PocketCard Partnerships

ProScout.com, the industry’s best known professional scouting organization, ModelingChannel.com, a modeling webzine that provides insightful industry information, and ActingChannel.com, an online resource for aspiring and professional actors, Thursday announced an affiliation with PocketCard Inc., [www.pocketcard.com][1], the creator of a sponsored teen Visa debit card.

PocketCard provides a high-tech Visa debit card for families and businesses that allows supervised purchasing power for teens and employees. Parents or employers instantly transfer funds to the PocketCard directly from their bank account via the Web or any touchtone phone. Spending can be monitored at www.pocketcard.com and through instant email alerts.

ProScout.com, ModelingChannel.com and ActingChannel.com are among the Internet brands of Entertainment Industry Services Inc. (EISI), an established entertainment company.

ProScout.com, ModelingChannel.com, and ActingChannel.com will receive commission for each visitor to their sites that enroll for a PocketCard via a link from ProScout.com, ModelingChannel.com, and/or ActingChannel.com.

Affiliate programs offer commissions to web sites that link online users to a particular e-commerce site and generate sales.

According to a recent survey by Zandl Group, 38 percent of teenage Internet users access the Web more than once a day. Thirty-one percent of teens with Internet access purchased a product from an online shopping site. Seventy-eight percent of teen’s purchases are paid for using a parent’s credit card.

“Along with PocketCard, we can begin to teach teens responsible ways of spending by giving them the independence and distinction of having their own Visa cards, but at the same time giving them controlled budgets for their purchases,” said Greg Hartman, chief executive officer, Entertainment Industry Services Inc.

About PocketCard Inc.

PocketCard is a parent-sponsored Visa spending card that allows teens freedom to shop anywhere Visa is accepted — online or off. A parent or other adult sponsor must enroll at www.pocketcard.com to link a checking or other bank account with the Visa PocketCard account.

The teen can only spend the amount of money that is in their PocketCard account. Any attempt to spend more is denied at the point of purchase. Funds can be instantly transferred and monitored via the web or touchtone phone, and the sponsor can receive an instant e-mail update with each purchase.

Incorporated in July 1998 and issuing cards since June 1999, PocketCard Inc. invented the financial service product known as sponsored payment cards: special purchasing cards for financial dependants with instant funding, reporting and control.

Enabling that unique service is a patent-pending technology platform that allows the instant transfer of money and information — anytime, anyplace — in both the online and offline worlds. PocketCard’s business model reaches families, businesses and individuals with its innovative e-finance and relationship marketing services.

PocketCard works with leading card issuers, processors, retailers, media and others to deliver these applications.

About ProScout

ProScout, a wholly owned subsidiary of Entertainment Industry Services Inc. (EISI), an established entertainment company, is recognized by model and talent agencies as the worldwide leader for the professional and aspiring entertainment community.

ProScout’s next live event is TalentFest2000(TM) Phoenix, June 30-July 2, 2000, a weekend of information, insight, and big-time connections. Headquartered in Scottsdale, ProScout also has offices in Beverly Hills, Calif., and New York City. For more information visit www.proscout.com or call 480/425-3663.

About ModelingChannel.com

A modeling webzine that provides insightful industry information such as agency profiles, tips on how to be discovered, and behind-the-scenes features on some of today’s hottest rising stars. ModelingChannel.com has supplied original content for various web communities and websites, such as AOL and Fashion Live.

About ActingChannel.com

An online resource for aspiring and professional actors, the site offers agency news, a free web page and email account, and other valuable tips, tools and information for actors.

About Entertainment Industry Services Inc. (EISI)

EISI is a Delaware corporation formed in January 2000. The company operates primarily in four business segments within the live event and electronic media (TV, Radio and Internet) industries.

EISI is positioned to capitalize on the growing teen and young adult demographic buying power and its desire to be “in the know” and live with what is currently cool. The company has offices in Scottsdale and Beverly Hills.

[1]: http://www.pocketcard.com/


M-Bank Released

Leading wireless solution provider NetPace Inc. releases M-Bank, a wireless solution for the Financial Services industry. M-Bank ([wap.netpace.com][1]) is a comprehensive wireless banking solution with product features such as viewing account balances/history, funds transfer, and view/modify account information. In addition, M-Bank allows users the ability to set account alerts for such items as low account balance and unusual account activity.

