The recent introduction of low, fixed, long-term interest rates is driving down average card interest rates. According to the upcoming March issue of Bankcard Barometer, average standard card interest rates dropped from 17.55% to 17.50% on an unweighted basis and from 18.83% to 18.79% on a weighted basis. Gold card rates also dropped from 16.40% to 16.38% on an unweighted basis and from 17.90% to 17.85% on a weighted basis. The decline is the first in more than a year. Since the fourth quarter some major issuers, including Capital One, have begun offering a no-fee, fixed 9.9% go- to rate to selected customers. First USA recently introduced the no-fee ‘Yahoo! VISA’ card with a fixed 9.9% go-to rate for charter applicants.Details
NationsBank unveiled its new, free, web banking service yesterday to customers in FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA and DC. The bank says it will expand the service to all its customers, including Barnett, later this year. ‘NationsBank Online’. The new service offers customer access to checking, savings, money market, CDs, IRAs, retail loans, lines of credit and credit cards. Customers may also download transaction data into Quicken and Microsoft personal finance software.Details
HNC Software is attacking the $250 million fraud loss problem connected with private-label cards. The company announced Tuesday the availability of its new private-label-card fraud detection solution similar to its predictive software technologies used by major bank credit card issuer. ‘Falcon Retail’ uses three different scoring models one for application fraud, one for new account fraud and one for mature account fraud. HNC estimates 50% of retail card fraud occurs in the application stage. The solution also employs retail-specific neural networks, expert rules bases and HNC’s proprietary behavior profiling technology. Yesterday’s release follows a pilot with Sears.Details
Administaff, Inc. and American Express yesterday completed their previously announced marketing alliance to provide personnel management services to American Express’ substantial small business customer base across the country. The agreement included the sale of 693,126 shares of Administaff common stock with warrants to purchase approximately two million additional shares at strike prices ranging from $40 to $80 per share to American Express for $17.7 million.
In Board action taken today and in connection with the American Express transaction, Anne Busquet, President of American Express Relationship Services (AERS), was elected to serve on Administaff’s Board of Directors, bringing the total number of directors to nine.
Paul J. Sarvadi, Administaff’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased to welcome Anne to our Board. Her diverse industry experience and expertise in the development of new products and services will be enormous assets to Administaff and to the marketing alliance. We look forward to her guidance in assisting us to develop cross-selling opportunities that will strengthen our products and services and enhance our long-term growth.”
In her current position at American Express, Mrs. Busquet is responsible for the company’s Fee Services, Merchandise Services, Telecommunications Services and the Educational Financing Group. A member of the American Express Planning and Policy Committee, Mrs. Busquet also has worldwide responsibility for Interactive Enterprise Development, a centralized group that manages the company’s global interactive strategy.
During her 20-year career at American Express, Mrs. Busquet has held several managerial positions. From 1993 to 1995, she was Executive Vice President of the Credit Card Group at American Express Travel Related Services (TRS) with responsibility for the Personal Card, Gold Card and Platinum Card products. In 1991, she was named Senior Vice President and General Manager of Merchandise Services, which offers diverse products and services via mail order to American Express Cardmembers. Prior to that, Mrs. Busquet held executive positions with the company’s lending business, including Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Optima Card Division.
Administaff is one of the nation’s leading Professional Employer Organizations, providing a comprehensive Personnel Management System that encompasses a broad range of services, including benefits and payroll administration, medical and workers’ compensation insurance programs, personnel records management, liability management, employee recruiting and selection, performance management, and training and development services to small and medium-sized businesses. The Company has 19 offices in 12 major markets and serves clients and worksite employees throughout the United States.
American Express Relationship Services (AERS) was formed in 1995 to deliver value-added products and services to consumers and businesses by leveraging corporate assets in non-traditional areas, such as insurance, telecommunications and educational funding, and the Internet. AERS is a division of American Express Travel Related Services Company Inc.
American Express Travel Related Services Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Express Company — a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.Details
Pamela H. Patsley, president and chief executive officer of Paymentech, Inc. (NYSE:PTI), today announced that L. Wayne LeRoux has joined Paymentech as group manager responsible for strategic business operations at the companyâs Network Services unit in Tampa, Florida. He will manage major cross-functional initiatives, provide a cohesive operational approach, and support long-term strategic initiatives. LeRoux will report to Michael P. Duffy, Paymentechâs chief operating officer.
Paymentech Network Services provides point-of-sale (POS) authorization and electronic draft capture transaction processing services. In addition to direct clients, Paymentech is a leading provider of such services to independent sales organizations (ISOs) and financial institutions.
LeRoux, a well-known payment industry expert, is familiar with Paymentechâs Network Services operations. He founded TransNet, Inc. in 1987, which was subsequently acquired by GENSAR Holdings, Inc. in 1992. Paymentech purchased GENSAR in 1996. LeRoux was also founder and president of LeRoux, Pitts & Associates, a Florida software firm that specialized in development and implementations of POS software systems to banks and major retailers.
