Marketing Collapse

September has traditionally been the month of new credit card product introductions, but not this year. September is considered a pivotal marketing month coming just ahead of the busiest consumer spending time of the year. According to CardTrak, September was the launch month for General Motors MasterCard in 1992, a major card product that led to the full development of the co-branding market. In 1993 and 1996 Chase Manhattan introduced two major co-branded cards. In 1999 and 2000, September was the month for smart card introductions in the USA. In September 1999, American Express launched its smart Blue card and last September VISA announced its smart VISA card with three U.S. issuers. Reportedly, plans to announce a Citibank smart MasterCard were shelved this month in the wake of the terrorist attacks. At least two other significant product launches have also been delayed due to economic conditions and consumer distractions.

92-Household/General Motors MasterCard
93-Chase/Shell MasterCard
94- American Express True Grace
95- Discover Bravo
96- Chase/Wal-Mart MasterCard
97- World MasterCard
98- BankAmericard returns
99- American Express Blue
00- smart VISA
Source: CardTrak and Card Commentary (;



Utilizing Fair, Isaac and Company’s Strategy Designer software, Europe’s foremost card services company has seen a significant boost in performance by generating consumer offers that are geared specifically to each customer. Fair, Isaac Strategy Designer software, an interactive, real-time tool that uses historical data to assist in identifying optimal account management strategies, has helped Barclaycard achieve a 48 percent lift in income over traditionally developed strategies.

“After seeing consistently good results from Fair, Isaac’s adaptive control approach to our account management strategies, we saw Strategy Designer as an ideal tool to revisit our credit strategies, identify new opportunities and make more customer-centric business decisions,” said Richard Brennecker, Customer Value Centre Head, Barclaycard.

Using a Barclaycard data file of one million accounts, with 12 months of history and six months of performance data, Fair, Isaac analysts worked with Barclaycard’s portfolio managers to build optimal credit strategies, exploring the impacts of more than 40 key variables, such as delinquency and balance/revenue build. “In addition to the significant bottom line results we are realizing, Strategy Designer helps us better understand the drivers of the strategies, and ultimately, our customers,” added Brennecker. “We are looking forward to implementing this tool across the entire portfolio. As a result, we expect to see an ROI of 40:1 within a year.”

“These results further underscore the tremendous payoffs of leveraging innovative decision technology and strategies to achieve business performance,” added Andrew Jennings, vice president, International Market Administration, at Fair, Isaac. “This project has once again demonstrated the business sense of combining strategy, analytics, and consumer needs for the best all around solution to a business issue.”

Strategy Designer is an easy-to-use and flexible tool designed specifically to support businesses with the creation of data-driven strategies that result in more powerful decisions. It gives lenders the power to rapidly create new strategies in real time using multiple performance dimensions; to process large datasets rapidly so strategies can be changed and results can be seen in minutes; and to profile strategies at any point for greater understanding of the portfolio.

Barclaycard has been a user of TRIAD(TM) adaptive control system to manage its 11 million cards since 1995. This most recent expansion of Fair, Isaac’s relationship with Barclaycard provides added fuel to the company’s global expansion. Currently, some 65 percent of the world’s credit cards are managed by Fair, Isaac decision technology.

About Fair, Isaac

Fair, Isaac is a global provider of customer analytics and decision technology. Widely recognized for its pioneering work in credit scoring, Fair, Isaac revolutionized the way lending decisions are made. Today the company helps clients in multiple industries increase the value of customer relationships. Fair, Isaac has made the Forbes list of the top 200 U.S. small companies eight times in the last nine years. Headquartered in San Rafael, California, the company reported revenues of $298 million for fiscal 2000. For more information, visit , email or call 1-800-999-2955.

About Barclaycard

Barclaycard is Europe’s leading online card services company. It has 11 million credit cards held by 8.5 million customers across Europe. Barclaycard was the first and is the leading Internet credit card, offering customers free Internet delivery protection and a guarantee against online fraud. Over 400,000 customers use Barclaycard’s online account services, with around 10,000 new users registering every week.


