Bank of America’s Credit Card Group said yesterday it has selected NC-based American Credit Counselors Corp. to be a lead counselor to the bank’s customers with serious credit card debt. ACCC, a national non-profit organization that provides financial counseling and a debt management program for people who are experiencing financial difficulties, says it ranks among the top 12% nationally based on number of current clients. BofA says it has utilized ACCC for more than 18 months and has monitored and compared the performance of many other counseling agencies. BofA says ACCC’s exceptional reporting on key performance indicators was a factor in its decision to migrate more of its credit-counseling business to the company.Details
Frost & Sullivan has awarded Hypercom Corporation the 1998 Market Engineering Marketing Strategy Award for its strategic moves to shift the focus of the financial services industry to value-added solutions at the point-of-sale.
Hypercom’s prudent strategy came at a time when financial institutions began deploying new or updated POS transaction processing technology “in a desperate attempt to retain customers” amidst “fierce competition, cost-cutting and on-going consolidation plaguing the banking industry,” according to Frost & Sullivan. Frost & Sullivan is an internationally-recognized marketing consulting and training firm that monitors the information technology industry for market measurements, trends and strategies. Hypercom(R) is a global provider of electronic payment solutions.
Hypercom has introduced a number of solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers, including the ICE(TM) 5000 family of multi-function, touch-screen card payment systems with Hypercom’s networking solutions supporting the Hypercom FastPOS 9600(TM) bps modem technology, and Hypercom’s Ascedent(TM) client/server transaction software.
“Adding value at the point-of-sale is essential for financial institutions who want to survive and compete in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace,” said George Wallner, President and CEO, Hypercom Corporation. “Consumers want new programs, features and greater options. Merchants want improved efficiency, loyalty programs for repeat business and increased revenues, as well as support of new payment methods.”
“Acquirers and processors need to enhance existing revenue streams and create new ones. Overall, it has become essential to add value to the basic card transaction through functions such as electronic receipt capture, on-screen terminal advertising, customized receipts, electronic check handling, and the support of complex loyalty programs. Hypercom’s solutions address those needs, and we are gratified to receive Frost & Sullivan’s Market Engineering Marketing Strategy Award,” Wallner noted.
Hypercom Corporation is a global provider of electronic payment solutions, including multi-function point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, network products, Ascendent payment and transaction software and Internet-based and electronic commerce payment solutions.
On a global basis Hypercom delivers the services and technology infrastructure required to quickly integrate and deploy new payment applications. These applications provide competitive value-added programs, improved business performance and low total cost of ownership.
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, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [www.hypercom.com].
Atlanta-based InfiCorp Holdings Inc. confirmed Monday it has acquired the Internet, telephone marketing and credit application services division of NJ-based The BISYS Group Inc. The BISYS unit will continue to operate from Atlanta, however InfiCorp has renamed the unit: ‘InfiLink’. The new InfiCorp subsidiary will continue to serve its existing customer base of banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, thrifts and consumer services companies. InfiLink provides clients with automated services that enable them to generate consumer loan leads among customers and prospects. Consumers can apply for client-specific loan products anytime by phone or via the Internet. InfiLink applies client-supplied credit criteria and customer relationship data to respond real-time to consumer requests. InfiCorp provides specialized credit card portfolio management, decision support and card-issuing solutions. It also owns InfiBank, a GA-based credit card bank. David L. Strider has been named managing director of InfiLink.Details
Intell-A-Check, Corp., a leader in electronic payment solutions, Monday announced that the company’s electronic check-writing application software, Intell-A-Check!, is compliant with specifications determined by the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) to allow consumer authorization of non-recurring ACH debits. In July, NACHA will launch a nine-month pilot for financial institutions – ODFIs (Originating Depository Financial Institutions) – in conjunction with participating organizations, to test various methods for accepting non-recurring ACH payments over the phone. Intell-A-Check! enables ODFIs to offer organizations an out-of-the-box, plug-and-play solution to accept non-recurring ACH payments via telephone for the trial program.
The Consumer Authorization for Non-Recurring ACH Debits Pilot will research the possibility of broadening the NACHA regulation for non-recurring ACH debits, expanding consumer options for authorization to include the telephone. The results of the program will help NACHA better determine if and how an amendment to the existing NACHA Operating Rules with regard to authorization requirements should be made.
To support ODFIs and organizations interested in participating in the pilot, Intell-A-Check! offers a turnkey NACHA-compliant system to accept non-recurring ACH payments via telephone. Intell-A-Check! is a flexible, easy-to-use tool that enables companies to accept check or ACH payments directly through the phone, fax, VRU (voice response unit), and Internet. Once the ABA and account information is entered into the Intell-A-Check! interface, the system can instantly create authorized payments drawn from customers’ accounts, and be formatted as a check print file, or as an ACH file for immediate electronic deposit.
“By providing a fast, easy way to accept non-recurring check payments over the phone, Intell-A-Check! is the perfect tool to support the requirements for the NACHA pilot,” explained Joseph Grueter, Treasurer of Intell-A-Check, Corp. “With Intell-A-Check!, ODFIs can provide participating organizations with a turnkey solution to expand their opportunities to use the ACH network for electronic commerce.”
In addition to creating a properly formatted ACH file for electronic deposit, the Intell-A-Check! software program can also create a companion file that can be used to post payments directly to customers’ accounts, automatically updating the billing system’s account-receivable balance. Intell-A-Check! offers advanced customization, and can be flexibly deployed across a network. The system provides multiple levels of security with complete audit trail reporting, and a built-in algorithm to instantly check the validity of an ABA number against a comprehensive ABA & routing number database. Intell-A-Check! also offers real-time check verification services.