“M-Bank is truly a compelling wireless application. This solution allows users to access personal financial data quickly and conveniently,” says Omar Khan, Partner and Co-Chief Executive Officer.

NetPace has developed effective wireless applications to meet the growing technological demands of the market. The company offers wireless services along with other key providers such as Nokia Corp. (NYSE:NOK – news), Motorola Inc (NYSE:MOT – news), Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY – news), Palm Computing (Nasdaq: PALM – news), and Phone.com (Nasdaq: PHCM – news).

M-Bank is well positioned to serve the Financial Services industry with companies such as Wells Fargo and Co. (NYSE:WFC – news), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC – news), Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM – news), Citibank (NYSE:C – news) and Comerica Inc (NYSE:CMA – news).

About NetPace, Inc.

NetPace, Inc. is a leading provider of Internet with services such as e-strategy consulting, digital media communications, web-enablement, and wireless development. The solutions NetPace provides enables businesses to leverage leading-edge technology to gain sustainable competitive advantages in today’s marketplace. Currently, a privately held organization, NetPace is rapidly expanding with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Visit us at [www.netpace.com][2].

[1]: http://wap.netpace.com/
[2]: http://www.netpace.com/


Delinquency Nudges Up

First quarter 2000 credit card delinquencies, based on total dollars outstanding, reached a five year quarterly low at 3.94%, down from the previous quarter’s 4.28% and down significantly from a five year quarterly high of 5.45% that occurred in the fourth quarter of 1996. The number of credit card bills paid late increased slightly to 3.28% of all accounts, compared to 3.22% in the previous quarter; but down from 3.58% a year earlier. The five-year quarterly high for delinquent credit card accounts also occurred in the fourth quarter of 1996, when the percentage of credit card bills paid late reached 3.72%. The figures were released yesterday by the American Bankers Association. The delinquency trend shown by the ABA tracks with the delinquency trends among card-backed securities and the ‘TrendLine’ calculated by CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

(based on total dollars outstanding)
1999: 4.44% 1995: 3.50% 1991: 4.55% 1987: 3.71% 1983: 3.06%
1998: 5.42% 1994: 3.51% 1990: 3.29% 1986: 4.92% 1982: 3.33%
1997: 5.43% 1993: 3.98% 1989: 3.39% 1985: 3.10% 1981: 2.16%
1996: 4.62% 1992: 4.31% 1988: 3.71% 1984: 2.84% 1980: 3.38%
Source: American Bankers Association Delinquency Bulletin

[1]: http://www.carddata.com/


Creditrust Bankruptcy

Baltimore, MD-based Creditrust Corp. confirmed yesterday it has filed for a Chapter 11 Reorganization despite a significant positive cash flow. The credit card collection firm, exclusive of the non-filed subsidiaries, has assets of $116,288,000 and liabilities of $27,587,000 as of April 30. Many of Creditrust’s receivables were sold in pools to wholly owned subsidiary limited liability companies. Recently, the insurer of three of the subsidiaries’ notes, Asset Guaranty Insurance Company terminated Creditrust’s servicing rights in two pools representing almost half of the company’s accounts. This sudden loss of almost fifty percent of Creditrust’s servicing inventory prompted an immediate re-evaluation of staff and facility requirements. At year-end 1999, Creditrust managed two million accounts with a charged-off amount of approximately $5 billion. Creditrust’s total revenue for last year was $81 million with a net income of just over $17 million. The company currently has 350 employees. For previous Creditrust developments visit CF Library (2/23/00; 2/29/00; 4/6/00; 4/24/00; and 5/31/00).


Oasis in Eastern Europe

Oasis Technology Ltd., a leading provider of ePayment software for mobile commerce, the Internet and real world payments, and Enterprise Consulting International, a key supplier of information management systems in the Ukraine, recently signed an agreement in which ECI will distribute Oasis products and solutions in Central and Eastern Europe. In conjunction with this effort to further reinforce Oasis’ position in the European region, the two companies will attend the Banking Systems and Networks Conference in Yalta, Ukraine, exhibiting Oasis’ ePayment software solutions and ECI’s information management systems.