“Wayne is a significant addition to a management team that is already one of the most experienced in the processing business,” said Patsley. “He brings tremendous career knowledge and insight. As a visionary who helped shape major POS technological developments, he will significantly contribute to realizing our strategy for our future POS transaction and third-party processing business.”
“Paymentech presents a tremendous opportunity for me to once again be involved with an industry leader,” said LeRoux, “and to influence the future of POS transaction processing. Our task now is to develop the level of technology and functionality needed for the next generation of payment processing products and services. To take an active role in this endeavor is exciting.”
“Wayneâs resume speaks for itself,” said Duffy. “He guided the development of some of the first terminal-based POS applications, created some of the earlier debit POS functionality, and literally shaped the role of POS as a fully integrated payment solution in supermarkets. He combines technology and broad business strategy in a manner that is respected throughout our industry.”
Paymentech, Inc. (NYSE: PTI), founded in 1985, provides full-service electronic payment solutions in merchant acquiring, third-party transaction processing and commercial card payment and information programs. The company processed approximately 1.6 billion total transactions and approximately $46 billion in sales volume during calendar 1997. Paymentech is the third largest processor of bankcard transactions and a leading issuer of commercial cards in the United States.Details
ITT Sheraton and VISA U.S.A. signed a long-term, multi-million dollar marketing agreement yesterday. The agreement covers a joint advertising campaign, consumers and trade promotions, and joint sponsorships. VISA cardholders will also receive special incentives when using a VISA card for a Sheraton Hotel stay. To celebrate the alliance both companies announced yesterday the immediate availability of special cardholder benefits at eight Sheraton Hotels in Hawaii. The special Hawaiian promotion includes a fifth night free, daily dining credits of $25-$50, late checkouts and a free one category upgrade.Details
Schlumberger signed a letter of intent with Visa International yesterday to become a partner in the new ‘Visa Smart’ program. As part of the program, Schlumberger will provide cards, terminals and application development support and services for added value programs, such as loyalty, to Visa Members. The Schlumberger product offering will include the whole range of ‘Visa Smart Products’ and the ‘Open Platform’, a secure multi-application card based on ‘Java Card’ technology, as well as the company’s ‘MagIC’ range of technology-leading point-of-sale terminals.Details
One of the first companies to introduce 900-number billing technology to the Internet has also become one of the industry’s fastest growing providers of real-time credit card transaction processing services, linking Web sites to the credit card authentication network and/or providing robust point-of-sale and back-office interfaces for Web merchants who want single-source electronic commerce services.
For Internet Billing Co. (ibill), the path from launch of itsWeb900TM online billing service in mid-1995 to the introduction at Fall Internet World ’97 in December of the ibill TP transaction processing platform represents more than just augmenting ibill electronic commerce services, according to Keith Miller, ibill executive vice president, “It is the culmination of a goal to position ibill as the electronic commerce services company of choice for small-to-midsize businesses selling goods and services over the Internet,” Miller said. With a growth rate that now approaches 20% a month, ibill is very close to realizing its goal.
“Strategically, ibill TP is very important to our growth plans. It provides what we believe to be the most cost-effective electronic commerce solution for small-to-midsize Web sites. At the same time, ibill TP is the platform that is enabling us to establish alliances and partnerships with ibill TP Represents Strategic Platform other key Internet players who see ibill’s transaction processing infrastructure and Commerce Management Interfaces (CMIs) as adding significant value to their own electronic commerce offerings,” Miller said.
Miller said the company is in final negotiations with several key Internet players who intend to incorporate ibill TP technology into their electronic commerce packages. “We had hoped to be able to announce several alliances as Spring Internet World 98 this week, but final inking of the agreements will probably be delayed until next week,” he said. “We expect to make formal announcements shortly.”
The company is exhibiting its full line of electronic commerce services at SIW98. For sales information contact Internet Billing Co., 5701 Pine Island Road, Suite 240, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33321. Telephone 1-888-237-1764, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit ibill’s Web site at .
Internet Billing Co. (ibill) is a leading worldwide provider of transaction processing and services that enable Web merchants to accept and process in real-time payments for goods and services purchased over the Internet, and manage back-office functions associated with the transactions through ibill Commerce Management Interfaces. The privately held company was founded in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in October 1996.Details
First Data Resources, a unit of First Data Corporation, today announced a three-year contract extension with South Dakota-based First PREMIER Bank. With the extension, First Data will provide transaction processing and other cardholder services through 2005 for the bank’s more than 300,000 credit card accounts on file. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“This extension clearly shows that we consider First Data a strategic partner in helping us achieve our goals for the management and growth of our credit card portfolio,” said Miles K. Beacom; president of First PREMIER’s Credit Card Division.
