FleetBoston announced yesterday it now has the highest penetration (44%) of online banking customers of any bank in the nation, as a percentage of its bank card customer base. It is expected that enrollment for online banking services and online access to credit card accounts will jump in the fourth quarter driven by anthrax mail scare. Fleet’s ‘HomeLink’ service has now enrolled its two millionth customer, and is signing up more than 80,000 new online customers per month. Fleet says ‘HomeLink’ has over five million customer logins per month. MBNA reported earlier this month that its Web site now serves more than 4.8 million cardholders. Through September 30, more than 2.7 million MBNA customers enrolled to use NetAccess, MBNA’s online service, including 540,000 in the third quarter.Details
The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed Monday it will begin distribution of smart cards in November to active duty personnel, reservists and the National Guard at 900 DoD sites worldwide. EDS said it will shortly begin delivery of 600,000 ‘Common Access Cards’ manufactured by SchlumbergerSema. The smart cards will provide users with access to DoD sites and enable them to use DoD networks and computer systems. EDS Systems have issued more than 100,000 smart cards for DoD to date, with up to 4 million additional cards expected to be issued over the next two years. Through the Defense Manpower Data Center, the DoD has purchased the new CACs under an existing contract.Details
Despite the down-shift in the economy during the third quarter, Concord EFS reported that 3Q/01 net income rose 62%, from $50.2 million for 3Q/00 to $81.5 million. The company also reported third quarter revenues of $437 million compared to $364 million in the third quarter of 2000, a 20% increase. Concord is continuing to focus on cost control. Its data centers in Atlanta and Maitland both moved into new facilities, and the North Olmsted data center was closed and consolidated into the Wilmington data center earlier this month. Concord also closed a card production facility in Maitland and consolidated all Network Services card production into a single Wilmington-managed service. For complete details on Concord EFS’ 3Q/01 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Hypercom reported this morning that revenues for the third quarter were $71 million compared to $76 million in the year-ago period. The company said the September quarter was impacted by the temporary suspension of air shipments following September 11. However, Hypercom also reported a net loss was $2.4 million, compared to a net loss in the year-ago period of $21.6 million. The company’s backlog remains currently totals $158 million. The company recently shipped its 300,000th ‘ICE’ terminal and is now expanding ‘ICE’ terminal applications into non-traditional uses. Hypercom says the company anticipates revenues for the fourth quarter to be in excess of $80 million. For complete details on Hypercom’s 3Q/01 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
The October rebound experienced by some credit card issuers was short-lived as the stock market taketh away yesterday in anticipation of more negative economic news this week. The erosion in stock prices will likely continue today with the release of the latest Consumer Confidence figures. Yesterday, Capital One gave up 3.5% while American Express and MBNA lost around 2.5%. Among gainers yesterday was Providian and NextCard. However, Providian, slammed with three more shareholder suits, is hovering around $4 per share. NextCard, set to release its 3Q/01 report on Thursday, is trading up by 2%. Gross domestic product figures are due out tomorrow and on Friday the October employment report will be released. This week’s economic barometers will affect the final holiday spending forecast and projections for fourth quarter credit card charge volume.Details
CheckFree Corporation has been awarded an additional patent by the USPTO in the domain of electronic billing and payment technology and processes, focusing specifically on various aspects of electronic billing. The patent was issued on September 11th. The company holds more than 100 issued, licensed and pending domestic and foreign patents in the arena of financial electronic commerce services and systems.Details
ANZ Bank is set to launch nearly four million smart cards in December. As
of the launch, ANZ is expected to have converted more than 14,000 ATMs to
support smart card transactions. The ‘ANZ smart VISA’ card will most likely
take over the smart card leadership position in Australia from American
Express. In July, American Express announced the launch of ‘Blue from American
Express’. This month ‘Blue’ launched a program to cardholders access to extra
benefits, discounts and special offers at a range of participating shops. The
program will be available initially from the following retailers: Aquila,
Central Station Records, Collins Booksellers, JB HiFi, Lush Flowers,
Oroton, Oyster, Polo Ralph Lauren, Roses Only, Sony Central, and Timberland
Australia. Cardholders will simply insert their card into in-store readers to
access bonus offers and discounts of up to 20% off. So far, AmEx has issued a
few thousand smart cards.