The agreement is designed to help meet the growing market demand for Internet payment processing from dot-com companies, e-tailers, retailers, financial institutions and third-party processors in the European region. Currently available in more than 70 countries around the world, Oasis ePayment products already have a strong foothold in the European marketplace. With this new agreement, Oasis and ECI will benefit from the explosive eCommerce growth in this region, revolutionizing the processing landscape in the Internet and mobile payments markets.

European eCommerce is expected to grow over 100 per cent through 2003, to top USD 1.5 trillion, according to a recent report by Forrester Research. Similarly, Europe is leading the U.S. in the wireless Internet market.

“Our new partnership with ECI will allow Oasis to build on the already strong ePayment industry infrastructure we have implemented in the Eastern and Central European regions,” said Ashraf Dimitri, president and CEO of Oasis. “Together ECI and Oasis will utilize the tremendous opportunities available in the rapidly growing eCommerce and mobile commerce marketplace to enable clients to deploy payment systems that process transactions in a fast, secure and reliable real-time environment.”

“Oasis ePayment technology has a long history of enabling high-performance ePayment systems all over the world,” said Ivan Zinchenko, ECI Chairman of the Board. “This strategic distribution agreement will allow a new generation of global mCommerce and Internet customers in Central and Eastern Europe to accelerate business growth and reduce the costs associated with deploying and maintaining their ePayment systems and delivery channels. Oasis and ECI bring together proven expertise that gives businesses in the region a first-mover advantage and accelerates their time-to-market with global ePayment solutions.”

ECI and Oasis will also attend the annual Banking Systems and Networks Conference, which brings together banking officials and technology developers to strengthen relationships by sharing leading-edge industry information. During the conference, scheduled from June 18 – 24 in Yalta, Ukraine, Andrey Lyubimov, e-business technology consultant of ECI, will speak about Internet Banking solutions. ECI and Oasis are also exhibiting at the show (booth 24) and will demonstrate Oasis Internet Banking, Oasis iCard, and Oasis Internet Payments software solutions.

About Oasis Technology Ltd.

Oasis Technology Ltd. delivers leading mCommerce, Internet and real-world ePayment software products to Internet and traditional banks, e-tailers, retailers, and processors in more than 70 countries worldwide. Today, Internet payment systems powered by Oasis software process more than four billion transactions annually. Oasis Internet payment software products are designed for end-to-end payment processing throughout the entire payment lifecycle, bridging the virtual and real worlds of electronic payments. The company’s international client base includes ABN Amro, American Express, The Bank of Montreal, Citibank, Credicard/Redecard Brazil, Diners, Europay, Golden Card (China), MasterCard and Visa International. With corporate headquarters located in Toronto, Canada, the company also operates offices in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Miami, Florida and San Jose, California, and supports an extensive network of international distributors and sales representatives. Oasis is ISO 9001 registered. Visit Oasis online at [www.oasis-technology.com][1].

About Enterprise Consulting International (ECI) Since 1995, ECI has been providing consulting, development and implementation services for IT solutions throughout the Ukraine. ECI’s primary business objective is to deliver custom IT solutions that cover a broad range of business needs. ECI has four subsidiaries: “Inmers,” delivering corporate networking solutions (Internet, Intranet , Extranet); “SQL-Solutions” – data management and business intelligence solutions; “ETS” – eCommerce solutions; and “ECI-Ukraine” – ERP-systems consulting and implementation. ECI representatives are highly skilled and dedicated people who have implemented IT projects for Ukrainian State Committee on Statistics, National Bank of Ukraine, Prominvest Bank, First Ukrainian International Bank, Privat Bank, and “Sirena-2,” an Internet based modernization of the air tickets booking system. ECI’s main office is located in Kyiv, Ukraine.

[1]: http://www.oasis-technology.com/


Discover 2Q/00

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter reported yesterday that its Discover credit card division exceeded expectations for the second fiscal quarter ending May 31. Discover’s card receivables posted a strong gain while cardholder and merchant fee income increased significantly. On top of rising card revenues, was a sharp decline in chargeoffs and delinquency. Managed consumer loans rose to a $43.7 billion, an increase of 33% from a year ago. Merchant and cardholder fees increased 20% over the past twelve months to $591 million. Transaction volume increased 34% to $21.9 billion for the second quarter. Meanwhile net charge-offs declined to 4.21%, the lowest level in almost five years and 134 basis points below last year’s second quarter 5.55%. The over-30-day delinquency rate was 5.11%, compared to 5.94% a year ago. However the yield on consumer loans declined 70 basis points from last year’s second quarter but increased 34 basis points from this year’s first quarter. The increase in yield reflects a pricing increase implemented during the second quarter. For complete current details on Discover’s 2Q/00 results as well as historical data, please visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

