The total number of smart cards manufactured for use within the USA and Canada last year hit 28,430,000, a 37% increase over 1999. The fastest growing market segment between 1999 and 2000 was the financial market sector with a growth rate of 244%. According to a report from the Smart Card Alliance, the areas that experienced significant microprocessor card growth rates between 1999-2000 include: corporate campus use, up 125%, education campus use, up 116%, and wireless use, up 89%. The SCA full report titled, “United States and Canada Smart Card Shipment Survey,” will include data from 2001 and will be available in the first quarter of 2002.Details
High-end specialty toy retailer, FAO Schwarz is set to offer a customized home ATM this holiday season for $20,000. The Fall catalogue was published this week and is now en route to six million FAO Schwarz customers across the USA. NJ-based Access To Money will provide and install the ‘Triton 9600′ ATM for FAO Schwarz at purchasers’ homes, and will personalize the ATM with panels bearing personalized labels and insignia. Purchasers receive ten functional ATM cards, which may be used to dispense real or play money at the buyer’s option. If a customer chooses to operate the ATM as part of an actual ATM network, Access To Money will also provide processing and support services for any location in the continental United States or Hawaii.Details
Providian acknowledged late last night that 3Q earnings, to be released next Thursday, will be much lower than previously projected. The company now says it expects third quarter earnings to be in the range of $0.19 to $0.21 per diluted share rather than Sept. 4th guidance of $0.82 to $0.84 per diluted share. The managed net charge-off rate is expected to be approximately 10.33% for the quarter. Providian says the earnings decline is due to actions taken to strengthen the balance sheet in anticipation of continued weak credit conditions, lower than expected fee and finance charge revenue in September, and higher than expected credit losses in September. In pre-market trading Providian stock was offered at $15.00 per share compared to yesterday’s close of $20.35. (CF Library 9/4/01; 9/20/01 10/04/01)Details
MasterCard officially reported the number of U.S. cards issued at the end of June jumped 20% to 256.2 million. In addition to the exceptional growth in card issuance, U.S. gross dollar volume showed continued strong growth, increasing 17.6% year-to-year, to $234 billion, in the first half of 2001, and 18.3% to $124.4 billion in the second quarter of the year compared with the like periods in 2000. U.S. purchase volume jumped almost 18%, to $179.2 billion, in the first half of 2001, and 18.9%, to $95.6 billion in the second quarter. At the end of 2001’s second quarter, U.S. outstandings on MasterCard cards, rose to $223.9 billion, an 18.5% increase over the like 2000 period. For complete details on MasterCard’s U.S. 2Q/01 data visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]) and for details on MasterCard’s second quarter international figures visit The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com]).
Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp., and Genpass Inc., owner and operator of the MoneyMaker and MONEYBELT EFT networks, announced they have reached an agreement that will enable ATMs owned and/or driven by Genpass to offer the Western Union Money Transfer service.
Genpass will join Western Union’s ATM Money Transfer Network, allowing consumers access to one of the newest ways to send and receive money, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. This agreement facilitates the continued expansion of Western Union’s ATM-based money transfer service around the country. Genpass plans to rollout money transfer capability on its own ATMs early next year.
“Interest in ATM money transfer as a value-added service is growing within the financial services industry, particularly in light of the tremendous growth we’re seeing in worldwide money transfer transactions,” said Mike Yerington, president for Western Union North America. “As the second largest ATM driver in the U.S., the addition of Genpass’ EFT Networks and ATMs to our integrated ATM and Agent money transfer network will increase consumer accessibility to Western Union’s fast, secure and reliable money transfer services.”
“Genpass is committed to offering new services that benefit our EFT network and ATM customers. Providing around the clock access to money transfers expands the functions consumers can transact at an ATM. Genpass management has a history of delivering value-added services to the consumer marketplace,” said Bipin C. Shah, president and CEO of Genpass. “It is also a terrific opportunity for our ATM partners to attract more transactions per ATM. And, given Western Union’s brand strength and market penetration, choosing them as a provider was simple.”
About Western Union ATM Money Transfer
The Western Union ATM Money Transfer service allows consumers to electronically send money at any participating ATM by simply swiping an ATM card and then selecting the money transfer option. The user is prompted to select a personal identification number (PIN) and the desired dollar amount of the transfer. The ATM provides the sender a receipt and confirmation number. To complete the money transfer, the sender relays the confirmation number and PIN to the intended recipient who can retrieve the funds from any participating ATM, or at any Western Union agent location. No bankcard is necessary to receive the funds at the ATM, and because the combination of the PIN and confirmation code is unique for every transaction, the process is safe and secure.