Online Cards

Internet-centric bank credit card issuer, NextCard, reports that donations made to charitable organizations by its cardholders increased nearly 3,000% following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. The NextCard ‘eCommerce Index’, based on approximately one million cardholders, also found that purchases made in August at top online merchants increased for the first time in two months. August was the first month since May that online credit card transactions increased. The eight month trend line for this year shows a 5% increase in transaction amounts. NextCard says consumers are turning to trusted, offline brands that have an Internet presence.


Discover Relief

Discover Financial Services has launched a program for its cardholders to participate in the disaster relief funding. Starting tomorrow, Discover Card will make a donation to the relief efforts for every transaction Discover cardholders make until the goal of $5 million is achieved. Discover cardholders will also be able to donate their annual ‘Cashback Bonus’ awards to the relief funds. Television and print advertisements announcing the launch of this program will roll out this weekend. All Discover Cards are part of this program including the Discover American Flag Card, launched in 1999, which has artwork of the American Flag on the face of the card. According to CardData ([][1]), Discover had 41.4 million accounts as of August 31.



Card Sectors 2Q

The sub-prime credit card sector remains the fastest growing segment with an annual growth rate of 54%. According to the latest issue RAM Research’s ‘Bankcard Barometer’, the co-branded/affinity market is growing at an annual rate of 15% versus 9% for the low APR sector. Mid-level issuers, focused in low-rate pricing, have experienced negative growth rates. Credit unions remain the sector with the highest balances and year-to-date volume.

Co-branded/Affinity $2432 $2448
Secured/Sub-Prime $1580 $ 902
Low Rate >$2.8b $2438 $2188
Low Rate


NPC Signs Sonic

National Processing Company announced signing a multi-year agreement with Sonic Corp. for end-to-end processing services. Under the terms of the agreement, NPC will provide credit and debit card processing, including authorization and settlement, of all Visa and MasterCard sales.

Sonic Corp. (Nasdaq: SONC) is an Oklahoma City-based, publicly held company that owns, operates and franchises the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in the United States. Sonic enjoys the highest customer frequency rate in the quick-service restaurant industry. One of the unique features of Sonic is the Carhop, a member of the Sonic crew who delivers food directly to customers’ cars.

“NPC is delighted to be selected by Sonic Corp. to be their credit and debit card processing solution,” said Drew Soinski, senior vice president of Travel and Entertainment for NPC. NPC has recently signed several new clients in the quick service restaurant industry. “We have made a strong commitment to provide a full-service solution that meets the high quality and service standards that the quick service industry commands. NPC has quickly become a leader in offering innovative merchant processing solutions for quick service restaurants.”

“Adding Sonic to our existing customer base of quick service restaurants links directly with our strategy of focusing on new channels of growth,” said Thomas A. Wimsett, president and chief executive officer of NPC. “NPC has made substantial investments in developing full-service processing solutions for the quick service industry thus providing new growth opportunities for our organization. Sonic is just the brand of customer we are targeting — a leader in their field with national presence and recognition, and a strong emphasis on quality and service.”

“It is exciting to partner with such an industry-leader as NPC,” said Keith Jossell, vice president of Finance and Treasurer of Sonic Corp. Sonic consistently has among the highest convenience ratings in the industry. “Offering fast and efficient payment alternatives is another example of how we strive to put our customers first.”

About Sonic

Sonic, which specializes in made-to-order fast food, is known for its specialty menu items and quality customer service. One of Sonic’s unique characteristics is the Carhop, a member of the Sonic crew who delivers food directly to customers’ cars. Popular menu items include Extra-Long Cheese Coneys (hot dogs with chili and cheese), fresh-made Onion Rings, Tater Tots and a variety of Frozen and Fountain Favorites(TM) such as Banana Splits and Cherry Limeades.

Sonic started as a hamburger and root beer stand in 1953 in Shawnee, Okla., and has grown to more than 2,300 drive-ins in 29 states. Sonic is the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants and more than three-quarters of a million people eat at Sonic Drive-Ins everyday. For more information, visit Sonic on the Internet at .

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 86 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ( ), a Cleveland based $94 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 600,000 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 our world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be obtained at .


