Concord EFS announced Monday it has completed the acquisition of Virtual Cyber Systems, an Internet software development company. VCS’ core software product, ‘SiteMerger’, is a key element in the entry-level product in Concord’s family of vertically integrated e-commerce services.Details
NOVA Corporation announced Monday that Pamela A. Joseph, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of NOVA Corporation, has been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors. Ms. Joseph’s addition to the Board increases NOVA’s Board of Directors to a total of eight directors.
“Since joining NOVA in 1994, Pam has worked in nearly every area of the Company and she has played a major role in our growth and ongoing development. No one in our Company knows the business as well as Pam, and no one has contributed more to our success,” said NOVA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward Grzedzinski. “She joined us as part of our sales and marketing organization, and with her strong leadership her role has increased to include our technical organization and operations. Pam’s strong vision contributed to NOVA’s technological advancement and played a key role both in directing NOVA’s early participation in Econex, LLC, and as the point person in developing NOVA’s value-added Internet strategy for small merchants. The knowledge and experience she brings to our Board will be invaluable as we pursue our strategies for growth in our core processing business, the Internet, and as we look internationally for new opportunities,” Grzedzinski concluded.
Ms. Joseph’s background includes nearly three years with VISA International where, as the Director of New Market Development, she was responsible for establishing VISA card acceptance in the supermarket industry. She joined NOVA in 1994 as Vice President of Marketing and was promoted to Senior Vice President of Business Development one year later. She was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer in 1997, and promoted to Senior Executive Vice President last year. Ms. Joseph is a graduate of the University of Illinois, with a major in business administration. She currently lives in Roswell, Georgia with her husband and two children.
“The fast pace and strong growth environment at NOVA provides a unique opportunity to develop and contribute at a level that most companies simply cannot offer,” Ms. Joseph said. “I look forward to the new challenges and being part of a company that is dedicated to being an industry leader in the provision of electronic commerce services.”
NOVA Corporation, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, manages and transports payment and other business information on behalf of retailers, community banks and regional financial institutions. NOVA specializes in providing integrated credit and debit card payment processing services, related software application products and value added services to more than 500,000 merchants in the U.S. NOVA merchant customers typically include small- to medium-sized merchants requiring a full spectrum of processing services. For more information on the Company, visit: [www.novacorp.net].
PULSE and First Tennessee Merchant Services announced Monday they have joined up to offer merchant processing services to PULSE member banks. Banks electing to utilize First Tennessee for merchant processing will incur no start-up or membership fees and receive customized monthly reports indicating total volume, rates and number of merchants.Details
Miami-based TecniCard announced this morning it is launching the first Central American virtual credit card payment solution. The new solution is powered by Trintech’s ‘NetIssuer/ezCard’ solution. TecniCard Inc. issues, acquires and processes credit cards on behalf of 25 leading banks in Central America. TecniCard, through its subsidiaries in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, offers merchant processing services. Its processing infrastructure covers almost all countries from Panama to Belize, including ATM Networks in Nicaragua and Honduras.Details
Revolving consumer credit continued to expand at a modest rate during December. According to preliminary figures released Monday afternoon by the Federal Reserve, Americans piled on more than $4 billion in outstanding revolving credit during December. Since July, revolving consumer credit, mostly credit card debt, has grown by $8.5 billion. Overall consumer credit is now growing at a 9.7%, according to the FRB. At the end of December American consumers were $1.399 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.
REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL
Dec99 Nov99 Oct99 Sep99 Aug99 Jul99 Jun99 May99 Apr99 Mar99 Feb99 Jan99
%GRWTH: 8.4% 9.0 -0.5 0.0 2.5 12.1 13.8 4.5 5.6 -0.9 3.4 11.6
$OWED: $592.8 588.7 584.3 584.5 584.5 584.6 578.5 572.2 569.9 567.3 567.5 565.9
Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 2/07/00; For
complete historical data visit www.carddata.com.