First PREMIER Bank, one of the fastest growing issuers of sub-prime and secured credit cards in the nation, has been a First Data client since 1989.
“This has been a good relationship,” adds Jeffrey J. Aegerter, senior vice president of card products for First PREMIER. “We’re confident in First Data’s processing expertise and innovative services as a way to bring value to business.”
“We’re pleased to extend our relationship with a qualify financial institution like First PREMIER,” said Richard A. Zehnacker, president of First Data Resources. “This clearly demonstrates their confidence in our ability to deliver innovative technology and new products and services so that we can help them grow their market share and maxime their profits.”
Sioux Falls, S.D. – based First PREMIER Bank is the seventh largest issuer of sub-prime credit cards, with more than $63 million in credit card outstandings.
Omaha, Neb. – based First Data Resources is a leading global provider of transaction cards and other card-based services to more than 1,400 financial institutions around the world.
Hackensack, N.J. – based First Data Corporation is a global leader in payment systems, electronic commerce and information management products and services. First Data and its principal operating units process the information that allows millions of consumers to pay for goods and services by credit, debit or smart card at the point of sale or over the Internet; by check or wire money. For further information about First Data, please visit the Company on the Internet at [www.firstdatacorp.com].
Capital One announced plans Monday to expand its base of operations into Chesterfield County, Virginia. The new site, to be located in the River’s Bend complex just south of the James River, will employ up to 600 associates.
The announcement of the Virginia-based expansion plans comes on the heels of Capital One’s announcement that it expects to hire more than 2,000 associates worldwide in 1998.
“Over the past three years as an independent company, our growth has been phenomenal. We have consistently achieved 20 percent plus growth in earnings per share,” said Richard D. Fairbank, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “1998 promises to be just as successful for Capital One as we continue to expand in domestic and overseas markets, to innovate new products and to hire skilled associates. We are targeting both earnings growth and return on equity of 20 percent for 1998.”
Operations in the greater Richmond area also include information technology services, customer relations call centers, production services, and many staff support functions. The new site will function as a customer contact center, and will enable Capital One to better service its more than 12 million customers worldwide. It measures approximately 78,000 square feet and is located at 701 Liberty Way in Chester, Va.
At today’s announcement, Virginia Governor Gilmore said, “Capital One has used cutting edge technology to become a true Virginia success story, and I am excited by its continued growth and commitment to its home state.”
Nigel Morris, President and Chief Operating Officer, responded, “Richmond has served as our home base since we became a public company in 1994. We want to share our success with our Virginia-based associates, and we are pleased that the state and Chesterfield County officials enthusiastically supported Capital One’s expansion plans.”
With operations already in Richmond, Fredericksburg and Falls Church, Va.; Tampa, Fla.; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; as well as London and Nottingham, UK, Capital One presently employs over 6,000 associates worldwide. More than 4,000 of Capital One’s 6,000 associates are located in the Richmond metropolitan area.
Local residents interested in learning more about employment opportunities with Capital One should call 1-800-77-HIRE-1. Capital One is already accepting applications to staff the new site. In addition to competitive salaries, associates also receive a generous compensation package that was designed by Capital One associates when the company went public. (Capital One is also recruiting for its West End, Richmond operations.)
Capital One Financial Corporation is a financial services company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank, and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 11.7 million customers and $14.2 billion in managed loans outstanding at December 31, 1997, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world.Details
Total System Services, Inc. announced that it is engaged in negotiations with Sears, Roebuck and Co. to support Sears’ private-label credit card accounts. No agreement between TSYS and Sears has been reached. No further comment or announcement will be made by TSYS until negotiations have concluded.Details
NBS Technologies Inc signed an agreement to sell its Card Services business unit in the United Kingdom to Group Bull for net proceeds of approximately $9.5 million. The completion of the sale is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, which are expected to be completed by March 20, 1998. This sale will allow the company to reduce bank debt and to focus its resources on its European operations and other high growth opportunities.
“We see this as an exciting time for the introduction of new technologies, particularly solutions using smart cards and biometric identification. This divestiture fits with our strategy of focusing our energies on developing the technologies and expertise required to support our position as a leading supplier of card issuance, identification and transaction solutions,” commented Ken Kivenko, President and CEO.
Working together with its customers and business partners, whose applications range from financial debit, credit and electronic purse to biometric identification, electronic photo imaging and government card issuance programs, NBS Technologies will continue to provide high performance products and solutions for the next millennium.
NBS Technologies Inc. is a multinational company that designs, manufactures and markets an integrated line of card, card issuance, identification and point-of-sale products, services and software. Customers, who cover a wide range of market segments and applications, include financial institutions, retailers, government agencies, and healthcare organizations. The Company is a Toronto-based public company that sells to customers in over 85 countries through facilities located in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.Details