Rate Cut

There is a growing consensus that the Federal Open Market Committee will reduce short-term interest rates by another 50 bps next Tuesday. Some analysts say it will not be surprising if the Federal Reserve adopts a zero real interest rate policy. The 3.0% federal funds rate is now at its lowest level since February 1994. MA-based DRI-WEFA projects consumer confidence, currently at a five-year low, will tumble further, as households try to sort out what has happened since the tragic events of September 11. Increased uncertainty ahead, political tension, and rising layoffs will cap households’ enthusiasm to spend. The researcher says the job market will continue to bleed jobs in the fourth quarter and as job losses multiply, a global recession is very likely.



Keycorp Ltd has tangled up with two American companies over a dispute involving a technology license issue. California Plasticard Inc and Colorado Plasticard Inc have filed lawsuits in Los Angeles Superior Court in connection with the terms of a technology license between Keycorp and CPI. The lawsuits also cover disagreements related to the possible expansion of the partnership agreement. Keycorp says it will fight the lawsuits “vigorously.”


Givex Software

IL-based Givex Corporation is set to release a new standalone gift card software application in October. The new application will conduct real-time gift card transactions directly through a merchant’s POS system and will run independently of other software while functioning in the merchant’s existing Windows-based POS system. This will enable merchants with existing POS systems that lack gift card capabilities to conduct real-time gift card transactions without having to purchase gift card processing hardware devices or go through a software integration. Givex currently offers a variety of fully integrated and standalone hardware solutions for conducting real-time gift card, frequent user card, e-gift certificate and points programs.



Trintech Group Plc, a global provider of secure payment infrastructure solutions, announced an agreement with FREEDOM, a unit of Fiserv. Under this agreement, Trintech is integrating FREEDOM’s TRACKER software into ReconNET to offer its customers the industry’s most powerful reconciliation and unclaimed property solution. ReconNET TRACKER brings together the acknowledged leaders in their industries, and delivers a best of breed solution that provides immediate benefit to any company looking to reduce cost and improve its bottom line performance.

Trintech will immediately provide ReconNET TRACKER to its customers and prospects, either incorporated with ReconNET’s reconciliation of disbursements or as an add-on module. This integrated offering provides significant value and enables companies to quickly realize the benefits of automated reconciliation and cash management while increasing their level of control and visibility into their unclaimed property and escheatment process.

“We are pleased to partner with Trintech for the purpose of helping their clients and prospects reduce their costs and improve the effectiveness of their processes,” said Layton Olson, senior vice president, sales and marketing for FREEDOM. “TRACKER has an excellent track record of streamlining the unclaimed property process for over 1,500 leading companies. This combined offering is a valuable solution for companies who need to meet the increasing demands and challenges of unclaimed property regulatory compliance.”

The integrated ReconNET TRACKER solution provides companies with the most widely accepted system for controlling “stale” checks, while reducing operational costs and eliminating penalties and other liabilities associated with non-compliance and unclaimed property regulations. Any company that has uncashed checks, holds dormant customer accounts, makes frequent customer refunds, has a large or revolving workforce, or issues gift cards, can now automate its disbursement reconciliation needs with comprehensive unclaimed property reporting.

“This partnership opens up a new market for Trintech,” said Randy Jesberg, vice president and general manager of the funds management and reconciliation division at Trintech. “This is another step forward in our commitment to delivering solutions that enable our clients to significantly reduce their operating costs and risk, while increasing their level financial control. By working together, we ensure our clients and prospects have the most effective and comprehensive solution available for managing the tracking of unclaimed property and reporting their findings to the appropriate U.S. jurisdiction.”

Customers can use the enhanced solution to automate a variety of functions. For instance, if a customer uses ReconNET TRACKER for unclaimed payroll checks, ReconNET Disbursements provides the needed controls to easily manage and track the processing of stale payroll checks. The ease and accuracy of ReconNET’s reporting suite makes this process much easier, since reports and file extracts can be scheduled daily and quickly configured to provide any needed information.

ReconNET Product Overview

ReconNET, part of Trintech’s PayWare suite of products, provides business-to-business enterprise reconciliation and treasury platforms that streamline the management of cash deposits, credit card payments and disbursements. ReconNET is currently in use by over 270 of the largest merchants, financial institutions, insurance companies, telco’s and multi-national corporations in North America and Europe.