Unlike other person-to-person, ATM-based, money transfer systems that only allow for money transfers between ATMs, the Western Union ATM Money Transfer service (formerly known as Z-Cash) offers interoperability with Western Unions Agent network of nearly 40,000 agent locations across the U.S.
About Western Union Financial Services, Inc. and First Data
Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer services. Consumers can quickly, safely and reliably transfer money at more than 117,000 Agent locations in more than 185 countries and territories. Famous for its pioneering telegraph service, the original Western Union dates back to 1851 and introduced electronic money transfer service in 1871. Western Union is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2001. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.westernunion.com].
First Data Corp., with global headquarters in Denver, powers the global economy. Serving approximately 2.6 million merchant locations, more than 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data makes it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services, using virtually any form of payment: credit, debit, smart card, stored-value card or check at the point-of-sale, over the Internet or by money transfer. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.firstdata.com].
About GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC, and Genpass Inc.
GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC, is a leading private equity investment firm that owns and operates Genpass Inc. Founded in 1980, GTCR pioneered the investment strategy of identifying and partnering with exceptional executives to acquire companies in fragmented and growing industries. GTCR currently manages more than $4 billion in equity capital invested in a broad range of companies and industries, including transaction processing, information technology services, financial services and marketing services.
Genpass Inc., through its subsidiary companies, is the owner and operator of the MoneyMaker(SM) and MONEY BELT(R) EFT networks. The corporate headquarters of Genpass Inc. is located in Pennsylvania with additional executive and processing headquarters in Dallas. The Genpass family of companies offers technology-based, financial transaction processing and EFT servicing solutions for financial institutions, independent sales organizations, and corporate customers. MoneyMaker is the second largest ATM driver in the U.S. with over 20,000 ATMs in all 50 states. MoneyMaker is one of the largest transaction processors in the U.S., processing over 300 million transactions annually with gateways to every major card issuer and regional network in the nation. Genpass also operates Genpass Service Solutions, the largest independent ATM servicing company in the U.S., and Genpass ATM Solutions, which aids customers in formulating strategies for ATM deployments. The Genpass companies serve more than 1000 financial services customers.
MemberWorks Incorporated, a leading provider of consumer and membership services through affinity marketing and online channels, announced it is revising its fiscal 2002 revenue, earnings and operating cash flow guidance. In revising its guidance, the Company cited a recent slowdown in consumer response rates due to the difficult current economic environment.
The Company also announced several cost saving initiatives in light of increasing uncertainty both in the U.S. and abroad and expects to record a restructuring charge of approximately $7.0 million in its fiscal second quarter. These initiatives include the closing of the Company’s United Kingdom operation, reducing the capacity of its inbound call centers, and downsizing operational infrastructure throughout the Company.
These actions will result in the reduction of approximately 225 employees or 15% of its workforce. Annual savings from these measures are expected to reach approximately $9.0 million.
Gary Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer, said “The current economic environment is difficult, and the tragic events of September 11th have affected us all. Given the uncertainty surrounding the economy, we are making structural changes to the capacity of our Company in order to provide greater flexibility in responding to changing market conditions.” Mr. Johnson continued, “We are taking these steps to ensure the long term health of our business as we remain focused on profitability and cash flow performance. The net effect of these changes for this fiscal year will be to flatten revenue growth and to increase both cash flow and EPS on a year over year comparative basis.”
MemberWorks expects to report its financial results for the first fiscal quarter prior to the market opening on October 25, 2001. Based on preliminary financial data, it expects revenue for its first quarter ended September 30, 2001 to be in the range of $118.0 to $120.0 million. Earnings per share is expected to be $0.03 to $0.05, before a one-time gain on the sale of iPlace Inc., and operating cash flow is expected to be negative $7.0 to $8.0 million before working capital and negative $11.0 to $13.0 million after working capital. Cash and equivalents are expected to be approximately $43.0 million at September 30, 2001.
Consensus estimates for the first fiscal quarter were revenues of $123.0 million, earnings per share of negative $0.01 and operating cash flow of $10.4 million before working capital and $12.4 million after working capital. Compared to fiscal 2001, revenues for the September quarter are estimated to increase 23% to 25%, excluding iPlace Inc. results. Earnings per share is expected to be positive $0.03 to $0.05 vs. a loss of $0.48 per share last year before the cumulative effect of accounting change. Operating cash flow after working capital is expected to be negative $11.0 to $13.0 million vs. negative $14.0 million in last year’s first fiscal quarter.