1Q/00* 2Q/00*
Receivables: $42.0b $43.7b
Volume: $23.5b $45.4b
Accounts: 39.2m 40.4m
Actives: 22.8m 23.1m
Chargeoffs: 4.66% 4.43%
Delinquency: 5.57% 5.11%
Yield: 13.35% 13.52%

*1Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 2/29/00; 2Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 5/31/00. Source: CardData ([www.carddata.com][2])

[1]: http://www.carddata.com
[2]: http://www.carddata.com


AmEx Super Platinum

American Express yesterday unveiled the American Express ‘Investment Management Account Platinum Card’. AmEx customers with a combined minimum balance of $100,000 in their AmEx Brokerage and/or American Express Centurion Bank accounts are eligible for the new card program. Amex is discounting its $300 Platinum Card annual fee to $225 annually for ‘IMA Platinum’ cardholders. Under the new program all card purchases and cash withdrawals will be directly debited from the customer’s Investment Management Account. A Gold card version is also available for customers with a combined minimum balance of $25,000 in their American Express Brokerage and/or American Express Centurion Bank accounts. The $75 Gold card annual fee is totally waived.


Experian Europe

Companies looking to grow their credit business in Europe’s leading consumer markets will soon be able to use Experian as a single-source provider of credit bureau information, marketing services and back office support, account acquisition, account processing and customer management solutions.

The announcement follows a major Europe-wide investment in people, systems and technology by Experian, the global information solutions company. This investment will place Experian in the unique position as the only cross-border credit processor offering a combination of credit bureau and account acquisition solutions in major consumer markets in Europe, including the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Holland and France.

Experian’s integrated credit solution has now been implemented in the UK and a roll- out plan for implementation in Spain is now ready. Solution templates for France and Germany are to be completed by the third quarter of 2000, and an Italian solution template will be finished by the end of the year.

A fundamental part of Experian’s integrated solution has been its investment in a Global Enterprise Management System (GEMS). GEMS is Experian’s new account processing platform that has been integrated into the company’s range of information products and services. Experian has invested some 10 million in GEMS including the development of full Pan-European multi-lingual support through the latest Browser User Interface (BUI) technology.

GEMS offers a stand alone, rapid processing solution for new market entrants and companies looking to upgrade their existing account management capabilities. Experian’s risk management products and services are also fully compatible with alternative processing platforms and can be integrated into existing systems.

Jayne Barber of Experian commented: “The rapid growth of consumer credit in major European markets has necessitated the emergence of more complex revolving credit services along with a need for more flexible Pan-European processing systems.”

“The Internet is also levelling out cross border differences and has created demand for seamless risk management solutions. Experian will be the only company in the market able to provide a combined integrated offering that meets the needs of any company looking to exploit the potential of the Pan-European credit market.”

“With 3000 staff located in offices throughout continental Europe, and a further 3000 people in the UK, Experian will soon be in a position to offer its clients end-to-end account acquisition and management solutions for the entire customer lifecycle – including marketing support, account processing, risk management, database management and customer relationship services.”


Price Chopper E-Checks

Price Chopper, the full-service supermarket chain, announced it will begin an electronic check conversion pilot program next month in partnership with San Francisco-based BankServ, one of the nation’s leading providers of electronic check conversion services. The pilot, the first by a large U.S. grocery chain, will take place at the Price Chopper store in Dunmore, Penn.

The company operates 97 super center retail outlets in six states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont.

If the 90-day pilot program goes as expected, Price Chopper plans to install digital imaging check readers provided by Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC), and BankServ’s check conversion services in all of its stores beginning in January 2001.

“This latest technology will streamline check processing for the company, lower operating costs, and will very quickly become completely transparent to consumers,” according to Joanne Gage, vice president of consumer and marketing services for Price Chopper. “We strongly believe that any investment we make in converting to this process will quickly be recouped by the savings we will achieve. Paper check handling is becoming increasingly expensive,” explained Gage. “Electronic processing brings the cost of accepting checks closer to the cost of debit card transactions. In addition, consumers are already comfortable with checks, and check conversion still provides customers with 24-48 hours of float.”