TRACKER Product Overview

TRACKER Unclaimed Property system is the nation’s leading software choice for complying with State-specific unclaimed property laws. Automation helps property holders consolidate this labor-intensive process, comply with due diligence requirements, and meet State-specific filing requirements. Currently over 1500 companies use TRACKER in the United States. TRACKER is the premier unclaimed property software solution because of FREEDOM’s proactive approach to compliance and unmatched customer service.

For additional information about the ReconNET or Tracker solution, contact Trintech at 15851 Dallas Parkway, Suite 940, Addison, TX 75001 (Tel: 972-701-9802) or on the Internet at

About Trintech

Founded in 1987, Trintech is a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions for card-based transactions for physical world commerce, eCommerce and mobile commerce. The company offers a complete range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications, as well as being a world leader in the deployment of payment solutions for Internet commerce that are fully SSL and SET compliant. Trintech’s range of scalable open systems architecture solutions for UNIX® and Windows NT platforms covers consumer, merchant and financial institution requirements for physical payments and the emerging world of electronic commerce. Trintech can be contacted in the U.S. at 2755 Campus Drive, San Mateo, CA 94403 (Tel: 650-227-7000) and in Ireland at Trintech Building, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18 (Tel: 353-1-207-4000). Trintech can be reached on the Web at


FREEDOM, a unit of Fiserv, Inc., specializes in the development of financial, back-office and customer service applications for the insurance and other markets. Founded in 1986, FREEDOM backs the products with responsive, toll-free customer support for a large client base. The company’s web site,, contains more information.

About Fiserv

Fiserv, Inc. (Nasdaq: FISV) is an independent, full-service provider of integrated data processing and information management systems to the financial industry. As a leading technology resource, Fiserv serves more than 10,000 financial services providers worldwide, including banks, broker-dealers, credit unions, financial planners/investment advisers, insurance agents and companies, mortgage banks and savings institutions. Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Fiserv also can be found on the Internet at


QuikPlay ATM

Global Cash Access, a provider of Internet-based cash access, financial management and marketing technologies for the gaming industry, will unveil its QuikPlay ATM at Global Gaming Expo, to be held Oct. 1-3 in Las Vegas. QuikPlay ATM enables late-model gaming machines to receive ATM funds via a highly secure technology platform (patent pending). When a gaming machine is equipped with QuikPlay ATM technology, patrons can access their own funds conveniently and safely. Instead of inserting cash into a slot, patrons can swipe their ATM cards, enter their PIN and requested amount, and approved funds are credited to the machine. QuikPlay ATM enables patrons to control spending via daily limits they set with the ATM card issuer as well as by the QuikPlay System. Additionally, QuikPlay ATM reduces the cash-handling burden for casino management.

QuikPlay ATM supports GCA’s Self Transaction Exclusion Program, or STEP, which allows gaming patrons to exclude themselves from access to their own funds from cash access devices in the GCA network. STEP is successfully deployed in nearly 1,000 gaming establishments.

Following its debut at G2E, regulatory submissions to pilot QuikPlay ATMs will begin in Native American casinos while regulatory approval in additional gaming jurisdictions is sought. Product installations are expected in 2002. “ATMs have become part of our cultural fabric,” said Kirk Sanford, CEO of GCA, “and it’s now possible for casino patrons and management to conveniently take advantage of our technology. This type of technology is a fundamental characteristic of the casino of the future.”

“The technology used in QuikPlay ATM provides the ultimate in speed and security,” said Morry Goldstein, executive vice president of GCA. “Our socially responsible approach ensures the greatest functionality while providing state-of-the-art safeguards for gaming patrons.”

About Global Cash Access

Global Cash Access was formed in 1998 and is a joint venture of First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC) and M&C International, Inc. Providing access to the gaming industry’s largest patron database, Global Cash Access uses Internet technologies to deliver funds transfer, financial management and customer relationship marketing services to more than 1,000 gaming properties nationwide. More information on the company is available at [][1].