The Company has also revised its outlook for the full fiscal year ended June 30, 2002. MemberWorks expects revenues to be $420.0 to $430.0 million. Earnings per share is expected to be $1.15 to $1.25 excluding one-time items. Operating cash flow is expected to be $16.0 to $18.0 million before working capital and $25.0 to $28.0 million after working capital.
MemberWorks’ previous guidance for the full fiscal year was revenues of $521.0 million, earnings per share of $0.72, fully tax-effected, and operating cash flow of $50.0 million before working capital and $70.0 million after working capital.
Compared to fiscal 2001, revenues for the full year are expected to be 3% lower, excluding iPlace results. Earnings per share are estimated to be positive $1.15 to $1.25 vs. negative $1.75 last year excluding the cumulative effect of accounting change. Operating cash flow after working capital is expected to be $25.0 to $28.0 million vs. $13.0 million last year. Johnson concluded, “Our financial performance for the rest of this year continues to show improved profitability and cash flow over last year. We are confident that the actions taken will make MemberWorks a stronger, more focused company.”
Headquartered in Stamford, Conn., MemberWorks is a leader in bringing value to consumers by designing innovative membership programs that offer services and discounts on everyday needs in healthcare, personal finance, insurance, travel, entertainment, computing, fashion and personal security. As of June 30, 2001, 7.9 million members were enrolled in MemberWorks programs, gaining convenient access to thousands of service providers and vendors. MemberWorks is the trusted marketing partner of leading consumer-driven organizations and offers them effective tools to enhance their market presence, to strengthen customer affinity and to generate additional revenue.Details
EDS announced the signing of a five-year, $18 million contract with Houston-based Commerciant to provide transaction processing services for Commerciant’s wireless terminals used by mobile merchants.
Commerciant targets the $470 billion “mobile business to consumer” market with highly secure, comprehensive transaction management solutions capable of supporting all non-cash payments in a mobile, wireless environment. The company’s flagship MobilScape hardware is the only wireless payments terminal with integrated credit card and check scanning capability, making wireless check conversion a reality.
Mobile businesses provide services and products to customers outside a fixed physical location, and include businesses such as food delivery, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, appliance and other home services, and in-home sales. Residential services represent the largest segment within this market.
Under the contract, EDS will provide real-time, point-of-sale, credit card acceptance and processing for transactions from Commerciant business customers using hand held devices to finalize sales. EDS also will provide electronic check clearing services for Commerciant’s MobilScape check processing system that transforms paper checks into electronic check payments by scanning checks, digitizing customers’ signatures and printing customer receipts at the point of sale. This cost-saving service allows mobile businesses to gain access to funds much faster and detect fraud earlier, a critical factor since mobile fleets seldom return to a central location to deposit and reconcile transactions for each day’s business.
“This agreement reflects an expanded use of EDS’ core transaction processing capabilities. Our point-of-sale services are being used to eliminate the disadvantages under which mobile businesses have long operated,” said Vinnie Calo, director of EDS’ Card Processing Services group. “Mobile merchants previously lacked the ability to verify checks in the field, and they pay premiums for credit card transactions called into a central location for authorization.
“EDS and Commerciant are leveling the playing field and introducing the same efficiencies to field sales and service operations that traditional fixed location businesses have experienced.”
In addition to transaction processing services, EDS will provide device management services for Commerciant and its business customers. These comprehensive services include device inventory management and tracking, as well as application downloading, device deployment and depot maintenance services. The services are supported through a 24×7 EDS client assistance center.
“EDS and Commerciant are bringing valuable services to on-the-road businesses that have a high demand for advanced, easy-to-use, low cost technology that makes them more efficient and productive,” said Commerciant Chief Executive Officer Elliot Sokolow. “Commerciant and EDS provide an innovative business model which eliminates the traditional cost barriers that made use of real-time payment processing prohibitive for many mobile merchants. There has been only fractional mobile device penetration in this market and by offering mobile point-of-sale transaction services that encompass all non-cash payments, as well as other field data service needs, we see a significant growth opportunity.”
Commerciant is the single source wireless solutions provider in the payments and mobile business data service industry. Commerciant provides authorization, settlement, wireless access, and its low cost, hand held MobilScape(TM) terminal capable of performing remote credit card and check processing and other mobile business data services under a single contract. Learn more at [http://www.commerciant.com].