VA-based Online Resources & Communications announced this morning it has signed a strategic marketing agreement with Aurum Technology Inc., formerly a division of EDS’ Financial Industry Group that spun-off and became an independent company in December. Both firms focus on the mid-range and community-based banking market. The deal will combine Online Resources’ real-time banking and bill payment infrastructure and Aurum’s application software and item processing capabilities.Details
NextCard placed #5 among all Internet advertisers for the week of Jan 24-30. According to Nielsen/NetRatings, NextCard racked up 80.5 million impressions for the week, giving the card issuer a 19.9% market reach. Among top banner ads, Capital One placed #3 with its ‘9.9% Fixed Rate VISA Platinum’ ad. The average click rate for top banners: 0.34%.Details
An Atlanta-based company marketing an ATM card that resembled a U.S. Treasury-designated ‘Electronic Transfer Account’ reached a settlement with the FTC on Friday. The Federal Trade Commission says DBC Financial, Inc. has agreed to pay $250,000 in consumer redress for allegedly misleading consumers in its marketing of the ‘Delaware Bank Card’. The company primarily targeted Social Security recipients by offering, among other services, a direct deposit service for Social Security checks which included an ATM card. According to the FTC’s complaint, DBC Financial falsely represented that its ‘Delaware Bank Card’ required no up-front fees, when, in fact, use of the card requires an account set-up fee of $19.95, as well as a monthly service fee of $9.95. The FTC also says DBC represented that the card provided free overdraft protection services of up to $1,000 a year, when in fact the card charges an overdraft protection fee of $19.95 for every month in which the consumer’s account is overdrawn by up to $80.00. The FTC also said the card implied an affiliation with the US Treasury ETA account.Details
clipclop.com Enterprises Inc. has received approval of its application for merchant status from Cardservice International Inc. clipclop.com will now be able to provide credit card transaction processing services to horse related businesses whose goods and/or services are offered through clipclop.com’s equestrian portal.
Clipclop.com Chairman, John Henry, said, “We have received a very competitive discount rate from Cardservice International and now we, in turn, can offer very attractive terms to our clients. This is an important step towards meeting our goal of becoming the Ebay (EBAY) of the horse world”.
About Cardservice International, Inc.
Cardservice International, Inc., is a global leader in providing real-time secure credit card transactions to merchants. Cardservice offers merchants a cost-effective service branded to their businesses, enabling them to provide credit card processing over the Internet as well as to the traditional marketplace. The company’s LinkPoint Secure Payment Gateway(SM) utilizes state-of-the-art Secure Sockets Layer technology and is easily scalable to any size business. The gateway is designed to communicate in real time with a business’ core data-processing system to allow online transactions to be posted immediately. The gateway also delivers a full range of capabilities, including sales, returns, authorizations, online check processing and comprehensive real-time reports for easy Web management.
More than 170,000 merchants have contracted with Cardservice International. Of those, 50,000 are actively using Cardservice and/or the LinkPoint Secure Payment Gateway as their Internet solution.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
“John J. Henry” ————————— John J. Henry, Chairman
From time to time, the company may issue news releases that contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and is subject to the safe harbor created by those sections. This material may contain statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. For those statements, the company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statement provisions contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and any amendments thereto. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, goals, assumptions, or future events or performance are not statements of historical fact and may be “forward-looking statements.” “Forward-looking statements” are based upon expectations, estimates and projections at the time the statements are made that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated. “Forward-looking statements” in this action may be identified through the use of words such as “projects,” “expects,” “will,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “believes” or by statements indicating certain actions “may,” “could” or “might” occur. Discussions of factors that may affect future results are contained in the company’s recent filings.Details
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited today reported consolidated net earnings per share of $1.89 in fiscal 1999, compared with $2.09 per share earned in 1998. After-tax consolidated earnings were $145.9 million versus $167.0 million in 1998.