About the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA)
NACHA represents more than 13,000 financial institutions through its 34 regional ACH associations, six councils and corporate Affiliate Membership program. A leader in the payments industry, NACHA develops operating rules for the Automated Clearing House Network and for emerging electronic payment solutions in the areas of Internet commerce, bill payment and presentment, financial electronic data interchange, cross-border transactions, electronic checks, and electronic benefits transfer. Visit NACHA on the Internet at [www.nacha.org].
About Intell-A-Check, Corp.
Founded in 1994, Intell-A-Check, Corp. is a leader in payment technologies, providing a range of electronic payment solutions to Fortune 1000 organizations, including MCI WorldCom, Comcast Cablevision, Bank of America, Consolidated Edison of New York, and GE Capital. Located in Belleville, NJ, the company is a Microsoft Commerce Partner. Its flagship product, Intell-A-Check!, is a Microsoft BackOffice certified solution that supports a broad range of technology platforms. For additional information, contact Intell-A-Check, Corp. at 800-946-8355, or via the Web at [http://www.icheck.com].
Household International announced Monday that its UK-based subsidiary, HFC Bank, plc, and Freeserve, a UK internet service, will develop and launch an internet based credit card. The minimum five year agreement between Freeserve and HFC Bank includes targets such as exclusivity payments of approximately US$8 million payable over the term of the contract with interest; payments for each new account opened; and commissions/profit sharing based on cardholder transactions. HFC Bank will have exclusive rights to market the card to Freeserve’s membership of 1.32 million active registered users. HFC Bank is the fifth largest issuer of credit cards in the UK.Details
Citibank rolled out its new ‘Citibank Cathay Pacific VISA’ in the Philippines, offering cardholders the opportunity to earn 1.5 reward points for each dollar charged. A 1.5 reward point is equal to one ‘Cathay Asia Mile’. Citibank is also offering a 2,000 air mile sign-up bonus for ‘Silver Cathay Pacific VISA’ applicants and a 5,000 air mile sign-up bonus for ‘Gold Cathay Pacific VISA’ applicants. Cathay’s ‘Asia Miles’ program includes network partners: British Airways; American Airlines; Canadian Airlines; Qantas; Swiss Air and Japan Airlines. The program also offer free membership in the Marco Polo Club.Details
Mid-sized card issuers rebounded in the second quarter, stabilizing portfolio erosion according to figures released this morning by CardData (www.carddata.com). The latest numbers comes from CardWeb’s CardData quarterly survey of 350 issuers at mid-year. For complete current and historical data on the nations top issuers visit CardData online at [www.carddata.com].
MID-SIZE 2Q/99 SNAPSHOT
ISSUER RECV YTD VOL ACCTS ACTIVES CARDS
BanPonce $503,866,888 $334,710,050 263,795 237,204 320,609
Fifth Third $376,000,000 $759,000,000 520,000 370,000 655,000
Compass $284,337,746 $206,699,090 175,362 102,655 219,096
First Security $218,934,796 $261,701,350 290,415 135,873 390,541
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Salt Lake City-based IC One, Inc. announced this morning it has signed a large smart card contract with eExpo, one of the nation’s largest convention, tradeshow, and hospitality contractors. Under the IC One agreement, eExpo expects to distribute 500,000 IC One supplied smart cards in the next year and an additional 5 million smart cards over the next three years. IC One will supply eExpo with smart card loyalty technology for use in trade shows, conventions, and with hospitality companies. Last week IC One and Schimatic announced an agreement to merge. The new company will maintain SCTN’s stock symbol and name until closing the transaction this week. Thereafter, the merged companies will retain the name IC One, Inc.Details
The government of Hong Kong will introduce a legislative bill this week to give electronic records and digital signatures used in e-commerce the same legal status as paper-based signatures. The government has already established a public key infrastructure in Hong Kong. The government is also in the process of building a ‘Cyberport’ to advance e-commerce.Details
Card issuers are paying $152 per account this year compared to $116 per account last year, a 30%+ rise, according to 1999 data released this morning by Robert K. Hammer Investment Bankers. Hammer says in the first six months of this year issuers are paying an average premium of 16.38% compared to 13.10% last year and that two out of three recent deals include an agent bank component. The data are based on twelve 1999 portfolio transactions representing $6.4 billion in receivables. The portfolio transaction sample excludes year-to-date deals involving: 24 portfolios valued under $15 million; 45 mergers of equals or whole bank purchases; four private label portfolio sales; and four sub-prime portfolio deals. Hammer further notes that the average pre-tax earnings multiple this year is 5.2x compared to 5.1x last year and that the average card portfolio earnings this year is 3.15% compared to 2.5% last year. There are several deals in the pipeline, as of June 30, representing 15 million accounts and $6 billion in receivables.Details
The InterCept Group announced the signing of their 50th Internet banking customer. Try, MO-based Peoples Bank & Trust Company selected InterCept’s Internet banking software product, ‘BancAccess’, as their on-line banking solution and is expected to begin offering Internet banking services to their customers this fall.Details
The International Card Manufacturers Association announced the addition of five new members for the second quarter of 1999. The new principal members are Korea Telcom Card of Seoul, Korea and Microelectronica Espanola of Madrid, Spain. The new associate members are Adriaplast S.p.A, of Monfalcone, Italy and Zebra Technologies/Eltron of Camarillo, California. The branch associate member is Akzo Nobel Inks Sweden located in Trelleborg, Sweden.Details