One additional advantage of electronic check conversion to both merchants and customers, according to Gage, is that it speeds up check out lines. “Our experience shows that filling out a paper check can add 30-50 seconds to every transaction,” said Gage. “We are hoping this faster service will further encourage consumers to shop with us. We will be developing educational materials for our customers and careful training for employees to make sure everyone is comfortable with the new procedures. Because our customers trust us, we want the process to be seamless and transparent to them.”

Check Conversion Savings Balance Cost of Installation

Retailers have been skeptical of moving to electronic check conversion in the past because of the cost of installing the equipment, noted Gage. “BankServ, however, was willing to look at our existing costs and come up with a business case that works for us,” she said. “BankServ is more a partner in this project than a service provider. They wanted a win-win situation for both our companies and our customers.”

Paul Rasori, vice president of retail sales for BankServ’s Atlanta-based check services unit, explained, “Processing checks electronically via the nation’s ACH system eliminates the delay caused by having to take paper checks to the bank. Merchants get a faster availability on their funds. They also receive a faster notice on returned items, and they eliminate the most basic and costly problem of paper checks: handling them. In summary, electronic check conversion cuts handling time, automates returned items processing and increases cash flow.”

Roger C. Hitchcock, vice president and general manager of Hypercom’s Multi-Lane Division, added, “Working closely with BankServ has allowed us to easily cost justify new technologies for Price Chopper. Building on the ROI of check conversion, Price Chopper can now take advantage of our new ePic (ePOS-infocommerce(TM)) ICE(TM) 6000 platform, an Internet-enabled, touch-screen card payment web appliance that supports traditional electronic payment and smart card transactions, and features an array of revenue-generating applications such as electronic check imaging and conversion, receipt capture, e-commerce and more.”

How Check Conversion Works

Digital imaging check readers take a picture of the customer’s blank check, capturing the customer’s checking account number and name and address information. Then the check is voided and handed back to the customer. The electronic images will be available should the customer or retailer need them later, especially if the transaction is returned and must be reconstructed for some reason. Customers therefore won’t get cancelled checks with their monthly bank statement, but they will receive a more detailed line-item description of their electronic check transactions on their bank statements.

If an electronic check doesn’t clear the first time, it will automatically be run through again, helping retailers get their funds more quickly. In many cases, this will save consumers from returned check charges, since the retailer will not incur the labor cost associated with check collection. Electronic conversion also reduces the potential for unauthorized use of account information.

About BankServ

Founded in 1996 by CEO Dave Kvederis, BankServ is one of the country’s leading providers of payment solutions for online businesses, retailers and financial services companies. BankServ’s check services unit provides electronic check conversion and information reporting services to more than 2,000 U.S. merchants. BankServ is also one of the nation’s leading check conversion service providers to large and small U.S. financial institutions.

The company’s Internet payments division offers a new electronic check for Internet business built on the backbone of BankServ’s secure, proprietary, brick-and-mortar check data-capture and ACH system. The Internet division also offers a full suite of settlement applications for both business-to-business exchanges and consumer-to-business payments, as well as reporting services for businesses on the Internet. The company’s wire transfer unit processes more than $1 billion a day in global and domestic wire transfers on behalf of more than 50 U.S. financial institutions.

Headquartered in San Francisco, BankServ also maintains offices in Atlanta, Boise, Chicago, Dallas, Lafayette, La., Las Vegas and New York. More information about BankServ can be found online at [www.bankserv.com][1].

About Hypercom

Hypercom Corporation is a global provider of end-to-end electronic payment solutions, including card payment systems, peripherals, network products, software and e-commerce payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 70 countries through a global network of affiliates and offices in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is http://www.hypercom.com.

About Price Chopper

Price Chopper, a subsidiary of the Golub Corporation, was founded in 1932 by two brothers, Ben and Bill Golub. After years in the wholesale grocery business with their father, Lewis, the Golub brothers laid the roots for “one stop shopping” when they opened the Public Service Market in Green Island, N.Y. The store name was changed to Central Market a year later. The one store grew into an innovative supermarket chain over the next 40 years, introducing S&H Green Stamps and 24-hour shopping convenience to the Northeast.

