Evolution Benefits Acquired by Genstar (July 30, 2010)

July 30, 2010

Health care payments technology provider Evolution Benefits has been acquired by a San Francisco-based private equity firm, the companies announced yesterday. Genstar Capital LLC said it has acquired the Avon, Conn.-based company that enables consumers to access funds in consumer-directed health care and employee benefits accounts (e.g., Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)) via network branded prepaid cards. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Genstar Capital said in a press release that Evolution’s senior management team will continue to lead the business. “The investment in Evolution Benefits represents a convergence of Genstar’s specialization in both the health care services and electronic payments verticals,” said James Nadauld, a principal of Genstar. “We believe strongly that Evolution Benefits is poised for continued growth as consumers and employers continue to migrate towards consumer-directed health products enabled by debit cards rather than manual submission of health care claims.” According to Robert Patricelli, Evolution Benefits chairman and CEO, the capital infusion provided by Genstar will be used to develop new products, making acquisitions and growing the size of the company.

 

Citi Expands Commercial Card Issuance to South Africa (July 30, 2010)

July 30, 2010

Citigroup yesterday announced that its Global Transaction Services unit will include prepaid programs as it launches its commercial card program in South Africa, the 50th country in which it has done so. Nearly 500 multinational companies use Citi commercial card programs to manage expenses, according to a press release, and the company says it is the largest global provider of corporate and government prepaid programs. “South Africa is an exceptional market place—one that demands local solutions with global service standards,” said Rajesh Mehta, head of treasury and trade solutions for Europe, the Middle East & Africa, Citi, “As our clients expand globally, Citi will continue to make investments in technology and global expansion.” The company said it launch commercial card issuance in five more countries by yearend.

 

Senate Committee Foils Durbin’s Attempt at Additional Interchange Limits (July 30, 2010)

July 30, 2010

The Senate Appropriations Committee last night killed another attempt by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) to curb interchange fees. Sen. Durbin had added a provision to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act to limit the amount of interchange that could be charged on credit card purchases made by the U.S. government to no more than the lowest current market rate. Last night the committee voted to approve an amendment by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) that removed the provision, pending review by the Government Accountability Office.

 

Wright Express Acquires Australian Prepaid Processor (July 30, 2010)

July 30, 2010

Wright Express, a South Portland, Maine-based company that provides payment processing for government and commercial vehicle fleets, today announced it has acquired Retail Decision (ReD), the largest prepaid card processor in Australia. According to a press release, ReD is Australia’s largest multibranded fleet card—accepted at 90 percent of the country’s fuel stations—and processes 60 percent of the prepaid card transactions in Australia. Wright executives noted ReD’s prepaid business was a major factor in their decision to acquire ReD. “Importantly, ReD Prepaid’s card business enhances our diversification strategy and provides us a new platform for growth outside of our fleet card business,” said Michael Dubyak, chairman and CEO of Wright Express. “This complements our successful efforts to diversify Wright Express’ revenue to reduce fuel-price sensitivity, led by our MasterCard business.” In 2009, ReD generated revenues totaling AU$61.4 million (US$55.3 million).

 

Visa Reports Quarterly Profit of $716 Million (July 30, 2010)

July 30, 2010

Visa Inc. announced fiscal third-quarter profits of $716 million, or $0.97 per share. The San Francisco-based card network’s revenue increased 23 percent for the quarter to $2 billion on strong transaction growth. “Visa delivered a solid financial performance during our fiscal third quarter as we saw continued improvements in global cross-border and payments volume growth,” said Joseph Saunders, chairman and CEO of Visa Inc. “As we look to the remainder of our fiscal 2010 year, we remain focused on integrating our recent acquisition of CyberSource (Paybefore April 22, 2010), maintaining strong financial performance and expense control discipline.” Visa reported that the dollar value of transactions made using its cards during the quarter rose 14 percent from the same time a year earlier to $803 billion. Total transactions also increased 14 percent to 11.7 billion. The company did not separately address the performance of prepaid cards in its earnings report.