EDS, the leading global services company, provides strategy, implementation and hosting for clients managing the business and technology complexities of the digital economy. EDS brings together the world’s best technologies to address critical client business imperatives. It helps clients eliminate boundaries, collaborate in new ways, establish their customers’ trust and continuously seek improvement. EDS, with its management consulting subsidiary, A.T. Kearney, serves the world’s leading companies and governments in 55 countries. EDS reported revenues of $19.2 billion in 2000. The company’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. Learn more at [http://www.eds.com].
American Express announced Thursday it has added ‘The September 11th Fund’ as a new charity partner to its ‘Membership Rewards’ program. AmEx said is also matching all charitable point redemptions made by ‘Membership Rewards’ program enrollees through Dec. 31, up to a total of $200,000. For example, for every 1,000 ‘Membership Rewards’ points donated, a $10 contribution will be made. American Express and its employees are also contributing to relief efforts through the ‘American Express World Trade Center Disaster Relief Fund’ which includes an initial $1 million contribution from the American Express Foundation, which will also match the gifts of employees, financial advisors and retiree donations. In addition, American Express is contributing $1 million to the families of American Express employees who were lost in 1 World Trade Center.Details
MIST Inc., a leader in
wireless transaction technology, applications and other information management
technologies, announced its MIST Freedom II wireless point-of-sale
terminal now has received certification with Paymentech.
Paymentech is a full-service provider of secure and reliable electronic payment
The MIST Freedom II is certified on Paymentech’s point-of-sale processing
network and Paymentech Network Services. The certification will fully support
and help continue Paymentech’s goal of offering a variety of wireless POS
options to its vast merchant and client base.
“At Paymentech, we have a history of providing comprehensive services and value
to our merchants,” explains Paymentech’s George Wilcox, Group Executive Product
Management. “Certifying the MIST Freedom II POS terminal is another way we can
enhance both the quality and selection of products in the evolving wireless
MIST’s Freedom II terminal is a secure, interactive, hand-held portable device
that allows users to complete debit and credit card transactions. Because MIST
Freedom II is wireless with its own built-in printer, it allows users to
maximize their roaming and sales capabilities, enhancing the appeal and overall
convenience for debit and credit card customers.
“We are very pleased that Paymentech, one of the leading payment processors,
has certified the MIST Freedom II wireless terminal,” says Cathy Kenworthy,
vice president, U.S. sales of MIST Inc. “The MIST Freedom II’s technology and
ergonomic design offers merchants speed, reliability and security along with
the ability to operate using extensive coverage. With certification from
Paymentech, MIST continues to showcase its full commitment to the American
MIST Freedom II accommodates a variety of geographical locations and coverage
areas and also is compatible with MIST’s new gateway technology known as
About MIST Inc.
MIST Inc., a leading global provider of wireless, transaction-enabling
technologies, designs, manufactures and distributes wireless and wired
point-of-sale solutions. The MIST “Freedom family” of wireless transaction
terminals was developed to complement its range of existing products. The MIST
FreedomGate provides gateway services with value-added options such as
messaging, time and attendance and e-commerce. With facilities in Canada, the
United States and Japan, MIST’s clients include North American and
international banks, financial institutions, credit and debit card processors,
as well as retail, hotel, restaurant, healthcare and loyalty customers. For
more information, visit www.mistwireless.com
Investors may contact
Dallas-based Paymentech, the payment solutions company(TM), delivers secure and
reliable electronic payment services in merchant acquiring and point-of-sale
transaction processing. Paymentech
(www.paymentech.com) processed approximately
3.4 billion transactions and $109 billion in bankcard sales volume in 2000.
Founded in 1985, Paymentech is the nation’s premier processor and acquirer of
credit card transactions.
Official Payments Corporation announced this week that the Towns of East Hampton and Shelter Island, New York, have signed service agreements with the company. These towns represent the company’s first clients on Long Island. These agreements will enable citizens to pay real estate tax obligations over the Internet by visiting [http://www.officialpayments.com], or via telephone by calling toll- free 1-800-2PAY-TAX. The programs will commence at the end of November.
The Towns of East Hampton and Shelter Island collected over $170 million in real estate taxes last year. Bills are due in East Hampton on December 1, 2001 and January 10, 2002 and are due in Shelter Island on January 10, 2002 and May 31, 2002. American Express, Discover Card, MasterCard and Visa are the cards accepted by the programs.