Central Markets became the Price Chopper Discount Supermarkets in 1973. Golub Corporation today is ranked between 43rd and 45th in sales in the nation and employs 18,700 associates. Employees own approximately 44 percent of the company’s privately held stock. The company operates 97 super center retail outlets in six northeastern states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. It is headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y. More information about Price Chopper can be found at http://www.pricechopper.com.

[1]: http://www.bankserv.com/


NPC & GTE Team

National Processing Company has entered into an agreement with GTE to provide on-line bill payment using VirtualPAY for GTE’s bill payment service, Quick Pay. This agreement expands National Processing Company’s presence in the on- line bill payment market. NPC is the second largest provider of merchant credit card processing.

GTE now offers Quick Pay free of charge to its customers who have not signed up for GTE’s on-line billing program. Quick Pay allows customers to quickly pay their bills on-line by simply entering their GTE account number and bank information. GTE customers can use Quick Pay 24 hours a day, seven days a week and authorize an on-line payment to GTE within minutes. Customers control when and how much they want to pay without having to handwrite a check.

“As part of our commitment to make GTE the most customer-focused telecommunications provider on the Internet, we were looking for an easy-to- use Internet payment service to offer our customers” said Jeff Rudluff, director of Web commerce for GTE. “We chose to implement NPC’s VirtualPAY(SM) product because it was an off-the-shelf solution that was easily customized to meet our electronic payment needs.”

VirtualPAY(SM) is NPC’s user friendly Internet payment service for both check and credit card payments. VirtualPAY(SM) is one of the industry’s leading applications for bill payment, funds transfer and on-line Internet purchases. Current users of NPC’s VirtualPAY(SM) services include Chevron, ExxonMobil and E*TRADE. VirtualPAY(SM) is a customizable solution that facilitates on-line payments in both the consumer- to- business and business- to-business markets.

“Quick Pay is a robust and flexible Internet payment product that easily adapts to the users’ requirements. GTE’s drive to make the GTE.com Web site a customer focused tool sets a high standard for billers large and small,” said Tom Wimsett, president and CEO of NPC.

About NPC

NPC is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and corporate outsourcing solutions. NPC supports approximately 500,000 merchant locations, representing one out of every six Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. Approximately 88 percent of the company is owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC), a Cleveland based $86 billion financial holding company. Additional information regarding NPC can be obtained at http://www.npc.net .

About GTE

With 1999 revenues of more than $25 billion, GTE is a leading telecommunications provider with one of the industry’s broadest arrays of products and services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 18 states, as well as nationwide long-distance, directory, and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies. Outside the United States, the company serves customers on five continents. Additional information about GTE can be obtained at http://www.gte.com.


TRM Joins UK’s Link

TRM Corporation announced that it is now an official member of the Link Network. Link is the UK’s national cash machine network. TRM is one of the first non-bank cash machine operators approved to join the network. Membership comes at a time when TRM is actively expanding throughout the UK – over 700 machines are already installed with 2,000 expected to be operational by the end of the year.

According to Link Executive Director, John Hardy: “Additional ATM operators on the Link network will be beneficial to consumers as it will result in more machines being installed, especially in those locations currently without access to an ATM. TRM is a highly professional organisation with an intensive infrastructure in the UK and offers its customers a reliable and secure service.”

TRM director, Phillip Carr commented: “Membership of the Link Network will enable us to offer our services to individuals in additional locations across the UK. As our expansion continues throughout the year, more customers will have the opportunity to access their money in a safe, indoor environment.”


Credit Card Funding

Fitch warned this week that regulatory scrutiny could limit the ability of credit card companies looking for ways to diversify their funding sources away from securitization or public debt markets. Fitch says one option that has been aggressively pursued by consumer finance companies that maintain or started bank or thrift charters has been to raise bank deposits through brokered channels or direct marketing. The rating agency says the recent announcement that the bank subsidiaries of Advanta Corp. each reached agreements with their respective bank regulatory agencies could be a prelude to further regulatory scrutiny of other consumer finance companies. While Fitch does not believe that all companies will be cast into the same situation as Advanta, companies that are not diligent in the management of their sub-prime lending operations will be more at risk of scrutiny from bank regulators.