Badly shaken by the September 11th events, consumer confidence is rebounding significantly based on the findings of a special Yahoo!/ACNielsen Internet Confidence Survey. The use of the Internet is also growing significantly in the wake of the tragedies. In the Northeast, the region hardest hit by the tragedy, the Index level is up 34 points, a dramatic increase since the last survey which was fielded just before September 11. Overall, the Index jumped nine points in the six-week period between the early September edition and the October special edition of the study. The Index also found more Internet users nationwide plan to shop online during the fourth quarter (60% versus 54%) and will spend $1 billion more on holiday related spending ($12.4 billion) than previously projected. Even with security issues dominating news headlines, 84% of Internet users firmly reject the notion that they intend to shop online due to concerns about shopping in large public places. Instead, the findings confirm that users’ now have increased levels of comfort with the online medium as they turned to the Internet as never before for news updates and communication services.Details
Global Payments Inc. Paul R. Garcia, president and CEO of Global Payments Inc., announced the appointment of Jeffery Charles McWey to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer.
McWey most recently served as non-executive Chairman of the Board for Damian Services Corporation, a leading financial services provider to the temporary agency industry. McWey is also a director of The Outsourcing Institute, Inc. and has held senior executive officer positions with Equifax and The Dun and Bradstreet corporation.
McWey will be responsible for the company’s global sales and marketing activities. His history of success in growing revenue and maximizing profitability in financial service-related industries will reinforce Global’s business development strategy.
“In announcing the McWey appointment, Garcia commented, “Jeff’s extensive executive management expertise as well as his proven strategic and business skills, makes him a strong fit with Global’s future direction. We are very pleased to have Jeff join Global and I am confident that he will be an important contributor in executing our aggressive growth strategies.” Commenting on his new position, McWey said, “I am extremely excited about taking on this new role with Global Payments. I see tremendous opportunity for the company to further expand market share,” he added.
Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.Details
KS-based Euronet Worldwide has reduced its operating loss six fold since last year. During the third quarter the European ATM network operator posted an operating loss of $938,000 compared to $6.1 million for the third quarter of 2000. The number of ATMs owned or operated by Euronet increased by 15% over 3Q/00, from 2,571 ATMs to 2,947 ATMs. Quarterly transactions on the network increased by 31%, from 13.8 million in third-quarter 2000 to 18.02 million in the third quarter 2001. Euronet owns and/or operates ATMs in Hungary, Poland, Germany, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, the U.K., Greece, Egypt and the U.S. For complete details on Euronet’s 3Q/01 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
San Francisco-based PrivaSys has come up with a proprietary card that reduces fraud from counterfeiters and provides card issuers with differentiation, account aggregation at POS, as well as a means for instant distribution of reward programs within the dimensions of a conventional credit card. The PrivaSys security solution is activated by keying in the cardholder’s PIN on an ATM style keypad, embedded on the card. The PrivaSys card changes the ‘Dynamic Authentication Code’ data on the mag stripe on the fly. Without the valid PIN to activate the card, the card is rendered useless. Without the correct DAC, the transaction is not authorized. The company holds three issued patents for it technology suite.Details
VISA U.S.A. and Blue Cross of California this morning announced an agreement to enable members to pay premiums automatically with their VISA cards. Blue Cross of California and its California affiliates, with more than 5.6 million medical members in the state, is an operating subsidiary of WellPoint Health Networks Inc. WellPoint serves the health care needs of over 9.8 million medical and more than 42 million specialty members nationally.Details