ELEKTRA OpeN/2 Platform

S2 Systems, Inc., a global provider of transaction processing, authorization and integrated solutions for the banking, financial services and retail market, announced Grupo Elektra has deployed the S2 OpeN/2 transaction-processing platform and POS credit/debit application for its entire retail chain.

The retail giant’s deployment of S2’s enterprise payment solutions for Windows 2000 on Stratus Technologies’ ftServer marks an industry milestone. Elektra is the leading specialty retailer in Latin America, with over 1,000 stores in Mexico, Peru, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Elektra’s implementation is designed to leverage its exceptional growth in market share, the result of a successful operating strategy focused on reducing costs, exploiting prime acquisition opportunities, and deploying leading edge technology. S2’s OpeN/2 payment solution will essentially allow Elektra to reduce its cost per transaction, while absorbing upward spikes in transaction volumes with dynamic load balancing capabilities. In addition, S2’s open architecture solution will enable the retail conglomerate to extend existing IT infrastructure to accept secure POS credit/debit transactions, as well as integrate with new and emerging technologies.

“S2’s newest project with Elektra further strengthens S2’s position as a key provider of enterprise payment solutions for the retail sector in Latin America,” said Stephen Clark, president and CEO of S2 Systems. “This is a new precedent in the region and another noteworthy example of how we can help organizations significantly lower costs and improve their bottom line in an increasingly competitive retail environment. We are delighted to have the leading specialty retailer in Latin America as an S2 customer, and look forward to working with Elektra as the organization continues to grow and build upon its already impressive market position.”

The transition to S2’s OpeN/2 platform for Windows (R) 2000 brings significant advantages to Elektra — such as easy access to its SQL database and the capability to rapidly implement value added services. Elektra is now positioned to handle credit and debit at the point of sale. Each store has NT workstations that provide all in-store functionality, including credit and debit card processing through attached card reading units. All data flowing from each store to Elektra’s centralized processing system is encrypted. In order to avoid frauds, all debit and credit transactions are validated against an historic database for credit behavior.

“Elektra’s implementation of S2’s OpeN/2 payment solution represents a key technological initiative in our competitive market,” said Ing. Gustavo Vega Vazquez, CIO Grupo Salinas. “We expect this new enterprise application to appreciably advance our commitment towards reducing expenses as well as providing the kind of transaction speed and reliability that our customers require. Additionally our diversified retail organization now has the capabilities to meet higher transaction volumes expected with continued growth in our business.”

S2’s enterprise payment solutions provide retailers with the open transaction processing platform and tools that enable expanded interoperability with multiple applications and customer touch points. S2’s payment solutions are designed to reduce transaction costs, provide extensive systems flexibility that enable the rapid deployment of new revenue channels, offer the best ROI in the industry — and deliver advanced capabilities for EFT, debit, credit, EBT, check management, settlement, as well as bill payments and customer loyalty programs.

About Grupo Elektra

Elektra, with headquarters in Mexico City, is the leading specialty retailer and consumer finance company in Latin America, with over 1,000 stores in Mexico, Peru, Central America, and the Caribbean. Elektra features an extensive range of products and services, which include white goods, consumer electronics, furniture, clothing, small appliances and film development. The stores also offer money transfer and message-sending services. Elektra has more than four times the number of stores as the nearest competitor in Mexico. Elektra is part of Grupo Salinas, which acquired Television Azteca and important retail chains such as Salinas & Rocha, and Hecali. Elektra now accepts the almost 30 million Electron, Visa, MasterCard and local-debit cards in its national coverage. For more information about Elektra, visit its web site at

About S2 Systems

S2 Systems, Inc. is a leading global provider of mission-critical enterprise payment and transaction management solutions for the banking, financial services, retail and travel & hospitality industries. For more than 18 years, some of the world’s largest organizations have relied on S2 products to drive their high-volume e-commerce transactions. Today, our leading-edge technology enables businesses worldwide to implement Web-based initiatives that improve operational efficiency, enhance customer service and generate new revenue streams. S2 Systems is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and has offices in Atlanta, London, Paris, Maarssen, Stockholm, Dubai, Riyadh, Hong Kong, Beijing, Melbourne, and Sydney. For more information about S2 Systems, visit its web site at