were squashed this morning as both firms announced the signing of a multi-year agreement to expand their relationship. Under terms of the deal, CheckFree will provide online banking, e-billing and payment processing services alongside Wells Fargo’s other partners including MasterCard RPPS, Metavante and Spectrum. CheckFree has been providing online banking and electronic payment services to Wells Fargo since 1996, and this agreement, which includes monthly revenue commitments, will allow CheckFree to participate in Wells Fargo’s latest version of its popular bill pay service. Wells Fargo currently has three million active online users, nearly a third of whom are doing EBPP processing through Wells Fargo. The relationship with CheckFree will give Wells Fargo customers access to CheckFree’s network of more than 200 national and regional billers. In March, Deutsche Bank Alex Brown suggested that CheckFree’s relationship with Wells was in jeopardy. (CF Library 3/18/02)Details