The pre-tax consolidated earnings were reduced by unusual expenses of approximately $50 million associated with, among other things, Y2K charges as well as costs to develop an e-commerce business which is scheduled to be launched later in 2000 and the retirement of the CEO as previously announced.
All of Canadian Tire’s operating divisions made strong contributions to 1999 operating earnings before the expense adjustment. Canadian Tire Retail (CTR) operating earnings before the adjustment were up 8.1 percent while Canadian Tire Financial Services and Canadian Tire Petroleum operating earnings increased 8.0 percent and 81.3 percent respectively.
The Corporation closed the year with consolidated gross operating revenue of $4.7 billion, 8.8 percent ahead of the $4.3 billion reported in 1998.
“In addition to our strong operating performance in 1999, Canadian Tire achieved a number of key strategic accomplishments,” said Stephen E. Bachand, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We opened 51 new-format stores bringing our total to 188 since the program started; we announced the national roll-out of the PartSource automotive parts stores; we upgraded 20 gas bars; we passed the one million mark for Canadian Tire Options MasterCard holders; and made significant investments to enhance supply chain capabilities.”
“The Corporation is in a strong financial and market position and our growth strategy is sound and performing well. We have the best management team in the business and in a national survey, we were recently selected as Canada’s best company to work for,” Bachand added.
The Corporation’s new-format store program, which began in 1994, will be completed in four years. Planned openings in addition to other major elements of the Corporation’s growth strategy, including PartSource and e-commerce, will contribute significantly to its performance
Fourth quarter consolidated gross operating revenue increased by 13.1 percent to $1.3 billion. This strong revenue growth was driven by increased shipments to Associate Dealers. Consolidated net earnings for the quarter were $13.0 million compared to $44.0 million a year earlier. The decline in earnings was due to the expenses described earlier. Net earnings per share for the quarter were $0.16 versus $0.56 in the same quarter of 1998.
Canadian Tire Retail
Canadian Tire Associate Dealers recorded a strong year. Total retail sales were up 7.7 percent over 1998, an improvement over the increase of 7.5 percent reported a year earlier. This trend reflects the increased contribution of the additional new-format stores. Comparable store sales increased by 2.9 percent in 1999. Associate Dealers recorded strong retail sales for the fourth quarter, up 10.2 percent.
CTR closed 1999 with gross operating revenue of $3.8 billion, up 8.2 percent from the $3.5 billion recorded in 1998. The increase was driven by higher retail sales which resulted in a year-over-year 8.0 percent increase in shipments to Associate Dealers.
CTR operating earnings — before the described expense adjustment — for the year were $214.4 million, 13.2 percent up from the $189.5 million earned in 1998. All three merchandising divisions of CTR — Automotive, Sports and Leisure, and Home Products — contributed strong shipment and margin growth. CTR operating earnings after the adjustment were $155.9 million, down 17.7 percent from a year earlier.
Fourth quarter, CTR gross operating revenue totaled $1,026.3 million, up 10.9 percent from $925.4 million in 1998. Operating earnings — before the described expense adjustment — for the quarter were $64.3 million compared to $55.7 million a year earlier. CTR operating earnings after the adjustment were $5.8 million.
Canadian Tire Financial Services
Canadian Tire Financial Services recorded 1999 gross operating revenue of $306.0 million, up 0.2 percent from the $305.4 million recorded a year earlier. The revenue performance was impacted by the licensing of Financial Services’ long-distance program to a third party. Operating earnings in 1999 were $56.0 million, up 8.0 percent from $51.9 million in 1998, due to the continued focus on improving the quality of the credit card portfolio.
Fourth quarter gross operating revenue was $83.0 million, compared with $77.3 million in the same quarter of 1998. Operating earnings in the fourth quarter were $12.5 million versus $11.2 million a year earlier.