“We are pleased to be doing business with the Towns of East Hampton and Shelter Island. We have now established a foothold in Long Island,” said Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments Corp. “We have experienced significant growth of local clients around the nation and think we can repeat our success with other affluent communities on Long Island,” Mr. Evans, added Official Payments has similar agreements with over 900 government entities within 49 states across the country. The company has contacts with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments, and the District of Columbia to collect taxes, fees, and fines by credit card over the Internet and telephone. Official Payments charges taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at [http://www.officialpayments.com]. For example, a taxpayer who owed $5,000 in real estate taxes and charged their taxes would find a total of $5,133 on their credit card statement: $5,000 for the tax bill and $133 for the convenience fee. Depending on their credit card program, taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs may be eligible to earn rewards points, cash-back or airline frequent flyer miles in return for paying their taxes.
Official Payments Corporation also announced this week that the Traffic Court of New Orleans, LA has signed new service agreements with the company. The agreements will enable motorists to pay citations for moving and parking violations by visiting [www.officialpayments.com] or by calling 800/2PAY-TAX. The new services will be available in the beginning of November. The Traffic Court of New Orleans adjudicated more than 250,000 citations last year, with an average payment of $50. American Express(R), Discover Card(R), MasterCard(R) and Visa(R) are the cards accepted by the program. Official Payments is a leading provider of electronic payment options and has similar agreements with over 900 government entities across the country. The Company has contracts with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments and the District of Columbia to collect a variety of taxes, fees, and fines by credit card over the Internet and telephone. “The Traffic Court of New Orleans joins San Francisco, CA; Atlanta, GA; and Raleigh, NC and others in offering our ticket payment service to area citizens,” said Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments Corp. “Processing traffic citations payments is an important part of our growing business. We have over 300 citation clients now, and the category shows strong margins and growth potential,” Mr. Evans added. Official Payments charges citizens a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at [www.officialpayments.com]. For example, a citizen who owed a payment of $50.00 for a parking citation would find a total of $54.95 on their credit card statement: $50.00 for the tax bill and $4.95 for the convenience fee. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash-back on airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.
About Official Payments Corporation
Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. The company is unequaled in market penetration and national footprint. Official Payments has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 900 county and municipal governments in 49 states across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments.
Official Payments was founded in the San Francisco Bay area in 1996. Thomas R. Evans, the former President & CEO of the Internet company GeoCities, became Chairman & CEO of Official Payments in the summer of 1999. Mr. Evans brought Official Payments public in November of 1999, raising $80 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ national market. The company’s success in new client acquisition, increasing business with its existing clients and in building consumer awareness can be attributed to the combination of an enormous market opportunity with a highly skilled and experienced management and staff, aggressive sales and marketing, and a core competency in developing and implementing leading-edge technical systems.
LG Card said it is postponing its plans to list on the Korea Stock Exchange South in the wake of concerns over the U.S.-led strikes on Afghanistan which could lead to a war. The IPO was initially set for next week. The IPO would have been the first credit card IPO on the KSE this year. LG Card, formerly LG Capital Service Corp, has 12 million cardholders.Details
AAA announced it has formed an alliance with CarsDirect.com so the auto club’s 4 million members in Northern California and Nevada can research and buy new cars through aaa.com. “Buying a new car online is gaining in popularity because people want an easy and hassle-free way to get the best price without haggling over it,” said Don Felts, AAA’s Corporate Vice President of eBusiness and Automotive Services. “We want aaa.com to be the car buying destination for our members, providing access to the best information, the best research tools, best prices and best services on the Internet,” Felts said.
AAA’s newly redesigned website offers help with virtually every aspect of owning a car, from buying and selling a vehicle to financing, insurance, gas prices, maps, trip planning and routing, tips on maintenance and how to find a good mechanic.
With CarsDirect, aaa.com visitors get research tools that help narrow the search for the right car by manufacturer, price range, and vehicle type. They also get a side-by-side comparison option to evaluate up to four styles, and a “how much can I afford” calculator to help narrow the decision further. A price guarantee ensures that CarsDirect customers get the lowest possible price when purchasing a new car or truck: If a customer finds a lower purchase price for the same vehicle identically equipped, (within three days of purchase) CarsDirect.com will refund the difference between the price paid and the lower price advertised or offered in writing by another dealer. As an added membership benefit, AAA members who purchase a car through the program will receive a $50 prepaid Visa gift card.
CarsDirect, a pioneer online car buying service based in Los Angeles, also announced today that it has signed with three other AAA clubs, gaining Net access to a combined total of 9.5 million members in Northern California, Nevada, New York, Michigan, Chicago, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Washington.Details