Canadian Tire Petroleum
Canadian Tire Petroleum reported 1999 gross operating revenue of $622.0 million, up 17.3 percent from $530.2 million in 1998. The increase in revenue, resulted primarily from the year-over-year 9.1 percent increase in gasoline sales volume. Operating earnings for the year were $15.2 million, an 81.3 percent increase over the $8.4 million earned in 1998. The improvement in operating earnings was the result of continued expense reduction and increased gross margin dollars due to higher gasoline sales volumes. Petroleum’s fourth quarter gross operating revenue totaled $176.5 million compared with $134.4 million a year earlier. Operating earnings for the quarter were $3.1 million versus $2.6 million in 1998.
On December 2, 1999 the Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.10 per share on each Common and Class A Non-Voting share. The dividend is payable on March 1, 2000 to holders of record on January 31, 2000.Details
Three gaming properties of Trump Casino Services, LLC have signed contracts to utilize the technologically advanced products and services of Global Cash Access, the leading provider of cash access, financial management and customer relationship marketing technologies to the gaming industry.
‘Through Global Cash Access, we have access to unparalleled, secure patron database services. Their innovations have made an extraordinary amount of valuable data available data that we use to improve customer service and increase business,’ said Francis X. McCarthy, Jr., executive vice president, corporate finance for Trump Casino Services, LLC.
Trump Casino Services, LLC will be taking advantage of GCA’s QuikCash(TM) POS debit/credit card cash advance machines, TeleCheck(R) check guarantee and authorization, Western Union(R) wire transfer and Central Credit, Inc., the gaming industry’s largest patron information database.
Trump Casino Services, LLC properties that recently signed agreements with GCA are:
— Trump Marina
— Trump Plaza
— Trump Taj Mahal
Global Cash Access was formed in 1998 through a joint venture of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC) and USA Processing, 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 1,200 gaming properties nationwide.Details
UBS Card Center Ltd., a subsidiary of UBS AG, one of the ten largest banks in the world, has successfully implemented Falcon, the leading bank card fraud detection system, developed by HNC Financial Solutions, a division of HNC Software Inc.
“The Falcom system has provided an immediate benefit to our overall fraud detection efforts,” said Werner Schaer, head of UBS Card Center’s fraud department. “In addition to the direct cost savings, Falcon has provided several internal work process enhancements, such as improved analyst efficiency and increased customer service quality. Our customers even welcomed the inquiries we made to them regarding suspicious transactions.”
Falcon, a neural network-based predictive software system that examines transaction, cardholder, and merchant data to detect a wide range of credit card fraud, currently protects more than 300 million payment card accounts worldwide.
“Besides the immediate 40 to 60 percent reduction in fraud losses enjoyed by typical Falcon users, the supplementary benefits can create additional savings of roughly 10 percent of the total cost of operating a fraud management unit,” said Enrique Carrillo, regional vice president of sales for HNC Financial Solutions. “Since Falcon can detect fraud at a lower false-positive rates than those typically used by card issuers, the system reduces the number of phone calls required to confirm fraudulent activity. This translates into a 30 to 50 percent reduction in telecommunications costs.”
“Though credit card fraud has been a growing problem in Europe, Falcon has been widely credited as a major weapon in inhibiting this trend,” continued Carrillo. “Based on the information provided by UBS, Falcon will help them with the kinds of fraud that are common to our international customers, including lost, stolen, and counterfeit cards, falsified applications, and fraudulent mail-order/telephone order transactions. Falcon’s early detection of counterfeit fraud, the fastest growing category of card fraud in the world, is unique in the industry.”
About UBS Card Center Ltd.
Employing more than 400 people and serving more than 680,000 clients and 50,000 merchants, UBS Card Center is one of the leading processing centers for VISA and Eurocards in Switzerland. With a market share of more than 32 percent, UBS AG ranks as the largest issuer of credit cards in the country. For more information about UBS AG’s credit card products, visit the UBS Web Site atDetails